As for the lion whom you saw rousing up out of the forest and roaring and speaking to the eagle and reproving him for his unrighteousness and all his words that you have heard, this is the Anointed One, Whom the Most High has kept until the end of the days against them and their impieties…He will denounce them for their ungodliness and their wickedness and will cast up before them their contemptuous dealings…He will deliver in mercy the remnant of My people, those who have been preserved within My borders, and He will make them joyful until the end comes, the Day of Judgement…
(3 Esdras 12, 31-32 and 34 – the last book of the Russian Orthodox Old Testament; in the Protestant RSV this appears as 2 Esdras 12, 31-32 and 34)
A week-long visit to the Ukraine has confirmed the impression in me that the average Ukrainian is morose, fed up with his lot, especially with the broken promises of a generation of politicians. Nothing has been done in the Ukraine since the fall of the Soviet Union: roads are of Third World standards, they flood when it rains because of poor drainage, buildings, shoddy even when new under the old Soviet regime, are falling down, infrastructure is decaying. Anything of value was long ago sold off by bandit-oligarchs.
There is no freedom of speech – speak in public against the government and you will go to prison, and the media are dominated by the crudest government propaganda. African-style nationalism is rife. The Kiev junta, which represents less than a quarter of the country, advertises a credit card in the national colours and printed ‘Glory to the Ukraine’, but where is the glory? Amidst the endemic corruption of the 100 Ukrainian oligarchs who own the ruined and bankrupt country, the mentality is hopelessly provincial, primitive.
Where is the glory? A salary of $200 a month is a dream. Understandably, the local population dreams of the EU. Everywhere there are slogans: Eurovalues, Eurostyle, Eurorepairs, Eurostandards. They dream of a country where corrupt oligarchs languish in prison, where the State is honest, where roads and pavements exist, where the infrastructure works, where there is a future. In reality, the EU does not even want the Ukraine. In any case, the EU is a myth, but then the grass has always been greener on the other side.
In reality, the EU is the most corrupt organization in the world: 100 billion euros disappears yearly and its accounts have never been audited. Ukrainians dream of the EU myth, just as once they dreamed of ‘the bright future’ promised them by Communism, not least by the Ukrainian Communist leader, Khruschov, an ignorant provincial peasant and a brutal persecutor of the Church. In history all manner of bandits have fraudulently promised utopia and given dystopia: the CIA-appointed junta in Kiev is just another one.
In Odessa men sell themselves to foreign companies, hopefully they can work as sailors on the container ships and tankers of foreign companies, not least the Chinese. Young women sell their bodies to Western men, either on the streets or else through dating agencies. Go abroad: Who wants to have and bring up children in such a country? Even by any objective standards, the only beauty in the Ukraine today is in the Church, which, as it is beautiful, is persecuted by the nationalistic junta-supported sects and schisms, which promote ugliness.
Today, with the Ukrainian birth-rate collapsed, where is the glory of this gloryless land? We are reminded of the ever-memorable Fr John Romanides ‘Wyoming syndrome’ parallel. He said: ‘Try to imagine that everything in the USA has disappeared except Wyoming; this is what modern Greece has been since the fall of Constantinople – a provincial fragment of a once great empire. And this is what the modern Ukraine is: a fragment left over from a once great empire. What was that empire and how was its destruction organized?
The Empire was the multinational Christian Empire of Holy Rus and its destruction has been planned by the enemies of Christ over a century, in three different phases:
1. In 1914 there began the first phase in their operation to destroy the Christian Empire of Holy Rus, the Russian Empire, replacing it in 1917 with a militant atheist ideology developed in Western Europe. Three generations passed.
2. In 1991 there began the second phase, for it was to dismantle the successor Empire, the Soviet Union, which contained the Russian Empire’s cultural heritage, reducing it to oligarch corruption, dependence and poverty. One generation passed.
3. In 2014 there began the third phase, as it marked the beginning of the occupation of one of the countries that belongs to the former Christian Empire of Holy Rus, the Ukraine.
The coming months may mark either the End of that Empire or else its Restoration, when on the world stage the Lion will reprove the Eagle. On page 16 of the book ‘Elder Schema-Archimandrite Jonah of Odessa’ (1925-2012), recounting the life of the clairvoyant healer and prophet, we find the Odessa Elder’s words written:
‘We ask all Russians to pray that an Orthodox Tsar be granted us. If there is a Tsar in Russia, then he will be God’s Anointed. The grace of God will be upon him and then there will be a great help for Russia’.
May Thy Will be done, O Lord!