Russia, Ukraine, etc: Interview with Jim Jatras

Recently, I interviewed our old friend Jim Jatras.  This is the second time Jim has agreed to be interviewed by yours truly and for that, I can’t thank him enough.

Jim, in case you didn’t know, has been around the block many times, working for the State Department, the Senate, and is a regular interviewee on RT.  What can I say? he’s a wealth of information! 

And so, what better person to ask about recent events in Kazakhstan (failed color revolution:  take that, George Soros!) and Russia, Ukraine, the State Department, COVID, and of course, the Orthodox Church.

It’s really an honor that he took the time to let me interview him.  I hope you take the time to watch it, it’s a little long (at 45 minutes) but it’s worth it. 

P.S. And so, with this video interview, my abandonment of YouTube commences!  (Look for more positive changes coming down the pike in our never-ending effort to improve Monomakhos.)




  1. Jim Jatras is wonderfully insightful regarding all things geopolitical, especially related to Russia, Ukraine, and Washington, DC. Check out his interview on Dissident Mama too:

    • George Michalopulos says

      Thanks! I watched it this morning. Good stuff. Mama runs a mean podcast!

      • I had never heard of Dissident Mama before, I started listening to her episode with Jim after I watched your interview with him…and then I realized she has an interview with you too! I’ll be adding that to my queue…perks of listening to podcasts at work.

  2. Just a clarification: It was the Greek Council of Bishops that gave its primate the right to make the decision about recognizing the OCU, not the Cypriot Synod.

  3. Jatras is a treasure. Very savvy regarding most matters.

    There is a gulf of conception which prevents many people from seeing the possibility (and optimality) of a true rightist authoritarian takeover in this country. But at the same time, they realize that that is the only thing that could actually put down the liberals and the left on a permanent basis. They know that a continuation of the two-party system with a sun party and moon party would basically yield a continuation of the current slow degradation of the culture and nation; however, due to the republican imperative and longstanding political conviction, they cannot envision a more conservative autocratic arrangement.

    My hope and prayer is that Jatras’ cataclysm that actually turns the trick will not be a function of the republican right but the autocratic right, regardless of republican wishes. Forgiveness is often more easily obtained than permission.

    • “There is a gulf of conception which prevents many people from seeing the possibility (and optimality) of a true rightist authoritarian takeover in this country.”

      If they are for the “vaccines,” and vaccine/health passports, then they’re the enemy, no matter the supposed ideology. So, Orban and Putin are the worst traitors and enemies of their own countries, just as Jacinda Ardern is NZ, and Trudeau is to Canada, etc. But, Belarus is best Rus:

      • I don’t see vaccination as a litmus test. Too much politico-pseudo-scientific confusion generated around it. Most everyone is too trusting of completely corrupt medical “authorities”. And this too shall pass – with lessons learned.

        It will only be in retrospect that the damage done by the vaccines is appreciated more widely. At least there are people keeping track of such matters. We are still, almost two years in, still in the grips of a mass psychosis suffered by a substantial part of the gullible population.

        Admittedly, Covid was a useful tool for the uniparty. Yet Trump is still hunted notwithstanding his (misguided) support for the vaccine. Initially, I saw the vaccine as innocuous but unnecessary. After all, it was developed under Trump’s watch. Later, the VAERS data changed my mind. But accepting it does not taint him or Orban or Putin, et al. Once such a thing is unleashed, it is a very difficult thing to get ahead of with ones ducks in a row if one is a head of state. There are already massive apparatuses engaged in advocating for the thing.

        That’s really the point, though. No change in the sun/moon allocation of the two-party system can possibly substantially affect the status quo, as Jatras observed toward the end of the interview. What is necessary is an authoritarian/autocratic revolution of a substantially harder variety than Trump 1.0. It might be Trump 2.0 or it might be someone else. But the leader must be committed to eradicating the Uniparty Beast, root and branch. Every branch of government, every department and agency of the federal government, every branch of the military, down through the judiciary and both chambers of Congress – what’s necessary is total revolution with new management, vindictive toward the previous regimes.

        Nothing less will get it done.

  4. This was a great interview, Jim is always full of knowledge, it’s great seeing him make the Orthodox rounds, I hope you continue to do these with various guests.
    Would also be cool to see him be a part of the Patristic Faith project that’s being put together by Jay Dyer, Abbott Tryphon and that crew.

    I really liked his point of talking about why the EP still has a place of honor in the dyptics considering that the See within Turkey is essentially defunct. I personally believe that going into Ukraine was quite possibly the worst thing he could have done. Other than the obvious reason of creating schism, he has had the spotlight put on him now for the entire Church to see, and for the entire Church to ask that very question that Jim posited: “Why is the EP the head of the dyptics.” The EP has been more or less flying under the radar for years and I get the impression the other patriarchs have been putting up with his antics, but, not anymore. This was obvious after Crete and it’s even more glaringly obvious now.

    I also really like ya’ll’s point of making Jerusalem the Mother Church=, if there even needs to be one.

  5. Interesting interview, Ukraine situation does remind of a game of chess, “Grand Chessboard,” seems like Putin is mostly positioning pawns with knights and bishops whereas Biden is trying to do things with rooks and queen. A piece for piece outcome would be best for peace and an eventual stalemate would be a happy end. I do find it heartening that there are prominent media figures such as Tucker Carlson who question why the United States government needs to involve itself with the affairs of Russia and Ukraine in the first place given the fact that we ourselves have our own “border crisis” with drugs and all kinds of illegal trafficking taking place and people who may have contagion coming across our borders in record numbers and inflation and supply chain and crime etc. etc. why expend resource on that which does not impact upon the lives of Americans and our Nation? After all, Russia and Ukraine have history as a nation 500 years before Christopher Columbus was even a toddler. On topic of the Metropolitan of MP Hillarion Alfeyev and his how should we say it I guess “gaslighting” of those who refuse getting vaxxed and that they will have to “repent for all of eternity” he’s just following along with the Pope’s propagation of the vaxx agenda, that getting vaxxed “is love of your brother” and moral “christian duty” and so forth so forth. I can say quite fortuitously statement from my jurisdiction of Orthodoxy states the opposite:

    The North American Diocese Of The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad On The COVID Vaccines

    “The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad does not bless its members to accept any of the COVID vaccines. These are not traditional vaccines, but rather a program designed to override and manipulate the natural immune system of the body. These vaccines are only experimental and stand to do irreparable harm to a persons God given immune system. In addition they contain and/or use aborted human infant tissue in their production. Consequently the Church cannot and will not bless anyone to accept these vaccines and strenuously warns everyone against accepting them.”

    • Joseph Lipper says

      Interesting that ROCA states “the Church cannot and will not bless anyone to accept these vaccines and strenuously warns everyone against accepting them.” By contrast, ROCOR’s primate, Metropolitan Hilarion Kapral, states that “the Church does not give advice on vaccination.”

      • Can you explain the distinction between ROCOR and ROCA? Are these both canonical?

        • They were intercnhangeable in the past, more or less, but since the 2007 reunification with Moscow, ROCOR usually refers to the main body that is now in communion with the mother church, while ROCA usually refers to the various schismatic fragments that broke away, and continue to break up.

          • “Mother church?” Moscow Patriarchate is wholly and entirely a Soviet stalinist construct one hundred percent and not any kind of “mother church” this construct has no legitimate basis or ties to the historical Russian Orthodox Church ROC. “By their fruits ye shall know them” and now we see some very revealing fruits do we not? While ROCOR-MP assumes an ambivalent stance towards the spike protein blood clotting poison genetic vaxxes we are now seeing being forced upon children, extraordinary cowardice, the MP is actively promoting them. We can find plenty else to go on but I think just this alone is enough.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              The Stalinists and Soviets decimated the Church in Russia. (I don’t get the distinction between the two; they were both communists.)

              Russia identifies as Orthodox. Always has. The communists were atheists.

              Russia has an entirely different vaccine than the mRNA vaccines we associate with the side effects you mentioned. The Spudnik V (that’s the name of it) is an adenovirus viral vector vaccine. These are more like the vaccines we are used to. In other words, they don’t put instructions into the cells to make a protein created from part of the virus, infecting every cell. Patriarch Kirill clarified the MP’s position, which is they have no position. Their ties to the government would make it impossible for Kirill (a patriarch) to be as vocal as Hilarion (a metropolitan). Hilarion is but one person and he is swimming upstream with Putin.

              I’ll let you look all this up but George and I do not allow misinformation so in the future be sure you research what you’re saying.

              • Seriously? My goodness! I see you have many people writing many things long story lines please, give me a break. “Adenovirus,” isn’t that like J&J Astrazeneca vaxx or misinfo? Did the the Russians develop Sputnik over 5 to 7 years like how long a vaxx should take to make, minimum, or are we misinfo here again? It’s a “gene” vaxx, also “warp speed.” Russia is last I heard vaxxed to the same extent as Japan which is somewhere in the 20% range fairly low, what their injuries are we don’t know, they’re not going to share that data too readily I wouldn’t think. Now about Alfeyev and Gundyaev having all that much difference between themselves that is nonsense, Alfeyev is second in line deputy to Gundyaev and I’ve read the Patriarchs endorsement of the vaxx same similar thing as the Pope’s. That Alfeyev is like some single outlier lone individual vaxx proponent in the MP that to me seems more like good example of “misinfo,” there was the monastery Valaam I believe it was where they were “mandating” and I’m sure plenty places elsewhere, like the Greeks and Catholics and Protestants etc. There were even some churches asking for vaxx papers, amongst the Greeks and somebody, think I heard about that here somewhere.

                Oh, and what does your “Russia identifies as Orthodox and the communists atheists” mean? Please, do some research yourself. The MP was created by Joe Stalin, do you not even know this? Ok, you don’t, too much work here, there is history, we’re just going to leave it at that. If you wish to attribute “misinfo” to me reminding me of Facebook / Reuters “fact check” that’s fine, your blog, it’s at your discretion what you post. I recently became interested with the topic of Covid on Monomakhos when it’s the church politics in general of the Greeks and Bart and what have you generally I skip most of all that, it’s interesting but not what I would be delving into very much.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Refresh my memory: what’s the definition of a troll?

                  • Actually, Gail, in my understanding Cyril is right about the Adenovirus Vector class of vaxx. They use a DNA sequence from coronavirus spike protein inserted in an adenovirus to make our body produce the spike protein (which we now also know is the part of the virus shown to cause symptoms). They also are a form of gene therapy with some potential (however small—at this point risks are unknown) for spike protein sequence fragments getting broken off and inserted into our own DNA
                    (see this study:

                    They are not like the traditional killed/attenuated or live whole virus vaxx’s. The suggestion to the contrary is a talking point I’ve noticed coming from authorities that is apparently misleading (based on the way these technologies have been used up to this point and what is known and previously publicized about them by their developers).

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Frankly, I didn’t respond to anything Cyril said about the vaccines. I did not mean to imply they are identical to earlier vaccines; only that the approach is the same as traditional vaccines. They use genetic material from the virus.

                      Some vaccines are made from weakened or killed viruses like the polio vaccine (OPV).

                      Today, most of the vaccines include a small component of the virus, like the spike protein, and also something called, “adjuvants,” to help the body produce a stronger immune response.

                      The viral vector approach hasn’t changed; however, the viral material is different.

                      In adenovirus viral vector vaccines, they use pieces of the virus; with only the spike protein. By NOT using the whole virus, they hope to avoid the replication of the virus and the impact of integrating it into your DNA.

                      Viral, gene-based vaccines include an adenovirus (tied to a range of symptoms) and poxvirus (used to eradicated smallpox) vectors to get an immune response. More recently, the interest has shifted to replication-competent viruses like cytomegalovirus (CMV) and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). Unfortunately, they may be removing some really important parts of the virus genome when they “slice and dice” it.

                      CMV is like herpes. Once you get it, you have it for life. Healthy people may be fine but those with underdeveloped immune systems, like babies, can be infected.

                      VSV is usually in horses or cattle but people get it, too.

                      mRNA is a completely different animal in terms of approach. It’s like a “plug and play platform,” where a synthetic spike protein, with instructions to the cells to make it, are “downloaded” (my words) into the body; each cell is instructed to do the same. Spike proteins all through your body.

                      The problem with this is that this is an ongoing process that will never cease. Each organ, including the brain, will have spikes. The immune system will attack everywhere there is a spike, potentially overwhelming the immune response which is to “kill” the spike and everything associated with it.

                      So the next time a vaccinated person comes in contact with one of the 7 coronaviruses that infect humans, the immune system could go into overdrive to rid the spikes from the body. Few people know that it is not COVID-19 that kills them; it’s the immune system’s response to the virus (specifically the spike protein) that causes it to go into overdrive. They call it a cytokine storm.

                    • Thanks for the clarifications, Gail. Are you saying there are adenovirus vector vaccines that have already been successfully mass employed in human beings? Or, are these also still experimental and in development?

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Oh, no. They have not been successfully tested. J&J is the only adenovirus vector vaccine that is allowed in the U.S. and only sometimes, apparently. They prefer Pfizer and Moderna. They completely threw out the rule book and disseminated the vaccines to the general public without testing on animals or people. This experiment was to serve as their 3rd and final trial to determine how they would work (and if they were safe) for human beings. Very little data justified their release.

                      They are still experimenting and they’re still in development. Talk about an oxymoron! Many, many people have been hurt by these vaccines. Life Insurance deaths are up 40%. They’re implementing technology known as Palantir which was implemented in my group in 2014-2015. This platform was utilized to track terrorists before it focused on healthcare. It’s now used to track compliance (or lack thereof).

                      This is an excellent site. Take a look at it and tell me what you think.

                      Take a look at this website. Best and most readable information I have found.

                    • The vector vaccines like Sputnik V and J&J aren’t nearly as bad as the mRNA types – at least Webster’s didn’t have to redefine “vaccine” in order to be able to use the word to describe what they are(!) – but they are still made using genetic engineering.

                      The only options we currently have for traditional vaccines which actually use the inactivated (dead) whole virus are China’s Sinovac and India’s Covaxin, of which we only know for sure that Covaxin wasn’t tested on aborted fetal cell lines. It also happens to be the more effective of the two. Sadly big pharma’s lobby is too strong the USA such that we have to wait or go abroad for now if we want real Covid vaccines.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      This situation, I’m guessing, is because big pharma contracts make it impossible for a country to change its mind and go in a different direction in terms of the product. If the countries find themselves stuck with a vaccine not up to snuff or even deadly, they can’t pay what they owe for what they used and go in a different direction. They have to pay the full cost of the vaccines they negotiated whether they use them or not. If they don’t, the Pharmaceutical can recoup the entire amount due in the contract. In other words, you can’t change your mind. Everything is bought upfront and it’s “as is.” No refunds. No being gifted a different product from another country. You’re stuck with what you got.

                    • Thanks, Gail! Our children’s pro-life doctors alerted us to the dangerous conflicts of interest in medicine compromising vaccine safety over two decades ago (especially in the wake of the “1986 Vaccine Act”) and recommended a non-profit consumer advocacy site as a resource that we have used ever since. I am now on the email list for several health freedom advocacy organizations including Children’s Health Defense. I’m sure we could sit down and share lots of stories about the horrific violations occurring in the name of public safety in this crisis. More recently, I discovered this has been predicted also by Saints and contemporary Elders in our Church. Here’s one example (see especially around the 10 minute mark):


                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Great video! Encouraging.

                    • @Gail

                      I would have thought that, as such contracts are so onerous,
                      a proper court should be able and willing to set them aside
                      as unenforceable in law.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      When people are desperate all rules are put aside. The law is the last to catch up.

                    • I did say ‘should’ 🙂

            • Interesting issue regarding the ROC-MP here: One Russian journalist said that opponents of the MP who consider it a fake Soviet organization don’t actually know the details of the MP- The MP had a synod in 1943 and elected Sergius as Patriarch, and the journalist noted that the opponents don’t even know the names of the Orthodox bishops attending the synod.

              In reality, there were catacomb bishops who rejected Met. Sergius but who became reconciled to the ROC and who attended the 1945-1947 All-Russian Assembly that elected Met. Sergius’ successor.

              It’s crucial to note the structure of the MP as well. In the MP and the OCA, the highest body is the All-Russian Assembly and All-American Assembly, respectively, that meets every few years, and not the Patriarchal synod. In the OCA, your parish can elect you to be a delegate and you can elect the next Metropolitan like Met. Jonah was elected. Do Putin or Biden get to veto the appointment of the primate of the MP or OCA?

              In terms of its structural model, the MP and OCA are not Soviet/R.F/U.S. government agencies or departments. At most, there has been political influence. St. Tikhon’s has a Memorial Day pilgrimage, Memorial Day being for fallen veterans. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cold War had something to do with Memorial Day being one of the biggest gatherings at St. Tikhon’s.

              Contrast this with the vertical top down structure of GOARCH and the CP where Turkey approves or gets to veto the head of the CP and the CP synod is the highest canonical body in the CP. The CP synod gets to appoint (and has at least once appointed) the head of GOARCH without deference to the wishes of the Archdiocesan Council of GOARCH on the topic. Technically this is not a crucial problem for Orthodoxy, and the real problem is the new First Without Equals doctrine. Nonetheless, it’s helpful to have some perspective here.


              • Gail Sheppard says

                You put Google to shame!

              • Many holes here I’m not going to get into after already being pointed out for “misinfo” by wife of blog manager. I’ll just say this though, it is widely known that the MP is the one institution of the Soviet era which has survived virtually entirely intact as from the time when it was first created under Joe “Stalin,” not his real actual last name, and has not changed hardly at all, let’s just leave it at that. Well, I’ll add one more thing which I know for a certainty, fact. In the years prior to the 2007 “Unia” and particularly prior to Met. Laurus circa turn of the century if someone in ROCOR had eucharistic communion with Moscow MP they were ex-communicated, automatically, only way you were restored was with repentance and likely some kind of penance, I’d imagine.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Correction: I am the blog owner.

                • The MP was not “created” under Stalin. It was created by the All-Russian Assembly of 1917 that elected St. Tikhon the MP.

                  St. Peter Krutitsky, the Locum Tenens of St Tikhon, recognized by both the MP and ROCOR, told his prison officer that he had appointed someone to replace him in case of his death, and that this person had appointed other successors, so that they would never extinguish the Church. The MP was deliberately remaining alive throughout the whole Soviet period even when the government did not recognize it as existing.

                  When the Roman government did not recognize Christianity as existing in the 1st-3rd centuries AD, it did not mean that the Church did not exist. Constantine did not create the Church.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Hal, you bring up some very good points. One in particular makes me wonder why the EP is so bound and determined to take the side of the Roman authorities when it comes to Moscow’s patriarchate?

                    Doesn’t anybody over there see the irony of this?

                    • George,
                      In which aspect or analogy do you see the CP as taking the side of the Roman authorities? I guess you mean they take the side of the US and Ukrainian governments against the UOC-MP.

                      Certainly ironies abound in general with the CP now. The CP wrote in the 1990’s that the MP had “exclusive” “competence” to judge the issue when Met. Philaret (UOC-KP) tried to appeal to the CP. These kinds of things seem blatant enough that the CP must personally realize some of the contradictions:

                      Was the CP deliberately lying in the 90’s when he said that the MP has exclusive competence or lying since 2018 when the CP claims universal jurisdiction? Or did the CP have a change of opinion due to Abp. Elpidophoros’ thesis about 15 years ago called “First Without Equals?

                      The issue has to do with how cynical or “Philistine” the CP is on Church matters. I don’t know him personally. The Albanian primate supposedly has known the CP personally for many years, and their exchange of letters was the most that I’ve ever seen the CP engage respectfully and seriously with the “other side”.

                      – First, the CP invited the Albanians to recognize the OCU and gave detailed reasons.
                      – Second, the Albanian primate accepted some reasons, such as the CP’s supposed jurisdiction, but questioned others, such as how the CP could arbitrarily declare the OCU canonical with no canonical ordination for the OCU, nor ceremony, nor reconciliation by the OCU with the MP. That is, the OCU hierarchs were never ordained by a canonical bishop.
                      – The CP replied by giving some historical examples of bringing schismatics into the Church.
                      – The Albanian Primate replied, showing how the examples did not work- they were not cases where schismatics were received into the church without ceremony.
                      – The CP did not reply to the Albanian primate’s second reply letter, or at least any such answer by the CP is not public. Instead, he just got insulting letters by CP metropolitans:

                      “According to our information,” Bp Victor says, “His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios, who is a very respected person and respected primate of a Church in global Orthodoxy, received insulting letters from several metropolitans of the Patriarchate of Constantinople because he allegedly did not support the decision of Patriarch Bartholomew.”

                    • George,

                      One way that your point about irony comes up is that the Soviet government in the 1920’s-1930’s supported the Living Church against the MP. The MP hierarchs, including Met. Sergius who was imprisoned or exiled, were almost all repressed to some extent, like removed from churches, or shooting. Russian Orthodox nonetheless were still loyal enough to the MP that the Soviets changed their stance around 1941. It wasn’t as if the Soviets were gunning for the MP. The US and Allies made a big deal about the state of the Russian Church when it came to Lend-Lease as well. Americans were unsettled about helping the Soviets if they were repressing the Church. So in fact it was rather survival and recognition of the MP by the Soviets that happened.

                      Meanwhile in the 1920’s-1930’s, the CP switched its recognition of the MP onto recognition of the Living Church.

                      So this is the first “irony” – the CP was recognizing only the Living Church, not the repressed Church, and now after the MP has survived the repression, the CP is against the MP and CP advocates portray the MP as a Soviet Church.

                      There realistically would not be any way for the Russian Church to make its foreign detractors (CP and anti-Russian Old Calendar factions) happy with the Russian Church.

                      First, the MP as a whole would have had to make the judgment in the Soviet era that attacking the Soviet government was more important than the functional survival of the Church. The clergy would have had to directly attack the Soviets, picking prison or death, and would have had to reject any form of cooperation with the Soviets, like having their 1943 synod in the building that the Soviet government gave them for the synod.

                      But the Soviets were not demanding that they sacrifice to idols. There was no absolute theological necessity that the Russian Church directly and explicitly campaign against the Soviet government. To get the MP as a whole, especially during WW2 when the 1943 synod was held, to be directly anti-Soviet and reject all cooperation with the Soviet government would simply be a nonstarter. Were Russia’s Christians supposed to take up arms or labor strikes against the Soviet government when Operation Barbarossa began, and then get literally enslaved or exterminated by the Germans like the Poles as Untermenschen? It’s simply not realistic as a judgment call for the Russian Church or Russian people to make.

                      Now contrast this with the situation under Turkish rule in Istanbul since the 15th century. The Islamic conquerors literally installed the candidate for Patriarch who was against Unia with Rome and kicked out the Uniate Patriarch. The Turkish government wasn’t doing it out of belief in Orthodoxy, but certainly for political reasons. The Turkish government was explicitly an Islamic state, and repression of the Greek Church continues to this day, the reconversion of Hagia Sophia being the latest major example. The Turkish government literally appoints or gets to veto the head of the Constantinople Patriarchate.

                      So yes, the situation is very ironic, and the ironies are many.

                    • Good points made by Hal.

                      Those who were nice and safe outside the USSR really shouldn’t be judging those that were suffering inside it. They had no idea of what the Orthodox there were going through.

                      Mistakes were made, USSR is gone now, let’s move on.

                  • The MP as it is known today is entirely a Stalinist construct, “a thru z.”
                    That the historic ROC was ever the “MP” was a question I had wondered about and in all my readings upon the subject matter had never heard this or seen any evidence of this, if actually so it would be dubious matter regardless. The historical Tichonite ROC essentially broke off into two main branches, ROCOR or ROCA and the Catacomb Church. Stragorodsky with his infamous “Declaration” of 1927 declaring full collaboration with the Bolshevik criminals and with those who murdered the Russian Royal Family committing the regicide, was a Soviet tool and communion between him and the Catacomb Church as well as that of ROCOR was fully ceased and remained so until 2007. Myself, I am not one to “judge” Stragorodsky, I was not there and I was not challenged with all the unimaginable hardships that there would have existed back in that time and place, but the New Martyrs and New Hiero Martyrs they rendered their “judgment/assessment” of Stragorodsky, the very many of them and that is what I go by, I do my best to honor them although I could always try better. Ok. I’ve “ruffled feathers” here, I’ll leave it at that, likely I’m not going to be much welcomed here anymore is what it seems like to me, we move on.

                    • There is a difference of opinion within the Russian community with respect to the degree of repentance necessary coming from the MP (for Soviet sins) and the degree offered. However, in general, the Church Abroad did not deny the grace of the MP mysteries even though it could not be relied upon as the supreme ecclesiastical authority. Recall, the patriarchate was restored before the Bolshevik Revolution and remained defiant for a short period before being coerced into submission.

                      I do not quibble with those who see the reunification as premature. They are welcome to their opinions and they may turn out to be justified in their suspicions. However, reunion had to occur at some definite time. ROCOR never saw itself as anything other than an integral part, the free part, of the Russian Orthodox Church. Will it take some time for them to get up to speed? You betcha. But events seem providentially to support the current arrangement.

                    • Cyril “The MP as it is known today is entirely a Stalinist construct, “a thru z.”

                      Really? Which church will pass your test?

                    • Dear Cyril,
                      In the 1945 All-Russian Assembly, Catacomb bishops who had been opposed to Pat. Sergius reconciled with the MP and promoted or attended the MP Assembly.

                      Bp. Afanasy was a Catacomb bishop who was in prison even until 1955 (2 years after Stalin’s death) and who advocated for his spiritual children to support the Assembly and reconciliation. You can read his letter here:

                      He was canonized in 2000.

                    • Cyril, the MP may have been restored by the communists for their own gains, but they don’t control the process or anything about the MP today. And notice I said “restored,” because a Patriarchate is what the Church of Moscow traditionally is; Czar Peter I abolished it extracanonically in the 1700s.

                      While I certainly won’t go so far as to give the communists credit for any sort of respect for tradition in restoring the office, the fact is they did so regardless of their reasons and it’s now firmly outside of their influence.

                    • Saint Hilarion (Troitsky), possibly the greatest ecclesiologist of his era, never broke communion with Metropolitan Sergius, although he was highly critical of him. That says a lot.

        • Oh man, what a question, Karen.

          One that should never be asked in an Orthodox pub, for instance 🙂

          Did you hear about Ivan Rimolovsky, the Orthodox man who was stranded alone on a desert island for 30 years?

          When he was discovered, they found two beautiful Orthodox Church buildings, which he had built by hand over the years. When asked why two churches, since he was stranded alone on the island, he answered, pointing to the first, “well, that is the church that I go to.” And then, angrily pointing toward the other church, “…. And that is the church that I don’t go to!”

        • ROCOR is canonical, whereas ROCA broke off from ROCOR.

          • You have it backwards. “ROCOR,” “fell” when it submitted to and fell under Ridiger and the MP back in 2007. We won’t get into it, I would find it to be like trying to explain the dangers of the vaxx to someone who is fanatical about the “safety and efficacy and necessity” of getting injected with the blood clot poison and is proud to have their “QR code” passport as a “virtue” of some sort .. For anyone wishing to know the real actual truth of this matter it’s not hard to find and figure out, the information is pretty readily available out there, still, and one just could see for themselves as well, things are obvious.

        • I belong to the one that united with the MP; however, I do not critique or condemn those whose opposition to ecumenism led them to refrain. Whatever ROCOR’s status before the unification was is what ROCA has now. I’ve never believed that the unification restored ROCOR to canonical status but that it always had been so.

          Just in general, it is a bad idea to criticize the Greek Old Calendarists or groups like ROCA because what you are actually condemning is their fidelity to ecclesiastical piety, which is often very well informed if somewhat stricter than the other jurisdiction.

          • Joseph Lipper says

            Anti-ecumenism and a general distrust of the Russian Church’s political alliances with the state (i.e. “Sergianism”) seems to be a big part of ROCA’s rationale for splitting from ROCOR. There are also different splinter groups of ROCA, and I don’t think they are in communion with each other, or anyone else for that matter.

            Indeed, the Russian Church has embraced ecumenism through the World Council of Churches, finding it to be a useful platform for supporting their presence in Ukraine:

            “The WCC support for Moscow’s legitimacy in Ukraine, together with the support of Pope Francis and the leaders of the Catholic Church, should guarantee the Russians sufficient pressure to prevent the recognition of Ukrainian autocephaly (Kiev Patriarchate) by Constantinople , the most ‘burning issue’ in inter-Orthodox relations in recent months.”


            • Gail Sheppard says

              A little more info:

              “The Patriarchate of Constantinople initiated the role of the Orthodox churches in the modern ecumenical movement, with its Encyclical Letter dating from 1920 to “all the churches of Christ”. The call of the letter was for a “koinonia of churches” which would work for charitable cooperation and theological dialogue. The Ecumenical Patriarchate is a founding member of the World Council of Churches. There have been permanent representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church at the WCC since 1955 and 1962, respectively.”


            • From what I gather you have three groups now that have their various ties to “pre – unia” ROCOR. ROCANA Russian Orthodox Church Abroad North America with three bishops, the primate Archbp. Andronik of North America, Bp. Sofroniy of St. Petersburg and Bp. Andrei of Australia New Zealand who has some very excellent epistles on the Covid vaxx matter. One of the latter two I believe actually is an Archbp. as well. This group, mine, also now has come into communion with “TOC” old calendarist Serbians. Then there is the Met. Agafangel group and then also there is Archbp. Tichon of Omsk group. There also are some “Vitaliyites” but I know little of them, very small and scattered, but a few bishops. In prophecy, Tsar, is to return to Russia and many believe this to be imminent and if we are worthy he will, and for sure he will “clean house” corrupt MP will get swept out and Russian Orthodoxy will be restored to Tichonite pre-revolutionay Russian Orthodoxy, not necessarily very rich or of great wealth but free and prosperous.

        • Thank you all for the informative replies.

  6. Vladyka Averky made a statement about “ecclesiastical leaders” such as Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev:

    What I cannot comprehend is the silence from Orthodox websites and blogs regarding the upcoming meeting between the Pope and Patriarch Kyril planned for this year (date has yet to be determined ). If one Google’s this, you will find that many secular websites picked up this news, yet the Orthodox remain silent. did post this information and removed that post quickly. I asked Jesse why this was taken down only to have my question ignored.

    We all know that Patriarch Bartholomew and his actions have been heretical, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure this out. The incessant pointing of the finger at the CP seems like the ROC is trying to beat a dead horse. What concerns me more is wondering what is the ROC up to and making plans for while they continue to point fingers at the CP!

    I know that this is an unpopular opinion with some. George once said regarding this topic that it doesn’t take a clairvoyant to see what is going on…however, I disagree. Satan and his minions work through deceit and if we take everything at face value we may be we among the elect who will be deceived. Praying for spiritual discernment is crucial in these times so that we are aware of the wolves who are hiding in sheep’s clothing.

  7. This is a dangerous line of speculation.

    “Is he bluffing?”

    Methinks not. I wouldn’t go so far as to say, “Vulcans [or Russians] never bluff.”, but if you look at the history, Russians usually don’t go out on a limb unless they are prepared to back it up. Or as the Sicilians say, “Don’t demand what you can’t take.”

    I didn’t think Russia was interested in active conflict until three things happened in quick succession: Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Russian Proposal. There were attempted color revolutions in the aforementioned countries which were unsuccessful and resulted in solidification of the Russian position in both. However, these Western advances seem to have provoked a reaction. Russia would rather come to an understanding than play whack-a-mole indefinitely.

    There is a profound misconception in the West which pervades at only a superficial level in the knowledgeable community but masquerades as conventional wisdom in the political and pundit world. That misconception is that Russia is somehow a paper tiger – a gas station pretending to be a country – a third rate power punching above its weight, etc. There are many ways of saying it. The gist of the assertion is that Russia has a relatively weak economy and is in demographic decline so its other sources of power are somehow stymied.

    But three things are incontrovertible: a) Russia is a nuclear power, b) it is the largest country on the planet, and c) it has a formidable military (just ask the Chechens, Georgians and Ukies). Moreover, any conflicts in which it participates are likely to be in its front or back yard and thousands upon thousands of miles away from America. “People” and “money” are certainly desirable commodities to possess. But “people” and “money” do not have a blast radius. Weapons do.

    He’s not bluffing.

    It would be a rewarding exercise to imagine the conversation that Putin has had with his military about the Belarus – Kazakhstan series of events. The Russian military sees that the RF has been directly challenged twice in quick succession. They see that Putin has issued two lists of desirable outcomes, one to the US, one to NATO. And the Russian military has a very acute collective memory, one which any particular leader (like Gorbachev or Yeltsin, for example) might lack.

    Not only is Putin not bluffing but he has put himself out on a limb so he cannot afford to be denied.

  8. for those of you who wpeak Greek, please listen to my latest presentation of the Ukrainian problem here:
    as for the Turkish “patriarchate”, over here in Greece, there are many voices (outside the mainstream media narrative) who feel that it is high time for a serious change.

  9. Suzanne Massie says it may be spiraling out of control. She wrote one of the most used textbooks on Russian History, Land of the Firebird, and was a friend of Reagan. She thinks there are monied interests behind Biden who want war and that there is no unified command on the US side and that that’s the source of the problem.

    • Misha, the ‘monied interests’ have always been there. It’s called the Military Industrial Complex. Eisenhower warned us about them…many years ago!

      • About two weeks ago or so, a number of ex-Trump officials announced they were gathering to brainstorm on how to prevent him from running again. I assume that this is a fruit of that powwow.

        So beware of ex-Trumpistas bearing gifts. The argument is seductive until you realize that it assumes too much negligence on Trump’s part, as opposed to institutional resistance, and assumes that there is anyone else who can slay the dragon – which there is not, at least not judging by appearances.

        Our best bet is probably that Trump has learned to be more ruthless and less pliable than his first run. Having an election stolen and then being framed for an “insurrection”, points which the author of the above piece agrees indeed occurred, should make Trump militate in favor of a scorched earth, black flag, no quarter type approach for 2.0. Not having to run for re-election, he is just the man to fire the silver bullet, or drive the wooden stake, or whatever metaphor you choose.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Apparently, she was known for being very loyal. She may be a plant.

          I don’t agree he’ll go away. His biggest hurtle is going to be his statements about the vaccines: “They’re fine. They’re safe. You can take them. We took them when we left the White House.” He’s either got a plan, he is woefully ignorant, or he’s one of them.

          I predicted before the vaccines were foisted on the public, that he called in the National Guard to replace them with saline.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Mrs Massie is correct.

            On this point, this is why Reagan will be remembered as one of the greatest presidents: even though he hated the communist system, calling it an “evil empire,” he did not hate the Russian people. Once the USSR fell, he wanted us to put away our weapons and treat them as friends; perhaps rivals but under no circumstances as enemies.

            We really need to get rid of the MIC and their neocon enablers.

            • Massie’s a treasure too. Here’s the thing about the Covid vaccines, and there’s no getting around it: In politics, you have news cycles and you have a number of networks, we might call them the legacy media or MSM, who are devout liberals and even socialists. You also have a precious few networks: Fox (more or less), OAN and Newsmax who are on the side of the Revolution. But the legacy leads the news cycles for many people (though that number is diminishing).

              Covid was a counterrevolutionary hoax calculated to bring down Trump. The MSM were all in and the water of the public consciousness was poisoned by their hysteria. Unless you want to take them on directly (and that means them blaming you directly for deaths they film in detail and put on the air and insist are your fault), then at some point you have to play along with the sick game (pun intended).

              Same with the vaccines. Covid vaccines, for the most part, are a solution in desperate search of a problem. With the VAERS data we now have, it is arguable whether they are even beneficial for high risk people (elderly, pulmonary patients, etc). Yet to go after them directly, after the decision was already made in the Trump administration to play along with the Covid hoax as much as necessary to maintain credibility with the hysterical masses, was also impossible. Plausible disease requires plausible vaccine (or other treatment). Trump went into the “other treatment” area as much as he could but he folded on the vaccine front. You play with the team you have on game day.

              Of all people, Trump has to pick his battles. There’s just too much of it being spewed into the public ecosystem for him to stay pure. The sheer volume of the bs would make him look like a fringe element outlier if he just told the unapologetic truth. That’s how powerful the web of lies has become in this society. And it’s not a lot more complicated than that.

              Of course, it’s a house of cards. Covid, the Vax, Climate Change, Russiax3, border lies, 1/6 lies, Election Steal lies, filibuster/”election reform” lies, etc.

              Lying just as hard and as fast as they can, 24/7.

              The ship be sinking. Most of us have never seen such a thing. Maybe a few of the oldest people have some memory of the Democratic sweeps under FDR. But that was nothing like this. This is a self-destructive implosion of a major political party. A lot of people aren’t going to walk away from this crash. During the primaries, I thought it possible that the Dems would split into a socially liberal faction and a socialist faction. That fissure is still there and it is working against them. Come November, they will turn on each other in full force. They will feel compelled to do so by a red tsunami and the specter of Trump 2.0. Libs vs. socialists, coming to a theater near you.

  10. All this is very interesting also in light of some prophecies of Orthodox Saints and Elders:

  11. I love the video above from Gregory Decapolite’s channel and it is in line with what many saints have prophesied.

    Here’s another example:

    And that folks is the reason that Moscow is not “the third Rome”. Sure, Russia has produced countless saints, however as a nation, they have been too prideful. After the “time of troubles” instead of thanking our Good Lord and his most Holy Mother for the performed, they took to drinking and bragging about their roles in the murder of the false Dimitry.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      They have been too prideful? Wow.

      When I was waiting in line (a 2 1/2 hour wait in the middle of a heatwave in August) to venerate an icon in Russia, I began talking with the 30-something woman standing beside me in her long skirt and scarf. We chatted a bit. It turns out she often stops to venerate the icon before she goes to work. We later took an Uber to her job and she looked every bit the executive that she was.

      How many times would a millennial in the rest of the world stop by on their way to work to venerate an icon in the blazing sun?

      • Of course there are humble and faithful Christians who live in Russia, that’s not what I am referring to. Just as there are faithful and humble Christians in the churches of the GOA who are under the CP, but that doesn’t mean their hierarchy is not corrupt.

        My point is that the “Moscow is the third Rome” theory was created by false prophesy. There are numerous false prophesies out of Russia created by the former KGB (now know as the FSB who state on their website that they are the continuation of the KGB) in order to make the faithful believe they can do no wrong. Here’s an example:

        I had also believed this false theory for many years! How wonderful it was that Russia repented of their Sergianism and came back to Christ. Unfortunately, George is correct in saying that we know them by their fruits. However we can’t just choose to see the fruit they want it’s us to see, we must see what they are trying to keep hidden and those fruits are pretty rotten.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          I don’t view things as you do. If I did, I would have to rethink everything I know about God through the Scriptures: God wouldn’t have chosen Moses; he didn’t even want the job and he had a speech impediment. God wouldn’t have chosen Gideon. He was caught hiding from the enemies on a threshing floor. David couldn’t be a “man after God’s own heart. If he were, why would he kill a woman’s husband to have her?

          The point is, none of these things make sense. . . to us.

          God chooses whom He will.

          Russia has shown an incredible commitment to protecting the Faith. I have been there. I have met these people. On their streets, I don’t see what I see when I walk down Sunset Blvd. in LA. I see men who are men and women who are women. I see a country that has been to hell and back and in spite of this, has remained faithful.

          I have read books on Patriarch Kirill. One devoted just to things he has said:

          P.S. The idea of the 3rd Rome came a long time before the KGB.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Anon, Gail speaks from the heart. As for myself, I have been doing a lot of research on Canon 28, Ukraine, autocephaly, and I was surprised to find out that EPs from days gone by thought that Moscow was indeed the Third Rome.

            I hope to publish this all in a book soon.

            • Yey Michalopulos!

              The two key canons that I’ve seen the CP cite most often are Canons 9 and 28. I see how at first glance they could give someone the impression of CP-supremacy. I researched both and concluded that they didn’t actually teach this though.

              I wish every clergyman of the CP, Alexandria, GOC, and Cyprus had a copy of a pamphlet debunking the First Without Equals innovation.

            • The Russophobia here is amusing but unfortunate. I thank George and Gail for throwing a bit of cold water on it.

              If one wants to be suspicious of Pat. Kirill, that is fine. He has his faults and some Russians feel the reunion with the MP was premature. I don’t agree but I sympathize with the position and understand the sentiment.

              That is a bit different than the hostility to the Russian church in general and the framing of the Third Rome concept as KGB propaganda and/or false prophecy. The monk Filofey’s (Philotheos) remark is not really prophecy although he based it in pious discernment from history and tradition, citing St. John the Theologian/Apostle as evidence.

              Unless it is folded into Pat. Kirill’s concept of the Russian World (Russky Mir), it’s not really an assertion of the Church as a divine anointment. However, it fits historical circumstances perfectly and is a logical conclusion based on the evidence. “Rome” is idealized as the center of imperial Christendom, first as the original Rome after its conversion from paganism, then as the “New Rome”; i.e, Constantinople, after the fall of the first Rome and especially after its apostasy in the 9th-11th centuries. Finally, after the fall of the “New Rome”; i.e., the Second Rome, in 1453 to the Muslims, the torch is seen as having passed to the East. There were other aspirants (Serbs, et al.) early on, but Moscow and Russia settled out as the focus of temporal power in the Church. Russia being large and seemingly solidly Orthodox, and there being no other successor state of note foreseeable, and bearing in mind that the Second Coming has always been anticipated by believers as real and something in the not too distant future, it makes sense that the “writing was on the wall” so to speak and that “two Romes have fallen” and that Moscow is the Third Rome.

              With a brief (by Orthodox historical standards) hiatus under the Bolsheviks, Russia has been restored to its Orthodox heritage and character and it appears as the natural flagship or champion of Orthodoxy, if nothing else by default where significant portions of the Church have succumbed to Western globalism, atheism, perversion, feminism and every other abomination under the sun.

              Moscow and the MP will continue to operate as a “Third Rome”, at least de facto, because that is simply its role according to how history has unfolded in divine providence, not because a monk or anyone else has the sense to see it or acknowledge it.

              • George Michalopulos says

                “Rome,” as a restrainer of the anti-Christ is a valid theological concept. As for me, that’s the reason I believe in the Third Rome, it is because I believed in the Second Rome and before that the First.

                That’s why the Phanariotes would be wise to just skip the entire theory (or scrap it altogether).

                • EP Policy
                  They cross their fingers, close their eyes and say:
                  ‘I can’t see you so you’re not there. You’re not real.’

              • Misha,

                Accusing me of Russiaphobia is pretty amusing, as well as your assumption that my beliefs must be resentment of the 2007 reunion.

                Did you even watch the two videos I had posted which clearly outline the fact that the MP is in heresy and still following Sergianism? If you can watch those without second guessing your current held beliefs then that’s your perogative.

                I am sure it would surprise you to know that we use mostly Slavonic in our church services and that the majority of my friends and our parishioners are Russians. You may also be surprised to know that almost all of my Russian friends (who are from Russia and countries of the former USSR) have the same understanding of the MP as I do. So if you want to resort to name calling, especially when you know nothing about me……Mmmkay!

                When it hits the fan, you may still be rooting “yay Russia!”, however you may just remember that there once was a Matushka on a blog who tried warning you.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Please, Matushka, try to show a little more restraint with the people on the blog. The tone and tenor of your remarks come across as arrogant and combative (to me), which I hope is not as you intended.

                  I understand. Sparring on a blog is a good way of releasing the tension, especially when done anonymously.

                  Unfortunately, it is not so good for the blog, especially, coming from a priest’s wife whom we normally hold in high esteem. Please use your elevated status wisely. For example, people don’t have to know your low opinion of coverts. I was really taken aback by that.

                  Normally, I would not post something like this so publically, but when you hide behind your anonymity, I have no choice.

                  • On “Sergianism”: “Sergianism”, if it has any objective meaning, is the sin of collaboration with atheistic materialistic authorities to the detriment of the Church’s witness. This was the case with the Soviet Church under Patriarch Sergei and others who came after Patriarch Tikhon to the newly re-established patriarchal throne of Moscow up until the collapse of the Soviet Union.

                    Following the demise of the Soviet Union, it has nothing to do with the Church of Russia today. Russia is a Christian and capitalist country and has been since the early nineties. Times change, and we must change with them, though remaining steadfast in the faith.

                    There are two Russian Church Abroad confessions. One reunited with the MP in 2007, that is the one with which I am associated (the larger majority). But those who declined to unite also kept the name. And so we need to be a bit more precise when discussing the particulars and merits here.

                    I have not looked at the entirety of the two videos posted. And I do not respond directly to those whom I consider trolls. Nonetheless, I am not inclined to criticize those who recoil from the MP any more than I am those Greeks who retained the Old Calendar. We differ but hold the same faith. However, a simple statement of allegedly “heretical” utterances by Pat. Kirill would suffice if the objective were to accuse him specifically rather than paint with a broad brush.

                    As I’ve stated many times on this blog, the MP is a work in progress. I myself could point you to statements by the MP which strike me as technically being heretical. Equivocating about “two churches” or “sister churches” referring to Rome, for example. However, Kirill has been called to task for making such remarks and seems to understand that he needs to be more careful from the response which he released re the feast of St. Mark of Ephesus. And a certain amount of imprecision is tolerable, though regrettable, in unofficial documents.

                    The question should always be, “Does he seriously intend real heresy?” or does the effect of what he states have that effect (if it is in official documents). There is one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church which calls herself the Orthodox (Catholic) Church of Christ. There is no other. There are other confessions which claim the name “church” but they do so erroneously.

                    This is not to be confused with “Sergianism”. Sergianism is collaboration with communist authorities to the detriment of the Church. There is no Sergianism in the MP today since there is no Soviet Union. Church collaboration with Christian authorities is rather called symphonia and is to be praised since it is the normal way of Church/State relations within Orthodoxy.

                    Those who assert Sergianism against the MP have a misunderstanding of the character of the contemporary Russian state. The same misunderstanding, not coincidentally, that the Left, liberals and neo-cons do.

                  • I did not intend to sound, as you put it “arrogant and combative”. It is also not my intention to “spar on a blog to release tension”. I would like to ask forgiveness of those who I unintentionally offended.

                    Apparently, you took offense to my explanation to Misha that proves that I am not Russiaphobic, however you don’t seem to find any issue with him asserting that I am Russiaphobic, calling me a troll or your insinuation that I lack common sense. Perhaps what you are accusing me of is actually a projection of your own feelings.

                    Maybe this is an attempt to invalidate me and the evidence that I am presenting to you all about the MP, which I believe is the true issue that you have with me. If you notice, every time I point out issues with Patriarch Kyril, you and George immediately point right back to Patriarch Bartholomew. To me, this seems like deflection, a common tactic which the MP uses.

                    I believe that your readers deserve to hear not only the heresy coming from Constantinople, but that of Moscow as well. If you only allow comments that reassert your beliefs, you may be doing your readers a disservice. In any case, I will no longer comment here but will keep you all in my prayers.

                    I wish you all a spiritually profitable Lent and blessed and Radiant Pascha!!!

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Misha’s comments never entered my mind. I was offended by your negative comments about converts.

                      No one referred to you as a troll. No one called you out. No one said you lacked common sense. No one tried to invalidate you. No one cares about your feelings regarding the MP.

                      I don’t believe I’ve ever said this to anyone else, ever, but thank you for leaving the blog. I do appreciate it.

                    • Gail,

                      I make it a point not to reply directly to people who start down the ad hominem road with me. Russophobic describes a few, thankfully few, commenters here but I accused no one in particular but rather attempted to define the attitude as what it is: MP still = KGB.. It’s not that I’m above condemning someone as a Russophobe. It’s that I find it a waste of time to get into monkey poop fights at the zoo with other commenters.

                      As to what constitutes trolling, I consider it taking your eye off the ball (the merits of the discussion) and going after another commenter or blog management ad hominem.

                      Gail and George do an excellent job of policing their blog for civility – and I say that as someone who is occasionally censored (in a polite way, of course) when they feel like I’ve bolted off the chain.

              • Joseph Lipper says

                Yes, Third Rome indeed. The Church of Russia, as a mother church, has unilaterally granted autocephaly to four churches now: Georgia in 1943, Poland in 1948, Czechoslovakia in 1951, and the OCA in 1970. Perhaps autocephaly will be offered to the new African Exarchate one day also. At any rate, the ancient Alexandrian Patriarchate, like Constantinople, now seems to have become . . . irrelevant.

                Meanwhile, the remaining ancient patriarchates of Jerusalem and Antioch are in precarious political situations. Both are at the mercy of hostile Israeli (read U.S. backed) extremists. Since the U.S. government is not overly sympathetic to these ancient patriarchates, perhaps the Russian Federation can offer some type of ecclesial agreement in exchange for military help. Yet even so, it may not actually be possible for Russia to prevent their impending demise anyways . . . oh, well. Through a simple process of elimination then, it’s really not difficult to see the Patriarch of Moscow at the top of diptychs.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  You know this, my friend. A patriarchate doesn’t have to be a “mother church” to offer autocephaly. The territory just needs to be within its own boundaries, as were Georgia, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. They are their own patriarchates now.

                  Jerusalem and Antioch are not within the MP’s or the CP’s territory and they, too, are their own patriarchates, now.

                  The U.S. is tired of putting off its own problems to protect those who should be able to do more to protect themselves. We go in there to help and suddenly they turn on us and the U.S. is blamed for all their woes.

                  We need to give them a rest from the U.S. and our involvement. Our involvement only adds to their burden. . . or so they say.

                  • Joseph Lipper says

                    Gail, I have to wonder, though, what the head of the Second Rome, that is Pope Francis, will have to say about all this. Perhaps this is why Pope Francis and Patriarch Kyrill are eager to meet.

                    While the earlier meeting in Cuba was instructive as a collaboratory agreement in theory and principle, now seems to be the time for an actual political agreement between the two.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      It’s important to remember the pull the Fatima prophesies have on the Catholic Church. They have to consecrate Russia or they are doomed. Francis even went out on a limb saying, Patriarch Kirill was the only patriarch in Ukraine.

                      I’m pretty sure Patriarch Kirill is not eager to talk with Francis, given the Pope’s relationship with Bartholomew, and Bartholomew’s relationship with the State Department, administration, OCU, etc. The West wants them to represent Bartholomew to represent the East and the Catholic Church to represent the West, so the powers-that-be can leverage Christianity under one umbrella.

                      The meeting in Cuba was a long time ago. Things have changed. But the Pope did do a “solid” for Kirill by announcing that he was the one true patriarch of Ukraine.

                      It is rumored that Francis does not expect to make it to the end of the year. Some are saying he has colon cancer. It is even rumored (hold on to your hat) that the Pope is dead and has been replaced by an actor. If this is the case, we should see evidence soon.

                      It’s possible he wanted to talk with Kirill about the prophecy of Fatima where the Catholic Church must consecrate Russia. They really take the Fatima prophesies seriously. Maybe he wanted to talk about that.

                  • Gail,
                    I’m sorry to correct you, but the Czech and Slovak lands never were within the boundaries of either Russia or the Soviet Union. In fact, the Czechoslovak church was a missionary territory of the Serbian church. The Serbian church consecrated the first Czech Orthodox bishop Gorazd, who was martyred by the Nazis in the early years of WWII.
                    After the war, it was the Czechoslovak church which appealed to Moscow to take them in.
                    But even before the war, Constantineople interfered in the Serbian church’s mission by consecrating a rival bishop Savatty, a Czech from Volyn, then part of Polish Ukraine.

          • That’s astounding that you are equating Patriarch Kyril to Moses, Gideon and David. It is your opinion that Patriarch Kyril is “chosen by God”, not fact. I agree that Moscow may become the “third Rome” in the future possibly after WWIII, however this is not current reality. That’s great that you read a book devoted to the things that he has said. However, I am a firm believer that actions speak louder than words and it is not his words that I disagree with as much as it has been his actions, particularly those actions which the MP try to keep hidden from the faithful.

            I have seen countless converts to the faith who feel that it is their duty to be educators. It’s like they feel that they have been chosen by God to convert others to their way of thinking. This has been especially prevalent in the past 10 years. If I had a dollar for every person that I have come across with this mentality, then I would be rich. However, I am not. I am just a priest’s daughter and wife of a priest, both of whom have never taken a penny for serving our God and the church. So, for to you imply that I should rethink everything I know about God because of your opinion, that’s quite comical!

            What I believe is not my own thoughts and opinions, rather enlightenment from the Holy Spirit from fruit of my holy father’s prayers for me to understand what is happening in the spiritual world so that I am aware of the dangers and traps set, while keeping my trust in Christ and not the princes and sons of men, in whom there is no salvation.

            One thing that should be made clear is that the laity and clergy see things very differently. You have no idea what we go through as clergy. With the spiritual tide that has been going around recently, the main message my husband is having to convey to the faithful is that they should embrace humility and not think that they are exalted above others.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              RE: “With the spiritual tide that has been going around recently, the main message my husband is having to convey to the faithful is that they should embrace humility and not think that they are exalted above others.”

              I think that’s very good advice.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Anonymous, Gail, and I are laymen, correct. We cannot know what it is like to be in a clergy family situation. We are very sympathetic however to clergy (both parish and monastic) and have some understanding of the struggles that lie on your path.

              Having said that, I also can’t say that we “know” that Patriarch Kirill is “chosen by God.” You’re right, that’s an opinion but one informed by present realities.

              On the other hand, we know how difficult it is for many clergy (and laity) who are struggling to maintain the straight and narrow given the stream of absurdities that emanate from Istanbul.

              Please know, that as a Greek-American, born in the GOA, I would rather scrape my fingernails over a blackboard than criticize the Church of Cpole but there it is. I can’t speak for Russia and its hierarchy but I have seen the fruits of their labor.

              I suppose one could say that the highlight of Pat Bart’s tenure was the return of St Sophia to an Islamic house of worship.

              As far as what converts have to teach us, St. Paul was a convert.

              • P. Bartholomew’s tenure is not over. So far his biggest decision was using his asserted First Without Equals teaching to recognize the OCU as the only Church for Ukraine. Supposedly the CP already in the late 19th century asserted this teaching, but I don’t recall where. The difference is that this time the interference is over the objection of another Local Church.

                Certainly the conversion of Hagia Sophia is a highlight. Who knows how things would have been different had Greece retained Istanbul since the 1920’s. Probably Hagia Sophia would be Christian now, but interOrthodox decisions would still be Western-Dependent due to reliance on Western protection from Turkey.

              • George, thank you for your response.

                I am not attempting to gain sympathy for the struggles we go through as clergy, though I can definitely say that it’s not for the faint of heart! The point I was trying to make was that clergy see a multitude of issues that the laity just don’t see and lately, the laity (particularly converts) trying to teach others has been prevalent. This is causing issues because it can lead to prelest and self-delusion, not according to me but many of our church elders.

                As I mentioned in my last post, there is a spiritual cycle that we all go through if we are aware of it or not. That’s why God gives us the scripture readings of the day to understand this cycle. St. Theophane the Recluse’s thoughts of the day help us understand the readings better. Just for an example, here are the readings for today according to the old calendar. It’s no coincidence that you and I have been speaking about both:

                JAMES 3:1-10
                MARK 11:11-23

                I thought about your statement that Patriarch Kyril having been chosen by God and you may be correct. God may have chosen him for our chastisement, just as Patriarch Sergius may also have been “chosen by God” for that same reason.

                Anybody who follows the recent church issues can see that Patriarch Bartholomew is following heresy. That does not mean we should automatically believe that Patriarch Kyril is on the right path and doing God’s will. As I have said numerous times on this blog, it is Christ who we must follow, not a man.

                Patriarch Kyril has not condemned Sergianism, rather states that at the time, there was no other way of preserving the church. He also stated that Patriarch Sergius had to make compromises but that these compromises never extended to the faith. As I mentioned before, actions speak louder than words. In 2016, Patriarch Kyril blessed a statue of Patriarch Sergius with a multitude of Metropolitans accompanying him.

                These are some of the issues that I am referring to when I say that the MP is doing a lot of sketchy things in secret that they don’t want the faithful to know about. Also, the upcoming meeting with the Pope. Why won’t most Orthodox websites talk about this, unless they realize this will cause concern to the faithful?

                I have read your blog for several years now and appreciate what you and Gail do. I think it’s important for your readers who are trying to decipher the current issues in the church to read about things from different points of view (even if it goes against your beliefs) so that they are able to pray and discern the truth with the help of the Holy Spirit.

                Here a two video’s that can explain much more that will be beneficial in understanding my points:



                • Gail Sheppard says

                  About that meeting with the Pope, are we talking about the meeting the Pope wanted to set up with Patriarch Kirill? I would love to talk about it here, but it is my understanding that Patriarch Kirill isn’t interested in a meeting with the Pope and passed him off to Hilarion. It’s not that we don’t want to talk about it.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Anon, thank you for your thoughtful reply. Please remember that neither Gail nor I (nor anyone with a modicum of spiritual discernment/humility) presumes to critique the parish clergy. It’s you guys who are doing the hard slog.

                  As to your point regarding laymen who do criticize the hierarchy, yes, some are converts. But many are cradle. In any event, what of it? I must say that even here I have detected discernment and a spiritually-guided critique. More often than not, the criticism hits the target (or comes perilously close to doing so). Sometimes it’s wide of the mark.

                  That doesn’t mean that we can’t call a spade a spade, especially if the spade acts like a spade. It is a broad brush and perhaps sometimes unwarranted. I would say that titular bishops who have no pastoral duties tend to be the most deserving of Christian correction. Ordinaries (i.e. those who have actual dioceses) tend to mind their p’s & q’s better.

                  Of course, that’s not always the case, we can think of a certain primate who has come up with many questionable ideas.

                  As for Russia, who knows what’s in Kirill’s heart? Again, all I know is the fruits of that Church. I can say the same thing for Albania, Bulgaria, Georgia, and Serbia. I am not familiar with the inner workings of the other autocephalous Churches. Africa south of the Sahara seems to be on fire for the Lord.

                  As for Sergianism, that is a bitter pill to swallow. But then again the EP gave a “Holy Qu’ran” to the President of Coca-Cola several years ago. If Patriarch Sergius committed a heresy by pledging subservience to the God-hating Bolsheviks, what did Bartholomew do but accept the superiority of Islam?

                  The Koran thing was bad enough. The fact that he uttered nary a peep when Hagia Sophia was made a mosque again tells many of us what he really feels about the Christian religion.

                  A true Christian pastor would have chained himself to the door of that temple and dared the Turkish police to shoot him.

                    About “Sergianism”
                    Bishop Tikhon
                    In our times, and with great vigor since the beginning of the unexpected days of “perestroyka” and “glasnost,” a new word appears more and more often on the lips and in the writings of our brothers in the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, also popularly known as the Church in Exile, the Church Abroad, or “The Synod.” This word is “Sergianism,” or, transcribed from Russian, “Sergianstvo.” This word refers to a purported doctrine of craven submission to the communist and atheistic government of the former Soviet Union on the part of the Hierarchy of the Orthodox Church of Russia, led by the Patriarchate of Moscow and All Russia. The “Sergi” of Sergianism is the late Patriarch Sergi of Moscow who, while deputy locum tenens of the Patriarchal Throne, issued an encyclical letter which announced that henceforward the joys of the Soviet communist homeland would be the joys of the Church and the sorrows of the Soviet communist homeland would he the sorrows of the Church. A large and pious group of hierarchs opposed this philosophy, some from prison and exile. Some were persecuted for not subscribing to Patriarch Sergi’s philosophy; though every fair observer must admit, in the light of contemporary and ensuing events, that the soviet government was intent on destroying the church, and subscribing to the philosophy saved no one. If the government used disagreement with this philosophy or letter as an excuse to martyr clergy one could not assert that the same clergy would have been saved had the letter never been written.
                    I’ve read a lot of material, especially in Russian, about the history of the Russian Church in our times. I don’t recall seeing the word “Sergianstvo” or Sergianism in the writings of the hierarchy of the Church Abroad until, perhaps, though I’m not sure even then, the later years of His Beatitude, the late ever memorable Metropolitan Philaret. However, it NOW seems that “Sergianstvo” is a major heresy, warranting anathematizing of those who hold it and public repentance by any hierarch entering the jurisdiction of Metropolitan Vitaly from the Moscow Patriarchate. One would certainly expect to find this “heresy” cited profusely in such documents as the Encyclical Letters of the Hierarchical Sobors of the Church Abroad which are published in the commemorative book, Russkay Pravoslaynava Tserkov Zagranitsey 1911-1263. Could it be that that Titan of Orthodox teaching and piety, Metropolitan Antony (Khrapovitsky) did not know of this heresy? Had that distinguished and beloved First-Hierarch of the Church Abroad, Metropolitan Anastassy, neglected to teach and preach against this, soul and church destroying heresy? Can the word be found at all in the collected works of Metropolitan Antony?

                    And then, what is one to make of the conduct of Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko) [+1960], the original editor of “Pravoslavnaya Rus”, at the Cathedral of the Protection in New York in late 1939? Here is how this event is reported in the Russian-American Orthodox Messenger:

                    Vladyka Vitaly expressed great joy and support of that position which has been demonstrated by our Vladyka Metropolitan, introducing into the Divine Service the remembrance of the Most Holy Patriarch Sergi, thus preserving the foundations of church discipline which have governed our Church in America until this day. ‘Let them defrock US, let them consider us schismatics, nevertheless we will fulfill our Christian responsibility and pray for our Church in the grave circumstances in which it exists,’ said Vladyka Vitaly. (Messenger, Jan. 1944. No. l, New-York)
                    The “church discipline,” to which the ever-memorable Archbishop Vitaly referred is sadly lacking in our time.
                    Dear brothers and sisters of the Diocese of the West: it pains me to address you on this topic in our diocesan newspaper. Nevertheless, I know it agitates the spirit of many of you that in the time when the Orthodox Church in Russia is given by God’s grace and love that freedom for which we and so many of our brethren in the Church Abroad have so long and fervently prayed; when we are given the chance to work hand in hand with all our brethren in the Russian Church, from the Patriarch to the newest convert from atheism; when the Russian homeland is beginning to struggle to its feet in the same God-given freedom: that the leaders of the so-called “free” part of the Russian Church, namely, the Church Abroad, have joined all the enemies of that freedom and of that Church. They have become the chief outlet for the documents of the KGB. They have become the sole supports of the KGB in its mission to destroy the Church. They are involved in a desperate and sclerotic struggle to keep their world from changing, to be “irreconcilable” (but now with freedom). Even good and faithful servants of God among their own presbytery fear for their priesthood if they exercise free speech in this matter. The ‘free’ part of the Russian Church! What freedom? I write partly on behalf of those priests and faithful children of the Church Abroad who are now muzzled by a couple of helplessly faltering and fearful relics among their hierarchy, bringing to naught in their last days lifetimes spent in ascetic labors.

                    Beloved, I beg you, pray that the way will be opened for the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church, whether in Russia or outside Russia, to work together for our Savior and His Church. I feel a terrible fate awaits those who refuse to recognize Christ’s Church in the Orthodox Church in Russia whose Patriarch is Alexy II. One admires the monastic faithfulness, the piety of the Church Abroad. One also must consider the Apostle’s words in the 13th Chapter of his First Epistle to the Corinthians, remembering that love “beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” One must also consider the danger of denying, of blaspheming against, the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life of the whole Orthodox Church, including the Moscow Patriarchate of the Holy Russian Orthodox Church.

                    The Orthodox West. The Journal of the Diocese of the West, Autocephalous Orthodox Church in America. Summer 1992, p. 1:1

                  • You’re correct George, we don’t know what’s in Patriarch Kyril’s heart but we do hear his words and see his actions. Based on the two videos above, the faithful clearly have a right to be concerned.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      I’m not worried that Patriarch Kirill is imperfect. He can be imperfect and still be on the right side of the Church.

                      Bartholomew, in my opinion, walked away from the Church when he walked away from his brother bishops who begged him to NOT go into Ukraine without calling a Council. Orthodoxy does not give Bartholomew the latitude to make such decisions. Going into another bishop’s territory at the behest of a crooked politician demonstrates he is about as far away from the Church’s teachings as one can get. It’s heresy.

                      I don’t care who or what Patriarch did, he’s not Bartholomew and he’s in a position to resolve this untenable situation we’ve been in for the last two years.

                    • What is wrong with his actions? I am not concerned at all. He is protecting our Church against Eastern Pope hersey.He did not break any canon of our Church.

                    • Gail Sheppard says


                      Common sense has not prevailed in the Bartholomew camp. He and his academics are running amuck and have been for decades. Instead of doing what bishops do, i.e. shepherding their flocks, the Ecumenical Patriarchate busies itself playing Byzantium war games.

                      In their defense, they don’t have flocks to keep them busy which begs the question: why are they even here?

                      The Local Bishops have tried to work with them but Bartholomew has resisted their efforts at every opportunity. Some have wondered if Bartholomew is being leveraged by powerful people who have his head in a vise. I think that’s entirely possible and though I feel sorry for him, this has nothing to do with the Church. He can’t hold us, hostage, to pay his ransom.

                      Bartholomew is not a stupid man but he is an opportunist and whatever trouble he has gotten himself into is of his own making.


                      This is not a prophecy about the Third Rome.

                      Nor is it propaganda coming from the KGB.

                      It’s common sense. Bartholomew is an imminent threat. With his innovations, he is dismantling the Church. How can you have a conciliar Church if you’re not willing to come to an agreement about anything? At no time have I seen Bartholomew interested in what anyone else has to say. It’s full steam ahead with his “first without equal” and bringing in the Pope, both efforts that are diametrically opposed to what it means to be Orthodox.

                      Someone’s got to be the parent and it isn’t Bartholomew. He has walked away from the Church. He is schismatic. He needs to repent. We shouldn’t be listening to anything he has to say until he does. Sadly, he and his group of merry men have lost their right to be in positions of authority. They should all be in monasteries at this point.

                    • Patriarchs come and go. They are not the Church. The faith of the people and the God-fearing clergy are what preserve holy Orthodoxy. I’ll take Patriarch Kyrill and his imperfections over the EP and his destructiveness any Sunday of the year.

                • Thank you for those videos, Anonymous Matushka.

                  Before reading and posting here, I had found several such videos describing and distinguishing legitimate authority from “anti-authorities” (which characterizes our current Western governments and why our Synods and Churches cooperate with the tyrannical overreach of these to our own peril). When I watched/read the description of “Sergianism” in another of your comments here, I saw “Sergianism” is precisely what has been happening for some time to us now in the West. Certain Orthodox on the Web have seen this clearly coming to a head quickly in the current crisis and called it out. One was ousted from a popular Orthodox blog platform for his efforts by what seem to be a group of clergy more or less (whether wittingly or unwittingly—God help them) in the camp of the modern-day Sergianists. The Covid crisis has smoked these all out of the woodwork, so to speak. The blindness and compromise is deeply disheartening to see, but at the same time it is a blessing because it is revealing who our true faithful and discerning shepherds are. I am thanking God for the latter and praying for all.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  You know, I think there’s a canon somewhere which states that if your bishop is a heretic you can chuck him into the river. Or sea.

        • If the prophesies of Moscow being third Rome are fake then we really should address the “Constantinople will be Greek again” prophesies.

      • I had a similar experience in St Petersburg. We were starting to walk up the steps of the church when ahead of us and to the right I noticed a young woman, in her 20s probably, walking towards the entrance. She was dressed in modern style, with a skirt not quite reaching her knees, as I recall, and had on a coat. As she approached the entrance to the church, she pulled the coat up over her head as if it were a head scarf, and entered.

    • Joseph Lipper says

      Anonymous, WOW! That video you posted with Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou is even better. We are so very close to these events he talks about. Lord have mercy on us all.

    • Thank you, Anonymous!

      I have been watching a number of the videos at Uncreated Light Press channel and had seen that one, too. Met. Neophytos is indeed a treasure of the Church. May the Lord preserve him and all such faithful hierarchs of the Church!

    • The story and history of Russia does not equal that of the Russian Orthodox Church. To equate the two is to fall into the delusion that many Western observers fall into. To be fair, many fall into this trap because they want to, because they are simply looking for any reason to discredit the Church of Russia.

      Throughout its history, the Russian Church has most of the time been at odds with the Russian political leadership. It is the “conscience” of the culture, and many prideful political leaders (just like us, much of the time) do not like to listen to their conscience!

      Simply because Vladimir Putin has a spiritual father, goes to confession, and tries to participate in the sacramental life of the Church does not mean that the Russian Church is a soft political arm of the Russian state. The clergy who minister to Vladimir Putin (or to anyone else) care about his soul, not about global hegemony.

      That there are corrupt people in any Church in no way undermines the legitimacy of said group. For every corrupt person in the Patriarchate of Moscow, for example, there are thousands more of the likes of St John of Kronstadt or of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco.

      Humility is a high virtue, and I have never seen the depths of struggle, love, and humility that I see in Russian Orthodox monasteries, for example.

      The US government (my own government) and many Western governments enjoy painting the Russian Church as a political arm of the Russian government because it is politically useful. They have done this for centuries. News articles and literature from the 1800s and early 1900s corroborates this fact. But this a lie, and we must never shy away from calling it out as a lie.

      In the past, much of this false depiction stemmed from the prideful view that English-style protestantism (i.e., basically the Church of England) was the “best” form of Christianity around, but that is obviously all collapsed now.

      These days, most Western, anti-Russian-Church propaganda stems from the secular West’s fear and hatred of largely white European Russian culture defending its traditional values based on appeals to Christ and to Christianity. This is simply too triggering for the post-Christian West, which has rejected Christ as a society. Which is why Russian anti-LGBTism is attacked viciously, while Saudi Arabia or other aggressively persecuting states, who kill their residents for homosexual activity, just get a pass from the West.

      • Thank you for this. I’m not very knowledgable about the Russian Church, but I don’t have many illusions left about my own American (NWO) gov’t. Its targeting of Russia over the last several years has always seemed to me to be a glaring case of projection, and it has really gotten old. Several years ago, I read an article in “Christianity Today” about how the CIA used Evangelical missions organizations to spy on other countries (eg., in South America). How is a former CIA director (Bush) becoming President of the US any different than a former KGB agent becoming President of Russia? It’s laughable to me when the US accuses other gov’ts of meddling in our (s)elections….

  12. This is good news.

    Evidently, Russia and the Ukraine got together in Paris, along with the French and Germans, and agreed to uphold the ceasefire in the Donbas. They’re supposed to meet again in Berlin in two weeks to further expand on the agreement. This may take Ukraine off the table if it sticks. It’s noteworthy that the US was excluded purposefully from these negotiations. If that doesn’t tell you who wanted war, nothing will.

  13. Here’s the sort of thing that’s going on in Greece:

    Shocking picture from Evangelism[os Hospital]: An elderly man
    covered in blood and abandoned – Shortly before he passed away

    ‘ Shock is caused by a photo that comes from the hospital “Evangelismos”
    and makes us think that we are on a war front.

    His image shortly before he passed away testifies to the crime committed in the
    country’s hospitals: bloodied, abandoned, full of blood in his hands, in a bed.

    According to what is leaked, the specific man passed away on Wednesday
    and was recorded as dying with a coronavirus. ‘

    I do not know his name, but I shall light a candle for him.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      He needs our prayers, regardless, but he looks like he was in an accident of some kind (notice the abrasions on his face and nose and his bruised arm). The bandage on his hand looks clean. It just looks like it needs to be changed. Maybe he tried to lift himself up on the rail and reinjured his hand. If he were coughing up blood it would be on his blankets. He has a couple of bottles of water there. Everything looks reasonably clean. He could be sleeping.

      If he had COVID at his age, I don’t think he would have made it this far.

      I obviously can’t say the story is untrue but there could be another way of looking at it. Maybe the video fills it all in, but alas, it’s all Greek to me.

  14. This would be hilarious if it weren’t so pathetic. Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, is begging the world to tone down the rhetoric so as not to incite the Bear.

    “You don’t understand. We don’t like him but he’s been behaving more or less. He has no reason to eat us now. Don’t give him one. Stop aggravating the Bear!”

    Biden said the fall of Kiev is imminent and Zelensky reacted with surreal horror since he knows that the Russians are contemplating no such thing. Ze is no wondering how far Biden can wag the dog and screw things up for his country. One thing he knows for sure: America wants a war – a shooting war. And what America wants it often gets.

    Must be terrifying. “Biden wants them to come slaughter us! He can taste it.”

    Perhaps this is a teachable moment. Perhaps the armistice agreed to in Paris and the negotiations next week in Berlin might provide a sounder basis for peace with America out of the picture. Who knows.

    You really have to have a sense of humor to appreciate this show.

  15. George Michalopulos says

    Well, it looks like the State Dept blinked and Putin (and Ukraine and sanity) won out after all:

    Losers? MIC, Globohomo, the Phanar, Epiphony

    • It’s truly curious.

      It’s true that the RF has deployed a significant number of troops about the Ukraine border. But Russia can deploy its troops anywhere inside the country they please. And given all the saber rattling coming from the West, this seems prudent.

      But the Biden Regime has invented an imminent threat to serve its own purposes out of whole cloth. Russian troop levels have risen and fallen several times over the last year. It seems as if what is happening is that the wolf cries about a Russian invasion are designed to counter the Russian demonstration of power combined with the proposals it has delivered to the US and NATO. “They’re at the border with troops and issuing ultimatums because they are preparing to invade!”, rather than doing these things expecting the US to back down from its Eastern European expansion. They take it as a given that no one could seriously expect them to back down. Therefore, the ultimatums are just taunts before an invasion.

      Of course, there is an implied threat. But the threat is not yet active or imminent and behaving as if it already is seems to be a passive aggressive way of resisting Russian demands. It’s feigning victimhood in order to resist compromise.

      Very liberal, very cowardly. . . That’s where you should recognize it from. But who is the judge here? The drama is certainly not aimed at the UN. It’s NATO, specifically, Germany and France, who are increasingly inclined to meet the Russians half way.

      I wouldn’t say it’s over yet:

      But I don’t see how the West wins this one. Absent a false flag and the West starting a war which the Russians would finish, the other possibility is that the heat just keeps rising until one side quietly demurs. But so far it is the Russians who are keeping their poker face – easy to do if you’re not bluffing but, on the other hand, you can wait. And escalation on the Russian side might be missiles in Kaliningrad or some other encroachment of Western security.

    • Thanks be to God.

      Not that war war with Russia would have been a win, but, how many “L’s” has Biden taken now? Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, etc. Wonder what they have on their plate next to distract from domestic failures: rising gas and rent prices, understocked shelves (at least in my area), inflation.

      How does the phrase go? “War is good for the economy”
      I’m sure they were hoping for war because, well it’s what they do, but also because it would have been an infusion into the economy and the MIC.

      On a Church note, since this is a win for Russia, lets hope it transfers to the ground-level and backfires even further on Bartholomew.

  16. George Michalopulos says

    Here’s the Xiden Admin spokesman (Ned Price) having his hat handed to him by an honest journalist (yeah, I guess there’s one or two):

  17. Watching Fox News coverage of the Ukraine spectacle, you can discern that the line between the Uniparty and MAGA runs right down the middle of the network. Some voices are conventional, conservative Uniparty Republican and demonize Russia assuming that the Biden Regime is capable of telling the truth on this matter and thereby bolstering his credibility in the wake of devastating poll numbers showing that upwards of two thirds of the country has abandoned him to the wolves. Others – Tucker, Watters, Bartiromo to some extent – entertain the view that Biden’s weakness is enticing and enabling but that this is Wag the Dog on steroids and the threat of imminent war is contrived by DC in reaction to RF chest beating. This is classic passive aggressive behavior – playing the victim and attacking with your shield.

    The degree of Russophobia is remarkable from ostensibly conservative anchors and commentators who should know better than to buy into the Biden Regime’s bs, regardless of whether they think Putin is a nice guy. It is almost as if they are helping to foster the illusion of a wartime atmosphere, common enemy and shared trauma, to prop up the regime which seems to be teetering. Bear in mind, there’s a convoy of anti-mandate truckers poised to tie up DC much like is happening in Ottawa.

    Interesting time to be alive. You need a steak knife to cut the bs these days.

  18. Oops.

    Biden & Co. pushed Putin too far. Ukrainian attacks in the eastern region led to this. The Donbass renewed its petition to the RF to recognize its independence and they finally did. This paves the way for the informal involvement of Russian forces in the region and the possibility of Russian military “peacekeepers”. Until now, Russia’s position has been to go with Minsk and leave the regions as part of the Ukraine, but autonomous. Kiev refused to negotiate with the Donetsk and Lugansk governments to this end. Recent assaults by Ukrainian forces had prompted evacuations and now Putin has given The Speech, unloading all the dirty laundry regarding the Ukraine and announcing that he intends to set things aright.

    Be careful what you wish for, for you will surely get it.

    • PS:
      Unfortunately, this increases the odds of a real war. Up until yesterday, Russia had been insisting on the Minsk framework which preserved Donetsk and Lugansk as Ukrainian provinces, albeit with a significant degree of autonomy. Russia had insisted that Kiev negotiate directly with the provisional governments in each region. But Kiev refused to do this and Ukrainian forces have occupied part of these regions. Yet Russia is recognizing the entire provinces, not just that part occupied by resistance forces, as independent.

      This likely means that the Ukrainian military will have to withdraw entirely from the territory of these provinces or the Russians will remove them by force.