Russian Identity Crisis after the Collapse of Communism.

Synergy

Active member
The “Russian World” sense of identity has been heavily promoted by both Vladimir Putin and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill over the past two decades. It asserts that there is a transnational Russian sphere or civilization, called Holy Russia, which includes Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, as well as ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking people throughout the world. The ideology asserts that Moscow is the political center and Kyiv is the spiritual center. Russian is the common language and the Russian Orthodox Church under the Moscow Patriarchate is the common religion. In this world, the Patriarch works in symphony with a common president/national leader (Putin) to govern this Russian world, as well as upholding a common distinctive spirituality, morality, and culture.

Against the corrupt and morally decadent liberal West, Putin promotes Russia as the Savior of Christian and conservative traditional values. In Putin's warped thinking, Ukraine's siding with the West is in fact a siding with Nazis (even though Zelenskiy is Jewish!) and Putin is needed to save Ukrainians from the morally decadent West.

Western Media is totally oblivious to what is going on because it has secularized, relativized, and trivialized its understanding of faith and theology. Therefore, the West has no idea how faith can be and is being weaponized. Whether it be Vladimir Putin, Osama bin Laden, Islamic State or Christian white nationalist terrorism, false usage of religion as an identity can exert a deadly hold. Western mainstream media, which rarely understands anything about religion, presents the world too often in Manichean terms that fail to see how modern holy wars are a product of and reaction against secularism itself.

The bottom line is that Putin's evil "holy war" violates the great teachings of true faith: peace, humility, mercy, forgiveness and he must be stopped.
 

rakovsky

Well-known member
Hello Synergy.
I support peace. The NT says Blessed are the Peacemakers. Peacemaking involves caring about both sides in conflicts, looking to their needs, and trying to find ways to resolve conflicts. I am glad that you said that you care about peace. It is also nice if Patriarch Kirill wants to spread Orthodox Christianity, and I like it that Russia and the West have secular governments, with separation of Church and State and allowance for other religions. The West and Russia in the state systems have some kind of indirect support for religion, like the Pledge of Allegiance in the US saying "One nation under God", but I don't see it as overbearing like in Islamic countries with repressive versions of Sharia Law.

The Ukraine-Donbass-Russia conflict is sad because most people in both countries identify as Orthodox countries. Would you like to talk about peacemaking with a view to caring about the concerns of the peoples in the conflict?
Kind Regards.
 

Synergy

Active member
It's very heart warming that many people are running to help Ukrainians. That gives me faith and confidence in the goodness of man. The problem we are having here is that very few people have any grasp of the root cause of Putin's & Kirill's war on Ukrainian people. Not until the root cause is identified and expunged will there ever be peace. If one truly believes in peace then he will endeavor to identify and eliminate the root cause. Putin's and Kirill's thought processes must be analyzed so that all who have been infected by them can be cured. Just treating the symptoms will allow time for the root cause to grow and to infect more and more....
 

ziapueblo

Active member
Hopefully there will be peace soon. I really like Patriarch Kirill, but his support for this war is disheartening, and, I must say, frightening.
 

Synergy

Active member
Hopefully there will be peace soon. I really like Patriarch Kirill, but his support for this war is disheartening, and, I must say, frightening.
There will be peace only when we treat the root cause of this war. It's like when you have a serious infection. Do you just hope that it goes away or do you go to the doctor to cure the root cause of the infection? Same thing here. Not treating the cause will result in Russian Orthodoxy experiencing an ignominious death.
 

rakovsky

Well-known member
It's very heart warming that many people are running to help Ukrainians. That gives me faith and confidence in the goodness of man. The problem we are having here is that very few people have any grasp of the root cause of Putin's & Kirill's war on Ukrainian people. Not until the root cause is identified and expunged will there ever be peace. If one truly believes in peace then he will endeavor to identify and eliminate the root cause. Putin's and Kirill's thought processes must be analyzed so that all who have been infected by them can be cured. Just treating the symptoms will allow time for the root cause to grow and to infect more and more....
Dear Synergy,
I agree with helping war refugees and looking for the root cause of the conflict. There are several causes.
  • One is the wider geopolitical picture sometimes in history there are multipolar global situations like during WW1, and the best thing for everyone is to try to defuse those situations. In WW1, the people in the countries fighting were Christians, and during Christmas, they had a Christmas truce because everyone in the trenches celebrated Christmas. Then when Christmas ended, many soldiers didn't want to keep fighting, but their officers eventually forced them to. In the US, Europe, Ukraine, and Russia, we are dealing with Christian people, so the best thing for everyone would be to care about each other, think about each other's commonality, and try to reach peace.
  • The Geopolitical situation here is one where since 1990, the 1st world nations (US and EU especially) have grown their economies and military alliance (NATO), which has steadily moved eastward gradually every few years.
    730px-History_of_NATO_enlargement.svg.png

    (Wikipedia map, "History of NATO Enlargement")
    In the process, despite being officially a Defensive alliance, its forces have performed major interventions in Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Libya. Meanwhile, Russia is a second world nation, dwarfed by the economy of the US and EU. Perhaps it was only a natural matter of time when due to the eastward expansion of NATO, these two global poles and powers (NATO and Russia) would collide or reach a state of friction and tension, regardless of who was running the Russian government. And when that time came, the Wise course for everyone would be to try to manage this new situation in a careful, peaceful, understanding way. Certainly the US is the biggest party here holding the most cards, and thus the US has the most freedom in how it wants to chart its course in this situation. It's best and smartest in history when the strongest, biggest powers have acted wisely and carefully with a view to international cooperation, like when Roosevelt created the United Nations. But Great Powers have not always acted responsibly, as in the case of WWI. Certainly prayer, goodwill, and having a positive, cooperative, understanding attitude are all helpful or even necessary.
Shalom - Peace.
 
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Synergy

Active member
Dear Synergy,
I agree with helping war refugees and looking for the root cause of the conflict. There are several causes.
  • One is the wider geopolitical picture sometimes in history there are multipolar global situations like during WW1, and the best thing for everyone is to try to defuse those situations. In WW1, the people in the countries fighting were Christians, and during Christmas, they had a Christmas truce because everyone in the trenches celebrated Christmas. Then when Christmas ended, many soldiers didn't want to keep fighting, but their officers eventually forced them to. In the US, Europe, Ukraine, and Russia, we are dealing with Christian people, so the best thing for everyone would be to care about each other, think about each other's commonality, and try to reach peace.
Actually, Putin has recruited many Chechens who are more than willing to kill infidels. That shows Putin's total disregard for Christianity. He's even willing to side with Islam in order to exterminate his fellow Orthodox brothers. ISIS is laughing at this situation. Putin's psychosis will never ever allow him to care about others, think about each other's community, nor attempt to attain peace. Solution: Russians must speak up and democratically demand change of their government.

  • The Geopolitical situation here is one where since 1990, the 1st world nations (US and EU especially) have grown their economies and military alliance (NATO), which has steadily moved eastward gradually every few years.
    730px-History_of_NATO_enlargement.svg.png

    (Wikipedia map, "History of NATO Enlargement")
    In the process, despite being officially a Defensive alliance, its forces have performed major interventions in Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Libya. Meanwhile, Russia is a second world nation, dwarfed by the economy of the US and EU. Perhaps it was only a natural matter of time when due to the eastward expansion of NATO, these two global poles and powers (NATO and Russia) would collide or reach a state of friction and tension, regardless of who was running the Russian government. And when that time came, the Wise course for everyone would be to try to manage this new situation in a careful, peaceful, understanding way. Certainly the US is the biggest party here holding the most cards, and thus the US has the most freedom in how it wants to chart its course in this situation. It's best and smartest in history when the strongest, biggest powers have acted wisely and carefully with a view to international cooperation, like when Roosevelt created the United Nations. But Great Powers have not always acted responsibly, as in the case of WWI. Certainly prayer, goodwill, and having a positive, cooperative, understanding attitude are all helpful or even necessary.
Shalom - Peace.
Greece, Romania, and Bulgaria are all Eastern Orthodox nations and they are all very content to be and to remain in NATO. Russia is an Eastern Orthodox Nation that despises and loathes NATO. Why?

To understand this situation we have to look at world history. Throughout recorded history, it's very often been a fight between liberty and dictatorships. Sparta against Athens. Greece against Persia. Communism against Liberty. Nazism against Freedom. US Civil War between North and South. Putin against Humanity. Greek Eastern Orthodox Churches against Russian Orthodox "Russian World" Ideology. And on and on and on. I'm on the side of Democracy, Freedom, International Laws, and Human Dignity. That's what Putin and other dictatorships all around the world spit on and are more than willing to sacrifice their people against. That's when NATO is needed, to resist the spread of dictatorships. I'm not saying that NATO is perfect. Look at what they did to Serbia's sovereignty. I was totally against the creation of Kosovo. Nevertheless, NATO is proving its value more often than not.

The root cause remains Putin's psychosis and Kirill's "Russian World" ideology.
 

rakovsky

Well-known member
I'm on the side of Democracy, Freedom, International Laws, and Human Dignity. ... I'm not saying that NATO is perfect. Look at what they did to Serbia's sovereignty. I was totally against the creation of Kosovo. Nevertheless, NATO is proving its value more often than not.
It is nice when you say that you support "Democracy, Freedom, International Laws, and Human Dignity."
In addition to those, I suggest peacemaking and international cooperation. The Sermon on the Mount says, "Blessed are the Peacemakers". The New Testament emphasizes forgiveness and getting along with neighbors, even tough ones. "How many times must I forgive my neighbor?", Jesus was asked. And although he answered 7 X 70, I think that he wasn't limiting it to that.

I don't want to be a broken record, but with peacemaking and international cooperation, one must look to understand the Other's point of view, and also care for them and address their main needs. For Democracy to work effectively, the public must be fully informed on the issue, instead of broadsided with a single point of view and set of facts and opinions that match that POV directed at international hostility and a breakdown of international relations. In the case of the current problems with Russia, the issue of NATO membership and Ukr. rearmament directed at Russia looks like the Number 1 issue for this conflict. It would be good if our American public was informed in a well-rounded manner on this issue so that they could make informed choices. Otherwise it's a revamp of past conflicts like the Yugoslav one.

It is also nice to see your criticism of NATO's mishandling of the Serbian conflict. My understanding is that both sides in Yugoslavia were comparably repressing each other- the Bosnian and Kosovar side repressing Serbians and vice verse. Yet NATO picked "it's" side to favor and went only against the "other" side, Serbia. So it bombed Serbia and carved Kosovo out of it. In the Ukrainian conflict, there is also the aspect of a civil war and proxy war, with NATO supporting one side (Kyiv) and Russia supporting the other (Donbass), which makes conflict resolution harder. The ideal, positive summary would be for both sides to try to address the conflict in a constructive way, meeting the needs of both parties and fulfilling the calling of being peacemakers. This is a challenge.

Shalom - Peace.
 

Theophilos

Active member
The “Russian World” sense of identity has been heavily promoted by both Vladimir Putin and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill over the past two decades. It asserts that there is a transnational Russian sphere or civilization, called Holy Russia, which includes Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, as well as ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking people throughout the world. The ideology asserts that Moscow is the political center and Kyiv is the spiritual center. Russian is the common language and the Russian Orthodox Church under the Moscow Patriarchate is the common religion. In this world, the Patriarch works in symphony with a common president/national leader (Putin) to govern this Russian world, as well as upholding a common distinctive spirituality, morality, and culture.

Against the corrupt and morally decadent liberal West, Putin promotes Russia as the Savior of Christian and conservative traditional values. In Putin's warped thinking, Ukraine's siding with the West is in fact a siding with Nazis (even though Zelenskiy is Jewish!) and Putin is needed to save Ukrainians from the morally decadent West.

Western Media is totally oblivious to what is going on because it has secularized, relativized, and trivialized its understanding of faith and theology. Therefore, the West has no idea how faith can be and is being weaponized. Whether it be Vladimir Putin, Osama bin Laden, Islamic State or Christian white nationalist terrorism, false usage of religion as an identity can exert a deadly hold. Western mainstream media, which rarely understands anything about religion, presents the world too often in Manichean terms that fail to see how modern holy wars are a product of and reaction against secularism itself.

The bottom line is that Putin's evil "holy war" violates the great teachings of true faith: peace, humility, mercy, forgiveness and he must be stopped.

Under communism (= international socialism), Russian nationalism was discouraged. The communists were militantly atheist and attacked all religion. They tore down churches or turned them into factories, stables, etc. They imprisoned clergy and believers of all faiths.

Since the fall of communism, Russia has returned to many of the tsarist policies. They have emphasized Russian nationalism and culture. The Russian Orthodox church has returned to a position of honor, even if it is not an official state church like it was under the tsars. Churches of all kinds have been rebuilt.

While there has been little coverage in the west, Ukraine has been fighting a bloody civil war since 2014 that has resulted in thousands of deaths on both sides. Protecting Russians in Ukraine was Putin's stated goal of the invasion:

On the morning of February 24, Russia officially launched a “special military operation” against Ukraine, designed, as Russian President Vladimir Putin explained, to “demilitarize” and “denazify” the neighboring state. The goal of the operation is to protect the people of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), he said . . .
https://tass.com/pressreview/1410663

Since the 1980s, the US has invaded Iraq twice and had troops there for many years. The US also occupied Afghanistan for almost 20 years, and NATO has bombed Libya and Serbia. I do not see a great difference between the actions of Russia and the actions of the US.

Has the US been acting against the teachings of Christ?
 

Synergy

Active member
It is nice when you say that you support "Democracy, Freedom, International Laws, and Human Dignity."
In addition to those, I suggest peacemaking and international cooperation. The Sermon on the Mount says, "Blessed are the Peacemakers". The New Testament emphasizes forgiveness and getting along with neighbors, even tough ones. "How many times must I forgive my neighbor?", Jesus was asked. And although he answered 7 X 70, I think that he wasn't limiting it to that.
So where is Putin's forgiveness of all his imagined ways he was wronged by all those Ukrainian children and mothers that he is responsible for killing?
I don't want to be a broken record, but with peacemaking and international cooperation, one must look to understand the Other's point of view, and also care for them and address their main needs. For Democracy to work effectively, the public must be fully informed on the issue, instead of broadsided with a single point of view and set of facts and opinions that match that POV directed at international hostility and a breakdown of international relations. In the case of the current problems with Russia, the issue of NATO membership and Ukr. rearmament directed at Russia looks like the Number 1 issue for this conflict.
I already addressed the fact that although NATO is not perfect, it still upholds human rights and international law. Putin loathes those principles because he is a KGB dictator at heart. As for your 2nd point, are you saying that Ukraine's defence of its homeland is responsible for Russia's massacre of Ukrainian children and mothers?
It would be good if our American public was informed in a well-rounded manner on this issue so that they could make informed choices. Otherwise it's a revamp of past conflicts like the Yugoslav one.
We already learned our lesson concerning Kosovo. Just like many Orthodox nations are helping Ukraine, the same thing will happen if Serbia (for example) is a victim of an invading dictatorship.
It is also nice to see your criticism of NATO's mishandling of the Serbian conflict. My understanding is that both sides in Yugoslavia were comparably repressing each other- the Bosnian and Kosovar side repressing Serbians and vice verse. Yet NATO picked "it's" side to favor and went only against the "other" side, Serbia. So it bombed Serbia and carved Kosovo out of it. In the Ukrainian conflict, there is also the aspect of a civil war and proxy war, with NATO supporting one side (Kyiv) and Russia supporting the other (Donbass), which makes conflict resolution harder. The ideal, positive summary would be for both sides to try to address the conflict in a constructive way, meeting the needs of both parties and fulfilling the calling of being peacemakers. This is a challenge.
It is interesting that the same pretext for invasion is commonly used by dictatorships. Erdogan has been itching to try the same thing with the Thracian province of Greece. He claims that Muslims there are being repressed by Greeks and he is just an inch away from invading the territory. Erdogan was livid when the US set up a base camp there. The only difference between Putin and Erdogan is that Putin is more psychotic than Erdogan.
 

Synergy

Active member
Under communism (= international socialism), Russian nationalism was discouraged. The communists were militantly atheist and attacked all religion. They tore down churches or turned them into factories, stables, etc. They imprisoned clergy and believers of all faiths.

Since the fall of communism, Russia has returned to many of the tsarist policies. They have emphasized Russian nationalism and culture. The Russian Orthodox church has returned to a position of honor, even if it is not an official state church like it was under the tsars. Churches of all kinds have been rebuilt.
So it's honorable for Kirill to appeal to the Russian World ideology in order to justify killing children and mothers? He is essentially sacrificing the Great Russian Orthodox Church on the altar of the prince of war - the same Great Church that produced multitudes of Saints is being banished into oblivion because of its deafening silence.
While there has been little coverage in the west, Ukraine has been fighting a bloody civil war since 2014 that has resulted in thousands of deaths on both sides. Protecting Russians in Ukraine was Putin's stated goal of the invasion:

https://tass.com/pressreview/1410663
I already mentioned in a previous post that it's interesting that the same pretext for invasion is commonly used by dictatorships. Erdogan has been itching to try the same thing with the Thracian province of Greece. He claims that Muslims there are being repressed by Greeks and he is just an inch away from invading the territory. Erdogan was livid when the US set up a base camp there. The only difference between Putin and Erdogan is that Putin is more psychotic than Erdogan.

Also, how can you possibly explain that Ukraine needs "de-nazifying" when Ukraine has a Jewish Prime Minister? The only way I see that as possible is that Russia has completely rewritten history and has stripped clean what being a Nazi means.
Since the 1980s, the US has invaded Iraq twice and had troops there for many years. The US also occupied Afghanistan for almost 20 years, and NATO has bombed Libya and Serbia. I do not see a great difference between the actions of Russia and the actions of the US.

Has the US been acting against the teachings of Christ?
Nobody around here says that the US is perfect. Nobody is boastful of what happened in Vietnam or in the countries you mentioned. We have made many mistakes and we are learning. Our democracy is only several centuries old and we are still in experimental phase. Nevertheless, we do not have dictators like Putin or Erdogan. Trump might think as a dictator but American laws prohibit him from being one. As a matter of fact, the Greek Prime Minister has been invited to address Congress on the merits of democracy on May 17th, a rare priviledge, that shows you the deep respect the US has for democracy and human rights, during this time of blatant aggression by psychotic Putin.
 

Theophilos

Active member
So it's honorable for Kirill to appeal to the Russian World ideology in order to justify killing children and mothers? He is essentially sacrificing the Great Russian Orthodox Church on the altar of the prince of war - the same Great Church that produced multitudes of Saints is being banished into oblivion because of its deafening silence.

I already mentioned in a previous post that it's interesting that the same pretext for invasion is commonly used by dictatorships. Erdogan has been itching to try the same thing with the Thracian province of Greece. He claims that Muslims there are being repressed by Greeks and he is just an inch away from invading the territory. Erdogan was livid when the US set up a base camp there. The only difference between Putin and Erdogan is that Putin is more psychotic than Erdogan.

Also, how can you possibly explain that Ukraine needs "de-nazifying" when Ukraine has a Jewish Prime Minister? The only way I see that as possible is that Russia has completely rewritten history and has stripped clean what being a Nazi means.

Nobody around here says that the US is perfect. Nobody is boastful of what happened in Vietnam or in the countries you mentioned. We have made many mistakes and we are learning. Our democracy is only several centuries old and we are still in experimental phase. Nevertheless, we do not have dictators like Putin or Erdogan. Trump might think as a dictator but American laws prohibit him from being one. As a matter of fact, the Greek Prime Minister has been invited to address Congress on the merits of democracy on May 17th, a rare priviledge, that shows you the deep respect the US has for democracy and human rights, during this time of blatant aggression by psychotic Putin.

I have not seen any statements from the Russian patriarch about killing children and mothers. Perhaps you can post a link?

An Eastern tradition is to select church leaders with the approval of the civil government. That is still the case in Turkey, where the Turkish government must approve the selection of the Patriarch of Constantinople. That is also the case for the Church of England and several other Protestant churches in Europe. While that is no longer the official procedure in Russia, it is not surprising that the church leader would support the government positions about the conflict in Ukraine.

In the US, many denominations split around the Civil War and questions about slavery. In two world wars, Christians from both sides ended up fighting each other. These kinds of questions are not unique to Russia and Ukraine.

As far as Zelensky, he was elected as a peace candidate but now he appears to be a Jewish figurehead on a regime dominated by violent extremists. Many of these groups make no secret of their links to the Galician SS who fought with Hitler and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army who collaborated with the Nazis during World War II. Yet the same groups continue to receive western support and training.

Here are some links for background.

https://thegrayzone.com/2022/03/04/nazis-ukrainian-war-russia/ (Language and violence warning)
 
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Synergy

Active member
I have not seen any statements from the Russian patriarch about killing children and mothers. Perhaps you can post a link?
I've never seen any dictator nor any of his accomplices ever document all the children or mothers they were directly or indirectly responsible for killing. Kirill, "Putin's Altar Boy" is no different.

I am not Catholic but Pope Francis nailed it when he told Anti-Patriarch Kirill that "we are not clerics of state, we cannot use the language of politics but that of Jesus" after Kirill used 20 minutes to dictate to the Pope, with card in hand, all his justifications for war. That act alone clearly shows that Anti-Patriarch Kirill is driven by his ideas, his ideology in other words, and not from his heart.

An Eastern tradition is to select church leaders with the approval of the civil government. That is still the case in Turkey, where the Turkish government must approve the selection of the Patriarch of Constantinople. That is also the case for the Church of England and several other Protestant churches in Europe. While that is no longer the official procedure in Russia, it is not surprising that the church leader would support the government positions about the conflict in Ukraine.

In the US, many denominations split around the Civil War and questions about slavery. In two world wars, Christians from both sides ended up fighting each other. These kinds of questions are not unique to Russia and Ukraine.
So which side are you on? This is what I wrote in an earlier post:

Throughout recorded history, it's very often been a fight between liberty and dictatorships. Sparta against Athens. Greece against Persia. Communism against Liberty. Nazism against Freedom. US Civil War between North and South. Putin against Humanity. Greek Eastern Orthodox Churches against Russian Orthodox "Russian World" Ideology. And on and on and on. I'm on the side of Democracy, Freedom, International Laws, and Human Dignity. That's what Putin and other dictatorships all around the world spit on and are more than willing to sacrifice their people against. That's when NATO is needed, to resist the spread of dictatorships. I'm not saying that NATO is perfect. Look at what they did to Serbia's sovereignty. I was totally against the creation of Kosovo. Nevertheless, NATO is proving its value more often than not.

The root cause remains Putin's psychosis and Kirill's "Russian World" ideology.

As far as Zelensky, he was elected as a peace candidate but now he appears to be a Jewish figurehead on a regime dominated by violent extremists. Many of these groups make no secret of their links to the Galician SS who fought with Hitler and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army who collaborated with the Nazis during World War II. Yet the same groups continue to receive western support and training.

Here are some links for background.

https://thegrayzone.com/2022/03/04/nazis-ukrainian-war-russia/ (Language and violence warning)
Two points need to be made here:

Point #1: Neo-Nazis are everywhere. The US has their share of them. Also, the US has many Jewish political and economic figureheads. I see no clashes between them. With your form of reasoning then the next step for Russia to do is to invade the US in order to "de-nazify" it also? If that's what you're promoting then you are in fact a promoter of World War III. The only way to deter it is if the West steps in now, as the West should have done when Hitler first started his war campaign.

Point #2: The West needs to be very careful of whom they support. The West supported Bin Laden in the fight against Russia which bit the US in the back later on. Dictators or Fascists around the world should always be called out for what they represent regardless if it's expedient or not at that moment. Autocrats like Erdogan or Putin must always be put in their place no matter what temporary benefits we might reap had we supported him.
 
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