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92 percent of Russians in Crimea vote for Putin as its ancient Greek legacy lives on

Did you know Crimea has an ancient Hellenic legacy, directly related to the establishment of the brotherhood between Russia and Greece?

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At our sister site, RussiaFeed, we covered how an amazing 92 percent of Crimeans voted for Vladimir Putin, a number confirmed by international observers. This drops a red-pill bombshell on the corporate media narrative that Crimea was invaded by Russia – how many occupied peoples gleefully support their invader?

How many Crimeans voted for Vladimir Putin?


While that is indeed amazing, how many people knew that Crimea in fact, has an ancient Greek legacy, relating to the very first establishment of brotherhood between Russians and Greeks?
Not far from the heroic City of Sevastopol lie the ruins of old Kherson — as Byzantine Greeks called it — also called Chersonesus, though Slavic people in the period referred to it as Korsun.

Ruins of Chersonesos


The word comes the Greek word Χερσόνησος, which means “peninsula”, and it now gives its name to the modern Ukrainian city of Kherson, which is located up the coast from the ancient Crimean city, just where the Crimean peninsula meets Ukraine.
Old Kherson was an important colony of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire. It was here where Equal-to-the-Apostles Saint Vladimir of Kiev married Anna, the Purple-born of Constantinople, the sister of the Emperor. In some ways the history of the Russia we recognize today began here, with his baptism.

Baptism of Vladimir


Preceding his marriage was the baptism of Vladimir himself, which preceded his Baptism of all Rus’ in 988. The Baptism of Rus’ began the formal history of the Russian Orthodox Church and Faith in Russia, transforming the nation forever into what we now recognize as Russia. This begins the period we refer to in Russian history and theology as “Holy Russia,” which by the belief of many, still lives to this day.

Baptism of Rus


The story of how Russia came to Orthodoxy is ancient and worthy of its own books, however in brief (and it pains me to oversimply this amazing tale, but it must be done for the sake of the article), Kievan Rus’, the ancient Slavic state, was located on the territory of modern Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, from which those three nations take their origin. Kievan Rus was strategically located on the trade route of the Varangians to the Greeks, one of the most important Viking routes in Eastern Europe. The trade route followed the Dnipro River, which begins at Smolensk Russia, flows through Kiev [the modern Ukrainian capital], and empties itself into the Black Sea at [new] Kherson.

This trade route made Rus’ very rich on Greek gold at a time when silver was far more abundant in Europe, and unfortunately for the Greeks, the ancient Pagan Rus’ were very strong, and decided to go on a few Viking style raids against Constantinople, nailing a shield to the walls, and taking tribute.

Rus Na Constantinople


Providence would decree, however, that Rus’ would steal something far more precious from the Greeks – the true Faith and Eternal life. After the disastrous failed campaign against Constantinople in Bulgaria by Svyatoslav, his son, Vladimir of Kiev was desperately seeking a new religion for his people. His grandmother, Saint Olga had already converted to Christianity, but she had died prior to his rule.
The simplified but legendary tale, was that Vladimir sent out messengers across the world. Among the Jews he was horrified by circumcision, and decided they lost their Holy City, and so Rus’ would not follow a faith in which the people lose their power. Among the Muslims he was more horrified than he had ever been, the moment the mighty warrior prince heard Islam prohibited drinking, he explained:

Drinking is the joy of all Rus’!

He refused to participate in a religion that banned pork, let alone drinking. He was beginning to think Rus’ would never find a good religion, until the envoy to Constantinople returned, their faces radiant like the sun. The said to him:

We did not know if we were on heaven or on earth, but there was God among his people, and this should be our faith.

Saint Vladimir, therefore, resolved to accept the Byzantine faith – that of Orthodoxy, and sent word to the Emperor who was embattled at old Kherson, Crimea. In exchange for an alliance with the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, Vladimir demanded the hand of Anna of Constantinople. It was explained to him that he must first be baptized, which he accepted, and then he was married to Anna. A Chuch was erected on the spot of his Baptism, which began the baptism of Rus’ in 988.

Church of Saint Vladimir


The church is constructed in the Neo-Byzantine style, very similar to churches throughout Greece, Asia Minor, Syria, and the Balkans. Vladimir Putin has visited this church before, named after his patron saint, and the founder of Christian Russia – Saint Vladimir.

Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Church of Saint Vladimir


The Church is located near several ancient Greek sites, and one can clearly see the ruins would fit in amidst the Parthenon in Athens or Palmyra in Syria.

Ancient Greek ruins at Chersonesos


Khersonisos is not the only amazing Hellenic legacy in Crimea. The Dormition Caves Monastery is another example, and a wonder of ancient architecture.

The Dormition Caves monastery


The date of the Monastery’s founding was lost to time, however most historians and the Church can agree there was a presence of Greek monks in the caves of these cliffs since around the 8th century. Crimea at the time was a Greek Colony of the Eastern Roman Empire.
According to the monastery’s website, the great valley in which it is built was called “Mary’s Gorge” by the Tatars because its location in ancient times was associated with the Mother of God and a wonder-working icon.

Mary’s Gorge and the Dormition Caves Monastery


 

Here is what the Monastery’s website had to say about its founding in a place Greeks originally called Marioupol, “Mary’s City”:

“Greek Christians suffered constant oppression from their neighbours, the Tartar Muslims…Some sought refuge in woods and caverns in order to devote their lives to God while others founded monasteries. In the 15th century most of southern Crimea, including all its Christian inhabitants, fell under Turkish domination…they found themselves living between two Islamic people: the Turks and the Tartars.”
“The Christians from Tavrida lost their courage in the struggle against the Muslims, but just when all hope of saving their faith was on the point of being extinguished, the image of the Theotokos [Mother of God] appeared on the inaccessible rock of Bakhchisaray, in the very heart of Islamic territory.”

The tale of the Monastery also includes the slaying of a Dragon, however, that is a story worthy of its own article.
This was certainly not a complete history of the Hellenic legacy of Crimea, but it hopefully illustrates how profound it is, and although the peninsula belongs to Russian/Slavic people today, it was from the Greek Orthodox Faith that Russians became Orthodox. This all began in Crimea. As a result, Crimea is sacred to Russians

Mary’s Gorge


It’s only fitting that Vladimir Putin would give homage to the place with his namesake, Saint Vladimir was baptized.

Vladimir Putin at the Dormition Caves monastery, site of the baptism of his namesake

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Germany Returning Migrants to Greece

Germany’s policy contradicts claims that the migrants are “war refugees,” because if that were the case, they’d seek asylum at the nearest, non-wartorn country.

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Via Infowars Europe:


Germany will soon send back migrants to Greece if they had already applied for asylum there.

The two countries made the deal at the behest of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose coalition government is on shaky ground due to increased opposition to her immigration policies.

“EU law states that refugees should apply for asylum in the first EU country they reach, but Germany has typically allowed newcomers with open applications elsewhere to reside in the country as it examines their claim,” reported the Wall Street Journal. “In practice, very few ever leave Germany, even if they fail to obtain asylum there.”

Germany’s policy contradicts claims that the migrants are “war refugees,” because if that were the case, they’d seek asylum at the nearest, non-wartorn country.

In fact, many of the migrants travel across multiple European countries, including Greece, to seek asylum in Germany, which under Merkel has offered comprehensive welfare to migrants.

Merkel’s recent immigration backtrack was also likely influenced by the backlash against open borders in neighboring countries, particularly Austria.

Austria has ramped up deportations under recently-appointed Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

“I’m convinced that the solution to the migrant problem lies with decent border protection and stronger help in countries of origin,” he said earlier this year.

Poland, Hungary and other Eastern European countries have similarly sealed off their borders to the chagrin of the EU, which had previous demanded “migrant quotas” for each member nation.

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The Greek Disaster: State Inertia and the Market Economy

In Greece we witnessed this repulsive, internally-generated tragedy in all its horrifying glory. Unfortunately we may soon see more far-reaching consequences…

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What happened in Attica, Greece, close to Athens, is without precedent. An ordinary fire, like the ones that occur in this area almost every other summer, met up with a terrible, sudden wind that turned it into real galloping inferno.

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The tragic result was 87 dead Greek citizens and more than 20 still missing. Huge questions loom on the horizon and only very limited answers are forthcoming. Are some of the lessons from this tragedy related to the wider geopolitical and political-economic questions?

Public-sector clientelism is leading to disastrous inefficiency

Why do tragedies like these occur in social environments with firmly entrenched clientelist political systems and in political entities that operate on the periphery of major, bureaucratic, modern empires? Sweden saw huge uncontrolled fires this summer. However, there was no loss of life or major disasters that befell the urban centers.

In Portugal last year — and very recently in Greece  —  scores of people died, mainly due to the inability of the state machinery to efficiently deal with the problem. The major difference between these examples is the quality of the civil service. In Greece and Portugal there is no real ethics in the public administration, which frequently fails to meet any vigorous efficiency test .

In public bureaucracies that sprout favoritism the way trees grow branches, it is very difficult to design long-term plans to handle critical and life-threatening situations. Likewise, the political system lacks the prerequisites to draw upon informed societies that are trained to be cooperative and disciplined when there is a need for coordination.

When clientelism dictates and forms the essence of the political culture, this culminates in fractured societies that are infected with spreading islands of lawlessness and limited possibilities for administrative coherence.

In Greece in particular, the deep-rooted mentality of state favoritism produces whole sectors of uncoordinated urbanization, with no respect for the environment, chaotic borough formation, and a coastline that has been brutally violated by hasty real-estate developmental schemes.

In such a social context, thorough planning becomes almost impossible and the idea of applying administrative guidelines to deal with a crisis sounds like a joke. It is essentially the political system itself that invites disasters and not any sort of physical deluge that begets them.

The need for market solutions

Clientelism and heavy state intervention in the running of the economy and society are the basic causes of inefficiency and, henceforth, administrative chaos. It appears that the process of rational choice is the fatal enemy of the dominant mentality in such systems of government. This is represented by any model that relies on the market to deal with questions of economic policy and societal organization.

A bloated public sector that is encouraged by the political authorities to constantly expand, irrespective of its ability to deliver on its promises, becomes the major problem. Instead of being the solution to emerging issues, the state actually becomes the cause of most troubles and difficulties.

Henceforth, without clear objectives or cost-benefit solutions, the state is unable to provide reliable outcomes or to cope with situations, especially emergencies. In the case of Greece in particular, the fire-fighting service had been financially starved, while its personnel had been recruiting new staff based on specific social criteria!

In other words, firefighters entrusted with saving people from emergency situations were hired on the basis of their physical inability to deal with normal life situations, i.e., the physically handicapped, mentally unfit, generally unhealthy, or recruits who were simply from disadvantaged social backgrounds.

Relying on a market mentality means that choices are made based on measurable results, well structured plans to deal with crises, and thoroughly tested options. When none of these requirements are met, it is more than certain that achievements will be negligible and the consequences disastrous.

Hence one must assume that societies that do not rely on rational-choice procedures and which pursue policies of heavy state intervention and patron-client favoritism are not likely to see successful results. This essentially means that societies built on capitalist principles pursue measurable results that further the welfare of their citizens.

Geopolitical repercussions

There is also a geopolitical angle to these observations. If a country cannot keep up with globally established administrative and financial trends, it will end up facing dead-end situations and find itself being marginalized. With the exception of its reliance on heavy state taxation, the EU always pursues policies of open social frontiers and market economics. Countries that deviate from this logic find themselves gradually lost in a political wilderness.

They constantly creep along on the fringes of events and absent themselves from all contemporary processes. By acting as the exception instead of the rule, they will rapidly find themselves marginalized. They will become a stark anomaly and thus be excluded from every movement going forward. They will become the pariahs of the international system. Geopolitical events will pass them by, and they will be looked upon as the “black holes” of the international order.

Domestic events and major financial and/or economic choices cannot be limited any longer to national or regional occurrences. Notwithstanding the importance of events within a country, opting for heavy state intervention may lead a country into the international wilderness.

What’s more, its international standing may also be impaired, contributing to the nation’s overall marginalization.

In Greece we witnessed this repulsive, internally-generated tragedy in all its horrifying glory. Unfortunately we may soon see more far-reaching consequences…

Via Strategic Culture

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Greek-Russian relations at a crossroads

The political landscape of Greek-Russian relations has suddenly darkened.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras meet in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia on April 8, 2015.

What exactly is the matter? It is almost impossible to cull any accurate information enabling us to clarify the situation and shine a light on recent developments.

Let’s first sweep the picture clean of inaccurate assertions and unfounded claims. Commentators who almost always turn to the anti-Western narrative immediately took to the field. The Greek government, they claim, is trying to earn its credentials vis-à-vis NATO and the US.

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Although nobody has ever required such a demonstration of allegiance from Athens. Under the present circumstances Greece is not going to win any points with such behaviour. With the agreement at Prespa Lake and Athens yielding to FYROMacedonia’s membership in NATO, the Greek government has already earned what it could from like-minded Western European capitals.

A breakup with Russia would not have added anything to Athens’ pro-Western arsenal.

At a time when the US is blaming Germany for being friendly with Russia and other European states — namely Austria, Italy, and Hungary, among others — appear to be moving closer to Moscow, what would an anti-Russian gesture by Greece signify? How could Athens expect to capitalize on this? I cannot honestly discern any direct benefit for Greece.

Likewise, why would Washington pressure Athens to adapt such a hostile attitude? What would the Americans expect to earn at a time when the US president himself reiterates that in Vladimir Putin he sees a man he can fully understand … and make a deal with…

On the other hand, as far as bilateral relations are concerned, Athens’ relationship with Moscow has been seriously wounded — without any clear benefits for Greece. Putin has made it clear how he would react if faced with a repeated challenge: “If you squeeze a spring as far as it will go, it will snap back hard. You must always remember this”.

One should not overlook the fact that some months ago a meeting was called off between the Greek and Russian government ministries that had been aimed at fostering economic cooperation between the two countries. The reason given was the unexpected appearance at the meeting of some Crimean politicians — the Russians maintaining however that the Greek side had been forewarned and had not raised any objections at the time.

In the end the episode was brushed aside without any major repercussions, at least public ones. But it was an issue nevertheless…

At the last occurrence, culminating in the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Athens there is enough ambivalence as concerns the matter. The main issue being discussed is a possible Russian effort against the Prespa agreement, objecting in order to to nullify FYROM’s future membership in NATO. Two comments must be made here. Only Northern Macedonia can render the agreement invalid at this point, not Greece.

Even if the Greek parliament fails to ratify the agreement, the northern Macedonians will automatically become members of the Atlantic alliance. In order for that to happen the government in Skopje merely needs to satisfy the requirements set out by the Prespa agreement and stipulated by NATO. It is ridiculous to think that Russian diplomats are not fully aware of this situation. Why then, as some observers insinuate, should they try to nudge Greece into walking out of the agreement?

As for NATO, it is doubtful that the Russians do not recognize that the attitude of the US and of its president, who recently met with Russian officials and with President Putin himself in Helsinki, poses a greater threat to the cohesion of the alliance than the membership of tiny FYROM.

My opinion is that the various reports on the issue are making the matter seem much weightier than it really is. My assessment is that Moscow is much less concerned about it than is generally acknowledged.

There is, however, definitely an issue. Otherwise we would not have reached the point of repatriating diplomats. One should never overlook the fact that great powers are usually burdened by many decision-influencing centres. Sometimes they are working outside of the official process that the governments dictate. Russia can hardly be an exception. Often the tentacles of such decision-making centres reach the state machinery.

This has happened in Greece in the past, when a retired Air Force pilot attempted to bomb parts of Albania. We saw it again in the case of a fugitive from Turkey, the Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan. In the US it is very often the case that various agencies take initiatives without the knowledge of the central government authorities.

With Russia, the issue of Orthodox Christian belief is quite important. Adherence to those principles can potentially prompt actions and moves without the knowledge or approval of a central authority. Unfortunately, I am not privy to specific information, but I believe that my ideas make logical sense.

Why should the Kremlin jeopardise a carefully cultivated cordial relationship with Athens just to pursue a dead-end policy on the issue of Skopje? After all, that’s an issue of paramount importance to Greece. And it could not possibly produce any fruitful results.

There are people in northern Greece who have often involved themselves in issues of vital importance to Greece without the slightest official authorisation or coordination with the aims of the Greek state. Some of them refer to Russia as a sister Orthodox power, without having been entrusted with such authority.

On the other hand, one should not overlook the fact that Greece carries a grudge against the Kremlin for having embraced Turkey in recent months, supplying it with missiles and accepting its friendly overtures on the Syrian front, although aware of its diverse inclinations concerning the future of that region.

It is not impossible that such sentiments may have culminated in and led to the recent crisis between the two states.

Notwithstanding the above, there is a wider issue contributing to the current misunderstandings. Russia has always been a puzzle for anyone attempting to do business with her. They find it difficult to comprehend her reactions and behaviour. Almost all are reminded of Winston Churchill’s words describing Russia: “It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma“. What few people remember is the rest of Churchill’s phrase: “But perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest“.

Some years later he explained: “I am convinced that there is nothing they [the Russians] admire so much as strength, and there is nothing for which they have less respect than for weakness”.

No country can expect a positive appraisal if it does nothing but beg and offers little or no policy coordination. These words might adequately explain Russia’s attitude towards other countries and its posture towards various global affairs.

Via Strategic Culture

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