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The US instigated and supported "democratic" coup in Kiev was overshadowed and cut into a relative historical insignificance when Pope Francis and Russia's Patriarch Kirill's met in Havana on February 12, 2016. It was the first-ever meeting between the leaders of the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church, which is the largest in Orthodoxy.
They issued a pointed joint Declaration.
The Results of The Pope - Patriarch Meeting Were Substantial and Meaningful writes Anthony Salvia on the Russia-Insider site on Sun, Feb 14, 2016 . Anthony Salvia was Special Advisor to the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs under Ronald Reagan, director of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Moscow bureau. He is Partner at Global Strategic Communications Group, devoted to governmental relations and public advocacy.
<<The final communiqué’s strong and moving expression of concern for the plight of Christians in the Middle East", writes Salvia, "is highly inconvenient for the perpetrators of Western policy in the region: If Syrian Christians uniformly support Bashir al-Assad, why is the West supporting radical Islamist forces that seek to overthrow him?"
The two supreme clerics call for reconciliation – for the overcoming of the “schism” among Orthodox Ukrainian Christians through “existing canonical norms,” and for Catholic communities to contribute to peace and harmony in the face of on-going tensions. This is not a message proponents of Western global hegemony, who fear reconciliation will put an end to anti-Russian sanctions, want to hear.>>
Well, let me quote the most relevant points of the Joint Declaration:
<<10. Thousands of victims have already been claimed in the violence in Syria and Iraq, which has left many other millions without a home or means of sustenance. We urge the international community to seek an end to the violence and terrorism and, at the same time, to contribute through dialogue to a swift return to civil peace...
26. We deplore the hostility in Ukraine that has already caused many victims, inflicted innumerable wounds on peaceful inhabitants and thrown society into a deep economic and humanitarian crisis. We invite all the parts involved in the conflict to prudence, to social solidarity and to action aimed at constructing peace. We invite our Churches in Ukraine to work towards social harmony, to refrain from taking part in the confrontation, and to not support any further development of the conflict.
27. It is our hope that the schism between the Orthodox faithful in Ukraine may be overcome through existing canonical norms, that all the Orthodox Christians of Ukraine may live in peace and harmony, and that the Catholic communities in the country may contribute to this, in such a way that our Christian brotherhood may become increasingly evident.
28. In the contemporary world, which is both multiform yet united by a shared destiny, Catholics and Orthodox are called to work together fraternally in proclaiming the Good News of salvation, to testify together to the moral dignity and authentic freedom of the person, “so that the world may believe” (Jn 17:21). This world, in which the spiritual pillars of human existence are progressively disappearing, awaits from us a compelling Christian witness in all spheres of personal and social life. Much of the future of humanity will depend on our capacity to give shared witness to the Spirit of truth in these difficult times.
Unfortunately, Western mass media failed to give the Pope-Patriarch meeting the attention that it deserves. Its capacity to speak truth clearly cannot match the needs of "these difficult times".
The best comment on the meeting I've seen was made by a Russian Israeli journalist and peace activist Israel Shamir who is an Orthodox Christian convert. It is in Russian
Сегодня 18 февраля 2016
<<Слишком мало было сказано о великом историческом событии – встрече римского и московского патриархов на острове Свободы, происшедшей в канун светлого праздника Сретения Господня... >> Go Google Translate for Shamir's very significant article.
Medvedev at Munich
February 13, 2016, Prime Minister Dmitry Mevedev spoke at Munich Security Conference
Read Dmitry Medvedev's speech at the panel discussion.
<<The first cold war ended 25 years ago. This is not long in terms of history, but it is a considerable period for individual people and even for generations. And it is certainly sufficient for assessing our common victories and losses, setting new goals and, of course, avoiding a repetition of past mistakes....Before coming to this conference, I met with President Putin. We talked about his speech at the Munich conference in 2007. He said then that ideological stereotypes, double standards and unilateral actions do not ease but only fan tensions in international relations, reducing the international community's opportunities for adopting meaningful political decisions.
Did we overstate this? Were our assessments of the situation too pessimistic? Unfortunately, I have to say that the situation is now even worse than we feared. Developments have taken a much more dramatic turn since 2007. The concept of Greater Europe has not materialised. Economic growth has been very weak. Conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa have increased in scale. The migration crisis is pushing Europe towards collapse. Relations between Europe and Russia have soured. A civil war is raging in Ukraine.>>
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev confirmed what Professor Steven Cohen has been arguing for nearly a decade: Washington and Moscow are in a new Cold War more dangerous than the preceding one. Cohen asks why, if Pope Francis can establish a détente with his counterpart in Moscow after a 1,000-year schism, President Obama cannot do the same with Putin?
The Washington Post
Remarkably, on February 17, 2016 The Washington Post ran an article that shows a degree of scholarly consensus between the US and Russia
Yes, the U.S. and Russia can cooperate to end the Syrian civil war. Here’s why.
By Yoshiko Herrera, Andrew Kydd and Fyodor Lukyanov February 17, 2016
<<Both the US and Russia urgently want to defeat the Islamic State. That’s the only reason the US intervened directly in Syria at all. The US also wants to defeat or at least weaken other Islamist extremists among the anti-Assad rebels, particularly al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria. So do the Russians.>>
Vladimir Putin denounces Vladimir Lenin.
Contrary to those who see modern Russia is replay of Soviet ideological quest for global domination, there are many signs that suggest otherwise.
See fascinating Video of Putin from 1991 - Explaining His Views on Lenin
Alexei Pankin, Sat, Feb 6, 2016
Earlier Putin had accused the founder of Soviet State Vladimir Lenin and his Bolshevik revolutionaries of a treason during WWI. Now he also denounces Lenin for laying a time bomb under the future of Russia, first by surrendering to Germany that had surrendered to Russia's victorious allies and then stipulating the right of ethnic autonomies to secede even though the country was in fact held together "by barbed wire" . Putin also berated the Bolsheviks for undermining economic unity of the country by destroying the market in the wake of forced nationalization of productive enterprises during the revolutionary upheaval.
Putin may not be aware of it, but his actions bespeak his affinity not with Vladimir Lenin whose body is interred at the Mausoleum in Moscow, but rather with Vladimir Bright-Sun, the Grand Prince of Kiev who baptised the Old Russ, via Byzantine, in 988. Prince Vladimir is revered in Russia, Belorussia and Ukraine as an Equal to the Twelve Apostles for unifying them under Christianity. Remarkably, Putin has held such views since 1991 when he expressed them in an interview.
It was predicted
I am not too surprised at the evolution of a former Communist party member. In 1988 when I was writing my book "Russia Beyond Communism: a Chronicle of National Rebirth," I challenged the assumption of mainstream Western sovietologists that Gorbachev's reforms would lead to a sort of benign "reform" Communism. I foresaw and predicted that the country would transcend Communism and return to its spiritual foundations. In fact, my book was dedicated to the 1000th anniversary of Russia's Baptism which Soviet officials barely noticed in 1988.
Just one generation later Russia emerges as a new polity. Though it has retained some Soviet features, it no longer opposes such fundamental Western values as private property, freedom of religion, individual rights, and free enterprise. Above all, it does not seek to impose its ideology or political structure on other countries. It merely seeks, for its own security, to contain the hubris of unipolar world. My book was republished in Russian as Новая Россия: от коммунизма к национальному возрождению.
US presidential politics
The emergence of Berny Sanders and Donald Trump as viable presidential contenders may bode well for US-Russia relations. Sander's early opposition to the Iraq war is a good tell sign, and so is Trump's pro-Russian and pro-Putin sympathies. However, Trump's islamophobia goes against the grain of the Republic and does not agree with RAGA's philosophy.
RAGA does not and will not descriminate among its associates based on their religion. We strive for inter-religious harmony. Therefore, I invite you to read Allan Brownfeld's article "Remembering Muslims Who Saved Jews in the Holocaust"
Allan's article so timely and universal that I promptly translated it into Russian, and now it can be read at one of Russian Muslim's sites:
As before, I want RAGA associates to be aware of
Dr. John Morrow, the author of the ground-breaking
The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of theWorld asks all Muslims, Sunni, Shi’ite, and Sufi, from all schools and spiritual paths, scholars and non-scholars, to append their names to the following declaration: http://covenantsinitiative.com/
I have translated Dr. Morrow's booklet
Six Covenants of the Prophet Mohammad with the Chistians of His time into Russian and am looking for publishers and new translations to Tatar, Bashkir, Ingush and other languages of Russia. I would appreciate hearing from volunteers. About John Morrow and his book you may want to read my article in Russian
Имам Ильяс Абд аль-Алим Ислам (д-р Морроу) осуждает ИГИЛ - Владислав Краснов
As I want to promote better Christian-Muslim relations, on February 2, 2016, I had a 25-minute discussion of Morrow's booklet on Radio Radonezh, an independent Christian station which broadcasts in Russian world-wide. http://radonezh.ru/radio/2016/02/02/20-35.html
«6 обетов пророка Мухаммеда христианам всего мира» — беседа с профессором В.Г. Красновым, переводчиком буклета Дж. Морроу. 02.02.2016
I appreciate feedback to this Newsletter. Below is what I got from an anonymous donor:
Invasion of Europe Video
as a result of US failed policy in the Middle East
Published on Feb 5, 2016
WINTER Moscow video
Spectacular drone footage of Moscow in winter 7 minutes
Published on Feb 4, 2016
WINTER Moscow city Aerial reel/ Зимняя, заснеженная, красивая Москва, аэросъемка
All Moscow sightseeing’s cowered in snow and ice: Kremlin, Red square, Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, St. Basil's Cathedral, Moscow city, Old city center, Gorky park, Novodevichiy monastery and much more. All flights performed in extreme cold weather -10C to -20C.
Remember “It's useless to disarm the hands, if the heart remains armed.”
-- Bangambiki Habyarimana
W George Krasnow (Vladislav Krasnov)
Malice to None. Good Will to All.
Peace and Justice to the World.
миру мир и благоволение в сердцах
From RAGA site:
"We are an association of Americans who believe it is in the U.S. national interests to foster friendship with Russia on the basis of mutual Good Will and non-interference in each other's affairs. RAGA is a gathering of people who share common interests in Russia's history, culture, religion, economy, politics and the way of life. We feel that Russian people have made outstanding contributions to humankind and are capable of greater achievements. We envision Russia as a strong, independent, proud and free nation and as a partner in achieving peace in the world."