Putin arrests Russian Orthodox Priests over Sunday sermon - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Telegraph  wrote:'We Christians cannot stand idly by': Russia arrests priest over sermon against war in Ukraine
Top clerics of the Russian Orthodox Church has supported Russia's war against Ukraine

A Russian priest has been arrested over a Sunday sermon that condemned the Kremlin’s war against Ukraine, and now faces charges of “discrediting” the Russian army.

The priest’s arrest comes amid an unprecedented crackdown on civil society, enabled by a new law that allows police to jail or fine people who question Vladimir Putin's invasion.

Father Ioann Burdin of the Resurrection Church in Russia’s western Kostroma region was detained shortly after his sermon this weekend, according to the Media Zona website.

Father Ioann “committed a public offence aimed at discrediting the Russian armed forces which are conducting a special military operation” in Ukraine, according to a police report quoted by Media Zona.

He told the parishioners about “Russian troops in Ukraine shelling the Ukrainian cities of Kyiv, Odessa, Kharkiv and killing citizens of Ukraine - brothers and sisters in Christ,” the report said.

He faces a court hearing later this week.

Father Ioann’s parish last week posted a link to an online anti-war petition and a statement condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We, Christians, cannot stand idly by when a brother kills brother, a Christian kills a Christian,” it said.

“Let’s not repeat the crimes of those who hailed Hitler’s deeds on Sept 1, 1939.”

The Russian Orthodox Church, which has close ties to the Kremlin, has in recent days ramped up its rhetoric in support of the war.

Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, claimed that Russia's war in Ukraine had a "metaphysical meaning".

Thousands of people defied the new law at the weekend and rallied against the invasion in dozens of cities across the country. Police arrested more than 5,000 people, according to OVD-Info, a human rights group.

Footage from Sunday’s protests showed police violently manhandling some of the protesters.

Several men displayed serious injuries as they were taken to police stations.

Later, some of them spoke about beatings in custody.

Russia’s Novaya Gazeta on Monday released an audio recording that documented an officer intimidating and beating feminist activist Alexandra Kaluzhskikh, who was detained in Moscow.

One of the men in the recording is heard telling Ms Kaluzhskikh that she must be “enjoying” getting tasered. Another man was heard saying he was expecting a bonus for his work because “Putin is on our side” while the anti-war protesters were the “enemy of the people.”

Ms Kaluzhskikh confirmed the authenticity of the recording. Russian police have not commented on the allegations. Dmitry Muratov - who won the Nobel Peace Prize last year for his work as editor of Novaya Gazeta, and also serves on the public oversight board of the Russian Interior Ministry - urged authorities to investigate the reports.

The anti-christ is destroying the Orthodox world, killing its brothers and sisters in Christ while imprisoning his own people and priests.

Πούτιν ο Αντίχριστος.
noemon wrote:The anti-christ is destroying the Orthodox world, killing its brothers and sisters in Christ while imprisoning his own people and priests.

Πούτιν ο Αντίχριστος.

I will say this: all the Russias need Clergy like St Philip metropolitan of Moscow, who spoke the truth to Tsar Ivan and was martyred by the Oprichniks. And like Patriarch Hermogenes, who was martyred by the Poles in the Kremlin for his refusal to betray Russia and Orthodoxy.
Telegraph wrote:Captured Russian soldier felt ‘shame’ after seeing boxers urge Ukrainians to fight invading troops

Lt Col Astakhov Mikhailovich says Russians ‘brainwashed’ into believing Ukraine had been taken over by ‘Nazis’

A captured Russian soldier has said he realised he was on the wrong side in the Ukraine war when he saw his favourite boxers taking up arms against the invaders.

The man, who gave his name as Lt Col Astakhov Mikhailovich, said he felt "shame" when he saw Oleksandr Usyk and Vasiliy Lomachenko urging their countrymen to fight the Russians.

The officer said his compatriots had been "brainwashed" into believing that Ukraine had been taken over by "Nazis" and asked for "mercy" for soldiers sent there by Vladimir Putin.

A succession of Russian prisoners of war have been filmed by Ukrainian forces claiming they were duped into taking part in the invasion, either because they were told they were only going to be patrolling the border or because they were led to expect a warm welcome.

Lt Col Mikhailovich, who said he is an officer in the Russian national guard's special rapid response unit, said: "I personally, just when we entered this territory, when I watched the address of the professional boxers, your boxers – back home I always loved watching them.

"Usyk and Lomachenko, they are my favourite, I mean that when I say it. These people are just ready to take arms, and they said: 'We didn't call you here.' And I feel shame that we came to this country, to this territory, Ukraine's territory."

Usyk, who turned professional after winning gold at the London 2012 Olympics, became the world heavyweight champion after defeating Britain's Anthony Joshua last year. Lomachenko, also a 2012 gold medallist, is a former world featherweight and lightweight champion.

He was preparing for a defence of his title – which would have netted him millions of pounds – when he decided to stay in Kyiv so he could "defend my home, my family".

Lomachenko posted a picture of himself on Facebook in military fatigues with a gun over his shoulder with the caption: "The Bilgorod-Dnistrovsky Battalion of Territorial Defence is formed and armed."

Lt Col Mikhailovich said Russian citizens were being kept in the dark about the situation in Ukraine, adding: "Don't judge us too harshly. We were told Ukraine's territory was dominated by a fascist regime, that Nazis have seized power."

He told his fellow soldiers: "I'm begging you, stop before it is too late – Russia cannot win here. If someone came to my territory, I would do the same as these people did and I would be right. They are right now.

“Guys, be brave. It's easier for me, I'm in this situation already. You are in a tense situation, going against your own commander. But this is genocide, the people are just killed."
The Guardian wrote:‘Beyond understanding’: Odesa braced to see if Putin attacks city of such resonance for Russians
Russian warships have been moving ominously between the coast outside Odesa and Crimea. Each morning, Odesa’s remaining residents wake up and check their progress

The tourist cafes are behind barricades. The grand opera house is surrounded by a wall of sandbags. Tank traps block the approaches to the legendary Potemkin steps. Nobody in Odesa can quite believe that Vladimir Putin would launch an assault on this city, a place bound to Russia by family, literary and cultural ties, a place of almost mythical resonance for many Russians.

But then, Putin’s armed forces have done lots of things in recent days that seemed unthinkable just two weeks ago.

“I don’t know what kind of a bastard, idiot or scumbag you have to be to press the button for missiles to fall on Odesa,” said the city’s mayor, Gennady Trukhanov, in an interview at a building in the centre of the city where he has moved for security reasons. “It’s beyond the limits of my understanding.”

On Sunday, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, called Putin to express concerns over intelligence that an assault on Odesa would start soon. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, also referenced the possibility in one of his latest video addresses to the nation, each one delivered with increasing amounts of defiance and exhaustion.

“Russians have always come to Odesa. They have always felt only warmth in Odesa. Only sincerity. And now what? Bombs against Odesa? Artillery against Odesa? Missiles against Odesa? It will be a war crime. It will be a historical crime.”

So far, the Russian assault on southern Ukraine has largely spared Odesa, but military analysts suggest it is only a matter of time, especially if the Russians succeed in taking Mykolaiv, further east. Monday morning saw a renewed rocket barrage against the city, while warships have been moving ominously between the coast outside Odesa and the annexed region of Crimea.

Each morning, Odesa’s remaining residents wake up and check the progress of the warships and the status of Mykolaiv. Text messages advise them what to do in the event of an amphibious assault or a sustained airstrike.

At a recently renovated food hall in the centre of the city, the stalls offering oysters, champagne and novelty coffees have not functioned since the Russian attack on Ukraine began on 24 February.

Now, the hall has been decked with Ukrainian flags and anti-Russian slogans, and serves as a sorting point for donations for the army. Orange-jacketed volunteers receive bags from locals who want to help the war effort.

“We write on Telegram what we need: medicines, sleeping bags, thermal clothes. Help from the west is coming, but in these first weeks we need to help them,” said Nikolai Viknyanskyi, who runs a furniture business in Odesa and is now heading the donation drive.

Each day, the centre also coordinates around 8,000 hot meals, cooked in shuttered restaurants around the city, which are distributed to soldiers and territorial defence units.

The city, as every Odesan will note at the first opportunity, is a particular kind of place. It revels in its reputation as a centre of jovial swindlers and tellers of labyrinthine tales, and has often felt more like a city-state than a centre of Ukrainian patriotism.

While there has certainly been an intensified interest in Ukrainian language and culture in the eight years since the Maidan revolution, especially among young people, Odesa is still a very different place from Kyiv or cities in western Ukraine.

A survey in September last year showed that 68% of Odesa residents agreed with Vladimir Putin’s statement that Russians and Ukrainians are “one people”, while only 20% of people thought the future of Ukraine was in integration with Europe. Thirty-eight per cent wanted closer ties with Russia, and 27% neutrality.

However, the events of the past two weeks may have dramatically altered such figures.

Trukhanov is a good example. Formerly a member of president Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions, Trukhanov has been dogged by allegations of corruption, links to organised crime and to Russia. He denies all the allegations, and has been forced to deny repeated claims that he had a Russian passport.

Now he has become an unlikely champion of Ukrainian sovereignty. In response to Putin’s claim that the Russian military assault was meant to defend Russian speakers, Trukhanov posed a rhetorical question in a video address: “Who the fuck are you planning to defend here?”

On Sunday, he wore the armband of yellow tape that denotes Ukrainian forces in this war over his jacket, and a grey peaked cap over his permanently furrowed brow. He rubbished Putin’s claim that the war against Ukraine was one of “denazification”, and said it was Putin’s Russia that was behaving like fascists.

“Bombing Kharkiv. Who would do that? Only Nazis,” he said.

Events in Odesa in 2014 play a large part in Russia’s narrative about a fascist Ukraine. After coordinated pro-Russian groups in numerous Ukrainian cities seized government buildings over the spring, Ukrainian ultras hit back against a violent pro-Russia march in Odesa. The result was a fire in the trade union building, in which 48 people died, most of them pro-Russians. The tragedy was immediately seized on by the Kremlin, who painted it as a pre-meditated fascist massacre.

In the angry televised address that presaged the current war, Putin specifically mentioned Odesa, noting that Russia knew the names of those responsible for the May 2014 tragedy and “would do everything to punish them”. The chilling words bolstered western intelligence claims that Russia has prepared lists of those to be arrested or killed in the event of an occupation.

The events of 2014 drove a wedge between friends and families in Odesa. Boris Khersonsky, a 72-year-old poet, psychologist and philosopher, estimated that he lost “more than half” of his friends when he decided to take a staunchly pro-Ukrainian position.

“I was raised speaking Russian, but after 2014 I sat down with a dictionary,” he said. Now he writes in both Russian and Ukrainian.

In light of the shocking attacks on civilians over the past two weeks, even many of those who remained staunchly pro-Russian are re-examining their convictions.

Alexander Prigarin, an Odesa-based anthropologist, described his current mood as “confusion”. The events of 2014 had only strengthened his affection for Russia, he said, but the sight of Russia attacking Ukrainian cities with rockets and missiles had completely floored him.

“It’s a nightmare, a tragedy, a catastrophe,” he said.

Khersonsky believes the current war has brought many people in Odesa closer to patriotic Ukrainian positions. “Putin has worked hard to make that happen,” he said.

In their house on the outskirts of the city, Khersonsky and his wife have turned one room into a makeshift bomb shelter, barricading the windows with piles of books to protect them from a potential Russian assault.

If Russia occupies Odesa, the couple plan to leave as quickly as possible. “It’s possible that in a month we’ll have to leave this house here and become homeless refugees,” he said matter-of-factly.

Perhaps the most inexplicable aspect of Putin’s decision to invade is the idea, apparently based on a lack of understanding about how much Ukraine has changed in the past eight years, that locals in places like Odesa would welcome Russian troops with delighted cheers and bouquets of flowers.

Instead, the images coming out of occupied southern cities such as Kherson have shown that however much air power Russia brings to the conflict, the endgame looks unclear. Brave unarmed Ukrainians have faced down tanks, and taken to the streets waving Ukrainian flags, with Russian soldiers looking on confused at the defiance of the people they believed they were liberating.

“They can capture the city. OK, and then what? Where are the resources to create an administration, to run the city?” said Natalia Zhukova, a 42-year-old chess grandmaster and member of Odesa’s local parliament. “We will become partisans,” she said.
This is the stuff Trump would do too if there were no checks and balances and human rights in America. Putin is such a bully and thug.

I remember in junior high school the a-holes would bully everyone and think themselves cool and powerful, but by high school nobody liked them so they had no friends. This is what's happening to Russia.
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