Art and Faith

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Mikhail Khmelko. Forever with Moscow, Forever with the Russian People! 1951

00 Mikhail Khmelko. Forever with Moscow, Forever with the Russian People! 1951

Forever with Moscow, Forever with the Russian People!

Mikhail Khmelko

1951

______________________________

I wrote a letter to a young friend recently. He reacted quite positively to it. I’ve expanded it slightly (and removed personal references); I’d like to share it with you.

There are Ukrainians; then, there are “Ukrainian nationalists”. The former are just another of the nationalities in the old Empire; their history is intimately intertwined with that of we Russians. The latter are neo-Nazi fanatics that I’d avoid absolutely; they glorify those who attacked the motherland. The parvenu Yushchenko gave a posthumous medal to SS Sturmbannführer (Major) Roman Shuskevich. That was a heinous act. Unfortunately, this glorification of Nazi collaborators isn’t confined to “Ukrainian nationalists”, it’s also endemic amongst Balts as well, as the recent events about the “Bronze Soldier” in Estonia illustrated. One of the most disgusting facets of “Ukrainian nationalism” is its virulent anti-Semitism. For example, we should never forget that the Second General Congress of the OUN-B resolved in April 1941 in Kraków to label the “Jews of the USSR the most faithful supporters of the Bolshevik régime and the vanguard of Muscovite (sic) imperialism in the Ukraine”. A slogan put forth by the Bandera group was “Long live the Ukraine without Jews, Poles, and Germans; the Poles behind the river San, the Germans to Berlin, and the Jews to the gallows”. This concerns the FEOR (Federation of Jewish Communities in Russia) because it sees many contemporary “nationalists” applauding these sentiments, and I share (and approve) the sentiments voiced by Rav Berel Lazar (the Chief Rabbi of Russia) and Borukh Gorin on this topic. I should add that the canonical UPTs/MP echoes these views completely and without reservation. Let’s not forget that Ukrainian “nationalists” cooperated with the Nazis in deporting Jews to the death camps, and that UPA fanatics murdered some 100,000 to 500,000 Poles, Slovaks, and Rusins in areas that the UPA claimed as “Ukrainian”. On the other hand, many Ukrainians fought bravely in the Red Army against the Nazi fascists, not all Ukrainians accepted collaboration with the Nazis. I must add, in all fairness, that most Ukrainians today don’t praise the Nazi collaborators, only the “Orange” minority around Yushchenko and Timoshenko, and the Galician Uniate extremists, do so.

******

00 Mikhail Belsky. A Portrait of the Composer Dmitri Stepanovich Bortnyansky. 1788

A Portrait of the Composer Dmitri Stepanovich Bortnyansky

Mikhail Belsky

1788

______________________________

That’s to say, it isn’t a simple subject, and we must avoid the simplistic distortions of “nationalists” at all costs. I believe that a future revival of the old empire (in whatever external form it takes) shall incorporate the Ukraine, and this won’t be a bad thing. Individual Ukrainians had more opportunity under the old Empire than a cramped “independence” gives, examples that come to my mind are the composer Dmitri Bortnyansky and the artist Vladimir Borovikovsky, both of whom developed their talent and worked in the court at St Petersburg. Their work passed into the heritage of Great Russia, and, now, it belongs to all of us. The nationalists who claim them as heroes are wrong, and Messrs Bortnyansky and Borovikovsky, if they were alive now, would disown them. They’d stay in Russia, they wouldn’t move to an “independent” Ukraine, as they could develop their individual talents and gifts to the fullest only in the richer cultural life of Great Russia. Today, figures such as the cosmonaut General Pavel Popovich, the former hockey star (and present RF Gosduma member) Vladislav Tretiak, and the artists Valery Badakva and Yelena Slyshchenko come to mind, and they’re doing precisely that. Our Great Russia is the richer for their presence, and they’re richer for their presence in Great Russia.

The Russian and Ukrainian peoples have walked together since the beginning. We share an Orthodox faith that binds us close. In fact, most Ukrainian Orthodox (some 85 percent) belong to the UPTs/MP led by Metropolitan Vladimir Sabodan, and the leader of the ROCOR is Metropolitan Lavr Skurla, who is Rusin, not “Russian” at all in the sense that the “nationalists” employ. The schismatic nationalist groups, thus, are only a small (albeit loud) minority. Sadly, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Istanbul uses them (both in the Ukraine and in the Ukrainian diaspora) to further its ambitions to be the “Orthodox papacy” (an unwarranted innovation opposed by most decent Orthodox Christians). The Galician Uniate Catholics are an even smaller minority of the population, as they are less than 10 percent of the Ukrainian people (yet, they are the most virulent “nationalists” of them all!). As Catholics, they aren’t part of Holy Rus’; for that reason, their voices aren’t representative and all decent people should ignore them. There’s never been anti-Ukrainian sentiment amongst Russians, despite UPA propaganda to the contrary. There’s never been “Russian exclusivism” amongst Russophiles; however, the same isn’t true of exclusivist “Ukrainian nationalists”. Please… look at the historical record, and do NOT listen to the rants of nationalists. There’s an article on the VOR website you MUST read (see especially the section on Tchaikovsky’s ancestry). You see, Ukrainians only have maximum freedom as individuals when they’re part of a Great Russian state. Your place at table is waiting for you. We desire your presence fervently. Why delay?

BMD

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Together Forever!

Together Forever!

Soviet poster

1940s

______________________________

This is an emotional issue for some; UPA/OUN sorts issue forth interesting views (to use the kindest term) on the topic. Nevertheless, I won’t engage in a fruitless and pointless dispute. Taken together, we’re a great civilisation; separately, we’re very little indeed. The histories of the Russian and Ukrainian people are so intertwined that one can’t cut them apart without harming both fatally. Most of those expressing loud and strident Ukrainian “nationalist” views are Galician Uniates, a minority amongst Ukrainians, less than 10 percent of the population. They come from a backwater region that wasn’t part of the old Empire; rather, they were part of the Habsburg Dual Monarchy, which used the Unia and “Ukrainian nationalism” as weapons against Russia. They’re also unrepresentative in faith, as they’re Catholic Uniates, not Orthodox as are most Ukrainians. They lack the tie of a shared religion that’s bound Orthodox Russians and Ukrainians together for centuries. The Habsburgs persecuted Orthodox Christians and even ran a concentration camp for Orthodox at Talerhof in Austria during the First World War (later, they built an airport on the site to hide the evidence). This was well documented in the memoirs of Vasili Vavrik, a survivor the death camp, and many others. The Ukrainian department of the CIS Institute published The Genocide of Carpatho-Russian Russophiles: A Silenced Tragedy of the Twentieth Century. The most prominent martyr of this time was Fr Maksim Sandovich of Lemkovshchina, murdered by the Habsburg authorities.

******

******

The TRUTH about the UPA bandits and their murderous activities…

******

In the interwar period, Galicia was part of the Polish state. Uniates received favour from the Polish government, whereas Warsaw persecuted Orthodox (in 1939 alone, the Poles vandalised some 150 Orthodox churches). During World War II, unlike the Poles, Galician Uniates cooperated with the Nazis, and the Nazis formed a Waffen-SS division (14. Freiwilligen Grenadier Division der Waffen-SS Galizien (ukrainische nr 1)) from amongst them (a son of Mstislav Skripnik, a vicious and nasty “Ukrainian Orthodox” bishop, served in its ranks). It’s a sad fact that Bishop Iosif Slipy, a Uniate hero, blessed these Nazi monsters (I didn’t say that he was a Nazi, merely that he blessed SS troops, which isn’t a good thing in itself, given the Nazi view that all Slavs were untermenschtumen (subhumanity)). Elements of this division later became part of the 1st Division of the UPA, therefore, this proved that Soviet charges that the UPA were Nazi collaborators (also, many of the Galician SS/UPA bandits moved to the West on various “rat lines“, becoming virulent and bigoted haters of everything Russian). Hence, the Communist suppression of the Uniates after the Second World War (one should note that the Orthodox Church did NOT advocate such). People saw them, perhaps, not surprisingly, given the attitudes of their leaders, as Nazis. On the other hand, the Communist persecution of Orthodoxy was simply general hatred of religion by bezbozhnik elements (which died by 1990). Therefore, if you hear nationalistic rumblings from Uniate sources, it comes from those who traditionally weren’t part of the Russian state. East-Bank Ukrainians consider themselves “Russian Orthodox”; many of them are in our diaspora parishes, they feel at home with us. Do NOT hate “Ukrainian nationalists” or return to them what they deal to you. Most Uniates are decent folk who have no control over what comes from Vatican-financed sources, that is, their leadership. They’re innocent; we should treat them as such. After all, they are bone of our bone, blood of our blood, flesh of our flesh, and soul of our soul. They aren’t only our brothers and sisters, they’re an indispensable and beautiful part of the people of our Great Rus. May God shower His blessings on them abundantly. We keep a place at table for our separated and prodigal brothers, and we await their return to Holy Rus and Holy Orthodoxy fervently.

May the family circle of Rus be unbroken yet again!

BMD

« Previous Page

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.