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Hellenic Insider

92 percent of Russians in Crimea vote for Putin as its ancient Greek legacy lives on

Did you know Crimea has an ancient Hellenic legacy, directly related to the establishment of the brotherhood between Russia and Greece?

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At our sister site, RussiaFeed, we covered how an amazing 92 percent of Crimeans voted for Vladimir Putin, a number confirmed by international observers. This drops a red-pill bombshell on the corporate media narrative that Crimea was invaded by Russia – how many occupied peoples gleefully support their invader?

How many Crimeans voted for Vladimir Putin?


While that is indeed amazing, how many people knew that Crimea in fact, has an ancient Greek legacy, relating to the very first establishment of brotherhood between Russians and Greeks?
Not far from the heroic City of Sevastopol lie the ruins of old Kherson — as Byzantine Greeks called it — also called Chersonesus, though Slavic people in the period referred to it as Korsun.

Ruins of Chersonesos


The word comes the Greek word Χερσόνησος, which means “peninsula”, and it now gives its name to the modern Ukrainian city of Kherson, which is located up the coast from the ancient Crimean city, just where the Crimean peninsula meets Ukraine.
Old Kherson was an important colony of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire. It was here where Equal-to-the-Apostles Saint Vladimir of Kiev married Anna, the Purple-born of Constantinople, the sister of the Emperor. In some ways the history of the Russia we recognize today began here, with his baptism.

Baptism of Vladimir


Preceding his marriage was the baptism of Vladimir himself, which preceded his Baptism of all Rus’ in 988. The Baptism of Rus’ began the formal history of the Russian Orthodox Church and Faith in Russia, transforming the nation forever into what we now recognize as Russia. This begins the period we refer to in Russian history and theology as “Holy Russia,” which by the belief of many, still lives to this day.

Baptism of Rus


The story of how Russia came to Orthodoxy is ancient and worthy of its own books, however in brief (and it pains me to oversimply this amazing tale, but it must be done for the sake of the article), Kievan Rus’, the ancient Slavic state, was located on the territory of modern Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, from which those three nations take their origin. Kievan Rus was strategically located on the trade route of the Varangians to the Greeks, one of the most important Viking routes in Eastern Europe. The trade route followed the Dnipro River, which begins at Smolensk Russia, flows through Kiev [the modern Ukrainian capital], and empties itself into the Black Sea at [new] Kherson.

This trade route made Rus’ very rich on Greek gold at a time when silver was far more abundant in Europe, and unfortunately for the Greeks, the ancient Pagan Rus’ were very strong, and decided to go on a few Viking style raids against Constantinople, nailing a shield to the walls, and taking tribute.

Rus Na Constantinople


Providence would decree, however, that Rus’ would steal something far more precious from the Greeks – the true Faith and Eternal life. After the disastrous failed campaign against Constantinople in Bulgaria by Svyatoslav, his son, Vladimir of Kiev was desperately seeking a new religion for his people. His grandmother, Saint Olga had already converted to Christianity, but she had died prior to his rule.
The simplified but legendary tale, was that Vladimir sent out messengers across the world. Among the Jews he was horrified by circumcision, and decided they lost their Holy City, and so Rus’ would not follow a faith in which the people lose their power. Among the Muslims he was more horrified than he had ever been, the moment the mighty warrior prince heard Islam prohibited drinking, he explained:

Drinking is the joy of all Rus’!

He refused to participate in a religion that banned pork, let alone drinking. He was beginning to think Rus’ would never find a good religion, until the envoy to Constantinople returned, their faces radiant like the sun. The said to him:

We did not know if we were on heaven or on earth, but there was God among his people, and this should be our faith.

Saint Vladimir, therefore, resolved to accept the Byzantine faith – that of Orthodoxy, and sent word to the Emperor who was embattled at old Kherson, Crimea. In exchange for an alliance with the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, Vladimir demanded the hand of Anna of Constantinople. It was explained to him that he must first be baptized, which he accepted, and then he was married to Anna. A Chuch was erected on the spot of his Baptism, which began the baptism of Rus’ in 988.

Church of Saint Vladimir


The church is constructed in the Neo-Byzantine style, very similar to churches throughout Greece, Asia Minor, Syria, and the Balkans. Vladimir Putin has visited this church before, named after his patron saint, and the founder of Christian Russia – Saint Vladimir.

Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Church of Saint Vladimir


The Church is located near several ancient Greek sites, and one can clearly see the ruins would fit in amidst the Parthenon in Athens or Palmyra in Syria.

Ancient Greek ruins at Chersonesos


Khersonisos is not the only amazing Hellenic legacy in Crimea. The Dormition Caves Monastery is another example, and a wonder of ancient architecture.

The Dormition Caves monastery


The date of the Monastery’s founding was lost to time, however most historians and the Church can agree there was a presence of Greek monks in the caves of these cliffs since around the 8th century. Crimea at the time was a Greek Colony of the Eastern Roman Empire.
According to the monastery’s website, the great valley in which it is built was called “Mary’s Gorge” by the Tatars because its location in ancient times was associated with the Mother of God and a wonder-working icon.

Mary’s Gorge and the Dormition Caves Monastery


 

Here is what the Monastery’s website had to say about its founding in a place Greeks originally called Marioupol, “Mary’s City”:

“Greek Christians suffered constant oppression from their neighbours, the Tartar Muslims…Some sought refuge in woods and caverns in order to devote their lives to God while others founded monasteries. In the 15th century most of southern Crimea, including all its Christian inhabitants, fell under Turkish domination…they found themselves living between two Islamic people: the Turks and the Tartars.”
“The Christians from Tavrida lost their courage in the struggle against the Muslims, but just when all hope of saving their faith was on the point of being extinguished, the image of the Theotokos [Mother of God] appeared on the inaccessible rock of Bakhchisaray, in the very heart of Islamic territory.”

The tale of the Monastery also includes the slaying of a Dragon, however, that is a story worthy of its own article.
This was certainly not a complete history of the Hellenic legacy of Crimea, but it hopefully illustrates how profound it is, and although the peninsula belongs to Russian/Slavic people today, it was from the Greek Orthodox Faith that Russians became Orthodox. This all began in Crimea. As a result, Crimea is sacred to Russians

Mary’s Gorge


It’s only fitting that Vladimir Putin would give homage to the place with his namesake, Saint Vladimir was baptized.

Vladimir Putin at the Dormition Caves monastery, site of the baptism of his namesake

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Greek Opposition Leader Mitsotakis Coming To Moscow For High Level Talks

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Archons of Greek Orthodox Church issue toothless letter about abortion law

The good news is the Archons did say some good things in reaction to the New York abortion law. But there was no consequence.

Seraphim Hanisch

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In relation to our previously published piece about Governor Andrew Cuomo signing abortion into the New York State Constitution, we noted that at the time of the article’s writing, no entities within the Orthodox Church in any jurisdiction issued any kind of statement condemning this law. Of all fourteen universally acknowledged Local Churches, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox Church was particularly of note, since their Archons awarded a humanitarian award known as the Athenogoras Award to extremely liberal, pro-abortion politicians, Andrew Cuomo being one of these.

Well, the Archons did issue a statement yesterday:

The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Condemns New York’s New Abortion Law

The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, strongly condemns the State of New York’s new Reproductive Health Act that was passed on January 22, 2019. This new law allows abortions up to the moment of birth and gives people who are not doctors the right to perform abortions.

The Order also deplores the celebratory atmosphere surrounding the new law, as One World Trade Center was lit pink to commemorate the passage of the law, as if it represented a great advance for the rights of women. The rights of no human being are ever advanced at the expense of another. The State of New York will not truly have respect for the rights of women until it once again restores legal protections for every human being, from his or her first moment of existence until natural death.

Hailed as progress, New York’s Reproductive Health Act is not actually an advance, but a regression, a return to a time of barbarism when the weak were at the mercy of the strong and had no protection from legal structures or governing authorities.

The Order implores New York’s legislators to reconsider this dangerous new law and reinstitute protections for all human life, no matter how weak and vulnerable. Only when such protections exist can any society truly prosper.

Rev. Alexander Karloutsos
Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
Spiritual Advisor of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle

Is this enough?

It does not seem to be so. Governor Cuomo and his award, along with pro-abortion Roman Catholic Vice President Joe Biden, also received this award at the same time Governor Cuomo did.

What did not happen in this letter was that neither politician was named, nor were the four (out of five) Greek Orthodox politicians in the New York State Assembly that voted FOR this law.

Neither did the Archons move to rescind the Athenagoras Awards they gave to Mr. Cuomo and Mr. Biden. This move appears to be still far too politically calculated, and keeping with the tragic, curious and distressing behavior of the leadership within the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Monomachos.com is a popular blog site whose editor, George Michalopulos, is undoubtedly one of the giants among those Greek Orthodox who seriously uphold at the notion that the Church ought never compromise herself. Yet, he was very happy with the letter that is shown above because for him it represented a “180-degree turnabout” in terms of the history of the Archons’ behavior, which he noted elsewhere as smacking of “the feeling that their primary job is to raise money for Istanbul.”

He neglected to mention the lack of mention of the Awards, but perhaps understandably, his surprise at any sort of traditional statement by this group was leading to exuberance where perhaps it is not deserved.

The Greek Orthodox Church seems to have an overall alignment with very liberal figures, and it is unclear as to why. But this tendency of people that are considered good and faithful Greek Orthodox churchgoers to align with liberal politics in the United States is very different than the sharply conservative tendencies of Russian Orthodox churchgoers, or Greeks or Romanians in the US.

The other rather liberal church is the US is the Orthodox Church in America, but this group does tend to involve itself in social causes in the US – especially abortion – in a very conservative, if rather feeble, manner. They do make their presence known at the annual March for Life and this is of great value.

We wish to name all the Greek Orthodox elected New York assembly members here, with their votes regarding the state abortion measure:

Michael Gianaris             (D) (co-sponsor)   – Yes.
Andrew Gounardes         (D) (co-sponsor)   – Yes.
Nicole Malliotakis           (R)                            – No. (and she is a woman!!)
Aravella Simotas             (D)                            – Yes.
James Skoufis                  (D) (co-sponsor)   – Yes.

This measure enshrined abortion at any point in a woman’s pregnancy as a constitutional right. The law stipulates several following procedures are now “rights:”

  • The law allows non-physicians to perform abortions.
  • The law allows abortion through the third trimester.
  • and the law repeals protections for babies that survive abortions (this means that if the baby gets delivered alive, it will still be killed.)

This is a barbaric law, and a resounding victory for people aligned with some very dark ideas about life and death. It is a tragedy, and while the Archons’ letter condemning it is at least a token statement, it really wants a full-throated response from the Christian world.

In fact, even Muslims and religious Jewish people ought to be outraged as well. All the Abrahamic religions understand that only God is the author of life. In this viewpoint, people do not themselves create life. We only cooperate with God to bring it into existence, by his blessing.

But we can cause death, and this power is influenced by forces that are not interested in God, traditional values, family, children or anything of the sort.

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Greek MPs pass Prespes deal with 153 votes in 300-seat House

Opinion polls indicate that most Greeks oppose the settlement, a fact which may not bode well for Tsipras in an election year.

The Duran

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Via Ekathimerini


Greece’s parliament on Friday ratified a landmark accord that changes the name of neighbouring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), ending a decades-old dispute and opening the way for the ex-Yugoslav republic to join the European Union and NATO.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who hammered out the deal with his FYROM counterpart last year, secured the parliamentary majority needed to get the accord approved with support from independent and opposition lawmakers.

“Today we are writing a new page for the Balkans. The hatred of nationalism and conflict is giving way to friendship, peace, and cooperation,” Tsipras wrote on his social media account.

FYROM has already ratified the deal, brokered last year, and its prime minister promptly sent a tweet hailing the Greek parliament’s vote.

The settlement seeks to end a 28-year old row between Athens and Skopje over the use of the term “Macedonia” by renaming the tiny Balkan state “Republic of North Macedonia” to differentiate it from Greece’s northern province of Macedonia.

Greece’s European Union allies welcomed the ratification.

“They had imagination, they took the risk, they were ready to sacrifice their own interests for the greater good,” European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted. “Mission impossible accomplished.”

Opinion polls indicate that most Greeks oppose the settlement, a fact which may not bode well for Tsipras in an election year. A general election is due by October, and his party is trailing the opposition New Democracy by up to 12 points.

The debate in the Greek parliament was heated, with voting almost interrupted on Friday when an MP for the right-wing Golden Dawn Party, asked to cast his vote, responded: “No to treason!”

Several MPs in favour of of the accord reported attempts to intimidate them.

Many Greeks fear the agreement could lead to territorial claims against Greece and say it constitutes an appropriation of their country’s ancient cultural heritage. Macedonia was the birthplace of Alexander the Great.

Protests against the deal have at times turned violent this week, and on Thursday evening police fired teargas to disperse crowds outside parliament. Smaller groups of people braved heavy rain on Friday to demonstrate outside the parliament.

New Democracy slammed the agreement.

“This deal should never have been signed or brought to parliament for ratification,” party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis told parliament. “It is a national defeat … a national blunder that is an affont to the truth and history of our country.”

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