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Vladimir Putin shows his religious devotion at Valaam Monastery

It’s nice to have a President who is a devoted believer, isn’t it?

Anna Lutskova

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On July 11, 2017, the Russian president together with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia visited Valaam Monastery in Karelia and attended a divine liturgy on the day of commemoration of Saints Sergius and Herman of Valaam.

President Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill at the Transfiguration of the Saviour Patriarchal Monastery on Valaam (July, 2017)

The Transfiguration of the Saviour Patriarchal Monastery on Valaam is one the most beloved Russian monasteries. In Russian Orthodoxy, Saints Sergius and German were Greek holy monks who came to the Novgorod along with the first Orthodox missionaries and founded a monastery on Valaam Island in the north of Lake Ladoga, the largest lake in Europe.

Valaam Monastery on Lake Ladoga, Karelia

Today, the monastery has more than 200 inhabitants. Every year, over 100,000 pilgrims and tourists visit this monastery. Including Vladimir Putin!

 

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rosewood11John R. Nolanenglishvinal Recent comment authors
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rosewood11
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rosewood11

An American Protestant pastor and news commentator (Rick Wiles of trunews.com ) first made me aware a few years ago that President Vladimir Putin was a devout Orthodox Christian. I decided to research this, and was very impressed by Mr. Putin’s devotion to his faith and the practice of it. May God bless him and deepen his faith with each passing day.

englishvinal
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englishvinal

Yes, and President Putin has initiated (successfully), support and encouragement for the women of Russia to KEEP their babies instead of shucking/sucking them out to be sold off as “parts” to rejuvenate aging oligarchs and flavor soft drinks …
…. and the rest of the world should take note that the birth rate for Russia is today positive….
Russia is NOT wasting away as it was during the Zio-communist regimes.

FACT! – A nation must have PEOPLE… real live flesh and blood human beings to stay healthy, and “importing aliens” is not a remedy.

rosewood11
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rosewood11

I got quite a shock the other night when a Christian Internet talk show host was talking about the Donald Trump Jr. case, and the woman lawyer linked to the attempt to reestablish the ability of American parents to adopt Russian “orphans” (I use quotes here because I know now that all the children being “adopted” in the US are not necessarily orphans–eg. Haitian children that are being trafficked.). I had thought that this was a diplomatic move on Russia’s part because we’d done something to tick off Russian leadership. This woman on the radio raised the fact that it… Read more »

John R. Nolan
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John R. Nolan

Mr. Putin is a ‘devout denominational Christian’, who, according to this article, worships a temple made by man, but that does not display true Christianity, where one worships the One True God, through His Son, not images of stone. The Russian Orthodox church is just another branch of the great whore’s religious outreach, and is under the control of the vatican. Note, when Mr. Putin visits the pope, who bows down in obeisance, who kisses who’s ring? This act, performed by ALL politicians who go see the pope, demonstrate who is the boss, and, as much as one had prayed… Read more »

englishvinal
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englishvinal

So, John…. President Putin “kisses the ring”… and to your mind that makes him a vassal? Did it ever occur to you that Vladimir Putin “kisses the rings” of ALL the heads of state around the world as a gesture of respect to that particular leader? So, would you rather have him flip off the Pope, and Merkle, Erdogan and THE Trumpus .. and all the rest of tin horn posturing “leaders” that control politics, massive militaries, and make decisions? You would prefer that he alienate them so that they will take a personal offense to THEIR massive egos, and… Read more »

englishvinal
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englishvinal

Oh, and another thought on the subject of President Putin “worshiping stone images”… what BS~!
The image is a “representation” of thought quasi-incarnate.. the image reminds people that the conviction that God is there, and of the need to recognize that freak shows of deviant satanic types, such as the Kadashians, ARE NOT the kind of energies that should be worshiped.

Oh, and personally I would prefer to see a reminder ‘stone image’ honored than The Wheaties Boy Jenner~!!!!

John R. Nolan
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John R. Nolan

It is the symbology of the exercise. Generally leaders of different nations shake hands, which is a display of friendship, also, subtly revealing that one is not carrying a knife in the hand extended. Yes, Mr. Putin is a devout member of the Russian Orthodox church, which is great, it shows he has far more comprehension of the Christian standards on which the Western nations were originally built. The point being made is that all political leaders, that go meet the pope, to my mind, are displaying subservience to that church, and, one suggests, we should never mix politics and… Read more »

rosewood11
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rosewood11

Dear John, The situation with Our Lady of Fatima/Pope Francis’ refusal to honor her request because it illustrates Pope Francis’ lack of belief in his own theology. I credit Mr. Putin for making the effort to make “pilgrimage” (basically a trip undertaken for a religious purpose; Protestants read that “bus trip”) to Rome to see the Pope in an effort to have him actually do something that at least a portion of his people believe in and would welcome. I assume from your emphasis on the stone statues and objection to several things Roman Catholic that you are Protestant. I… Read more »

rosewood11
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rosewood11

While I agree that a national leader darkening the door of a church of any denomination or saying he/she is a Christian doesn’t necessarily make them one in their heart (eg. George W. Bush), I have a tendency to believe Mr. Putin. No less of a Putin-hating source than a New York Times reporter noted that Mr. Putin openly professed his faith in God while stationed with the KGB in East Germany–not something calculated to make him popular with the upper-level management!!! I also know of two separate occasions when he could have extorted bribes from those coming to him–once… Read more »

John R. Nolan
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John R. Nolan

It was the religious leaders of Israel that nailed their Messiah to the cross, in collusion with the Sanhedrin, which is a questionable demonstration of meddling betwixt state and church, that it can be highly detrimental to the community. Scripture declares that it will be the Gentiles who fulfill Heb.6:6, as they worship a man, believing they are worshipping God. What does Mary have to do with anything? Yes, she was the vehicle used by God to bring His Son into the world, but nothing more! Check how Jesus called her ‘woman’ not mother. There is no evidence that our… Read more »

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Russia’s Lukoil Halts Oil Swaps In Venezuela After U.S. Sanctions

Under the new wide-ranging U.S. sanctions, Venezuela will not be able to import U.S. naphtha which it has typically used to dilute its heavy crude grades.

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Via Oilprice.com


Litasco, the international trading arm of Russia’s second-biggest oil producer Lukoil, stopped its oil swaps deals with Venezuela immediately after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry and state oil firm PDVSA, Lukoil’s chief executive Vagit Alekperov said at an investment forum in Russia.

Russia, which stands by Nicolas Maduro in the ongoing Venezuelan political crisis, has vowed to defend its interests in Venezuela—including oil interests—within the international law using “all mechanisms available to us.”

Because of Moscow’s support for Maduro, the international community and market analysts are closely watching the relationship of Russian oil companies with Venezuela.

“Litasco does not work with Venezuela. Before the restrictions were imposed, Litasco had operations to deliver oil products and to sell oil. There were swap operations. Today there are none, since the sanctions were imposed,” Lukoil’s Alekperov said at the Russian Investment Forum in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Another Russian oil producer, Gazprom Neft, however, does not see major risks for its oil business in Venezuela, the company’s chief executive officer Alexander Dyukov said at the same event.

Gazprom Neft has not supplied and does not supply oil products to Venezuela needed to dilute the thick heavy Venezuelan oil, Dyukov said, noting that the Latin American country hadn’t approached Gazprom Neft for possible supply of oil products for diluents.

Under the new wide-ranging U.S. sanctions, Venezuela will not be able to import U.S. naphtha which it has typically used to dilute its heavy crude grades. Analysts expect that a shortage of diluents could accelerate beginning this month the already steadily declining Venezuelan oil production and exports.

Venezuela’s crude oil production plunged by another 59,000 bpd from December 2018 to stand at just 1.106 million bpd in January 2019, OPEC’s secondary sources figures showed in the cartel’s closely watched Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) this week.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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Germany Pulls Rank on Macron and American Energy Blackmail

Why France’s Macron, at the last minute, attempted to undermine the project by placing stiffer regulations is a curious question.

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Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


It was billed politely as a Franco-German “compromise” when the EU balked at adopting a Gas Directive which would have undermined the Nord Stream 2 project with Russia.

Nevertheless, diplomatic rhetoric aside, Berlin’s blocking last week of a bid by French President Emmanuel Macron to impose tougher regulations on the Nord Stream 2 gas project was without doubt a firm rebuff to Paris.

Macron wanted to give the EU administration in Brussels greater control over the new pipeline running from Russia to Germany. But in the end the so-called “compromise” was a rejection of Macron’s proposal, reaffirming Germany in the lead role of implementing the Nord Stream 2 route, along with Russia.

The $11-billion, 1,200 kilometer pipeline is due to become operational at the end of this year. Stretching from Russian mainland under the Baltic Sea, it will double the natural gas supply from Russia to Germany. The Berlin government and German industry view the project as a vital boost to the country’s ever-robust economy. Gas supplies will also be distributed from Germany to other European states. Consumers stand to gain from lower prices for heating homes and businesses.

Thus Macron’s belated bizarre meddling was rebuffed by Berlin. A rebuff was given too to the stepped-up pressure from Washington for the Nord Stream 2 project to be cancelled. Last week, US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell and two other American envoys wrote an op-ed for Deutsche Welle in which they accused Russia of trying to use “energy blackmail” over Europe’s geopolitics.

Why France’s Macron, at the last minute, attempted to undermine the project by placing stiffer regulations is a curious question. Those extra regulations if they had been imposed would have potentially made the Russian gas supply more expensive. As it turns out, the project will now go-ahead without onerous restrictions.

In short, Macron and the spoiling tactics of Washington, along with EU states hostile to Russia, Poland and the Baltic countries, have been put in their place by Germany and its assertion of national interests of securing economical and abundant gas supply from Russia. Other EU member states that backed Berlin over Nord Stream 2 were Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece and the Netherlands.

Washington’s claims that Nord Stream 2 would give Russia leverage of Europe’s security have been echoed by Poland and the Baltic states. Poland, and non-EU Ukraine, stand to lose out billions of dollars-worth of transit fees. Such a move, however, is the prerogative of Germany and Russia to find a more economical mode of supply. Besides, what right has Ukraine to make demands on a bilateral matter that is none of its business? Kiev’s previous bad faith over not paying gas bills to Russia disbars it from reasonable opinion.

Another factor is the inherent Russophobia of Polish and Baltic politicians who view everything concerning Russia through a prism of paranoia.

For the Americans, it is obviously a blatant case of seeking to sell their own much more expensive natural gas to Europe’s giant energy market – in place of Russia’s product. Based on objective market figures, Russia is the most competitive supplier to Europe. The Americans are therefore trying to snatch a strategic business through foul means of propaganda and political pressure. Ironically, the US German ambassador Richard Grenell and the other American envoys wrote in their recent oped: “Europe must retain control of its energy security.”

Last month, Grenell threatened German and European firms involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 that they could face punitive American sanctions in the future. Evidently, it is the US side that is using “blackmail” to coerce others into submission, not Russia.

Back to Macron. What was he up to in his belated spoiling tactics over Nord Stream 2 and in particular the attempted problems being leveled for Germany if the extra regulations had been imposed?

It seems implausible that Macron was suddenly finding a concern for Poland and the Baltic states in their paranoia over alleged Russian invasion.

Was Macron trying to garner favors from the Trump administration? His initial obsequious rapport with Trump has since faded from the early days of Macron’s presidency in 2017. By doing Washington’s bidding to undermine the Nord Stream 2 project was Macron trying to ingratiate himself again?

The contradictions regarding Macron are replete. He is supposed to be a champion of “ecological causes”. A major factor in Germany’s desire for the Nord Stream 2 project is that the increased gas supply will reduce the European powerhouse’s dependence on dirty fuels of coal, oil and nuclear power. By throwing up regulatory barriers, Macron is making it harder for Germany and Europe to move to cleaner sources of energy that the Russian natural gas represents.

Also, if Macron had succeeded in imposing tougher regulations on the Nord Stream 2 project it would have inevitably increased the costs to consumers for gas bills. This is at a time when his government is being assailed by nationwide Yellow Vest protests over soaring living costs, in particular fuel-price hikes.

A possible factor in Macron’s sabotage bid in Germany’s Nord Stream 2 plans was his chagrin over Berlin’s rejection of his much-vaunted reform agenda for the Eurozone bloc within the EU. Despite Macron’s very public amity with Chancellor Angela Merkel, Berlin has continually knocked back the French leader’s ambitions for reform.

It’s hard to discern what are the real objectives of Macron’s reforms. But they seem to constitute a “banker’s charter”. Many eminent German economists have lambasted his plans, which they say will give more taxpayer-funded bailouts to insolvent banks. They say Macron is trying to move the EU further away from the social-market economy than the bloc already has moved.

What Macron, an ex-Rothschild banker, appears to be striving for is a replication of his pro-rich, anti-worker policies that he is imposing on France, and for these policies to be extended across the Eurozone. Berlin is not buying it, realizing such policies will further erode the social fabric. This could be the main reason why Macron tried to use the Nord Stream 2 project as leverage over Berlin.

In the end, Macron and Washington – albeit working for different objectives – were defeated in their attempts to sabotage the emerging energy trade between Germany, Europe and Russia. Nord Stream 2, as with Russia’s Turk Stream to the south of Europe, seems inevitable by sheer force of natural partnership.

On this note, the Hungarian government’s comments this week were apt. Budapest accused some European leaders and the US of “huge hypocrisy” in decrying association with Russia over energy trade. Macron has previously attended an economics forum in St Petersburg, and yet lately has sought to “blackmail” and disrupt Germany over its trade plans with Russia.

As for the Americans, their arrant hypocrisy is beyond words. As well as trying to dictate to Europe about “market principles” and “energy security”, it was reported this week that Washington is similarly demanding Iraq to end its import of natural gas from neighboring Iran.

Iraq is crippled by electricity and power shortages because of the criminal war that the US waged on that country from 2003-2011 which destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure. Iraq critically needs Iranian gas supplies to keep the lights and fans running. Yet, here we have the US now dictating to Iraq to end its lifeline import of Iranian fuel in order to comply with the Trump administration’s sanctions against Tehran. Iraq is furious at the latest bullying interference by Washington in its sovereign affairs.

The hypocrisy of Washington and elitist politicians like Emmanuel Macron has become too much to stomach. Maybe Germany and others are finally realizing who the charlatans are.

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Russia Readies Own Web To Survive Global Internet Shutdown

Russia is simultaneously building a mass censorship system similar to that seen in China.

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Via Zerohedge


Russian authorities and major telecom operators are preparing to disconnect the country from the world wide web as part of an exercise to prepare for future cyber attacks, Russian news agency RosBiznesKonsalting (RBK) reported last week.

The purpose of the exercise is to develop a threat analysis and provide feedback to a proposed law introduced in the Russian Parliament last December.

The draft law, called the Digital Economy National Program, requires Russian internet service providers (ISP) to guarantee the independence of the Russian Internet (Runet) in the event of a foreign attack to sever the country’s internet from the world wide web.

Telecom operators (MegaFon, VimpelCom (Beeline brand), MTS, Rostelecom and others) will have to introduce the “technical means” to re-route all Russian internet traffic to exchange points approved by the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor), Russia’s federal executive body responsible for censorship in media and telecommunications.

Roskomnazor will observe all internet traffic and make sure data between Russian users stays within the country’s borders, and is not re-routed abroad.

The exercise is expected to occur before April 1, as Russian authorities have not given exact dates.

The measures described in the law include Russia constructing its internet system, known as Domain Name System (DNS), so it can operate independently from the rest of the world.

Across the world, 12 companies oversee the root servers for DNS and none are located in Russia. However, there are copies of Russia’s core internet address book inside the country suggesting its internet could keep operating if the US cut it off.

Ultimately, the Russian government will require all domestic traffic to pass through government-controlled routing points. These hubs will filter traffic so that data sent between Russians internet users work seamlessly, but any data to foreign computers would be rejected.

Besides protecting its internet, Russia is simultaneously building a mass censorship system similar to that seen in China.

“What Russia wants to do is to bring those router points that handle data entering or exiting the country within its borders and under its control- so that it can then pull up the drawbridge, as it were, to external traffic if it’s under threat – or if it decides to censor what outside information people can access.

China’s firewall is probably the world’s best known censorship tool and it has become a sophisticated operation. It also polices its router points, using filters and blocks on keywords and certain websites and redirecting web traffic so that computers cannot connect to sites the state does not wish Chinese citizens to see,” said BBC.

The Russian government started preparations for creating its internet several years ago. Russian officials expect 95% of all internet traffic locally by next year.

As for Russia unplugging its internet from the rest of the world for an upcoming training exercise, well, this could potentially anger Washington because it is one less sanction that can keep Moscow contained.

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