President Joe Biden signalled a tougher U.S. stance on Russia on Tuesday in his first phone call with President Vladimir Putin, raising concerns over human rights and “aggression” against Ukraine, but welcoming cooperation on a new nuclear weapons accord.
The call was initiated by the White House to discuss progress on extending the New START deal, which limits the two powers to a maximum of 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads each and expires February 5. An agreement now appears to be close.
But White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden also raised a raft of worries about the Russian authorities’ treatment of opposition members, including the “poisoning of Alexei Navalny.”
The opposition leader and anti-corruption crusader nearly died last year from a poisoning he says he has proved was carried out by the security services, something Putin denies. Navalny is currently imprisoned in Moscow and over the weekend, police made mass arrests of people demonstrating in his support across the country.
Showing Moscow and Washington are still able to cooperate separately on nuclear issues, the White House said Biden and Putin had agreed to “work urgently” to wrap up negotiations on a fresh five-year period for the New START treaty ahead of its expiry.
The Kremlin said that in their call Putin and Biden “expressed satisfaction” over talks and the Russian leader later submitted a bill to parliament on the five-year extension.
In Washington, a State Department official who asked not to be identified said the two sides had “reached agreement… to proceed quickly to conclude such an agreement by February 5.”
The moves raised hopes for more stability between the world’s two most heavily armed nations, drawing a line under the uncertainty that entered under Donald Trump, whom Biden replaced just last week.
The Trump administration had offered a one-year extension ahead of the February deadline but discussions broke down over U.S. insistence on tougher verification that Russia had frozen its nuclear arsenal.
However, Biden also diverged strongly with Trump on his approach to Russia’s human rights record and Ukraine.
Trump went to great lengths while in power to avoid raising complaints about human rights abuses in Russia or criticizing Moscow’s support for separatists in Ukraine and occupation of Crimea. Biden confronted Putin on both issues.
He brought up “our strong support for Ukraine’s sovereignty in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression,” Psaki said.
She also enumerated a long sequence of other “matters of concern” causing friction in Washington.
These included the unprecedented mass hacking of U.S. computers that has been widely blamed on Russia, interference in the 2020 presidential election and reports that Moscow offered bounties for the killing of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.
In addition to raising Navalny’s case, Biden flagged the “treatment of peaceful protesters by Russian security forces.”
Psaki said Biden’s “intention was also to make clear that the United States will act firmly in defense of our national interests in response to malign actions by Russia.”
The Kremlin made no mention of these complaints in its readout of the call, saying instead that Putin urged “normalization of relations.”
This would “meet the interests of both countries,” the Kremlin said in a statement, describing the two countries as having “special responsibility for maintaining security and stability in the world.”
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Russia and India have been close allies for more than half a century. Yet most Russians know little about India.
This is a country with its own world view, self-sustaining civilization and a history that is remarkably similar to Russia’s. Both countries have been subjected to savage invasions over the past several centuries.
As we enter a new year, here’s an example of the Indian view of evil by an Indian who has been a friend of Russia for longer than he can remember. Don’t look for Russian villains here because Indians have a different perspective – often at odds with the Western one, which alas many Russians are still following.
However, you are unlikely to find fault with this list of nasty people who have caused untold human misery.
9. Yahya Khan
It took Adolf Hitler 12 years to round up and kill six million European Jews, but the Pakistanis, led by their President Yahya Khan, killed three million of their own Bengali citizens in less than a year. The fair-skinned Pakistanis of West Pakistan had such a racist, visceral hatred for their Muslim brethren in East Pakistan that Yahya is recorded as saying furiously: “Kill three million, and the rest will eat out of our hands.” The disruption of normal life in the region was cataclysmic: more than 30 million people – nearly half the population – fled the cities and went back to their villages, while ten million fled to India.
More than two million of those killed are believed to have been Hindus. The rest were ordinary Bengali Muslims, students and academics. Next, the Pakistanis targeted women, raping at least 200,000. Among Yahya’s executioners in East Pakistan was General A.A.K. Niazi, who let loose his (fair skinned) Punjabi and Pathan soldiers on the defenseless women, saying:
“I will transform the breed of this bastard race.
Worse, after 93,000 Pakistan soldiers surrendered to the Indians, none of the Indian military were held accountable. The victorious generals not only prevented Bengali guerrillas from taking revenge on the Pakistani soldiers, but worse, they kept them in comfortable POW camps for more than a year.
There is a special place in hell for Yahya.
8. Talat Pasha
Not many people know the name of this genocidal maniac, but his deeds are well known. Talat Pasha was the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire from 1917 to 1918. In 1915 he issued an order to wipe out the Armenians, forcing the entire population of Armenia – then under Turkish rule – into concentration camps.
With their belongings, naked people were forced to trudge miles with no food and were killed if they couldn’t continue. The entire male population of Ankara was exterminated. Out of 2.5 million Armenians, 1 to 1.5 million were killed. In 1921, an Armenian assassination squad ended Talat Pasha’s miserable existence.
7. Dick Cheney
Seventeen of the 19 hijackers of 9/11 were Saudi Arabians and yet the US invaded Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with Islamic terror. US Vice President Dick Cheney lied and fabricated evidence to get the US to go to war with Iraq. This led to the destruction of a secular country, its infrastructure and its army, but more tragically the war caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and the displacement of millions.
Сheney also authorized physical and sexual abuse, torture, rape, sodomy and murder of Iraqi prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison by US Army and CIA personnel.
Worse, he used the war to make billions for his old company Halliburton. This suggests that he destroyed an entire country with a view to making money for himself and his cronies.
Iraq was once a bulwark against Islamic fundamentalism, but America’s war is directly responsible for the emergence of Al-Qaeda and ISIS.
The reason Cheney’s boss for eight years isn’t here is because George W. Bush was “an ignorant person who wanted to show his mother he could do things his father couldn’t”. Cheney was the Svengali who prodded the IQ challenged Bush to invade Iraq.
He is likely to be singled out for special treatment in hell.
6. Pol Pot
What’s unique about Pol Pot, the Prime Minister of Cambodia from 1976 to 1979, is that he wiped out 25 to 33 per cent of the population of his country – nearly three million.
Pol Pot represents the ultimate communist fantasy – to destroy their ‘class enemies’. He wanted to uproot Cambodian civilization, turning it into an agrarian society and the people into workers and peasants. He is the only person in history who ordered an official genocide against his country. He banned Buddhism, money, schools, markets and personal possessions. Doctors, teachers, engineers and other skilled people were systematically eliminated.
His communist government forced mass evacuations of cities, separating people from friends and families.
The torture of class enemies happened on a massive scale, with millions, including the elderly, pregnant women and children beaten to death after being forced to work insanely long hours. People were expected to work until they dropped dead.
Pol Pot was supported both by the Chinese and the Americans, because he was an enemy of the Vietnamese.
Cambodia’s nightmare finally ended in December 1985 when the highly professional Vietnamese army invaded the country and destroyed Pol Pot’s headquarters. He fled to Thailand and after a few years moved to China, where he was treated for cancer.
Pol Pot died in April 1998 of natural causes but is surely having a painful time in hell.
Murderous tyrants fill history’s pages, but Timur of Samarkand was cruel towards both man and beast. Among his favorite pastimes was pushing elephants down steep cliffs.
A former bandit, Timur conquered Persia and Mesopotamia, invaded Russia, Georgia, Syria, Turkey and India. In Baghdad he had 90,000 people beheaded so he could build towers with their skulls. In Turkey, where he promised no bloodshed in return for surrender, he had 3,000 prisoners buried alive and pointed out that he had kept to the letter of his oath. He also captured the Turkish Sultan and his wives, kept the Sultan in a cage in his parlor and had his naked wives serve visitors food and drinks.
In 1397, Timur invaded India. The entire stretch of land from the Khyber Pass to the northern plains was subjected to massacres, rape, pillage and kidnapping. He easily defeated the Muslim sultanate ruling Delhi, but strong Hindu resistance made Timur even more vengeful than usual. During the ransacking of Delhi, almost all those not killed were distributed as slaves among Timur’s nobles. In his memoirs, he claims his 15,000 Turks each “secured from 50 to 100 prisoners….there was no man with less than 20” and that “women were obtained in such quantities as to exceed all count”.
Timur declared his army had only killed Hindus and spared Muslim civilians. That’s rich, coming from someone who wiped out the city of Baghdad.
Timur is most likely being repeatedly thrown off a steep cliff into hell’s lake of lava.
There’s a reason why Canadian author Tarek Fatah danced in the wee hours in his bedroom when he received a phone call informing him that Delhi’s Aurangzeb Road had been renamed after APJ Abdul Kalam.
Aurangzeb was singularly responsible for the continuing Hindu-Muslim divide in India. The Mughal emperor came to the throne by murdering his scholarly older brother and heir apparent Dara Shikoh. He also blinded Dara’s young children.
Aurangzeb let elephants loose among the population and raided Hindu lands, destroying ancient temples. The number of stunningly beautiful temples he destroyed runs into the hundreds, if not thousands. Every Hindu in his kingdom had to pay the hated jaziya tax to be allowed to practice his religion. He claimed he was (unsuccessfully) “trying to destroy the ancient sovereignties of this country”.
According to Fatah, “Aurangzeb today would be the equivalent of the Islamic State’s Al-Baghdadi, if not Osama Bin Laden or the Taliban Mullah Omar.”
Fatah is of Pakistani origin but unlike most South Asian Muslims he realizes the great harm Aurangzeb caused India.
“As emperor, Aurangzeb banned music, dancing and alcohol in the Mughal Empire. In Sindh and Punjab where many Muslims attended Hindu Brahmin preaches, he ordered the demolition of all schools and temples where these took place, making it punishable for Muslims to dress like non-Muslims.”
Under the influence of Hinduism and the strong, sustained Hindu resistance, Islam lost its edge in India. By the late 1600s, a unique culture had formed in northern India, with Islam ready to shed its terrorist behavior towards other religions. Dara, who translated ancient Hindu texts into Persian, was symbolic of this remarkable transformation of Islam.
However, Aurangzeb not only set the clock back on this reconciliation but alienated all his Hindu allies. This led to fierce wars of resistance that weakened the country and allowed the British to slowly conquer India. The partition of India (although British-midwifed) can be attributed to the deep divide created by this terrorist emperor.
His legacy lives on in the hearts of many Indian Muslims who regard him as no less than a saint.
Hell is the right place for such a scumbag.
(NOTE: Aurangzeb Road was the second most expensive street in New Delhi. You are surely wondering who would name such a beautiful street after such an evil person. The answer is, the British. New Delhi was built by colonial Britain and several streets were named after brutal Muslim rulers and barbaric representatives of the queen of England. This is just one example of the West’s love for fundamentalist Islam.)
3. Mohandas Gandhi
Mohandas Gandhi’s pacifism caused great harm to India and Hindus. Muslims refused to listen to him and attacked Hindus who had been effectively disarmed by Gandhi’s appeals for peace. This encouraged Muslims to attack Hindus even more because they knew Hindus weren’t going to retaliate.
Had Hindus been allowed to attack Muslims, or at least be prepared to defend themselves with weapons, the cycle of Muslim violence could have been nipped in the bud. By going on hunger fasts in order to prevent Hindus from retaliating, Gandhi was the chief villain of Partition. Hundreds of thousands of Hindus were killed and thousands of women raped because of Gandhi’s imposed pacifism. He advocated a senseless surrender to murder.
According to Indologist and Belgian orientalist Koenraad Elst, “The fundamental problem with Gandhi’s pacifism, not in the initial stages but when he had become the world-famous leader of India’s freedom movement (1920-47), was his increasing extremism. All sense of proportion had vanished when he advocated non-violence not as a technique of moral pressure by a weaker on a stronger party, but as a form of masochistic surrender.”
Gandhi’s advice to the victims of communal violence was “breathtaking for its callousness in the face of human suffering”. During his prayer meeting on 1 May 1947, he prepared the Hindus and Sikhs for the anticipated massacres of their kind in the upcoming state of Pakistan with these words:
“I would tell the Hindus to face death cheerfully if the Muslims are out to kill them. I would be a real sinner if after being stabbed I wished in my last moment that my son should seek revenge. I must die without rancor. You may turn round and ask whether all Hindus and all Sikhs should die. Yes, I would say. Such martyrdom will not be in vain.”
Worse, believing he was some kind of mahatma (great soul), he tried to prove his self-control by often sleeping and bathing naked with other women. These women included his grandniece, Manu, and the wife of his grandnephew, who were both 18 when they started sleeping in the same bed as Gandhi, who was 77 years old at the time.
Graeme Donald writes in Lies, Damned Lies and History: A Catalogue of Historical Errors and Misunderstandings: “All had to sleep naked and, just to make doubly sure of his resolve, Gandhi would take them to bed in pairs. Some as young as 12, several girls later acknowledged that they did often ‘render service’ to Gandhi but refused to elaborate.”
Donald adds that the girls were selected for their “pertness” to “stiffen his resolve” for celibacy. “Very much a case of ‘damn, failed again, must try harder tomorrow night.”
Such a paedophile belongs in hell.
2. Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa took money stolen from pensioners by financial fraud artist Charles Keating. She accepted donations from the murderous Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier. She was also a friend of Enver Hoxha, the communist dictator of Albania.
Worse, Teresa’s 600 missions in 123 countries have been described as “homes for the dying” by visiting doctors. The doctors observed a significant lack of hygiene, even unfit conditions, as well as a shortage of actual care, inadequate food and no painkillers. Teresa claimed that “There is something beautiful in seeing the poor accept their lot, to suffer it like Christ’s passion. The world gains much from their suffering.’’
Her nuns were not provided with medical training, the use of mosquito repellents, or information about malaria and vaccinations, because Teresa believed “God” would look after the nuns. One of her nuns got into trouble with the order for helping a man with dysentery who was dying. Teresa quoted Peter 2:18-23, which orders slaves to obey their masters even if they are abusive and difficult, and urged her nuns to obey superiors without question.
But she was a hypocrite: seeking out the best medical care for herself. Despite the fact that medical tourists from the West travel to India for treatment, Teresa reckoned India wasn’t good enough for her. She was admitted to California’s Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation.
Teresa was stingy even during national emergencies. During Indian floods she offered prayers and medallions of the Virgin Mary but no monetary aid.
Teresa’s fundraising sermons persuaded people that Calcutta is a city of lepers and beggars. Her nuns lied to the global media that the city had 450,000 lepers, knowing that this would make rich westerners despatch their dollars.
All abandoned children who are taken into Teresa’s missions are brought up as Christians. In India Teresa was (and her mission continues to be) actively engaged in proselytizing, which is not only illegal but has a negative impact on India’s complex social hierarchy.
For her lies, stolen cash and allowing little children suffer painful deaths, she is a favorite member of hell.
1. Winston Churchill
This scumbag takes the pole position in this list.
Like No.10 Yahya Khan, Prime Minister Winston Churchill managed to outdo Hitler and his Nazi cohorts. The Germans may have taken 12 years to murder 6 million Jews, but their Teutonic cousins, the British, managed to kill almost 4 million Indians in just over a year, with Churchill cheering from the sidelines.
Australian biochemist Dr Gideon Polya has called the Bengal Famine a “manmade holocaust” because Churchill’s policies were directly responsible for the disaster. He knowingly and enthusiastically caused the famine in 1942-43 by transferring vast quantities of food grain from India to Britain.
To Churchill, the starvation of Indians was less serious than that of Greeks. When the British administrators urged him to release food stocks for India, Churchill responded with a telegram asking why Gandhi hadn’t died yet.
Churchill’s hostility toward Indians has long been documented. At a War Cabinet meeting, he blamed the Indians for the famine, saying they breed like rabbits, and are a beastly people with a beastly religion. On another occasion, he insisted they were “the beastliest people in the world next to the Germans”.
According to author Madhusree Mukerjee,
“Churchill’s attitude toward India was quite extreme, and he hated Indians, mainly because he knew India couldn’t be held for very long.”
The fact is the British Prime Minister possessed an extraordinary range of prejudices. During World War II, in a memorandum to the War Cabinet about policy towards Italy, he wrote:
“All the industrial centers should be attacked in intense fashion, every effort being made to terrorize the population.”
He also pushed for the firebombing of German population centers such as Dresden, Leipzig and Chemnitz which killed 200,000 civilians in 1945. It was the only way the British could show they were in the war.
In 1944, Churchill came up with a cataclysmic plan to convert Germany into a “country primarily agricultural and pastoral in its character”. The Morgenthau Plan if implemented would have starved 10 million Germans to death in the first year alone. US President Franklin Roosevelt admitted Churchill was “bought off” by the American offer of $6.5 billion in Lend Lease.
No human being deserves to be in hell more than Winston.
(Disclaimer: As an atheist I don’t believe in heaven or hell in the religious sense. But the universe is ruled by the laws of physics and mathematics, which imply that all actions have consequences.)
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This past weekend, large crowds of people across Russia marched to demand the release of the jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny, braving icy weather and warnings from local law enforcement. The largely unpermitted demonstrations ended with more than 3,700 arrests nationwide. Unlike most recent political rallies in Russia, many activists were willing to clash directly with the police. In hundreds of videos shared online, for example, protesters rained down snowballs on groups of riot police. Meduza looks at several questions many people are now asking about these acts of defiance.
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The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is probing whether any current or former official tried to help overturn President Joe Biden’s election victory, apparently seeking to root out employees who lack loyalty to the new regime.
The investigation, announced by Inspector General Michael Horowitz on Monday, will be limited to current or former employees of the DOJ. Horowitz said he aims to “reassure the public that an appropriate agency is investigating the allegations.”
Also on rt.com DOJ internal watchdog opens review into agency’s handling of Capitol riot, will assess if there are ‘weaknesses’ in policies
Former President Donald Trump has been accused of trying to get the DOJ to take legal action to help overturn Biden’s victory, based on his allegations of massive election fraud, but any appeal for help was apparently unsuccessful. In fact, ABC News host George Stephanopoulos and other media figures have cited a DOJ statement that there was no evidence of widespread election fraud as a talking point in their efforts to dismiss Trump’s allegations as preposterous.
“The Department of Justice, led by William Barr, said there was no widespread evidence of fraud,” Stephanopoulos said Sunday in an interview with Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky). “Can’t you just say the words, ‘This election was not stolen.’”
The New York Times said on Friday that DOJ lawyer Jeffrey Clark plotted with Trump to oust acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and try to force Georgia lawmakers to overturn the state’s election results. Like a steady stream of other anti-Trump articles by the newspaper, the story was based on comments by officials who declined to be identified.
The investigation marks the latest inquiry by the new Biden-led government into alleged wrongdoing by the Trump administration. The House this month voted to impeach Trump for a second time, and the Senate will hold a trial seeking to convict the former president even as it juggles with confirmation hearings and trying to push through Biden’s legislative agenda.
The DOJ not only declined to launch the sort of comprehensive election fraud investigation that Trump sought, but also chose to keep probes involving Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, from public view until after the election.
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – A 92-year-old woman from the North Tyneside nursing home in North East England has died after receiving her first dose of a vaccine against the coronavirus, the UK media reported on Monday.
According to various media reports, Mary Green was administered the shot on New Year’s eve. Five days later, the woman, who also suffered from dementia, tested positive for the coronavirus. She could not be transported to a hospital due to her frail condition.
“The care she needed in her final days wasn’t in care home setting, it was in a hospital setting, and she couldn’t have that,” Mary’s son Chris Green told the Chronicle newspaper.
According to the UK government data, as of 24 January, about 6.3 million people from the top two groups – those aged 80 and over and frontline health workers and care home staff – had received the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech or AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines.
The World Health Organisation’s drug safety panel said on Friday that there was no evidence to suggest that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine had contributed to deaths in frail elderly patients after such cases were reported in some countries, including France and Norway.
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More than 3,500 people were detained during unprecedented mass protests that swept across all of Russia in support of Alexey Navalny on January 23. Most people were detained in Moscow and St. Petersburg (1,396 and 525 people, respectively). This is a record number for the entire period of protesting actions in Russia.
Unauthorized actions of protest took place in 110 cities of Russia, which thus set a record in the history of protest actions in Russia’s modern history. Russians took to the streets in the following cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Abakan, Almetyevsk, Anapa, Angarsk, Armavir, Arkhangelsk, Astrakhan, Balakovo, Barnaul, Belgorod, Blagoveshchensk, Bratsk, Bryansk, Velikiye Luki, Veliky Novgorod, Vladivostok, Vladimir, Volgograd, Vologda, Voronezh, Gelendzhik, Gorno-Altaysk, Dimitrovgrad, Yekaterinburg, Ivanovo, Izhevsk, Irkutsk, Yoshkar-Ola, Kazan, Kaliningrad, Kaluga, Kemerovo, Kirov, Kolchugino, Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Kostroma, Kotlas, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Kurgan, Kursk, Lipetsk, Magadan, Magnitogorsk, Murmansk, Murom, Naberezhnye Chelny, Nizhny Novgorod, Novokuznetsk, Novorossiysk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Orenburg, Penza, Perm- Zalessky, Pskov, Pyatigorsk, Rostov-on-Don, Rybinsk, Ryazan, Samara, Saransk, Saratov, Sayanogorsk, Severomorsk, Severodvinsk, Simferopol, Sochi, Stavropol, Stary Oskol, Sterlitamak, Syktyvkar, Tambov, Tverol, Tula, Tobacco , Togliatti, T Yumen, Ulan-Ude, Ulyanovsk, Ufa, Ukhta, Khabarovsk, Cheboksary, Chelyabinsk, Cherepovets, Chita, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Yakutsk, Yalutorovsk, Yaroslavl. In Yakutsk, protesters took to the streets despite freezing Arctic temperatures (-54 Centigrade).
The people were protesting against the arbitrariness of the authorities and expressing their support for freedom, demanding Alexey Navalny be released.
Protest actions were held in dozens of cities abroad: Berlin, Munich, Prague, Krakow, Helsinki, The Hague, Vienna, a number of US cities, Tel Aviv, Copenhagen, London, Tokyo and other cities.
In Moscow, where the protests were the largest, violent clashes between the protesters and the riot police took place. The protests subsided in the evening near Matrosskaya Tishina penitentiary institution, where Navalny is being kept.
The law-enforcers, who were pelted with snowballs throughout the day, carried out mass detentions in a violent fashion. Many protesters were injured, wounded or beaten. Dozens of journalists were also detained even though they were wearing “press” vests and had their press IDs.
The incident in St. Petersburg attracted a lot of public and media attention. The incident occurred when a woman asked three riot policemen, who were detaining a young man, for what reason they were arresting him. One of the officers, in full gear, kicked the woman in the stomach, knocking her down on the asphalt road. The woman was rushed to hospital, where she was diagnosed with a concussion and a closed head injury.
The woman was later identified as Margarita Yudina, a 54-year-old resident of St. Petersburg. It was reported that the woman remains in critical condition.
The authorities reported that 39 security officers were hurt in the protests. The Investigative Committee launched a pre-investigation into the facts of violence against police officers. The detainees were taken to police stations throughout the city, and many had to spend the night there.
On Saturday evening, Navalny’s associate Leonid Volkov announced that the protests would continue next weekend.
It is worthy of note that the investigatiму documentary by Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) “Palace for Putin. The story of the biggest bribe”, published on January 19 on YouTube, had received nearly 80 million views by January 24. The two-hour documentary tells about the palace, which is still being built at the expense of state-owned oil companies Rosneft and Transneft. The companies are headed by Putin’s close friends, Igor Sechin and Nikolai Tokarev.
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The Kremlin on Sunday accused the United States of interfering in Russia’s domestic affairs and downplayed the scale of the weekend’s protests, when tens of thousands rallied in support of jailed opposition politician Alexei Navalny.
More than 3,500 demonstrators were detained in protests across the country on Saturday, with several injured in clashes with police in Moscow, following Navalny’s call to rally against President Vladimir Putin’s 20-year rule.
The West has widely condemned the “harsh tactics” used against demonstrators, with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian saying Sunday the mass arrests of protesters was “an intolerable affront” and a “slide towards authoritarianism.”
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has said the bloc would discuss “next steps” on Monday.
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Sunday accused the U.S. embassy of interfering in Russia’s domestic affairs after the mission distributed a “demonstration alert” to U.S. citizens in Russiarecommending they avoid protests.
“Of course, these publications are inappropriate,” Peskov told a state TV channel. “And of course indirectly, they are absolutely an interference in our domestic affairs.”
A U.S. mission spokeswoman said U.S. embassies and consulates around the world routinely issue safety messages to U.S. citizens.
“This is a common, routine practice of many countries’ diplomatic missions,” she told AFP on Sunday.
The U.S. embassy in Moscow on Saturday said that Washington supported “the right of all people to peaceful protest, freedom of expression.”
Protests in over 100 cities
Peskov also accused protest organizers of seeking to “rock the boat” and said the number of people who had demonstrated paled in comparison to Putin supporters.
“A lot of people vote for Putin,” Peskov said, pointing to last year’s constitutional plebiscite that allowed 68-year-old Putin to remain in power until 2036.
Navalny, Putin’s most prominent critic, was arrested on returning to Moscow last weekend following months of treatment in Germany for a near-fatal poisoning with a Soviet-designed Novichok nerve agent.
He then called for Saturday’s unauthorized protests, which took on an unprecedented geographic scale, spanning more than 100 cities.
Around 20,000 people protested in Moscow and more than 10,000 in Saint Petersburg, according to estimates from AFP journalists, with rallies also held in numerous countries including France and Lithuania.
Leonid Volkov, the head of Navalny’s regional network, praised the turnout.
“I am certainly proud, very impressed and inspired,” Volkov told AFP. Navalny’s team is hoping to stage another rally next weekend.
Many at the protests said they were angered by the findings of a Navalny investigation into an opulent Black Sea property allegedly owned by Putin.
The two-hour report, which claims that Putin owns “the world’s most expensive palace” allegedly financed through a massive corruption scheme, has been viewed nearly 80 million times on YouTube.
Peskov said the luxury mansion on the Black Sea was “private” property and had nothing to do with Putin.
Protester in intensive care
Moscow officials said that 29 people received medical assistance in hospitals and were released, while a female protester in Saint Petersburg was in intensive care after a policeman kicked her in the stomach.
Saint Petersburg prosecutors said they were probing violations on “the part of law enforcement” and the use of force against a woman.
The statement was released after local media published a video showing a middle-aged woman falling to the ground after being kicked by riot police.
The Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said it has launched criminal inquiries in Moscow over the use of violence against law enforcement, hooliganism and property damage.
In a separate statement, investigators said a 36-year-old man was detained after hitting two policemen at the Saint Petersburg protest.
The OVD Info monitor said police seized at least 3,521 protesters, with 1,398 people detained in Moscow and 526 in Saint Petersburg.
The head of the Kremlin’s human rights council, Valery Fadeyev, said most of those detained in Moscow had been released.
He also defended the detentions, saying the protests were illegal and took place during a coronavirus pandemic. “I see no violations whatsoever,” he said.
Navalny, who rose to prominence a decade ago, accuses the FSB security agency of seeking to poison him on Putin’s orders.
He is the target of several criminal probes and supporters fear authorities are planning to sentence him to a long prison term.
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This article originally appeared on a new site about the Christian renaissance in Russia, called Russian Faith. Their introductory video is at end of this article.
One of the first – if not the first – steps that we should take in building an Orthodox culture in any country, is the implementation and growth of Orthodox education. If we lose this battle, we lose the future stability of our parishes. The universities in America (and in many other western nations) are geared against us and have many sophisticated arguments against the Christian worldview.
To create Orthodox schools is not only for our children to carry on and battle the world, but for the nation’s Orthodox ethos in general. Orthodox education produces both culture and community! Secular education does the same, and so it is crucial for us to enter this battle with vigilance.
The Fathers of the Church teach us that falling away from God is as simple as forgetting God. When we are no longer able to carry the momentum of God’s energy and take every thought captive to Christ, we drift. How much drifting does it take to end up in a place that is inescapable? Is it possible that we might one day wake up realizing that we are completely surrounded by a hostile environment that demands either complete submission or withdrawal? Perhaps this has already begun to happen and we Christians are in a state of contemplation, wondering and debating on how to get out of the current social conundrum.
It’s not completely clear how this all began happening — how we lost traditional community and culture within America. There are theories of how it has all culminated, everything from serious error in our historical founding to the uncontrollable flux of immigration. But within the many theories is one underlying element of how humanity has always operated as a community, which many of us will agree that we need to correct: Education
We live in the most convoluted culture of all history, with radical amounts of information being pitched to us on a daily basis. When we turn on the TV we are being educated. When we read our Facebook feed we are being educated. When we get trained by our company we are being educated. Even when we listen to the radio or Pandora, we are being educated.
It is key for an Orthodox Christian in a secular society to shape our lives so as to hear more Orthodox perspectives, and fewer secular/agnostic perspectives. This requires a disciplined and perhaps ‘out-of-the-ordinary’ way of life. We will look at this in the later part of this article.
Russia’s Educational Holocaust in the 19th Century
America, from the beginning, established her education through her Church. But as secular influences grew, schools were given up to secular organizations. When Christian education began to disappear from America, no second revolution needed to happen, simply because Revolutionary America never intended to maintain a Christian culture. Russia, on the other hand, is a different story.
During the times of the catacombs in Holy Russia, the Soviets would often pick Christians out of various families and groups to send them off to the gulags or simply execute them as an alternative. These Orthodox Christians had to make daily choices as to what they would be bold about and what they would keep quiet about. Hardship and death were at stake every day for these people.
In America today, as in 20th century Russia, we are surrounded by people who hate our Faith. We, like the Russians, are often very careful of what we say. But so far, a lot less is usually at stake. For the most part, we are not yet being imprisoned for defending the Truth, and we are not yet being executed in the streets.
But the Russian Orthodox people did not just wake up one day to an Atheist takeover. What was gradually happening back in the 19th century, was a steady infiltration in schools by secular intellectuals from the West. Many atheistic and cultic philosophies were being taught by professors in the universities, and many of the priests were beginning to buckle to these teachings. The universities, rather than the Church, became the centers for worldview and community.
Education had previously been an extension of the Church, but this was an early step towards the secular modernization of Russia. Other political and industrial factors preceded. But when the universities changed, so did the minds and hearts of the people.
Had the Church been able to retain the ministry of education, perhaps there would have been a different outcome of Russia entering WWI and the Bolshevik Revolution. How can we learn from this?
Heaven and Earth
A hallmark of the Orthodox faith is that it is holistic. Our faith, unlike any other spin-off group of the Church, embraces every aspect of life. Nature is not our enemy. In Western Christianity, nature is suspect. The material world is considered “fallen” and unredeemable in many aspects. This is why Gnosticism thrives in those groups. Orthodoxy is much different, because we understand the Incarnation of Christ to be a supernatural agent within the material world.
Because this world is so mystical, because we are surrounded by so many spiritual and physical variables within life, the Orthodox Church has created distinctions, but not so many distinctions so as to confuse ourselves. One historically important distinction is that of symphonia. This is such an important aspect of our Faith. Symphonia (symphony, in English) occurs when secular powers and ecclesiastical powers cooperate. Symphonia is the Church and the State working together. This is what the double-headed eagle represents: one eagle for the secular power and the other for the ecclesial power.
The secular power of society is not evil in and of itself. But it does gravitate toward evil (unlike the baptized soul, which gravitates toward heaven). Secularism, however, is evil.Secularism has to do with limiting or barring the Church’s influence, creating an existential environment that has historically led to disastrous societies.
When the secular society gives birth to an idea, it must be compatible with the symphonia of our Christian community. If it is not compatible, then it must simply be rejected! Thankfully, as we will see below, many secular subjects are within the bounds of the Church’s symphonia.
Orthodox Symphonia Requires Cooperation
Orthodox education, unlike secular education, revolves around a particular view of mankind: How we are created and what our purpose is in life. Without an Orthodox Christian view of mankind, intellectual subjects become stripped of their true purpose and meaning, training our minds to think in secular rather than spiritual terms. To think in secular terms is to adopt the historical and medieval philosophy of Scholasticism, which lends to a worldview of hardened logic and moral construct.
Orthodox Christians are called to think in mystical terms, because we live in a mystical world. Formulating life — to the extent of systematizing everything we do — goes completely against the energies of God. Nature is relatively unpredictable, and like the Psalmist says, God’s energy and Spirit moves like the wind. St. Paul says that God “works all things together” for the benefit of God’s people. This is a cornerstone for Orthodox theology and worldview, allowing us to explore this world without the fear, legalism, and overly complex systems that the Old Covenant people of God had to wrestle with for so many generations, eventually opposing Christianity (the Truth) when it was presented by Christ.
If we take out the mystical value of education, we will cease to think in mystical terms. Even Hollywood understand this. There are a number of problematic science fiction movies now, demonstrating how we submit ourselves to overly systematic environments where no true love and joy can exist. A prime example might be the movie The Giver, with Jeff Bridges.
St. Theophan the Recluse
Secular Paths Lead to a Final Secular Community
Every single subject in life needs to be embraced through the Orthodox Christian Faith. If it is not, each unattended subject will give birth to a new hybrid of thought, a new secular path to travel away from the faith and into what St. John the Apostle calls “the mark of the beast,” where no man can even “buy or sell” without it. The secular paths all lead to this “replacement community” — this final entrapment of the Church — where all people trapped within will have sealed their eternal destiny, estranged from God’s gift of eternal life. As a well-known Orthodox Saint has pointed out:
“It should be placed as an unfailing law that every kind of learning which is taught to a Christian should be penetrated with Christian principles and, more precisely, Orthodox ones.”
– St. Theophan the Recluse
Orthodox Symphonia with Contemporary Subjects
Math – This is an absolute necessity, even if there are some people who don’t happen to like it much. Is there such thing as secular math? Indeed there is! A secularized subject is stripped of its application, so as to become an intellectual pursuit of its own (raw data with no application), or else it is used as a catalyst for non-Orthodox worldviews. Intellectualizing any subject is a pursuit of pride and often a complete mental burnout for many people. Math can be, at a very high level, a strict intellectual pursuit for those who want to be mathematicians. But for most of us, math is an applied subject that is a tool for greater things in life. Let us build great hospitals, schools, rehab centers, and temples — with the help of mathematics — but let us not put math in a cage and send our young people in to this cage for burnout, nor cultivate within them a mind that operates merely scientifically rather than spiritually.
Technology – Technological advancements that protect nature, including mankind itself, can be encouraged. Perhaps we can steer away from the pursuit of artificial intelligence. This just an example, and there is room for debate. But that is what makes Christian education so exciting! There are discussions that needs to take place . . . often.
Engineering – Building structures that give glory to God was a common practice in both Eastern and Western Europe. Domes, arches, and iconography have influenced the world throughout the ages. There are even sectors within America that have been positively influenced.
History – How could history be properly taught aside from a Christian worldview? The first civilized society was the Orthodox (Byzantine) Empire. St. Justinian the Emperorimplemented law based on the Christian faith, and all civilized societies in the modern era owe much to this great work. For centuries, nations were led by the Church, or by an offshoot of the Church. To secularize history is downright dishonest, and is a complete misrepresentation of historical truth.
Philosophy – For instance, St. John Chrysostom was a great Christian philosopher. Chrysostom, in Greek, means “golden mouth.” Many of the Church Fathers and ascetics are greater sources of wisdom than any pagan philosopher could ever be. Many of the Fathers, including St. Paul the Apostle, challenged Pagan philosophers and converted them over to Christian philosophy. When we study ancient philosophy, whether it happens to be Christian or not, it should be studied in light of its spiritual context — how it was being influenced by the Church and how it was challenging the Church.
Medicine – St. Luke, one of our Holy Apostles, was a doctor. There were a number of doctors throughout the Byzantine Empire, and in fact, the Orthodox Church invented the hospital itself. Proper and ethical medical care within the environment of priests and deacons is absolutely necessary for an Orthodox worldview. We do not have the holy mystery of healing just so we can have an extra prayer service. We have it to actually heal people. The hospital is ours, and we should begin taking them back and building more of our own. Abortions, transgender surgeries, pharmaceutical and insurance companies dictating procedures . . . all of this must be eradicated!
Criminal Justice & Law – This is an easy one! There is no law without spiritual input. The question is: Which spiritual source shall we choose? Certainly, we can choose secular spiritualism, which amounts to radical ecumenism and moral relativism. Where is the order or peace in that? To say that all religions can mesh and cohabit peacefully is a most ignorant thing to say. They can cooperate with each other, but only if they each have the freedom to build their own communities to cooperate within.
Art – Take a trip to St. Petersburg, Russia, or to Greece, and you will see the Christian meaning of art. It’s everywhere. As the Russian Orthodox author Fyodor Dostoyevskysaid, “beauty will save the world.” Iconography (Orthodox Christian art) is a sacred art which gives a proper foundation for all art. Not everything must be painted as an icon, though. In fact, it must not be! Iconography is sacred and set aside for the communication of the Gospel. But all other art should glean from it and become its own form of Christian beauty. This can extend to anything from home décor to entertainment. Also, Christian art is modest! Pornography and other forms of crudeness are simply not Christian.
Food – The Orthodox calendar includes many fasting guidelines on certain days of the year. Orthodox countries have thousands of recipes that presuppose the fasts.
Theology – Most importantly, the study of God and his people must be embraced via the Orthodox Christian Faith. Without proper theology we can know very little about how man and community, in general, operates effectively. Our theology helps us strive between creation and eternity, and understand how the two operate and create harmony with each other.
A community that treats Christ as one of many gods, is a community that is destined to fail. We have seen this throughout all history. Pluralism is a recipe for cultural collapse.
If American leadership does not want a community that recognizes Christ alone as the cornerstone, then let us build sub-communities that will. Let us abandon the false ecumenism of the secular state, so as to overcome the enemy and uphold the true Faith!
Michael Spreng is a devout Orthodox Christian and family man. He is a regular contributor at Russian Faith and a frequent blogger at Sobornost.
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In January 2020, Andrey Klimenko — a Russian military contractor who also goes by the nickname “Krasniy Doshik” (Red Ramen) — launched the Twitter account Neural Meduza. The project went on to become, in our opinion, one of the best parody media outlets to appear in the past year. Throughout 2020, Neural Meduza helped keep many of the staff working for the real Meduza from succumbing to depression, as it broadcast news from a bizarre parallel universe that makes ours still seem tolerable in comparison. To mark the project’s one-year anniversary, Meduza spoke with its neural doppelganger’s creator.
We hope you enjoyed checking out this post on current Russian news called “‘Neural Meduza’. Meet the real person behind the AI network that’s spoofing our headlines on Twitter”. This news article was posted by My Local Pages as part of our news aggregator services.
The Department of Justice has announced new charges for a Texas man who took part in the US Capitol riot on January 6 and had posted a message about assassinating Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York).
Garrett Miller is facing five criminal charges, including “knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted buildings or grounds without lawful authority.”
On top of his participation in the Capitol siege, Miller is in legal trouble for posts he made online during and after the riot that ended up leaving five dead, including one officer.
“Assassinate AOC,” he wrote in one message, according to the DOJ.
Miller also threatened the officer who shot and killed protester Ashli Babbitt, an act that was caught on camera. Miller said the officer “deserved to die” and that he wouldn’t live long because it was “hunting season.”
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Miller was open about his involvement in the riot, posting a selfie of him in the Capitol to Facebook, joking that he wanted to “incriminate” himself.
“Well, you did,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in direct response to the photos and his arrest.
“On one hand you have to laugh, and on the other know that the reason they were this brazen is because they thought they were going to succeed,” she added.
Miller’s lawyer, Clint Broden, called the threat to the congresswoman from his client an “inappropriate comment made in the heat of the moment.”
“His social media comments reflect very ill-considered political hyperbole in very divided times and will certainly not be repeated in the future. He looks forward to putting all of this behind him,” Broden added, saying his client “regrets” taking part in the protest.
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Miller also posted to social media days before the riot and said “civil war could start.”
“I am about to drive across the country for this trump s**t. On Monday… Some crazy s**t going to happen this week. Dollar might collapse… civil war could start… not sure what to do in DC,” read one Facebook post from January 2.
In an alleged Facebook chat on January 15, Miller also wrote he was “happy to make death threats.”
Miller is one of numerous individuals that has been identified and arrested by authorities for their participation in the riot. A bail hearing for Miller is scheduled for Monday.
Ocasio-Cortez has detailed her experience on the day of the Capitol riot and said she feared for her life, but not just from the protesters. The congresswoman claimed she was scared some of her “white supremacist” colleagues in Congress were going to hand her over to the protesters. She doubled down on this when she revealed this week that she skipped Joe Biden’s inauguration partly due to “security concerns” and fear of other congressional members.
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