A False Flag or Fog of War over Ukraine?

Srdja Trifkovic


Srdja Trifkovic

Source: Chronicles A Magazine of American of Culture | Srdja Trifkovic | July 18, 2014

A Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 bound for Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam was shot down in eastern Ukraine Thursday afternoon, killing all 298 passengers and crew. It was hit as it cruised at 33,000 feet above the war-ravaged Donetsk Oblast, 35 miles west from the Russian border. The airliner’s demise has the potential to escalate the Ukrainian crisis to an entirely new level.

The White House was quick to imply that the Russians were to blame for the disaster: “While we do not yet have all the facts, we do know that this incident occurred in the context of a crisis in Ukraine that is fueled by Russian support for the separatists, including through arms, materiel, and training,” its statement read only hours after the crash. “This incident only highlights the urgency with which we continue to urge Russia to immediately take concrete steps to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine.”

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko promptly accused the rebels for the incident, calling it an “act of terrorism.” Late last night I received an email from the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry with the link to an audio file containing two “intercepted conversations” in which pro-Russian separatists discuss having just shot down a civilian plane with their alleged GRU handlers:

————— Original Message —————

From: “press” To: <“Undisclosed-Recipient:;”@mfa.gov.ua>
Subject: MFA: English and German Subtitles – Evidences of shooting down the civil Boeing-777 by terrorists in Donetsk
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2014 00:27:11 +0300

Evidences of shooting down the civil Boeing-777 by terrorists in Donetsk region, Ukraine, on 17th July 

(Rus lang – ENGLISH SUBTITLES)
http://youtu.be/BbyZYgSXdyw

  

————— End of Original Message —————

The link was simultaneously released to various media outlets around the world, and reported as credible. The authenticity of the tape was challenged almost immediately, however, including the apparent evidence that the Ukrainian security service USB had prepared its recording for quick release several hours before the airliner went down. (Thus far I have not been able to track any refutation of this interesting claim.)

There is at least one “known-known”: it is widely accepted that the plane was hit by a ground-to-air missile, probably launched from an SS11 “Buk” medium-range, self-propelled battery (NATO codename “Grizzly”). It is certain that the Ukrainian government forces have had such missiles in the region since July 4 at the latest. It is not certain whether pro-Russian rebels also have them. They have denied it, but last Monday they shot down a government-operated Antonov An26 transport plane at an altitude of 20,000 feet, which is well above the range of shoulder-launched missiles (MANPADs) or anti-aircraft artillery which they are known to possess. Furthermore, a Russian website reported the downing of a government transport plane yesterday afternoon in the area where the Malaysian airliner was hit. From the Russian-language text it is unclear, however, whether the source of the report on the ground knew with certainty who fired the missile or made a hasty assumption about the plane’s identity after the crash.

Even if the rebels pressed the launch button, the key question is whether they were deliberately set up to do so by the Ukrainian authorities. A key piece of information, overlooked elsewhere, came in this report by The Guardian:

Igor Sutyagin, a Russian military specialist at the London-based Royal United Services Institute, said … that a Ukrainian transport plane had been flying overhead close to the time that the missile was fired at the Malaysia Airlines plane, suggesting that may have been the original target. The transport plane had been trying to relieve a beleaguered Ukraine garrison.

The Malaysian airliner was guided by the Kiev flight control center at the time of the accident, in apparent violation of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council decision to close the airspace over eastern Ukraine because of the government’s ongoing “anti-terrorist operation” in the region. Significantly, on July 8, Ukraine’s State Aviation Service banned all flights over the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in order to provide “adequate safety and security for all flights of civil aircraft.” No civilian airliner should have been there, on Kiev’s own reckoning.

In a rare show of tacit agreement with Kiev, a representative of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic said that civil aviation planes could not fly over Donetsk and Lugansk regions since all necessary traffic control and navigation equipment was damaged. “Dispatching support of all passenger flights is being conducted from Kiev. How this plane could be there – is not clear,” he said, adding that the Donetsk airport communication tower, “which is a part of the integrated air traffic control system, was blown up during fighting. Planes cannot fly here.”

An outright false-flag operation would have entailed the Kiev authorities shooting down the airliner and blaming the rebels. An elaborate false-flag operation would have entailed guiding the airliner into a war zone, in contravention of the regime’s own proclaimed rules, sending a government military transporter into that same zone at exactly the same time when the Malaysian airliner was entering it, and hoping that the rebels fire the missile in the reasonable assumption that anything that flies is non-civilian and therefore a legitimate target.

This is what I believe has happened, less than 24 hours after the event, having spent a sleepless night examining the available evidence. I may be wrong, but reputation-defining gut feelings have been proven right in the past. The Western media pack’s inevitable focus will be on “who fired the missile,” and not “under what circumstances, and why.” The intended political payoff is summarized in John McCain’s predictably bloodthirsty howl that there would be “hell to pay” if the plane was shot down by the Russian military or separatists. The Nulandesque clique in Washington will use such statements prudently. It is likely to have engineered the ploy – the exercise would be way beyond Pororshenko’s or the Right Sector’s league – and the trans-Atlantic advisors have ample experience in the field: think Saddam’s WMDs in 2003, Bosnia’s Markale in 1994, Kosovo’s Racak “massacre” stage-managed in January 1999 compliments of CIA agent William Walker, Bashar al Assad’s “gassing of his own people” in the suburbs of Damascus last August, or Gaddafy’s “imminent genocide” in Benghazi two years earlier…

Yes, there will be calls for an all-out proxy war against Moscow, or lethal sanctions against Russia as “the ultimate culprit” for “the atrocity.” It will be conveniently forgotten that an Iranian civilian Airbus with 300 passengers and crew was wantonly shot down – with far less contextual justification – by the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf in 1988. It will not be mentioned that on October 4, 2001, a Russian Tu-154M passenger plane flying from Tel Aviv to Novosibirsk crashed over the Black Sea, having been shot down by a Ukrainian S-200 missile fired during military exercises in Crimea, killing all 78 passengers and crew. It was flying at 33,000 feet – just like the Malaysian airliner – but it was not subject to any restrictions, unlike the doomed Boeing 777, whose 298 passengers and crew were sacrificed to broader geopolitical objectives.

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Comments

  1. Tim R. Mortiss says:

    What do you want it to be, George?

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    • George Michalopulos says:

      It's not up to me. I just want the truth. From what I read I'm leaning heavily on the side of false flag. Remember Damascus one year ago? We were told in no uncertain terms that Assad had used poison gas on his people. All the Goodthinkers wanted us to be Al Qaeda's air force.

      All I ask for is that the US should look out for No. 1. We should be very careful before expending American blood and treasure. Is that so much to ask for?

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      • Nate Trost says:

        If you are leaning false flag, it is because you are reading bad sources. Among other things, the crap piece you link above doesn't bother to mention to nuances of the airspace restrictions and lack of capability in Eastern Ukraine. In short: they did not apply and were not relevant to air traffic overflying in the international air corridor above 30,000 feet. Some airlines had previously made the internal decision to change routing over Eastern Ukraine, but not all of them. Stating that Ukraine violated their own restrictions and intentionally guided MH17 into harms way is a ludicrous assertion that doesn't hold up to a modicum of scrutiny.

        Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence. Even when that incompetence results in the murder of almost 300 innocent people. Give a not-terribly-well trained crew a Buk and crap happens.

        One problem is this: nobody wants to believe a civilian airliner at 30,000+ feet is at risk because nobody with that capability is going to intentionally target a civilian airliner. Unfortunately when you 'dun goofed' with hardware that has that capability, whatever your intentions, the result is a deadly tragedy.

        What the heck kind of "false flag!" are you leaning to anyway?

        Right now the Western Conspiracy known as Occam's Razor suggests the following scenario as most likely based on the available evidence: that Russia supplied the rebels with, among other things some old Buks which were probably operated by rebels that had some previous training on the platform from military experience in either the Ukrainian or Russian military. Riding the high of having previously shot down a Ukrainian An-26, their inexperience/incompetence got the best of them and they launched on MH17, despite it flying both significantly higher and faster than the max ceiling/airspeed of an An-26. We know the rest of the story.

        We were told in no uncertain terms that Assad had used poison gas on his people.

        The fact remains that he almost certainly did. Things have not in fact changed from when you were ignoring evidence and living in delusion the first time. I find it amusing that you don't seem to realize that Assad's patron, Russia, knew full well that it was government forces behind the attack. Whatever cover they made publicly, there is no way Putin could allow a client state to continue using nerve gas on its own civilian population. The heavy arm twisting from the Kremlin that got the Syrian government to agree to disarm their chemical arsenal was because they knew the truth.

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        • George Michalopulos says:

          Nate, I made --nor did Mr Trifkovic--make an assertion that this wasn't the result of the rebels shooting down an airplane. That they were supplied by the Russians is well-known. However, based on what we know now about the Damascus Sarin attack of last year, Trifkovic and I are asking to not jump to any conclusions. I would not be surprised at all if we found out that Kiev air-traffic controllers steered that jet over that specific area with the hope that the rebels would mistakenly shoot it down.

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      • One can oppose "expending American blood and treasure" and still let the evidence lead where it may. The simplest explanation is that Russian-sponsored rebels shot down the plane by mistake, thinking it was a Ukrainian military aircraft. Otherwise one has to go through all sorts of contortions with the evidence- and as for the recorded phone conversations emerging too soon, so too did the challenge to their authenticity. In 1983, Ronald Reagan loudly condemned the shootdown of Korean Air 007, but took no punitive action. That's probably what should happen here, perhaps with additional sanctions (let the Dutch and the rest of Europe lead on that).

        The Obama Administration did the right thing in Damascus - the evidence of government involvement was inconclusive, and the Assad regime is removing its chemical weapons with Russian assistance. This was in the context of the direct threat of the (to my mind highly undesirable) possibility of American military action. In terms of looking out for #1, we got the best of all possible worlds.

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        • George Michalopulos says:

          Not necessarily. I am very much in favor of wanting a full and honest investigation. But I have a question: what if we find out that Western agents steered that plane over that area? Or worse yet, if the Ukrainian military actually shot it down?

          What then?

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      • Carl Kraeff says:

        From what I have read, I am inclined to think that Putin's Cossacks shot down the airliner by mistake. The bigger problem is that some folks are not capable of seeing what is happening and, like drowning men, are grabbing at anything.

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      • Gail Sheppard says:

        Yes, we remember one year ago in Damascus, but you seem to think it is a forgone conclusion that Assad did NOT poison his people. Do you have proof of that? Has he ever shown a hesitancy to refrain from killing his own people to further his agenda? Just asking the question, because I don't see evidence of this in current history or in past history with his father. Staying in power is what the Assads know how to do. Give credit where credit is due. - I respect strength, but not when it is turned against the people whom one serves. There is NOTHING to be gained from that.

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        • George Michalopulos says:

          Gail, Assad is doing nothing different than Lincoln did during our horrible internecine strife. He's not killing people for the fun of it but because rebels are trying to overthrow his government. Whether his government is legitimate or ethical is not the point.

          I have no proof that Assad used that Sarin gas on his people. I do have evidence as reported by Seymour Hersh that the gas in question was supplied by Turkey. Given that most people have stopped raging at Assad, I'm inclined to believe that it was a false flag operation.

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          • Gail Sheppard says:

            The difference between Assad and Lincoln is that Lincoln went to war for a principle; not because he was enamored with wealth and power.

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            • George Michalopulos says:

              Gail, you're making an assumption that our republican, constitutional form of government is the only legitimate form of government. The Arab monarchies and dictatorships that exist are just as legitimate within their own ethno-culturual context as constitutional monarchy is in the Netherlands, Denmark, Great Britain, etc. And of course our own experiment in republicanism here in America.

              In making this assumption, it necessarily follows that Assad is in it only for the power and wealth. (BTW, that's a dangerous assumption to make because American prisons are littered with American politicians who have been convicted of felonies.) Go back and read what Lincoln himself and other Northern leaders said at the outset of the War: they clearly stated that they could not allow a free-trade Confederacy to be established to their south because it would undermine the tariffs that funded the Federal government. To be sure, that's not Lincoln wanting more money for himself (he was already a rich man) but he was concerned about the negative economic effects to the Northern industrialists as well as the public fisc.

              Anyway, where was I? Is Assad enriching himself? Is he only in it to see how much his family gets? If so, what makes him that different from every other Arab potentate, many of which are our allies?

              I mean, think of it, we go on and on about the mistreatment of women, we wax poetic about "reproductive rights," but we don't say "boo!" about Saudi Arabia, where women aren't even allowed to drive a car. (Not that I give a rat's rear-end about what people do in their own countries.)

              Anyway, thanks for keeping me honest.

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              • Gail Sheppard says:

                RE: "Gail, you’re making an assumption that our republican, constitutional form of government is the only legitimate form of government."

                You're absolutely right, George. I believe that our legitimacy stems from the premise that human life is valuable. So do YOU. So did Lincoln.

                Is it ever legitimate to make human life expendable? If so, I guess abortion is "legitimate," as a woman has the right to maintain control over her own body, to protect her lifestyle, her independence, her resources, etc. Right? (Being sarcastic.)

                As an aside, I think it is condescending and inaccurate to depict Arabs as being too "backwards" (correct me if that was not your intent) to get our form of government. They "get it." They just don't want it. (Talking about the people who actually could affect such a change.)

                Assad was at the helm when outright inhumanity was committed against his people. Whether or not he gassed them is up for debate, but not the fact that his military had the means. When asked about other atrocities, his response was this: ""They're not my forces. They are military forces who belong to the government. I don't own them. I'm president. I don't own the country." Well, he kind of does (own the country) both in power and resources. His in-laws purportedly own 60% of the wealth of Syria. (Please don't argue with me about a percentage point here or there, because I will concede; let's just agree it's A LOT). If you have that kind of authority and access to that kind of money, it's time to put policies (not guns) in place to equalize the situation. Even Metropolitan Philip acknowledged that these people are HUNGRY, not "rebel rousers" . . . well, eventually he did.

                There is nothing "legitimate" about any of this. (Yes, Bishop Tikhon, I realize that Christians have also committed atrocities throughout history, but I'm not talking about them.)

                P.S. Forgive the parentheses. I know I do this a lot. It's reflects the ping-ponging going on inside my head. (Some of you are going to have a "field day" with that admission, right??) Love to you all.

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                • George Michalopulos says:

                  Gail, I think only you, me, and possibly that guy behind the tree believe that all human life is valuable. We've lost that argument in this country ever since Roe v Wade. And we have Orthodox and Catholic politicians who will go the mattresses to make sure that any woman could have her pre-born baby's skull crushed in the name of "choice." With no restrictions whatsoever.

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                  • Gail Sheppard says:

                    I have never been in a position where I had to consider an abortion, but there was a time when I believed that removing a few "cells" to save a child from a lifetime of abuse and neglect might be the better option. If something is "legal," it must be OK, right? (I was so deluded.) Coming into the Church radically changed my POV. Technology also played a role. It's hard to see a head, arms, legs and little beating heart and still think of a baby as "cells." In all 50 states, the abortion rate in the United States has dropped to its lowest point since the Supreme Court legalized the procedure. I realize that some attribute this to the wide availability of long term birth control, but:

                    "According to Gallup, in 1996 some 56% of Americans self-identified as pro-choice and 33% as pro-life. By 2013, only 45% called themselves pro-choice while 48% said pro-life. Part of the reason may be greater awareness of what a termination involves."

                    I don't think we're a nation who doesn't value life. I think we are a nation of people who are are just beginning to realize that the removal of those "cells" is destroying life.

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                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

                  I agree with Gail here, however, i'm not ready to believe that Assad gassed his own. However, even if he did, we must not act "shocked, shocked". After all the United States of America is responsible for the introduction of poison gas into conflicts in that region, and we piously approved of Saddam Hussein's use of mustard and other poison gas against Iran as well as bombing. Israel approved, too. Arabs may not be as universally educated as some Europeans, Orientals, and Americans, but they can spot the hypocrisy of this "shocked, shocked" when it comes to gassing enemies. And just think, those veterans of mustard gassing in Iran DARE to call America the Great Satan. This PROVES that Iran is evil, right?

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            • Michael Bauman says:

              Gail, what principal though? It is not as simplistic as the good, non-slave owning north vs the evil slave owners in the south. Think in terms of industrialism still tied to a mercantilist economic philosophy vs feudalism. The idea of a federal union that vs. a voluntary union of the elite.

              It did not take long after the war for the northern industrial policy to look astonishingly like the agrarian feudalism of the south that it displaced.

              Here is another way to look at democracy: http://reason.com/blog/2014/07/24/andrew-napolitano-democracy-fraud

              All human government gravitates toward a corrupt oligarchy. Certainly those wishing to replace Assad are no better and likely much worse. Baksheesh is a way of life in those areas.

              The Wilsonian ideal that peace comes through the exportation of democracy and the self-determination of all peoples is a tragic delusion.

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  2. You forgot Libyan Arab Airlines 114, shot down by the Israelis:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libyan_Arab_Airlines_Flight_114

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    • George Michalopulos says:

      Have we forgotten about the USS Vincennes?

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    • Tim R. Mortiss says:

      Well, we certainly haven't forgotten about the American Civil War, it seems!

      Once the tit-for-tat historical grievances and ancient resentments start, they never come to a stop, however many centuries back they go.

      Whatever our doomsters think about their own country, I assert that it's nice being from and living in a place where there seem to be no historical grievances at all! And my British Columbia immigrant forbears had none at all, either.

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      • Jim of Olym says:

        A few of your First Nations people might have another opinion about 'historical grievances', Tim!

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        • Tim R. Mortiss says:

          They might, indeed. I assume you are referring to Indians, to which in my long experience is what they call themselves almost universally, and is what they call their tribes.

          It's true that the wisdom of the English in establishing their nation on an island, and of their offspring in establishing our nation between two vast oceans, contributes to this lack of national or ethnic resentments.

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  3. steve knowlton says:

    I would humbly offer that you don't have any evidence to consider, even in a sleepless night bent over a laptop with a fast connection, nursed along by strong coffee. We just have secondary material, or even worse: media reports and twitter and the like, and a lot of counterclaims about "who gains", кто кого?, which is actually a terrible way to analyze current events. Moreover, you're in the hopeless situation that if anyone offered primary evidence contrary to your theory, you would, as you are already, suggest that the evidence is false, planted, staged, etc.

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    • I would agree. Although George raises a good point that US and Ukrainian government sources have zero credibility. I am reminded of the farce before the UN security council years ago to justify the destruction of Iraq. What was the famous phrase? "...they have weapoms of mass destruction and we know where they are at..."?

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      • steve knowlton says:

        Do you really ascribe zero credibility to US government sources? No distinction between the US govt, Ukraine, Teheran, Moscow., etc.? They're all 0% credible? Or are you just exaggerating?

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        • When it comes to events like these, yes. Zero credibility. Especially when the mainstream media is lockstep with a narative the government has been promulgating.

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    • George Michalopulos says:

      Not at all. Using Lenin's logic ("who? whom?) I can see where the junta would profit most from this atrocity. Isn't it obvious?

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  4. Fr. Evangelos Pepps says:

    Why we need leadership of integrity in high places of our government, men and women who place a clear conscience before political and material advancement, a choice not easy when one reaches a significant level of power.
    For the President of these United States and all those in civil authority in the service of our country, let us pray to the Lord.

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    • Jim of Olym says:

      Father, if one wants to be elected (or selected0 to high political or bureaucratic office, it helps if one is a sociopath.

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      • Look at our last few Presidents:

        Obama - son of absent father
        Bush II - recovered alcoholic, son of Bush I
        Clinton - father died before he was born, stepfather was an alcoholic
        Bush I - scion of Establishment family
        Reagan - son of alcoholic father

        Anyone see some patterns here?

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        • Tim R. Mortiss says:

          I don't see any pattern, except the groundwork for striving, hard.

          By the way, I have known many, many recovered alcoholics who reached the tops of their professions. And many heavy drinkers who were not alcoholics who decided to stop drinking for good reasons. Bush II is probably in the latter category.

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  5. Dan Fall says:

    There was no such travel ban. It was done on a per nation basis from what I understand. The US had such a ban in place, but only recently. The bottom line is the same, if you take up arms against your own nation; it is no longer civil disobedience, and you will be called a terrorist. And Russia is supporting them.

    Like I said before, Putin can stop all of it. He is ultimately to blame. Eighty percent popularity; history will judge him correctly.

    He is a stain on Orthodoxy; quite sad.

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    • Antonio Arganda says:

      So, according to you, the Confederates in the US Civil War were "terrorists?" Nice try but no cigar!

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      • Dan Fall says:

        Of course they were terrorists.

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        • George Michalopulos says:

          Dan, do you know the meaning of the word "terrorist"? Washington may have been hung for treason against his king if the war had gone the other way but he never terrorized anybody. He scrupulously upheld the rules of warfare as then understood, never once wantonly killing a non-combatant or killing for the sake of striking terror into the hearts of his enemies.

          No sir, he was most definitely not a terrorist.

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          • Dan Fall says:

            The point was about the civil war. Of course, governments today have broadened the definition of terrorists for propaganda. And if Washington started today; he'd be labelled as a terrorist regardless of his tack. That said, I would bet prepubescent boys died in both conflicts. War was fought differently then.

            Bush and Obama have both killed innocent children. Putin as well. So at the end, I guess they meet your measure.

            Three children from one family were returning home a day early with grandpa so mom n dad could have a romantic date on their holiday. The separatists have shot down two Uk gov transports in about 30 days and you suggest false flag? Russia is to blame; false flag or not.

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    • Carl Kraeff says:

      So true. I also think that this incident will further solidify Constantinople's claims by showing that the ROC is not capable of leading world Orthodoxy.

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      • George Michalopulos says:

        If that's the case, then we're all sunk.

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        • Jim of Olym says:

          George, I'm beginning to think that NO ONE is capable of leading world Orthodoxy. Let's here it for the 'True Orthodox' of their several warring ilks!

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          • George Michalopulos says:

            Jim,n thank you for this. As for myself, I categorically reject the concept that Orthodoxy has --or needs--a "leading" figure. Our leader has always been Jesus Christ. The Papacy is a valid office as properly understood by the Orthodox Church but only as primatial not supremacist.

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      • Jerome Wilson says:

        The ROC has never been capable of leading world Orthodoxy - it barely survived the Soviet Era (with no help from the West whatsoever!) .... Let's just hope it doesn't condone the shedding of blood in the name of "Holy Rus"
        And really? Assad and Abraham Lincoln equivalency? That's makes less sense than the Constantinian pretensions of Putin....

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        • George Michalopulos says:

          Mr Wilson, while I accept the rule that the victors get to write the history, if you just took into consideration the blood shed during the War Between the States, you would have to acknowledge that it was nothing less than Stalinist in its bloodiness.

          And if you took into consideration the war crimes committed by Sherman then the charge of moral equivalency rings true. For whatever you may think of Putin, it is not he who declared oppression against the Eastern Ukrainians.

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          • Tim R. Mortiss says:

            What does "nothing less than Stalinist in its bloodiness" mean? How many millions did Sherman kill?

            Maybe one thing we might agree on about William Tecumseh Sherman is that he spoke and wrote plainly, his autobiography being a prime example; a 20th century man (I'm still one of those) can actually understand it.

            This is in sharp contrast to the bloviating circumlocutions, tedious screeds, and pompous rhodomontade of his contemporaries on the other side, men who were in love with their own rhetoric, to the detriment of the nation.

            So it's back to the Civil War, that watershed for Orthodoxy!

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          • Sherman's war crimes were primarily directed against property, not against innocent civilians. Nearly all the Civil War dead were soldiers. I don't think the same can be said of the current Syrian conflict or the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza (in which the Israelis are killing civilians at a faster pace than the Assad regime). That's not to say that the North would not have directed airpower at Southern cities, if they had had those means at their disposal, or that the death toll of the war was not "Stalinist."

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          • Archpriest Andrei Alexiev says:

            George,
            While I agree with much of what you write here about the War of Northern Aggression, I can't let you get away with labeling the Union Aggression as "Stalinist". Stalin was so horrible that over one million former Soviet soldiers signed up to fight with Hitler, even when it was almost certain that Nazi Germany had lost the war. As Solzhenitsyn points out, when in the history of the world, has such a large group of people voluntarily switched over to the enemy side DURING THE COURSE OF THE WAR!?
            Furthermore, they voluntarily fought on the side of their country's enemy, even though this enemy regarded them as "untermenschen", i.e. subhuman. Of course, in Stalin's eyes, they were already traitors to the homeland, since they were supposed to have fought to the death, rather than having been taken prisoner.

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    • Dan Fall says:

      How can any of you seriously respect Putin? You fools would rather disrespect Obama and respect Putin.

      What twisted minds.

      Minus ten on 30 votes. My math correct is twenty people who have been badly influenced by hatred,

      Loving Putin lately should be a wierd al tune.

      Wow.

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      • Jim of Olym says:

        Dan, getting late on this, but what exactly do you respect Obama for? I can't think of anything right now, except maybe his ability to play golf and his aplomb before a microphone. and I'm a registered 'Democrat' to boot!

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        • Regardless of what one thinks of Obama, my reading of Dan's comment is that people's extreme dislike (to put it mildly) of Obama leads them to admire Putin in spite of all of Putin's manifest flaws, i.e. if the Obama Administration does something in Ukraine, it's bad, so therefore Putin is good. Putin also puts a lot of thought into projecting the image of strong leadership (right down to the judo black belt and the shirtless photos), which appeals to people who think that Obama is a weak leader.

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          • Dan Fall says:

            Putin can invade more than one sovereign nation and garner more respect from fools than a peaceful leader.

            Obama is a thousand times a better Christian than Putin can ever pretend.

            Sorry chaps; reality is a tough pill to swallow for many.

            Obama's highest sin would be collateral damage in drone strikes.

            When Putin puts economic sanctions on the EU and the US; Russian consumers will be adversely affected. Maybe eventually his popularity will decline to where it belongs.

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    • George Michalopulos says:

      That makes no sense, on so many levels. For one, you forget that the current junta is illegitimate. It overthrew a legally elected president. According to international law, it's ipso facto a rogue state. Anybody can do anything they want to Ukraine, within Ukraine, over and under Ukraine.

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      • Dan Fall says:

        So, if a coup by group A occurs against a government; no government will ever be legitimate? A government is whoever is in control today. You are suckered by the Russian argument.

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    • Michael Bauman says:

      Mr. Fall do you have any idea of how utterly modern the whole concept of 'nation' is and how little it applies to anything prior to the late 19th century and how little it applies to anyone outside the Western Europeans and their direct off-shoots? What makes a nation?

      Terrorism is largely a modern phenomenon that has surged since 1948 with a very few groups prior to that. All terrorist groups I know of have some religious/racial ideology at the heart of their hatred and it is hatred that rules them. There have been Hindu identified terror groups such as the Thugees; Christian, Jewish and Islamic and Marxist identified terror groups (Marxism is a quasi-religions ideology IMO). The vast majority of such groups however are Islamic in origin.

      None of them (except Marxist ones) are representative of the faith with which they identify but represent a twisted ideology that takes a faith as its excuse.

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  6. Tina Hovsky says:

    The evidence is clear; Russian operatives shot the plane down with Russian missiles. The pictures of the plane show thousands of small holes from the outside in - not an engine blow up. The satellite pics show the Russian missile rising and the explosion. Putin & Russia is guilty of this mass murder of innocents and must pay.

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    • Michael Bauman says:

      "They must pay! (manical laughter). Yes they must pay with the last drop of their children's children's blood. (Howard Dean like scream).

      scarasm off

      "In the course of justice none of us shall see salvation."

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      • Michael,

        I think the dynamic here is something like this: If you start of with a hatred of Putin and Russia to begin with, then even a mistake by a Russian proxy (at best) deserves a call for bloody retribution against those who run the Kremlin. Perfectly logical and just, right?

        It's not like the United States and any number of countries have not made the exact same mistake over the years and walked away "unpunished". Only a twisted fool would believe that either the Ukrainian resistance or the Russian military purposefully targeted a civilian airliner. Moreover, it is entirely possible that it was Ukrainian forces that shot it down. Ukraine did this before, by accident, in 2001.

        If it was an accident, there should be no punishment or retribution or any other consequences besides cooperation with the cleanup and restitution to the families of those tragically killed. Also, it was not murder. No one intended to murder anyone if it was an error of identification.

        Lies about murder and misguided vengeance do not help. Eventually, the West is going to have to negotiate seriously with Putin regarding Ukraine. All of the rest of this is just a pr leadup to that.

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  7. Alexander says:

    Re: "... if you take up arms against your own nation."

    One of many ironies about the West's Cold War "victory" is its wholesale acceptance Soviet gerrymandered "state" borders. The Soviets -- and Yugoslavs -- defined "state" borders consistent with Marxist/Leninist precepts positing that "states" (Soviet and eventually Western) should and would "wither away."

    The Soviet "states" had little to do with any Western idea of "nation," though from time to time lip service would be paid when convenient. However ill-defined the Western notion of a "nation-state" may be, a Western "nation-state" is not the same thing as a "state," defined, conceptualized, and institutionalized, by the Soviets (and again, the Yugoslavs). In broad stroke, the Western notion of a nation-state presupposes a group of people who exercise terrorial control over a defined area who share a common "culture," history, language, moral system, etc. In the instance of Yugoslav communist gerrymandered "Bosnia & Hercegovina," nothing could be farther from this principle. This conceptual tension between Easter and Western "states" played out in, among other contexts, how many of the USSR "states" were separately represented in the UN -- some, but certainly not all.

    In the 1990's, the West eagerly accepted Yugoslav defined "state" borders untethered to the idea of a "nation" because they believed that it would be a precedent for, and facilitate, the "orderly" denuclearization of the rapidly unraveling USSR. If one would take the locations of nuclear weapons in the former USSR and overlay a map objectively defining the location of ethnic or national "minorities," one would find truly rogue groups exercising control in those areas with nukes. To allow the dissolution of the USSR along "national" or "ethnic" lines -- more consistent with Western notion of a "nation-state" -- would have created exceedingly dangerous possibilities for nuclear proliferation. Put another way, using Western notions of a "nation-state," "The Republic of Crazy Towel Heads" would assert "legal" sovereignty over an area filled with nukes. By accepting the USSR defined borders allowed the West to deal with "Ukraine" by buying off its arsenal for what, a couple of billion dollars and a "security agreement" that was, as is now rather clear, worth slightly less than a half used roll of toilet paper. To the extent "Russia" could otherwise control nukes in Ukraine, Russian nuclear power was concurrently decreased.

    So, in the 1990's, when Yugoslavia was falling apart, from the Western perspective, suddenly the Yugoslav National Army definitionally became an "invasionary, illegal" army of agression violating "international norms" and the "territorial sovereignty" of, well, you name it, the former "Federal Socialist Republics" of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Hercegovina, and Macedonia. But, no mind that with NATO's bombing of Serbia and its "province" of Kosovo. That was celebrated -- or excused -- as assisting the "freedom fighting" "Kosovars."

    In short, for the current "terrorists," "Russian speakers," "separatists," or "freedom fighters" -- however one's confirmation bias cares to define them today -- Ukraine is not their "nation" and they are not part of a Ukrainian "nation," whatever it is that a Ukrainian nation thinks itself to be. They find themselves within the territorial borders defined by, and "accepted," the fictional "international community" contorted by the West and its media to be whatever helps some other cause. It all depends on momentarily expedient political correctness.

    It's all a steaming pile of poop. And because of it, many innocent people die unjustly and unnecessarily.

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    • Michał Żurowski says:

      Twenty-odd years ago, these same Russian speakers or however one wishes to define them voted not to live in Mother Russia but the Ukraine. Let's not forget that. That was the last democrtic vote of the subject and they have been voting in Ukrainian elections since then. Those fighting in their backyard are not locals but Russian soldiers on leave.

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      • Hmm,

        Well, some are probably Russian soldiers who were sent there, some simply decided to help out, some are indeed locals.

        Crimea held democratic referendum which neither the West nor Kiev respects. Donetsk and Lugansk also held some sort of referendum. The interesting thing to keep in mind is that the elections since Ukraine's independence have been a tug of war between pro-Russian and Ukrainian nationalist camps. First one way, then the other. Quite natural for a pseudo-nation created and recreated out of wholecloth.

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    • Tim R. Mortiss says:

      Postwar Yugoslavia certainly had one virtue: it was not torn by wars and mass murders. When it came apart, it was.

      Perhaps "nation-states" have some value over ethnic "nations".

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  8. Interesting article. I love Trifkovic, btw.

    First, I think it should go without saying, whoever pulled the trigger, that no one wanted to shoot down a civilian passenger airline and own up to the deed; i.e, either it was a terrible mistake or it was some type of set up - a "false flag".

    If it was a set up, it should be clear that it was a set up designed to place blame on the pro-Russian resistance and/or the Russian government.

    If it was a mistake, it could be anybody's.

    Now, assuming for a minute that it was a mistake, there should be no blood in the water and no angry calls for punishment against Russia or the pro-Russian resistance. Mistakes happen. As the above article lays out, they happen to the US and to every other country in the world.

    If it was a false flag of some sort, the truth needs to come out.

    As to the greater context of the war. The US and Europe staged a coup d'etat in Ukraine which Russia has been resisting. Russians in Ukraine were alarmed and resisted against the rule of the new government, setting up republics in the East. They did so before there was any legitimate government in Kiev. The interim government was installed by a mob led by Pravy Sektor and Svoboda after, and in spite of the fact that, a deal had been reached between all parties.

    Now, I wish that Putin would either take eastern Ukraine or write it off. I'm not sure what his long term strategy is there. Hopefully, the fog will lift and the truth will come out.

    https://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/qui-prodest/

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    • George Michalopulos says:

      Putin doesn't need to "take it or write it off." The reason is because the junta is making such a hash of things that all he has to do is bide his time. He got what he needed immediately with the annexation of the Crimea. That act alone made Ukraine ineligible for admission into NATO. (He did the same thing with cleaving off Abkhazia and Ossetia from Georgia.

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      • True enough, George. I have read articles that conclude that his strategic position has not worsened at all because of the Malaysian flight tragedy. I was speaking from my own level of comfort, not Putin's.

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      • Monk James says:

        George Michalopulos (July 24, 2014 at 9:59 pm) says:

        Putin doesn’t need to “take it or write it off.” The reason is because the junta is making such a hash of things that all he has to do is bide his time. He got what he needed immediately with the annexation of the Crimea. That act alone made Ukraine ineligible for admission into NATO. (He did the same thing with cleaving off Abkhazia and Ossetia from Georgia.

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        While I don't do politics, I have a couple of things to say about this current bloody crisis.

        First, the Crimean Peninsula (Krym) was sort of 'leased' to the ukrainian SSR in the 1950s. For whatever reason, Russia isn't renewing that lease, which was a communist convenience in the past but is now no longer of any advantage to the lessor.

        Second, like all the fictive constructs of 20th-century states put on the map as expressions of communist or fascist control, Ukraine will not be missed any more than 'Czechoslovakia' or 'Yugoslavia' are missed once it devolves into its ethnic/religious constituent parts. Just as Chekhia and Slovakia and Serbia and Croatia are recovering their own identities and national borders, so will the Rusins, Lemkos, Boykos, Hutsuls, Galicians, Poles and Russians of the polish-defined 'Ukraina' ('borderland) find theirs, and assimilate themselves into the nearby nations of their choice.

        Like water which always finds its own level, Kiev and Moscow should let them all go, and God bless them all.

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        • Johann Sebastian says:

          Monk James says:

          "Rusins, Lemkos, Boykos, Hutsuls, Galicians, Poles and Russians of the polish-defined ‘Ukraina’ (‘borderland) find their [own identities and national borders], and assimilate themselves into the nearby nations of their choice."

          Poles are the odd ones out in that list. The rest of them are, well, Russians of one flavor or another.

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          • Michał Żurowski says:

            The rest, Mr. Sebastian, are not Russians in the 20-21th century understanding of the term or Great Russians but are Rusins or Ruthenians (Ruthenes, in French) who speak dialects of what we now call Ukrainian.

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            • it's a hodge-podge, actually.

              "Rusyn" is recognized by many as a distinct language, but not by Kiev. "Ukrainian" was formerly considered a dialect of Russian. The Ukrainian language, despite technically being considered an Eastern Slavic language, has more mutual intelligibility with Polish than with Russian due to the tumultuous history of parts of it being dominated by everyone and his uncle.

              What I know to be true is that not long ago you would hear more Russian on the street in Kiev than Ukrainian and that the native language of many people in Central Ukraine is Russian (i.e., not the language of their chosen "national identity", but the language in which they think and which they learned from their mothers).

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            • Isa Almisry says:

              "who speak dialects of what we now call Ukrainian."
              LOL. I wouldn't tell the Russophiles among them that.

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  9. J. Maropoulakis Denney says:

    Russia would have absolutely nothing to politically gain from this shoot-down of a passenger airliner. Kiev would have everything to gain politically. The application of common sense tends to support the false flag theory. Whatever the case regarding who shot it down and why, Putin has nothing to fear from Obama, unless he blocks the doorway of an Obama fundraiser that Obama is late for. (lifted from a Kimberly Guifoyle remark)

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    • You assume that whoever shot down the plane did so on purpose with the full knowledge that it was a civilian airliner. Perhaps it was just incompetence and a mistake. If so, the Ukrainian government stands to benefit from the Russian-supported rebels' mistake. States and military forces make mistakes and do things contrary to their interests all the time. This isn't that complicated!

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  10. It's simple. The Russian backed separatists fired the rocket thinking it was a Ukrainian plane. They screwed up. It was a mistake but it cost hundreds of innocent lives. It has happened before, hell, we did it when we shot down a civilian Iranian Air flight.

    It stinks and to the degree the Russians provided the weapons and insufficient oversight to determine whether the Malaysian plane was friend or foe, they are responsible.

    Airspace where the Malaysian flight was flying was free and open skies at their cursing altitude when they were hit. Should they have exercised better judgement not to fly anywhere near the conflict zone? In hindsight, yes, but scores of other civilian flights had used the same airspace that same day.

    Russia has bit off more than it can chew with their rebel backed surrogates in eastern Ukraine and Putin overplayed his hand coming off his takeover of Crimea. His miscalculation has helped lead to this present situation and we may well be witnessing his high water mark of popularity.

    The USA doesn't need nor will it get involved any more than it currently is with Ukraine. More sanctions? Maybe but it won't nor should it go any further than this. Putin's only direction now from his high poll numbers is down. His day of reckoning will come and may he repent before the end.

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    • George Michalopulos says:

      Putin's problem from the standpoint of the globalists is that he's standing in the way of their complete domination. I fear that there will be more provocations along these lines in order to gin up more hatred for him from gullible Westerners.

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      • Dan Fall says:

        Can anyone say man crush?

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        • What, for Obama? That's old news. Look for the satirical article "He ventured forth to bring light to the world" about Obama the Messiah. It was in the London Times making fun of the unbridled adoration liberals here had for Obama. Hilarious.

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          • Dan Fall says:

            When Republicans can't win an argument; they, like Democrats, simply change the object. I say George has a man crush obviously on Putin and you unwisely and incorrectly credit
            me with one on Obama. You keep changing the subject shami.

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      • George, the Russian elite that have benefited from Putin's rule are fully a part of the "globalist" elite you're talking about. I posted this article somewhere else on here:

        http://www.newsweek.com/2014/08/08/educating-their-children-abroad-russian-elites-guilty-secret-261909.html

        Russian oligarchs live the high life in London and other European capitals, the Arab Gulf states, you name it. Hardly the "Putin vs. the Globalists" dichotomy you portray.

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  11. Joseph I. says:

    http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.ca/
    Anyone interested, here is some decent information on Ukraine from an Orthodox site.... yes it is pro Russian. So am I.

    Dan Fall, if Putin, a man who is promoting Orthodox Christianity, is a stain on Orthodoxy, what is Obama (and the whole of the US government), a man promoting moral and spiritual depravation, staining?
    The USA, by its government, has become the greatest war monger and mass murderer in modern history. This will not end well for the USA.

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    • Dan Fall says:

      Putin will get his at the pearly gates. How many times can you repent the murder of children before you just blame staff?

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      • George Michalopulos says:

        OK, for the sake of argument I'll play along. Putin will "get his" at the Pearly Gates. Suppose however that this plane was downed by the Ukrainian junta or that it was directed into that path by Western intelligence sources. Suppose that it was done so with the full knowledge of the State Dept.

        Question: will they "get their's" at the Pearly Gates?

        Does it not bother you that the US has spent $35 billion to destabilize the Ukraine?

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        • Dan Fall says:

          Can you explain what the 35B was spent on? To suggest it was to destabilize is a factless assertion.

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          • George Michalopulos says:

            I meant $5 billion. Forgive me. The fundamental immorality of doing so is what is shocking. Especially when our own economy is in freefall.

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            • Nate Trost says:

              You are 0 for 2 here.

              I meant $5 billion.

              Utterly wrong. You are likely to live a much happier life if you limit your intense moral outrage to things which are actually true.

              when our own economy is in freefall.

              2007/2008 was freefall. 2014 is disappointing economic growth levels.

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              • George Michalopulos says:

                Nate, part of your counter-argument is based on the fact that I made typographical error. Yet you acknowledge the fundamental immorality: that the US State Dept spent one stinking red penny to destabilize Ukraine and install a fascist junta which has resulted in the death of hundreds so far (not including the downed Malaysian flight).

                This is evil, unrefined. (And let's leave aside the fact that our Oligarchs want to get us involved in a shooting war with Russia. How'd that work out for Napoleon and Hitler?)

                As for our economy being in "free-fall," I stand corrected. We most certainly are not in the normal recovery cycle. In a typical recovery we experience GDP growth of 6% or more, settling down to 3%.

                That's not happening. All job growth has either in government job or has gone to illegal aliens. The Fed has printed trillions to keep us barely afloat. What will happen when we run out of steam? It ain't gonna be pretty.

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                • Nate Trost says:

                  No, my argument is that even your $5 billion number is a ridiculous fabrication that has no basis in truth. Full stop. Wherever you picked up that false tidbit, you got played for a sap. You didn't make a typographical error, you absorbed a falsehood and repeated it without bothering to check whether or not it was actually true.

                  Yet you acknowledge

                  No, I don't acknowledge, you saying the US spent $5 billion to destabilize Ukraine is every bit as true a if you claimed the Antiochian Archdiocese funneled $5 million to Syria to prop up the Assad regime. They are statements that have no basis in fact whatsoever.

                  and install a fascist junta

                  And just who was this 'facist junta' that was 'installed' by the US? Your assertions are over the top, hysterical and inaccurate.

                  All job growth has either in government job or has gone to illegal aliens.

                  I know you believe that, but it doesn't make it true.

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                  • George Michalopulos says:

                    That's not true at all. Full stop. The State Department funneled in billions --the best estimate is $5 billion--in order to inspire the Maidan uprising and arm Pravy Sektor and Svoboda. (Both of which are neo-Nazi organizations.)

                    How is my assertion that this is a fascist junta "over the top" and "hysterical" when these two paramilitaries were involved in the government. If you think otherwise, then I expect you to absolve Pinochet, Franco and the Greek colonels of the taint of fascism.

                    As for illegal aliens constituting the majority of non-governmental job growth. See here:

                    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jun/27/job-gains-equal-number-immigrants/

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                    • Carl Kraeff says:

                      George--I have not seen any other source but Russian ones for your statement that "The State Department funneled in billions –the best estimate is $5 billion–in order to inspire the Maidan uprising and arm Pravy Sektor and Svoboda. (Both of which are neo-Nazi organizations.)" I do not want to accuse you of being a useful idiot, so please tell us your source for this allegation.

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                    • George Michalopulos says:

                      See Mitrich above. The figure comes from Victoria Nuland herself.

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                    • Nate Trost says:

                      I already linked you to a thorough debunking of the $5 billion figure. The burden of proof is on you to document the legislation responsible for and the government accounting of these mythical billions of dollars going to Ukraine to destabilize it and forment uprising.

                      You aren't going to be able to show it because it does not exist. Furthermore, you are so out of your depth that you had no inkling that not only was your original 'mistaken' $35 billion number utterly absurd, but that even your $5 billion number was completely ridiculous. The US only gives Israel in the neighborhood $3 billion a year and you think it credible that the current US Congress appropriated $5 billion to firehose into Ukraine? The State Department does not have billions of dollars in discretionary spending in its budget to throw around at a whim. Which you would have known had you bothered to do something like glance at the executive summary.

                      To reiterate, put up or shut up with this claim:

                      The State Department funneled in billions –the best estimate is $5 billion

                      But you might want to bother to actually read my original link first.

                      The biggest problem isn't even that you believed it to be true, but that you thought it was remotely credible in the first place.

                      As for facists juntas, let us remember that the Pravy Sektor and Svoboda's candidates combined got less than 2% of the vote in the presidential election. They are also not representative of powerful entrenched military establishment power blocks, which makes the parallels to Chile, Spain and Greece eye-rolling.

                      As for illegal aliens constituting the majority of non-governmental job growth. See here

                      That study includes all immigrants. I realize that you may tend to view all immigrants as illegal, but the fact remains that since 2000 alone, over 14 million people have gained lawful permanent residence status in the United States. And that doesn't include people working under shorter-term work visas.

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                    • George Michalopulos says:

                      I guess Victoria "F*#% the EU" Nuland debunked you. The $5 billion figure came from her mouth.

                      Apology accepted.

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                    • George Michalopulos says:

                      Re job growth, you are right: I should have said "all immigrants." And no, I don't regard all immigrants as illegal. However given the anemic recovery we are experiencing, it might be wise for the US to consider a moratorium on all immigration for the time being. Perhaps 10 years.

                      As for the illegals, I feel for their plight, but I've seen way too many young working men not able to get jobs and maintain their families. It's pathetic. And to a man they will tell you that they are being outbid for their labor by illegals.

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                    • The article you cite, George, states that "Since 2000, all of the net jobs added by the U.S. economy have gone to immigrants, both legal and illegal..."

                      You stated that "All job growth has either in government job or has gone to illegal aliens," which according to the article is simply incorrect, as there is such a group as legal immigrants.

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                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

                      "The Washington Times." Enough said.

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                    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                      Pinochet, Franco, and the Greek colonels were only fascists in the very loose usage of that word popularized by leftists, who label all right-wing authoritarians "fascist."

                      Real fascism was actually an invention of the Left, an attempt by nationalistic leftists like Mussolini and Hitler to found a revolutionary civil order where old ideas about church and state could no longer hold things together.

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                    • Nate Trost says:

                      Victoria Nuland never said what you claimed she said. I've seen the video that was taken out of context. Considering you couldn't even accurately state the lede of your own supporting material in the realm of immigration, perhaps you should have taken a brief moment to verify that Nuland was actually guilty of that you were charging her with?

                      I asked you to prove your assertion using hard data and you reply by reposting inaccurate Russian propaganda. You don't get an apology from me, because you are still utterly and completely wrong. You should be apologizing to your readers.

                      Again you can't show me the legislation or the budget reports to back up your false belief because it is just that, a false belief. Falling for a disingenuous distortion of the words of a State Department functionary built up as some kind of Hollywood villain by a propaganda machine is just a further example of the intellectual laziness and lack of factual rigor that is used to build your worldview.

                      Show me the money! Again, you still can't. Because, again, the US has not in fact poured billions of dollars into Ukraine to destabilize it and fund the unrest. Attempting to frame the entirety of over twenty years or foreign aid as such is laughably dishonest.

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                    • George Michalopulos says:

                      And the Germans are just tickled pink that we secretly recorded Chancellor Merkel's private phone conversations. Lot's of daylight appearing between the US and Europe. Just you wait and see how happy the Europeans will be if the GOP takes over and forces the establishment of Pershing missills back on German soil.

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                    • Nate Trost, your tedious insults only reveal how little faith you have in your argument. It's getting old.

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                    • Alexander says:

                      According to foreignassistance.gov, the US "officially" provided -- or is scheduled to provide -- these amounts in foreign aid to Ukraine:

                      2015 - $ 94,283,000
                      2014 - $ 95,271,000
                      2013 - $102,576,000
                      2012 - $160,847,000
                      2011 - $195,577,000
                      2010 - $117,932,000

                      In round numbers that is $766,586,000 for the period 2010 - 2015. How these funds are or were earmarked is one question -- suspending disbelief for a moment that the US government would fortrightly disclose how money was actually intended to be spent.

                      The bigger question remains, however, how much has the US provided to NGO's in official and "unofficial" amounts. That amount is pure speculation. In short, as Trost's link to PolitiFacts states, "we attempted to drill down and verify the expenditures independently but found that a difficult task."

                      For the record, Nuland is a fool, regardless of her $5 billion estimate.

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                  • The $5 billion figure comes from Victoria Nuland's statement on December 13, 2013. If you think that it is "ridiculous fabrication that has no basis in truth" please address this to the State Department.

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                    • Here's her statement:

                      ""Since Ukraine's independence in 1991, the United States has supported Ukrainians as they build democratic skills and institutions, as they promote civic participation and good governance, all of which are preconditions for Ukraine to achieve its European aspirations," she said. "We have invested over $5 billion to assist Ukraine in these and other goals that will ensure a secure and prosperous and democratic Ukraine."

                      What part of "since Ukraine's independence in 1991" is so hard to understand?

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                    • Yes, and, well, how do you think all of those people took all of that time away from work to engineer a "spontaneous" months-long demonstration in the Maiden? I mean, we have Western politicians there handing out refreshments.

                      That's not all they handed out.

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                • George, the US gives Israel, its #1 aid recipient, about $3.1 billion per year. Do you mean to say that the US gave more aid to Ukraine than Israel? What is your source?

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                  • Daniel E Fall says:

                    The 5B number is since 1992.

                    If George was sincere; he'd be citing the Obama administration's desired to add another billion in foreign aid to Ukraine; most of which is intended to support its current government; rather being run over by Putin.

                    If you are suggesting the money is being spent to overturn the existing government; that is patently not true. Russia, on the other hand, voted to take military action in Ukraine and is certainly spending money on it and it is a destabilizing presence. I dunno, how about Francis Frost finally coming to the table with a succinct post, rather than a six page rambling about Russian incursions into the other formers. A post which pretty clearly credits the correct people for the murder of nearly 300 innocents.

                    Nice try crediting Obama for destabilizing Ukraine.

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                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

                  Well, everybody knows how that "worked out" for Napoleon and Hitler (and the Mongols? ). Speaking of MOngols, is that whence V. Putin got his Mandrill eyes?
                  I did admire Putin's remark,"We don't want the kind of democracy America gave Iraq.'
                  His followers in East Ukraine sure stabbed him in the back, and he can't admit it without losing face...

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                  • George Michalopulos says:

                    That latter statement is not necessarily the case. The Eastern Ukrainians may not "clean up well" as we say in Oklahoma and in this sense they may be an embarrassment to the professionalism and esprit d'corps of the RF armed forces, but they're tough people fighting in tough neighborhood fighting some pretty mangy types from the West. Let's not forget that the Jews who made up the Lehi and the Irgun (or even the Haganah) way back in 1948 weren't the kind that went to grad school.

                    Sometimes you gotta dance with the one that brung ya.

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                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

                      Did anybody disparage the human qualities of Putin's backers in East Ukraine? Did anyone say they don't "clean up well?" When I referred to them embarrassing V. Putin, I meant that their bungled shooting down of a passenger aircraft thinking it was a war plane and then trying unsuccessfully to cover it up in a month-long destruction of the crime scene must surely embarrass him no end. The poor guy couldn't acknowledge it without looking to his worshippers like a traitor and affecting his 'approval rating" about which he is more sollcitous than any Western politician. All those years of PR work and then those well-meaning boobs in East Ukraine threaten to make him into the character Gloria Swanson played in "Sunset Boulevard," or whatever!! Owning up to a mistake would be perceived as a sign of weakness in today's Russia. Not to worry: Russia and its economy are still sustained, as they have been since their earliest Tsarist days, by vodka.

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        • Johann Sebastian says:

          I still think there's a third, unidentified party that's at the root of all this, and neither Russians nor Ukrainians had any involvement.

          Anyone know if Chechens might have access to these weapons?

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    • J. Maropoulakis Denney says:

      I agree about Obama, and strongly disagree about Putin and the USA. Putin has no clue regarding liberty or the classical liberalism that has made the USA a great country. He is an elitist autocrat, essentially a fascist, and may succeed in starting W W III. His affection for Orthodoxy does not sway me from this opinion. The Russian people are not yet free. The elitists running the Ukraine are of the same ilk, so I don't take sides here, but it is shaping up to be an east-west confrontation that may lead to serious consequences.

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      • George Michalopulos says:

        He is certainly an authoritarian. Where you err however is in assuming that Classical Liberalism can work anywhere outside of the Anglosphere. For a decade or two after Reagan won the Cold War I too swallowed Francis Fukuyama's analysis that democratic liberalism was the end-stage of history. That was delusional and it had tremendous consequences for 4,000 American dead and 30,000 wounded in Iraq. (To say nothing of the Iraqi dead and the chaos that resulted.)

        Some nations and peoples are just more ungovernable than others. That's a fact and it's unpleasant for Progs to hear but it's no less true. Some nations/peoples cannot sustain a civilization, period. To demand that other peoples must imbibe The Federalist Papers and play by Marquis of Queensbury rules is beyond naive. We are seeing the normal state of (fallen) man in Gaza and Ukraine today. With the importation of hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens in the US we will see it soon in America.

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        • Dan Fall says:

          I actually agree with the essence of your post regarding some people being ungovernable, if you will. Illegal immigration is an entirely different thing, though, and with that included, Fox News and the Republican talking points creep into your good logic again.

          I'd like all posts from this date for'd to remain salient and mud free!

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          • George Michalopulos says:

            Actually Rupert Murdoch and the GOP establishment are in favor of Amnesty for Illegals. My opposition is heartfelt and based on historical evidence. Please take the time to read an essay I wrote a few months back: "GOP: 1854-2014?}."

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            • Dan Fall says:

              If the GOP est. are in favor of amnesty; why won't Boehner bring it to the table? No one wants to do the hard work and get criticized, so crickets.

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        • J. Maropoulakis Denney says:

          I do not believe that every society can adopt or adapt to our classical liberal system. Most lack the institutions, ideology and the civil society to do so. However, these can over time be established is some countries, given the right conditions. Some might not understand this, but democracy and liberty are not the same thing. Liberty is about individual freedom: to worship, to believe and to conduct yourself in accordance with one's beliefs, to use one's talents to accumulate wealth (property), to move about, to associate with others, to speak one's mind, to defend oneself and one's family and property with firearms if needed, to be free from government appropriation of one's wealth, to be free from government tyranny, spying and oppression which comes in countless forms.
          It is this liberty that our classical liberalism has created, based on our system of a democratic republic, which itself was based on Classical Greek thought, as enhanced by the Judeo-Christian tradition and the ideas of Montesquieu and Locke. Democracy simply means the right to vote for your government officials. Democracy can exist without liberty (many countries are in this position; Egypt for one example); however, liberty cannot exist without at least some democracy, but democracy does not automatically lead to individual liberty. In addition, democracy can continue to exist while one's liberty is slowly stripped away, which is happening in America today. However, we still live in the best country in the world, and we still have the best combination of all things. Western Europe, having been dominated by an anti-classical liberal strain of progressivism which molted into fascism and Marxism, may never shake off this anti-liberal infection. Eastern Europe, on the other hand, has never really experienced an "enlightenment", although it still benefits from the Judeo-Christian influences. The attempt to transplant democracy into these areas without a base in civil society and institutions following the demise of the Marxist states is mostly a failure.
          Putin comes from a class of tyrannical bullies, spawned by the Marxist ideology, rooted in fascist-progressivism, and I believe the same is true for the "leaders" in Kiev. My point is this: Our (America's) foreign policy needs to take into account the reality of the fact that this is classic "balance of power" struggle between Europe/USA on one side, and Russia on the other, being played out on the front lines by Ukrainian soldiers pushed by Kiev/EU/USA, up against Putin-orchestrated savvy Russian "rebels", both sides equipped with high tech anti-aircraft systems. It is probably in America's best interests at the current time to ensure that Putin's ambitions are halted immediately in this arena; we do not want another world war. It is doubtful that Obama has the will or skill to do this. The shoot down was most likely an accident in the sense that it was not intended that a passenger plane be taken out, but that only demonstrates the potential for disaster and an expanded war.

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          • That assumes that Western democracy is something worth emulating and adopting. Our moral choices reflected in our electoral process, as evaluated against a traditional Orthodox standard, would suggest that "we the people" are simply not capable of governing ourselves decently and thus another form of government is in order.

            Putin served in the KGB in East Germany in its propaganda sector. I'm sure he has an intimate knowledge of how Western politics operate and the interplay of the government, the media and society at large. I'm sure he understands us, probably at least as well as we understand ourselves (on average).

            To understand us is not necessarily to agree with us. We tend to condescend to those who have rejected our moral choices as unpalatable.

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            • I'm not sure how serving in East Germany, a totalitarian Communist state, leads one to an intimate knowledge of Western society.

              "I’m sure he understands us, probably at least as well as we understand ourselves (on average)."

              Yet another example of the Putin man-crush so prevalent in these parts.

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            • J. Maropoulakis Denney says:

              Misha, I'm sorry that you feel that our democratic republic is not something worth emulating. Exactly what system do you think would have done as well, or will do better in the future? Is it because America has failed to commit as many mass murders as fascism and Marxism? http://www.amazon.com/Black-Book-Communism-Crimes-Repression/dp/0674076087/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406662392&sr=1-1&keywords=black+book+of+communism

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              • George Michalopulos says:

                Mr Denney, the present degenerate state of our "democratic republic" is not one I would have decent people emulate. We have an imperial president who rules by fiat, a cowardly Congress that is more interested in maintaining the leviathan state, and a judiciary that rides herd over majority rule and common sense. We are a "republic" only in the sense that we don't have a hereditary monarchy, nothing more. Times like these we should remember what Benjamin Franklin replied to the lady outside of Constitution Hall when she asked him what kind of government had been established: "A republic, if you can keep it."

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                • J. Maropoulakis Denney says:

                  Mr. Michalopulos, I agree with you regarding the present state of our democratic republic. However, I believe that we still have a chance to correct these problems. I am a supporter of Mark Levin's idea regarding the Convention of the States and his book, the Liberty Amendments. Our country still has a very strong civil society sector, as well as a degree of federalism, to check the federal government's excesses in respect to the erosion of our liberty. These, in addition to what hopefully will become a people's congress after 2014, may be the start of a reversal of the fascist-progressive state.

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              • Michael Bauman says:

                Mr. Denney: your comment is needlessly pugnacious as well as an illogical leap. Just because Misha does not approve of democracy (we have not had a functioning republic since Jackson) does not mean he supports Marxism or fascism. You make a false dichotomy especially since the republic was always more hope than reality. A philosophical delusion that succumbed to the love of power.

                What we have is an amoral oligarchy that has more effective ways of controlling people than mass murder. Ways that are as corrosive to the souls of men but much more slippery and more difficult to identify as evil. Seduction/addiction rather than force. Consumer secularism.

                As Christians we can support neither.

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              • Actually, America is worse in a way. There was no fascist or Marxist government forcing us to abort over 50 million unborn babies since 1973. We chose to do so quite freely, even declaring it a constitutional right. Not only have we imposed feminism on ourselves, but now we are imposing the normalization of perversion on our societies.

                This is not ordinary garden variety sin despite a society and legal system which reinforces morality. This is the government of a democratic republic redefining age old Christian morality through force.

                Not only this, but this same democratic republic is exporting its sick redefinition of values around the world, by force and hard economic power.

                The reason God will judge us more harshly is that we are freely choosing evil, unlike most Soviet citizens, for example.

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                • J. Maropoulakis Denney says:

                  I agree regarding the horror of the wholesale sin of killing babies, forced on us by the fascio-progressives in power in this country. There are many of us fighting daily against this, and many organizations. This does not make us worse than the Communists and Nazis. However, you ignore two facts: 1. baby murders are occurring in Europe also, perhaps as many as one-third of all pregnancies end in abortion there, and 2. It is the very same ideology, what I call fascio-progressivism, which has spawned the twin horrors of fascism: namely, Marxism and Nazism, as well as the fascio-progressivism that is destroying the moral fabric and liberty of all Western societies, and creating the culture of death that allows abortion and euthanasia. This ideology is demonic, and must be resisted and defeated by those who understand its origin and purpose. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2088840/Abortion-statistics-Nearly-pregnancies-Europe-end-termination.html

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  12. The bottom line is the same, if you take up arms against your own nation; it is no longer civil disobedience, and you will be called a terrorist.

    So, George Washington was a terrorist?
    Americans may balk at the comparison, but the Ukrainian separatists are basically fighting for economic, political and cultural self-determination against a corrupt government which regards them as second class citizens. One does not have to agree with their methods in order to see that they have a case.

    Btw, George, I think the missile attack on MH17 was a mistake by someone on the ground. It would seem that because of logistical and training factors neither the Ukrainian national forces not the militia are using the Buk missile launchers to their full capability in regard to their target identification system. One can be certain that if the Russian military were involved in the operation the full electronic detection capabilities of the Buk system would have been in use ensuring that a civilian aircraft would have been identified. The idea that this was a deliberate, covert military operation by powers unknown does not bear thinking about.

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  13. pegleggreg says:

    Vladimir "equal of the apostles" Putin? The man is a dictator and war monger in the best soviet tradition

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  14. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/western-powers-largely-alone-in-condemnation-of-russia/article19735260/

    Also, it does not appear that the rest of the world is particularly troubled or credulous regarding Western claims.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/intense-battles-continue-in-eastern-ukraineaustralia-to-send-police-to-guard-crash-site/2014/07/24/2c6bc1c0-1315-11e4-8936-26932bcfd6ed_story.html

    And, evidently, all is not well in the Ukrainian government. The ruling coalition appears to be history.

    "U.S. officials say pro-Russian rebels were responsible for shooting down Flight 17, but they say they now believe it's likely the rebels didn't know it was a commercial airliner, according to U.S. intelligence officials." - http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/24/world/europe/ukraine-malaysia-airlines-crash/

    I'm not necessarily convinced that it was the "rebels", the Ukrainian government has made this type of tragic mistake before. However, even our intelligence officials don't believe they knowingly targeted a civilian aircraft.

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  15. I think this was the MH370 plane, which was secretly found and repurposed and then shot down to destroy the evidence, and we know that many AIDS researchers were on the plane, and that Putin doesn't like homosexuals, so there you go!

    (In case you're worried, I'm kidding - but I bet there's somebody out there who actually believes this).

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  16. Dan Fall says:

    Why do you all check it off as okay since it was a mistake?

    The CEO of Malaysia Air should be canned.

    The government of Russia should have its assets frozen.

    The shooter and the leader of the separatists should be brought to the Hague.

    Okay; maybe not all of these, but to my point..

    Where is any justice if it is okay to kill people when it is a mistake? Some measure of accountability seems right.

    Names on a page....

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    • No one is checking it off as OK, Dan; it's a horrible event and the authorities must do whatever they can to investigate it, assign responsibility and ensure it doesn't happen again. But when you talk about apportioning blame and assigning punishments you must first assess the nature of the event, and a fundamental question to be answered in that process is was there intent? If there wasn't intent, then you have to assess the actions of those responsible to determine the level of culpability. Were they drunk, as has been suggested, and incompetent? Or was this a strike on a misidentified target in a time of war by ill trained combatants, as sometimes happens? Let's wait for the investigation before we assign blame. One thing which did surprise me was how quickly the government in Kiev took control of the story and how Putin was on the back foot (Do you have that figure of speech in the US? It's a cricketing term for a batsman's defensive stance); that suggests to me that Putin had no advance warning or inkling that this might happen and therefore there was no pre-meditation or intent. One more thing: if the Ukrainian separatists are found to be responsible, I'm fairly certain you won't see Putin giving them a medal, as happened to the commander of the USS Vincennes after it shot down the Iranian airliner in Iranian airspace.

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  17. I know this is not the perspective of many here, but I'm going to lay it out just to explain why some here are sympathetic to Russia regarding current events.

    There are those of us who believe that the West has become a force for evil. Not evil as defined by modern Western sensibilities, of course. But evil as defined by traditional Orthodox sensibilities.

    Formerly, during Soviet times, it was pretty clear that Moscow was such a force for evil. Militant atheism is inherently evil. Yet there is no more Soviet Union. What causes some people concern is that Russia is not really or sufficiently democratic for their tastes as well as the fact that it opposes progressive social/moral policy. But, of course, this is praiseworthy from an Orthodox standpoint. Opposition to feminism and the normalization of homosexuality is quite thoroughly and verifiably Orthodox. One could quote the Church Fathers endlessly on these two subjects alone. It is true that abortion is still a serious problem there; however, there are indications that the government and the society are moving in the right direction, if frustratingly slowly.

    In contrast to this, wherever the West goes on its "soft imperialistic" expeditions to make the world safe for McDonald's and Israel, we spread progressive liberalism which is an ideology of the anti-Christ if ever there were one (I say this with respect to progressives' moral sensibilities, not "big government" which elsewhere in the world is practically ubiquitous). Now, on top of that, the silly hawks in the Stupid Party support American Imperialism which is inherently anti-Christian both explicitly in the social changes we advocate and implicitly since Muslims then react by persecuting, murdering and driving out Christians from the lands in which we interfered.

    This is a sick cycle. It is all predicated on the notion that democratic societies have legitimate governments and non-democratic societies do not. This is a false postulate which causes an endless amount of grief. We did not used to believe that crap but now we seem to, liberals and conservatives. Liberals used to be quite tolerant of totalitarian socialist societies. Conservatives used to be tolerant of authoritarian mixed market capitalistic societies. We were friends with Assad, his father, Hussein of Jordan, the Saudis, Saddam Hussein, the Shah of Iran, Latin American dictators, etc., etc. for quite a long time.

    This leaves a believing Orthodox Christian in a difficult position since Orthodox governments have always been authoritarian. The Fathers endorsed the empire and made it an integral part of canon law. Scripture and the Fathers speak endlessly of this or that "kingdom". It is as if no other form of government were seriously contemplated. I defy anyone to show a clear reference to the superiority of representative government in Scripture or the Fathers. This does not mean that democracy is necessarily unOrthodox (though I believe that, in fact, it is) but it certainly means that authoritarian government is not objectionable on Orthodox grounds. Otherwise there would be no righteous, sainted emperors of ages past or the reliance of the Church on monarchs for councils, implementation of religious law, etc.

    So where does that leave us. An evil West, a semi-authoritarian yet pro-Orthodox, pro-traditional values regime in the RF, and a Western sponsored coup d'etat in the Ukraine initiated for the purpose of "containing" the RF by excluding it from trade and establishing a military presence on its border in a state which was the cradle of the Russian state and Russian Orthodoxy. The coup was done openly in front of the world. There is no doubt that it was illegitimate by most any standard. It overthrew an elected president and failed to constitutionally impeach him. It was perpetrated by radical, fascist elements after the less militant elements had made a deal with the government and surrounding powers regarding a transition: flat out imperialist economic and military aggression without any semblance of justification normally accepted in the West.

    And our press signed on as cheerleaders because they share the sick Western ideology I described above and wouldn't recognize a principle if it bit them on the tail. The coverage of these events in the West is so biased as to be Orwellian. It reminds me of the cartoon version of Alice in Wonderland where the queen states, "Verdict first, trial afterwards".

    Frankly, I'm appalled that any Orthodox are in favor of this Western aggression and am somewhat surprised that Russia has not been more decisive in its military response.

    Once again, Pat sums it up nicely:

    http://buchanan.org/blog/putin-worse-stalin-6741

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    • Dan Fall says:

      Interesting points Misha. It seems to me you need to reconcile democracy and religion. The forefathers wanted them distinct and separate; in general. Doesn't seem you want the same, but good you recognize the issue.

      You can't label things evil and good always too simply.

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      • Dan,

        The" forefathers" only prohibited the federal government from establishing a national religion. That was the original intent of the Establishment Clause. The question dodged was whose denomination would prevail (Anglican, Congregationalist, etc.)? The individual states had established state religions up until 1833. "Separation of Church and State" was a Baptist idea adopted by Jefferson in one of his letters. It was also part of the Soviet constitution. It was read into our constitution in the 1940's to combat the perceived sinister specter of Catholic schools. Regardless, I credit the founding fathers with no moral authority whatsoever.

        In the West, the standard seems to be democracy. Thus I point out the undemocratic nature of the coup in Ukraine. As for me, I see this as a raw struggle for power since I am not concerned with democracy. The only question for me is the type of moral society advocated by each side.

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        • Dan Fall says:

          So, let me get this straight. You would rather have Putin take over Ukraine because he is Orthodox?

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          • George Michalopulos says:

            Speaking for myself, no, I would rather Putin take over the eastern Ukraine because the people there seem to want to be part of Russia. And the Maidan junta is flushing Ukraine as a whole down the crapper.

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            • Michał Żurowski says:

              Dear George (Kirios Yiorgos ?),

              There is no Maidan junta anymore. There is a democratically elected government.

              Also, other than Russian soldiers on "holiday" in a foreign country, is there any proof the majority in the eastern part of that land want to break off their ties with Holy Mother Ukraine ? None at all.

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          • Johann Sebastian says:

            A Russia without Ukraine (ALL of Ukraine) is like a Britain without England, a Germany without Bavaria, or an Italy without Rome.

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            • Once upon a time, that would have been phrased "a Germany without Prussia," but indeed that's where we are today, and only a tiny percentage of Germans even entertain claims to what is now the Kaliningrad Oblast and part of Poland. Maybe the Russians should just accept the results of history; it's done the Germans some good to adopt that attitude.

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              • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                We've all lost our homeland: the Garden, the Holy Land, the Empire. To get them back, we'd have to do what the Israelis have done and are doing. But then we wouldn't be Christians; we'd just be Jews.

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            • Tim R. Mortiss says:

              Well, where did the Ukranian SSR come from? Must have been some Russians involved in that....

              Just as a logical matter, there could be no Britain without England, as a matter of definition. On the other hand, there could be a Germany without Bavaria, although this would be an unsatisfactory situation.

              As for an Italy without Rome-- well, there was a Rome without Italy for centuries.....

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          • Not exactly, Dan.

            I think it would be wise if Eastern Ukraine were under Russian protection, both military and economic, because those people should not be left to the "verdict" of Western aggression. Also, Russia has quite valic security interests in its front yard. The coup in Kiev was economic, political and military warfare. Putin has shown remarkable restraint. Another Russian leader might have Russian tanks in the Maidan as we speak.

            That would be excessive. Russia should, in some form, economically annex Eastern Ukraine only. They have no need for the headache of ruling European fascist wannabes in the West. Better to have them on the other side of the border, guns and missiles constantly trained on them.

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  18. Francis Frost says:

    George: As the saying goes, “You are entitled to your own opinion; but you are not entitled to your own facts.

    The article you site is just re-warmed Kremlin disinformation, clearly debunked by facts and demonstrable evidence.

    First: You allege that the new Ukrainian government is an illegal junta, established by an armed putsch.

    To refute that I will share with you the cogent argument of a Mr. Oleg Pohotsky posted on the Yahoo Orthodox Forum”

    The "Maidan" started as a protest in the latter part of November 2013 and did not become a revolution until after the protest was made illegal on January 17. It ought to be noted that these laws were passed by a show of hands rather than a recorded vote as was and is the law. Throughout the protests, even prior to January 17, there were instances where injured protesters were removed from hospitals by "officials"; several such protesters were later found dead from being beaten and left in the woods.

    During the third week of February, as Yanukovich was negotiating and then signing an agreement with the opposition that was to take effect on Friday, February 21 and included: elections before December 14, 2014, a termination of the anti-protest laws and return to the pre-2010 Constitution, As he was negotiating and then signing the agreement, Yanukovich also ordered a crackdown which resulted, in the end, by Friday night, in more than 100 dead from sniper fire during those 3 or so days,

    The reaction to these sniper killings was such, across the board, that Yanukovich fled the capital Friday night and was out of the country in Russia on Saturday. The Verkhovna Rada (Highest Council or parliament) voted by overwhelming majority, including the majority of Yanukovich's own Party of Regions, to declare the Presidency vacant and to appoint an interim government. A majority of the ministers in that government were not from Western Ukraine.

    So much for Yanukovich being the democratically elected President. That may have been the case in 2010 but was forfeited by his own actions, including fleeing the country instead of facing the results of his actions.

    Peaceful elections and peaceful transfer of power should be the norm but, as Thomas Jefferson wrote "When in the course of human events . . ."

    There was no coup and no junta. The President became a tyrant (and a robber), lost his legitimacy across the board, instead of continuing to contest through a political process, fled the country, created a vacuum that was filled by the duly elected parliament by overwhelming majorities including deputies from the President's own party.

    Throwing around names such as fascist and uniate does not change the facts. If anyone has a Ukrainian speaking friend, I suggest listening to the interview of Bishop Filaret of Lviv of the UOC-MP. Being the bishop of the Orthodox Church in Lviv does not make him a Uniate (unless someone thinks there must be something in the air in that part of Ukraine).

    The interview may be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DRviAZ_hKU

    Let me turn your questioned around, Tell me what is not correct with what I have said.

    Oleg Pohotsky

    more later o nthe additional issues and facts

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    • George Michalopulos says:

      "The president became a tyrant (and a robber)..." I'm sorry but were you talking about Yanukovich?

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    • Nonsense, Francis,

      Yanukovich was the democratically elected president of the Ukraine and, up to this moment, no sufficient majority has voted in favor of his impeachment under the requirements of the Ukrainian constitution. It's that simple. It was a coup d'etat. No legal process drove him from office, it was by violence largely perpetrated by right wing militants who staged the coup after an agreement had been reached between the less radical elements of the protesters and the Yanukovich government. Those are the facts.

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      • Michał Żurowski says:

        Nonsense, Misha.

        As the man said, Yanukovich, half-Polish, i understand, forfeited his standing as a democratically elected leader by his high-handedness, his corruption and his acting not as a leader of his electorate but as a satrap of Putin.
        And there was no coup d'etat -there was a popular protest movement wanting what we have.

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  19. Francis Frost says:

    George:

    Let’s look at established facts.

    1. MH17 was definitely shot down by a missile fired from the BUK (SA-11 missile). Examination of the skin if the fuselage demonstrates evidence of shrapnel entering from the outside explosion, consistent with the BUK missile, and not an air to air missile or on-board explosion.
    2. Satellite images traced the flight of the BUK missile and have demonstrated the missile was launched from the area of Snezhne village, which was under rebel control, specifically under control of the Russian Cossack mercenaries under command of the Cossack commander, Nikolai Kozitsyn.
    3. Within minutes of the explosion, the rebel commander, Igor Girkin (aka Igor Strelkov) tweeted, bragging about the rebel’s success in downing a Ukrainian military transport. Once it was established that the missile had brought down a civilian airliner, Girkin’s tweeted was deleted; but not before it was recorded for posterity.
    4. Other rebel tweets had bragged about capturing a Ukrainian BUK earlier in the week. These tweets, too were subsequently deleted, but have been recorded for history. The BUK’s were used to shoot down 2 Ukrainian military transport aircraft prior to the downing of MH17.
    5. There are multiple photographic evidences of the BUK’s being driven into Ukrainian territory the morning of the attack, and then being returned to Russia with 2 missiles missing after the attack.
    6. Satellite data confirms that Ukrainian air forces were still on the ground at the time of the attacks on MH17.
    7. Ukraine’s BUK’s, indeed all it’s missile forces, are concentrated in western Ukraine and around Kiev, a hold over from the Soviet era military doctrine. Yanukovich had deliberately allowed Ukrainian military capability and readiness to degrade during his term in office.
    8. Local Russian mercenary commanders were recorded discussing the downing of MG17 with Russian military commanders in Moscow: You may discount the recordings; but it is clear that international authorities consider the recordings as accurate and substantial evidence.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-28362872

    See text below.

    9. The “separatist rebels” are in fact not Ukrainians at all; but Russian special forces: non-uniformed irregulars including Cossacks and Chechens from Russia. The leaders of the “Donetsk Republic” are Russian nationals and known KGB operatives. See the Guardian article at:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/20/three-pro-russia-rebel-leaders-suspects-over-downed-mh17

    See text below.

    Participation of Chechen mercenaries sent by Ramzan Kadyrov (Putin’s proxy leader in Chechnya) is documented in article: “Chechens Join pro-Russians in Battle for East Ukraine” in the 5/27/2014 edition of the Financial Times.

    10. Russian mercenary forces deliberately prevented international access to the crash site; while trying to cleanse the area of inculpating evidence. They were seen to have sawed through the cockpit of MH 17. They only turned over evidence after international outrage and the threat of sectoral sanctions forced the Russian to relent.
    11. The Ukrainian government is not a revolutionary “junta” but the universally recognized Ukrainian government. Putin, himself, has recognized the current Ukrainian government. Putin has publicly recognized Mr. Poroshenko as the legitimate head of the Ukrainian State. See the previous post for details.
    12. The Ukrainian government is not “in chaos”. The dissolution of the coalition in the Verkhovna Rada was a tactical move to trigger early elections. The current crisis has so mobilized public opinion the political p[arties associated with the Euro-Maidan movement are likely to sweep elections and completely oust Yanukovich’s, separatist associated “Party of Regions”.
    13. The “West” has hardly been a mover behind the Ukrainian Euro-Maidan movement, and the new political regime in Kiyv. On the contrary. The EU, NATO and the US have been at best, tentative in their approach. The US has provided NO military assistance besides a plane-load of MREs (freeze dried meals) - as if a Ukrainian would pass up Mama’s borsch for that crap!
    14. The EU has been extremely reluctant to impose sanctions, although the on-going crisis and Mr. Putin’s tendency to double down is firming up support for wider sanctions. The “West” was in no way an ‘instigator’ of the Euro-Maidan movement. As hard as it is for you arm chair pundits to believe, the peoples of the former Soviet states want the same freedoms and opportunities that YOU enjoy. The fact that you, a free American, begrudge them that same freedom and opportunity is simply pathetic.
    15. As for the Misha’s opinion that liberal democracy is incompatible with Orthodoxy, I will have more later. You have enough to digest as it is for now.

    MH17 crash: Ukraine releases alleged intercepts

    Ukrainian authorities have released what they say are intercepted phone conversations between pro-Russian separatists and what appear to be Russian military officers saying that separatists shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
    The Ukrainian Security Service put the Russian-language conversations on YouTube within hours of the crash.
    The veracity of the recordings cannot be confirmed.
    Frecording
    [Male voice, identified as separatist leader Igor Bezler] The group of the Miner [an alias] has just shot down a plane, which came down just behind Yenakiyevo.
    [Col Geranin] Pilots. Where are the pilots?
    [Bezler] Gone to search for and photograph the plane. It's smoking.
    [Second male voice, identified as Russian military intelligence Colonel Vasily Geranin] How many minutes ago?
    [Bezler] About 30 minutes ago.
    Second recording
    [Male voice, captioned as "The Greek" ] Yes, Major.
    [Major] Well, the Chernukhino lads shot down the plane.
    [Greek] Who shot it down?
    [Major] From the Chernukhino roadblock. The Cossacks at Chernukhino.
    [Greek] Yes, Major.
    [Major] Well, the plane fell apart in the air, near the Pertropavlovskaya coal mine. The first casualty 200 [military jargon for dead body] has been found. A civilian.
    [Greek] Well, what do you have there?
    [Major] Basically it was 100% a civilian aircraft.
    [Greek] Are many people there?
    [Major] [Curses] The debris fell right into backyard.
    [Greek] What kind of aircraft?
    [Major] I have not figured this out yet because I haven't been close to the main body of the debris. I am only looking where the first bodies began to fall. There are the remnants of inner brackets, chairs and bodies there.
    [Greek] I see. Any weaponry there?
    [Major] Nothing at all. Civilian things, medical bits and bobs, towels, toilet paper.
    [Greek] Any documents?
    [Major] Yes. From an Indonesian student. From Thompson University [curses].
    Third recording
    [Male voice, identified as a fighter] Regarding the plane shot down in the area of Snezhnoye-Torez. It's a civilian one. Fell down near Grabovo. There are lots of corpses of women and children. The Cossacks are out there looking at all this.
    They say on TV it's a Ukrainian AN-26 transport plane, but they say it's got Malaysia Airlines written on the plane. What was it doing in Ukrainian territory?
    [Male voice, identified as Cossack commander Nikolai Kozitsyn] That means they were carrying spies. They shouldn't be [curses] flying. There is a war going on.
    BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

    Three pro-Russia rebel leaders at the centre of suspicions over downed MH17
    Igor Strelkov, Igor Bezler and Nikolai Kozitsyn reportedly discussed the shooting down of a plane soon after jet exploded
    Pro-Russia commander Igor Strelkov, centre, is one of three rebel leaders under suspicion over the shooting down of flight MH17. Photograph: Dmitry Lovetsky/AP
    As the world searches for answers over the Malaysia Airlines flight downed in eastern Ukraine, suspicion has fallen on the leaders of the pro-Russia rebels who have shot down three government planes in the past week.
    Attention has centred on rebel leaders who reportedly discussed the downing of a plane shortly after MH17 exploded and crashed: Igor Strelkov, an alleged Russian intelligence agent leading the military forces of the self-declared "Donetsk People's Republic", and Igor Bezler, a notorious loose cannon who rules the town of Horlivka with an iron fist. A third suspect is Nikolai Kozitsyn, commander of a group of Cossacks, the traditional military caste that once protected the borders of the Russian empire.
    Shortly after the Boeing 777 went down with 298 people aboard, a Russian social networking page that has been uploading messages from Strelkov for weeks published a post saying rebels had shot down a plane outside Torez, near the location of the wreckage of MH17.
    The post, which was later deleted, appeared to incorrectly identify the aircraft as an AN-26 military transport plane, lending credence to the theory that the rebels mistakenly downed the Malaysian airliner. "We warned you not to fly in our skies," it read. Rebel leaders later denied their forces had shot down the plane.
    Strelkov (his real name is Girkin) is an avid historical battle re-enactor from Moscow and a former colonel in Russia's Ffederal security service who recently admitted he was asked to lead the rebellion in eastern Ukraine, although he wouldn't say by whom. He fought as a volunteer in Bosnia and in Transnistria, a Russian-backed breakaway republic in Moldova, and was seen advising separatist leaders in Crimea before the peninsula seceded from Ukraine and was annexed by Russia.
    Strelkov is good friends with Alexander Borodai, the political analyst from Moscow who leads the government in Donetsk, and both previously worked for a company owned by nationalist oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev, who reportedly funded separatist activity in Crimea.
    On Friday, Ukrainian authorities released recordings of what they said were intercepted phone conversations between rebel leaders. In the first, a voice claimed to be Bezler's says a rebel group had shot down a plane and was investigating the crash site. In the second, a rebel commander reports that Cossacks shot down what was later discovered to be a "100% civilian aircraft" and that documents of an Indonesian student had been found.
    Sound analysts and rebel leaders quoted on Russian television have argued the recordings were falsified by combining unrelated conversations, and a pro-Russian blogger claimed they were originally created before MH17 went down.
    A final conversation allegedly records a rebel reporting to Kozytsin that "the plane shot down in the area of Snizhne-Torez … is a civilian one".
    "That means they were carrying spies," the man alleged to be Kozitsyn responds. "They shouldn't be flying. There is a war going on."
    Bezler, a former funeral home director nicknamed Bes (Demon) and renowned for his ruthlessness, first emerged after angry pro-Russia protesters stormed the police station in Horlivka, during which he was seen in a video identifying himself as a "colonel in the Russian army".
    In a later interview with Russian Forbes magazine, he said he was a Russian citizen from Crimea whose ancestor died in the Charge of the Light Brigade, commemorated by Alfred, Lord Tennyson during the Crimean war.
    In Horlivka, he is known as a "cruel but effective" commander, and rumours hold he summarily executed four men accused of raping a girl, according to Ruslan, a local taxi driver. Bezler himself has filmed captured Ukrainian special agents with tape wrapped around their bloodied heads, and his men have been involved in many of the ugliest clashes with Ukrainian troops.
    He is also known as a loose cannon liable to fight with the leadership of the Donetsk People's Republic, which said it was considering placing him before a war crimes tribunal after he appeared in a video executing two Ukrainian officers by firing squad. (It was later admitted that the men were firing blanks.)
    In June, Bezler's men seized the regional police headquarters in downtown Donetsk, sparking an hours-long shootout with local rebel forces.
    The final rebel commander under suspicion, Kozitsyn was born in the Donetsk region and took part in military actions in the Russian-backed separatist republics of Transnistria, and Abkhazia in Georgia, according to a Russian nationalist website. He reportedly received a medal from the Russian security services, the FSB, for engaging in talks with former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, who was later tried for war crimes.

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    • George Michalopulos says:

      Francis, again you misconstrue my position in order to necessitate your aggressive Russiaphobia. I never said that the separatists weren't responsible. I think that they may have been. I also believe that the Malaysian jet may have been lured into Donetsk airspace as a provocation. Does the name Lusitania ring any bells? You have settled the "facts" even though more information is coming in daily. You best be careful because you just may have to eat your words.

      I'd take you more seriously if you gave the same moral equivalence to the West which is sponsoring ISIS and its genocide against Christians as you do Putin for arming the rebels.

      And yes, I do think that the rebels are perfectly within their rights to increase their autonomy and even secede. Given the murderous intentions of the Maidan revolutionaries (after the fact of course) against their culture, their darn well within their rights.

      Just curious, would you support an Aryan Nation-led uprising against the Obama regime if it worked? And how would you feel if the junta they installed started enforcing English-only laws and informed Hispanics and Jews that would have to suppress their culture or leave? If you were consistent, your infatuation with the Maidan protesters must necessarily translate over to the Aryan Nation one as well.

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    • Mitrich says:

      The only problem is that these "established facts" are established only according to one side of the conflicting group. Audio recordings have been "proven" to be doctored by Russian experts and "proven" to be authentic by American experts. Video "evidence" of BUK missiles being moved across the border has been shown to be false by the Russians but accepted without questioning by the Western mass media. Russian intelligence opened their records to show that Ukrainian troops had a lot of BUKs in the area and that they were showing unusually high radar activity at the time. This is ignored, of course. Etc., etc. Each side has its own "established" facts. Who do you believe? If you think that your country (whatever it may be) is right by default, then discussions are pointless. The rebels shot down the plane, and Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, and all Russians are evil. Or the Ukrainian troops shot down the plane, and the West is out there to destroy all that is good in the world, and all Westerners are evil. You choose. Or, perhaps, one should really collect the evidence first, open all the cards, and carefully scrutinize all available information, without letting the politicians even close to the table at which the experts sit and deliberate?

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  20. Francis Frost says:

    Misha has opined that Orthodoxy is incompatible with liberal democracy and that Orthodoxy necessitates an autocratic government.

    Perhaps, Misha could find for us a scriptural or patristic text to justify that opinion.

    The church’s relationship with “Ceasar” has always been fraught with both moral and physical danger.

    Saint Constantine’s two sons and heirs protected and perpetuated the Arian heresy for decades.

    St John Chrysostom was exiled to Koamana in Lazica (modern day Abkhazeti, in occupied Georgia) by order of the Empress Evdokia, where he died as the result of his mistreatment by the imperial guard. St Andrea Kurashvilia and St Giorgi Adua, the restorers and protector of the Shrine of St John’s repose were brutally martyred by the Abkhazian rebels under the command of the Russian military in 1992

    The Monophysite schism was primarily the result of local resentment to and resistance to the Roman Empire in Egypt and Syria. Even today, the Chalcedonian churches are referred to as “Melki’in”, that is “King’s men” in Arabic.

    The Byzantine emperor Heraklios invented the Monothelite heresy in order to woo back the non-Chalcedonians. Heraklios’ successor, Constans II, tortured and exile St Maximos the Confessor, who died in the mountains of Svaneti, Georgia. St Maximos’ grave was recently re-discovered in the village of Tsageri in Svaneti.

    The emperor, Leo the Isuarian, instigated the iconoclastic heresy. He and his successors ruthlessly persecuted the Iconodules and destroyed the majority of extant iconography. Indeed, the only extant ancient icons are from areas then beyond imperial control, most notably the monastery of St Katherine on Mt. Sinai.

    The Byzantine emperors ordered the church to participate and accept the union with Rome at he Council of Florence, an act only denounced as heresy by St Mark of Ephesus and officially repudiated by Patriarch Gennadios Skholarios after the Turkish conquest.

    There are many more examples from history where the “symphonia” between Church and Empire operated to the detriment of the Gospel of Christ.

    The Alaskan missionaries were undermined by the influence of governor Baranov’s friends at the Russian imperial court. Because of this persecution ( Baranov threatened to hang the monks if they did not give over the key to the Resurrection Church in Kodiak. Because of this persecution, St Herman moved out to his hermitage on Spruce Island.

    The Life of St Innocent the Enlightener of North America contains tales of the endemic corruption in the Russian imperial court and Russian society as a whole

    As Our Lord told his disciples: “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from here.” John 18.

    Even today, the Putin regime demonstrates its perfidy by continuing its persecution of the legitimate Orthodox clergy in occupied Georgia.

    This very day we learned the following from Matuska Jan Koczak via Facebook:

    A pastor and his flock! (Meupe Isaiah in Akhalgori in early July 2014.) I learned some sorrowful news yesterday, Saturday, July 26th, about His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah, Archbishop of Nikozi and Tskhinvali, Georgian Patriarchate. Meupe Isaiah has been “stuck” in Akhalgori, an occupied territory of Georgia, since Bright Week due to “paperwork” problems. (He entered Akhalgori with the correct and required paperwork allowing entry/exit, then the rules changed.) Just a couple of days ago, Russian KGB agents and So. Ossetian separatist authorities paid Meupe Isaiah a visit. Basically they said to him, “How much do you love Akhalgori? If you leave, you will never be able to return.” Meupe answered them that in that case, he will stay in Akhalgori until he dies. There is a deliberate and terrible campaign against the Georgian Patriarchate (and citizens of Georgia, Georgian culture and heritage) in the occupied territories of Abkhazia and So. Ossetia. The So. Ossetian authorities could issue the new paperwork, but won’t – not to this hierarch, nor to any of his priests, monks or nuns in Akhalgori. (Those same authorities did just issue the new exit/entry document to a citizen of Georgia, a pious laywoman.) Please lift up Meupe Isaiah in prayer and love! May hardened hearts be softened. Lord have mercy!

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    • Tim R. Mortiss says:

      A timely reminder!

      What does it mean to say that Orthodoxy is "incompatible" with "liberal democracy"? Its job is to preach and live the Faith without regard to who or what is in power, is it not? Thus it should flourish in said "democracies", unless in fact its real aim is to ally itself with particular types of regimes.

      And let's forget about "lib dem" for awhile: is Orthodoxy "incompatible" with the Republic of our Founders? That's a pill I don't swallow.

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      • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

        "Incompatible" is perhaps the wrong word, since it suggests that Orthodox Christians cannot abide a "liberal democratic" regime. They can, of course, because they don't expect perfection from any earthly government.

        But the Orthodox complaint against "liberal democracy" is that it recognizes no basis of authority beyond the "will of the people." So in theory "liberal democracy" disregards and in effect denies the sovereignty of God. It must therefore be secular and guard against the influence of religion.

        Democracy itself need not do so. It could include constitutional or statutory acknowledgements of a transcendent authority to which even "the people" are subject. But "liberal democracy," as preached by its proponents, is democracy without a transcendent authority. In a "liberal democracy," justice is whatever "the people" want.

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        • Deacon,

          Agreed. However, I have never encountered a democracy in the modern world where there was an insuperable constitutional tie to Christian morality. That is the problem. Democracy, fundamentally, is government by the passions - the passions as informed and excited by an ideologically driven secular media. What could go wrong? Or, rather, what could go right?

          That is why Putin rides herd over the Russian media. Experience has taught him that the media is a fourth branch of government if left to its own devices, potentially the most powerful. The same can be said for oligarchic forces. Harnessing all of the above toward a national purpose seems to be his project. Call it nationalist, fascist, authoritarian, or whatever you want. I can't really say I disagree with his appreciation of the hard realities involved.

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          • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

            Misha, I agree with you entirely on Putin. On democracy, I would say that democracy as it exists in the modern world is often driven by the passions, but I would not say that democracy is "fundamentally," essentially, or necessarily "government by the passions," for to say that would be to say that man is completely driven by his passions and has no capacity for dispassion. That fact is, men can and do often decide things democratically and also dispassionately.

            A lot depends on how much we stress democracy as a principle of government. If we stress it too much, we will have no other authority--no God, no rights, no tradition, no laws, no limits of any kind. We will have only the will of "the people," which of course is always only some of the people and often only a minority.

            The modern world has made an idol of democracy, not seeing how democracy threatens its other idols like "freedom," "diversity," and "human rights." But in the past, a few governments have survived for quite a while allowing some place for democracy without succumbing entirely to democratic tyranny. The Venetian Republic, for example.

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            • "I would not say that democracy is “fundamentally,” essentially, or necessarily “government by the passions,” for to say that would be to say that man is completely driven by his passions and has no capacity for dispassion."

              Dn.,

              An understandable enough sentiment. However, though there is always the theoretical possibility that at any given moment the majority will not be primarily driven by passions, in practical experience this is not a realistic expectation. If you can name me a modern democracy that has remained Christian in the moral demands of its legal system, I would be happy to reconsider my sentiments and thoughts on the matter.

              It is a bit like socialism. Beautiful in theory; however in practice . . .

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              • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                Misha, some people do today use sentiment as a synonym for opinion, but the word sentiment speaks more of feeling than of reason, coming from the Latin sentire, meaning "to feel," in contrast to the Latin opinari, meaning "to think," thus the difference between sentimental and opinionated. I did not express a feeling; I expressed a well-reasoned opinion.

                As for democracy, you seem to be lumping the concept of democracy in with the mass democracies of our anarchical age, which does not deal adequately with the reality that people can and often do decide matters among themselves both democratically and dispassionately, even if they have considerable difficulty doing so when great interests are at stake. I could do the same for monarchy, lumping the concept in with existing kingdoms and asking you to name for me a surviving monarchy "that has remained Christian in the moral demands of its legal system."

                My point is that things are not that simple -- democracy bad, monarchy good, or vice versa -- for every civil order depends on both to some degree or another --- popular support for and participation in an always hierarchical governmental structure. The modern mistake is thinking that we can have one without the other.

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                • Thank you for the Latin lesson. It takes me back to high school.

                  But seriously though . . .

                  I do not suggest that monarchy is always good. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. And as to Christian monarchies, you are correct. As a practical matter they have all expired or been overthrown. The last major one was Nicholas II. I do not count Britain because it is a very weak constitutional monarchy, at least in practice.

                  Thus the twentieth century was by far the bloodiest in human history with more pandora's box philosophies subscribed to by more people than in previous generations. Marxism, Naziism, liberal democracy (with its holocaust of the unborn), etc.

                  Monarchy is like a box of chocolates. Democracy always degenerates into the Olympics of selfishness because of the nature of the masses. Democracies seek to redefine morality according to the passions of the majority. That is the major defect. It is not just sin. Sin is ubiquitous. Democracy inherently seeks to overthrow the Christian moral order - changing the standard of what "(im)moral" means - and has succeeded wherever it has endured.

                  If it were possible to permanently limit the franchise, that might be different, though we would need some constitutional anchor to Christianity nonetheless. However, due to partisan competition it is not a practical possibility to restrict voting rights. Vying for votes leads to widening suffrage.

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              • "Beautiful in theory; however in practice . . ."

                One could level the same criticism at the Christian monarchism Misha seems to support, for surely there are corrupt rulers governed by passions (especially greed and lust for power), just as there are corrupt bishops governed by passions, just as there are corrupt masses governed by passions.

                What is needed is a system designed to prevent the accumulation of power in the hands of one person or group. But even the American Constitution can be corrupted.

                All of this reminds me of Churchill's quote that "it has been said that democ­racy is the worst form of Gov­ern­ment except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time..."

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    • Francis,

      I'm still waiting for one citation from either Scripture or the Fathers extolling representative democracy. Good luck. As to saying that Orthodoxy is incompatible with democracy, that is my belief. What is not my belief but demonstrably true is that Orthodoxy does not insist on democracy and does not oppose monarchy. Thus, neither should we Orthodox. From the Western and Eastern Roman Empire(s) to the kingdoms of Eastern Europe, monarchy has been the constant form of government approved by the Fathers and incorporated in to canon law as the means of performing certain canonical functions. It can't possibly be evil in se. Democracy on the other hand has never, over time, produced anything but a pandora's box of legitimized abominations.

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      • Tim R. Mortiss says:

        As far as I can figure, the Church until the modern era never even faced the idea of "representative democracy". It arose during the Roman imperium, and monarchical regimes were essentially universal throughout the world until recent times. Thus it appears that neither scripture nor the Fathers had occasion to discuss it.

        I see nothing evil about monarchical government, per se. But that's a different question than the merits of Republics.

        One is left to wonder why people came to this country in the first place, and continue to exert every effort to come! They don't know what's good for them, obviously.....

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        • Actually, it's fairly simple, Tim. They wanted to make money. When our economy was at its lowest during the Great Recession, immigration from Mexico slowed to a trickle temporarily. Most immigrants did not perceive this as the promised land in terms of "freedom" and being welcomed with open arms. they perceived it as the promised land since they could come here with $.37 in their pockets, work for their own people here, save, invest in a business, and send their children off to become professionals. America is the center of a civilizational empire. Migration always tends to be toward the perceived center.

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          • Tim R. Mortiss says:

            Why couldn't they make money where they were, Misha? Or do many other things.....Perhaps their monarchical authorities tried to decide what opportunities they should be allowed, or confined to.

            At least they were permitted to leave. Forbidding even that was a refinement of the 20th century autocracies.

            We had large waves of immigration long before we were a "civilizational empire". And when we were at the periphery, not the "perceived center".

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        • J. Maropoulakis Denney says:

          And Athens' electoral districts and direct democracy? Where do you suppose Rome picked up these ideas? The Christian Church later contributed to the process of classical liberalism by its adoption of the idea of the divine gift of free will and value of the individual, albeit perhaps unwittingly.

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          • George Michalopulos says:

            I for one would love for us to go back to a more Athenian type of direct democracy --on the state level at least. The problem is that this "democracy" was one for elites. Only free-born men who had served in the militia could vote, serve as jurors or stand for office.

            Look at America today: malingerers and freeloaders are given the same (or more) power than those who work for a living. Not only do their votes cancel out ours but our productivity goes to fund their indolence. We are at least twice discomfited by them.

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            • Michael Bauman says:

              George, the Republic is safeguarded by limited suffrage first of all. The concept of unlimited suffrage AND a republic are mutually exclusive. Egalitarian democracy is the stuff of tyranny and terror and is a big part of the nihilist revolution of the age in which we live. It is profoundly un-Christian.

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            • J. Maropoulakis Denney says:

              Of course, I understand all of that George. It is the concept and ideas of the Classical Greeks that have survived; the very idea of the sovereignty of the people and self-government. Your point regarding the parasites holding power is correct; That is where the struggle is taking place. The fascio-progressives bribe them with tax money for their votes.

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            • Monk James says:

              As I recall from my college days (one major in Classics and Classical Languages, the other in Slavic Languages), athenian democracy excluded women, slaves (whether greek or foreign), and men who owned neither a farm nor a business.

              That arrangement emplaced by military governors and tyrants (classically defined) in Attika shut out a very large proportion of the population, and eventually -- almost predictably -- failed.

              Instituting such a very limited sort of dEmokrateia ('democracy, rule by the people') in America -- in addition to frustrating its own ancient definitions and modern goals -- would create some serious and undesirable imbalances in government.

              Blue-chalked ropes? No thanks!

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          • I'm not really talking about "democracy" in the sense of an aristocracy of landowners bottomed on slavery. Moreover, if the government of ancient Greece was palatable to the Church, it would have adopted it. As to the Enlightenment, it is simply a refutation of Christianity. Christianity measures everything by God and His Revelation to mankind. Classical liberalism measures everything by perceived utility to man - - Vox Populi, Vox Dei. Ultimately, it is utterly incompatible with a revealed moral tradition.

            We need not argue about it. It is obvious from its results.

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          • Michael Bauman says:

            Mr. Denney, the 'individual' is not a traditional Christian understanding. People are persons in communion with one another through Jesus Christ. There are no 'individual rights'. Our life and all that is in it is a gift from God.

            Individual 'rights' are the product of Christian humanism, the Reformation and the so-called "Enlightenment" each in its own way a heretical movement away from the Church.

            The very concept of 'individual rights' is destructive to community and cultural life because, among other fallacies, human beings are assumed to be autonomous and the idea of free will abased to the free exercise of one's passions in the pursuit of pleasure and power rather than the voluntary surrender to God's love in all things.

            That does not create a suppression of freedom so don't go there. It actually allows us to recognize our true freedom as unique human persons that is essential to theosis.

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            • Tim R. Mortiss says:

              There are most certainly "individual rights". They are not held against God, they are held against the State.

              And the State and the Church are not-- and have never been-- the same thing.

              There are many things the Church can forbid me to do that the State cannot, and should not, be able to forbid. The difference between Church and State on the question of their mandates is that the Church cannot put me in jail if I do not obey. The issue of my punishment is left to God.

              I do believe that this idea existed long before the Enlightenment and the American Revolution.

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              • Tim,

                That is the problem, the "you can't legislate morality" mindset. It is nonsense. We legislate against murder, theft, rape, incest, assault, etc. That is morality and it is legislated. We selectively pick and choose what to legislate based on a secular paradigm. The morality that is only held by the religious of this or that tradition is considered "unlegislatable morality". But this is entirely arbitrary.

                As to "individual rights", I have to agree in substance with Michael. One can garner a concept of national or ethnic rights of self determination, perhaps, from the Old Testament.

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                • Tim R. Mortiss says:

                  Of course a society can legislate morality.

                  I think that the loss of public morality which is undermining our lives has far deeper causes than the nature of the "liberal democratic" state.

                  With greatest respect, however, it's hard to find much common ground in discussion on the point, for me at least, with those who hold that we've had no legitimate government since Andrew Jackson, or just before Abe Lincoln, at the latest!

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              • Michael Bauman says:

                Tim, But in today's nihilist world the state decides who's rights are to be enforced against others. Homosexual marriage is an obvious example. The rights of which you speak, the rights that state is not supposed to infringe upon are now defined by the state and under the state's control: Life, liberty, property and virtue.

                The state can take my life, liberty and property at any time and there is little I can do about it if they are determined to do so. The state defines virtue and punishes those who fall outside the boundaries of the definition by doing just that. It is the transvaluation of all values that Nietzsche wanted. The only way I can be free is to realize that even if all of that power is utilized against me to the fullest, it is meaningless.

                While philosophically such rights as you describe may exist, looking at life and attempting to order life from that perspective is self-defeating. Defending such rights in a culture that is antithetical to life, love and mercy only leads to anger and a strident moralism that is just another version of the will to power. Every seeming victory, actually a defeat. Only in a Christ-centered polity can such rights survive and flourish proving only that they are nothing in and of themselves. They are gifts from God. What is integral to our humanity, He holds safe in His being. To the extent that I participate in His love and mercy, I share in those gifts. Ultimately that means embracing the Cross including His words: "Father forgive them for they know not what they do"

                God provides. Glory be to Him in all things.

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            • J. Maropoulakis Denney says:

              Michael, I disagree with your interpretation. God's gift of individual free will allows humans to freely make their own decisions as to whether they will sin and be subject to the consequences, or seek communion with God and enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Christianity, as opposed to its predecessors, invested great value in the life of each individual, not just as part of a community. A free society, one that recognizes individual liberty, is the best environment for this. Did the secular enlightenment take this individualism too far?
              Of course. It was the Ancient Greeks, and no other culture, which first invented the ideas such as the concept of the citizen, consensual constitutional government, the value of the individual, freedom of expression, the rational pursuit of knowledge, civilian control of the military, and the separation of church and state. These are the ideas that enabled Western Civilization to develop and flourish in a way that no other part of the world was able to, and to make nearly every, if not all, inventions and advances in civilization and science, such as modern medicine, automobiles, trains, steam engines, space travel, computers, air conditioning, educational institutions, electricity, to name a few.
              Of course, the original ideas of the Ancient Greeks were improved upon and modified over the centuries, including by the Greek Christian Fathers, who correctly asserted the importance and validity of personhood and man’s free will to strive toward God, as well as the relationship between the human soul and body. Understanding these Christian truths about mankind greatly enhanced the Ancient Greek ideas.
              Also, during the Enlightenment, in spite of the excesses of secularism, great thinkers such as John Locke and Charles Montesquieu provide a blueprint for self-government, relying on the Ancient Greek ideas, which the Founders of America in turn relied upon to create our nation with its unsurpassed Declaration of Independence and Constitution.
              Our Church Fathers recognized the value of many of these Classical Greek ideas, and one of them (can't recall which) said that they contained "the seeds of the Holy Spirit".

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              • Michael Bauman says:

                Mr. Denney, "Christianity, as opposed to its predecessors, invested great value in the life of each individual, not just as part of a community" Yes, that is correct. Our interrelationship with Jesus Christ is the most intimate and personal one we could ever hope to have, but we are only fully human persons in community. God's call to us is not a call that exists in isolation, it is a call to be a people, to worship Him together so that we can be full human persons. In our personhood we are never isolated or alone. It is, like much in Christianity--antinomical not dichotomous. A community is not a collective. A real community cannot function in an egalitarian manner nor in a totalitarian manner without considering the health and well being of each particular person in the community.

                The modern mind with which we are all infected tends to think in dichotomies, even in binaries. The list of such dichotomies is almost endless and most such X vs Y 'choices' are false. Even the 'choice' between sin and virtue can become a false moralism that does nothing to advance a person toward union with God. Such false 'choice' is such an integral part of the soul destroying consumer nihilism that I hesitate to even use the word.

                As my priest said in his homily yesterday (paraphrase): Our culture atomizes to the point that we have lost the appreciation of how to live in community. To think in terms of individual rights, especially in the Church, leads to schism.

                Christological heresies occur when His humanity is emphasized at the expense of His divinity or his divinity emphasized at the expense of His humanity. So it is here. One cannot have personal liberty outside community and one cannot have a community absent personal liberty.

                BTW, I no longer idolize the American founding documents. I did not make a 'choice' to do that, it is the result of living more fully in the Church. Not that they are bad, but simply insufficient. However one must consider the centripadal forces inherent to the philosophy they embody. Combined with the secular leaven, it has only one possible outcome: the tyranny of the state. Nevertheless I appreciate your objection to my interpretation as I once believed as you do.

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                • J. Maropoulakis Denney says:

                  I agree with some of what you say, but disagree with some. Certainly there have been Orthodox ascetics who have lived a solitary holy life, outside of even a monastic community. I choose liberty; I think it is dangerous to ignore the secular political world, horrible things can happen if we do not stay involved and struggle for liberty. I do not believe that God intended us to ignore the secular political life that we exist in and allow terrible things to happen without at least an effort to prevent them. The twin fascisms of Communism and Nazism are just two examples. Unfortunately, the Church sometimes uses the "community" theme to keep people in line and paying their stewardship or dues, rather than to keep them on a path to God.

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                  • Michael Bauman says:

                    Most common uses of the word 'community' are exactly as you describe Mr. Denney: ways of keeping people in line with a particular ideology--religious or political. Those are not proper uses of the word and evidence a shocking violation of the communion of the Church when they are used that way in the Church.

                    The struggle for liberty is not primarily a political struggle at all. Here is a story of a man who was really free:

                    A Lutheran Pastor’s Firsthand Account of Prison Life

                    by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand

                    I am a Christian from an Orthodox country — the country of Romania. Having been in prison for fourteen years for my faith, it is now my missionary work to help persecuted Christians in Communist countries. I would like to tell you the stories of several Orthodox Christians with whom I was privileged to come into contact during my time in prison. Their examples and their deeds have been a constant source of encouragement to me throughout the years.

                    Always Rejoice

                    The first man was a priest who was put in jail at the age of seventy. His name was Surioanu. When he was brought in with his big white beard and white pate, some officers at the gate of the jail mocked him. One asked, “Why did they bring this old priest here?” And another replied with a jeer, “Probably to take the confessions of everybody.” Those were his exact words.

                    This priest had a son who had died in a Soviet jail. His daughter was sentenced to twenty years. Two of his sons-in-law were with him in jail — one with him in the same cell. His grandchildren had no food, they were forced to eat from the garbage. His whole family was destroyed. He had lost his church. But this man had such a shining face — there was always a beautiful smile on his lips. He never greeted anyone with “Good morning” or “Good evening,” but instead with the words, “Always rejoice.”

                    One day we asked him, “Father, how can you say ‘always rejoice’ — you who passed through such a terrible tragedy?”

                    He said, “Rejoicing is very easy. If we fulfill at least one word from the Bible, it is written, ‘Rejoice with all those who rejoice.’ Now if one rejoices with all those who rejoice, he always has plenty of motivation for rejoicing. I sit in jail, and I rejoice that so many are free. I don’t go to church, but I rejoice with all those who are in church. I can’t take Holy Communion, but I rejoice about all those who take. I can’t read the Bible or any other holy book, but I rejoice with those who do. I can’t see flowers [we never saw a tree or a flower during those years. We were under the earth, in a subterranean prison. We never saw the sun, the moon, stars — many times we forgot that these things existed. We never saw a color, only the gray walls of the cell and our gray uniforms. But we knew that such a world existed, a world with multicolored butterflies and with rainbows], but I can rejoice with those who see the rainbows and who see the multicolored butterflies.”

                    In prison, the smell was not very good. But the priest said, “Others have the perfume of flowers around them, and girls wearing perfume. And others have picnics and others have their families of children around them. I cannot see my children but others have children. And he who can rejoice with all those who rejoice can always rejoice. I can always be glad.” That is why he had such a beautiful expression on his face.

                    That is the freedom to which Jesus Christ calls us. Most would rather except the ersatz freedom of various political ideologies than work to be really free. Political ideologies give us the illusion of being in control, of having power over ourselves and others while calling that freedom. So, we kill hundreds of thousands of people since WWI and destabilize many countries destroying Christianity in the Middle East in the process all in the name of freedom and democracy and the 'vision of the founders'

                    The night the US unleashed the bombing on Bagdad in the first Gulf War, we had a service at my parish. At the end of the service Bishop Basil gave a short homily on the need for peace that included a prophecy: "This will be a very long war" I sniffed at that at the time, but he was correct.

                    May God forgive us.

                    I have no rights. All that I have is a gift from God. I have the responsibility to use those gifts for Him and His purposes no matter what. Sooner or later the reality of the Lordship of Jesus Christ will conflict with all human forms of government.

                    Bad government does not arise because Christians don't participate in the political system. Bad government arises when Christians stop being Christian and become enthralled by a political ideology. We are called to be in the world for sure, but not of it. There is a level of participation in the political system in which the seduction of power overwhelms the proper Christian focus. That level is very low for me especially when I see our political system as a hollow fake devoid of any real substance except lust of power and an increasing hatred of all things divine.

                    Quietism does not counter that. Working "in the system" does not counter that. Prophetically living the life of the Church(worship together, give alms and mercy, pray, repent and forgive), preaching the Gospel and proclaiming the truth of humanity revealed in Jesus Christ while accepting any consequences the state may impose with thanksgiving and joy. That is how we are in the world but not of it--an integral part of the polis but much less subject to corruption.

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                    • J. Maropoulakis Denney says:

                      Good Christians do participate in the political systems where they reside, and attempt to influence them for the good. I admire Father Surioanu's Holiness and perseverance. However, perhaps if he and others like him had been involved in the politics of his country earlier, there would be no political prisoners, and the demonic communist system that took over the country would have been stopped before it could do such horrible damage. Do not good Christians have an obligation to do whatever they can to prevent this sort of thing? My family comes from the Greek island of Crete, and although I'm sure you would not approve, many Orthodox priests took up arms and killed Nazis in the invasion of 1941, and the subsequent occupation. That's MY Church.

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                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

                      J. Maropoulos Denney says, "Good Christians do participate in the political systems where they reside.
                      A famous example, St. John of Damascus who, like his father before him, served as Vizier to the Umayyad Caliph of Damascus.

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                  • Michael Bauman says:

                    “True freedom means constant dwelling in God”

                    Who doesn’t want freedom? Everyone does but few know what freedom consists of, and how to attain it. … To become free, one must first of all “bind” oneself. The more you bind yourself, the more freedom your spirit will know. … One must pinion the passions in oneself, so that they don’t get possession of you, restrain yourself so as not to harm your neighbour. People generally seek freedom in order to do what they like. But that is not freedom but the power of sin over you. Freedom to fornicate, overeat and get drunk, or be spiteful, use violence and kill, and so on, is certainly not freedom but, as the Lord said, “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” One must pray hard to be delivered from such bondage.

                    We believe that true freedom means not sinning, in order to love God and one’s neighbour with our whole heart and our whole strength.

                    True freedom means constant dwelling in God.

                    St Silouan the Athonite

                    Faith in political ideologies of any type binds us to the world and the created things.

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  21. Carl Kraeff says:

    Regarding the 5 billion of aid, here is what Victoria Nuland said in 2013:

    "Since Ukraine’s independence in 1991, the United States has supported Ukrainians as they build democratic skills and institutions, as they promote civic participation and good governance, all of which are preconditions for Ukraine to achieve its European aspirations. We’ve invested over $5 billion to assist Ukraine in these and other goals that will ensure a secure and prosperous and democratic Ukraine."

    To claim these funds were given to Ukraine in order to "inspire the Maidan uprising and arm Pravy Sektor and Svoboda" is disingenuous at best. This is analogous to describing the feeding of 5,000 by the Lord as the poisoning of 5,000.

    I cannot even say nice try on this one George; it is an epic fail.

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    • George Michalopulos says:

      Far from an "epic fail," unless you mean that paying to agitate mobs into a successful rebellion equates to "build[ing] democratic skills." Alinsky would be proud.

      '

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    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

      Does anyone seriously believe the US was completely impartial in doling out the $5 billion? Anyone?

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      • Gregory Manning says:

        It seems someone was stacking the deck:

        http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/08/04/EU-millions-paid-for-Ukrainian-groups-behind-Yanukovych-overthrow

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  22. Jim of Olym says:

    geoarge, check out these blogs. They should tell you something about our own 'end times'.

    http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/
    http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/

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  23. Michael Bauman says:

    Mr. Denney, on Crete Orthodox fought the Nazi's, there are documented cases however of some Russian monks fighting for Hitler against their homeland because of the belief the Soviet's were worse.

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  24. Michael Bauman says:

    St. John's activity as the steward to the Caliph is not really participation in the political system. It is of quite a different order. He left it as soon as he could for his cave in the desert. He clearly was not doing that with a faith in a political ideology that supplanted his Christianity. Further, I never said that Christians, good or not, should not participate. Merely that the expectation that said participation would change anything is an illusion--at least in the current American political system.

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  25. Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

    Michael BAumann. The participation of the Mansours, including St. John (Mansour) of Damascus in the political system of the mighty Umayyad Caliphate as VIZIERS shouldn't indicate to you that they were not participating in the ONLY political system in that vast empire!!! You're in some kind of denial about it. And I was actually supporting the idea of a moral imperative of participation in the political system of the place where you live!!!!
    Have you not READ his teachings about Islam, then? I believe he considered it to be a heresy, not something that would "supplant "his Christianity."

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  26. Antonio Arganda says:

    It has now been virtually confirmed, even by US analysts that the MH-17 was brought down by air-to-air missiles and by 30 mil. cannon fire from 1 or more Ukrainian Sukhoi-25s. Poroshenko has now officially left Obama swinging slowly in the breeze.

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    • Nate Trost says:

      This is a hysterically funny conspiracy theory to anyone who is actually familiar with the capes and limfacs of the Frogfoot. Which, to be fair, is a pretty small portion of the general population. But it's still a useful filter for the gullible uncritical swallowers of propaganda!

      Among other things, for the uninformed, one can compare fuselage wreckage with shrapnel damage consistent with getting blasted by a large SAM with the 'mighty' power of a R-60 against a small luxury jet. And again, that's completely leaving aside the performance characteristics of the Su-25, which is a ground attack aircraft.

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    • http://consortiumnews.com/2014/08/03/flight-17-shoot-down-scenario-shifts/

      http://www.nst.com.my/node/20961

      http://malaysiandigest.com/frontpage/29-4-tile/512066-us-analysts-conclude-mh17-downed-by-aircraft.html

      http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/08/07/374410/fighter-jet-shot-down-mh17-us-experts/

      http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/08/evidence-now-conclusive-2-ukrainian-government-fighter-jets-shoot-malaysian-airliner-buk-missile-ground-shot.html

      Seems like Antonio may be referring to this story. I've heard the theory before. Seems like it depends on the presence of bullet holes in the fuselage of the downed airliner. If they're there, it would be hard to explain ground to air. If not, still inconclusive.

      One thing is certain. Ukraine lied about not having military planes in the area. We know this was the case:

      "In a statement released by the Ukrainian embassy on Tuesday, Kiev denied that its fighters were airborne during the time MH17 was shot down. This follows a statement released by the Russian Defence Ministry that its air traffic control had detected Ukrainian Air Force activity in the area on the same day."

      This was an AP reporter, btw, and being reported by the Malaysian press.

      I'm still not sure, but I'm now leaning seriously toward the theory that Kiev did this.

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      • Yes, Putin can do no wrong - the Ukrainian government can do nothing but wrong - we understand.

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        • George Michalopulos says:

          Now you're special pleading. Putin can do wrong (all men do). As for Ukraine, I'm not against the principle of forging cultural unity within a polity by peaceful means. This is done all the time by nations that are culturally superior and/or have a dominant ethnic group that is clearly culturally superior to its minorities. Ukraine though is deficit in these regards. Its main civilizational force is Western-imposed Uniatism, which in itself was a ruse by the Roman Church to subvert the native Slavs and cleave them off from Orthodoxy.

          For all its sins, Russia has indeed been a cultural force in world history: in the arts, literature, sciences, entertainment, philosophy, etc. This is also true of France, Great Britain, the US, Germany, etc. And these have not been without sins themselves.

          Pres George H B Bush said it best when he addressed the Ukrainian Parliament in Kiev in 1991: (I'm paraphrasing here): You cannot have a country based on hatred alone. The Maidan movement may have started out as a Prague Spring but it quickly degenerated into an Arab Winter, one whose only motivating factor is hatred of Russia. That ultimately is why it's failing.

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          • Monk James says:

            Please, friends, let's try to remember past all the current bloodshed that 'ukraina' is a mid-20th-century communist political construct.

            The people who would most insist on being considered 'ukrainian' are those whose major claim to nationhood depends on only two factors: not being russian, and not being orthodox.

            The fact remains that the polish-defined 'ukraina' (borderland) was always a province of Russia.

            Nearly all the inhabitants of that area, long already Christians, fled north to escape the invading Tatars in the 14th century.

            Kievan Rus -- as an idea -- survived only because its king and archbishop and people fled north to safety in the 'zolotoye kol'tso' (golden ring) of fortified cities, including (what was then a rather small town) Moscow.

            The people who later occupied what was left of Kiev and its environs three hundred years after the damage inflicted (burning the forests, destroying the cities, salting the land, etc.) by the Tatars had subsided came from what is (mostly) now Poland.

            They have no claim to the history of Rus'.

            Our contemporary 'ukrainian' political entity is no more real than were 'Czechoslovakia' (why do we keep spelling that in Polish?) and 'Yugoslavia'.

            The polish borderland ('ukraina') won't be missed any more that those other two communist constructions.

            The Lemkos, Boykos, Hutsuls, Halichani, and the rest of the ethnic/religious components of 'Ukraine' will naturally just assimilate themselves into the local nations of their origins

            The Uniats, though, are going to have a hard time finding a home country, since they've betrayed everybody.

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            • Tim R. Mortiss says:

              What was it called under the Tsars? (A genuine question, I have no idea.)

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              • Tim,

                "Ukraina" means something like "frontier" or "borderland" or "outer-lying territory". It was thought of as the region of the Ukraine, the Frontier, during Tsarist times. The inhabitants spoke Russian or an Eastern Slavic language then seen as a dialect but heavily influenced by Polish, i.e., Ukrainian or Rusyn, et al.

                In Tsarist times, the three Russias commonly spoken of were Great Russia (currently the RF), White Russia (now Belarus) and Little Russia ("Malaya Rossiya" or "Malo-Rossiya"; i.e., the Ukraine). For example, Patriarch Kirill's official title literally translates as "Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and of All Rus'". "All Rus'" = the three Russias.

                Just FYI

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              • Monk James says:

                The 2oth-century politically patched-together entity now known as Ukraina ('borderland') was referred to as Malaya Rossiya (Little Russia') when ruled along with Velikaya Rossiya ('Great Russia') and Belaya Rossiya ('White Russia') when ruled by the tsars/grand princes of Moscow (who had moved their capital from Kiev to escape losing their lives and lands to the Tatars). That's why they were called 'kings of all the Russias'.

                The metropolitans of Moscow kept the title of Kiev for a long time after that, since both the church and the state were kievan. Their former place was desolate for centuries after the tatar hordes burned down towns and forests and salted the land. What became Kiev after that was a completely different entity, while the original inhabitants mostly stayed in the north and regrouped while the area around Kiev remained unsuitable for human life.

                But -- until the 20th century -- nobody doubted that Kiev was a russian city, in fact it's called Russkikh Gorodov Mat' ('the Mother of Russian Cities').

                Recall Chaykovskiy's 'Little Russian' symphony? It got that nickname because the composer incorporated some airs from that region into the work, not because it's a short composition.

                (Somebody's probably going to suggest that we spell the composer's name in, say. German as 'Tschajkowsky' and that's only one of the variants floating around. Personally, when there's no officially emplaced standard, I prefer a close phonetic transcription from the cyrillic alphabet. Polish is another problem: It's already spelled in roman letters but with an elaborate diacritical system which is inculcated by native speakers yet is mostly meaningless in other languages. The polish language is much more efficiently written in cyrillic characters.)

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              • Malorossia, or Malaya Rus (Small Russia, which was meant not in a diminutive sense but indicating its status as the Core Russia, as opposed to the Great (i.e., Greater) Russia.

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                • Mitritch,

                  That sounds like the new etymology for "ukraina" propounded by the Ukrianians, "homeland". Only that is only accepted by some hyper-nationalists in Ukraine and rejected by all serious linguists.

                  To give some idea of the degree of ethno-nationalism in Ukraine: Most classes in universities thorughout the country were taught in Russian until after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. I know a professor who ended up in Western Ukraine because her father was in the Red Army. One Friday the university announced that henceforth, on Monday, all classes would be taught in Ukrainian. But many did not speak or understand the language (both students and faculty), whereas everyone understood Russian. Thus, overnight, this little cottage industry of crash courses in Ukrainian sprang up.

                  It's actually comical if you think about it.

                  Anyway, Ukrainian nationalism has as much to do with having Polish, Lithuanian and Uniate roots as anything else. identification with the "progressive" West and hostility toward the old Tsarist/Soviet East is part of the equation. If you did not have the Catholic/Polish/lithuanian factor, this would probably not be happening among Orthodox Eastern Slavs.

                  Tragic, really.

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            • Michał Żurowski says:

              Herr Silver really ought to read a history of the Ukraine. His wild assertions only expose, once again, the ignorance Americans generally have about the world. It would be difficult to know where to start to correct his comments. .........A minor point of form. It is not 'ukrainian' but 'Ukrainian', not 'polish' but 'Polish', not 'russian' but 'Russian', not 'Uniats' but 'Uniates'. As to business of betraying, Americans should be reminded, once again, about king-size betrayals in Teheran, Yalta and Potsdam.

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              • Monk James says:

                Our correspondent's assertion of ignorance on my part and of Americans generally fails to move me, since I'm confident of my reading of the historical record of the events we've been discussing here. It's just that Pan Zhurovski disagrees. He'll have to get over his pique about that and learn to be more objective.

                And, just so as not to leave you wondering, I've been experimenting for a few years now with elements of international style in English, such as using double quotation marks only within single quotation marks, eliminating periods from abbreviations which end in the last letter of the full word, and doing without 'proper' adjectives.

                So I write St for 'saint' but St. for 'street', and 'America, Americans', but 'american history'. See the pattern?

                'Uniat' is a close transcription of the russian word; there's no reason to add an e except maybe in French? Besides, isn't the smarmy criticism of spelling and grammar here someone else's bailiwick....

                And what's with the Herr? It was the Uniats of Halichina who collaborated with the Nazis, not I.

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              • Michał Żurowski writes: "It would be difficult to know where to start to correct his comments." Perhaps, by reading a book? Monk James is certainly correct in his short exposition of the history of the land we now call Ukraine.

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                • Isa Almisry says:

                  "Monk James is certainly correct in his short exposition of the history of the land we now call Ukraine."
                  Unfortunately, hardly.

                  To start off: the issue of it being a "borderland" bears no relevance to its status as a nation. Denmark-the country with the oldest national flag (7 centuries) takes its name from a borderland ("march"), and the oldest nation on earth, Egypt, now calls herself "borderland" ("miSr").

                  The Grand Princes of Kiev did not move their capital to Moscow. The Rurikid princes rotated throughout the cities of the Rus’ moving up to Kiev. The Lithuanian House of Olelkovich (Gedinimids also descended from Rurik) last held Kiev as Grand Prince over the principality there in its own right until the death of Simon Olelkovich in 1470, when the Grand Dukes of Lithuania turned it into a prefecture, because of the Olelkovich’s Orthdooxy and family connections to the Grand Princes of Moscow (Simeon’s mother was Anastasia, daughter of Basil I of Moscow). His brother Michael was executed in 1481 for organizing a coup against Casimir IV of Poland-Lithuania and the Union of Florence. The family died out with Sophia Olelkovich Radziwill in 1612-an Orthodox saint glorified by the Patriarchate of Moscow for your combating Uniatism in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. L’viv, Novgorod, Tver, Navahrudak, Vilnius…all contended to succeed Kiev as capital of the Rus’ on more or less equal valid claim. Moscow just won the contest, but without invalidating the others’ claims to the history of Rus’. Least of all those who remained in Kiev and the Ukrainian lands.

                  The only king the Rus’ had had his throne in Galicia, from which he nominated the Metropolitans of Kiev, themselves Galicians, although they took up residence in Russia. The separate Metropolitanate of Kiev, Galicia and All (Little) Rus’ was consolidated after its detachment at the elevation of Moscow into a patriarchate by the Moldavian St. Peter Movila/Mohyla, whose homeland had received its hierarchy from Galicia. When the Habsburgs annexed part of his homeland and made it into Bukowina, its Metropolitinate became the second Ukrainian Church, after the Metropolitinate of Kiev annexed by the Patriarchate of Moscow. Out of the Church of Bucovina has come the present Metropolitan of Kieva and All Ukraine. Moscow depended on Kiev well into the 1700’s, the Ukrainians providing the bulk of the episcopate and theologians for All Rus’ until then. Kievan Rus’ as an idea survived quite well as an idea in Kiev and All Ukraine.

                  Not all the Rus' fled Ukraine. Perhaps not even a majority. While Poland ruled it, it ruled inhabited lands: their monasteries still produced manuscripts, the lands still yielded taxes paid by peasants, towns still paid tribute and had bishops. Nor was Ukraine colonized from Poland: the failures of Poland’s attempts to do that are well documented, even up to the last “Great Sejm,” at the twilight of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1792. The same Sejm was forced to address the “problem” of rising Orthodoxy in the Commonwealth (over the objections of the Uniate Metropolitan, who finally got the seat in the Senate that the Union of Brest promised two centuries before) by supporting the formation of an autocephalous Orthodox Church for the Commonwealth.

                  Kiev was never a Russian city in any sense until 1667 (Treaty of Andrusovo), despite being called the "Mother of Russian Cities" (at least by the Russians) and having a Metropoolitan residing in Moscow until 1589. When Patriarch Makarios III of Antioch visited in the 1650s, what wasn't Ukrainian ("Cossacks", who were ruling) was Polish or Jewish. In the census of 1874, Ukrainians ("Little Russians") made up the largest group in the city (39%), to the only 10% Russian. Only 49% could speak Russian at any level. Only by the end of the century, according to the Imperial Census, did the Russians make up half the population of Kiev, and then only in the city itself-in the Gubernia Ukrainians held the overwhelming majority and outnumbered Russians over 10 to 1. The Russian majority city of Kiev is a communist construct of the 20th century.
                  You can see the Ukrainian majority in Ukraine in the 1897 census.
                  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/98/Ukrainians1897ua.PNG

                  Nikolay Kostomarov-a devout Russian Orthodox who opposed Polish and Vatican influence in Ukraine-founded, along with Taras Shevchenko and others, the St Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood in Kiev, writing “The Books of Genesis of the Ukrainian People” as its program in 1846, before the founding of the Communist Party and the issuance of its program the “Communist Manifesto.” Rather powerful of the Communists all the way in London to create the Ukrainian nation before the Communists existed.

                  Kostomarov produced tomes and essays on the history of Ukraine. So someone both Russian and Orthodox documented the factors of Ukraine’s major claim to nationhood.

                  The Ukrainian borders are as drawn by Poland as Russia’s (the Eternal Peace Treaty of 1686), when Ukraine being made into a province for the first time. That process was completed on July 28, 1765 when the Empress Catherine abolished the autonomy of the Cossacks. By then Ukraine had about almost a millennium of history, about a century and a half of it as Ukraine (since Met. St. Peter Movila being enthroned in his see of Kiev as Metropolitan of “Galicia and All Rus”). Ukraine came before Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia-both of which were formed after WWI, not WWII, and not by Communists-and has outlived them as real political entities. The Lemkos, Boykos, Hutsuls, Halichani, and the rest of the ethnic/religious components of Ukraine, making up Urkaine, will stay in Ukraine-at least as long as the Carpatho-Russians/Ruthenians/Rusyns settle for autonomy and not independence.

                  As for the Uniates, I leave it to Orthodox Ukraine to handle them.

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                  • Michał Żurowski says:

                    Isa Almisry's reply to Fr. James Silver's anti-Ukrainian diatribe is excellently and scholarly presented. Evcharisto para poli !
                    I purposely refrained commenting further in the hope that others would and much better argue my case, as it were.
                    Inshallah, my strategy worked.
                    The only correction and a only minor one, I wish to make to Isa Almisry is that in the 16th and early 17th centuries, there was peasant immigration from Poland to the central Ukraine as there was to western Ukraine. How much, well not a tricle, a lot. How much exactly, we probably will never know.

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            • Whatever the genesis of a given cultural identity, the fact is that if people self-identify as Ukrainian they are Ukrainian - regardless of what Russians and others might say. Similarly, I can say there's no real difference today between the English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish, but they don't agree and that can't be discounted.

              The other way around is when a certain group within an ethnicity seeks to delegitimize the inclusion of those on the periphery who see themselves as equal members of that group. Demagoguery around who are and are not "real Americans" is an example.

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              • Tim R. Mortiss says:

                Well, we have 'self-identification' run rampant these days....

                As Lincoln said in one of his stories, about the man who said a dog has five legs if you call its tail a leg: "calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one."

                Real identity is more than 'self-identification'.

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              • The real problem you run into is the "fad" problem. For example, during the Tsarist and Soviet periods, most Ukrainians tended to self identify as Russian, especially emigres to the US. However, the Bolsheviks and early Soviets began to encourage Ukrainian nationalism to undermine Tsarist sympathies. Yet at the time of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, many, many Ukrainians would identify themselves culturally and linguistically as Russian and the Ukrainian language was only commonly spoken by those in the West of the country. Even as late as the mid-2000's I'm told by those who visited Kiev then that they heard Russian more commonly than Ukrainian.

                This began to change with the rise of nationalisms at the end of the Soviet period. I point this out to emphasize the capricious nature of self-identification. The same exact people in the Eastern half of the country might have self-identified as Russian in 1985, Ukrainian in 1995, and Russian again in 2014. Yet you can't change borders like that.

                Solzhenitsyn had an almost prophetic sensibility about this eventuality. He recommended refraining from the use of force and the using of numerous regional and even local referenda in order to re-orient the political arrangements:

                http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/72978.htm

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                • Michał Żurowski says:

                  I wish to make a minor correction to the statement that most Ukrainian immigrants swelf-identified themselves as Russian. Not Russian, Sir, as from Great Russian, but rusin’ or Ruthenian. There is this confusion in the English-speaking world about this difficult word “Rus’” . It is not Russia as we know it today but Rus’ as it existed prior to Mongol invasions. After that in Rus’, there developed three nations which we now know as Russia, Byelorus and Ukraine. Is it so difficult to understand ?
                  The second point is that Ukrainian was and continues to be spoken as a majority language not only in the old k. und k. West but the central Ukraine. No intelligent Russian would challenge this statement.

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                  • Michał Żurowski says:

                    I wish to make a minor correction to the statement that most Ukrainian immigrants self-identified themselves as Russian. Not Russian, Sir, as from Great Russian, but Rusin’ or Ruthenian. There is this confusion in the English-speaking world about this difficult word “Rus’” . It is not Russia as we know it today but Rus’ as it existed prior to Mongol invasions. After that in Rus’, there developed three nations which we now know as Russia, Byelorus and Ukraine. Is it so difficult to understand ?
                    The second point is that Ukrainian was and continues to be spoken as a majority language not only in the old k. und k. West but the central Ukraine. No intelligent Russian would challenge this statement.

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                  • Michal,

                    Two things:

                    I only know what I have experienced, heard and read. That is that most Ukrainian immigrants early and up to the middle of the last century tended to identify themselves as Russians to inostrantsy in the States. They may have been "Ruthenian" or "Rusyn", but that is beside the point (and, incidentally, the same little drama that plays out between Ukrainians and Russians regarding ethnicity also plays out between Rusyns and Ukrainians on a smaller scale, ironic, no? What's more, the RF generally supports "Rusyn" self identification, language, etc. in contradistinction to Ukrainian They figure what's good for the goose . . .).

                    I was at a university talk regarding the Rusyn language. It's fascinating that now it is considered by many (but not Ukrainians) to be a distinct language. I've actually seen the charts and it's interesting to see how one language morphs into another in waves like topographical lines across regions. Linguistic researchers have too much free time.

                    As far as the three Russias are concerned, I referred to that in detail elsewhere on this site.

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          • Tim R. Mortiss says:

            I think it must be more complicated than that. Russia was known in eastern and central Europe for centuries before Muskovy came along. We all know that there were several Russias, but perhaps less well known is how much of a late phenomenon in many ways Russia's identification with Moscow was.

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            • Moscow rose during the Mongol period. It briefly broke free of Mongol rule in 1380 under Dimitri Donskoy, was reconquered, and reasserted its independence and leadership of Russia in 1480. It's been around awhile.

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              • Isa Almisry says:

                It's been around longer than that: King Daniel of Russia (Rex Russiae) at his capital of L'viv nominated as Metropolitan of Kiev and All Rus' a local, Cyril, who moved his base of operations to the Northeast. His successor Met. St. Maximos of Kiev and All Rus' settled in Vladimir on the Kliazma. After him, King Daniel's last heir and successor, Bolesław Yuri II (Daniel's great grandson, the last native Orthodox ruler of Galicia) nominated a local, St. Peter, to succeed on the throne of Kiev at Vladimir, and St. Peter moved the cathedra to Moscow in 1325.

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                • Michał Żurowski says:

                  Daniel, the ruler of what we used to called eastern Galicia and (a large part of) Volhynia was not Russian, did not rule "Russia", had nothing to do with Russia, as we know it today. He viewed himself as from Rus' or Ruthenia. "Russia" was created by the Moscovite late medieval Rurikide rulers . To understand this better, modern English is a late construct originating during Chaucer's time. Anglo-Saxon is what the English population spoke prior to the Norman invasions and was continually used afterwards but amongst the lower classes.

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          • Isa Almisry says:

            Ukrainian nationalism actually arises out of the Cossack Hetmanate and Met. St. Peter Movila's restoration of the Orthodox Church at Kiev and All Ukraine, both opposed to Uniatism, and both promoting and defending Orthodoxy in Ukraine.
            The Uniates want to coopt it, just as the Soviets coopted Russian nationalism. There is no reason to give them credit where no credit is due.

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            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

              One should keep this rule in mind, it is a matter of faith and orthodoxy to many Russians:

              "There are two kind of Russians: good and bad. The good ones can be identified by their calling themselves 'Russians.' The bad ones can be identified by their calling themselves "Ukrainians."

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              • Isa Almisry says:

                "One should keep this rule in mind, it is a matter of faith and orthodoxy to many Russians:

                “There are two kind of Russians: good and bad. The good ones can be identified by their calling themselves ‘Russians.’ The bad ones can be identified by their calling themselves “Ukrainians.”"
                I know that as an article of faith of many Ukrainians, Your Grace, just with the identifications as bad in reverse. Rarely does one hear the racist nonsense as rank as a Ukrainian extremist rant on about how the Russians are mongrel Finns and Mongols, from a place named for stinking water, and having nothing to do with the Rus' at all (conveniently always forgetting that Novgorod the Great was and is Russian).

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                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

                  No, Isa, you are making that up: Ukrainians never call Great Russians "bad Ukrainians." You are mistaken to say Ukrainian attitudes mirror Russian ones. My oldest and closest Orthodox friends with whom I firat became acquainted when we were all in our late teens, are from East Ukraine. THEIR piety encouraged me my path to conversion in 1960, age 27 They've never impugned the genetic origins of what are called today Great Russians or even those who were once called 'Rus,' although, they admit, with most scholars that the identification of today's Great Russians with the people once called Rus is a fantasy. i'll recommend some further reading for you, dear Isa. Early Arab and Persian scholars make a rather clear distinction between Slavs and Rus. Try a little ibn Rustah or Ibn Fadlan for starters. You need to get over your Russomania badly. No one identified ""Rus" with the Saqaaliba (Slavs). Rus was mostly Norse. I will have nothing to do with your "mongrel Finns and Mongols." Low!

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  27. Michael Bauman says:

    Your Grace, forgive me for not expressing my self more clearly. I do not object to involvement in the political system and I think St. John can be a worthy model for how to conduct one's self while involved: detachment.

    What I object to are those who put the values and the principals of any political ideology on par with the Christian life and passionately impute a certain eschatological reality to the political realm and its ideologies. Politics at its best is people getting together and deciding how best to order things for the benefit of all. That can happen in a participatory type of government, it can happen in a Christian monarchy. In the early stages of the United States the questions were one of how to govern to protect the lives and virtue of the polis. It did not take long for the central question to become who governs, i.e., who has the power with less and less emphasis on how. More and more even that is taking a back seat to the question of how to expand the power of the state simply for power's sake. God as we know Him, everywhere present and filling all things, was never a part of the American experiment. He was kinda there at first as an absentee earthly king, a god-of-the-gaps. He has had less and less place over time as the gaps have been filled in with our pride and arrogance. What we have now is a government based on secular whim. Secularism is every bit as much of a heresy as Islam, IMO.

    Alexander Solzhenitsyn said it much better: http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles/SolzhenitsynHarvard.php

    or here: http://glory2godforallthings.com/2013/12/27/the-sin-of-democracy/

    and here: http://glory2godforallthings.com/2014/05/16/again-the-sin-of-democracy/

    or dare I say, Eugene Rose in his little book: Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age but I suppose I have now automatically made myself anathema in the minds of many by mentioning him, Fr. Seraphim of blessed memory.

    Of course my favorite critique is by Henry Adams in his book of essays: The Degradation of the Democratic Dogma, especially the essay "The Law of Phase as Applied to History".

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    • Kentigern says:

      Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

      I wasn't sure exactly on what thread to post this here, but please consider signing this, in support of our brothers and sisters in Christ, and others. being persecuted under the "new Caliphate."

      http://iraqrescue.org/

      In Christ,

      Kentigern

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      • M. Stankovich says:

        Please also keep in your prayers Archishop Avak (Asadourian), the Armenian Archbishop of Baghdad, classmate and schoolmate to many of us at SVS (keeper of the soda machines & resident philosopher!). I suspect many of us would have abandoned this See many years ago, but he persists. Rarely is their news about him, other than reports he remains safe. May our Lord watch over him and his flock.

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  28. Michael Bauman says:

    Mr. Fall, RE: your comment above on homosexuality. Sodomy is not just limited to male homosexuals. Indeed, it is not limited to homosexuals at all.

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  29. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

    That's what I thought. But mo one ever cal\ls them "sodomites," right?

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    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

      Probably because these women didn't justify their sodomy and insist that others accept it as normal, healthy, and good.

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      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

        Oh, so THAT'S what makes a real sodomite! This Deacon's erudition is stunning and humbling in equal measure. Not only that...he's actually doing something to; raise our moral tone, especially at St. Nicholas!...

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        • Ladder of Divine Ascent says:

          As Michael S suggests, the term sodimites is quite vague. In any case it is a pejorative that is best not used.

          There's nothing vague about sodomites, not for anyone aware of the account in Genesis, just ignore the "Roman Catholic" schism's associations with sex acts between a man and a woman. Any male on male sex acts are sodomy, those who perform it are sodomites, nuff said. Everyone knows what sodomy is, thus who sodomites are, and that it applies to females as well, which shouldn't need to be pointed which, but is anyway in Romans 1:26. The Sodomites didn't have an explicit warning or example prior to themselves, but were still found guilty and destroyed utterly by God Himself. Why do people think they're going to get away with justifying or excusing it or denying it from the position of full knowledge and exposure to Orthodox Christianity?

          The following is all modernist cynical legalism: "Has a woman ever been charged with sodomy?" and "That’s what I thought. But mo one ever calls them 'sodomites,' right?" and "...because the [secular] legal definition varies from state to state": and it all amounts to this:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRMBxnxWiNQ

          As for it being a pejorative, so is "adulterer, murderer, thief, etc," and so is "sinner," but you can't preach, practice, or instruct others in Christianity without them, which why the Lord Jesus and the Apostles used them.

          At the Great White Throne:

          Potential Saint: "Yes, I'm guilty, but I repented and waged internal war with my flesh and thoughts, but I know I still deserve damnation, and all my hope is on your great Grace and Mercy."

          Poor Smuck led astray by modernist legalism: "Yes, Lord, I was mounted (or mounted) other men, but I didn't do it as a man does a woman. I mounted (or was mounted) as a man mounts a man, with FULL respect for your commandment 'Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.' (Lev. 18:22) My bishop and my head shrink both assured me that this ONLY applied to male prostitutes pretending to be women during sex with their male customers during pagan rites at pagan temples in honor of pagan gods. Obviously, the honoring pagan gods, in a pagan temple, part was the problem. I never did THAT."

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          • M. Stankovich says:

            Ladder of Divine Ascent,

            Thank you for the kind lesson in perversion. I'm wondering, however, how you would describe a man who mounts a woman as a man mounts a man, and the obvious corollary, a woman who is mounted by a man as a man mounts a man. Needless to say, your answer would have a significant bearing on the issue of the rampancy of HIV infection in South Africa, where the female prostitutes - invoking "common wisdom" - knew that HIV was contracted through vaginal intercourse, condoms were expensive, and therefore engaged in anal-receptive intercourse only (an environment with likely blood exchange and mucosa apparently more receptive to HIV).

            Secondly, the only "modernist cynical legalism" is you missing the entire point that "sodomite" is used identically as the racist term "nigger," as an epithet and purposeful pejorative, not of the act - by any legal definition - but of the persons, homosexuals. If you took the time to investigate the issue, presumably, you would be surprised at the number of male homosexuals who do not engage in anal intercourse. By definition, then, they are not "sodomites." Having made this point, does it dissuade those who insist on this word? Of course not, because it is an epithet of hatred, not a confrontation of a "euphemistic description" of a sinful act. It is an expression of hatred, and those who use it claiming it is simply "labeling the sin for what it is" are liars, couching their hatred in "religion."

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    • Michael Bauman says:

      As Michael S suggests, the term sodimites is quite vague. In any case it is a pejorative that is best not used.

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      • Monk James says:

        Please forgive my naivety here -- and not that I spend much time thinking about sex -- but I always thought that 'sodomy' meant putting the male sex organ into anything but the female sex organ.

        Was I mistaken?

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        • Michael Bauman says:

          Monk James, in the broadest sense the term 'sodomy' applies to all oral sex and all anal sex with a natural or artificial device whether consensual or forced. Therefore it is probably safe to assume that the majority of people in the United States who are or ever have been sexually active have engaged in some form of sodomy at some time or other. All such acts may well be sins, but I think you'd have a hard time getting much support for a blanket condemnation of sodomy in the broader sense or even in the more narrow sense that you apply. Perhaps that shows a weakening of our moral fiber but the discussion of homosexual activity and unions is not about morality.

          Are we then a nation of 'sodomites'? It is both the widespread practice and the fuzzy meaning that have, IMO, lead most courts to overturn sodomy laws.

          A murderer, an adulterer, a thief, a fornicator etc. are phrases that describe specific acts which are quite well defined as sins. Not so with "a sodomite." To use legal wording, the term is more prejudicial than probative. In the modern context those that use the phrase are simply ignored or branded as homophobic idiots. It is a liability when trying to argue for the traditional understanding of marriage and sexual union.

          That is the basis of my statement that the term should not be used. Those who insist on using it should but the term in a specific context and explain more fully what is objectionable and why.

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        • Isa Almisry says:

          Yes, you were mistaken.

          The term originates in, ironically, the Book of Gomorrah, a post schism Latin text which condemns wives of priests engaging with their husbands as much as homosexuality. The term doesn't come up in Orthodox texts until Peter and his westernization program imported it.

          In German, for instance, the cognate means "bestiality." As long as the orifice is on human, the term does not apply.

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          • Okay, this is all great stuff, but for this going on 48 year old; the only definition my wife and I of similar age have is anal sex or with an animal and for me only the former because beastiality gives me the total creeps...can't speak of it. So, people can theoretically have homosexual relationships without sodomy by all her and I have ever known. And that will probably bother a few here...so be it. If you broaden the definition to include oral sex; it conveniently includes homosexuals, but then very few heterosexuals would not be sodomites and that just gets wierd and not worthy of much debate.

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            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

              Danm 48 years old is nothing. You've not grown up on a farm, obviously, or you'd realize how vast the omnisexual experience of many farm boys is. Bestiality is, shall we say, not unheard-of. In fact it is found in the old official lists of questions Russian Priests were REQUIRED to ask parishioners coming to Confession, These and other horrific acts are all considered frequent of occurrence enough to be listed. "Did you ever insert...." and so on. George and some others like to imagine that our age is particularly perverse sexually. Not so.

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  30. Archpriest Andrei Alexiev says:

    Panie Zurowski, one normally refers to an Orthodox Monk as "Father" or in this case, "Monk James", if you will. One would not use "Herr"' nor "Pan" nor "Mr." in addressing one. Niech Pan mnie wybaczy, jezeli Pana obrazylem.

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  31. Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

    Yes, Isa. Monk James Silver thinks that all sodomy is buggery, but, of course, that is not so. All buggery is sodomy, but not all sodomy is buggery. Monk James Silver doesn't get out much and would be surprised about many of his tenets if he did! Sometimes it leads him to try and sell his errors as new standards. Q.E.D.

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    • Isa Almisry says:

      I would prefer a monk not to know much about either sodomy or buggery, and not get out to much to learn, Your Grace.

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      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

        Me, too, Isa, me too! Unfortunately (hey! ask "Pokrov") it is those monks that don't get out much that distress the world when their SECRET vices are disclosed.
        What a wonderful daydream, though!

        Corollary-wise, it is often the 'knowing" much about sins of this world that impels men and women to monastic endeavors in the first place.

        But thanks for generously sharing your preferences.

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  32. Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says:

    But, Father Andrei, one may and does call the Priest's wife "Pani Matka.'
    I most enjoyed reading of a Sunday School lesson in the monthly bulletin of an Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Pa. The children said they enjoyed it when they were taken on a tour of their church and the teacher brought out the kadilo and explained its function. She then pointed at the chandelier and said, ""Now that is the kadilo's wife, called, of course, Pani Kadilo!'"

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  33. Michał Żurowski says:

    Lovely story, Vladyko !

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