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Russian-Ukrainian Church offers to pay bail of radicals who attacked them, appeals to Trump

‘Turn the Other Cheek’ – this is the difference between the legitimate Ukrainian church and two extremist pretenders




The brotherhood of the Tithes Monastery in Kiev, which was attacked by radical Ukrainian nationalists has appeared in court, not to condemn, but to seek forgiveness for the radicals who attacked them, threatening them with arson.

The attack was arranged by the S14 (C14 in Russian/Ukrainian) extremist group, which has been known for threatening Orthodox Churches they perceive as being “anti-Ukrainian”. This is the second story we published today about these attacks, see here for an incident in which the arson was successful, but the Church superstructure itself was saved.

Update: Now the Monastery is being threatened with demolition which the Kiev Building Council supports:

Ukrainian politicians want to DEMOLISH Kiev church lead by former US Navy chaplain

C14 radicals attacking Church grounds

The Union of Orthodox Journalists the official news site of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reports.

On February 5 brethren of the Tithes Monastery filed an application to the Court of Appeal in Kiev in which monks request to release the radicals, who had tried to set fire to the monastery, and offer to bail them out. It is written by the site of the monastery. … On February 3, three thousand believers of the UOC gathered for a prayer service in defense of the monastery from the radicals who threatened to destroy the shrine. For 10 hours the Orthodox defended the monastery.

Киев. Десятинная церковь

Десятинная – Tithes Monastery Church

On January 25, the radicals undertook publicly the assault of the Monastery, and at night tried to commit arson. Radicals threatening the monastery’s brethren shouted, “I’ll burn you, slut! You’re a KGB officer. I’ll kick you now with my leg, okay? You are a slut that has no place here – I tell you that in Russian. To you, clowns in skirts, there is no respect.”

Videos and photos of the attacks can be found here.

The Union of Orthodox Journalists has published a series of articles, chronicling the attacks against the monastery, which is all part of the ongoing campaign of Ukrainian nationalists against anything Russian, which is destroying Ukraine itself, more than anything else.

Tithes Monastery, Kiev

The leader of the monastery, Archimandrite Gideon, is an American citizen, who has appealed to President Donald Trump, that he take action in defense of the monastery, which has come under violent assault by the C14 radicals.

Архимандрит Гедеон (Харон)

Archimandrite Gideon

According to the Union of Orthodox Journalists:

On January 27, the Kiev court sentenced the instigators of the Tithes Monastery of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the UOC from the right-wing organization “S14” to detention for 2 months or to bailment of UAH 2 million 200 thousand for each.

One must not fall into despondency with Ukraine, although the country is facing terrible times, the land and people have been through worse. No matter how many radicals there are, there will always be millions of Russian-Ukrainian Orthodox Christians to drown out the madness and outnumber the extremists.

Image result for ukrainian cross procession

This we have seen, when crowds gathered in prayerful support of the monastery. As one can see by comparing the video of the extremist attacks, to the prayerful gathering, the Orthodox people outnumber radical in Ukraine by far.

If one needs more proof of how the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is beyond compare to the nationalist “churches”, and absolutely outnumbers the radicals in every way, simply look at this video. The first three minutes of the video shows a religious gathering of the canonical church which had over 100,000 people in the streets of Kiev. Around 3:02 minutes [here], one can see the tiny mob which the nationalist Kiev Patriarchate put together…about 2,000 people.

All of this shows the Ukrainian Church of the Moscow Patriarchate has the true support of the people, and it’s no wonder why.

The way the brotherhood of the Orthodox monastery showed forgiveness of the radicals who wished nothing but violence and death upon them is exemplary, and something all Orthodox Christians can be proud of; moreover, this “turn the other cheek” attitude is common in the canonical church, whereas radical clerics of the other literally preech death, advocate for terrorism [shocking video], and side with Nazis.

Greek-Catholic “Uniate” Ukrainian priest supporting Nazis; note the swastika on the German helmets

The tithes monastery is located near the ruins of the legendary Tithes Church, the first stone church in Rus’, built by Saint Vladimir the Great, and destroyed in 1240 by the Mongols during the fall of Kievan Rus’.

Image result for church of the tithes kiev

For those unaware, in Ukraine, there are three churches which claim to be Orthodox, but only one of them is legitimate according to Orthodox Canon law – The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Kiev Caves Lavra – the official HQ of the Ukrainian Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, and the first Russian monastery in the world

The canonical Church comes under constant attack from radical nationalists, who consider them to be “Russian KGB agents”, even as their primate, Metropolitan Onufry is among the most popular, beloved, and trusted voices in the country. He constantly preaches love and forgiveness, and it is no doubt he is the type of person who would forgive at the expense of his own life.

Metropolitan Onufry – is pola eti Despota!

Even though he spent many years learning in the Moscow region, he was born in far western Ukraine, and can hardly be considered a political agent of any entity. Under his leadership, the Orthodox Church continues in its tradition of forgiveness, and that’s exactly what’s happened here.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is following The Lord’s teaching of turning the other cheek, which has long been held in the Russian Church.

“Scripture teaches us that if enemies want honor, gold, or glory, we give it, and God will lift them up to see your humility, and will suppress their unyielding pride.” Saint Sergius of Radonezh

This type of absolute humility confounds radicals, as they can not comprehend how people would not use violence when attacked. It may even change their hearts, but even if it does not, it will have a different effect on the average Ukrainian citizen.

They will take note, when the worst happens, which “churches” are making death threats, calling people traitors, and behaving like Nazis, and which Churches follow the teachings of Jesus. A simple comparison between the heretic Filaret, and Metropolitan Onufry shows this difference.

Those with eyes to see and ears to hear will not soon forget the example of the brothers of the Tithes Monastery, who went the extra mile to follow the Lord, and in this, they will see what it means to be an Orthodox Christian.

Image result for icon of the crucifixion

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Russia’s Lukoil Halts Oil Swaps In Venezuela After U.S. Sanctions

Under the new wide-ranging U.S. sanctions, Venezuela will not be able to import U.S. naphtha which it has typically used to dilute its heavy crude grades.




Litasco, the international trading arm of Russia’s second-biggest oil producer Lukoil, stopped its oil swaps deals with Venezuela immediately after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry and state oil firm PDVSA, Lukoil’s chief executive Vagit Alekperov said at an investment forum in Russia.

Russia, which stands by Nicolas Maduro in the ongoing Venezuelan political crisis, has vowed to defend its interests in Venezuela—including oil interests—within the international law using “all mechanisms available to us.”

Because of Moscow’s support for Maduro, the international community and market analysts are closely watching the relationship of Russian oil companies with Venezuela.

“Litasco does not work with Venezuela. Before the restrictions were imposed, Litasco had operations to deliver oil products and to sell oil. There were swap operations. Today there are none, since the sanctions were imposed,” Lukoil’s Alekperov said at the Russian Investment Forum in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Another Russian oil producer, Gazprom Neft, however, does not see major risks for its oil business in Venezuela, the company’s chief executive officer Alexander Dyukov said at the same event.

Gazprom Neft has not supplied and does not supply oil products to Venezuela needed to dilute the thick heavy Venezuelan oil, Dyukov said, noting that the Latin American country hadn’t approached Gazprom Neft for possible supply of oil products for diluents.

Under the new wide-ranging U.S. sanctions, Venezuela will not be able to import U.S. naphtha which it has typically used to dilute its heavy crude grades. Analysts expect that a shortage of diluents could accelerate beginning this month the already steadily declining Venezuelan oil production and exports.

Venezuela’s crude oil production plunged by another 59,000 bpd from December 2018 to stand at just 1.106 million bpd in January 2019, OPEC’s secondary sources figures showed in the cartel’s closely watched Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) this week.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for

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Germany Pulls Rank on Macron and American Energy Blackmail

Why France’s Macron, at the last minute, attempted to undermine the project by placing stiffer regulations is a curious question.



Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation:

It was billed politely as a Franco-German “compromise” when the EU balked at adopting a Gas Directive which would have undermined the Nord Stream 2 project with Russia.

Nevertheless, diplomatic rhetoric aside, Berlin’s blocking last week of a bid by French President Emmanuel Macron to impose tougher regulations on the Nord Stream 2 gas project was without doubt a firm rebuff to Paris.

Macron wanted to give the EU administration in Brussels greater control over the new pipeline running from Russia to Germany. But in the end the so-called “compromise” was a rejection of Macron’s proposal, reaffirming Germany in the lead role of implementing the Nord Stream 2 route, along with Russia.

The $11-billion, 1,200 kilometer pipeline is due to become operational at the end of this year. Stretching from Russian mainland under the Baltic Sea, it will double the natural gas supply from Russia to Germany. The Berlin government and German industry view the project as a vital boost to the country’s ever-robust economy. Gas supplies will also be distributed from Germany to other European states. Consumers stand to gain from lower prices for heating homes and businesses.

Thus Macron’s belated bizarre meddling was rebuffed by Berlin. A rebuff was given too to the stepped-up pressure from Washington for the Nord Stream 2 project to be cancelled. Last week, US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell and two other American envoys wrote an op-ed for Deutsche Welle in which they accused Russia of trying to use “energy blackmail” over Europe’s geopolitics.

Why France’s Macron, at the last minute, attempted to undermine the project by placing stiffer regulations is a curious question. Those extra regulations if they had been imposed would have potentially made the Russian gas supply more expensive. As it turns out, the project will now go-ahead without onerous restrictions.

In short, Macron and the spoiling tactics of Washington, along with EU states hostile to Russia, Poland and the Baltic countries, have been put in their place by Germany and its assertion of national interests of securing economical and abundant gas supply from Russia. Other EU member states that backed Berlin over Nord Stream 2 were Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece and the Netherlands.

Washington’s claims that Nord Stream 2 would give Russia leverage of Europe’s security have been echoed by Poland and the Baltic states. Poland, and non-EU Ukraine, stand to lose out billions of dollars-worth of transit fees. Such a move, however, is the prerogative of Germany and Russia to find a more economical mode of supply. Besides, what right has Ukraine to make demands on a bilateral matter that is none of its business? Kiev’s previous bad faith over not paying gas bills to Russia disbars it from reasonable opinion.

Another factor is the inherent Russophobia of Polish and Baltic politicians who view everything concerning Russia through a prism of paranoia.

For the Americans, it is obviously a blatant case of seeking to sell their own much more expensive natural gas to Europe’s giant energy market – in place of Russia’s product. Based on objective market figures, Russia is the most competitive supplier to Europe. The Americans are therefore trying to snatch a strategic business through foul means of propaganda and political pressure. Ironically, the US German ambassador Richard Grenell and the other American envoys wrote in their recent oped: “Europe must retain control of its energy security.”

Last month, Grenell threatened German and European firms involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 that they could face punitive American sanctions in the future. Evidently, it is the US side that is using “blackmail” to coerce others into submission, not Russia.

Back to Macron. What was he up to in his belated spoiling tactics over Nord Stream 2 and in particular the attempted problems being leveled for Germany if the extra regulations had been imposed?

It seems implausible that Macron was suddenly finding a concern for Poland and the Baltic states in their paranoia over alleged Russian invasion.

Was Macron trying to garner favors from the Trump administration? His initial obsequious rapport with Trump has since faded from the early days of Macron’s presidency in 2017. By doing Washington’s bidding to undermine the Nord Stream 2 project was Macron trying to ingratiate himself again?

The contradictions regarding Macron are replete. He is supposed to be a champion of “ecological causes”. A major factor in Germany’s desire for the Nord Stream 2 project is that the increased gas supply will reduce the European powerhouse’s dependence on dirty fuels of coal, oil and nuclear power. By throwing up regulatory barriers, Macron is making it harder for Germany and Europe to move to cleaner sources of energy that the Russian natural gas represents.

Also, if Macron had succeeded in imposing tougher regulations on the Nord Stream 2 project it would have inevitably increased the costs to consumers for gas bills. This is at a time when his government is being assailed by nationwide Yellow Vest protests over soaring living costs, in particular fuel-price hikes.

A possible factor in Macron’s sabotage bid in Germany’s Nord Stream 2 plans was his chagrin over Berlin’s rejection of his much-vaunted reform agenda for the Eurozone bloc within the EU. Despite Macron’s very public amity with Chancellor Angela Merkel, Berlin has continually knocked back the French leader’s ambitions for reform.

It’s hard to discern what are the real objectives of Macron’s reforms. But they seem to constitute a “banker’s charter”. Many eminent German economists have lambasted his plans, which they say will give more taxpayer-funded bailouts to insolvent banks. They say Macron is trying to move the EU further away from the social-market economy than the bloc already has moved.

What Macron, an ex-Rothschild banker, appears to be striving for is a replication of his pro-rich, anti-worker policies that he is imposing on France, and for these policies to be extended across the Eurozone. Berlin is not buying it, realizing such policies will further erode the social fabric. This could be the main reason why Macron tried to use the Nord Stream 2 project as leverage over Berlin.

In the end, Macron and Washington – albeit working for different objectives – were defeated in their attempts to sabotage the emerging energy trade between Germany, Europe and Russia. Nord Stream 2, as with Russia’s Turk Stream to the south of Europe, seems inevitable by sheer force of natural partnership.

On this note, the Hungarian government’s comments this week were apt. Budapest accused some European leaders and the US of “huge hypocrisy” in decrying association with Russia over energy trade. Macron has previously attended an economics forum in St Petersburg, and yet lately has sought to “blackmail” and disrupt Germany over its trade plans with Russia.

As for the Americans, their arrant hypocrisy is beyond words. As well as trying to dictate to Europe about “market principles” and “energy security”, it was reported this week that Washington is similarly demanding Iraq to end its import of natural gas from neighboring Iran.

Iraq is crippled by electricity and power shortages because of the criminal war that the US waged on that country from 2003-2011 which destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure. Iraq critically needs Iranian gas supplies to keep the lights and fans running. Yet, here we have the US now dictating to Iraq to end its lifeline import of Iranian fuel in order to comply with the Trump administration’s sanctions against Tehran. Iraq is furious at the latest bullying interference by Washington in its sovereign affairs.

The hypocrisy of Washington and elitist politicians like Emmanuel Macron has become too much to stomach. Maybe Germany and others are finally realizing who the charlatans are.

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Russia Readies Own Web To Survive Global Internet Shutdown

Russia is simultaneously building a mass censorship system similar to that seen in China.



Via Zerohedge

Russian authorities and major telecom operators are preparing to disconnect the country from the world wide web as part of an exercise to prepare for future cyber attacks, Russian news agency RosBiznesKonsalting (RBK) reported last week.

The purpose of the exercise is to develop a threat analysis and provide feedback to a proposed law introduced in the Russian Parliament last December.

The draft law, called the Digital Economy National Program, requires Russian internet service providers (ISP) to guarantee the independence of the Russian Internet (Runet) in the event of a foreign attack to sever the country’s internet from the world wide web.

Telecom operators (MegaFon, VimpelCom (Beeline brand), MTS, Rostelecom and others) will have to introduce the “technical means” to re-route all Russian internet traffic to exchange points approved by the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor), Russia’s federal executive body responsible for censorship in media and telecommunications.

Roskomnazor will observe all internet traffic and make sure data between Russian users stays within the country’s borders, and is not re-routed abroad.

The exercise is expected to occur before April 1, as Russian authorities have not given exact dates.

The measures described in the law include Russia constructing its internet system, known as Domain Name System (DNS), so it can operate independently from the rest of the world.

Across the world, 12 companies oversee the root servers for DNS and none are located in Russia. However, there are copies of Russia’s core internet address book inside the country suggesting its internet could keep operating if the US cut it off.

Ultimately, the Russian government will require all domestic traffic to pass through government-controlled routing points. These hubs will filter traffic so that data sent between Russians internet users work seamlessly, but any data to foreign computers would be rejected.

Besides protecting its internet, Russia is simultaneously building a mass censorship system similar to that seen in China.

“What Russia wants to do is to bring those router points that handle data entering or exiting the country within its borders and under its control- so that it can then pull up the drawbridge, as it were, to external traffic if it’s under threat – or if it decides to censor what outside information people can access.

China’s firewall is probably the world’s best known censorship tool and it has become a sophisticated operation. It also polices its router points, using filters and blocks on keywords and certain websites and redirecting web traffic so that computers cannot connect to sites the state does not wish Chinese citizens to see,” said BBC.

The Russian government started preparations for creating its internet several years ago. Russian officials expect 95% of all internet traffic locally by next year.

As for Russia unplugging its internet from the rest of the world for an upcoming training exercise, well, this could potentially anger Washington because it is one less sanction that can keep Moscow contained.

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