A single and nationally independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church – if it happens – “will seriously weaken the Moscow Patriarchate, nearly half of whose sees and congregations are in Ukraine, and it will undermine the influence of Patriarch Kirill, who has won preferment from the Kremlin largely on the basis of his ability to be useful to the Russian government both at home and abroad.”

 

Maria Butina, federal coordinator of Russia’s Right to Bear Arms movement, “Russians are arming themselves because today we do not have a sense of security. Today, Russia occupies first place in terms of the number of murders throughout Eurasia, and this situation cannot be considered normal.” As a result, people feel they need to be able to defend themselves “at any moment.”

 

… Kuzmin’s move out of the PGO is a clear sign that the logjam on signing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement is in the process of breaking.

 

“Russia is obviously concerned that Belarus, following Ukraine, could be draw into the orbit of influence of the European Union via the mechanisms of the ‘Eastern Partnership.’”  

 

‘‘As such, it constitutes at a minimum a stinging rebuke to Patriarch Kirill and his support for the idea of the continuing relevance of ‘Holy Rus’ and calls into question his role as a co-author and executor of Vladimir Putin’s push to draw the former Soviet republics into a tighter union with Moscow.’’

 

Could Russia’s time be better spent making peace with its Muslim population than in picking fights with Ukraine? With many Muslims already unhappy because Moscow refuses to allow new mosque construction and a Russian court having ruled the Koran ‘extremist,’ Kremlin authorities must be mindful that the Russian’s capital area’s Muslim population of four million is larger than the population of Kyiv. It would not take many more provocations to bring this stew to a pre-Olympic boil.

“With a Russian court having now declared the Koran to be ‘extremist,’ Moscow has finally done what it says only Wahhabis and other Islamist radicals and hostile foreign intelligence services want: it has provoked not just the leadership of Russia’s 20+ million Muslims but this community as a whole.” 

 

What the Pope really said 2013/9/28 23:50:30

“[What] this means is that the Church’s teachings about abortion, contraception, and homosexuality are only comprehensible – to many, indeed, only acceptable -- when we begin with the first principles of God’s salvific love for humanity, and proceed from there.”

“The notions of war, challenge, discussion or debate certainly have their merit. In fact, in a sense, that is where we want to be, arguing in favor of the good, the true and the beautiful.”

 

“…the Levada Center survey shows that ‘present-day Russian society is oriented toward left values, preferences and associations’ even though their government is pursuing rightist policies”

 

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