Ukraine-Russia Tensions Rise in Church Row

With an apparent nod from the U.S., the Ecumenical Patriarch’s ruling from Istanbul severed 1000-year ties between Moscow and the Orthodox church in Ukraine, raising further tensions between Kiev and Moscow, as Dmitry Babich reports.

Moscow’s Role in Ukraine Orthodox Church Ended

By Dmitry Babich
Special to Consortium News

The Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, an authority completely outside Ukraine, on Oct. 11 stripped away the canonical authority of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church—Moscow Patriarchate (MP), sparking a crisis with Russia.

The 1030-year old church is headed by Patriarch Kirill in Russia and the Russian church responded by severing ties to the Istanbul patriarch. Tensions have now been raised even further in the crisis between Ukraine and Russia that erupted after the U.S.-backed 2014 coup in Kiev that overthrew an elected president who tilted towards Moscow.

In Washington, the events were reported in The Washington Post as part of Ukraine’s struggle to withdraw from Moscow’s control. In Europe, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini made the sober warning in the Austrian newspaper Der Standard that the religious interference in Ukraine could provoke a war.

Bartholomew’s action is seen as a first step to giving full autonomy, known as “autocephaly” in the Orthodox faith, to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kiev Patriarchate (KP), a heretical split-off that was created only in 1992 just after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Ukraine’s independence.

The KP church is headed by a self-styled leader named Mikhail Denisenko, who goes by the name Patriach Filaret. He is a defrocked former bishop in the Moscow Patriarchate of Ukraine. 

Filaret: Wins recognition. (Wikipedia)

The MP’s lineage goes back to the tenth century Christian conversion of all the people of Kievan Rus, the proto-state that was precursor to the nations of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Its authority in Ukraine was established in 1686 by the same Constantinople Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Bartholomew reversed his seat’s own 332-year-old decision. While the Ecumenical Patriarch is known as “the first among equals,” among Orthodoxy’s 14 autocephalic churches, he has no authority to rule over them. Unlike Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy has no single church authority that can impose decisions over all the others.

The 14 churches are supposed to be independent of governments. But in Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, the anti-Russian president installed after the coup, and other government forces, are using the ruling to further erode Russian influence.

Members of the Moscow church in Ukraine have already been the targets of violent assaults by thugs trying to disrupt worship services, and such conflict is being fueled by politicians’ rhetoric.

In October, when Constantinople lifted Denisenko’s ex-communication, Poroshenko called the decision a victory of good over evil, light over darkness.” He also said that recognition of the renegade Ukraine church would mean severing all links to Orthodox Russia and its “Moscow demons,” reported gazeta.ru.

Bartholomew’s decision didn’t come out of thin air, and the geopolitical implications are clear: breaking Russia’s ties to the Ukrainian people. This was demanded by Poroshenko, and supported by Denisenko, whose church has never been recognized by the 14 other churches.

On Oct. 31, Denisenko made his view clear in a statement to RFE/RL. “We will be striving to have a single Orthodox Church in Ukraine and to make sure that the Russian [Orthodox] Church is not hiding under the Ukrainian name while, in essence, it is Russian,” he said.

Moscow Responds

Constantinople’s decision is aimed at destroying unity,” Kirill explained, as reported in Russian language media. “We can’t accept it. That is why our Holy Synod took the decision to stop eucharistic communication with the Constantinople Patriarchate.” He added that the attack against the Orthodox in Ukraine “was having not only a political, but also a mystical dimension.”

He called for faithfulness to the canonical church, the Moscow Patriarchate, and says he’s “ready to go anywhere and talk to anyone” to prevent the schism among the Orthodox inside Ukraine and remove barriers separating the faithful in the two countries.

The break in eucharistic communication means that the priests of the two patriarchates won’t be able to hold church services together.

While Western media have played the break as an aggressive act by Moscow, the reality is more complex. The Russian Orthodox Church is the largest congregation among the approximately 300 million Eastern Orthodox Christians, and Kirill went to Istanbul to meet the Ecumenical Patriarch in August to try to avert any actions that would harm the unity.

Metropolitan Hilarion, chief spokesman on questions of schism and unity for the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow, explained, “For a church with more than 1000 years of history and ancient monasteries of some 500 to 900 years of age, the perspective of merging with some unrecognized entities, formed 20 years ago, is unacceptable.”

On October 31, Russian President Vladimir Putin referred to the action against the Ukrainian church in remarks to the World Congress of Russian Compatriots, an organization uniting people of Russian origin from all over the world. “Politicking in such a sensitive sphere as religion has always led to grave consequences, first and foremost for the people who got involved in this politicking,” he said. He also referenced a “war” on Russian historical monuments by some forces in Ukraine.

Washington’s Hand

In the past year, discussions were held by U.S. officials with Poroshenko and Denisenko. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, and Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell met with Denisenko in September. Then on Oct. 17, a press release in the name of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for religion in Ukraine to be “without outside interference.”

That statement came four days after Bartholomew recognized the breakaway Ukrainian church.

Dmitry Babich is a multilingual Russian journalist and political commentator. Born in 1970 in Moscow, graduated from Moscow State University (department of journalism) in 1992. Dmitri worked for Russian newspapers, such as Komsomolskaya Pravda and The Moscow News (as the head of the foreign department). Dmitri covered the Chechen war as a television reporter for TV6 channel from 1995 to 1997. Since 2003 he has worked for RIA Novosti, RT, and Russia Profile. Dmitry is a frequent guest on the BBC, Al Jazeera, Sky News and Press TV. 

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110 comments for “Ukraine-Russia Tensions Rise in Church Row

  1. Ambrose
    November 19, 2018 at 9:36 am

    Dimitri Babich’s piece is replete with a profound dearth of theology and understanding of the canonical tradition of the Orthodox Church in which the Ecumenical Patriarchate has an explicitly mandated interventional role in resolving disputes hearing appeals and initiating other actions serving the unity of the Church. His piece is of minuscule academic integrity, a display of conformity to a suspect agenda in which some of the official representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate are engaging in a dubious smear campaign of misinformation and fear-mongering, and worst of all a spectacular misrepresentation of the historical facts that the Ecumenical Patriarchate has convincingly demonstrated – using scholarship from Russia and Greece – to shed light on its claims on the territory of Ukraine, an interventions based on its canonical prerogatives in a territory which – in the words of an esteemed Metropolitan Bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate – was illegally attached to Moscow.

    These documents can be accessed on the official webpage of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and are there for everyone to read: https://www.goarch.org/documents/32058/4830467/The+Ecumenical+Throne+and+the+Church+of+Ukraine+%28ENGLISH%29.pdf/8c509846-38e4-4610-a54e-30121eec77ef

    The granting of autocephaly is a prerogative uniquely reserved to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, a fact not called into dispute by any of the other autocephalous churches (such as the Romanian or Serbian). In fact the very process of granting autocephaly, ironically, was the very same process in which the Russian Patriarchate (the Russian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate) gained its own autocephaly in the 16th century, which it now denies for the church in Ukraine.

    Babic conveniently overlooks the historical fact that, due to a number of pressing historical circumstances, the Patriarch of Constantinople authorised the Patriarch of Moscow solely to ordain the Metropolitan Bishop of Kyiv – and nothing else – provided that the latter maintained his promise to commemorate the Ecumenical Patriarch in Liturgical celebrations. There was never a synodally-sanctioned transfer of the Metropolia of Ukraine to the Moscow Patriarchate. This is a critical point. The bond between a bishop who commemorates his head is expressed in various Church Canons issued by local and Ecumenical Councils as an acknowledgement of the primacy – a function designed to serve unity and provide leadership – of a bishop recognised by all as their head. As those who have studied the documents affirm, the transfer to Moscow of the Metropolia of Ukraine was not undertaken in conformity with the correct ecclesial processes. This topic has been dealt with in a learned and academic manner both by officials of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and those who represent a more independent voice: https://www.ecupatria.org/2018/09/20/ukraine-has-always-been-the-canonical-territory-of-the-ecumenical-patriarchate/

    Babich makes a significant error by referring to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kiev Patriarchate (KP) a heretical split-off. This is patently incorrect. There is a significant difference between heresy and schism, and the KP church was accused of the latter since its founders split off from the universally recognised Ukrainian Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) in the early 1990s after the drive towards autocephaly – backed by many in the UOC-MP, including its current Metropolitan Onuphry – was rejected by Moscow. Examples of “defrocked” or deposed clergy who exercised their right of appealing their sentence to the bishops of two main patriarchates who were equipped with a right of appeal – those of Rome in the 4th century and later Constantinople in the 5th – are widespread. Some decisions were unpopular and could be rejected by the Church who initiated the act of deposition. But the right of appeal with which the Church in question was equipped – whether it was Rome or Constantinople – was never called into question, and rupturing eucharistic communion was reserved to serious matters of heres, which is not the case here.

    Then Babich launches into an attack on the Ukrainian government on the basis of the assertion that the “14 churches” are supposed to be independent of governments. What utter hypocrisy. Would Babich claim that this is true of the Moscow Patriarchate? Everyone (except Babisch) is aware of the unholy alliance between the Kremlin and the official Moscow Patriarchate. When Ukrainian Orthodox believers of all stripes, both the formerly-schismatic Kiev Patriarchate and the UOC-MP, realised that the intervention by the Kremlin in Ukraine was recognised as it was – an act of aggression – a large number of clergy of the UOC-MP no longer commemorated Patriarch Kyril (some labelling him as a collaborator and Putin as a gangster), some left the UOC-MP entirely and joined one of either the UOC-KP and the Ukrainian Catholic Church. That many UOC-MP clergy openly supported the Kremlin and acted as a mouthpiece for its policies further estranged the Ukrainian flock. To put it simply, Putin and Patriarch Kyril created the conditions which led to the renewed drive towards autocephaly. The Moscow Patriarchate failed to resolve the schism and thwarted every possibility of participation in constructive dialogue, demanding unity on its own conditions: unconditional submission. The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has effectively ended a schism and given a secure safe-haven to millions who could not in good conscience align themselves to a Church they regard as in league with the Kremlin.

    It is patently obvious that both the Kremlin and the MP are decrying the actions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on geopolitical grounds. It is a massive blow to the politically and religiously motivated “Russian World” ideology which Patriarch Kyril ardently promotes. This has been reported on at length by more academic-oriented authorities on the issue, including the Russian journalist Sergei Chapnin, and scholars such Cyril Hovorun. Instead what we hear from Russian-aligned Orthodox media (pravoslavie.ru, orthochristian) is a distorted and one-sided version of events.

    https://panorthodoxcemes.blogspot.com/2018/10/sergei-chapnin-war-of-patriarchs-how.html

    https://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/forum/religion-in-the-russian-sphere-of-influence/responses/utilitarian-symphony
    http://www.ponarseurasia.org/point-counter/article/ukrainian-churchs-quest-ecclesiastical-autonomy

    Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyeev has been one of the key instigators of this scandalous misinformation campaign, which brought him to unacceptable depths when he insinuated that the Ecumenical Patriarch had capitulated to bribery by Ukrainian agents in league with the U.S. government, a favourite ruse utilised by people who don’t have an argument. It happened that he was forced to answer for his slander when he came face to face with the person he slandered during the meeting in Istanbul between the legation from Moscow and the Patriarchate of Constantinople held a last minute meeting:

    https://orthodoxia.info/news/exclusive-the-dialogue-between-the-patriarchs-of-constantinople-and-moscow-during-their-meeting-at-the-phanar/

    The rupture of communion has been denounced as an extreme action undertaken by clergy who took no regard of the implications of its sudden decision on its laity: no consultation, pure clericalism. In the 730s, the iconoclast Emperor Leo III tore away the Bishop of Rome’s canonical territory of Illiricum and Southern Italy and placed them under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The Pope did not retaliate with a break of communion with the EP. In 2018, the Moscow Patriarchate’s alleged canonical territory in Ukraine was removed and placed into the jurisdiction of the EP.

    If Babish wishes to pretend that political processes have not impacted the tracing of ecclesial borders in the Universal Church, perhaps he should undertake a course in Church History and read up on the manner by which administrative borders in the Church were traced.

    Would Babish care to elaborate on the religious persecution carried out by the Kremlin and its supporters in Eastern Ukraine against non-members of the UOC-MP?

    Babic then takes aim at Constantinople by quoting Patriarch Kyril’s accusation at Constantinople for “destroying unity”. Really? Does Babic know anything about the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) which is under the wing of the Moscow Patriarchate? A history of ROCOR’s “missionary” activities in South East Asia reveal ROCOR to be a flagrant violator of unity by their intrusions into the territories of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (EP), creating parallel jurisdictions based on ethnicity rather that honouring the principle of unity based on one fully united Church which embraces all ethnicities. Orthodox theologians of all stripes have interpreted these actions as fundamentally damaging for Church unity. Unity has been violated by the Moscow Patriarchate purely on geopolitical grounds on a matter which warranted no such action. Moscow stands to lose its political influence in Ukraine and potentially large portions of resources – parishes, monasteries – stripping down its size (which it has conventionally vaunted to prop up its sense of superiority and challenge the Ecumenical Patriarchate). Moscow follows suit and creates rival jurisdictions purely based on serving people of the same nationality, rather than under one unified Church which serves the pastoral needs of all nationalities under its protection. It has done this in Korea and elsewhere.

    Babic’s then proceeds with his usual smoke and mirrors by encouraging his audience to cast doubt on the validity of the narrative he challenges based upon its alleged alignment with Western media. This is a typical ruse designed to deflect attention to a pathetic and weak narrative. Western media is one outlet of many that give time for both views. This is undeniable. By Babic’s standards, how would he evaluate Russian media? Readers are encouraged to read the more academic rigour of Orthodox scholars theologians and theologians who have analysed the nuances of this complex issue in a far more convincing way than Babic.

    The Italian Deputy Prime Minister’s comments are his own opinions, and he is not at all familiar with the nuances of the religious conflict. He should leave that to those entrusted with the task of resolving it.

    I have absolutely no intentions of denigrating this wonderful website which I find superior to many news sources on many grounds. I find most articles penetrating and admirable in academic rigour. However I believe that Consortium would be enriched further by a more convincing analysis of this issue proposed by people who have a more solid grasp of matters.

  2. November 12, 2018 at 7:49 am

    Despite the fact that no matter how desirable it is from geostrategic, energy, national, political considerations for the Russian Federation; and I do not want to delve into the analysis of these reasons, but I repeat: Ukraine is an independent state and wants to have an independent church. It prevents it by all means that it has at its disposal, Moscow – with the spiritual, political, economic, military, with which you want, as a result of which the nation and the entire church suffer. This is reality. That is, and I have to change the questions. Why does Moscow prevent the church from becoming liberated, and especially the church, to which the Moscow church owes everything and should treat it with greater gratitude and love and concern for unity and stability, and not share it with such actions?

    • Dr. Valeria Nollan
      November 12, 2018 at 12:59 pm

      This is a political move by Ukrainian Pres. Poroshenko, whose approval rating hovers around 7% and who is desperately trying to be re-elected in March, 2019. The Ukrainian Church-Moscow Patriarchate is the aggrieved party here. There was no “problem” that had to be “fixed,” since this canonical church is essentially autonomous (not autocephalous)–it is financially and ecclesially independent from Russia and is honored in Russia. Orthodox Christian jurisdictions worldwide are not set up according to country, but rather are organized by region or continent. The Ecumenical Patriarch is setting himself up as not “first in honor” (according to Orthodox canons,” but as “first in power.” This is not Orthodoxy; it resembles the system of the Papacy of Rome. Why did the EP appoint two exarchs to Ukraine from other countries (the U.S. and Canada)? Is this because bishops from Ukraine could not be found to take on this ill-gotten role? If you read more about the polemics and personalities involved, you will get a sense of the politicization of this debacle.

  3. JWalters
    November 11, 2018 at 10:15 pm

    If you can turn a war into a religious war it’s much more intractable, and profitable.
    e.g. http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

  4. cmp
    November 10, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    Wedge & Divide. Attack. .. Attack..

    .. The only thing left to do now, is to use the Ukrainian People’s greatest asset, their airwaves, (.. which was very likely stolen for pennies on the dollar..), but, that is to have it startup a forty year smear campaign that the church is operated/loaded with pedophiles.

    For a great piece of research & writing on today’s real Ukraine, (.. which is quite intentionally kept in the dark, by those who own the show..) I would recommend Robert Parry’s and Chelsea Gilmour’s Special Report that is titled:
    ~~ Ukraine Finance Minister’s American ‘Values’
    ~~ February 18, 2015

  5. November 10, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Perhaps the meetings between President Poroshenko, Patriarch Filaret (defrocked Denisenko) and U.S. Representatives
    Brownback and Mitchell just might be interpreted as the “Outside Interference” Mr. Pompeo warned against in the Russian Orthodox church. In other words, once it is set according to US liking, any further interference will not be tolerated, particularly by Russia.

    I wonder how he might feel if Russian officials met with authorities in Havanna, who ultimately declared the Cuban church to be independent of Rome? Would that not violate say the Monroe Doctrine of 1812, warning any foreign influences out of our hemisphere? And yet, we are free to interfere with the 1,000 year old religion right on Russia’s borders? Any whiff of hypocrisy here?

  6. Patricia Victour
    November 10, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Once again religion inflames and ignites. Religion is one of the most destructive forces on earth.

  7. Lucy
    November 10, 2018 at 3:08 am

    The only god I beleive in is my own conscience

  8. vinnieoh
    November 9, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    On August 19th, this situation was explained here on CN, again by Mr. Babich. Not complaining or griping, just to let other readers know. And from that earlier piece, reading this one it’s like “Well, it looks like the tide is coming in; yes, the tide is coming in.” From the earlier piece it seemed to me that Bartholomew would do exactly what he has in fact now done.

    That some might think this has anything to do with faith or religion is disappointing. This is politics of the lowest kind. Sitting here in rustbelt USA it’s hard for me to know how much of the anti-Russia hatred in Ukraine is driven by wrongs suffered under Soviet era totalitarianism and how much emanates from the US State Dept., CIA, etc., etc. Both are in play of course, as well as other disputes, such as the decades long feuds over gas lines, royalties, and payments, and of course the shale gas field in eastern Ukraine. Of major importance is the major importance that Ukraine geography has for Russian military infrastructure, which is why the US is so hot to keep Ukraine so hot.

    As a true agnostic bending towards atheism I understand the resentment and bile dished out by vocal atheists toward the faithful. However, what many atheists fail to absorb into their reality is just how important religious adherence and association is to community coherence and identity. And it is for this reason that Poroshenko is so determined to have this schism. Nothing will change in the religious beliefs of the adherents, whichever branch they choose to adhere to, but community lines will fragment and shift as a result. THAT is what Poroshenko wants.

    No matter how this plays out, the Eastern Orthodox faithful will continue to cling to iconography, relics, and miracles. Unfortunately. Would YOU buy a used car from the guy in the picture above? “It’s over a thousand years old and it still runs! It’s a miracle.”

  9. Chas
    November 9, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Whoever decided to start using a dirty typeface on this site: it’s a bad idea. Even the cleanest, most legible type is a challenge at 5 points. The decision is ageist, making it impossible for us older folk to participate.

    • Leroy
      November 10, 2018 at 2:01 pm

      Chas, use CTRL + + to enlarge the font. Use CTRL + – to diminish.

      However, I agree with you. The apparent attempt to make the page look like badly printed newspaper is a bad idea. Fer chrissakes, the minus symbol I just typed makes it appear as if there’s a piece of dirt on my screen.

      Leroy

  10. Babyl-on
    November 9, 2018 at 12:13 am

    Trying from different browser

    I really hope many will get a chance to read “Destroying Yemen” By Isa Blumi. https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520296145/destroying-yemen

    In the first few chapters he shows how US/British interests worked to gain control of oil, how they worked with the al-Saud family who was already head of a group of tribal leaders to help them monopolize control of global energy supply. As they were about this business the also went after control of Islam viewing is as an essential tool of power to control the oil. Mecca and Medina were taken from the Hassan Clan which oversaw them for 1000 years.

    No matter what anyone believes or how powerful their faith, the organized religions of the West are used entirely as tools of power.

    Put simply: There are no gods, there is lust for power.

    There is a parallel story to this about how this tiny group of Zionist Jews took ownership of the holy sites and doctrine of that religion.

    In history this theme is seen again and again – because if you want to control continental populations having all children learn from birth obedience above all else.

  11. Babyl-on
    November 8, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    Second try

    I really hope many will get a chance to read “Destroying Yemen” By Isa Blumi. https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520296145/destroying-yemen

    In the first few chapters he shows how US/British interests worked to gain control of oil, how they worked with the al-Saud family who was already head of a group of tribal leaders to help them monopolize control of global energy supply. As they were about this business the also went after control of Islam viewing is as an essential tool of power to control the oil. Mecca and Medina were taken from the Hassan Clan which oversaw them for 1000 years.

    No matter what anyone believes or how powerful their faith, the organized religions of the West are used entirely as tools of power.

    Put simply: There are no gods, there is lust for power.

    There is a parallel story to this about how this tiny group of Zionist Jews took ownership of the holy sites and doctrine of that religion.

    In history this theme is seen again and again – because if you want to control continental populations having all children learn from birth obedience above all else.

  12. Babyl-on
    November 8, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    I really hope many will get a chance to read “Destroying Yemen” By Isa Blumi. https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520296145/destroying-yemen

    In the first few chapters he shows how US/British interests worked to gain control of oil, how they worked with the al-Saud family who was already head of a group of tribal leaders to help them monopolize control of global energy supply. As they were about this business the also went after control of Islam viewing is as an essential tool of power to control the oil. Mecca and Medina were taken from the Hassan Clan which oversaw them for 1000 years.

    No matter what anyone believes or how powerful their faith, the organized religions of the West are used entirely as tools of power.

    Put simply: There are no gods, there is lust for power.

    There is a parallel story to this about how this tiny group of Zionist Jews took ownership of the holy sites and doctrine of that religion.

    In history this theme is seen again and again – because if you want to control continental populations having all children learn from birth obedience above all else.

  13. Randy
    November 8, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    What happened to the memo to Trump by the VIPs? It was posted today and now it’s gone…

  14. November 8, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    We have met the enemy and he is us.

  15. Joe Tedesky
    November 8, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    I’ll admit I don’t understand the dynamics in play here in regard to the split in the Eastern Orthodox religion and for what all that means to Russians and Ukrainians, but as a clueless American who doesn’t seem to have a dog in this fight, I will suggest we in the U.S. stay the heck out of this internal faith argument.

    The U.S. is failing with it’s global hegemony project, so now is the time to turn inward. It isn’t as though we Americans don’t have enough of our own domestic problems to fix. That being said, I insist on leaving the Russians and Ukrainians of faith work this out on their own.

    Now after giving my opinion I will do something I may find even more satisfying and that is I will scream into the wind. Saying that doesn’t show me to have a bad attitude in as much as it shows I am experienced in living the American Dream.

    • Crimean
      November 9, 2018 at 1:31 pm

      Too late Ted – Constantinople was paid off to divide and conquer the Russian Orthodox Church and you know as well as i – who paid off the Istanbul fake ” Pope” to destroy the real Orthodox churches in Ukraine { that are united with the Russian Orthodox Church.} The same moneylender satanist that did the coup in Kyiv.

      • Joe Tedesky
        November 9, 2018 at 10:15 pm

        As always Crimean the same ‘Money Changers’ that created many a world catastrophe through out this pass millennium is at work here. Oh if only the people were to be able to bring them down, but then who would these superior elitist be, is the question. I’m afraid that these elitist I speak of would end up standing in the winners circle of either side, no matter who won the fight. It’s a shame their elitism is built upon the suffering of other humans.

        https://criminalbankingmonopoly.wordpress.com

    • Dave P.
      November 9, 2018 at 9:18 pm

      Joe, there was this interview couple of weeks ago of Alstair Crooke with Peter Lavelle. Towards the end of interview, Alstair Crooke talks about identity of Nations ( European!) and Sovereignty. Religion has relation to Identity and Sovereignty of Nations.

      It is an interesting interview to watch. The Link is:

      https://www.rt.com/shows/rt-interview/442703-lavelle-crooke-middle-east/

      I enjoyed reading all your and Realist’s comments.

      • Joe Tedesky
        November 9, 2018 at 10:54 pm

        Thanks Dave. Listening to Alastair Crooke was enlightening.

        I think we Americans are experiencing a fall from empire. In the Middle East our allies Saudi Arabia & Israel are in my estimation weak members of a coalition built upon a conquest for all the wrong reasons. Trump seems to dislike the Europeans and the Europeans are rapidly learning to dislike Trump. Our Ukraine gangster Nazi’s are a radical hateful bunch whom I see no productive future within our investing anymore intimating weapons strategically aimed at Russia.

        Trump better hurry up providing more opportunities for employment and for export ready product, because the global wheels are falling off this hegemonic bus called destruction.

        Take care Dave. Joe

      • Dave P.
        November 10, 2018 at 4:00 am

        Joe, I don’t think Europeans have any spine. They will fall in line sooner or later. It is Trump who is pushing them away, not the other way around. As you said Trump does not like Europeans. I would add that Trump does not have respect for the Western European Leaders, and rightly so. As Alstair Crooke indirectly points out the reasons for Western European Nations losing their Sovereignty. Here at home too, this Globalism, mass immigration, and neoliberalism has created some sort of identity crisis in the society as a whole. And the propagandists in MSM, and the leadership in Democratic Party are working in overdrive to propagate some kind of new mixed identity now.

        Though the ruling Power Structure have all the levers in their hands for mind control of the population, there is going to be a period of conflict, and instability in the near future.

  16. November 8, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    Here is from a report in May 20 2018 from The Saker. Notice the last line!!
    https://thesaker.is/ramzan-kadyrov-personally-commands-rescue-of-orthodox-hostages-in-a-church-in-gronzy/

    Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the Saturday attack on an Orthodox church in Russia’s Chechen Republic, which left a worshiper and two police officers dead. The terrorist group took the credit for the attack, issuing a statement through its online mouthpieces, the SITE Intelligence Group reported Sunday. Four terrorists, armed with blades, incendiary devices and guns, stormed the Church of Michael the Archangel in the Chechen capital, Grozny. The attack was thwarted by the security forces which killed all the four attackers during a brief shootout. A worshipper and two police officers were killed during the attack. Both officers were deployed to Chechnya from the Saratov region. Three of the attackers were identified as residents of the Chechen Republic, while the leader of the terrorist group was from the neighboring Republic of Ingushetia, according to the Chechen leader, Ramzan Kadyrov. The attackers were aged between 18 and 19 years. The terrorists “received the order [to carry out the attack] from one of the Western countries,” Kadyrov said, citing “intelligence data.”

  17. blimbax
    November 8, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    This is a response to portions of ToivoS’s comment. It is not intended as a justification for what Bartholomew has done but simply to clarify certain points and provide some additional background.

    First, with regard to the comment that Bartholomew presides over a church that has less than 1,000 parishioners. It is true that the numbers of Greek Orthodox Christians in Turkey is in that order of magnitude. However, the Patriarchate of Constantinople also has within its area of jurisdiction the Church of Crete and a few other dioceses in Greece. (Most of Greece comes under the autocephalous Church of Greece.)

    More importantly, from the point of view of funding and nonfinancial support, the Greek Orthodox parishes in the Western Hemisphere (U.S., Canada, etc.) as well as those in western Europe and Australia, come under the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is probably the most important element within the Patriarchate’s jurisdiction, economically and politically. This fact may provide a context for ToivoS’s statement that “[f]or some strange reason the US state department has decided to treat Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople as the leader of all Orthodox Christians and has decided to back one autocelaph [sic] over another in Ukraine.”

    One final point: the (at least until now) only canonically recognized Orthodox jurisdiction in Ukraine, the one that comes under the Moscow Patriarchate, is not autocephalous but rather is autonomous.

    • Martin - Swedish citizen
      November 8, 2018 at 3:40 pm

      Thanks, the point about the American UOC being under the jurisdiction of Constantinople is definitely clarifying.

  18. Will
    November 8, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    you’d never guess there was an midterm election in the US on Tuesday and that despite the results, Trumpkin McGrifter is attempting to consolidate his power…

  19. Virginia
    November 8, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Like to add, there’s an expanded article on this Russia Ukraine Church problem (hornet’s nest) at csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2018/0921/In-struggle-over-Ukrainian-Orthodox-communion-a-political-hornet-s-nest

  20. Eric32
    November 8, 2018 at 10:08 am

    Dmitry, should squabbles within anachronistic mythologies really be all that important?
    It’s probably all contrived by the same source that gave the US the “Russia collusion” carnival.

    • rosemerry
      November 8, 2018 at 4:33 pm

      Yes, but is it any business of the USA?? ‘on Oct. 17, a press release in the name of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for religion in Ukraine to be “without outside interference.”’ If only the USA took its own advice to heart.

  21. Zhu
    November 8, 2018 at 5:35 am

    For what it’s worth, historically about half of Ukrainians were Eastern Rite Catholics.

    • Martin - Swedish citizen
      November 8, 2018 at 3:35 pm

      Where does this come from?
      Today, they make up some six or eight per cent of the population, and practically all reside in Galicia in NW Ukraine, where they are in majority.
      It was hardly of any significance outside this small area at any point in history.

    • Nickolas
      November 8, 2018 at 4:30 pm

      Your claim about ” half of Ukrainians” being Eastern Rite Catholics is pure nonsense. Get the facts.

    • ToivoS
      November 8, 2018 at 5:09 pm

      Yes that is highly relevant. The other half are orthodox. Also if one goes from west to east in Ukraine the Eastern Rite Catholics (or Uniates) decline in numbers and the orthodox ones increase. This gradient parallels those Ukrainians that identify with Europe and those with Russia. The Ukraine has been electorally divided on these same line going back to 1992.

      It is why it was incredibly stupid for the EU and the US to interfere in Ukrainian politics and support the 2014 coup against the Yanukovitch government that barely won on a “proRussian” platform. This current assault, led by that fool who lives in Istanbul, is basically the latest attack on those Ukrainians in the current rump state that still speak Russian as their first language and follow the orthodox tradition of their ancestors.

      We should be prepared to witness an all out assault of the neo Nazi forces from Western Ukraine against those Russian oriented citizens living to their east.

      • Nickolas
        November 8, 2018 at 7:40 pm

        Toivos wrote this “brilliant” Sputnik dictated piece of silly propaganda:
        ” This current assault, led by that fool who lives in Istanbul, is basically the latest attack on those Ukrainians in the current rump state that still speak Russian as their first language and follow the orthodox tradition of their ancestors.”

        The widespread use of Russian language in all regions of the former USSR was a natural consequence of the Moscow ENFORCED denationalisation policy determined to create a Russian speaking “Soviet person” loyal to the godless ideology of Marx-Lenin and Stalin. I suggest that Toivos and people like him should read more about the 1930s Kremlin’s atheism policy, the destruction of the Russian Orthodox Church hierarchy in the 1920s and 1930s and conversion of most Orthodox churches into warehouses, communist party offices or outright destruction. Stalin permitted a limited recreation of the Russian church hierarchy in early Sept. 1943 as an urgent wartime act to mobilise loyalty of the SOVIET population. The reestablished orthodox metropolitans and bishops were ordered to report to Stalin’s secret KGB agents , with the priests serving as local “intelligence” and Kremlin’s propaganda agents.
        Meanwhile, the Russian Orthodox bishops and priests who managed to survive the “exile” in the 1920s and settled in exile in Belgrade, Sofia, Paris, Vienna and other cities, by that time occupied by Hitler’s armies, were only too happy to applaud Hitler’s initial victories against the RED army and helped Hitler’s High command to recruit Red Army POWs into the Nazi sponsored and equipped “Russian Liberation Army” For more details just Google all sorts of interesting links and photos.

        • anon4d2
          November 9, 2018 at 9:06 am

          The commenter may have made some errors, but you are not contradicting him in fact or argument.

        • Martin - Swedish citizn
          November 9, 2018 at 6:05 pm

          Nickolas, while you bring up important facts, your comment reeks with anti-Russian rethoric, and rethoric against the half or more of Ukraine’s population that speak Russian.
          A few comments:
          – Russian spread in the Russian empire long before the revolution – it was the lingua franca just as English is in most of Europe today; Ukrainian was supressed in periods during the 19th century, for instance. The Soviet government promoted Ukrainian, until Stalin’s ascent about 1930. During his time, Ukrainian was suppressed again.
          – In present-day Ukraine, the eastern and southern parts were practically uninhabited (and the scarce population was mostly Tatar) when it was included in the Russian empire by Katherine the Great. Most of the population was recruited from other parts of the empire, mostly Russian, only a smaller part Ukrainian, also Germans, people from the Balkans, even some Swedes. The influx became greater later on to Donbass.
          – As you point out, the Nazis recreated an Orthodox church for their own purposes, and recruited Russian clergy from Poland, and perhaps other places in occupied Europe. When the Nazis lost, the top fled to America, where they set up a UOC in exile.

          • ToivoS
            November 11, 2018 at 12:25 am

            Your comment: :Ukrainian was supressed in periods during the 19th century, ”

            Not really. What we call the Ukrainian language today was considered a backward peasant accent of the Russian language in the 19th century.

        • Dr. Valeria Nollan
          November 12, 2018 at 1:06 pm

          The persecuted Russian Orthodox bishops were in exile given a safe haven by the Serbian Church in Yugoslavia. With the permission and blessing of the Russian Orthodox Church inside Russia (many of whose members were martyred in the 1920s), these bishops set up the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, which faithfully preserved the historical and ecclesial traditions of canonical Orthodoxy. You can google Archbishop (Saint) John Maximovich of Shanghai and San Francisco, whose heroic activities shepherding an Orthodox community of several thousand from China to the Philippines to the U.S. / Europe serve as a nexus for what happened to the Russian Orthodox. I can assure you that these people held no sympathy whatsoever for Hitler. As for the so-called Russian Liberation Army, these were mainly Soviet prisoners of war in Germany who deeply loved Russia and hoped to liberate Russia from communism. They were used by Hitler for his own purposes.

      • Martin - Swedish citizen
        November 9, 2018 at 5:34 pm

        While your conclusions are so correct, the position of the Greek Catholic (uniate) church is incorrectly described.
        About 8 % of the Ukrainian population belong to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic church (UGCC), and they are almost exclusively located in mainly Galicia, where they make up “a vast majority” – I refer to the book “Churches in the Ukrainian Crisis” (editors Andrii Krawchuk and Thomas Bremer, Springer). (It mentions, interestingly, that the UGCC also counts its roots to the Christening of Rus by Vladimir.)
        This means that some 90 % of the Ukrainian population are Orthodox. Since the cultural dividing line between Russian speakers in the south-east and more Ukrainian speakers in the NW splits the country in two equally sized parts, the overwhelming majority in the NW part are orthodox. The dividing line is, apart from language, determined by the historical influence of Poland and Austria on the one (NW) hand, and Russia (SW) on the other, and also by how they sided in WWII. It is very sad that the Ukrainian nationalists of Galicia and Volhynia do not recognise that the SE half of Ukraine have their own concept of what is Ukrainian, but wish to impose their Galician/Volhynian anti-Russian ideology on the other half of the country.

        • Dave P.
          November 11, 2018 at 4:32 pm

          Your comments are very informative. Thanks for the post.

          • Martin - Swedish citizen
            November 12, 2018 at 4:03 pm

            Thank you, Dave P. I try. The Ukrainian “project” is such a moral and tragic disaster, in particular for the EU. I use the opportunity to express my appreciation of your comments, balanced and to the point. :)

  22. rgl
    November 8, 2018 at 1:27 am

    In the 21st century, we are STILL fighting over who’s god is better. We are STILL fighting over who’s interpretation is the correct one.

    Religion is the bane of civilization. It retards the acquisition, and use of natural law. To survive as a species, we need to finally get past the gods thing. Or, it will eventually destroy us.

    • Zhu
      November 8, 2018 at 5:39 am

      In the last couple centuries, atheists and secularists have done most of the killing, using excuses like yours. Disbelieving in the Great Pumpkin does not make anyone morally superior.

      The truth is, people fight for the same reasons chimps fight: resources, and to dominate others. Genghis Khan said he fought to kill his opponents, enjoy their property, rape their women. He was not more religious than you, just more honest.

    • Sam F
      November 8, 2018 at 12:48 pm

      I have had some luck in discussing religions as languages of moral analysis and education. That works with educated people not under pressure to conform.

      The base problem is the tribalism of all groups. Once the economic and social dependencies of the church, village. ethnic group,, or state create fear of nonconformity, the tyrant sees the opportunity to dictate wrongs in the disguise of the friendly tribal philosophy. Tribes are almost invariably governed by tyrants in disguise. Religion is especially powerful because the members rarely see a rational basis for disagreement with leaders, and because it can serve to sanctify wrongful government policies.

      • Bob Van Noy
        November 9, 2018 at 11:45 am

        Sam F., I can’t let your comment pass without thanking you for your consistent decency regarding the most volatile issues raised in this site’s commentary. Surely the ultimate solution to society’s deepest divisions will require the kind of deep introspection and measured reply that you present here.

        Our generation has been inundated by experts in the use of Propaganda and Political Wedge issues to divide people and to ultimately destroy any possible continuity they may achieve. Only by recognizing the technique and by mitigation can we carry on the conversation and possibly find common ground. You have been masterful in this regard and I congratulate you for that wisdom…

        • Sam F
          November 10, 2018 at 7:31 am

          Thanks, Bob. Here at CN we have many diplomatic commenters whose moderation is essential to learning. The mitigation of tactics of divisiveness does need our attention, and often succeeds where commenters seek the truth.

        • Skip Scott
          November 10, 2018 at 8:07 am

          I second that Bob. Sam F is a great asset here at CN. You are as well.

    • Sam F
      November 8, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      I have had some luck in discussing religions as languages of moral analysis and education. That works with educated people not under pressure to conform. Viewed as languages they are equivalent, and one cannot take the word origins too seriously.

      The base problem is the tribalism of all groups. Once the economic and social dependencies of the church, village. ethnic group,, or state create fear of nonconformity, the tyrant sees the opportunity to dictate wrongs in the disguise of the friendly tribal philosophy. Tribes are almost invariably governed by tyrants in disguise. Religion is especially powerful because the members rarely see a rational basis for disagreement with leaders, and because it can serve to sanctify wrongful government policies.

    • Allan
      November 8, 2018 at 6:32 pm

      rgl,

      You languish in ignorance and foolishness, but there is an atheistic former communist who can help you with that and your idle bigotry, too. He’s a book editor at Open Court Books in Chicago, and he wrote a fine introduction to the theology of “classical theism”, as he calls the theism of Abrahamism.

      Atheism Explained: From Folly to Philosophy
      By David Ramsay Steele
      http://www.opencourtbooks.com/books_n/atheism_explained.htm

      “Atheism Explained” is a layperson’s introduction to theology which begins with a series of parts devoted to arguments for and against belief in God. Probably you will welcome the penetrating discussion of evolution. The author, a “disproof atheist” iirc, has also a keen sense of the perennial vileness of leftism, and in one passage he informs the reader that secularists and leftists, who tend to be atheists, have a far higher score in terms of bullying and kills for their religion.

      Since Steele’s days as a leftist (during part of which time he belonged to a socialist party in the UK), he has written essays and books about a variety of topics, including economics, Fascism, Freudianism, and George Orwell. You can learn something very important about yourself by reading the essay titled “The Mystery of Fascism”. It’s centered upon the life and times of an atheistic, communist union organizer named Mussolini. It’s available for free in PDF on-line, and you’ll gather the correct impression about his style from it.

      But first you must open your mind. If you do so while reading “Atheism Explained”, you may even be persuaded by the passage in which Steele disabuses naïve readers of the popular delusion that religion must be theistic. Most Westerners, being like blind mice, rarely perceive this fact clearly on their own and are likely to rebel at the idea. Still, the author coaxes the reader along toward the light while flirting briefly also with the self-evident notion that god or no god, there must be a law of existence which trancends mere physics and which constrains any and all willpower.

      • anon4d2
        November 9, 2018 at 6:48 pm

        It clearly a logic error to characterize a group by its worst members, as you do to atheism by merely noting that Mussolini was one: all large groups including religions are discredited by that argument. Your statement of “the perennial vileness of leftism” shows the same incorrect reasoning, perhaps confusing the violence of revolutions with their philosophy, and ignoring the wrongs against which they rebelled. You also did not make a case that the commenter showed any “ignorance and foolishness.”

    • November 9, 2018 at 10:44 pm

      You have nailed it!

  23. Don Bacon
    November 8, 2018 at 12:47 am

    This Christian schism is a welcome change from the constant news of Muslim squabbles, mostly caused by Christians’ military antics. Let’s hope that Russia sticks it to the neo-Nazis in Ukraine. They deserve nothing.

    • rosemerry
      November 8, 2018 at 4:34 pm

      Have a look on RT at the recent fighting and swearing in the Ukraine “parliament”.

      • Nickolas
        November 8, 2018 at 5:00 pm

        Your reference to RT (“Russia Today”) confirms you are a fan of Kremlin state financed propaganda.

        • Brett Harris
          November 9, 2018 at 6:34 pm

          So RT created a mock-up of the Ukrainian Rada and used actors to make it appear that the chamber is a violent and abusive arena? No? The footage is real? Oh, you are referring to the words used in the report? I understand, RT is the only media organisation on the planet that reports factual events from a particular perspective.

          I suppose it’s also RT’s biased reporting that the Geoff Pyatt, the former US Ambassador to Ukraine, involved in the infamous “F the EU” discussion with Victoria Nuland, is now the Ambassador to Greece, and was involved in the lobbying Bartholemew on behalf of Pirishenko and Filaret at the behest of former Vice President Joe Biden?

          The real story here is why do the descendants of Ukrainian post-war emigres to North America, many of whom were associated with the Nazi occupation, some who were actual war criminals protected by the CIA, and members of the OUN/UPA, funded directly by the CIA to engage in atrocities against the Soviet Union after the war, have so much influence over the Democratic Party, such that they are willing to do the bidding of this openly neo-Nazi backed failed state?

          • Martin - Swedish citizen
            November 10, 2018 at 10:30 am

            Thank you!!
            You add what must be a crucial piece of the puzzle about the descendants of Ukrainian emigrants!

        • anon4d2
          November 9, 2018 at 6:58 pm

          It clearly a logic error to assume that reference to, or perusal of diverse media perspectives “confirms” that anyone is a “fan” of one viewpoint. Such a presumption suggests that you should consider diversity of sources. Those dominated by one perspective, especially “we’re the best” or “the source of all evil is them” often see later that they were very naive.

        • November 9, 2018 at 10:52 pm

          Actually, as a historian I am proud that I have the good sense follow RT! Given that Allen Dulles made Hitler’s Nazi intell officer, Rhinehard Gallen, the CIA’s man in the USSR and Eastern Europe, and that he sent lies about the USSR directly to our presidents, any serious scholar knows to check out what is actually coming from Russia and Putin. Gallen, along with Dulleses, created the hoax known as the Cold War. And now, similar types have created the Russiagate hoax. Your dimwitted comments make me think you are a current iteration of Project Mockingbird. Chirp away your nonsense. This site won’t fall for you.

        • KiwiAntz
          November 10, 2018 at 12:04 am

          Nikolai, your comment made me laugh as my own friends use the same RT State propagandist whenever I watch that Channel, but have you ever watched it or are you just blindly making this statement out of ignorance?? Give me the RT Channel any day, over the American Corporatist MSM Media, be that that right wing FOX News or the so called Left wing CNN, MSNBC etc? At least RT presents facts to back up their stories, not heresay or rumour & they do it with class & humour! So if you want a lesson in State propagandist brainwashing, just keep on watching those US Cable channels! And RT shows both views of the arguments of right or left etc & let’s the viewers make up their own minds once presenting those facts? Contrast that with the mind numbing World view that is being presented to the American people by their MSM & you come to the realisation that the American people are the most brainwashed, gaslighted Citizens on Planet Earth, dumbed down to the core by their own gullibility & stupidity, like sheep being guided by demented Shepherds!

        • Dr. Valeria Nollan
          November 12, 2018 at 1:10 pm

          RT is a normal and honorable news site. Its stories are well-informed and lively; they include Russia’s point of view. It’s legitimate for any country to want its perspective heard in the international arena. RT is state-sponsored, but not state-controlled. Is this any different from the BBC, Agent France Presse, or CNN?

          • Skip Scott
            November 13, 2018 at 8:55 am

            Very true. In fact a perfect example is Lee Camp’s “Redacted Tonight”. Lee states that he has never been controlled in any way by the producers at RT. However, when NPR did a “hit piece” on him, he offered to come on “Weekend Edition” to do a one-on-one interview with Scott Simon, but only if it was done live. NPR turned him down because they wanted to be able to edit the interview. Another prime example of control by supposedly PUBLIC “PBS” was the extreme editing of Jill Stein’s interview by Judy Woodruff in the run-up to the 2016 election.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvqdl_CGCGk

            So does the good ol’ USA really have freedom of the press?

  24. Virginia
    November 7, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    Thank you for this illuminating article, Mr. Babich. I hope it receives wide readership for it contains important points that the general populace would do well to know.

    I was one of the visitors to Russia with Center for Citizens Initiatives in September who had the privilege of hearing you speak to us in Moscow. It’s good to see you here on CN. Among the group, we ourselves had discussions on the topic of this article. There were a variety of opinions but several felt politics was behind the whole scheme. I recall the idea being expressed that this Ukraine Church break-away would also break the 1030 year lineage of the establishment of Christianity in Russia.

    Again, thank you for your contribution. I hope to see more from you.

    • Nickolas
      November 8, 2018 at 4:55 pm

      You wrote: “1030 year lineage of the establishment of Christianity in Russia.” You are totally off base.
      There was no such state as RUSSIA 1030 years ago. The Christianity was established in the Kyiv -based state known worldwide as RUS by Prince Volodymyr the Great. While the Russians call him Vladimir, he was the ruler of RUS, not Russia which did not exist for centuries. Even after Prince Ivan III brought Novgorod under Dutchy of Moscow in 1471 there was no RUSSIA. It was only in 1547 that Ivan IV became officially known as the “Tsar of all the Russias”. And it was in 1571 that Crimean Tatars burned Moscow and in 1610 that the Polish army, with the assistance of Lithuanians and the Ukrainian cossaks occupied Moscow.

      • Martin - Swedish citizen
        November 9, 2018 at 4:50 pm

        Frankly, Nickolas,
        I think your rethoric most of all illustrates the extreme nationalism and lack of respect for everything Russian being promoted by the Kiev regime.
        Is there any doubt at all that the Russian church has its roots in the Christening of Rus? I don’t think so.
        Russia as a state I suppose came about because of the expansion of Moscow to include other Russian city states. But wasn’t the land inhabited by Russians still called Russia?
        Possibly, some of the Christians from Kievan Rus fled westwards, and may have founded Orthodox churches in Volhynia and Galicia.

  25. Dunderhead
    November 7, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    The neocons are out of their minds! The concept of blowback and unforeseen consequences to the Dennisons of the Washington consensus is either unknown or just a welcome reaction to justify the next round of aggression/authoritarianism. I am personally shocked that during the mindnumpingly wall-to-wall coverage of the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh no one bothered to bring up the fact that we are funding nazis in Ukraine, not that I think these two stories are directly related but to think that these extremists are not going to be an inspiration to some other nut-bags potentially living in the US is clearly stupid at best.
    One can only hope that this idiocy does not get too out of hand before Trump decides to make some political theater over a new round of nuclear disarmament talks in Russian rapprochement if that’s even allowed to happen,

  26. Jeff Harrison
    November 7, 2018 at 7:10 pm

  27. W Peters
    November 7, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    The Russian Orthodox Church led by the former KGB agent Kirill is less than 6oo years. There was no “Russia” nor “Russian Church” 1034yeas ago. This is a typical Kremlin line of which Herr Goebbels would be proud. You Kremlin “journalists” are full of bullshit who like to twist truth just like Hitler and the nazis. You are the new nazis of Eurasia!

    • T Vic
      November 8, 2018 at 4:27 am

      You are absolutely correct. I stumbled upon this site a few days ago but here’s what I noticed. A lot .. a lot of Russian propaganda as well. People on here need to take a good look at Russian history. I am from Eastern Europe. I am an immigrant in USA. I am not from Ukraine. I am from a small country that is not part of NATO. Not part of EU. A shithole. A socialist/dicatorship country: MD. Russia is good. Their government however, is BAD. THEIR WHOLE DAMN HISTORY is about OLIGARCHS ! It has Always been like that. Corrupt people get in power, there is a revolution for a short period of time, things get a little better, then AGAIN, they all get dirty and the goverment becomes full of power. Russia is almost DESTROYED. Mark my words the future doesn’t look good for them. You know what will happen in Russia? There will be a coup, a revolution against their goverment and people will think that it’s all good again. WRONG. It WILL happen but it will be the SAME thing over and over and over. OLIGRACHS AND CORRUPTION. Russia also MIGHT divided. In fact, it WILL probably divide. Everything they are going through is because OF THEM. They did it to THEMSELVES ! Putin is a dictator and whether he is in control or not that’s beside the point. Either there will be a coup or either Putin will do as told. I have family in Russia and nothing has changed since decades. FSB will always be in control. Until real russians take their country back, you will have nothing but WAR, PROBLEMS, POOR PEOPLE, AGGRESSION and just a fucked up country! A lot of Russians say it themselves. It is WORSE than people think. I don’t care how “bad” the West is, Russia has done it to themselves. PERIOD. They could’ve become the most prosperous nation in the world yet here they are, in almost 2019 almost a 3rd world country.

      • rosemerry
        November 8, 2018 at 4:40 pm

        As an immigrant to the USA it is rather rich for you to write or even consider OLIGARCHS in Russia when the whole of the US system is run by a very small number of them eg Charles Koch,Sheldon Adelson, CEOs of the few huge banks which have been bailed out by the “government” in recent years with complete impunity for their crimes. Russia has a lot to do to cope with sanctions, false accusations, hatred, refusal by others to keep to internatonal laws and agreements.

        • nick
          November 9, 2018 at 3:25 am

          OK ROSEMERRY . I DONT KNOW HOW OLD YOU ARE BUT LET ME SAY THIS ONCE BECAUSE I ALREADY SAID IT A FEW TIMES ON HERE.

          THEY DESERVE IT. RUSSIANS DESERVE IT FOR PUTTIN UP WITH PUTIN. PUTIN IS DOING THIS TO RUSSIA. I DONT CARE WHAT ANYBODY SAYS THEY HAVE DONE THIS TO THEMSELVES.

          THEY ARE ONE OF THE MOST RESOURCEFUL COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD BUT YET THEY ARE A 3RD WORLD COUNTRY. CORRUPTION, CORRUPTION, AND MORE CORRUPTION. NO JUSTICE. U GO AGAINST PUTIN U DIE. PERIOD.

          PLEASE MOVE THERE. AND STOP FEELING SORRY FOR THEM. PUTIN HIMSELF DOESN’T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT RUSSIA YET A ROSEMAERRY ONLINE IS WORRIED ABOUT SANCTIONS AND HATRED.

          LOOOOOL. FALSE ACCUSATIONS? NO BABY PUTIN IS A DICTATOR. THEIR GOV IS CORRUPT AND EVERYTHING THEY’VE BEEN ACCUSED OF IS MOSTLY TRUE (ESPEICALLY CRIMES).

          PLEASE GO IN RUSSIA AND SPEAK FREELY. U WILL GET KILLED LIKE BORIS NEMTSOV OR MANY OTHER.

          IF YOU ARE FOR RUSSIA, WHY MAKE WAR?! Putin is doing nothing but bringing Russia down and yes, they are fucked. they are in the corner.

          And trust me, there will not be a war in the near future. If putin starts a war right now, all the allies and nato jumps him and they are fucked. even if china tries to help. (hint: they wont they are dependent on US).

          So yeah i feel bad for regular russians but their gov will get whats coming.

          • anon4d2
            November 9, 2018 at 7:06 pm

            If you had fact and argument, you would not have to rely upon all-caps and insults. Why not be rational?

    • vik
      November 8, 2018 at 4:29 am

      You are absolutely correct. I stumbled upon this site a few days ago but here’s what I noticed. A lot .. a lot of Russian propaganda as well. People on here need to take a good look at Russian history. I am from Eastern Europe. I am an immigrant in USA. I am not from Ukraine. I am from a small country that is not part of NATO. Not part of EU. A shithole. A socialist/dicatorship country: MD. Russia is good. Their government however, is BAD. THEIR WHOLE DAMN HISTORY is about OLIGARCHS ! It has Always been like that. Corrupt people get in power, there is a revolution for a short period of time, things get a little better, then AGAIN, they all get dirty and the goverment becomes full of power. Russia is almost DESTROYED. Mark my words the future doesn’t look good for them. You know what will happen in Russia? There will be a coup, a revolution against their goverment and people will think that it’s all good again. WRONG. It WILL happen but it will be the SAME thing over and over and over. OLIGRACHS AND CORRUPTION. Russia also MIGHT divided. In fact, it WILL probably divide. Everything they are going through is because OF THEM. They did it to THEMSELVES ! Putin is a dictator and whether he is in control or not that’s beside the point. Either there will be a coup or either Putin will do as told. I have family in Russia and nothing has changed since decades. FSB will always be in control. Until real russians take their country back, you will have nothing but WAR, PROBLEMS, POOR PEOPLE, AGGRESSION and just a fucked up country! A lot of Russians say it themselves. It is WORSE than people think. I don’t care how “bad” the West is, Russia has done it to themselves. PERIOD. They could’ve become the most prosperous nation in the world yet here they are, in almost 2019 almost a 3rd world country.

      Also, there could be a coup made by the OLIGRARCHS themselves. Putin is already doing things that a lot of oligrachs dont agree with.

      • anon4d2
        November 8, 2018 at 9:50 am

        Nonsense. All of history is “about oligarchs,” you admit that your birth nation in eastern Europe is poorly governed, and the US is plainly an oligarchy. So you simply prefer one oligarchy to another, and offered no reasons at all for your preference.

        • JOHN CHUCKMAN
          November 9, 2018 at 12:12 pm

          A lot of truth in that remark.

      • November 9, 2018 at 11:00 pm

        Now you can choose to “stumble” out!

    • anon4d2
      November 8, 2018 at 9:44 am

      Nonsense. Quibbling on the age of a church fails to argue that the article is “Kremlin journalism.” You offer no fact or argument that Russia are somehow “new Nazis.”

    • Analyst
      November 12, 2018 at 1:25 pm

      I have not personally seen the KGB documents that confirm (or not) Patriarch Kirill’s participation in this organization. However, I do know that his grandfather was arrested and exiled to northern Siberia for his Christian religious beliefs, and that the Patriarch’s family had a broad-ranging library of literary, philosophical, and religious literature–all of which contributed to his education and worldview. A recent research article, posted on academia.edu, places the “KGB accusations” in some context. The article is titled “The Mikhailov Files: Patriarch Kirill and the KGB,” by Felix Corley. The details are mundane: in order to function as an Orthodox (or other religious) leader at any level in the Soviet Union, a cleric had to be registered with the KGB. To quote from the article:

      “All senior clerical appointments in the Soviet era were made by the KGB and mediated through the government’s Council for Religious Affairs (the public face of the 4th department of the KGB Fifth Directorate) – and many junior appointments besides. Kirill’s collaboration was nothing exceptional – almost all senior leaders of all officially-recognised religious faiths – including the Catholics, Baptists, Adventists, Georgian Orthodox, Armenian Church, Muslims and Buddhists–were recruited KGB agents.”

      In order to participate in meetings of the World Council of Churches, and other similar organizations, religious leaders from the Soviet Union (during its most difficult and saddest times) were required to be “agents” (perhaps a misnomer).

      The KGB no longer exists, and the healthy state of Russian interfaith relations today is a far cry from what it was before 1991.

  28. someone in the crowd
    November 7, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    I am very glad to see this essay here on ConsortiumNews.

    One perspective on this affair is to accept the assumption that, since Russia is of its very nature evil, any and everything done to weaken Russia, or to punish those who identify with it, is useful and good, up to and including fostering religious wars.

    An alternative perspective is to accept that all sides share lots of blame for the conflict that started in 2014 between Russia and Ukraine (“all sides” here including the US and the EU), and that therefore reconciliation between all sides is both justified and what we should all be aiming for.

    It appears that Brownback & Co., along with most Western media, are operating on the basis of the first perspective. But the second is the only way to get to peace, and it is also the perspective more in harmony with factual reality.

    If the welfare of the people of Ukraine, and of that whole region of the world more generally, were of any significant concern to the US government (as distinct from winning geo-political games), it would not be encouraging and supporting this schism, it would be doing precisely the opposite — it would be encouraging conversation, compromise and reconciliation.

    Here’s a final question by way of food for thought: What is the moral status of a political order that sets as its foreign policy goal the fostering of hatred, division and dissension — the more the better?

    • Realist
      November 8, 2018 at 2:45 pm

      All the “hatred, division and dissension” seems to work so well for us within the USA that we want to share that winning formula with the world. No need to thank us, just roll over on our command. See, everything can be explained.

    • Martin - Swedish citizen
      November 8, 2018 at 3:13 pm

      Very wise and true!

      It must be emphasised that up to a few years ago, the UOC MP (Moscow Patriarchate) accounted for practically all Orthodox believers in Ukraine. To my knowledge, there was also a tiny UAOC (A as in autocephalous) stemming from the UOC in America (created by clergy from the alternative church established by the Nazis during the war) and from desires in NW Ukraine in the 1990’s to establish its own church (as opposed to the UOC MP). The UOC MP went some way during the perestroika and onwards to give increased independence to its Ukrainian branch. It was noted following the coup in 2014 that the Russian OC, representing both people in Ukraine and in Russia, declared that it did not take sides in the conflict.
      It appears that the notion of a national independent Orthodox Church originates in NW Ukraine and in the US and Canada. These are the same interests as are behind the present regime, nationalists from NW Ukraine, and America.
      Just like most or all aspects of the regime’s policy, this conflict amounts to imposing the culture of NW Ukraine on the much larger rest of Ukraine, and of course cut all cultural links with Russia.
      It also amounts to pressing almost all Orthodox to switch churches,
      as well as, quite probably, dispossessing the UOC MP of its churches and property.

      • Nickolas
        November 8, 2018 at 5:25 pm

        Well, Martin, you may or may not be Swedish citizen but what is relevant is that you have absorbed a major doze of Kremlin propaganda with your totally false claims like, for example “…. pressing almost all Orthodox to switch churches,
        as well as, quite probably, dispossessing the UOC MP of its churches and property. ”

        You are propagating false concepts based on false premises like “dispossessing” UOC MP of churches and property which the Moscow Patriarchate DOES NOT OWN. All churches belong to the parishes, not to ANY Patriarchate and each congregation is entitled to decide which church it wants to belong to. There are several historically important monasteries , like the Pecher Lavra, that belong to the STATE and no Patriarchate can ever own that property. I strongly urge you to check the facts , don’t just repeat Moscow lies.

        • Martin - Swedish citizen
          November 9, 2018 at 4:13 pm

          You misinterpret. I wrote dispossessing the UOC MP of its churches. Of course, if a parish switches to the UOC KP, the UOC MP is dispossessed of that church and its property.
          It is beyond my knowledge whether an Orthodox congregation has the right to switch churches, but it doesn’t seem far fetched that they may choose to do that under the present government policy.

          I think you are right about Pecherskaya lavra, and I did not claim otherwise.
          Same with Sofia cathedral, I believe.

          I am indeed a Swedish citizen. Considering the complete domination of anti-Russian propaganda and propaganda in favour of the coup and present regime in Kiev, in Sweden and elsewhere , I think it important to spread facts.

          • Martin - Swedish citizen
            November 9, 2018 at 4:20 pm

            It doesn’t seem far fetched under the present regime policy since it amounts to create one nationalistic church – the UOC KP (with the UAOC integrated, it seems). It sounds like the regime is quite intent on this, or is that Moscow propaganda??

    • Dave P.
      November 9, 2018 at 3:10 am

      Very wise comments.

      ” . . . it would be encouraging conversation, compromise and reconciliation.”

      All the way back from the colonial days up till now, The West has done the opposite in all the victimized Nations.

  29. November 7, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    There seem to be few limits in this Ukrainian official hostility towards all things Russian, an artificial hostility promulgated by American interference.

    It’s all so meaningless, so pointless.

    But there is an old saying that the worst wars are “brotherhood wars.” It would seem to apply here.

  30. ToivoS
    November 7, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    This is an interesting article. I doubt that there are many people in the West that know much about Eastern Orthodox Christians. I certainly didn’t until recently. One thing that Dmitry mentions is that the orthodox Christians do not have a pope, i.e. no central authority. Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople is just one of 14 leaders of 14 different autocephalic church. He resides over a church that has less than 1000 partitioners. The Kiev branch has over 25 million. In any case Bartholomew is a minor figure whose stature derives from the fact that he presides over the church that led the Byzantine people who were over-run by the Turks 1000 years ago. In other words his ‘authority’ rests on a historic remnant that became irrelevant a 1000 years ago.

    For some strange reason the US state department has decided to treat Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople as the leader of all Orthodox Christians and has decided to back one autocelaph over another in Ukraine. This makes Pompeo’s statement supporting the Ukrainian government backing the current schism (“without outside interference”.) ironic in the extreme.

  31. Martin - Swedish citizen
    November 7, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    Thanks a lot for clarifying these events, covered in such slanted and predictable fashion by Western media!
    If I understand correctly, the intention of Denisenko/Filaret and Poroshenko is to create a united Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the Filaret UOC. Considering that the UOC under Moscow up to now has been in complete domination, and the mention of provocations support this, their intention in reality must mean forcing practically the entire population to switch churches , and most likely also taking over practically all the churches and other property of the UOC Moscow patriarchate in Ukraine. The Italian statement is indeed wise and in line with support of human rights.

    It appears, too, that there is a precedent during WWII , when the Nazis for its purposes revived a new nationalist church that had existed a period after WWI until Stalin closed it. When liberated by the Red army, the top clergy fled to North America, where they set up a UOC.
    This church apparently has been very active in Ukraine since the end of the perestroika, but remains very small. I do not know the details, but they, too, have had their doubts about Denisenko, it seems.

    • Realist
      November 8, 2018 at 2:36 pm

      Apparently, Poroshenko and his American handlers have forgotten the words of the ultimate self-proclaimed insider two thousand years ago when he said, “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the thing’s that are God’s.” The American re-write is, “no, let’s make everything political, especially if we are in a position to benefit from doing so.”

  32. Realist
    November 7, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    So, the American people have spoken at the ballot box and have chosen the hysterical warmongering Russophobic Democrats under Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff to represent them in the House. I’m not sure who will pick up the mantle as chief Russophobe in the Senate from John McCain, but I doubt a remaining Republican majority there means peace in our time. The always dangerously stupid but now empowered Schiff gleefully promises more Russiagate and more subpoenas of Trump, his paper trails and his “allies” in the White House, such as they are. Sounds like a guarantee that tensions will rise between the two countries, though all margin for error in that arena seems to have vanished long ago. Frankly, I don’t trust our side to act rationally. Just look at the record and you can see why. Many of the maniacs in Washington seem to have made it a goal to reset that notorious Atomic Clock to straight up midnight ASAP. Is that the take-away from yesterday’s vote? Is that the will of the American people? Or has “democracy” been hijacked yet again? Jeez, the American meddlers in Russian affairs don’t even draw a line at exploiting religion to gain traction in their attacks on Moscow, at least according to this piece, the Saker and Anatoly Karlin.

    • November 7, 2018 at 6:09 pm

      “American people have spoken”?

      And what have they said then?

      The numbers say one thing to me: America is a highly divided state.

      No serious rejection of Trumpism. No serious embrace of Democrats.

      No serious turn for the future.

      I am sorry for that, but Americans really do have so little real choice.

      • Don Bacon
        November 8, 2018 at 12:50 am

        And so little choice means so little democracy, which requires choice.

      • Realist
        November 8, 2018 at 2:12 pm

        Yes, they’ve said as much as they are allowed to say, which is “pick one of these two candidates whom we powerful insiders have selected to run the country.” After that, sit down and shut up. And don’t complain when those you voted for absolutely abandon their campaign platform and adhere strictly to the status quo which you thought you were rejecting. Yeah, that’s speaking out American style. You must usually skip my stuff if you didn’t expect sarcasm.

    • Joe Tedesky
      November 8, 2018 at 9:59 am

      You are 100% correct Realist that the Dem’s are tone deaf to their voters wants. If the Democrats were smart they would dwell on domestic issues such as Healthcare for everyone, but instead the stupid corporate Democratic leadership will waste precious time by going down investigative Rabbit holes looking for bogeymen who aren’t there. It’s time we Americans quit trying to teach the old blue dogs new tricks, and we voters just demand a new progressive puppy to play with. The ‘Real Progressive Agenda’ is being denied, and with that denial is where the Democrats go down the wrong proverbial road.

      One last thing, the MSM is having a field day with ratings while trashing all things Trump. It’s time for the MSM to start reporting the news. What is interesting though, is the American public hates the MSM more than they do Trump. While still there is a sizable crowd who freaks out over Trump, there is an equal amount of Americans who grinch over every word that comes out of the mouths of such MSM types as Don Lemon or Rachel Maddow… it’s that simple. Who’s fooling who?

      • Realist
        November 8, 2018 at 2:25 pm

        Yup, Joe, if they had been smart that’s how they would have interfaced with Trump since 20 January 2017. Obviously, Mr. Schiff thinks he’s going to be rewarded with the Speakership or some other high position for pursuing confrontation and obstructionism over the next two years rather than pursuing policies essential to the needs of the people and sharing the credit with the GOPers. They said he was flitting around SoCal saying so to anyone who would listen yesterday, clearly basking in his delusions. Both sides would like to claim credit for flipping a little spare change at America’s massive internal problems, but neither wants the other to look even slightly good in the bargain. Hence, the “loyal opposition” will once again double down on an approach that is taking us all to perdition.

        • Joe Tedesky
          November 8, 2018 at 4:42 pm

          Yes for everything you said and add to that we Americans have been duped into strapping ourselves to a chair in front of our cable news, or reading corporate print for way too long… that we are conditioned and we even admit to that amongst ourselves, if your listening.

          Our MSM isn’t any better than our intimidator in Chief, we in the reality audiences know this too, and we shrug our shoulders until we fight with each other on social media. So much for friendships, that’s a gone by era. And then we talk about building viable political parties? Huh.

          Our politics are us, but yet you and me plus the rest of us feel left behind… and that’s because we have been left behind, well maybe more like led a long. What can you say about a hegemonic leader who citizens always end up voting for the lesser of the two evils? This question answers itself. Need I go on?

          If Democrats want to even be in the game for 2020 then thed be wise to concentrate on what needs done at home, and environmentally with the planet. They would lay off investigations based on mere allegations, and hoping their MSM brethren’s & sister’s pick up the slack… if the dumbass Dem’s do do their usual dumb ass things they do… we’ll be at war with Russia break of spring 2019… yeah that would give Trump reason to get re-elected, but I’m talking about the Dim’s. Hopefully the Bernies, the Tulsi’s, will prevail, but Vegas bookies will tell you the longshot odds are against you….are we gambling?

          I thought way back when so many news cycles ago that Trump wouldn’t last 6 months…. wow, do ya hear me backwardsevolution… now I’m wondering what he can’t do and win. I mean while many see him as rude & crude there are as many if not more that see him being able to upset the likes of Righteous Don, Giddy Rachel & I’m no homophobe Joy, and the fly over bunch is loving it… please send this memo over to Bill Maher, I sometimes think Bill is starting to get it.

          If the Democrats want to go totally Progressive in the good sense of the word not only will they advocate for Single Payer Healthcare they will push an agenda to close military bases worldwide & especially demand withdraws with peace negotiations starting immediately… we are now at the 2 minute mark, and more people would know that if our MSM reported the news. But why screw up a good thing…what about the ratings? Now that’s American for ya.

          None the less we can have hope… oh no wait we already done that. Well anyway Realist it’s always good to share a comment with you. Joe

          • Realist
            November 8, 2018 at 6:28 pm

            Hey, I should’ve written your name on my ballot for governor from Florida–instead of pointedly leaving all those boxes blank in protest, even though your legal domicile is in the Keystone State. You did own a Florida condo, and that should count for something. Why were there no third party candidates in this election–except for a Reform Party candidate for Gubernator? No Greens, no Libertarians, no Socialist Workers, no Communists with Gus Hall’s name on the ballot. This country is really locked into a monomaniacal War Party mentality as if the American voters want only Democrat or Republican warmongers in office. Honestly, the Greens and Libertarians need to elect some congress critters to seriously compete for the higher offices.

          • Jke Tedesky
            November 8, 2018 at 7:36 pm

            I think the Establishment won out over the independent parties…. where’s Ross Perot I liked that guy. Oh and Nader didn’t screw over Gore, just to be clear.

            You & Bob Van Noy got to quit with endorsing me. Bob said Secretary of State & now you Realist with the Florida ballot thing …. what did I ever do too you guys? Why Washington would freak out if I ever gave a press conference. I’d be in Gtmo… I would rat out the whole Establishment that’s for sure. You think Trump & Acosta caused some theatre the other day, huh. I’d blow their minds.

            Great comments Realist. Joe

    • Andrew Dabrowski
      November 8, 2018 at 4:28 pm

      If you think war with Russia was the outstanding issue in this election then you must be living in Russia.

    • Andrew Dabrowski
      November 8, 2018 at 4:46 pm

      If you think war with Russia was the outstanding issue in this election then you must be living in another country. The outstanding issues were health care, lgbt rights, immigration, etc.

      • Realist
        November 8, 2018 at 8:13 pm

        Snide, but mindless. Russiagate has been the centerpiece of the Democratic platform and agenda for the past two years. It is the one thing that unites those psychopaths, it has been the main cudgel they’ve used against Trump ever since Hillary dreamed it up as a strategy during the Democratic National Convention in the summer of 2016 and then adopted it non-stop to excuse away her incompetent campaign and election loss. Where have you been hiding out? (And that is sooo original of you:
        I must be from Russia. Do the Clintonites send you crib sheets?) Just tune into MSNBC, Hillary’s propaganda central, for a wall-to-wall dose of the Russia paranoia every day of the week. Or try CNN, NYT, WaPo or numerous other purveyors of the nationally-approved false narrative. Maybe Rachel Maddow will name you her fan of the week. Andrew, calling out them Putin-bots!

        Health care should be a focus of political debate in this country but it is not. Every workable fix, accept for the giveaway to the insurance companies, was purposefully swept under the rug even by the mountebank (Obomber) after whom the fraudulent sop was named. The one individual still fighting for a fair, workable solution (Sanders) was cheated out of the nomination by the thugs who run the Democratic Party as their personal fiefdom.

        LGBT rights were no driver in the just completed election, unless you were an extreme partisan wrapped up in Democratic identity politics that only serves to alienate the white working class voters who SHOULD be your allies in supporting progressive policies. Get a clue, Hillary lost the Rust Belt because she spit on those people and her operatives, who are still in control of the party, continue to do so.

        Immigration is intricately intertwined with the whole constellation of foreign policies that Trump intended to pursue as part of a shift from a globalist to a nationalist focus, but has been thwarted out of pure obstructionism by the lock-step Democrats and the Neocon Republicans who love war and couldn’t care less about its consequences, including the massive displacement of peoples. Washington’s ceaseless wars across the Muslim world have killed millions, displaced many more than that and have disrupted societal stability in Europe as a consequence of the ensuing mass migrations. You should have heard about the riots, rapes and murders throughout the European countries hosting the migrants, although the citizens of those countries didn’t have a voice or a choice in the matter, their leaders decided for them that they must function as good vassals of the United States. I suppose you are disappointed that your American hometown didn’t get its fair share of ISIS fighters by night and migrants on the dole by day. Don’t worry, the courts may still decide that Lady Liberty shall embrace them all… and that national sovereignty, including the ability to control a country’s own borders, shall be relegated to the historical curio cabinet of abandoned principles.

        If I had to guess, I would say that you and George Soros firmly believe that the 10,000 odd migrants from Central America in the caravan presently meandering through Mexico on their way to the Texas border have every right to take up residence in our country and enjoy the benefits of its progressive social programs. Just don’t complain when your taxes go up and your own family gets put on longer and longer waiting lists for services–or the services disappear. And, once these migrants set president, there will be no legal argument for keeping the flood of their compadres from doing exactly the same, until everyone is a global citizen with the right to migrate anywhere without limitations.

        Do you know how rapidly the third world populations are expanding? Have you done the maths and extrapolated out the scenarios? You may think Trump is just being mean to limit immigration into this country, but your grandchildren may not. You may think that Putin’s attempts to wind down the wars in the Middle East against fierce resistance by the belligerent Washington regime is irrelevant to the whole issue of human migration and national sovereignty, but take a closer look and realise that what is settled there will eventually be applied to our own borders, because history never stops unfolding. One cannot assume that today’s status quo will obtain at any time in the future, unless active steps are taken to ensure that. This great conflict imposed by Washington against Russia (and also against China and Iran) will be central to the kind of world our descendants live in later in this century and beyond. Moreover, the consequences of any miscalculation that would result in the exchange of nuclear weapons would be catastrophic not only for human civilisation but for all life on the planet. The American insider elites strike me as being far too casual about the potential use of nuclear weapons. I’ll take my council from the likes of Stephen F. Cohen, Paul Craig Roberts, Ron Paul, or a host of Consortium News analysts rather than from any Clintonistas (or mad neocons like John Bolton), especially those who would casually suggest imposing no-fly zones on Russia in Syria, attacking their bridge in Crimea, invading Donbass or annexing Ukraine and Georgia into NATO. Such madness should immediately disqualify these maniacs from any role in government. Yet there they are, much to the detriment of our species.

        I think you need to take another, more serious, look at the major political issues of our time before you decide that health care, LGBT rights and Trump’s “racist” immigration policies were the most important and were the keys that swept the clueless knee-jerk Democrats into control of the House. Nincompoops like Adam Schiff are already saying that the next two years are going to be Russiagate on steroids and nonstop subpoenas and depositions of Trump and all his friends, allies and associates, as though that is exactly what the American people want done more than anything else. Do that, my friend, and your “progressive” Democrats (if that’s what they truly are–forgive me for doubting this) will be swept from office as quickly as they were under Obomber after he broke so many campaign promises in his first term. Progressive values were so important to him that he tried to consummate a “grand bargain” with the GOP to gut the New Deal and its social programs after receiving the final report of his infamous “Catfood Commission.” The only reason it didn’t happen is because John Boehner and the teapot Republicans said that 90% of the loaf was not good enough for them. Be careful whom you consider your friends and allies in politics, because they are as ephemeral as the wind.

        • Skip Scott
          November 10, 2018 at 8:32 am

          Fantastic reply Realist. Andrew is way out of his depth. I have noticed that many of these “Clintonistas” are hit and run trollers. I wouldn’t expect any serious rebuttal.

          • Joe Tedesky
            November 10, 2018 at 12:09 pm

            Skip what many who advocate for whatever domestic policy they advocate for overlook is to loosen up the budget enough to accomplish any domestic needed spending one must first confront the 8000# elephant in the room that’s sucking up all the well needed money…. U.S. Foreign Policy. Yes this includes especially our relationships with Russia and China. So Andrew should get behind Realist instead of complaining of how Realist missed the point of the 2018 Midterms. It’s that simple. Joe

          • Realist
            November 11, 2018 at 8:29 pm

            That’s pretty much it, Joe. The insiders who run the place are squandering our money to build an empire, and, guess what? Only they, not the working U.S. taxpayers and not the countries targeted for “freedom and democracy,” reap the benefits… at least until the system crashes and burns. Then a bigger bill comes due, payable mostly by the little people.

            The ironic thing is, we have excellent models of what happens to modern major powers that overextend their empire, undergo economic collapse, lose power and status, and suffer a traumatic re-structuring of society. One was called the Soviet Union, which suffered a hard landing unbuffered by assistance from any outside friends, allies or even rank opportunists. Another was the British Empire which lost most of its treasure and clout, but was spared a vagrant’s life in the gutter by selling out what remained of its influence and skill sets in the military, diplomacy, banking, finance, swindling and espionage to the United States for a small piece of the action in this “special relationship.”

            Washington has no such special relationship with a rising power to pull its chestnuts out of the fire. To the contrary, rather than cultivating friends, it only wants to obstruct and sabotage any foreign power that might someday be considered a peer in any way. There will be no lifeline thrown to Pennsylvania Avenue, Wall Street will encounter the same people on its way down as it did on its ride up (which means “no soup for you!”) and the people on Main Street will suffer as a consequence, just like the folks in the barrios, ghettos, favelas and slums the world round.

  33. mike k
    November 7, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    Religion means nothing to the fascist power players in Ukraine. It is just another piece to be sacrificed on their unholy chessboard. Evil men like Poroshenko know nothing of love; they deal only in hatred and death.

  34. Jeff Harrison
    November 7, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Republicans seem unable to stand on their own two feet. They require the support of religion. Barry Goldwater, a notorious Republican, warned them not to start sidling up to the evangelicals because there’s no talking to them or negotiating with them. The US plays with other people’s religion at its peril.

    • Martin - Swedish citizen
      November 7, 2018 at 4:23 pm

      Agreed!
      For a number of reasons, all to do with the shared cultural including linguistic, historical, political and religious heritage of most of Ukraine with Russia, the US/EU project in Ukraine must fail.
      For the EU, it means a tremendous loss of credibility of its intentions and its vision.

      • Jeff Harrison
        November 7, 2018 at 10:30 pm

        Agreed as well. The EU is obviously trying to become its own bloc – a United States of Europe. The United States were able to take over the relatively lightly populated area of what is now the US (with native populations decimated by European diseases), dominate the native population and repopulate the area with a relatively homogeneous population which allowed the creation of what is called the United States. The landmass west of the Urals is neither lightly populated nor can the population that lives there now be called in any way homogeneous. The EU should never have tried to take over the old Eastern Bloc before it managed to consolidate its original self.

    • michael
      November 8, 2018 at 10:10 am

      In America faith-based, evidence-free Religions have largely been replaced by faith-based, evidence-free Politics. There is some deep flaw in humanity’s make-up that needs unquestioning faith in preference to critical thinking (which bores people and makes their heads hurt).

      • Sam F2
        November 8, 2018 at 1:11 pm

        Yes, religions of politics are labor-saving appliances that allow us to keep our minds in the “cloud” and simply run apps to answer policy questions. Problem solved.

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