Voices From Russia, Too

Sunday, 11 December 2016

11 December 2016. Our Great Russian Motherland… The Winter Palace in Piter… Yes… That’s a RECENT Pic

00-st-petersburg-russia-winter-111216

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Yep… it’s winter before winter in Russia again! It’s ten more days before the official faceoff, but Ol’ Baba Winter is goin’ on strong in the Rodina, as this picture from Piter shows. That’s the Winter Palace… today, the restored palace forms part of the complex of buildings housing the State Hermitage Museum (the official website of the museum complex is here). By the way, nothing in Washington comes even close to the Ermitazh in scope or grandeur… so, all American claims of “exceptionalism”, “indispensability”, and “unique goodness” are nothing but vacuous bullshit. The Ermitazh is the real deal (it was around BEFORE the USA even existed… fancy that)…

BMD

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

VOR Presents… Russian Tricolour Day

Filed under: history,patriotic,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00
Tags: , , , ,

Exactly 20 years ago, on 22 August 1991, our old 17th century flag became the official state symbol once again.

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The traditional Russian flag consists of three equal horizontal stripes of white, blue, and red. At different times, popular folklore interpreted this colour combination in different ways, but there’s never been an official version. A popular and widespread description relates that the white symbolises nobility, the blue stands for faithfulness, and the red represents courage.

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Everyone acknowledges that the legitimate “father” of the tricolour was Tsar Pyotr Veliki. He issued a decree on 20 January 1705 stating that “all trade emporiums” had to fly the already-existing white-blue-red flag; he finalised its pattern, and determined the order of its horizontal stripes. By the way, what inspired Tsar Pyotr to choose these particular colours remains a mystery {some sources maintain that the colours of the Dutch flag guided Pyotr, which was a red-white-blue horizontal tricolour: editor}.

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It took two centuries for this flag to become the official national banner; in 1896, on the eve of the coronation of Tsar St Nikolai Aleksandrovich, the Justice Ministry determined that the National Flag should “definitively be a white-blue-red tricolour and nothing else”.

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Since 1993, when President Boris Yeltsin issued a decree reinstating it as the national flag, the tricolour has become a part of our lives. Today, the white-blue-red banner is not only on office buildings and in the big bosses’ offices. One can see the tricolour at all sorts of occasions… at football matches, public anniversaries and holidays, and even at weddings.

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In the image above, we see one of the festive events celebrating RF National Flag Day.

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In the image above, at the Petropavlovsky Fortress in St Petersburg, we see a drill executed by an honor guard on RF National Flag Day.

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22 August 2011

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/photoalbum/55007927/55007930/

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

VOR Presents… The Feastday of the Imperial Martyrs

On 17 July, Church celebrates the feastday of the Imperial Martyrs Tsar Nikolai II, Tsaritsa Alexandra, their children Tsarevich Aleksei, the Grand Princesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia, martyred in Yekaterinburg in the basement of the Ipatiev House on the night of 16/17 July 1918.

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Tsar Nikolai and Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine married in November 1894. A year after their marriage in 1895, the first daughter was born, Grand Princess Olga, after her three more daughters were born, Tatiana (1897), Maria (1899), and Anastasia (1901). In 1904, the couple finally received their long-awaited son, the heir to the Russian throne, Tsarevich Aleksei. In the image above, Tsar Nikolai II (right), Tsaritsa Alexandra (left), and Grand Princess Olga Nikolaevna (centre).

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By the spring of 1917, a conspiracy to remove the tsar from power developed. On 2 March, the officials closest to him pressed him to abdicate the throne in favour of his younger brother Mikhail. Grand Prince Mikhail refused the crown, leading to the fall of the monarchy in Russia. The Provisional Government arrested the former tsar and his family.

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Once the tsar’s family was in custody, their guards subjected them to incessant harassment and humiliation… the guards enjoyed their power over the former autocrat. However, they were calm and kept their equanimity, the gentleness of the former monarch and his family softened the hearts of even the sternest guards, which meant that the authorities had to change the guard unit often, for the guards ended up having compassion on the tsar and his family. According to the memoirs of some of the guards, the prisoners impressed everyone with their unfeigned religiosity. In the image above, the procession from the Cathedral of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood to the Ganina Yama Monastery, in remembrance of the murder of the family of Tsar Nikolai II in Yekaterinburg.

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In April 1918, the authorities moved the tsar’s family into a house in Yekaterinburg once owned by the engineer Ipatiev. On the night of 16/17 July (3/4 July, Old Style), the prisoners descended into the cellar on the pretext of another move, the commander of the guard read out their “sentence”, and his men immediately opened fire. The shooting was random; the holy martyrs were finished off with bayonets. Four of their servants were killed with the royal family… the physician Yevgeni Botkin, the maid Anna Demidova, the cook Ivan Kharitonov, and the footman Aleksei Trupp, all of whom kept their loyalty to the end.

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After the execution, the killers took the bodies out of town to an abandoned mine in Ganina Yama, where they tried to destroy them using sulphuric acid, petrol, and hand grenades. The communist authorities blew up the Ipatiev House in 1970 {Boris Yeltsin did the dirty deed: Editor}. Diggers found the remains of the imperial family and their servants in July 1991 near Yekaterinburg under the embankment of the Old Koptyakovskoy Road. The RF Genprokuratura identified the remains during a criminal investigation. In the image above, believers venerate a cross on the spot where the remains of the royal family were found.

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On 17 July 1998, the remains of imperial family members and their servants were buried in Ss Peter and Paul Cathedral in St Petersburg. On 14 August 2000, in Moscow, a Sobor of the MP declared that the last Russian tsar, Nikolai II, and his family and servants, were saints. The MP designated the royal family “passionbearers”, that is, those who meekly accepted a martyr’s death.

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Many Christians turn in prayer to the intercessions of the Royal Passionbearers, to strengthen their families, to help them to raise their children in faith and piety, and to help them preserve their children’s purity and chastity. This is because people understand that the persecution of the Imperial family brought them even more closely together; their faith carried them through all their grief and suffering.

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From the date of canonisation, many believers consider that all the portraits of the last Russian tsar and his family are icons. The MP approved services, “lives”, and icons of Ss Tsar Nikolai, Tsaritsa Alexandra, Tsarevich Alexis, Grand Princesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia for all-Church usage. In the image above, Grand Princess St Anastasia, the fourth daughter of Tsar St Nikolai II.

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In 2003, in Yekaterinburg, on the site of the demolished Ipatiev House, where Nikolai II and his family was shot, the Church of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood and All Saints Who Shone Forth in the Russian Land was dedicated, with a monument to the family of Nikolai II in the front of it.

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18 July 2011

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/photoalbum/53373569/53373580/index.html

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

12 July 2011. RIA-Novosti Reports… St Basil Cathedral Seen Against the Backdrop of Russian History

In Moscow, 450 years ago, the Cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God, or, as it’s often called, St Basil Cathedral, was completed. It quickly became one of the most striking attractions of the capital. The anniversary date of 12 July (29 June OS) wasn’t picked out of a hat, for it was on this day in 1561 that the Cathedral was consecrated, as is indicated by the inscriptions located in the cupola of the central chapel of the cathedral, “The Cathedral of the Protection was consecrated on the feastday of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul”.

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Tsar Ivan Grozny (1530-84), one of the most brutal Russian rulers, founded the Church of the Holy Protection of the Mother of God on the Moat (the original name of St Basil Cathedral) to commemorate his victory in the wars to conquer kingdoms of Kazan and Astrakhan in 1552 and 1554, respectively. The image above is of a manuscript miniature from the Litsevoi Collection, “The consecration of the central chapel of the cathedral on the feastday of the Protection of the Mother of God”, dating, probably, from 1568 to 1576.

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We don’t know what existed on the site in Red Square before the building of the Protection Cathedral. The first reliable mention of the erection of a Church of the Protection of the Mother of God comes in the autumn of 1554; scholars believe that this was a wooden building. It stood for just over six months, and it was torn down before the start of the construction of the stone cathedral on the site in 1555, which stands to this day. The image above is a reproduction of an engraving of Adam Olearius (1603-71), a 17th century German traveller, depicts the Protection Cathedral.

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The Russian architects Barma and Postnikov (others say that Postnik and Barma were the name of a single person) built the Protection Cathedral. According to legend, Tsar Ivan Grozny blinded the architects upon the completion of the cathedral, so that they couldn’t create another building that would eclipse this outstanding masterpiece of architecture. Later, scholars proved this legend nothing but a figment of the imagination. The image above is a fragment of an engraving, A Procession on a Jackass, from the book Journey to Muscovy by Adam Olearius. On the left, you can see the Protection Cathedral.

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Red Square in the Second Half of the 17th Century

Apollinary Vasnetsov

Undated

The Protection Cathedral originally consisted of nine chapels standing on a single ground-floor, one in the centre, and eight surrounding it. In 1588, at the behest of Tsar Fyodor Ivanovich (1557-98) the Blessed, the son of Ivan Grozny, built a tenth chapel over the tomb of the Holy Fool Basil the Blessed, after whom the church got its second, more popular, name. At the end of the 16th century, the present patterned cupolas were erected to replace the originals which were burned in a fire. In the 1680s, the belfry underwent reconstruction. In place of an open two-tier structure, a tower was built.

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A fire badly damaged the church in the reign of Fyodor Ivanovich, after which major reconstruction changed the face of the cathedral. At this time, in the basement arcades, there were 13 chapels; they were once sited along the moat around Red Square at the place of public executions during the reign of Ivan Grozny. Arches were erected over the previously-open external bypass gallery, and a hipped porch was placed over the white stone stairs. The image above is an engraving by Giacomo Quarenghi (1744-1817), The Protection Cathedral and the Spassky Tower in Moscow, from the series, Views of Moscow and its Environs (1797).

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A View of Red Square

Friedrich Hilferding

1787

In the reign of Tsaritsa Yekaterina Veliki, the cathedral underwent substantial repair, the hipped porch connected with the cathedral façade was painted, imitating the stonework inside the church, also there were pictures of saints and holy scenes, were are partially preserved in our time. A painted inscription dating from this time relates the consecration of the chapel of the Protection in the cathedral.

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Red Square in Moscow

Fyodor Alekseyev

1801

Repeatedly, the church was threatened with destruction, but each time it remained intact, and the devastating fires of the 16th and 17th centuries weren’t a serious threat to its continued existence. In 1812, the French ransacked the church. Related to this is one of the legends of the cathedral; supposedly, Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) wanted to take the “Russian Wonder” back with him to Paris, but as it was a technical impossibility to move the cathedral from it site and take it away, he gave orders to blow up the church, and with it, the entire Kremlin. However, a sudden rain prevented this, extinguishing the burning fuses.

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Immediately after the war, the church was repaired and re-consecrated. A landscaped park and open-work iron bars, designed by the famous architect O. Bove, surrounded the area around the cathedral. The above image is an engraving by Friedrich Dürfeldt, Cathedral of St Basil the Blessed in Moscow (1810).

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Location of the church made it a part of and a venue for many turning points in Russian history. The above image shows the last Russian tsar, Nikolai Aleksandrovich (1868-1918), along with his wife Aleksandra Fyodrovna (1872-1918), during a visit to the cathedral in 1902.

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In 1917, the Bolsheviks hit one of the domes of St Basil’s during their shelling of the Kremlin. After the revolution, Fr Ivan Vostorgov (1864-1918), one of the cathedral clergy, was shot, church property was confiscated, its bells were melted down, and the church was closed. The above image shows the commander of the Moscow Military District, Aleksandr Evgrafovich Gruzinov (1873-after 1917), reviewing a parade of the revolutionary forces on 17 March 1917.

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In 1928, the Cathedral of the Protection became a branch of the State Historical Museum, and it remains so today. The above image shows the church in 1920.

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In Soviet times, the existence of the Cathedral of the Protection was threatened again. Some wanted to blow up the church due to the fact that it interfered with the passage of tanks through Red Square during parades and demonstrations, there’s a version that a skyscraper was planned to be built upon its site. Another legend of the history of the Cathedral of the Protection dates from that time… when Kaganovich presented Stalin with a project of reconstructing Red Square to ease the holding of parades and demonstrations by tearing down the Cathedral of St Basil the Blessed, Stalin told him, “Leave it there”.

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One way or another, St Basil Cathedral survived all those who tried to destroy it, now, it’s a major tourist attraction.

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Since Soviet times, no visitor left the capital without a photo like this. The Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (1904-73) and his wife Matilde Urrutia (1912-85) took this snap to remember their visit to the Cathedral of the Protection…

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… along with guests of the Moscow Film Festival, such as Gina Lollobrigida (1927- )…

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… and another Italian actress, Sophia Loren (1934- ).

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In the 50s and 60s, the Cathedral underwent restoration work, during which researchers found the exact date of the building’s completion, 12 July 1561, in an old chronicle.

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In the 1990s, St. Basil’s Cathedral was a silent witness to the ever-churning political turmoil in our country’s history.

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During the August 1991 coup, tanks rolled up right against its walls…

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… and after that, there always seemed to be a demonstration protesting something. The above image is of a demonstration in late 1991. Pickets gathered on Red Square on the first day of the Fifth Extraordinary Congress of People’s Deputies.

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“A Cross-Procession of Repentance” (Крестовый поход покаяния) outside the Cathedral of the Protection, on the eve of the feastday of the icon of the Mother of God “of Kazan”, and on the 270th anniversary of the Russian Empire, in 1991.

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In 1993, the first President of the RF, Boris Yeltsin (1931-2007), spoke at a public meeting in front of the cathedral.

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The Cathedral of the Protection is now included on the List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Russia. As a branch of the State Historical Museum, it offers regular tours, plus others on major Christian feastdays.

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For the anniversary of the cathedral, there was a large-scale restoration of the interiors of the church, and museum staff developed the first part of a new permanent exhibition. All of this will be open to the public on the day of the church’s anniversary.

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12 July 2011

RIA-Novosti

http://ria.ru/photolents/20110712/388222552.html

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