Today, Saturday 3 November, the eve of Russia’s Day of National Unity, the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kyrill has urged Russians to keep faith with their own traditions. He cautioned that recipes for so-called ‘modernisation’ (1) and other Western meddling (2) could result in political turmoil.
In a clear warning to the present Putin Government, under which post-Communist corruption has multiplied, Patriarch Kyrill said that blindly following Western models and forgetting the country’s Christian roots could lead to a new ‘Time of Troubles’. This refers to the 400th anniversary of Russia’s liberation from Polish intervention in 1612, the ‘Time of Troubles’, a crisis ended only with the establishment of the Romanov dynasty in 1613.
‘We should first and foremost take care not to allow a ‘Time of Trouble’ in the mind, in the head, because today there are people who, like Moscow’s oligarchs, offer unacceptable recipes to modernise our life and improve living conditions for our people’, said the Patriarch, speaking on the weekly religious programme on the country’s most popular television channel.
The Patriarch did not name any names, but his message shows open hostility to the promotion of Western secular values by the present Government, as also opposed by all of Russia’s three largest Opposition parties (3). He added that Russians should learn from the country’s past and not make the same mistake twice by allowing foreigners to take control of Russia. After the Time of Troubles ended, he said, ‘Russia had a new lease of life, there was a huge, colossal development of national life, the economy, the government and the development of new lands’.
The Patriarch wants an end to the last twenty years of Westernisation that began under Yeltsin after the fall of Communism. This has only brought alcoholism, abortion, corruption, drug-taking, the end to free medical services, affordable accommodation and employment for all and what was probably the best educational system in the world – this latter the heritage of pre-Revolutionary Russia. The Patriarch, like many others, is looking beyond the tired Putin period. Russia can do better than Putin – by returning to Orthodox Christian values.
1. = Anti-Christianity.
2. As in Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Bahrein, Lybia and Syria.
3. It is notable that this comes on the same day that the British tabloid ‘The Daily Mail’ has reported what many suspected all along. This is that responsibility for the London murder of the Russian secret agent, Litvinenko, in November 2006 may lie with the billionaire, pro-Western oligarch Boris Berezovsky and the British Secret Services.