Connect with us

RussiaFeed

News

Ukrainian Leader says Half of Ukraine is Mentally Retarded

Svoboda party member Farion says Russian speaking Ukrainians are retards

Published

on

203 Views

A leader of the Ukrainian Svoboda Party Irina Farion declared that Russian-speakers in Ukraine are mentally retarded, and the biggest problem for Ukraine. The monumental stupidy of her claim, is that it insults not only roughly half of Ukrainians who speak Russian, but it also insults her fellow Ukrainian nationalists, including President Petro Poroshenko himself.

This map shows a trend, generally accurate, but  such maps should be tools of perception, not precision

Her speech is not worth anyone’s attention for any purpose other than to document the insanity plaguing Ukraine, but I would like to demonstrate how her words are not only racist, but demonstrate a profound ignorance of the Ukrainian reality, bordering on a desire to genocidally change it. Four years ago to this day, fascists of a similar mindset as her, killed hundreds of people in Odessa. Some were burned alive, some were strangled including a pregnant woman, as documented in this article – be warned, the photos are very graphic. Make no mistake, this is indicative of a fascist crisis in the heart of Europe.

As a result, I will briefly summarize her statement, however, a full translation into English can be found here at this website documenting the tragic events in Ukraine. I will be relying on the Ukrainian version of her ridiculous speech, rather than the Russian version. This is not so much to capture her original words most accurately, as Russian and Ukrainian are close enough languages that there is almost no such thing as lost in translation, between these two eastern Slavic languages. Rather, it would be amusing to make the point that speaking a certain language – in this case, Ukrainian – does not dictate political views.

Her speech begins by asking why Ukrainians live in Ukraine but speak the “occupiers language”, and she begins to blame the war in Ukraine on Russian-speaking citizens. It is very telling that she is NOT speaking exclusively about Ethnic Russians in Ukraine, but any Ukrainians who speak Russian. As we will later explain, this is a large percentage of the country.

She says the War in Ukraine is happening where there is the Russian Church, which is factually untrue. The “Russian Church”, officially called the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) is the only canonical (internationally recognized) Orthodox Church in Ukraine. It is located everywhere – not just in East Ukraine but even in the West, and controls the most important religious sites, even if the churches are often seized by radicals.

Pochaiv Lavra, a fortress of Russian Orthodoxy in Western Ukraine

The leader of the Ukrainian Church, His Beatitude Onufry of Kiev is a strong Ukrainian speaker from Western Ukraine, yet he is the Primate of the “Russian Church”. Metropolitan Onufry is one of the strongest voices advocating for an end to violence in Ukraine, and is born in one of the most Ukrainianized regions of the country. This alone demonstrates her idea of Russian Church, Russian speakers – enemies of Ukraine – is false.

She also blames Russian culture (of which Ukrainian can be considered a part of), and most telling, she says the war in Ukraine is wherever there are “російськомовні громадяни” meaning Russian-speaking citizens.

Some may infer she means citizens of the Russian Federation, but she then clearly states in her warped view: Російськомовні українці – найбільша проблема України “Russian-speaking Ukrainians – the greatest problem of Ukraine” – the word українці can only properly refer to “Ethnic Ukrainians”.

As a result, it is clear that she considers any Ukrainian who speaks Russian to be in her words, mental retards, and traitors. This is not surprising, considering that her party, Svoboda, is basically the Neo-Nazi light party.

Svoboda Party Leader Oleg Tyahniboh

The purpose of this article, however, is to explain how she is essentially targetting half the country.

How much of Ukraine is Russian or Russian-speaking?

I began this article by saying half of Ukraine speaks Russian, and at this point, in order to prove that, we have to deal with a major problem facing Ukraine – reliable statistics. Someone could easily produce a map of Ukraine with statistics showing 30% are Russian speakers, and I could likewise produce one saying at least 80% (like this Gallup poll). Why the difference? Well aside from the fact that some people have been known to openly lie, as this article reveals, the lines between Russians and Ukrainians have never exactly been clear.

Languages of Ukraine

The reality is – any Ukrainian can switch languages, and sadly, some can even switch identities, as easily as other people change their clothes. Switching back and forth between Ukrainian and Russian, even midsentence, is effortless, common, and very fun if you speak both…and to some friends and family who don’t…annoying. It’s called Surzhik, and we will later explore this. Generally speaking, there are four languages/dialects spoken in Ukraine, and a language is essentially a dialect with an army and navy. They are listed as spoken from West to East

  1. Western Ukrainian: while not technically different than literary Ukrainian, the accent and terminology are heavily Polish. Here are two examples of Western Ukrainian style speech, the latter being what some consider a separate language – Carpatho-Russian. Foreign western tourists have noted that Western Ukraine is the only part of Ukraine where Ukrainian language is by far dominant, but found the people still speak Russian if asked by a non-Ukrainian speaker.
  2. Standard Literary Ukrainian: common, especially in central and northern Ukraine, used most prevalently in print, and by politicians and universities. For an example of the differences between Literary Ukrainian and the Western dialect in song, here are two versions of the classic Polish song Hej Sokoly in Ukrainian. The first is in literary standard Ukrainian, and the second is in Western Ukrainian dialect – note the use of the word Hen’ to mean “there” in place of Tam, the word used in both standard Ukrainian and Russian.
  3. Surzhik: A mix of Russian and Ukrainian, ranging from throwing Russian words into Ukrainian sentences, to completely ignoring the norms of grammar for both languages. Arguably the most common language spoken in the typical Ukrainian countryside, especially East-Central, and South, associated with rural villagers and industrial workers. This letter from the great Russian-speaking Ukrainian writer Gogol is written in what some could consider 19th-century Surzhik. Surzhik can also be heard in Cossack songs, a good example being “Yihav Kozak za Dunai” where the Russian style word Lusche (better) is used in place of standard Ukrainian Krasche. Several versions of Halya Molodaya (Young Halya) interchange the word Lusche with Krasche. The glorious Cossack song Harni Kozak Harni also says “Nasha Slava Kozatskaya ne na paperi pisana” (Our Cossack Glory is Not Written in Paper) – the feminine ending of the adjective Kozatskaya is Russian. Ukrainian would have ended without the “ya” at the end i.e. Nasha Slava KozatskaAnother modern example of Surzhik is this video by a Ukrainian youtuber, though she is slightly exaggerating her expressions for humorous effect.
  4. Standard Russian: Russian as spoken in Russia, possibly with a Ukrainian accent, stereotypically on the G (which become like an English H). Mostly spoken in East Ukraine, and also in major cities such as Kiev and Odessa.

Those are the four types of speech you will hear in Ukraine. The areas where these languages are spoken correspond logically with the historical evolution of Ukraine. That being said, as a general rule, all Ukrainians can speak Russian as well as Ukrainian.

While Ukrainian controversially dominates as the only official language, government papers, university work, and signs are written in Ukrainian, some form of Russian remains the lingua franka, as well as the native language of many Ukrainians. Russian particularly dominates in television and media, where the government is actively taking steps to promote Ukrainian, due to Russian being far more common on TV – the main source of Ukrainian news.

Russian is so dominant in Ukrainian TV, that the comedy show Varyaty advertises as being “the first Ukrainian-language humor show”. If one takes a look at their website, they can see their city schedule is all western Ukrainian. This is why Ukrainian attempts to prevent Russian from becoming an “official language” is ridiculous and unpopular – as it’s still a main language of everyday life.

Ukraine’s top court rules Russian language ‘unconstitutional’

This is why the Ukrainian politician who called Russian-speakers mentally retarded, is simply out of touch with reality. She herself is almost certainly a Russian-speaker, if defined as someone who understands fluent Russian, even if she chooses to speak exclusively Ukrainian. Most of Ukraine is Russian speaking.

This includes even Russian-hating Nazis, one of whom sings anti-Russian songs…in Russian. By calling Russian speakers retards, she is calling a good chunk of the country, including her President Poroshenko retarted. Despite his anti-Russian nationalism, he famously forgot how to say “wallet” in Ukrainian (he remembered in Russian), and had to ask for help.

Poroshenko’s language mix up is a hilarious microcosm of the Ukrainian language situation, and perhaps the only thing he ever did that made him remotely relatable. Although he always tries to speak in very proper literary Ukrainian, it is obvious that he is perhaps stronger in Russian. When his own children congratulate him on his birthday, his son speaks Russian, unlike his Ukrainian speaking sister. This mix of languages even within one family is totally normal for Ukrainians. That is not even considered mixing languages within the same sentence.

Surzhik – Russian-Ukrainian mix

Due to its non-standardized colloquial nature, there are no statistics as to what population of the country speaks in Surzhik, but anyone who knows Ukraine can say it’s not a small minority. Surzhik can take many forms, but most commonly, it involves throwing Russian or Russified words into mostly Ukrainian sentences.

Think in Ukrainian – write in Russian – the only rule of Surzhik

The prevalence of Surzhik, as well as the influence on Ukrainian speech, essentially means that Ukraine is a state of organic diglossia – a place where two languages are spoken side by side. There are often two possible words or phrases for the same thing in Ukrainian, one more Russian influenced, and one pure Ukrainian, and as a result, Ukrainian speech can appear closer or more distant to Russian depending on the speaker. Here are some examples:

To say in Ukrainian “I speak Ukrainian” one can say: Я розмовляю українською мовою (Ya rozmovlyayu Ukrayiins’kuyu movoyu)

In Russian, the same phrase is: Я говорю по-украински (Ya gavaryu po Ukrainsky)

As a result, on the surface, they seem very different.

But one can just as easily say in Ukrainian: Я говорю по-українськи (Ya hovoryu po po Ukrayinssky).

The latter sounds very close to Russian, and is perfectly understandable, and it can be mixed up in several varieties. This video is made by anti-Kremlin Ukrainians, advocating for speaking Ukrainian, and while they used the instrumental case українською мовою, the word говорю is more Russian compared to розмовляю. That still makes it Ukrainian, and does not make the speakers Pro-Russian. There are plenty more examples of Surzhik in Ukraine:

Yak Dela (similar to Russian Kak Dela) as opposed to Ukrainian Yak Spravi. Do tsih pir (close to Russian Do tsikh por) instead of Dosi. Teper, like the Russian form instead of Zaraz.

As a result, seeing as most of Ukraine is truly and natively bilingual, it is clear that language alone is not the basis of what is causing the difference between Russians and Ukrainians. We have even seen examples of Russian-hating Ukrainians speaking Russian – even literary Russian as opposed to Surzhik, which is common in Kiev.

Whether a person is Russian or Ukrainian, or both, is largely based on their political views, region, religion, culture, language choice, and identity, rather than on clear ethnic or genetic grounds. If one changed their political party, for example, they could easily change from Russian to Ukrainian or Ukrainian to Russian.

That being said, the differences between literary Russian and Literary Ukrainian – not the mixed dialects but the pure “languages” are not so severe. Some say that Russian and Ukrainian have 60% of their words in common, so while they aren’t 100% mutually intelligible, they seem closer than Spanish and Italian for example.

The people are too similar to be completely different, sharing a common history, faith, and ethnogenesis (national origin), but of course, if they were 100% the same, we would not be talking about this at all.

In order to understand why this is, and then explain why the світогляд (worldview) of this politician is warped and totally insane with regards to the reality of Ukraine, we must understand from whence the Russian and Ukrainian lands and people had their origin. In order to understand what is happening in Ukraine, and what caused the language divide, understanding the history is a must.

To give a brief history, Russia and Ukraine are the children of the same state, Kievan Rus’ from their birth until 1240 when Rus’ was divided by invasions. Rus’ was the first East Slavic state, from which Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus’ take their origin from, and it existed on the territory of what is now those three countries. Ukrainian nationalists claim they are the true people of Rus’, whereas Russians have no connection to Rus’.

By 1360, all of Belarus, and much (but not all) of the territory of what is now Ukraine (mostly north central, and especially western), was ruled by Poland and Lithuania until Bogan’s Khmelnitsky’s uprising in 1654.

Polish occupied territories before 1654 included parts of Russia

Khmelnitsky succeeded in uniting most of Ukraine with Russia, when they had been apart for around 300 years, however in that time some differences emerged. The Western part of Ukraine, west of the River Dnipro, but especially west of the river Buh would still be ruled by Poland and later Austro-Hungary for longer.

Poles and later Austro-Hungarians would encourage these differences, and push Catholic-Uniate religion on the people, and eventually, they imposed the idea of Ukrainianization upon what is now Ukraine, causing the people to think of themselves as different than Russians. At the same time, Coosccaks, would help Russia capture the south and east of what is now Ukraine from the Turks and Tatars. This land including Odessa and Donbass, was called New Russia because it was not before a core part of Rus’.

The people of new Russia were not subject to Ukrainizaition to the same level as others, and remains more russian speaking.

While other Ukrainians who underwent Ukrainizaition, still considered themselves the children of Rus’, they felt Russia was not Rus. You could say simplistically, Ukrainian nationalists want to be Rusian but not Russian, though it is obvious from a study of history, that Rus’ and Russia are natural evolutions, and the differences in Ukraine were caused by foreign empires occupying and brainwashing the people.

When talking about Ukraine, its imperative to accept the reality that we are essentially talking about (at least) two different countries merged into one. In simplistic terms, you can divide Ukraine into East and West by the River Dnipro, and say the East is (generally speaking) Russified and Orthodox, and the West is (very generally speaking) Catholic-Uniate and Ukrainianized. Almost any map of modern Ukraine will show a major divide in Ukraine based on this simplistic module.

Note: this is a map of Modern Ukraine, the borders do NOT reflect historical borders. This map and other maps are also older than 2014, and so Crimea is shown as part of Ukraine. After 2014, the people of Crimea exercised their democratic right to self-determination and choose to join the Russian Federation.

As a result, the difference between a Ukrainian and a Russian can be seen as being more philosophical, political, and religious, than purely ethnic. The differences largely emerged from Modern Ukraine being a conglomeration of various historical territories. The ethnogenesis of Ukrainian people, along with Russians and Belarussians is worthy of its own scholarly and national studies.

It is the political division in modern Ukraine, which has caused hatred to poison the blood between normal Ukrainians and Russians. This hatred exists even towards other Ukrainians, as we witnessed with the example of that deranged politican who hates Russian-language speakers. It is clear from an examination of history that Russians and Ukrainians are a brotherly people with a common origin.

It is clear from the monumental works of legendary authors like Russian-speaking Ukrainian Nikolai Gogol, and the wisdom of Saints like Lavrentry of Chernigov (who by modern standards is a Ukrainian, but who considered himself Russian), that the divide between the peoples is artificial. Saint Lavrenty went as far as to say it was imposed by non-Orthodox foreign powers and Uniates to destroy Orthodox Rus’. It is clear even from a secular point of view, that this violence and division which has killed tens of thousands in Donbass, and brought ruin to Ukraine serves neither the Russian nor Ukrainian people.

The hatred in Ukraine is not the product of native East Slavs, but has been perniciously fostered by foreign powers for centuries, who fear the unity of the old lands of Rus’. The only solution is to lay aside the hatred and remember common roots far more ancient. This reaffirms the ancient words “Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, together we are Holy Rus.”

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of

Latest

Orthodox Churches begin to respond forcefully to Ukrainian situation

Two jurisdictions, including one with a difficult history with Russia, move to condemn uncanonical acts in Ukraine.

Seraphim Hanisch

Published

on

Two local jurisdictions within the Eastern Orthodox Church announced their refusal to accept the legitimization of two schismatic groups in Ukraine, a move authorized by the Ecumenical Patriarch, but spurred by powers in the United States and Petro Poroshenko’s secularist-oriented Ukraine.

On October 11th, 2018, the Ecumentical Patriarch, Bartholomew I of Constantinople, authorized his legates to pronounce two schismatic Orthodox “churches” in Ukraine to be restored to canonical communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and by extension, across the entire Orthodox world.

This move was strongly condemned by the authorities of the Russian Orthodox Church, which has the only canonically accepted church presence in Ukraine, a situation that the Ecumenical Patriarch himself agreed with only a few years ago.

Russia moved to break communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, creating a split in the Orthodox Church, but a split that at first risked Russia standing alone in their statement of disapproval of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s actions.

For a time the reaction of the other “local” Orthodox Churches was cautious, with the vast majority (excepting only the Greek Church in the USA) coming out in support of the canonical group in Ukraine, but without taking similar action to Moscow.

That appears to be changing.

On November 12 and 16, respectively, the Churches of Serbia and Poland issued strong statements. They both categorically refused to recognize the Ukrainian schismatic groups and they forbade their clergy to concelebrate with the “clergy” within these groups. The Serbs’ statement on this was as follows:

“The Assembly does not recognize the mentioned figures and their followers as Orthodox bishops and clergy and, consequently, does not accept liturgical and canonical communion with them and their supporters.”

The Polish Church made a similar announcement, but with even more force:

“The Holy Bishops’ Council forbids the priests of the Polish Orthodox Church from having liturgical and prayerful contact with the ‘clergy’ of the so-called Kiev Patriarchate and the so-called ‘Autocephalous Orthodox Church,’ which have committed much evil in the past,” the statement reads.

According to the Polish hierarchs, persons deprived of episcopal and clerical ordination cannot be leaders in establishing peace in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Only the observance of the dogmatic and canonical norms of the Church and the preservation of the centuries-old tradition will protect Orthodoxy from severe ecclesiastical consequences on an international scale. The Polish Orthodox Church prays fervently for the unity of the holy Orthodox Church and for peace for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” the message further reads.

And while yet officially under the omophorion of Constantinople, several Greek monasteries on Mount Athos, the Orthodox monastic republic that is the spiritual center of all of Eastern Orthodoxy, inserted special petitions in their services to pray for Metropolitan Onufry and the people of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – that is, the canonical group that is a highly autonomous, or independent, Church while yet under the Moscow Patriarchate.

This is an interesting situation because in terms of ecclesial jurisdiction, Mount Athos is actually under the Ecumenical Patriarchate. However, the monasteries there often are known for taking the hardest of hardline stances when even their own Patriarchate takes actions they feel to be wrong:

Thousands of Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox Christians go on pilgrimage to Mt. Athos, which is under the jurisdiction of Constantinople, every year. However, the Russian Church, of which the Ukrainian Church is an autonomous, self-governing part, broke communion with Constantinople on October 15, which the Ukrainian Church confirmed yesterday, due to unilateral Constantinople’s interference in ecclesiastical life in Ukraine.

We know that the majority of the abbots of the Athonite monasteries do not agree with the anti-canonical decisions of the Phanar,” Met. Anthony said.

“In several monasteries—Greek ones, by the way—they have included a special petition in the Litany of Peace in the morning and evening services: ‘For His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry with his suffering flock.,’” he explained, adding, “We are very grateful to the Athonites for their brotherly love and prayers.”

This is a story that it still developing, but the recent moves by Poland and Serbia may be outlining the path that other local Orthodox Churches will take.

That move is to deny recognition to the schismatics that Patriarch Bartholomew lifted the anathemas and depositions for. If this step were to be taken by all the local Churches that have expressed support for the canonical Ukrainian Church, the result would be not much different than where the schismatics were on October 10th:

Filaret Denisenko’s group and Makary’s group would indeed have communion with Constantinople, and presumably the Greek Orthodox Church in the USA, but with no one else.

This move would be a severe repudiation of the Ecumenical Patriarch’s repeated declaration that he has the sole authority to grant autocephaly to anyone anywhere in the Orthodox world (or even to take it away), which is a canonical absurdity.

Given the substantial problems that Filaret Denisenko continues to create, such as refusing to be considered only a Metropolitan (this was the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s order), and to still consider himself a patriarch, blessing a blasphemous “icon” that is really just a monument to Ukrainian ultra-nationalism and secularism (note the neo-Nazi wolfsangel and machine guns in the upper right of this photo:

And given the ideations of Patriarch Bartholomew himself, who is also recently reported to be pushing towards creating unity with the Roman Catholic Church, while acting like a pope himself by insisting that all the local Orthodox Churches will accept his decisions, it does not look like this situation is going to go away by itself.

However, by placing the problem of the schismatics squarely in Patriarch Bartholomew’s hands (since he created the problem), the pressure created by other churches refusing to concelebrate with the Ukrainian schismatics may be enough to isolate the Ecumenical Patriarchate itself, rather than fulfilling the highly likely goal that the US, Ukraine and Patriarch Bartholomew may have had initially – to isolate Russia and create a situation where Russia is made to look like the bad guy, once again.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Whose Money Stoked Religious Strife in Ukraine – and Who Tried to Steal It?

Was $25 million in American tax dollars allocated for a payoff to stir up religious turmoil and violence in Ukraine?

Jim Jatras

Published

on

Authored by James George Jatras via Strategic Culture:


Was $25 million in American tax dollars allocated for a payoff to stir up religious turmoil and violence in Ukraine? Did Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (unsuccessfully) attempt to divert most of it into his own pocket?

Last month the worldwide Orthodox Christian communion was plunged into crisis by the decision of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in Constantinople to recognize as legitimate schismatic pseudo-bishops anathematized by the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is an autonomous part of the Russian Orthodox Church. In so doing not only has Patriarch Bartholomew besmirched the global witness of Orthodoxy’s two-millennia old Apostolic faith, he has set the stage for religious strife in Ukraine and fratricidal violence – which has already begun.

Starting in July, when few were paying attention, this analyst warned about the impending dispute and how it facilitated the anti-Christian moral agenda of certain marginal “Orthodox” voices like “Orthodoxy in Dialogue,” Fordham University’s “Orthodox Christian Studies Center,” and The Wheel. These “self-professed teachers presume to challenge the moral teachings of the faith” (in the words of Fr. John Parker) and “prowl around, wolves in sheep’s clothing, forming and shaping false ideas about the reality of our life in Christ.” Unsurprisingly such groups have embraced Constantinople’s neopapal self-aggrandizement and support for the Ukrainian schismatics.

No one – and certainly not this analyst – would accuse Patriarch Bartholomew, most Ukrainian politicians, or even the Ukrainian schismatics of sympathizing with advocacy of such anti-Orthodox values. And yet these advocates know they cannot advance their goals if the conciliar and traditional structure of Orthodoxy remains intact. Thus they welcome efforts by Constantinople to centralize power while throwing the Church into discord, especially the Russian Church, which is vilified in some Western circles precisely because it is a global beacon of traditional Christian moral witness.

This aspect points to another reason for Western governments to support Ukrainian autocephaly as a spiritual offensive against Russia and Orthodoxy. The post-Maidan leadership harp on the “European choice” the people of Ukraine supposedly made in 2014, but they soft-pedal the accompanying moral baggage the West demands, symbolized by “gay” marches organized over Christian objections in Orthodox cities like AthensBelgradeBucharestKievOdessaPodgoricaSofia, and Tbilisi. Even under the Trump administration, the US is in lockstep with our European Union friends in pressuring countries liberated from communism to adopt such nihilistic “democratic, European values.”

Perhaps even more important to its initiators, the row over Ukraine aims to break what they see as the “soft power” of the Russian Federation, of which the Orthodox Church is the spiritual heart and soul. As explained by Valeria Z. Nollan, professor emerita of Russian Studies at Rhodes College:

‘The real goal of the quest for autocephaly [i.e., complete self-governing status independent of the Moscow Patriarchate] of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is a de facto coup: a political coup already took place in 2014, poisoning the relations between western Ukraine and Russia, and thus another type of coup – a religious one – similarly seeks to undermine the canonical relationship between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Moscow.’

In furthering these twin objectives (morally, the degrading of Orthodox Christianity; politically, undermining the Russian state as Orthodoxy’s powerful traditional protector) it is increasingly clear that the United States government – and specifically the Department of State – has become a hands-on fomenter of conflict. After a short period of appropriately declaring that “any decision on autocephaly is an internal [Orthodox] church matter,” the Department within days reversed its position and issued a formal statement (in the name of Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, but clearly drafted by the European bureau) that skirted a direct call for autocephaly but gave the unmistakable impression of such backing. This is exactly how it was reported in the media, for example, “US backs Ukrainian Church bid for autocephaly.” Finally, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo weighed in personally with his own endorsement as did the US Reichskommissar for UkraineKurt Volker.

The Threat…

There soon became reason to believe that the State Department’s involvement was not limited to exhortations. As reported by this analyst in October, according to an unconfirmed report originating with the members of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (an autonomous New York-based jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate), in July of this year State Department officials (possibly including Secretary Pompeo personally) warned the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (also based in New York but part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate) that the US government was aware of the misappropriation of a large amount of money, about $10 million, from estimated $37 million raised from believers for the construction of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine in New York. The State Department warning also reportedly noted that federal prosecutors have documentary evidence confirming the withdrawal of these funds abroad on the orders of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. It was suggested that Secretary Pompeo would “close his eyes” to this theft in exchange for movement by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in favor of Ukrainian autocephaly, which helped set Patriarch Bartholomew on his current course.

[Further details on the St. Nicholas scandal are available here, but in summary: Only one place of worship of any faith was destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attack in New York and only one building not part of the World Trade Center complex was completely destroyed. That was St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, a small urban parish church established at the end of World War I and dedicated to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, who is very popular with Greeks as the patron of sailors. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attack, and following a lengthy legal battle with the Port Authority, which opposed rebuilding the church, in 2011 the Greek Archdiocese launched an extensive campaign to raise funds for a brilliant innovative design by the renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava based on traditional Byzantine forms. Wealthy donors and those of modest means alike enthusiastically contributed millions to the effort. Then – poof! In December 2017, suddenly all construction was halted for lack of funds and remains stalled to this day. Resumption would require having an estimated $2 million on hand. Despite the Archdiocese’s calling in a major accounting firm to conduct an audit, there’s been no clear answer to what happened to the money. Both the US Attorney and New York state authorities are investigating.]

This is where things get back to Ukraine. If the State Department wanted to find the right button to push to spur Patriarch Bartholomew to move on the question of autocephaly, the Greek Archdiocese in the US is it. Let’s keep in mind that in his home country, Turkey, Patriarch Bartholomew has virtually no local flock – only a few hundred mostly elderly Greeks left huddled in Istanbul’s Phanar district. (Sometimes the Patriarchate is referred to simply as “the Phanar,” much as “the Vatican” is shorthand for the Roman Catholic papacy.) Whatever funds the Patriarchate derives from other sources (the Greek government, the Roman Catholic Church, the World Council of Churches), the Phanar’s financial lifeline is the ethnic Greek community (including this analyst) in what is still quaintly called the “Diaspora” in places like America, Australia, and New Zealand. And of these, the biggest cash cow is the Greek-Americans.

That’s why, when Patriarch Bartholomew issued a call in 2016 for what was billed as an Orthodox “Eighth Ecumenical Council” (the first one since the year 787!), the funds largely came from America, to the tune of up to $8 million according to the same confidential source as will be noted below. Intended by some as a modernizing Orthodox “Vatican II,” the event was doomed to failure by a boycott organized by Moscow over what the latter saw as Patriarch Bartholomew’s adopting papal or even imperial prerogatives – now sadly coming to bear in Ukraine.

…and the Payoff

On top of the foregoing, it now appears that the State Department’s direct hand in this sordid business may not have consisted solely of wielding the “stick” of legal threat: there’s reason to believe there was a “carrot” too. It very recently came to the attention of this analyst, via an unsolicited, confidential source in the Greek Archdiocese in New York, that a payment of $25 million in US government money was made to Constantinople to encourage Patriarch Bartholomew to move forward on Ukraine.

The source for this confidential report was unaware of earlier media reports that the same figure – $25 million – was paid by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to the Phanar as an incentive for Patriarch Bartholomew to move forward on creating an independent Ukrainian church. Moreover, Poroshenko evidently tried to shortchange the payment:

‘Peter [Petro] Poroshenko — the president of Ukraine — was obligated to return $15 million US dollars to the Patriarch of Constantinople, which he had appropriated for himself.

‘As reported by Izvestia, this occurred after the story about Bartholomew’s bribe and a “vanishing” large sum designated for the creation of a Unified Local Orthodox Church in Ukraine surfaced in the mass media.

‘As reported, on the eve of Poroshenko’s visit in Istanbul, a few wealthy people of Ukraine “chipped in” in order to hasten the process of creating a Unified Local Orthodox Church. About $25 million was collected. They were supposed to go to the award ceremony for Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople for the issuing of a tomos of autocephaly. [A tomos is a small book containing a formal announcement.] However, in the words of people close to the backer, during the visit on April 9, Poroshenko handed over only $10 million.

‘As a result, having learned of the deal, Bartholomew cancelled the participation of the delegation of the Phanar – the residence of the Patriarch of Constantinople, in the celebration of the 1030th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia on July 27 in Kiev.

‘”Such a decision from Bartholomew’s side was nothing other than a strong ultimatum to Poroshenko to return the stolen money. Of course, in order to not lose his face in light of the stark revelations of the creation of the tomos of autocephaly for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Peter Alexeevich [Poroshenko] had to just return those $15 million for the needs of Constantinople,” a trusted source explained to reporters.

‘For preliminary information, only after receiving the remaining sum, did Bartholomew finally give his consent to sending a delegation of the Phanar to Kiev … ‘

Now, it’s possible that the two identical figures of $25 million refer to two different pots of money (a cool $50 million!) but that seems unlikely. It’s more probable the reports refer to the same sum as viewed from the sending side (the State Department, the Greek Archdiocese) and the delivery side (Poroshenko, Constantinople).

Lending credibility to the confidential information from New York and pointing to the probability that it refers to the same payment that Poroshenko reportedly sought to raid for himself are the following observations:

  • When Poroshenko generously offered Patriarch Bartholomew $10 million, the latter was aware that the full amount was $25 million and demanded the $15 million Poroshenko had held back. How did the Patriarch know that, unless he was informed via New York of the full sum?
  • If the earlier-reported $25 million was really collected from “a few wealthy people of Ukraine” who “chipped in,” given the cutthroat nature of disputes among Ukrainian oligarchs would Poroshenko (an oligarch in his own right) have risked trying to shortchange the payment? Why has not even one such Ukrainian donor been identified?
  • Without going into all the details, the Phanar and the Greek Archdiocese have a long relationship with US administrations of both parties going back at least to the Truman administration, encompassing some decidedly unattractive episodes. In such a history, a mere bribe for a geopolitical shot against Moscow would hardly be a first instance or the worst.

As one of this analyst’s Greek-American connections puts it: “It’s easy to comprehend the Patriarchate bowing to the pressure of State Dept. blackmail… not overly savory, but understandable. However, it’s another thing altogether if Kiev truly “purchased” their autocephalous status from an all too willing Patriarchate … which would relegate the Patriarch to ‘salesman’ status and leave the faithful wondering what else might be offered to the highest bidder the next time it became convenient to hold a Patriarchal ‘fire sale’ at the Phanar?!”

To add insult to injury, you’d think Constantinople at least could pay back some of the $7-8 million wasted on the Crete 2016 debacle to restart the St. Nicholas project in New York. Evidently the Phanar has better things to spend it on, like the demonstrative environmentalism of “the Green Patriarch” and, together with Pope Francis, welcoming Muslim migrants to Europe through Greece. Of course maybe there’s no need to worry, as the Ukraine “sale” was consistent with Constantinople’s papal ambitions, an uncanonical claim to “universal” status, and misuse of incarnational language and adoption of a breathtakingly arrogant tone that would cause even the most ultramontane proponent of the Rome’s supremacy to blush.

Finally, it seems that, for the time being at least, Constantinople doesn’t intend to create an independent Ukrainian church but rather an autonomous church under its own authority. It’s unclear whether or not Poroshenko or the State Department, in such event, would believe they had gotten their money’s worth. Perhaps they would. After all, the issue here is less what is appropriate for Ukraine than what strikes at Russia and injures the worldwide Christian witness of the Orthodox Church. To that end, it doesn’t matter whether the new illegal body is Constantinopolitan or Kievan, just so long as it isn’t a “Moskal church” linked to Russia.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

U.S. May Impose Sanctions Against Turkey Over S-400 “Threat” To F-35

The United States continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform.

The Duran

Published

on

Authored by Al Masdar News:


Turkish officials have repeatedly insisted that Ankara’s purchase of the advanced Russian air defense system poses no threat whatsoever to the NATO alliance. Last month, the Turkish defense ministry announced that delivery of S-400s to Turkey would begin in October 2019.

The United States continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform, and may impose sanctions against Ankara, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency has reported, citing a high-ranking source in Washington.

“I can’t say for certain whether sanctions will be imposed on Ankara over the S-400 contract, but the possibility is there. The US administration is not optimistic about this issue,” the source said.

While admitting that Turkey was a sovereign state and therefore had the right to make decisions on whom it buys its weapons from, the source stressed that from the perspective of these weapons’ integration with NATO systems, the S-400 was “problematic.”

The source also characterized the deployment of S-400s in areas where US F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighters are set to fly as “a threat,” without elaborating.

Emphasizing that negotiations between Washington and Ankara on the issue were “continuing,” the source said that there were also “positive tendencies” in negotiations between the two countries on the procurement of the Patriot system, Washington’s closest analogue to the S-400 in terms of capabilities.

Designed to stop enemy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles at ranges of up to 400 km and altitudes of up to 30 km, the S-400 is currently the most advanced mobile air defense system in Russia’s arsenal. Russia and India signed a ruble-denominated contract on the delivery of five regiments of S-400s worth $5 billion late last month.

Last week, the Saudi Ambassador to Russia said that talks on the sale of the system to his country were ongoing. In addition to Russia, S-400s are presently operated by Belarus and China, with Beijing expecting another delivery of S-400s by 2020.

Washington has already slapped China with sanctions over its purchase of S-400s and Su-35 combat aircraft in September. India, however, has voiced confidence that it would not be hit with similar restrictions, which the US Treasury has pursued under the 2017 Counter America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Trending