Cross of St. Andrew

Discussion in 'Russian Society' started by Patrick Armstrong, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

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    An important relic – the Cross of St Andrew the Apostle – is presently in Moscow on a tour to commemorate the 1025th anniversary of Christianity in Rus. From Moscow it will go to Kiev and thence to Minsk. Thousands and thousands of people are lining up right now to pay their respects to it.
    This will probably pull the largest crowd seen in Moscow for decades – in fact the numbers may exceed the total numbers that came out in all the anti-Putin protests. In short, it will be a reminder of the Russia that doesn’t get reported much.
    How will the Western MSM cover this?
    1. Straight up; it happened
    2. Straight up but much mumbling about how state-dominated/backwards/retrograde the Russian Orthodox Church is.
    3. As a superstitious freak show that shows how backwards Russia is.
    4. Report it but only in a small para in the back page.

    Special prize for the reporter who intimates that Putin is trying to reverse his slippage of popularity by associating himself with it.

    Discuss
  2. MarkPavelovich

    MarkPavelovich Commissar

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    Here's what's actually going on on the ground, from an eyewitness; Moscow Exile, who is a sometime poster here:

    "Something that I have witnessed earlier today and have not seen reported in the russophobic Western press, nor do I expect it to be: Earlier today I was working at UniCredit Bank HQ, situated near the Crimea Bridge on the embankment of the Moscow river. When I reached the embankment I saw that there were cops everywhere and cordons set up and traffic being diverted. At first I thought there was going to take place a mass hamster meeting, as the foot of the bridge has been designated as one of the so-called Hyde Parks in Moscow. I headed off along the embankment towards the bank, keeping behind metal cordon barriers. Food kiosks and portable toilets everywhere and crowds. The crowds got denser and then I could go no further. Suddenly I realised what I had come across.
    Today is the 1,025th anniversary of the founding of Christianity in Rus’ and there is now taking part a special service in the Christ the Saviour Cathedral. The crowd consisted of the faithful – young and old, men and women: the females were all wearing head scarves, long dresses, and had their arms and upper body covered.
    And not a bourgeois hamster in sight.
    Western journalists are always quick off the mark to report large gatherings of people in Moscow, but there was not a Western journalist or camera crew to be seen. And if there were a Western journalist there, I wonder what sort of response he would have expected if he had asked any of those Orthodox faithful folk what they thought of the world renowned so-called punk rock feminist musicians that performed a “gig” in the cathedral that they were queuing up to enter?
    By the way, when I was there at 11:30, the end of the queue was about three-quarters of a mile from the cathedral.
    Of course, the hamsters would call those faithful whom I witnessed this morning “bydlo”."

    Quite. And then, somewhat later;

    "And I’ve just been to the same workplace again,finishing my job there at 19:30. The queue was still there and the tail end of it was still at the same place as it was this morning. People were still joining it as I set off home.
    As I said earlier, the cathedral is situated a good three-quarters of a mile from the end of the queue. That means, taking into consideration that the queue is 3 yards wide, the area covered by the queuing people is (1320 x 3) square yards, namely 3,960 square yards at least, for at the cathedral the queue no doubt winds to and fro in the grounds of the edifice before the faithful are allowed access to the building.
    The queue is also dense, and even approximating at 4 persons per square yard, that gives a total of 15,840 people standing there at any one time during a period of eight and a half hours today. The queue was advancing slowly as I witnessed it today at 11:00 and at 19:00, and so even if one considers that people took 2 hours to advance from the end of the queue to the cathedral, then I reckon there must have been about 100,000 people demonstrating their faith in Moscow today. However, it seems that for Western newspapers at least, this manifestation of faith by at a very conservative estimate 100,000 people is of little interest because none of them have been screeching “Shit, shit, shit of Our Lord!” and “Mother of God, drive Putin out of Russia!”

    Hard to disagree with that, given the manifest lack of interest in the subject on the part of the Usual Suspects. I imagine it will eventually attract a comment or two, but the mainstream media will likely spin it as either cute and archaic or further evidence of Russia's loyalty to the past. It will hardly attract the white-hot mouth-breathing that Pussy Riot's antics did, as Moscow Exile has trenchantly pointed out.
  3. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

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    Exactly. I can't find it but there was a similar huge crowd to pay respects to an icon a couple of years ago.
  4. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

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    Once again things turn out even weirder than you can imagine. I thought spinning it as Putin trying to gain popularity would be the lowest imaginable spin. Hah hah: check this out

    "But some in Kyiv are worried that the imminent arrival of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his powerful patriarch, Kirill, may turn a celebration of fellowship into yet another opportunity for Moscow to play neighborhood bully."

    http://www.rferl.org/content/ukraine-russia-kievan-rus-putin/25057758.html
  5. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    That was the alleged girdle of Our Lady that was put on public display for veneration in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, and yes: the queue of the faithful was similar to that which I witnessed last Thursday (25th July).

    There was a little bit of a scandal over that event as well. It was alleged that Ksenia Sobcheck had jumped the queue after slipping some priest a backhander so that she could have a private viewing, notwithstanding the fact that the white-ribbonists consider the Russian Eastern Orthodox Church to be in cahoots with the Evil One in his oppression of Russian citizens. Ksyusha denied her queue jumping, of course.

    She seems to have faded into oblivion since her having got wed a couple of months ago. In fact, after her admitting after the event that she had wanted no part of the organized confrontation at Bolotnaya Square last May and had, therefore, decided not to participate, the Russian TV show presenter, "celebrity" and "socialite" seems to be satisfied with just doing her own thing now, which is probably amassing loads of money and stuffing into envelopes that she tucks away into hidey holes around her apartment.
  6. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    I watched a TV report a couple of hours ago of Putin's address in Kiev and he spoke of the common roots, common religion and similar cultures of the Russian and Ukrainian peoples. He didn't seem to be waving a big stick at all. And there was also mention from the other side of how much Ukrainians welcomed the presence of the Russian Black Sea Fleet alongside their own - a reference to the tricky problem of Sevastopol, a Russian city built by the Russian Empire in the Crimean peninsula that had been annexed by said empire at the end of the 18th century in order to curtail the centuries long slave raids into Slavic lands that had emanated from there under the direction of the Crimean Tatar Host, a satrap of the Ottoman Empire.

    Last time I was in the Crimea, a taxi driver got really annoyed with me after I had said that the Crimea was in the Ukraine: "This is Russia!" he repeated several times, and each time more angrily than the previous one.

    Perhaps his opinion reflected the attitude of a minority in the Crimea, but I think not.
  7. Philip Owen

    Philip Owen Office Registrar (13th class)

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    Crimea was not at all Ukranian. 200,000 Tatars were shipped out, amid great suffering during WW2 and replaced by Russians. About 100,00 Tatars made it alive to Uzbekistan. Al Jazeera is running a documentary on it now.
  8. Fedia Kriukov

    Fedia Kriukov Dead Soul

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    I guess Al Jazeera is engaging in its usual falsification then. 151,720 Crimean Tatars were deported to Uzbekistan, of whom exactly 191 were reported to have died.

    The total deported to Uzbekistan and other destinations was 194.1 thousand, of whom at least 193.8 thousand arrived safely.

    http://scepsis.net/library/id_957.html

    As for the population of Crimea, it was neither Tatar nor Ukrainian. Tatars were already a minority in the end of the 19th century.
  9. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    The Crimea was never Ukrainian until Krushchev gave it to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in the 1950s. Krushchev, of course, was from Donetsk, now in the Ukrainian Republic, which was originally named Юзовка (Hughesovka) after John Hughes, a British mining engineer who helped develop the Donets coal field in the 19th century and who founded the city, which was later renamed Сталино (Stalino) after Stalin before being given its present name.

    Before the annexation of the Crimean peninsula by the Russian Empire in the late 18th century, the Crimea was the seat of the Crimean Tatar host that each year undertook slave raids into what is now Southern Ukraine and Russia, that Crimean khanate being at the same time a satrap of the Ottoman Empire.

    The Crimean Tatars collaborated with the British, French, Ottoman and Sardinian invaders during the Crimean War. Little wonder that they were held under suspicion of being potential collaborators with the invading fascists during the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945. The so-called Volga Germans were also forcibly resettled for the same reason, as were the Chechens.

    The US government did the same with ethnic Japanese US citizens during WWII; likewise the British with Italians resident in the UK at that time. Italian males resident in the UK when Mussolini declared war on The UK in 1941 were transported to the Isle of Man for the duration of hostilities. I should imagine that very many of them were ice-cream vendors at the time of their arrests.
  10. Philip Owen

    Philip Owen Office Registrar (13th class)

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    The Tatars may have seen the Crimean war as liberation rather than invasion. Nasty bunch of slavers anyway.

    UK Italians were ice cream vendors, hairdressers, fish and chip shop owners and resturanteurs. Lots of them in Wales and Scotland. It was very difficult for the women to keep the businesses going at the time.

    30,000 German men were interned, 4,000 Italian men and about a dozen Welsh nationalists. Some Scots and Irish too. They were not permanently displaced.
  11. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    Mikhalon the Lithuanian wrote around 1550 in his book "De moribus Tatarorum Lituanorum et Moscorum" : "The Crimean Tatars have much more slaves than livestock. Therefore they supply them also to other lands. Many ships loaded with arms, clothes and horses came to them one after another from beyond the Pontus and from Asia, and left always from them with slaves. ……. So these plunderers always are in possession not only of slaves for trade with other people but also have slaves for their own estates and to satisfy at home their cruelty and waywardness. In fact we often find among these unfortunate people very strong men, who, if not castrated, are branded on the forehead or on the cheek, and are tormented by day at work and by night in dungeons."

    The Crimean Khanate existed as a slave-hunting outpost of the Ottoman empire. Its whole economy was based on slave raids and slave trade. As one scholar points out in his work "The Crimean Tatars and their Russsian captive slaves" "From the beginning of the 16th century until the end of 17th century the Crimean Tatar raider bands made almost annual forays into agricultural Slavic lands searching for captives to sell as slaves... the slave trade was the most important basis for the Crimean Tatar economy in the 16th and 17th centuries. During these centuries, the Crimean Khanate remained the main supplier of Slavic slaves, almost all of which were captured in southern Poland or Muscovite Russia, and brought back to the Crimea by their raiders. Most of their raids seemed neither to have had any military purpose, nor politico-territorial ambitions. The taking of captives and the selling them as slaves for the Crimean Tatars was purely an "economic" activity. R. Hellie refers to the Crimean Tatar's raiding activities as their "industry":
    Slave raiding into Muscovy reached crisis proportions after 1475, when the Ottomans took over the Black Sea slave trade from the Genoese and the Crimean began slave raiding as a major industry, especially between 1514 and 1654....The sale of slaves brought great profit to the Crimean raiders, because they were in great demand from the Ottoman Empire."

    As long as the victims didn't learn how to defend their lives, their property and their families the slave hunters' system worked perfectly "well".
    "The Crimean raiders have to hand over ten percent of their human booty to the government as a kind of custom tax at the frontier of the Crimean Khanate. Most captives were usually driven to Kaffa, the largest slave market of the Crimea under the direct administration of the Ottoman Empire, and were sold there to the slave merchants....Nearly seventy percent of the slaves sold in Kaffa were driven onto ships and dispatched to Istanbul... When they arrived, the Ottoman officials first examined the new "cargos" and chose the best slaves: the most beautiful women for the sultan's harem, the most handsome and the strongest men for his palace service. The remaining ones were purchased either by the government for navy, or by the slave merchants of Istanbul..."

    It is estimated that c. 1 000 000 Poles were captured by the Tatar slave-hunters to be sold into Moslem slavery and a corresponding number of Russians. The problem of slave hunting was so acute and desperate for the Russian state that there existed a special "Ministry of Ransom" and a special permanent tax was collected to redeem Slavic slaves from the Tatar/Turkish captivity whose horrors are hard to imagine today for a civilized person that is rarely confronted with contemporary historical sources and grim realities.
    But now with all the brutal reality of what the Crimean Khanate stood for, Mozere dares ask with a complaint and innocence of a wounded Moslem angel : "Why is there no Moslem slave-hunting state in the Crimea? Where are the slave hunters of Bakcisarai? Why are the once overcrowded slave markets of Kaffa empty? Why are no Polish,Russian and Lithuanian slaves drudging in the fields and tending herds of their Tatar masters? Why don't young Tatars learn cruelty by tormenting their defenseless Russian slaves, stoning the ill ones, cutting the noses and castrating the recalcitrant ones ? What a historical "injustice"! " Well, we should cherish no illusions as to the deep value system of the Turk, be his name Erdogan, Mozere or Ataturk !

    (Source: http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/193802)
  12. Philip Owen

    Philip Owen Office Registrar (13th class)

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    The Slavic experience with Islamic/Ottoman slavers is not unique. It happened in Western Europe on a similar scale. In the 16th and 17th Centuries, about 1.25 million people were captured and enslaved by north African slavers. The places affected ranged from Italy to Iceland. Here is one description.

    http://www.thebirdman.org/Index/Others/Others-Doc-Race&Groups-General/ Doc-Race&Groups-General-WhiteSlavery/UntoldStoryOfWhiteSlavery.htm

    It doesn't mention an incident during the (English) Civil War when Oliver Cromwell removed his ships from blockading the port of Bristol to rescue 15,000 people held captive in a slave camp on a nearby island.

    The slave raids continued into the 19th Century. They didn't stop until the French occupied Algeria. The first action anywhere, ever, by the US Marines was an invasion of Libya to capture Tripoli and rescue American citizens held as slaves by the Arabs. The USS Enterprise was the first US Navy navy ship ever to fire a shot in anger. It was attacking the port of Tripoli.

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

    So, if the French has occupied Algeria in even larger numbers than they actually did and if the French had expelled the native Algerians deep into West Africa when they showed disloyalty in World War 2, they would have treated the Algerians in the same way as the Crimean Tatars. The Spanish and Italians had similar justifications in their parts of North Africa. Either Russia still has to come to terms with its colonialism or other European colonial Empires are not so bad as Russia tries to paint them.

    Also for comparison, North African Arab slavers on the other side of the Sahara sold about 800.000 Black Africans as Indentured Labourers (not yet slaves in English speaking countries - after 7 years they were free) in the same period. The huge shipments came in the 18th Century and were ended when Britain abolished the slave trade, with Portugese help and then slavery, in British territories.
    The Arab slave trade in Africa didn't fully end until the 1960's. Brothels in the Lebanon and the wealthy in Saudi Arabia still bought slaves smuggled across the desert. I remember this from newspaper reports at the time. They horrified me. There is a film starring Peter Ustinov and Omar Sharif about the last days of this business.
    For the record the Egyptians on the whole were quite loyal to the British Empire. Younger Egyptians were taught a new version of history by Nasser (who thereby missed a chance to defuse the Muslim revival)
    To return to St Andrew, "Orthodoxy or Death" (in resistance to foreigners) is a strong Russian (Russky) characteristic and helps define loyalty.The Volga Germans (200 years in Russia), Chechens and Tatars were not orthodox. The Italian men were interned. Their British equivalents were conscripted. For the under 40's there wasn't much practical difference. Their families were not evicted from their homes.

    Why does Western Europe forget this chapter of history when we debate about Empire, Slavery and integration with Islam? Russia doesn't forget. Where's the difference? The Cross of St Andrew?

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