Rubric The Russiam world

The Russiam world
by Stefano Caprio

Kirill's appeal to all the heads of the Orthodox Churches against the ban on Russian jurisdiction of Orthodoxy in Ukraine sanctioned by the Kiev parliament has gone unanswered. While the sending of Metropolitan Tikhon to Crimea, the most contested front line, many are wondering whether this is yet another punishment or a possible ecclesiastic and political exaltation.

| 21/10/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

The "piecemeal world war" evoked for years by Pope Francis is indeed turning into an increasingly global confrontation. Russia sees in this, the realisation of its "mission" to challenge the domination of the "collective" West. Solzhenitsyn's words about the troubled relationship between Russians and Jews come to mind.

| 14/10/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

The president gave a new keynote address to the plenary of the 20th Club Valdaj, one of the 'ideological' venues. To 'intellectuals' the invitation to build a 'new world'. The evocation of the axis with China, the Arab world and India against the West, whose support for Ukraine is becoming uncertain. The 'synodality' (sobornost) that sums up Putin's justifications for the conflict.

| 07/10/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

Russia's problem is the uncertainty of its position, an unresolved fluidity between East and West, North and South. It is unable to find a true unity, as evinced by its institutions, but also as seen in the diatribes among Soviet dissidents of old and today's pacifists.

| 30/09/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

Kadirov's illness and Azerbaijani Aliev's coup sweeping away the Armenian enclave dominated the week. While Baku makes Europe weigh the strength it has acquired at Moscow's expense in the gas market, the Kremlin leaves it at that, accusing the Armenians of having flirted too much with the West. Russia is trying not to lose the Caucasus, its 'Middle Eastern side' as well as Ukraine.

| 23/09/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

The leader of the Kremlin welcomed the dictator of Pyongyang to discuss low-level weapons and technology. Xi Jinping kept himself far from the two "thugs" while the Russian president used "underworld" jargon in the meeting. Patriarch Kirill renewed his "material and spiritual" support for the holy war.

| 16/09/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

The misunderstandings between Francis and Ukrainian Greek Catholics are not simply a personal issue related to today's context. The Vatican's search for harmony with the "Third Rome" of modern czars and emperors (down to party secretaries and federal presidents) has been a constant in history for more than a millennium. So have the complicated relations between the Holy See and the "Uniates" of the Kiev frontier.

| 09/09/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

The Kremlin claims to have cut ties with the West and turned east, but the facts say otherwise. Putin's Russia has renewed with its old 19th century imperial image, captured by the mid-century Crimean War when Russia was at odds with everyone in the Old World. As Moscow neglects its Eurasian expanses, Beijing is stepping in to fill the gap.

| 02/09/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

Prigozhin's ghost, dead or alive, will hover over Russia for a long time to come, as indeed happened with so many tsars and tsarevichs of the past. After the "conquest of Bakhmut" - a meaningless clash of months and months transformed into a heroic legend - the narration of the "alternative army" no longer held up the scene, and mythology showed all its inconsistency.

| 26/08/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

In Putin's mind, the flight of the Americans from the Afghan capital triggered the spring of the 'great revenge'. Russia now regularly invites Kabul's representatives to Moscow for consultations, despite the fact that the Taliban are still considered an unwelcome 'terrorist organisation'. And the other former Soviet countries are also in solidarity with the Kremlin in officially condemning the Afghan government, at the same time considering it a necessary partner.

| 19/08/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

Under the Soviet regime, education too was the subject of state attention. Now, with the new textbooks, Stalin’s glorious victory on 9 May 1945 becomes Russia’s “new baptism”, subsuming Soviet ideological rhetoric and the latest incarnation of sobornost, the universal union of peoples led by Moscow.

| 12/08/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

Putin's operation has not shifted the territorial balance but has touched the heart of the (former) empire. Radio-controlled aircraft are becoming a decisive factor in the War of the Two Worlds. In Moscow and the rest of Russia, people have lost the defensive barrier that protected their mental landscape, while, for Putin, "everything is going according to plan." The apocalypse for Christian Orthodoxy is after Russia, nothing.

| 05/08/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

The national observance of the Baptism of Kievan Rus’, on 28 July, summarises the entire post-Soviet period. Starting with the universal unity of peoples and Churches, it has come full circle over seven scores to the brink of a Third World War. We are back to square one, yearning for a time of peace and forgiveness, as described in the procedures of the Old Testament jubilees.

| 29/07/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

Tourists have been slow to arrive on the Crimean sea this year, intimidated by the trenches and bombings. The Russian government has tried hard to encourage and "precept" different categories of them, from groups of children and young people to employees of state-owned companies and oligarchies. And there is no doubt that one of the purposes of the Ukrainian attacks is directed at putting the season, the region's main economic activity, out of business.

| 22/07/2023
| RUSSIA WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

Former Prime Minister Sergey Kiriyenko – once Yeltsin's heir apparent and a pro-Western liberal now a convert to Putinism – explained to young Russian political scientists that today it is not just a question of conquering land or defending one's own, but of fighting for the "meaning of the world". Meanwhile, Kirill never misses an opportunity to celebrate Alexander Nevsky, the great saint of victories on the Neva.

 

| 15/07/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

The whole incredible affair of the last days, the march and escape of Prigožin, the return home and the shaming of the generals and officials, is really a retelling of so many pages of Russian literature. Starting with the Russia of grotesque dimensions described in the characters of the most Russian novel in history, the Dead Souls of Ukrainian-born Nikolai Gogol'

| 08/07/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

Card Zuppi insisted on a key concept to explain his mission to the faithful in the Catholic cathedral of the Russian capital, namely that "unity is not achieved through power, but through service". Echoing Havel, he showed the truth of a Church without power, without weapons, nor plans and projects to solve conflicts and overthrow regimes.

 

| 01/07/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

In evoking the events of 1917 to read what has happened in the last few hours in Moscow Putin is not Lenin, just as Prigožin is not Kornilov. But the juxtaposition suggests the beginning of a new phase, if not quite a revolution, in Russia at war with the world.

| 26/06/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

The patriarchal accusations against pacifist priests astonishingly contain an explicit mention of "Tolstoyan heresy." Fr. Viktor Burdin responds to Kirill's excommunication of "universal value"  with the question "who can stop me serving God?", which another Orthodox priest from Moscow, the Italian Fr. Giovanni Guaita, often repeats in his homilies.

| 24/06/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

The real measure of Ukraine’s counteroffensive will not be military but its psychological and informational impact on public opinion, at home, in the West, and in Russia itself. Meanwhile, the aura of Ukraine’s top military man, General Zaluzhnyi, is shining almost as brightly as Zelensky’s.

 

| 17/06/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

Francis seeks to build bridges jwhile the 'piecemeal third world war' destroys them, raising walls and digging trenches or even drowning towns and cities under the flood of war. The initiative entrusted to Card. Zuppi is also an excellent 'cover' for the many humanitarian efforts of all the institutions of the Catholic Church in Ukraine and Russia. And between Rome, Moscow and Kiev, a new chapter in a long history opens.

| 10/06/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

There are more than raving warriors, self-centred schismatic religious leaders, mobs of diversanty, or saboteurs launching explosive drones. There are many men and women, families and children, believers and non-believers who do not care about the borders of nations and peoples, but simply want to live in peace in their own land, with their own faith.

| 03/06/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

Prigožin has left Bakhmut, reduced to a pile of rubble, giving rapid-fire interviews that look more like an acknowledgement of defeat than a proclamation of victory. If Ukraine has a clear future as a member of the Western and European communities, if Central Asia now discusses all its affairs with the great power of Beijing, Moscow must try not to resign itself to its own insignificance.

| 27/05/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

In order to prop up the spirit of Orthodox patriotism, Putin decided to return the famous icon to Kirill’s Church. It matters little if exposure in the Monastery of the Holy Trinity might turn it into dust. Using an icon to justify the sanctity of absolute power is by no means something new.

| 20/05/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

When anything can be considered a threat, it is no longer important how real this risk or effective the containment measures, the only thing that matters is to give the impression that "everything is under control".

| 13/05/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

Drones over the Kremlin may have pre-empted fireworks set to light up the sky in Moscow and a few other cities. The 9 May parade will likely be cancelled almost everywhere because of possible incidents. Yet, rather than his internal and external enemies, Putin should fear  his supporters, who are increasingly active and brazen, starting with Yevgeny Prigozhin, the “cook”.

| 06/05/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

Agreements for a base on the Red Sea, arms supplies to both contenders, Wagner Company business: in the war in Sudan, Moscow consolidates its penetration in the continent. Which also has the face of Metropolitan Leonid, the "cook of Kirill".

| 29/04/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

With his blonde dreadlocks and a rocker’s leather jacket, Shaman sports the extreme, futuristic face of the Russian identity, moving away from the West by aping it in every detail, but in an "I am Russian" version. The videoclip with the new anthem that has taken Moscow by storm alternates frenzied fans and wheat fields.

| 22/04/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

As was the case in the 1990s, food becomes the dimension of identity lost and identity to be found. Average salaries drop and then the only food remains the "spirituality" of traditional moral values, relying on the miracles invoked by metropolitans and patriarchs, but entrusted to the hands of cooks left without ingredients.

| 15/04/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
by Stefano Caprio

As war looms over Latin Easter and Orthodox Holy Week, the philosophers of the "rebirth of the Russian idea", like Florensky, Berdyaev and Bulgakov, come to mind; they contrasted the authenticity of the Church, which announces Christian redemption, to the false ideological truth of the intelligentsia.

| 08/04/2023
| RUSSIAN WORLD
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