Sunday, July 28, 2013

Heaven and Hell [part 2]

In my previous blog I wrote about Saturday's celebration at the St Volodymyr monument. to mark the 1025th anniversary  of the conversion to Christianity of Kyivan-Rus  The monument is a famous landmark in the city which looks out over the Dnipro River.

On Saturday only a few hundred specially selected and vetted people could join presidents Putin and Yanukovych, and the presidents of Serbia and Moldova, at the service which was conducted by the Patriarch of Moscow, Alexei.

Security was unprecedentedly, absurdly tight - thousands of security goons were out in force lining routes etc. The VIPs were constantly enveloped by swarms of bodyguards.

Today the Pariarch of Kyiv, Filaret, led a procession of many thousands of the faithful to the same place for a service. In marked contrast, there were virtually no security personnel present, only a few dozen policemen along the route, despite the large numbers. [photos here]

Yesterday was about posture and power games played out by arrogant politicians/thugs* was a proper religious celebration in which all believers could participate...

*In the last few days several members of the controversial feminist group Femen have been severely beaten up by unknown assailants. Femen not unreasonably allege that the timing is not a coincidence, and that Putin and Yanukovych are behind these brutal attacks in revenge for Femen's heckling and dissing of Patriarch Kirill  at Kyiv airport last year and Putin in Hannover, Germany a few months ago. It is probable that Ukrainian authorities did not want a messy and embarrassing Pussy Riot-type trial on their hands before the Vilnius summit in November. Much simpler to revert to their preferred  M.O. - sent in the goons and crack a few skulls...knock out a few teeth....

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