Spiritual Revival in Russia

FILE PHOTO. © Sputnik / Ramil Sitdikov

While the GOA celebrates the feast day of the Ecumenical Patriarch at the rainbow parish of the Episcopal Diocese in New York to support LGBTQIA+ pride month. . .

Christian Patriarch Speaks of ‘Unique Phenomenon’ in Russia

11 Jun, 2023   rt.com 

Russia is seeing a “spiritual revival” as West faces a spiritual crisis, the head of Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill said. 

A revival of traditional Christian values in Russia is a “unique phenomenon,” the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, said over the weekend, warning that the West has set a course for “expelling God from their lives.”

The patriarch was speaking at a newly-built church in Russia’s Siberian city of Tobolsk. The fact that an increasing number of new churches are being built in Russia shows that the nation is going through a “spiritual revival,” he said, calling the new places of worship “an answer to the people’s faith.”

“What’s happening now in Russia is a unique phenomenon,” the patriarch claimed, pointing to the fact that churches in Europe are being “closed” or “turned into restaurants, cafes or dance floors.” Patriarch Kirill then blamed such developments on the policies of Western nations that are “forcefully destroying Christian values.”

These God-denying nations are still looking down on Russia and “seek to teach us,” the patriarch said, adding that “they are almost ready to take up arms” to remake Russia in their image. Russia will simply never follow in their footsteps, Kirill said, adding that doing so would mean provoking a spiritual and moral crisis.

The Western authorities claim “there is no God but only an individual’s freedom,” the patriarch said, adding that this “denial of God has led to the deepest spiritual and moral crisis.” The Russian Orthodox Church judges no one, Kirill said, adding that everyone is free to live as they wish. He still warned that “a life without God is a path to nowhere.”

Earlier, the Russian Orthodox Church repeatedly expressed its concerns over what it called a crackdown on Orthodox Christians in Ukraine at the hands of the Kiev authorities, supported by the West. In March, Patriarch Kirill called on Christian leaders of various denominations and international organizations to do something about “a sharp increase in state pressure on Orthodox Christians in Ukraine.”

In the wake of this appeal, Pope Francis voiced concern over the situation in the Kiev Pechersk Lavra monastery, where Ukrainian authorities sought to expel monks belonging to the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC). He also urged the “warring parties to respect religious places.”


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  1. As far as I’m aware the Church of Russia has never formally ascribed to the Third Rome theory, but, at this point it might be an inevitability. There is no other Orthodox country in the world that not only is seeing a revival on the scale of Russia, but also has the ability to help other Christians across the world.

    Intellectually Bart knows this as well. Just read his Wikileaks emails.

    Russia is becoming a safe haven for not just Orthodox people to seek refuge but others as well, like the South African farmers.

    Whether or not Bart likes it, the torch has left Constantinople, and more and more it seems as though the EP is going the way of the Churches of Asia Minor from the Bible and will soon be gone all together.

    • Petro, as I understand it, the whole “Rome” theory is a theolegoumenon, i.e. not a hard and fast doctrine (much less dogma) but an acceptance of reality this side of the Final Judgment.

      Rome, i.e. settled, secular government which is legitimate and just, is part of God’s plan of salvation. According to St Paul, it restrains the antichrist. All Orthodox intuit this reality.

      As to whether there could only be three Romes, we have only the word of St Philotheus of Pskov. Regardless, it entered into the Christian consciousness and is viewed as a reality by many. Even Catholics such as Arb Vigano. To me, this means that this is a working of the Holy Spirit in real time.

      • George,

        Theologumenon may be the best description. Or, to put it more directly, it’s a pragmatic description of the situation according to the internal logic of Holy Tradition.

        On my FB page, the cover image is an icon of “Moscow, the Third Rome”. It has made its way into the iconography, which is one earmark of doctrine. But it has more of an informal canonical feel than doctrinal; i.e., it is not some eternal Truth but rather a pragmatic observation of historical development.

        Russia is right not to push it. If it turns out to be true, it will be self-evident. To me, it is already so. But patience is a virtue.

  2. America is not Russia. Our government will not build churches across the fruited plain. I think it’s vital to kickstart a laser beam grassroots GOA watchdog group that informs Greek Orthodox Christians about the hijacking of the GOA by the State Department and Greek Orthodox hierarchy. This relationship needs to be derailed (guided by the Constitution and original GOA charter). This is a David and Goliath battle. Full time advocates are needed to press for the dismantling of the GOA non profit corporation infiltrated with Marxist ideology. Doing nothing is a sin.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Jane, I agree with you. Gail and I were talking over supper last night and we both came to the conclusion that for the GOA to save itself, it’s going to have to be the laity within that jurisdiction, and no one else.

      • Henceforth, we’re going to be holding the GOA responsible for the antics of Elpi. They can get rid of him and for their sake, I hope they will. They have NO IDEA what’s coming down the pike.

        • Must be done.

          • Agreed. Ultimately, the hierarchs are responsible to the people. It is the people who are the guarantors of Orthodoxy. If they can’t do it, then the lampstand of that particular church will be extinguished (Rev 2).

            The Holy Spirit will not go where He is not wanted.

        • Agreed, but how do they even do it? Outside of withholding money I’m not sure what else they can do. Maybe protest as Nick suggests?

          I’d be curious to know how many are even left within the GOA, there’s a constant stream of people who seem to have left. Even at my current parish there are several people who have left, and the GOA parishes in my area are generally conservative.

          • The problem with the GOA is the EP. They think he makes them important, but nothing could be further from the truth. He’s making them look like fools.

            He’s an old, bitter man who is no longer even yesterday’s news. His brother bishops have all but abandoned him. He is as dated as the polyester dresses Aunt Bee wore on the Andy Griffith show. His “throne” is a dingy, ugly room you might see in an off the strip hotel in Las Vegas advertising a “39.99 “special.”

            I’m sorry. It’s true. And unless the GOA faces this reality, things are only going to get worse for them.

            Gone are Bartholomew’s glory days to everyone in the Church but to the Greeks. In their minds, Bartholomew is still the grand poohbah. Some of these old Greeks still use the backrooms to cast the “evil eye” on people they don’t like. (And I know exactly what I’m talking about.) Their old women spit on people when no one is looking. These are the Greeks from Bartholomew’s day who scare the daylights out of their priests.

            Their archons shouldn’t be so stupid, however. Why do they think the intelligence agencies are buddying up to Elpi? Because he’s so special?! Oh, please!

            It’s because they got burned in Ukraine, believing our self-proclaimed P-O-P-E could help them leverage the Church against Russia in Ukraine. It didn’t work out that way, as one bishop after another decried the actions of Bartholomew’s Frankenstein creation against the legitimate UOC.

            A very bad result for the State Department. In addition, no arrests for St. Nicholas, which they probably nixed in concession to get Bartholomew to do what they wanted him to do in Ukraine.

            The intelligence agencies could be out for blood when it comes to the GOA and might like nothing better than to put some of them in jail for something. And then in walks Elpi. A Barney Fife if there ever was one. Butter him up a little. Get him talking like he’s one of the guys, and they could get their pound of flesh.

            If I were Karloutsos and Cats, I’d be very concerned.

            Unfortunately, the archons may have to learn the hard way. That will fix the problem for the GOA in the long run, should there be a long run for the GOA. As you’ve mentioned, many of the conservative Greeks (read: those who fear God) have left the building, leaving the rest with their fingers in their ears going, “lalalala.”

            Elpi is a HUGE liability. If the powers-that-be consider the implications of what I’m saying today, I imagine they could get Elpi packing by tomorrow and the rest of us would go, “See ya. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.”

            • The problem with the GOA is the EP.

              Agreed. He has been in power so long that there really isn’t anyone very good to succeed him.

              They think he makes them important, but nothing could be further from the truth. He’s making them look like fools.

              I’m 100% convinced that these people live in a self-aggrandizing echo chamber and have no clue how they are viewed by the rest of the Church. Elpi’s recent “homily” from St. Bart’s shows that.

              Gone are Bartholomew’s glory days to everyone in the Church but to the Greeks.

              I’m pretty sure the only Greeks who feel this way are the Archons here in America. I get the distinct impression that Greeks within Greece do not share this same sentiment. Ironically in trying to bolster Hellenism, Bart has all but destroyed it.

              It’s because they got burned in Ukraine, believing our self-proclaimed P-O-P-E could help them leverage the Church against Russia in Ukraine. It didn’t work out that way, as one bishop after another decried the actions of Bartholomew’s Frankenstein creation against the legitimate UOC.

              As I’ve stated before, they (Bart/Elpi/EP) believe their hype so much about them being the pope of Orthodox that they were able to make the State Department believe it as well. I assume those at the State Dep., are not Orthodox and probably view Orthodoxy as “Catholicism with better vestments.” Because they thought the above they were under the impression that Bart had all the power to bring the other Churches to heel, fortunately for us and unfortunately for him, it did the opposite. He’s now more isolated than ever. The other good news about the State Department is that it’s not the 1950’s anymore, they are for sure not sending their best.

              The intelligence agencies could be out for blood when it comes to the GOA and might like nothing better than to put some of them in jail for something…If I were Karloutsos and Cats, I’d be very concerned.

              Totally agree. When the U.S drops Ukraine like a sack of brick, or when Russia goes all the way to the Polish border, they will do the same to Bart and Elpi. “You failed to deliver, you’re on your own now”

              Elpi is a HUGE liability. If the powers-that-be consider the implications of what I’m saying today, I imagine they could get Elpi packing by tomorrow and the rest of us would go, “See ya. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.”

              If our bishops would stand up to him the way they did with the Belya incident (who btw WILL be going to court) then I think that would pressure Bart to get him to back down.

      • Amen

      • Dcn John says

        Come on over to ROCOR!
        We’d love to have you😇

  3. Runi Zender says

    But America follows the republics of Gideon, Pericles, and Cato, not the evil empires of David, Alexander and Caesar.

  4. Keep beating this dead horse of muh-Russian spirituality. Anyone who seriously compares the religiosity of Russians to just about any other nation, including most importantly here, the United States, cannot but note that Russians are an atheist people while Americans are kind of religious by comparison. Of all the industrialized nations Americans even in the coastal cities you always deride, attend church at far higher rates than Russians.

    Anecdotally, I met a priest recently who moved here from Russia. He remarked casually how folks here in this megalopolis are far more religiously observant than back in Moscow. Should I call him a liar?

    You are the liar, George.

    [Editor Note: You don’t get to call George or anyone else a “liar” on this blog. But you know that as you’ve been around for a very long time. The only reason I’m posting this comment is to show people who you are which people don’t get to see because we block your insulting remarks. Is that your game? To make ridiculous statements but ensure you don’t come under any scrutiny because you know I’ll delete them? Well, it’s your lucky day, Claus. I’m changing the rules, just for you. I’m going to post your inane comment and if you respond with some expletive or break any other rule, I’m going to go you one better: I’m going to publish your name and IP address and we’ll be done with you. No sense hiding behind a woman’s skirt, where only I see your crap. Maybe you’ll move on altogether.]

    • Claes, I have a couple of questions for you:

      1. Which priest gave you this opinion?
      2. Which city or region of Russia was he operating in?
      3. Which city did he migrate to into America?
      4. What would in this priest’s mind constitute higher religiosity in America?

      I ask this last question because in many cities in the United States, several churches have succumbed to the spirit of the age and they are very enthusiastic doing so.

      Do you see the problem? What some people (such as the Fordhamites) view as spirituality is quite different from what normative Orthodox do.

    • Russians are not an “atheist people”. One third of Russians retained self identity as Orthodox despite Soviet repression. After the collapse, this rose back to seventy percent. Habits like weekly church attendance take longer to instill, yet I think Western estimated of Russian church attendance skew low. That said, it’s not like in the American South, for instance. But this does not make them atheists.

  5. Lori Liemmonns says

    The Tower of Babel mandates the Anarchic Tradition of the American Revolution like Gideon,Pericles and Cato, not evil empire world governments like David, Alexander and Caesar.

  6. Hopefully people also caught Fr John Whiteford’s recent piece in OrthoChristian.com where he outlines in detail on how it’s ridiculously nonsensical that Patriarch Kyrill espoused “Jihadist theology.”

    As usually happens – when the goal is power or an ad hominem attack – words are twisted and used against people to “make them say what we want them to say.” Couple that with centuries-deep anti-Russian sentiment in the West, it’s no surprise that so many secular Western sources said that Patriarch Kyrill was no better than Osama bin Laden.

    As someone who had most of my formative teen years in the 1980s, this apparent complete reversal is astounding. It boggles my mind. Back then — as I was raised to understand it — the USA (and more or less Western Europe) was the mostly protestant world that was the defender of worldwide religious freedom. The USSR and the communists were the demonic persecutor of Christians. (Real Russians were Orthodox Christians, either in the diaspora or suffering under Soviet persecution.)

    Have the roles really switched — I still can’t wrap my mind around it. Is the West now the covert religious persecutor – advocating sexual perversion and often outright satanism over Christ – and Russia is now once again the defender of the Christian worldview, as it was in pre-communist times?

  7. Jerry Wertley says

    Carrol Quigley was Bill Clinton’s Georgetown mentor, and his analysis of foreign policy (breaking it down into domestic politics, economic, and technological interest groups) is exactly the same prescribe by Brzezinski.

  8. Hilber Nelson says

    Okay, after reading the extra long chain of heartfelt replies, this Monomakhos post seems to have touched a very raw nerve indeed about the question of “What are we laity going to do about Pat. Bart?” I picture Pat. Bart as King Theodin from Lord of the Rings, part 2, subjugated under the spell of Sauron, reduced to a useless shell of a former self. In this case, the spell of his own self importance? If GOA laity is to be the Gandalf who exorcises the spell of Sauron from your Thodin, you need guys a plan. What might that be, or look like, starting in your own parish, with your priest? It’s a simple but essential question, from which change begins and posting complaining has run its course. As an Antiochian Orthodox, I am truly curious because no archdiocese is immune these days or beyond the Rainbow Religion’s reach. We’re probably right behind you. So, roll up your up your collective sleeves and get to work defending the faith. I’m with you.

  9. https://orthochristian.com/154239.html

    What kind of dumb logic is this?

    “Accepting schismatics to avoid schism” is the ecclesiastical equivalent of “smoking cigarettes to avoid lung cancer”

    What is up with these Greeks 🤦🏻‍♂️

    • I have heard more than one of them say, “. . . we must obey the majority decision of the Holy Synod.” Not just one of them. All of them! It makes me wonder what’s being held over their heads.

      • Well, Bartholomew is probably the main problem:


        Rather than changing course, he is doubling down on the OCU. To use a quote from Alexander Mercuris “These people have no reverse gear.”

        See what he had to say:
        “We know that without the initiatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, not only Orthodoxy, but also the image of the Christian world would be different. And today, the Holy Great Church of Christ is dynamically expanding its pan-Orthodox responsibility, by intervening, when circumstances require it, in order to solve long-standing or new matters that arise,” he concluded.”

        I’m assuming this also had something to do with it:


        It is beyond astonishing to me that they believe the way to avoid schism is to accept schism.

        • His saying, “The holy mission of the Church is not promoted on the basis of an ‘introverted’ theology and spirituality, which ignore or reject the world in order to preserve intact the orthodoxy and purity of the faith,” says it all.

          Of course, we “reject the world to preserve intact the orthodoxy and purity of the faith!” That’s what we are called to do.

          What he calls “intervening” is really “meddling” in the affairs of another bishop with disastrous consequences. “Long-standing circumstances” are often sign posts telling you not to proceed, especially if your brother bishops are telling you the same thing. For him to be right, all our other bishops would have to be wrong. And if it’s true that the “proof is in the pudding,” look what a disastrous mess he made. He created a situation where the canonical Church is being persecuted and thrown out of their parishes and monasteries!

          No one is listening to Bartholomew any longer. The Church knows he caused the schism. We see his disregard for the canons. We see he is seriously deluded when he talks about “dynamically expanding its (meaning his) pan-Orthodox responsibility.”

          As soon as this war is over, I suspect Putin will call the bishops together like he did in 2017. He’s an emperor. He can call a council. The OCU canonicity will be officially rejected. This will never go Bartholomew’s way. The bishops have shown their collective outrage toward the OCU. The OCU will never be accepted and the dirty little secret is they never wanted to be. They hate the Church. They wanted to take what belonged be to the canonical Church and kick them out of the country. I suspect they have every intention of kicking Bartholomew to the curb, as well. They don’t need him anymore.

          I would be very afraid if I were Bartholomew. This is Christ’s Church and God will not be mocked.

          • As soon as this war is over, I suspect Putin will call the bishops together like he did in 2017.

            I sure hope so. From everything I have heard it seems like the Russians are letting the Ukrainians use the last of their weapons, then the 700K or so waiting around will be taking Kharkov & Odessa. I’m starting to be of the opinion they they will now go all the way to the Polish border. I think they have realized whatever is left of Ukraine will be re-armed into a pro-West/NATO rump state (what do you think about this?)

            I say that because part of their de-Nazification process will, I assume, not just include in the Ukrainian military but also in the OCU.

            The question is: How long is it going to take Russia to complete it’s mission?

            No one is listening to Bartholomew any longer. The Church knows he caused the schism.

            Every other Church has realized this, but for whatever reason the Greek hierarchs have lost the plot and are willing to follow Bart to perdition. I’ll add a caveat that this does not trickle down to the Greek clergy/laity, this seems to almost just exclusively be a hierarch problem in the Greek Churches.

            His saying, “The holy mission of the Church is not promoted on the basis of an ‘introverted’ theology and spirituality, which ignore or reject the world in order to preserve intact the orthodoxy and purity of the faith,” says it all.

            This sounds like something straight out of Vatican 2, and we all know how that went/is going. There is an old Roman Catholic joke that pretty much says “Vatican 2 opened the windows of the church to the world…and the people flew out.” This is what Bart wants for Orthodoxy.

          • I’m also starting to realize just how how much the current situation with EP/Moscow/OCU/UOC has in common with the Living Church/Renovationists:

            Some contacts were made with other portions of the Christian East: thus, the II Renovationist Council (a.k.a. III All-Russian Council), convened in Moscow in 1–9 October 1925, was marked by the presence of the representatives from the Patriarchates of Constantinople and Alexandria who concelebrated the eucharist with other members of the Renovationist Synod.

            • Jeff Moss says

              Good point, Petros.

              I think we’re far too quick to assume that our time and our situation are unique in history. I was just reading the other day how St. Cyril of Alexandria was hesitant to support St. John Chrysostom as the legitimate patriarch of Constantinople. Before becoming patriarch, St. Cyril had participated in a synod led by his uncle Theophilus of Alexandria, which declared John to be deposed. Alexandria, Chalcedon, and a minority of other Orthodox churches then recognized Arsacius as the legitimate hierarch of Constantinople—even while the majority of the Orthodox world continued in communion with St. John.

              It took the Mother of God giving Cyril a revelation in a dream before he was willing to change his stance on Constantinople and acknowledge John as the legitimate hierarch there.

              Maybe that’s what it’ll take today for today’s bishops in Alexandria, Cyprus, etc., to come to their senses about the Ukrainian Church…

        • Fr. Peter Andronache says

          Arguments that hinge on the necessity of keeping peace just for the sake of peace make me think of the passage below from St. John. Chrysostom;

          Think not that I have come to send peace on earth; I am not come to send peace, but a sword.

          Again, He sets forth the things that are more painful, and that with great aggravation: and the objection they were sure to meet Him with, He prevents them by stating. I mean, lest hearing this, they should say, For, this then are You come, to destroy both us, and them that obey us, and to fill the earth with war? He first says Himself, I am not come to send peace on earth.

          How then did He enjoin them to pronounce peace on entering into each house? And again, how did the angels say, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace? Luke 2:14 And how came all the prophets too to publish it for good tidings? Because this more than anything is peace, when the diseased is cut off, when the mutinous is removed. For thus it is possible for Heaven to be united to earth. Since the physician too in this way preserves the rest of the body, when he amputates the incurable part; and the general, when he has brought to a separation them that were agreed in mischief. Thus it came to pass also in the case of that famous tower; for their evil peace Genesis 11:7-8 was ended by their good discord, and peace made thereby. Thus Paul also divided them that were conspiring against him. Acts 23:6-7 And in Naboth’s case that agreement was at the same time more grievous than any war. 1 Kings xxi For concord is not in every case a good thing, since even robbers agree together.

  10. George/Gail,

    Everyone should download the app for the Assembly of Bishops, there are soliciting feedback for the “most pressing social issues in America” and people on social media are saying Elpi is the biggest problem. I recommend everyone fill out the questionnaire or spam them on social media.

  11. Wanted to get out in front on this because there’s going to be a lot of confusion on this issue, but Prigozhin has turned on the Russian govt. He’s in Rostov at this point and seems to have seized a military installation there. He’s spouting nonsense peppered with Western propaganda about the start of the present war. This last point indicates to me that Western intelligence has gotten to Prigozhin and is behind all of this.

    Putin has given a speech on Russian TV calling it a mutiny/insurrection and saying he will deal with it harshly. Prigozhin only has 25,000 troops and doesn’t have a chance since everyone else is closing ranks around the govt (80 percent approval), even receiving verbal abuse from the residents of Rostov.

    Putin needs to come down like a ton of bricks on him. It smells like another State Dept/CIA coup attempt. And the Western media will run as far as it can with it and it may solve the problem of waning Ukrainian support from Western institutions. Personally, I think either Prigozhin has lost his mind completely or the CIA is behind it. The latter is much more likely.

    Cui bono? A futile rebellion only benefits the Western narrative, not Prigozhin. It bolsters Ukraine and the Western meme about instability in Russia and may be the best that the West can do given Putin’s level of support.

    It won’t work. We shall see how adept a judoka Putin is in turning this to his own advantage.

    • “I think either Prigozhin has lost his mind completely
      or the CIA is behind it. The latter is much more likely.”

      Andrei Martyanov thinks it’s more likely to have been MI6.
      [Video 17:43]

      “A futile rebellion only benefits the Western narrative, not Prigozhin.”

      True, but a successful rebellion would have been otherwise.
      Had this occurred just as the Ukranian offensive broke through
      and the Ukie army was severing the land bridge to Crimea,
      conditions would have resembled Pregozhin’s wild claims.
      However the offensive stalled. The Russians are clearly winning.
      So why did Pregozhin move? Had the plan been rumbled?
      Did he feel he had no choice left other than to try it anyway?
      Or was the whole thing just a psy-op to draw out the spooks?

      I have no idea – but whatever it was, it was a dangerous game.

  12. PS:

    This is Turley’s take on the mutiny in Russia. There is an aspect of this that should not be missed. NATO has an upcoming meeting in July at which aid to the Ukraine will be discussed. Thus the imperative nature of the Ukrainian “counter-offensive” success in order to justify further Western aid. But the “counter-offensive” has failed, so what to do?

    Well, this answers the question. Stage a mutiny in Russia to show that the war effort is coming closer to toppling the govt in Moscow. So, further aid to Kiev is justified.

    But let us step back from that for a moment and analyze that dynamic. Aid to the Ukraine has been a disaster for the West. They have been feeding men and equipment into a woodchipper hoping in vain to choke the machine. The West’s stock of weapons has been depleted and its weapons and training have been demonstrated to be ineffective against the Russian military. And this at a time when the West seems to be gearing up for a conflict with China. So further aid to Ukraine is not really in the interest of the West, though the neo-libs and neo-cons would insist that it is.

    But recall that Russia has prosecuted this conflict with the aim of getting the West to exhaust itself in order to demonstrate Russia’s independence and dominance in the region. Precipitating a futile attempt by the West to defeat the Russian military is definitely in Russia’s interest. So even if this works toward enabling the West to further justify to itself continued aid to the Ukraine, still they lose. They lose money, equipment and troops.

    Putin gets rid of Prigozhin and will look strong doing it, the nation rallying behind him. It will further encourage the EU/NATO to empty their reserves of military equipment into the Urkaine and further encourage Kiev to send soldiers to their deaths, eventually demilitarizing the Ukraine.

    I’m not suggesting Russia staged this. Far from it, I think that Prigozhin switched sides. That’s the only explanation for his remarks about the rationale for the war. What I’m suggesting is that though it is an attempt of Foggy Bottom and the CIA to spin a narrative of cracks in the Russian wall, the actual dynamic of the situation will eventually work toward Russia’s advantage. Russia benefits from NATO expending everything it has in the Ukraine as an object lesson that NATO cannot overcome or even conventionally defend against Russia.

    This only encourages NATO to continue wasting resources.

    • “What I’m suggesting is that…the actual dynamic…
      will eventually work toward Russia’s advantage.”

      And, of course, to the advantage of China.

  13. And . . . just about as soon as it became news, it fizzles out:


    Evidently, Lukashenko of Belarus brokered a deal to end the mutiny and Wagner is standing down.