Dear Readers:

Welcome to Awful Avalanche, here is my blog concept and what I do [updated 6 January 2019]:

My blogposts are written in English.  I review content mostly from the Russian-language online press, in search of stories which interest me.  From time to time I venture out and review other things, for example, opera or movies!

My target audience:  Russophiles, or anybody else who is interested.

As my blog concept evolved, it contains content divided into the following categories:

  • Animal Rights
  • Art Criticism
  • Ballet
  • Breaking News
  • Cat Fighting
  • Celebrity Gossip
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Friendship of Peoples
  • Human Dignity
  • Humor
  • Linguistics
  • Medicine and Health
  • Military and War
  • Navalniana
  • Opera
  • Popular Culture
  • Religion
  • Russian History
  • Sex and Spy Scandals
  • Space, Science and Technology
  • Sports
  • The Great Game
  • True Crime

I hope you read and enjoy my posts!

Sincerely yours,


Posted in Uncategorized | 38 Comments

An Awkward Dinner Conversation – Part II

Dear Readers:

I think we have all been in that situation, where we had old friends over for dinner or cocktails; we love our friends but have no idea what their political opinions are; in which case, if one turns the TV on for background noise, it is probably best to have it on a music channel, rather than a news channel.  In this case, a news report upset guest, Bulat.  And his ensuing soliloquy about Ukrainians could have possibly ruptured the old friendship; but thank goodness it didn’t, in this case.

This social media post, bland as it is, garnered quite a lot of comments, 854 and counting.  I obviously can’t translate but a fraction of them, so I just skimmed and pick out some that I consider to be representative and/or the best written; and also trying to be “fair and balanced” in the mix of opinions.  Some of the comments seem to have been produced by bots or automated trolls, who respond to certain topics with cliched utterances; but it’s not easy sometimes to tell the difference.

Alexander Lach:
Чтобы было государство, нужны хорошие политики, нужны государственные люди, а Украина никогда не была государством и людей у нее таких нет, один президент ворюга нусусветный, второй клоун. Как с такими данными может существовать какое-то государство? Как государство Украина доживает последние денечки.
In order to have a state, one needs good politicians, state-minded people, but Ukraine never was a real state and doesn’t have such people, one president is an extraordinary thief, the next one is a clown. How is a state to exist under such conditions? Now the government of Ukraine is burning through the last of its money.

Sergei Morozov:
Что за дерьмовая статейка? Провокационная. Межнациональную ненависть разжигаешь гад.
This article was full of shit. It’s a provocation. You are inflaming hatred between nations, you snake.

[Sergei’s comment got 244 thumbs down and 14 replies, all of them negative. One such reply:]

Igor Povodyrenko:
Сергей, я хохол, по происхождению и по крови, если можно так сказать. В советское время я с лёгким сердцем в графе “национальность” писал украинец и меня это ни капли не смущало, но сегодня мне стыдно назваться украинцем ! Более того, считаю, что “украинство” – искусственно выдуманная штука врагами славян и русских. Мы все просто РУССКИЕ, нет и никогда не было украинцев и Украины!
Sergei, I am a khokhol myself [slightly derogatory nickname for “Ukrainian”], both by origins and by blood, if one might call it that. In Soviet times I had no problem writing “Ukrainian” in the questionnaire under “nationalitly”, and it never bothered me one bit. But nowadays I am ashamed to call myself a Ukrainian! Furthermore, I consider that “Ukrainian-ism” is an artifical term, invented by the enemies of Slavs and Russians. We are all simply RUSSIANS, there is no, and never was, any such thing as Ukraine or Ukrainians.

наступать на одни и те же грабли…

Pusya Na Duse:
С чеченцем в данном случае можно согласиться. Кто переписывает историю, никогда не станет великим народом. Историю можно трактовать по разному, но переписывать факты нельзя прежде всего для самих себя. Это вредно. Из любых поражений нужно извлекать опыт. А если человек или общество не учитывает свои слабости, то бесконечно будет наступать на одни и те же грабли. Это как в спорте, не извлечешь урок из поражения, никогда больше не достигнешь высот.
One would have to agree with the Chechen in this circumstance. Those who rewrite their own history can never become a great nation. One can interpret history in various ways, but it is not permitted to rewrite the facts, especially for one’s own benefit. That is dangerous. One can extract a lesson from every defeat. But if a person or a society never admits their own weaknesses, then they will eternally be stepping onto the same rake, over and over. Just like in sports, if you are unable to extract a lesson from your defeat, then you will never again be able to win.

Alex Goloborodko:
ну че, правду сказал Булат
Но нам надо отходить от этой темы: ведь укры для нас стараются, знают, что укропию в наших СМИ постоянно освещают..
What Bulat said is true. But it’s time for us to leave this theme behind; it only plays to the Ukrainians to have our news programs incessantly being all about them…

Almas Surmashev:
по моему тут всё выдумка,начиная от имени чеченца Булат.
In my opinion, this whole post was a fiction, starting with the supposedly Chechen name of Bulat.

Danil Faizrakhmanov:
Украинцы свободные. Ты сам веришь в этот бред.
Ukrainians are free people. Do you actually believe in this fantasy?

Anya Berezina [misunderstanding Danil’s actual point]:
Даниль, ну да, они свободны. От совести, чести, достоинства, любви к Родине, и нет у них родины, у людей, не помнящих родства.
Yes, Danil, they are free. Free from conscience, honor, dignity, love for the Motherland, they have no Motherland, no people can have a Motherland if they don’t remember their own roots.

Felix the Cat [also misunderstanding which side Danil is on]:
Даниль, пидар…сы бандероли
Danil, you pederast, Banderite son of a…

Natalia Rostov:
Вот молодец!Не в бровь,а в глаз!Мой род –украинский,с 1780г переселение и образование нашего села.Зов крови не изменить,но явный фашизм и национализм на Украине–это ненависть западники в к русским ,все знаете что происходило в войну и после.Даже родственники,живущие на Украине говорили,что делалось тогда ещё в СССР.Ненависть в открытую!Вот все и вылилось,просто непонятно почему не принимались меры.Кому-то было выгодно и проплаче- но.
Good for him [Bulat]! A direct shot. My family are Ukrainian, since 1780 they were resettled and our village was built. One cannot deny the call of the blood, but the open fascism and Nationalism in the Ukraine: This is the hatred of the Westernizers towards Russians, you all know what happened during the war, and after. Even my relatives who lived in the Ukraine (in those years) told us about the things that happened, even in the USSR. Open hatred. And all this (hatred) has simply overflowed, it’s just amazing that nobody took any measures. Obviously this was all useful to certain people…

Danil Faizrakhmanov:
Хохлы зад всем подставляли и сейчас вот Европе и Америке
The khokhly always displayed their rear ends (to somebody), and now to Europe and America.

Nikolai Larionov:
Потому что Булат чеченец и знает цену западной дружбы и их поддержки, когда была развязана Гражданская Война на Кавказе, и знает чья там лилась кровь, лилась там кровь россиян ( чеченцев, русских, татар, башкир и др. представителей Российских народов.
Because Bulat is a Chechen, he knows the price of Western friendship and support, like when they rolled out a civil war in the Caucasus; and he knows whose blood flowed then, it was the blood of Russian citizens, including Chechens, ethnic Russians, Tatars, Bashkirs and other representatives of the Russian nations.

Igor Shestopalov:
Расул Гамзатов говорил: не стреляй в прошлое из пистолета ,а то будущее выстрелит в тебя из пушки.
Rasul Gamzatov used to say: Don’t shoot at the Past with your pistol, or the Future will shoot back at you from a cannon.

Я вот как дагестанец тоже не в восторге от украинских политиков. По-большому счету Украина получила государственность в результате просчета Ленина. Тот вопреки мнению Сталина настоял на том, что СССР был союзом равноправных республик, а Сталин настаивал на вхождение других республик в состав РСФСР. Но это частности, главное ведь в другом-если так оказалось что твоя страна оказалась у перекрестка надо дружить со всеми соседями. А Украина вместе этого сама себя превращает в геополитический тупик. Украину превратили в поле соперничества США и России.
I’m a Dagestani myself, and also not enthralled with Ukrainian politicians. In the larger picture, Ukraine received its statehood as a result of a mistake made by Lenin. The latter, against the opinion of Stalin, insisted that the USSR was a union of equal republics, whereas Stalin argued for the incorporation of other republics into the Russian Soviet Federation. But that’s just part of the story, the main thing lies in something else; if it came about that your country lies at a crossroads [of nations], then it would be advantageous to make friends with all your neighbors. And instead of doing that, the Ukraine is transforming itself (from a crossroads) into a geopolitical dead-end. Ukraine has been transformed into a battlefield for the USA and Russia.

Sergei Lebedev [responding to Bulat’s claim that Russians don’t blame Americans for everything]:
О том что Россияне во всем винят Америку слышу каждый день.
Every day I hear Russians blaming Americans for everything.

Viktor Kolosov:
На Украине не было ни одного президента со времени ее выхода из СССР, который бы создал нормальное государство.
Since its departure from the USSR, Ukraine has never had one single president who would have been capable of building a normal government.

Sergei Larin:
начать нужно с того.что у мусульман не может быть друзей христиан
Let’s start with the fact that Muslims are not allowed to be friends with Christians.

[Sergei’s comment received 518 thumbs-down and a torrent of negative rebuttals]

Liudmila Kondrashina:
Сергей, бред. У меня три подруги мусульманки
You’re delirious, Sergei. I have three girlfriends who are Muslims.

Maria S:
Сергей, это почему же? Мусульмане прекрасный народ, не надо судить обо всех по нескольким убогим. И дружба может быть между любыми народами, какой бы веры они не были! Мы с мужем часто ездим на Кавказ, люди гостеприимные, природа- дух захватывает!
How can you say that, Sergei? Muslims are a wonderful people, you can’t judge all of them by a handful of reprobates. Friendship is possible between all peoples, no matter what their religion. My husband and I often travel to the Caucasus, the people there are hospitable, the natural beauty is simply amazing!

Isa Keti:
В отличие от своего соплеменника Булата у меня другое мнение про украинцев.Еще в Советские времена я несколько раз ездил в г. Львов за автобусами.Львов и жители города резко отличались в лучшую сторону от других городов СССР.Бывал в ресторанах, в кинотеатрах.Чистый,ухоженный город,культурные вежливые люди! Не видел ни разу пьяного,не адекватного человека.Когда мы перегоняли автобусы и ехали домой,видели чистые побеленные дома в деревнях,ухоженные огороды! Видно было,что жители любят свою землю,свою Родину!А когда проезжали восточную Украину: домики с облезлой штукатуркой,с поломанной оградой,огороды обросшие бурьяном.Остановишься возле столовой,чтобы покушать,перед дверью лежит пьяный с мокрыми штанами.Так,что Булат,наверное никогда не был в Украине, или скорее всего автор статьи придумал эту историю,точнее чушь!
In contrast to my fellow Chechen Bulat, I have a different opinion about Ukrainians. Back in Soviet times I used to travel to the city of Lvov to collect buses. Lvov and the citizens of that city were very different, in a good way, from other cities in the USSR. I would go into restaurants, movie theaters. The city was clean and well taken care of, the people were cultured and polite. Not once did I see a drunken person, or one behaving improperly. After we had collected the buses and were travelling home, we saw clean whitewashed houses in the villages, well cared for gardens. It was clear that the people loved their land, their homeland! And after we crossed into Eastern Ukraine: cottages with decaying stucco, run-down gardens, gardens overgrown with weeds. You stop at a cafe to get something to eat, a drunken guy is lying in front of the door with urine-stained trousers. Thus, I would guess that Bulat has actually never been in the Ukraine, or, more than likely, the author of this piece simply thought up this fictional story!

[Then follows an intensive debate between Isa and various other commenters on various political topics such as Crimea, etc., with Isa holding to a definitely anti-Russian POV. The best rebuttal comes from Olga:]

иса, внимательно перечитайте свой пост.И в позитивном,и в негативном цвете Вы описываете УКРАИНУ.Пусть Восточную и Западную,но Украину.Так в какой Украине не был Булат?В Западной,которая раньше и не была Украиной,или в Восточной?
Isa, re-read your post very carefully. Both in the positive, and in the negative light, you are describing the UKRAINE. Eastern and Western, to be sure, but still Ukraine. So, in which of these two Ukraines did Bulat not visit? In the Western part, which previously was not Ukraine at all; or in the Eastern part?

Valentina Siminko:
Когда хохол родился,еврей заплакал-так говорил мой муж и был прав.
Every time a khokhol is born, a Jew weeps. That’s what my husband used to say, and he was right.

Raya’s papa was a Russian POW.

Raya Galka:
Моего папу во время войны при побеге из плена украинец сдал полициям .. Во время второго побега на территории Австрии австрийский старик провёл в безопасное место , хотя видел,что это военнопленный . В этом вся сущность наших братьев украинцев. Оговорюсь , очень много среди наших братьев и достойных людей . Поддерживаю чеченца .
During the war, when my Papa escaped (from the Germans), a Ukrainian caught him and gave him up to the police. During his second escape, he was on Austrian territory, and an old Austrian man led him to safety, even though he could tell that he was a POW. And this story contains the entire essence of our “brothers” the Ukrainians. No, I shouldn’t say that, there are many worthy people among our brothers as well. But I support the words of the Chechen.

Galina Ischenko:
Почитала комментарии… Про Булата уже все забыли, каждый режет свою правду-матку! Не перевелись и тролли. Правда, однако, одна: Украина сошла с ума! Украину необходимо лечить! Но этот процесс займёт много-много времени…
I read all the comments. People already forgot all about Bulat, everyone is just spouting their own truth. Even the trolls had their say. However, there is just one truth: Ukraine has lost its mind! Ukraine needs to be healed! But this process will take a lot of time…


Posted in Friendship of Peoples | Tagged | Leave a comment

An Awkward Dinner Conversation – Part I

Dear Readers:

Today I have this opinion piece from Yandex.  I’m not sure, but I believe it is a social-media type post.  The first-person author is an unnamed woman living somewhere in Russia.  Here I just give the verbatim translation, and then, in Part II, I will translate some of the comments:

My family has some old friends, a married couple, he is a Chechen and she is an ethnic Russian.  Every now and then we get together at my house to get caught up.  Just the usual friendly get-togethers.  This post is about one such event.

Friday evening.  Last week, after work, my husband and I decided to invite the friends over, since we hadn’t seen them for a while.  We prepared some snacks and put out our favorite Monopoly game, and then waited for the guests to show up.  The guests arrived on time and immediately sat down at the table.  We turned the TV on for background noise and embarked on the snacks, while catching up on all our latest gossip.

Yandex hosts Russian social media sites

We were chatting away, and then suddenly Bulat starts to lose the thread of the conversation.  This wasn’t noticeable at first, but after a couple of minutes his wife, Julia, decided to ask him what’s going on.

It turned out that Bulat had started to listen to the television, which was set to a news channel.  Which, as is commonly the case, was reporting some news from the Ukraine.  “I was just listening to this news report, and I got involved in it,” Bulat admitted.  “Well,” Julia commented, “the Ukraine is such a burning topic, that it’s not surprising that every day they have something about it.”

My husband and I glanced at each other, and I asked Bulat:  “Well, what do you think about it?  Myself, I couldn’t care less what goes on there, I wish they would report more about Russia.”  Not realizing that, with my question, I had just stepped on a mine field.

Bulat gazed at me mournfully.  And here are the words that he spoke, which I remembered and am repeating to you, Dear Readers:

“I really just don’t respect the Ukrainians, and that’s all there is to it.  Do you know how Ukrainians and our own people relate to their own history?  Ukrainians don’t respect their own history.  They are eternally rewriting it, and changing it.  In general, they don’t even know their own history.  In our country people regard history differently; in Russia, History is a whole science, to which we relate very seriously.

Bulat: Sometimes just watching the news can be depressing…

“For example, in the Ukraine, they think they are snow-white and pure, and everybody around them is at fault.  Russians will never try to place the blame on somebody else.  For sure, a Russian might say that the USA is our enemy, but would you ever hear a Russian accuse the U.S. of being at fault for everything [that goes wrong]?  I never once heard anybody talk like that.  But Ukrainians accuse everybody around them.

“Furthermore, the Ukrainians don’t love their own motherland, they never try to compare Ukraine and Russia, always they try to compare Europe and Russia.  And that tells you a lot…”

After his mologue, Bulat fell silent, and right up to the end of the evening he remained laconic.

And that was a very interesting opinion that I heard from my Chechen friend, about Ukrainians.

Next:  The post sparked an interesting discussion among commenters…

[to be continued]

Posted in Friendship of Peoples | Tagged | Leave a comment

Pope Pompeo Splits Orthodox Church! – Part III

Dear Readers:

Today concluding our religious treatise where we began, with this piece from reporter Natalia Makarova.  As we saw, the U.S. State Department has succeeded in its long-term project to split the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) away from the Moscow Patriarchate.  As it happened, the UOC was attached as a subordinate Metropolitan-ate to the Patriarchate of Constantinople; in other words, the Ukrainians now report up the chain of command to Patriarch Bartholomew in Constantinople instead of to Patriarch Kirill in Moscow.  It goes without saying that Kirill is beside himself at this point, but there ain’t much he can do, other than excommunicate all the heretics.  Or, as one of the commenters to the piece (Andrei Shchukin) suggested, sarcastically (I hope):  “For the Faith, the Tsar, and the Fatherland:  It is time for the Believers to burn all the heretics with their sword!”

За Веру, Царя и Отечество! Пора православным мечом выжечь еретиков!

Could this be the start of a new Holy War?

Which, logically speaking, would have to be a flaming sword.  Meanwhile, the American government, in its Crusade to split Orthodoxy, also twisted a lot of skinny, bony arms of a lot of old bearded men, and got them to recognize their misbegotten Ukrainian Creature as a legitimate church; starting with the good ole boys in Athens, and then in Alexandria, Egypt (which Church is also runs by Greeks, albeit situated in Egypt, as Makarova points out).  Thus once again dashing Moscow’s age-old ambition to be the Third Rome!  Oh well, shit happens, what can you do…  [taking a philosophical approach…]

We saw how Theodore II of Alexandria, who used to be loyal to Russia, suddenly made a 180 degree turn and came out in support of the Ukrainian Tomos.  Prompting commenters to ask relevant questions such as:  “How much did they pay him?”  Or:  “Did they blackmail those Greek pedophiles?”  Moral of the story:  Never trust Greeks, especially ones bearing long beards.

On the other side of the aisle, these developments were greeted with joy by Ukrainian Ex-President Poroshenko, who can rightfully be considered the Father of the Tomos.  The Tomos is his child, in whom he is well pleased.  “You cannot stop the march of history!” Poroshenko gloated, in his video announcement.  “I would like to thank the Alexandrian Church, the Constantinople Church, the Helladan Church, and to all who made it possible for the Ukrainian Church to exist.”  As he accepted the Oscar in the category of Most Corrupt Oligarch Who Ever Existed In History.

But How Will This Effect the Diptych?

So, the Orthodox religion has thing thing called the Diptych, not to be confused with a Dipstick, which is the thing you use to check oil levels in your engine.  The word “diptych” comes from the Greek word for “folding boards”, it’s a folding icon with two pictures that you can carry handily with you when you travel.  In its other meaning, the Diptych is a list of names that are read out during liturgy.  In my previous post I called it “Suzy’s Prayer List”, in the sense of:  “God bless Mommy, and Daddy, and Uncle Bartholomew, and …”

“God bless Mommy and Me and other Me, but not that heretic Bartholomew…”

Yea, verily, Patriarch Kirill has commanded that none of these rogue Bishops who recognized the UOC should be mentioned any more in the Diptych during Russian Orthodox Liturgy.  Like, they used to mention (in hierarchical order by ancient-ness of Church), Bartholomew and Theodore, and those other traitors.  But now, according to Proto-Deacon Andrei Kuraev, the list on Patriarch Kirill’s Diptych grows ever shorter.  Hopefully his Dipstick will remain the same size, however, so that he can continue to monitor his oil levels.

Trump to El-Sisi: “Let’s build our own church. With a casino!”

“Not that long ago,” Kuraev laments, “the Hellad Church fell out of the Diptych.  And now the Alexandrian one too. (…) This was unexpected.  After all, it wasn’t that long ago that the Presidents of Russia and Egypt, Vladimir Putin and Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil el-Sisi, met within the framework of the summit Russia – Africa.  And now this happens.  They recognized [the Ukrainian Church] without even convening the Greek synod.” Which, by the way, in my opinion, makes the whole thing illegal:  You can’t do stuff like this (I don’t think) without convening the Synod!

Roman Lunkin: “Don’t worry, this too shall pass…”

Speaking of el-Sisi, however, some Russian pundits regard Bishop Theodore’s decision as a bitch-slap against the Egyptian President.  (Who, if I am not mistaken, is a Muslim.)  The Americans were very upset with that whole “Russia – Africa” bit, the last thing they want to see is Russia extending its influence into Africa.  By right Africa and all its wealth and natural resources, belongs to the Great White Father, Uncle Sam.  But what levers do the Americans have against el-Sisi?  Well, the Greeks are always happy to betray anybody for money.  Meanwhile, Turkey is a similar case, because Turkey, also a Muslim country, also hosts a bunch of old Greek men holed up in their ancient monasteries, using whatever ancient clout they still possess, to play their jam on the world’s geopolitical scene.

The musings of pundit Roman Lunkin (quite a wonderful name he has!), who heads something called the Center for Studying Problems of Religion and Society of the Institute of Europe:

“Don’t fret, Little Lambykins…”

“There can be no doubt that the Western world, namely the USA, gave its support to this.  The position of the Alexandrian Church is connected to its closeness with the Greek Church, and also its reluctance to get into a personal argument with Bartholomew.  But one should not think of this as a blow against the Russian Orthodox Church.  For example, now we don’t have to pay for the trips the Alexandrian Patriarch makes to visit Moscow.  We can save some money on that.”  Always seeing the bright side of everything, Lunkin goes on to prognose, that once Bartholomew kicks the bucket, his successor will see to it that all these churches on the Dipstick — Constantinople, Athens and Alexandria — will most certainly come crawling back on their elbows and knees to reestablish ties with the Moscow Patriarch.

After all, Moscow is the place that has all the gold and all the money!  Which is what the Third Rome is all about, natch.

Posted in Religion | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Pope Pompeo Splits Orthodox Church! – Part II

Dear Readers:

So, this all started this past weekend, when U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo went on a blitzkrieg tour of ancient Christian holy sites, and used whatever charm he possesses to convince them to recognize the Ukrainian Schismatic Church (USC).  Which, as we recall, broke away from the Moscow Patriarchate a few months back.

In Moscow, a seething Sergei Lavrov accused the U.S. of fomenting schisms in the Orthodox World.  Pompeo himself, despite his Italian ethnic background (which would make us assume he’s Catholic), actually belongs to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, so actually has no skin in the Orthodox game, technically.  According to his wiki:

In 2014, Pompeo told a church group that Christians needed to “know that Jesus Christ as our savior is truly the only solution for our world”.  In 2015 in a talk at a church, Pompeo said that “politics is a never-ending struggle … until the Rapture.”

Currently Pompeo himself is in a state of rapture.  He had a very successful week:  Split the Orthodox world AND overthrow the President of Bolivia!  And that was all done before mid-week, even.  Thus proving to his boss, President Trump, that he is a productive worker and worth keeping on in his job.

But back to Lavrov, who maybe just envies his American counterpart for having such a great week:  According to Lavrov, Pompeo is a sneaky snake who exerted pressure on Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, goes by the name of Hieronymus.  After Pompeo’s visit, Hieronymus quickly sent a “peaceful epistle” to Epiphany I, who is the so-called “Patriarch” [air quotes] of the Ukrainian Schismatic Church.  Lavrov:  “Pompeo didn’t even bother to disguise what he was up to.”  And why would he?  Pompeo is a blustering man who glories in his own glory.  After his recent failure to overthrow the government of Venezuela, he has redeemed himself to the American Deep State, thricefold.  As noted above, all in the course of one week!  If Jesus calls Pompeo into the sky tomorrow, he will fly away a happy man.  Hopefully with a double-powered jetpack to support his girth.

Lavrov added bitterly that “Epiphany even publicly admitted that the creation of this schismatic structure would not have been possible without the support of the United States.”  Well, duh!

One of these three men is Archbishop Hieronymus. Let’s see if our contestants can guess…

Lavrov went on to clarify, that what happened in the religious sphere, stays in the religious sphere, and will not impact upon the diplomatic and friendly relations between Russia and Greece.  Meanwhile, the Russian Orthodox Church itself has done something it probably should have done centuries ago:  Cut off all “Eucharistic Communion” relations with the head of the Helladic Church.  I think that means that, if Hieronymus should ever travel to Russia and go inside a church, then he will not be offered a chalice of wine.  And maybe they won’t even allow him to light a candle, unless he brings his own.

What Happens When Greeks Split Into Two Factions?

That’s not a riddle, it’s an actual question.  In fact, quite a juicy catfight broke out within the Helladic church, according to this piece by reporter Anton Antonov.  The two pugilists in question being (1) Pyrenean Metropolitan Serafim, who remains loyal to Russia; and (2) another Metropolitan goes by the name of Jeremy, who sold out to NATO.

Serafim heads the Synodal Commission on Heresies and Sects; he’s sort of the Orthodox equivalent of the Spanish Inquisition.  But, whereas nobody ever expects the Spanish Inquisition, many people expect Serafim.

Metropolitan Jeremy, on the other hand, has his own radio show.  On which he declared to his listeners that “Those who call the Ukrainian Orthodox Church schismatics, are liars, because Constantinople recognized ’em.”

Pyrenean Serafim: “Says you!”

Pyrenean Serafim begged to disagree, and ordered Jeremy to cease and desist his radio broadcasts.  “You are violating the Holy Canons,” Serafim groused.  Serafim, by the way, has his own radio station too, on the channel 91.2 FM.  “The Tomos for Autocephaly, in case you didn’t know,” Serafim continued, “was illegal and non-canonical.  (Constantinople) Patriarch Bartholomew himself admitted Russia’s jurisdiction over the Ukrainian Church.”  Serafim went on to threaten hellfire and brimstone to those who betray Russia:  “A Holy War in God’s cause is preferable to a false peace which separates us from God,” he declared, militaristically.  Forgetting for a moment that Byzantium is no country for old men.

Once again, NATO Bishop Jeremy begged to disagree, pointing out that the Ukrainian Tomos is a done deal, and has been recognized by the majority of the Greek Orthodox hierarchy.  Jeremy added a little zinger at the end of his Rebuttal Epistle:  “I too wish to be a fighter for the Orthodox Faith.  But I would never want to be the kind of fighter that you are.”  Oh snap!

[to be continued]

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Pope Pompeo Splits Orthodox Church! – Part I

Dear Readers:

I should have started this series yesterday, which was Sunday.  Since this is a church-themed post, and suitable for a Sunday School sermon.  But no matter, Religion is not just a matter for Sundays.  Religion is something that should be adhered to and practiced, every day of the week.  Amen.

I’m not sure exactly where to start.  The lede looks something like this:  American Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who possesses the name a Roman Emperor would kill for — literally — made a pilgrimage out to some ancient Christian sites, to Egypt and Greece, possibly Turkey, those places inhabited by bearded holy men; and next thing you know, the Orthodox World is split in two!  Pompeo obviously being a very religious man, who seeks to discern God’s will and to build the One and Only True Faith.  Namely, the Ukrainian Church of the Holy NATO.

The ancient Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria now recognizes NATO as the one true God.

Okay, let’s try to break this down.  We start with this piece by reporter Natalia Makarova.  She leads with the fact that the Alexandrian Church in Egypt was founded by the Apostle Saint Mark himself, as far back as 49 AD.  Per wiki, “It is one of the original Apostolic Sees of Christianity, alongside Rome, Antioch, Constantinople and Jerusalem.”

So, Secretary of State Pompeo made a quick, unannounced visit to this ancient Coptic Orthodox Church, founded by one of Christ’s closest companions; —  and next thing you know, it has recognized the Ukrainian Schismatic Church (USC).  Making this shocking announcement following directly after a similar announcement by the Athens Church, which happened just this past Friday.  Also directly following a visit by Pope Mike Pompeo!  What are the odds?

Brothers and Sisters, before continuing with this saga, let us pause for some scripture, from (what else?) the Gospel of Saint Mark:

Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.
And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.
And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.
And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.

(Mark omits the part where the owner of the swine sued Jesus for drowning his herd.  But no matter, he wasn’t supposed to be keeping swine anyhow, since they are non-kosher.)

What Is the Ukrainian Schismatic Church?

Well, to be fair, it’s not what they call themselves.  They call themselves the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.  Quick backstory:  Recall how, last year, the so-called “Patriarch” [air quotes] of Constantinople gave his blessing to the creation of a separate Ukrainian Church.  Separate from the Moscow Patriarchate.  It sort of makes sense:  An independent nation should have its own independent Church, right?  At least, that’s what Henry VIII believed.

“Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding…. And the chief swine amongst them was called Pompeo…”

The split or “Tomos” in question was engineered and celebrated openly as a tactical victory in NATO’s Cold War against Russia.  Because all the Westie Cold Warriors believe, with all their hearts, that this religious split hurts Russia.  That’s why they are rejoicing so much.  And maybe it does, I’m not really in a position to judge.  One thing it is supposed to do is force the separation between Ukrainian and Russian believers; sort of like, set them at each others throats.  All part of Emperor Pompeo’s grand strategy; or, as the Romans like to say, “Divide et impera!”  All part of the plan to split Ukrainians and Russians, who used to be one single people; but verily, now, are two.  Well, the believing people, at least.  Atheists don’t really care, and they’re still the same people, at heart.

Epiphany: “After the Tomos, it started raining naked men!”

Here is how ideological Banderite and NATO-supporting Ukrainian Metropolitan Epiphany I greeted the news from Alexandria on his Facebook page:  “With joy we [the royal “we”] impart the good news:  The most blessed Pope and Patriarch of the Alexandrian Church and of African Churches Theodore II, on Friday, November 8, during the time of the most blessed liturgy, in the Cathedral of the Archangels in the capital of Egypt … first uttered the name of the Most Holy Metropolitan of Kiev and all of Ukraine, Epiphany [i.e., moi], as the representative of the Autocephalic Orthodox Church of the Ukraine!”

A word of explanation for the heathens amongst us:  In their official liturgies, the heads of the various churches go through a sort of “Suzy’s Bedtime List” mentioning all their counterparts around the world:  “And God bless Bartholomew, and God bless Theodore, and God bless… etc.”  But only naming real people with real titles.  Hence, when Epiphany got mentioned for the first time in Theodore’s prayer, that was actually a huge thing.  Equivalent to diplomatic recognition.

Jesus: “Away with you, NATO demons! Be gone, mind your own business, and go live La Vida Loca!”

Meanwhile, the Moscow Patriarchate is beside itself with anger/grief/denial, etc.  When interviewed by TASS, Synod Representative and Press Secretary for the Moscow Patriarch, Vladimir Legoida, uttered the following soundbite:

“The situation is complicated, and it shows how things could get even more complicated, by the thoughtless actions of Patriarch Bartholomew in the Ukraine.”

Bitter?  Just a bit.  The loss of Alexandrian support is a real blow to the Moscow Patriarch.  But you know what?  I’m not all that sympathetic.  If Moscow had truly wanted to be the Third Rome, then they never should have recognized the authority of Constantinople.  Speaking of which, the Alexandrian Church, the most ancient in the world, as noted above, is an Autocephalic entity ranking #2 in the entire hierarchy of Orthodox entities.  And Theodore II was formerly hailed by Russia as a principled defender of “canonical” Orthodoxy (i.e., the Moscow Patriarchate) in the Ukraine.  A year ago he visited Odessa and defended the canonical entity against the heretics.  But now, all of a sudden, he switched sides, now he supports the heretics!  Gee, I wonder what could have happened to change his mind?  I also wonder why those geniuses in the Moscow Patriarchate never saw this betrayal coming.  Et tu, Judas?

Next:  the reaction of the politicians on various sides of this new Holy War.  And speaking of swine, we shall start with ex-President Poroshenko’s soundbite…

[to be continued]

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In State of Shock, Zelensky Blurts Out State Secret – Part II

Dear Readers:

Concluding this story by reporter Alexander Grishin; and leaving aside the humorous click-baiting lede, we now proceed to the important question asked by President Zelensky, once he had a glimpse of the real state of affairs in the Ukraine:  “What is going on with our industry?”

To which Grishin answers the question:  “Nothing.”  Nothing is going on in Ukrainian industry, and nothing has been going on, for quite some time.  Well, ever since the Ukraine became “independent” from the Soviet Union.

Once again, one might tell this story as a type of Biblical parable, one which Jesus did not get around to telling, but should have told his followers:  “Once there was a wealthy farmer who was also a merchant and tradesman.  He owned many vast lands and vineyards and also carpentry shops and other works, and lot of other stuff.  The farmer grew old and died, not un-helped along by his many enemies.  The farmer left all his considerable wealth to his sons.  Some of whom took what they received and did well by it; or at least as best they could.  Whereas some of the other, less competent sons, squandered everything that they had been bequeathed…”

The parable could perhaps go into more detail, about the son who not only squandered everything, but also got into a very public feud with his older brother, thus ruining his chances for assistance from that very brother.  Reporter Grishin:  After demonstratively breaking ties with Russia, the Ukraine has done absolutely nothing in the way of building anything.  All the legacy stuff was stolen and broken up for metal.  And all the grandious braggadoccio huffing and puffing by the likes of Heletei, Turchinov, Poltorak, and other eminent Ukrainian patriots, are simply lies.  And not just lies, but out-and-out nonsense, the barkings of a mad dog.  Not one single new tank has been delivered to the Ukrainian army.  The only tanks that the Ukraine has, are (aging) ones left over from the Soviet army, and badly in need of repair.

A typical explosion at a Ukrainian arms depot. All to cover up a theft.

And, basically, that is all there is.  Just leftover aging junk.  And rumor has it, according to Grishin, that the Ukrainians have made overtures to the Estonians:  Would the latter be willing to sell them their old Soviet junk?  Because they need the parts.  It’s an open secret that most of the Ukrainian junk-yard was stolen and sold for parts or broken down for the metal; and then the thieves would have to set a fire and pretend that an arms depot simply blew up.  To cover up the traces of their thievery and fraud.  And not even caring that an entire town could be put in mortal danger, or have to be evacuated.  The only question is whether Zelensky was also informed about this dangerous game; or still remains in blissful ignorance, why all these mysterious explosions are happening.  Or maybe he believes the cover story, that the fires are being setting by Russian saboteurs.

Zelensky Learns the Truth About the Miserable Salaries

Well, at least the Ukrainian Deep State filled their leader in, about the salaries.  As the Ukrainian President continued his wide-eyed rant:  “At the aviation factory, the defense workers receive 3500 hryvna [=9000 Russian rubles = $141 American dollars, presumably per month].  How can a person work for the government and still be called a human being with such a miserable salary?  Excuse me, but we are treating human beings as if they were cattle.  And then we expect them to respect the government, to respect the Ukraine and not to emigrate.”

In the Ukraine, workers pretend to work, and the government pretends to pay them.

Blurting out ever more state secrets, based on his visit to the aviation factory complex, Zelensky confided to the press that “Our planes are beautiful, we have beautiful planes, but they are model planes, and they can’t fly.”  Ooooh, I bet the Russian intelligence services pricked up their ears at that punchline, I’m sure they never knew…  Or, as comedian Yakov Smirnoff might have put it:  “In America, man flies plane.  In Ukraine, er… plane doesn’t fly…”

Pan President!  Reporter Grishin implores the man with desperation seeping out of his voice [which is why this is actually more like an op-ed than a straight news piece].  What other wonderous discoveries are being prepared for you in the future?  What you saw is not even a tenth, not even a hundredth, of the true picture of Ukrainian affairs.  The planes don’t fly.  And, one could add, boats don’t float either.  And vehicles don’t go.  [yalensis:  This paragraph actually makes good reading for American students of the Russian language striving to learn the complicated grammatical rules of “verbs of motion”!]

And rocket launchers blow up when tested, Grishin concludes, as happened with President Poroshenko and the “Molot” mine-launcher.  But all of this information awaits President Zelensky, as his briefings by the Deep State continue.  And then truly, the man will be in a state of shock.  Compared to which, what he is experiencing now, is just a mild tremor.

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In State of Shock, Zelensky Blurts Out State Secret – Part I

Dear Readers:

Today I have this story from the Komsomolka, the headline reads:

Having learned the true state of things in the Ukraine, Zelensky blurted out military and state secrets

The headline is tabloid-y and click-baity, for sure, but not all that far off the mark!  The reporter is Alexander Grishin.  And this is what’s going on:

So, it turns out that Vladimir Zelensky, the former comedian and TV personality who was elected President of the Ukraine, previously had no real knowledge of what was happening in his own country.  We know that Zelensky is a Ukrainian patriot and probably believed some of the hype in the Ukrainian media, which continues to assure the citizenry that their country is living through its true Golden Age.  It was only when he actually became President and started getting briefings, that Zelensky learned the dire state of the nation.

Muggle Prime Minister Boris Johnson: “Aha! I knew it all along!”

Whenever I think of outsiders getting elected to office and starting to get their briefings from the Deep State — I imagine the same thing would have happened to President Trump — it always reminds me of that scene in one of the Harry Potter novels — Apparently the Prime Minister of Great Britain is an appointed Muggle; who, upon taking office gets filled in by the Deep State as to the true state of affairs in the Kingdom.  “You’re telling me that Sorcerers and Demons actually exist?  Oh dear.  Well, that certainly explains quite a lot…”

So, apparently a similar process took place with Zelensky, when his own Deep State took him for a stroll around Ukr-Oboron-Prom, the Ukrainian version of the Military-Industrial Complex.  Which used to be the pride of Soviet industry, but now now consists of a dusty warehouse and one tank.  Zelensky was so shocked by what he saw — probably the lack of sorcerers and demons that he expected — that he blurted out a military secret for all the world to hear:  “We visited […] the legendary Malyshev Factory, and, you know, I am in a state of shock.  The Director of the factory told us that, since 2009, they have only built one tank.  In Soviet times they built 900 tanks a year!  What is going on with our industry?

Workers at the Malyshev Factory, in Kharkov, plan how to build their next tank.

The lede to the story, humorously, being that Zelensky just blurted out a state secret.  I mean, it’s not like Russian agents and spies have not infiltrated every layer of the Ukrainian army and already know everything there is to know; no, they too have been living in blissful ignorance.  Meaning that the Russian enemy, all this time, has been thinking, just like Zelensky and all the other Ukrainians were thinking, that their Military-Industrial Complex pushes out thousands of tanks at a pop; and that’s the only thing standing between them and a Russian invasion.  But now that the Russians know the truth:  Watch out!  Rumor has it that the encrypted communique has already gone out to all Russian tank units:  “Comrades, we attack at dawn.”

“My minions are building a super-tank…”

HOWEVER!  What the Russians don’t know is this:  That the one single Ukrainian tank is actually a magical super-tank, designed by Lord Voldemort himself, and endowed with special Wizard powers…  And it flies, too…

Humor aside, reporter Grishin proceeds to find the answer to Zelensky’s burning question:  “What is going on with our industry?”  And the correct answer is:  “Nothing….”

[to be continued]

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