Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

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TiM GW Bulletin 97-04

Apr. 26, 1997

A Special Report: Russia '97

Killing Russia Softly  

Russia, China - Chilling Down the One Worlders; Wailing Mom at the Duma; Plundering Russia; Lebed: enough Killing!; Russian "Miserables" and Mom's Broken Hearts; Visit to Sergeyev Posad



TiM Editor's Note Re. This Special Report

"Sugar and spice and everything nice?" Not in today's Russia. "Life is hard here," a relative newcomer to Moscow told your editor upon his arrival for a business speech in late March. Hard? That doesn't even begin to describe the suffering which the New World Order has inflicted upon the people of Russia. In this special report, you'll find out why... and may even cry - if you have a pure heart. Or you may get angry. Sorry. Bob Dj.

Russia, China: Chilling Down the "One Worlders"

This editorial also ran as a Djurdjevic column, "Blood and treasure for private interests?" Washington Times, May 4, 1997

Also check out "Partnership for Peace: New Drang Nach Osten" (April 1995)

rsd-stbasil.jpg (19454 bytes)MOSCOW - The Russian President, Boris Yeltsin, and the Chinese leader, Jiang Zemin, pledged in Moscow to seek a "multipolar world" that would challenge the One Worlders' concept of a single superpower.

"Some are pushing toward a world with one center," Yeltsin said after the signing of a joint declaration pledging to further develop mutual ties and maintain "strategic interaction." It was a clear reference to the United States. "We want the world to be multipolar, to have several focal points. These will form the basis for a new world order."

The global warming in Sino-Russian relations has sent chills down the spines of the Western "One World" architects. But Western analysts generally dismiss the significance of improved relations between the largest and the most populous country in the world. "Russia knows that in the long run, the kind of capital and technology its economy needs can come only from the West," a Western European diplomat told the Wall Street Journal.

This could very well end up as wishful thinking; an ostrich-like reaction to the latest threat to the New World Order (NWO). After all, hasn't the West, meaning the NWO, showered China with its capital and technology?

During the first half of the 1990s, for example, China received $118 billion in investments from the Western multinationals. At the same time, Russia got only $2.7 billion, according to the United Nations statistics.

Such a vast discrepancy in treatment of the two countries by the "international community" appears to be part of a deliberate anti-Russian policy by the NWO architects. The policy has three prongs.

On Russia's western frontier, the NWO is trying to build an iron-ring around Russia's European neck through the NATO expansion. The idea is modeled after the age-old "Drang Nach Osten" ("Push Toward the East") German ambitions, and is perfidiously disguised under a "Partnership for Peace" label.

At the same time, the NWO architects had counted on China to act as their proxy keeping Russia in check on her eastern frontier as the second prong of their anti-Russian policy. Which is why China got the Western money and the MFN (Most Favored Nation) status, despite its extensive human rights abuses, and its increasingly strident anti-American stance.

Meanwhile, Russia has been getting very little of the Western capital, despite the sweet talk by Western bankers and politicians. Then, isn't it logical Russia should try getting access to the NWO's money by trading with China? In fact, the short-sighted NWO attitudes practically pushed Russia and China into each other's arms.

The third prong of NWO's anti-Russian policy is its support for the Islamic nations along Russia's southern underbelly - not only, Turkey, a NATO member, but also a number of new Islamic "countries" which the NWO carved out of the former Soviet Union (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan etc.).

Kazakstan, for example, received more Western investments in the 1990s ($1.5 billion) than did the (predominantly Orthodox Christian) nations of Belarus, Ukraine, Rumania and Bulgaria - COMBINED! The Chechnyan war was another example of how the NWO used Islamic nationalists as its proxy in destabilizing and weakening the Orthodox Christian societies, while plundering their resources.

Now that the NWO's Russia policy is starting to backfire, the instinctive approach by the Western analysts is to play ostrich, as they did in Saddam Hussein's case, for example. Let us not forget that the Western leaders of the 1980s (read George Bush, Margaret Thatcher, etc.) also tried at first to appease the Iraqi dictator, much like the current NWO leaders are doing with Chinese communist dictators. And as the Western European "democracies" did with Hitler in the 1930s. Now, we all know what followed such policies in each of the above cases - war, of course. And enormous losses of human lives on both sides of the conflicts which were not only preventable, but staged to protect the PRIVATE INTERESTS OF THE NWO ELITES!

Debunking NWO Myths: Communism Was Imported from the West

But one has to first set the (historical) record straight before understanding why the anti-Russian policies were devised in the West. It all started more than two centuries ago... Unknowingly, perhaps, the Russians may be suffering today because of their former monarch's sympathies for George Washington and the American revolutionaries...

Did you know that? The carefully (re)written history programs in the NWO [American] schools which this writer's children attended did NOT teach them that part of OUR [American] history!

Students of history will also note that, "Peter the Great" (as the Western historians have fondly dubbed him) was, in fact, merely Peter I. He was not "Great," anymore than Mikhail Gorbachev was "Great." As an (American) Orthodox Christian priest once told me, "Peter I opened Russia's window to the West, but forgot to put up a screen."

For, everything BAD that has happened to Russia in the last two centuries has come from the West - as an apparent revenge for Catherine the Great's support of the American revolutionaries. Thus, the Russian Czars attracted the wrath of the British royalty and the London bankers who bemoaned the loss of a rich colony (America - now regained under the auspices of the NWO).

In light of the above, let's consider, for example, how the NWO also brainwashed the (predominantly Christian) America into believing that the (predominantly Christian) Russia was supposedly our main foe. After some eight decades of the "NWO speak" in the Western media, the terms "Soviet" and "Russian" are being used interchangeably as if they were synonyms. They are not. More like oxymorons.

From its outset in 1917, to its death in 1991, the "Soviet" system has been inherently "anti-Russian!" Tens of millions of Russian victims of the Soviets, along with thousands of destroyed or desecrated Orthodox Christian churches, are a tragic reminder of this.

Communism was one of the early 20th century Western imports into Russia (Lenin came to Russia fromlenin.gif (5160 bytes) Switzerland via Germany, which helped fund his communist revolution at the height of WW I). Germany's purpose was to destroy this deeply religious Orthodox Christian nation from within, while Russia's best and the brightest were on the front.

Consider a document which surfaced from the Soviet archives - a secret letter from Lenin dated March 19, 1922, which instructs the Soviet Politburo to plunder the property of the Russian Orthodox church in Shuya (a town about 150 miles northeast of Moscow), and then murder its Orthodox clergy:

"The greater the number of representatives of the reactionary clergy and the reactionary bourgeoisie that we succeed in shooting on this occasion, the better," Lenin writes. "Because this 'audience' must precisely now be taught a lesson in such a way that they will not dare to think about any resistance whatsoever for several decades."

Furthermore, Lenin instructs his Politburo that, "a (show) trial of the insurrectionists from Shuya (should be staged) for (their) opposing aid to the starving, (and that it) should be carried out in utmost haste and should end not other than with the shooting of the very largest number of the most influential and dangerous of the Black Hundreds in Shuya. And, if possible, not only in this city but even in Moscow and several other ecclesiastical centers."

Note Lenin's emphasis on eradication of (Christian) "ecclesiastical centers." So much for the "Russian Revolution" being Russian! To equate the terms "Soviet" and "Russian" is to repeat the NWO's anti-Russian propaganda.

But this is not just a propaganda war the NWO is waging against Russia. Now that the NWO has gained the upper hand again in its former colony (America), we are witnessing a massive ($350 billion and counting) plunder of Russian property by the Western bankers, assisted by their Russian quislings (Messrs. Yeltsin, Chubais, Nemtsov, etc.).

Quo Vadis, Globe?

Meanwhile, the realization that the NWO elites' similar Machiavellian schemes in the past have not only damaged America's national interests; not only caused incredible human suffering world-over (75 million dead in this century alone, according to Gen. Alexander Lebed); but have done all of that in pursuit of PRIVATE FINANCIAL interests of a handful of plutocrats, should send chills down the spines of most ordinary citizens of the world.

It was one thing to mount a massive Gulf War effort against a small country (Iraq). It will be quite another to contemplate something like that against a Sino-Russian alliance. The New World Order may quickly turn into a New World Inferno.

As the late President Richard Nixon said, when he chided George Bush in February 1992 for being too slow to help funnel new investments into Russia, the only sensible policy by (the predominantly Christian) America is to treat (the predominantly Christian) Russia as our friend. Unless, of course, our policy is being shaped by non-Christians, who would not mind seeing the Western and Eastern Christians mass-destruct each other again, as has already happened twice in this century alone.

Fortunately, it is still not too late to stop this madness. Freedom-loving Americans and patriots from other democratic nations around the world, must press the politicians to ensure that the "Partnership for Peace" indeed means a partnership for peace with our Christian compatriots, not a cloak for a new "Drang Nach Osten." We must stop the NATO expansion; ease up on our coddling up to autocratic Islamic regimes; treat China as our foe, not a friend.

But first of all, we must reclaim from the NWO schemers what is rightfully ours - our Constitution, our sovereignty; our morality and yes, our lost freedom, too, soaked in the blood of the American revolutionaries. For, if we don't, our children may not only grow up as slaves in NWO colonies, but may be sent again to fight and die senselessly - as their parents did in Vietnam and other distant lands drenched with American blood. r


Wailing Mom at the Duma

MOSCOW - As I was about to leave the Russian Duma (parliament) building, following some meetings with the Russian opposition leaders, one could heard a woman crying very loudly right at the security stations (but on the street side). She shouted something in between her sobs and wails, and despairingly hit her head on the counter between the two X-ray security machines. Then she suddenly started screaming uncontrollably from the top of her lungs.

Everybody around her seemed uncomfortable, but nobody was doing something about it. As my interpreter and I made our way our past her, I asked him what this was all about.

"She was saying that her son has been a Chechen prisoner for six years, and she wanted someone at the Duma to help her win his freedom," he explained.

"But the war in Chechnya had not begun six years ago," a rational part of me replied.

"True. The actual war had lasted only three years. But there was sporadic violence in Chechnya even before that," my interpreter said.

Next to seeing the poor little old "babushkas," or the war veterans with missing limbs, begging all over Moscow, especially around the Metro (subway) stations, the wailing of this Russian mother was the most devastating thing I had witnessed during my \ visit to the Russian capital. It presented a ground floor view of the tragedy which Boris Yeltsin's Russia, now a mere NWO colony, had brought upon its people.

Plundering Russia

MOSCOW - Another dimension of the Western plunder of Russia was provided by Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of Russia's Liberal Democratic Party, typically described by the NWO's Western media as being "ultra-nationalist." He said that about $400 billion had been transferred from Russia into Western banks by the various individuals in or close to the Yeltsin government. The money was mostly a result of the sale of Russian property at rock bottom prices under the guise of reform and privatization.

Zhirinovsky cited one example (in Grusia), where some Russians and their foreign investment partners were able to buy an entire factory for about $200,000.

"Just imagine - being able to buy a factory for a price of (a luxury) car." Zhirinovsky thundered. "What a rip-off!"

Ed. "If only Zhirinovsky knew how the NWO is ripping off America," I thought but did not say anything out loud.. Check out the "Wall Street's Moral Corruption" column - in the next (97-05) TIM GW report. r


Killing Russia Softly

MOSCOW - Forget the nukes! The New World Order is killing the Russians softly - to borrow a phrase from a popular 1960s song. As a result, the Russian "quisling," Boris Yeltsin, may be remembered by his own people as deadlier than even Josef Stalin.

The life expectancy of an average Russian male has dropped from 65 to 57.7 years between 1987 and 1995, according to the latest World Health Organization data (see TIM GW 97-03). And the Russian women can "look forward" to a life span shorted by three years (from 74 years under the Soviets, to 71 years under the NWO regime). That's one measure of "progress" which the West has brought to this country.

Another example of "progress" can be seen in a report by the Russian Health Ministry, which said on 24 March that about 65 people in every 100,000 are suffering from tuberculosis, a 10% increase in comparison with last year, ITAR-TASS reported. The number of deaths from tuberculosis has risen by almost 90% over the past five years. TB rates are particularly high in Tyva and the Koryak Autonomous Okrug (three times the national average) and in Buryatiya, Dagestan, North Ossetiya, the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, and Kurgan Oblast (almost twice the national average).

Those most at risk from the disease include prisoners, migrants, "shuttle-traders," and the homeless. TB rates in prisons and penal colonies are more than 40 times the national average. r


Russian "Miserables"

MOSCOW - An Associated Press story, filed from Moscow on Apr. 20, reported about an even greater tragedy of Russia's "progress" in its westernization - one million or more of abandoned, homeless Russian children - scrounging for every ounce of their existence.

"When the authorities picked up Oleg and Sergey," the AP reported today, "the youngsters were sleeping in telephone booths with cardboard boxes for mattresses. Wild-eyed and filthy, as snapshots taken by social workers show, the brothers wandered the desolate streets of Moscow looking for handouts. They weren't alone.

Thousands of children, abandoned or neglected, have been left to fend for themselves in a country where the changes of the past decade (imposed by the Western bankers/politicians - ed. Bob Dj.) have plunged millions into poverty."

The Moscow Human Rights Research Center estimates one million children are homeless in Russia, although the problem is so new that the figure is little more than a guess. Often they are the children of the unpaid or unemployed, driven into the streets by unbearable conditions at home - cruelty, heavy drinking or neglect by their parents.

Oleg, an impish boy with big ears and a crazy laugh, seemed like any other child as he assembled a model helicopter at his shelter. But his intense look hinted at a troubled past he wouldn't discuss. After Oleg and Sergey's father died, the shelter director Koulyanov explained, their mother became an alcoholic and took to the streets.

Months later, Oleg, 8, and Sergey, 9, live in a crowded but cheerful shelter where children are introduced to such social niceties as hygiene and table manners and share hugs with a director they call Papa.

But some experts worry it's getting too late to save what they fear may be a lost generation of abandoned children. A new subculture is taking root in Russia's biggest cities - children who have slipped through the cracks at a time of social upheaval and become homeless, beggars, glue-sniffers, con artists, even prostitutes.

Ed. In other words, "Les Miserables" of the New World Order on a scale which may have even amazed the "Oliver Twist's" creator, Charles Dickens. In case you're not heart-broken already, consider the fate of the four-year old Irina and her Mom - also cited in the AP story:

"... Meanwhile, many children are struggling to cope with an even worse alternative - the street. Four-year-old Irina Skornyakova has spent most of her life sleeping in Moscow train stations. Her homeless mother, Valya, on a recent visit to the Red Cross to have her daughter deloused, admitted prospects for the child are bleak.

Wearing a grungy parka and a black wool cap, she hung her head as a worker scolded her for Irina's miserable upbringing. ''We live terribly,'' she said sadly. "It's no way for children to live."

Ed. It sure isn't. The people who have caused this kind of suffering of the children in any nation in the world, ought to be 'deloused' publicly themselves, at the very least.

Now, let's see... where do we start looking for them? In New York? In London? In Paris? And of course, in Washington, Disease?

So the next time we see President Klinton posing with healthy-looking American children in a photo-op, think of Sergey... and of Oleg... and of little Irina... and of the millions of the little "Les Miserables" which Klinton and his NWO sponsors have helped create while touting the virtues 'democratization' (read a Western plunder) of Russia.

'It's no way for the children to live' Mr. Klinton, as poor Mrs. Skornyakova said apologetically when being scolded for being poor.) r


Public Trust in Yeltsin Drops

MOSCOW - Surprise, surprise (in light of the reports like the above one), but Boris Yeltsin's approval rating was down to only 7% of the Russians polled, according to a Dow Jones wire service report of April 9. And get this absurdity of the alleged 'democracy' in Russia: Its top 'elected' official garners only a 7% approval rating LESS THAN A YEAR after being "re-elected!?" This brings memories of Comrade Gorbachev's being "in vogue" in the West in the 1980s, while being hated by his countrymen. And of the alleged electoral fraud in our country (U.S.), too.

Meanwhile, General Alexander Lebed and the newly appointed deputy prime minister, Nemtsov (the former Nyizhnyi Novgorod governor), were at the top of the Russia's polls at 19% each. The Communist Party leader, Zhyganov, was third with a 15% approval rating. The liberal leader, Grigory Yavlinski, was fourth, garnering support of 14% of those polled. He was followed by the Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov at 10%, and the prime minister Viktor Chernomyrdin at 9%. They were all trailed, of course, by Yeltsin - at 7% of popular support.

The poll was conducted with 2,400 Russians between March 14 and April 2. We'll spare you the usual "margin of error" disclaimer.

Ed. Now, just imagine a U.S. President running the country while being the low man on the totem poll, behind at least six more popular politicians. Impossible? Now imagine Bill Clinton as President... Too close to home for comfort, huh? r


Enough Killing!

MOSCOW - Boris Notkin may not be (yet) a Ted Koppel of Russian television, but his program, "Boris Notkin Invites...", does invite a lot of followers. Here are some excerpts from his interview with Gen. Alexander Lebed, which was aired on Moscow's MTK TV on April 8:

NOTKIN: "...Good evening, dear viewers. In the studio we have a man who needs no introduction -- Aleksandr Ivanovich Lebed. How does it feel, Aleksandr Ivanovich, when you open a newspaper with democratic leanings and you are portrayed there as a future dictator, and then, when you open a newspaper with communist-patriotic leanings, you are accused of bringing Yeltsin to power?"

LEBED: "This does not worry me. The people will understand. Our people are intelligent..."

Later on, Lebed adds: "I have had a very good training, from my childhood on. I modelled myself greatly on my parents. They fought in the war honestly and worked honestly all their lives, and they have now earned themselves pensions that are lower than the subsistence minimum."

Ed. "They fought in the war honestly and worked honestly all their lives, and they have now earned themselves pensions that are lower than the subsistence minimum!"

THIS SENTENCE IS THE EPITOMY OF TODAY'S RUSSIA, being bled dry by the NWO - based on this writer's recent visit there. Which is exactly how the Vietnam war veterans felt about the way our country (read the NWO elites) had treated them - worthy of the long black slab of a marble wall, but not much else.

NOTKIN: " What about the fears of democrats, that you will turn into a fully-fledged dictator? I know that you are not likely to say: Sure, I will be a real dictator! Nevertheless, do you regard these fears as completely groundless?"

LEBED: "...Everyone knows history well. People know that 75,000,000 lives were lost this century. We have exhausted all our limits. We have had revolutions, battles, wars, conflicts, enough for the whole of this and the next century. There has been enough bloodshed. We simply will not survive yet another conflict this century."

NOTKIN: "That is to say, you will not resort to the use of force?"

LEBED: "Why? I recognize one dictatorship only -- the dictatorship of the law." [...]

NOTKIN: "All that is form (posturing), but we are talking about causes. The causes are to do with the observance of the law [brief break in transmission], and the restoration of constitutional order there."

LEBED: "No. You cannot restore the constitutional order by anti-constitutional means. These two are simply incompatible." [...]

Ed. Is anyone in Washington, Disease, listening? Or for that matter in Moscow? What was Yeltsin's shooting up of the Russian parliamentary democrats in October 1993, which Klinton supported instantly, but a "restoring (of) constitutional order by anti-constitutional means?"

NOTKIN: "So, when we say that Yeltsin approved the original draft (of the Russia-Belarus eventual reunification agreement), what is our source here?"

LEBED: "But that is in the rules: Paragraph one -- the president is always right; paragraph two -- if the president is not right, read paragraph one. These rules apply to Ryurikov (a Yeltsin government negotiator). If there are no guilty persons, they will be appointed. And so it was done."

Ed. Fellow-Americans - sound familiar?

NOTKIN (in reference to Afghanistan and Chechnya): "But, all the same, there is this approach that the enemy, if one is there, is there to be destroyed."

LEBED: "This madness must stop. All the wars I was unfortunate enough to have been obliged to take part in were pure madness. They were not needed and solved nothing; they were a perfectly senseless mincing-machine. It was there that I realized that none of this could serve as a method. That is why I set about killing wars themselves. Yes, I acknowledge one dictatorship, the dictatorship of the law." [...]

LEBED: "... We have already passed this opportunity by. Our hopes are all but dead. There is no trust left. And against this background it is futile trying it any further. The (Yeltsin) government will hold on for a little while longer and collapse, just like they collapsed in 1991. The time for sacrifices is over." [...]

LEBED: "... nothing has changed in our country. The old party nomenklatura, a third-rate at that, remains in power. It maintains its old mentality and the old ways of governing the country. Only the signboard has changed. They discarded the Communism is Our Luminous Future slogan and replaced it with Democracy is Our Luminous Future. And this luminous future is like a line on the horizon -- you never reach it, no matter how long you march."

Ed. Fellow-Americans, once again - sound familiar? That "Luminous Future;" that "line on the horizon" which we will never reach - isn't that the stuff today's New World Order is made of? (read - the "New Old World Order;" oxymorons - such as the "New Old" - are a part of it!). Isn't it the elusive "line on the horizon" which the "Bolsheviks" had also promised, before delivering misery, suffering and death to the gullible masses who marched with them? r

THE (London) TIMES

Prostitutes Stick Out Their Chests Out For Russia: No Sex for NATO!

MOSCOW - The prostitutes in the Russian-majority Crimea region of Ukraine are doing what President Boris Yeltsin should be, but isn't: They are sticking their chests out for Mother Russia! The members of the world's oldest profession have declared that they will withhold their services from NATO sailors coming in to take part in the "Sea Breeze" exercises off the coast of Crimea this summer, the London Times reported on Apr. 24.

"Let them obtain services from the wives of the officers who let NATO ships into the Black Sea," the Sevastopol newspaper, Krymskoye Vremya, quoted one of the vice girls as saying. "We, for our part, will shower the uninvited guests with tomatoes and rotten eggs."

The prostitutes, were taking part in a rally in the port of Sevastopol to mark Russia Day, the commemoration of Catherine the Great's incorporation of Crimea into Russia in the 18th century.

Russia has rejected an invitation to join NATO and Ukraine in the military exercises, which Moscow views as a provocation in the light of the still unresolved dispute with Ukraine over the division of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet. The issue has been a stumbling block in Russian-Ukrainian relations since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991. r


Russian Moms' Broken Hearts

MOSCOW - People who read the Western press ought to be aware by now of the terrible state of disrepair and financial hardships which the NWO has inflicted upon the Russian military, through the domestic quislings in the Yeltsin administration. But few of us in the West ever get to find out the human toll of this inhumane policy. Here is an excerpt from a story titled, "Dishonorable Service," published by the Moscow Times, on April 12, 1997. The above photo is from the same story.

"When Nikolai Izusin came home for the last time, he arrived in a zinc box lined with wood. In his village ofRus-mom.gif (185177 bytes) Yermish, we come to a snowy graveyard pierced with shafts of light to mourn with his mother, Lyubov Izusina. She hurries the last steps to embrace the cold rock, which is all that she now has left of her first son. Lyubov rests a cheek against the stone, feeling the chill seeping her skin, a chill that never relents to her maternal disbelief, her sense that he is not gone and will come back. With gentle fingers she caresses the photograph and the carved letters of his name on the gravestone.

Nikolai Izusin died at 19, a conscript soldier far from home, a boy whose name will never appear on any military roll of honor. His broken body suggests he was beaten and killed, not by any enemy, but by soldiers in his own unit. This is a death the Russian military wants to forget.

Dimitry Kaloshin was also a conscript soldier who died at 19. He was the only son of Galina Kaloshina, now left entirely alone in the world (see her photo). After a history of army beatings, he was found dead at the foot of a nine-story building just two months before his military service was due to end.

And Valentin Semyonov, also 19, hovered for seven weeks between life and death, lying unconscious in an intensive care ward in a military hospital in northern Russia. A boy who weighed 65 kilograms when he was drafted, he was a skeletal figure-30 kilograms lighter-when he was hospitalized in February. The military initially said that his broken skull, jaw and ribs were caused when he "fell from a high place."

The war in Chechnya is over, but coffins bearing dead sons continue to arrive home. Many parents, like those of Nikolai, Dmitry and Valentin, believe their sons were victims of "dedovshchina," or hazing. Harassment of soldiers lower down the hierarchy takes place among troops around the world, but in Russia, the number of deaths and injuries among soldiers - many which appear to be from hazing - are alarmingly high.

Military prosecutors investigated about 5,000 cases of deaths and injuries among their troops in 1996, according to the Military Prosecutor’s Office. Of these, 4,000 cases went to court and 200 officers were charged. The 2,117 soldiers who died in 1996, the prosecutors concluded that 1,071 were murdered, 1, 046 died by accident and 543 committed suicide. Nail Salikhovsky of the Soldiers’ Mothers Committee estimates that the number of beatings has doubled since the end of the war in Chechnya. He quotes a source in the Military Prosecutor’s Office as saying that 70 percent of the deaths are due to violence and beatings, and 30 percent are suicides.

The fear of dedovshchina is so widespread that, along with the possibility of going to war, it is a major reason for draft-dodging. Last week, President Boris Yeltsin ordered the conscription of 200,000 recruits for the spring draft, but the vast majority of those called are not expected to show up.

Poorly financed and demoralized by the war in Chechnya, the 2.5 million-member armed forces these days command little public respect. Politicians are discussing military reform, including the creation of a professional armed forces, but there has been little concrete progress. Meanwhile, the minority who do end up in the service are often the poor and uneducated and those ignorant of their rights. Their frustration and stress only exacerbate the phenomenon of dedovshchina.

The coffin bearing Nikolai Izusin came home last May with instructions not to open and look inside. But Nikolai’s parents were determined to know the truth. With a dozen friends and relatives gathered in the sunny front room of their old wooden cottage, the boy’s father, Sergey Izusin, cut through the zinc casing, pulled out the wooden coffin covered in white cloth, and looked inside. It was an hour before the burial.

"He was in uniform. His skull was broken in two places. There was a big bruise under his left eye. His cheek was cut with something sharp. When babushka was putting a cross on his neck, we unbuttoned his uniform and found a brace of plaster around his chest, because his ribs were broken," says Sergey Izusin.

"He looked like a skeleton, he was so thin," says Lyubov Izusin. "They said they’d hanged himself with a soldier’s belt. But when I approached the coffin, there was no trace of a hanging on his neck."

Their village of Yermish, 440 kilometers southeast of Moscow, seems to live in another era, where time moves slowly and horses stand in the streets hitched to their sleds.

"It’s an awful thing in life to bury your child," says Lyubov Izusina. She keeps the room of Nikolai as his shrine. Above his desk is a photograph, with a black ribbon across one corner. At the side are the music cassettes he played as he lay down to sleep and put on as soon as he woke up. The June 6, 1995 letter drafting him is pasted on the wall.

After the Izusins received the telegram informing them of Nikolai’s "suicide", they telephoned their son’s chief commander in the Karelia border forces. "He said that there was not even one scratch on the body. He said there were no beatings. He told me not to open the coffin when we got it because the body would have decomposed," said Sergey Izusin.

Two months later, the Izusins met the regional military prosecutor and told him their concerns about the signs of violence they had found on the body of their son. But he did not accept their evidence that there had been violence. The case was closed with a suicide finding. The Izusins were not given access to medical documents or to the case file, which was transferred to the military archives.

"I want to know the truth. I want to know what happened. And I want justice, too, " says Lyubov Izusina." [...]

Ed. Would any American Mom want anything less? Now think about how the Moms of our Vietnamese POW MIA's feel, whom the likes of Clinton, McCain and others have sold out for the right of IBM's or Pepsi's of this world to hang up their ad posters in Saigon (pardon me... the Ho Chi Minh City). Not the same, you say? If that's how you feel - ask them (not IBM or Pepsi!). To a Mom - Russian, American, Serbian, Vietnamese, German, or Chinese - a lost son is a lost son. No "ersatz"-kids will do. r


A Visit to Sergeyev Posad

MOSCOW - It took a one-and-a-half-hour ride on wooden benches of an unheated train on the fourth day of a surprise blizzard which hit Russia this week to reach Sergeyev Posad (formerly Zagorsk in Soviet days). But it was worth the effort to visit the holy site some 70 km north of Moscow, even on this snowy and blustery first day of "spring." For, the site of this ancient monastery is the heart of the Russian Orthodoxy, according to those in the know around here. And it had been the seat of the Russian Patriarch prior to 1988, when he moved to Moscow.

The church was founded here in the 14th century by a monk called Sergey, whose moral strength united the Russiansrsdposad.jpg (58417 bytes) in an effort to drive out the invading Mongol Tatars. Legend has it that when Sergey died, his body did not corrupt as is the case with normal humans. Today, the remains of St. Sergey are in a huge silver tomb inside one of the many churches at Sergeyev Posad.

As one enters this dimly lit church full of icons, one can feel a special atmosphere. Not just by observing the deeply religious Russians, young and old, cross themselves, kneel and bow three times in front of St. Sergey's tomb before kissing it in three places. Nor because the priest's prayers, occasionally accompanied by mournful female chants, added a sound effect to this moving visual imagery. Nor because of the incense, always present in Orthodox churches. But because one could feel an unmistakable aura of holiness about this place.

It is this aspect of the Orthodox Christianity - the unwavering faith - which seems to have bothered the Soviet communists the most. Not only did they destroy many beautiful Russian churches, but they also set out to "educate" the ignorant peasant, according to a Greek Orthodox priest's Easter sermon.

Stalin, for example, ordered that autopsies be performed on the bodies of some Russian saints, so as to disprove the sanctity of the Orthodox saints' relics (such as St. Sergey's). When these God's miracles turned out to have been real - to the great embarrassment of the materialistically-minded communist authorities, Stalin then ordered the remains CREMATED, the priest said. And he sent out squads of party commissars to re-educate the people.

In one remote Russian village, the Soviet commissars, backed by the "best and the brightest" scientists from Moscow, gave a three-hour lecture on this topic. At the end of the meeting, the chair asked the villagers if anyone had any questions for the esteemed scientists.

After a pregnant pause, an old man got up.

"You, back there," the chair recognized him, and then continued sarcastically. "Old man, what have you to say to our distinguished scholars that they have not heard before?"

"Hristos voskrese!" ("Christ is risen!") was all the old man said.

"Vaistinu voskrese!" ("Indeed He is risen!") thundered back the rest of the villagers.

The commissars packed their bags, and left in a huff.

For anyone interested in ancient Russian culture, history and religion, a visit to Sergeyev Posad is a must. r

Also check out "Leaving St. Petersburg" (A Travel Vignette)

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