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Theresa May screams ‘Russia’ as her domestic support collapses

The British PM has decided to play the Putin card as an excuse for her declining poll numbers

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(RT) – Facing mounting pressure at home, UK Prime Minister Theresa May took aim at Russia, accusing it of the tried and trusted sins of endangering global security, election meddling, hacking attacks and spreading fake news, in what seems a desperate lunge for support.

Russia has emerged as the top threat to European democracy and security, May claimed as she delivered her remarks at the Lord Mayor’s banquet Monday. The embattled PM chose to focus her speech on international challenges rather than domestic issues, which she is struggling to deliver on. The apparent diversion comes amid reports of a potential no-confidence vote in Parliament Tuesday and in light of scant progress at the Brexit negotiations, which is increasingly being blamed on May’s lack of leadership skills.

Instead of asserting herself as a leader capable of guiding Britain through Brexit, May fell in line with the US mainstream narrative on Russia, repeating the by now worn out allegations of interference in other nations’ internal affairs, which Moscow firmly denies.

Russia is “threatening the international order on which we all depend,” May claimed, alleging that Moscow has been doing so by“meddling in elections, and hacking the Danish ministry of defense and the Bundestag [the German parliament] among many others.”

Russia is responsible for a range of hostile actions, such as its“sustained campaign of cyber-espionage and disruption,” to its military jets routinely crossing into foreign airspaces and it is to blame for fueling military conflict in the Eastern Ukraine, according to May.

Falling short of providing examples, May accused the Kremlin for using Russian media “to plant fake stories and photo-shopped images in an attempt to sow discord in the west and undermine our institutions.”

As the UK is seeking to leave the EU while inflicting as little damage on its economy as possible, May pointed to the need to resist the perceived “Russian threat” as an argument in favor of maintaining strong economic ties between the UK and the rest of the bloc.

Russia’s alleged meddling in Catalan vote: playing the blame game

“The comprehensive new economic partnership we seek will underpin our shared commitment to open economies and free societies in the face of those who seek to undermine them. Chief among those today, of course, is Russia,” she said.

Speaking directly to the Russian government, she warned of repercussions, without providing any details on what potential countermeasures would entail.

“We know what you are doing. And you will not succeed,” she said, again without specifying. She added that Russia should not underestimate the stability and what she branded as “the enduring attraction” of western society.

Ordinary Russians sick of playing the western world’s bad guy

After urging all western countries to build a united front to confront an omnipotent Russia, effectively echoing Cold War rhetoric, May then took a more conciliatory tone, saying that “we do not want to return to the Cold War, or to be in state of perpetual confrontation” with Russia. To this end, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will travel to Moscow in the coming months, she noted.

The ball, according to May, is in Russia’s court. The PM said as long as Moscow does not change its ‘behavior,’ Europe will “act together to protect our interests and the international order on which they depend.”

Scapegoat Russia

Theresa May, who is facing “an almost certain end to her brief career” in politics, is now bringing out the old scapegoat that is Russia, Managing Editor at The Duran.com Adam Garrie told RT. According to Garrie, whenever a politician is about to lose or in the process of actually losing, he or she points the finger at Russia.

“The little sister of America has truly spoken. Her [May’s] popularity among [the] parliamentary class is very low and her popularity among the general public is even lower,” he said.

Garrie believes May’s statement about Russia is not only inaccurate, but also doesn’t have “any logical sense at all.” “It’s just blind accusations from the US. Britain generally follows the US, its big brother,” he added.

Russia, is being blamed so often it seems, for everything, that it has almost become a joke, political commentator Adrian Yalland told RT, arguing that while Russia “needs to answer some questions” the West needs to come to terms with the fact that Russia has reemerged as a great power and will continue to reassert itself.

“The West needs to actually take a step back and have a listen to what is going on, to understand that Russia is coming off back from seventy years of communism, quite right to reassert its sense of national identity and to project it strongly on the global stage,” he said.

If the West seeks a “fresh beginning” with Russia, it should acknowledge that ”Russia has its place in the world and the West has to respect this.”

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Constantinople: Ukrainian Church leader is now uncanonical

October 12 letter proclaims Metropolitan Onuphry as uncanonical and tries to strong-arm him into acquiescing through bribery and force.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The pressure in Ukraine kept ratcheting up over the last few days, with a big revelation today that Patriarch Bartholomew now considers Metropolitan Onuphy “uncanonical.” This news was published on 6 December by a hierarch of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (running under the Moscow Patriarchate).

This assessment marks a complete 180-degree turn by the leader of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople, and it further embitters the split that has developed to quite a major row between this church’s leadership and the Moscow Patriarchate.

OrthoChristian reported this today (we have added emphasis):

A letter of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine was published yesterday by a hierarch of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in which the Patriarch informed the Metropolitan that his title and position is, in fact, uncanonical.

This assertion represents a negation of the position held by Pat. Bartholomew himself until April of this year, when the latest stage in the Ukrainian crisis began…

The same letter was independently published by the Greek news agency Romfea today as well.

It is dated October 12, meaning it was written just one day after Constantinople made its historic decision to rehabilitate the Ukrainian schismatics and rescind the 1686 document whereby the Kiev Metropolitanate was transferred to the Russian Orthodox Church, thereby, in Constantinople’s view, taking full control of Ukraine.

In the letter, Pat. Bartholomew informs Met. Onuphry that after the council, currently scheduled for December 15, he will no longer be able to carry his current title of “Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine.”

The Patriarch immediately opens his letter with Constantinople’s newly-developed historical claim about the jurisdictional alignment of Kiev: “You know from history and from indisputable archival documents that the holy Metropolitanate of Kiev has always belonged to the jurisdiction of the Mother Church of Constantinople…”

Constantinople has done an about-face on its position regarding Ukraine in recent months, given that it had previously always recognized the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate as the sole canonical primate in Ukraine.

…The bulk of the Patriarch’s letter is a rehash of Constantinople’s historical and canonical arguments, which have already been laid out and discussed elsewhere. (See also here and here). Pat. Bartholomew also writes that Constantinople stepped into the Ukrainian ecclesiastical sphere as the Russian Church had not managed to overcome the schisms that have persisted for 30 years.

It should be noted that the schisms began and have persisted precisely as anti-Russian movements and thus the relevant groups refused to accept union with the Russian Church.

Continuing, Pat. Bartholomew informs Met. Onuphry that his position and title are uncanonical:

Addressing you as ‘Your Eminence the Metropolitan of Kiev’ as a form of economia [indulgence/condescension—OC] and mercy, we inform you that after the elections for the primate of the Ukrainian Church by a body that will consist of clergy and laity, you will not be able ecclesiologically and canonically to bear the title of Metropolitan of Kiev, which, in any case, you now bear in violation of the described conditions of the official documents of 1686.

He also entreats Met. Onuphry to “promptly and in a spirit of harmony and unity” participate, with the other hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in the founding council of the new Ukrainian church that Constantinople is planning to create, and in the election of its primate.

The Constantinople head also writes that he “allows” Met. Onuphry to be a candidate for the position of primate.

He further implores Met. Onuphry and the UOC hierarchy to communicate with Philaret Denisenko, the former Metropolitan of Kiev, and Makary Maletich, the heads of the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate” and the schismatic “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church” respectively—both of which have been subsumed into Constantinople—but whose canonical condemnations remain in force for the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The hierarchs of the Serbian and Polish Churches have also officially rejected the rehabilitation of the Ukrainian schismatics.

Pat. Bartholomew concludes expressing his confidence that Met. Onuphry will decide to heal the schism through the creation of a new church in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church under Metropolitan Onuphry’s leadership is recognized as the sole canonical Orthodox jurisdiction in Ukraine by just about every other canonical Orthodox Jurisdiction besides Constantinople. Even NATO member Albania, whose expressed reaction was “both sides are wrong for recent actions” still does not accept the canonicity of the “restored hierarchs.”

In fact, about the only people in this dispute that seem to be in support of the “restored” hierarchs, Filaret and Makary, are President Poroshenko, Patriarch Bartholomew, Filaret and Makary… and NATO.

While this letter was released to the public eye yesterday, the nearly two months that Metropolitan Onuphry has had to comply with it have not been helped in any way by the actions of both the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Ukrainian government.

Priests of the Canonical Church in Ukraine awaiting interrogation by the State authorities

For example, in parallel reports released on December 6th, the government is reportedly accusing canonical priests in Ukraine of treason because they are carrying and distributing a brochure entitled (in English): The Ukrainian Orthodox Church: Relations with the State. The Attitude Towards the Conflict in Donbass and to the Church Schism. Questions and Answers.

In a manner that would do any American liberal proud, these priests are being accused of inciting religious hatred, though really all they are doing is offering an explanation for the situation in Ukraine as it exists.

A further piece also released yesterday notes that the Ukrainian government rehabilitated an old Soviet-style technique of performing “inspections of church artifacts” at the Pochaev Lavra. This move appears to be both intended to intimidate the monastics who are living there now, who are members of the canonical Church, as well as preparation for an expected forcible takeover by the new “united Church” that is under creation. The brotherhood characterized the inspections in this way:

The brotherhood of the Pochaev Lavra previously characterized the state’s actions as communist methods of putting pressure on the monastery and aimed at destroying monasticism.

Commenting on the situation with the Pochaev Lavra, His Eminence Archbishop Clement of Nizhyn and Prilusk, the head of the Ukrainian Church’s Information-Education Department, noted:

This is a formal raiding, because no reserve ever built the Pochaev Lavra, and no Ministry of Culture ever invested a single penny to restoring the Lavra, and the state has done nothing to preserve the Lavra in its modern form. The state destroyed the Lavra, turned it into a psychiatric hospital, a hospital for infectious diseases, and so on—the state has done nothing more. And now it just declares that it all belongs to the state. No one asked the Church, the people that built it. When did the Lavra and the land become state property? They belonged to the Church from time immemorial.

With the massive pressure both geopolitically and ecclesiastically building in Ukraine almost by the day, it is anyone’s guess what will happen next.

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Ukrainian leadership is a party of war, and it will continue as long as they’re in power – Putin

“We care about Ukraine because Ukraine is our neighbor,” Putin said.

RT

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Via RT…


Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has branded the Ukrainian leadership a “party of war” which would continue fueling conflicts while they stay in power, giving the recent Kerch Strait incident as an example.

“When I look at this latest incident in the Black Sea, all what’s happening in Donbass – everything indicates that the current Ukrainian leadership is not interested in resolving this situation at all, especially in a peaceful way,” Putin told reporters during a media conference in the aftermath of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

This is a party of war and as long as they stay in power, all such tragedies, all this war will go on.

The Kiev authorities are craving war primarily for two reasons – to rip profits from it, and to blame all their own domestic failures on it and actions of some sort of “aggressors.”

“As they say, for one it’s war, for other – it’s mother. That’s reason number one why the Ukrainian government is not interested in a peaceful resolution of the conflict,” Putin stated.

Second, you can always use war to justify your failures in economy, social policy. You can always blame things on an aggressor.

This approach to statecraft by the Ukrainian authorities deeply concerns Russia’s President. “We care about Ukraine because Ukraine is our neighbor,” Putin said.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have been soaring after the incident in the Kerch Strait. Last weekend three Ukrainian Navy ships tried to break through the strait without seeking the proper permission from Russia. Following a tense stand-off and altercation with Russia’s border guard, the vessels were seized and their crews detained over their violation of the country’s border.

While Kiev branded the incident an act of “aggression” on Moscow’s part, Russia believes the whole Kerch affair to be a deliberate “provocation” which allowed Kiev to declare a so-called “partial” martial law ahead of Ukraine’s presidential election.

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When Putin Met Bin Sally

Another G20 handshake for the history books.

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Via Zerohedge


In the annals of handshake photo-ops, we just may have a new winner (much to the delight of oil bulls who are looking at oil treading $50 and contemplating jumping out of the window).

Nothing but sheer joy, delight and friendship…

…but something is missing…

Meanwhile, earlier…

Zoomed in…

And again.

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