Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

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TiM GW Bulletin 2000/10-5

Oct. 14, 2000

A New World Order Legacy in Eastern Europe, Russia

At Least 50 Million Children in Eastern Europe Live in Poverty

Washington in Apoplexy over Russia’s Arms Sales to Iran; Impoverished Russia Struggles to Save Cultural Treasures; Russian Companies Eye Lucrative Yugoslav Contracts

FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONARUSSIAN AFFAIRS


HEADLINES

London                   1. An NWO Legacy: At Least 50 Million Children in

                                    Eastern Europe Live in Poverty

Moscow                  2. Over One-third of Russians Live in Poverty

Washington            3. Washington in Apoplexy over Russia’s Arms Sales to Iran

Washington            4. Bush Attacks Both Gore and Chernomyrdin on IMF Aid Theft

Moscow                  5. Impoverished Russia Struggles to Save Cultural Treasures

Moscow                  6. Russian Companies Eye Lucrative Yugoslav Contracts  

Atlanta                    7. Children’s Summit in Atlanta

Phoenix                   8. A Heartwarming “Christmas Story”

New York               9. Russia: NWO’s Death CampDec. 3, 2000

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1. An NWO Legacy: At Least 50 Million Children in Eastern Europe Live in Poverty

LONDON, Oct. 11 - At least 50 million children in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union live in poverty and are exposed to levels of tuberculosis usually associated with the Third World, a new report says. The report by the European Children's Trust, a non-governmental organization active in 10 Eastern European countries, urged the West to help by easing the region's debt burden, according to an Oct. 11 Associated Press report which was also carried by the New York Times in its Oct. 12 edition.

Titled “The Silent Crisis,” the report said poverty in the region has increased more than 10-fold over the last decade due to reductions in government spending on health, education and social programs.

“Since the breakup of the communist system, conditions have become much worse -- in some cases catastrophically so,” the report said. “In view of the extent of the economic collapse ... the term 'transition' seems a euphemism. 'Great Depression' might be a more appropriate term.”

“For all its many faults, the old system provided most people with a reasonable standard of living and a certain security,” the report said.

At least 50 million children in the region are living in “genuine poverty,” 40 million of them in the former Soviet Union, the report said.  Overall, over 160 million people - or 40 percent - of the region's population are thought to live in poverty.

As indicators of poverty, the report measured infant mortality, the proportion of the population not expected to live to age 60 and the number of tuberculosis cases.

It said the region's infant mortality - 26 per 1,000 births in 1998 -- is approaching rates in Latin America and the Caribbean, where infant mortality is 32 per 1,000. In the United States, infant mortality is 7.2 deaths per 1,000 live births.

Nearly a quarter of the region's population are not expected to reach the age of 60. That compared to 25.2 percent in Arab states and an average of 28 percent in developing countries. Russia is now on a par with India, with nearly 30 percent not expected to reach 60.

Rates of tuberculosis - a powerful measure of social deprivation -- were also much higher in eastern Europe, with an average 67.6 cases per 1,000 people in 1997. That compared to 49.6 percent in Arab states, 47.6 percent in Latin America and 35.1 percent in east Asia. For developing countries, the rate was 68.6 percent.

Tuberculosis rates ranged from about 20 per 1,000 in the Czech Republic and Slovenia, to 80 per 1,000 in Lithuania, Turkmenistan, Latvia and Russia, and 150 per 1,000 in Georgia.

Poverty figures ranged from less than 1 percent in Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, to 4 percent in Hungary, 20 percent in Poland, 50  percent in Russia to more than 60 percent in Turkmenistan, Ukraine,  Kazakhstan and Moldova, the report said, citing data from the U.N. Development Program.

The West, the report argued, could help by easing the region's debt burden, which it said amounted to almost half the region’s GDP.

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TiM Ed.: All of the above depressing statistics are a direct consequence of the IMF and/or World Bank demanded austerity measures under the “progressive” label of “reforms.”  They are, therefore, the legacy of the kind of “democracy” the New World Order has ushered into Eastern Europe.

During this writer’s September 1999 “Tour de Serbia,” the TiM editor kept pointing out similar statistics (as of 1999), and asking the Serb audiences:

“Is that the kind of "democracy" the Serbian people want? Well, it's the kind you can expect if the pro-western NWO vassals ascend to power. Milosevic sold out Kosovo. These guys will sell out all of Serbia. As they have already sold out Montenegro long ago. Of course, they'll never tell you that. Not anymore than Boris Yeltsin told the Russian people the truth.”

Well, one year later, these pro-western NWO vassals did ascend to power.  And now, thanks to the statistics just released in London by the European Children’s Trust, the Serb people can see what kind of “prosperity” awaits them in the NWO “democracy” - the kind that they’ve already experienced under the sanctions, of course.

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2. Over One-third of Russians Live in Poverty

MOSCOW, Oct. 13 - As if the above European Children’s Trust report weren’t depressing enough, it was followed by another gloomy disclosure in Moscow by the Russian minister of Labor and Social Development, Aleksandr Pochinok.  The minister told the State Duma (Russian parliament) that over one-third (36.7%) of the Russians have incomes below living wage, the Russian news agency RIA reported on Oct. 13.

At present the monthly minimum wage in Russia is fixed at R132 (just over $4), he said. It will be raised to R200 from January 1, 2001, and to R300 from June 1, 2001.  The government plans to increase public sector wages 4.2-fold within the next 10 years.

The average pension in Russia increased by 39 per cent in 2000, Pochinok said. The government plans to increase it again by 30 per cent in the next year. The task is that the average pension make 140 per cent of living wage, he said.

Pochinok said that about 200 groups of citizens, or 103 million people, are entitled to various social benefits. "The law obliges us to help these people but we cannot do this due to the lack of finance," he said. He reminded the State Duma that R70 billion in the year-2001 federal budget are allocated to paying benefits to disabled people and families having children.

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TiM Ed.: Russian people may be applauding these moves by the Vladimir Putin government, but the IMF and the World Bank bankers are probably frowning at the news.  After all, this is diametrically opposed to the usual economic medicine they prescribe before providing the international funds to a country.

Have the high oil prices stiffened Moscow’s back, or has the Russian government just given up on trying to please the West, and is starting to mind its own business, first and foremost? 

Time will tell, but if you read the next story, chances are you may conclude it’s the latter.

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3. Washington in Apoplexy over Russia’s Arms Sales to Iran

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 - Washington officials seem to be in apoplexy over Russia’s alleged breach of a secret June 1995 agreement that the best pals of the Yeltsin era had signed - Viktor Chernomyrdin, a Russian western quisling (then the prime minister) and Al Gore, the New York Times reported today in a front page story. 

Text Box:  
Best pals: Chernomyrdin and Gore at a March 1998 news conference
The agreement called for an end to all Russian sales of conventional weapons to Iran by the end of 1999.  But the deadline passed with no sign of a halt to such sales, despite repeated complaints late last year and this year to senior Russian officials by Gore, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott. Moscow continues to be a significant supplier of conventional arms to Tehran despite the Gore-Chernomyrdin deal, the Central Intelligence Agency reported in August.

So Putin’s Russia may be starting to mind its own business.  But the first thing that struck this author upon reading the headline was, “if this was a secret deal, what’s it doing on the front page of the New York Times?”

Well, judging by the number of high-level U.S. government sources quoted in the story, this was obviously an inside leak job.  Which goes to show us not only the level of their anxiety over Russia and Iran, but also the dirty games rival governments play, and the breaches of trust they engage in, during the course of their global power plays.

Text Box:  Even the Republican Senator John McCain, who co-sponsored with Al Gore (then also a U.S. Senator) a 1992 law, the Iran-Iraq Arms Nonproliferation Act, known as Gore-McCain after its principal sponsors, said this month that he was unaware of the deal that Gore had struck with Chernomyrdin.  The Gore-Chernomyrdin agreement, which appears to violate that 1992 law, was codified in a document stamped "Secret" and signed in Moscow on June 30, 1995 (yet look at it now also on the Times pages!).

McCain said a "strong case can be made" that the Russian delivery of arms, especially the submarine, should have triggered sanctions against Moscow under the provisions of the Gore-McCain law.  "If the administration has acquiesced in the sale, then I believe they have violated both the intent and the letter of the law," he said.

But Gore's chief foreign policy adviser, Leon Fuerth, told the Times the deliveries were not subject to sanctions because they did not meet the 1992 act's definition of "advanced conventional weapons" and did not significantly change the balance of power in the Persian Gulf.  He added that Gore “brandished the threat as leverage to induce the Russians to sign the agreement, in part to learn more about what arms Moscow was sending to Tehran.”

Strengthening the lever was the submarine being supplied, the third of three Kilo-class subs that Russia sold to Iran. The sub was of particular concern to American policymakers because it can be hard to detect and could pose a threat to oil tankers or American warships in the gulf.

Gore and McCain specifically cited the submarine and its deadly long-range torpedoes as one reason the 1992 nonproliferation act was needed, according to the Congressional Research Service.

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TiM Ed. :Way to go Veep Gore!  Way to demonstrate to the nation how steady your presidency would be.  You violated even your own law!  In which case, what hope does the country have of you respecting other peoples’ laws?

For the rest of this Times story, check out - http://www.nytimes.com/2000/10/13/world/13RUSS.html

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4. Bush Attacks Both Gore and Chernomyrdin on IMF Aid Theft

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 - The Republican presidential candidate, George W. Bush, also turned the cozy Gore-Chernomyrdin relationship during the Wednesday debate into a political football.  He said that the aid money from the International Monetary Fund had lined the pockets of the former Russian prime minister (Chernomyrdin).

Bush named (Yeltsin’s) Russia as an "egregious" example of misspent aid. He said Viktor Chernomyrdin, the former Russian prime minister, had personally profited from I.M.F. lending. Some of the agency's money "ended up in Viktor Chernomyrdin's pocket," Bush said.

The barb was clearly aimed at Gore, who has had a prominent role in managing relations with Russia and reached numerous agreements with the longtime Yeltsin prime minister.

The I.M.F., which acknowledges failing to stabilize Russia's economy and currency in the 1990's, has repeatedly denied that aid money - at one point it had about $25 billion in outstanding loans to Russia - was siphoned off.

The Russian central bank hired the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P. last year to audit its I.M.F. loans. The auditors reported that the central bank had once lied about the size of its currency reserves and that it had stored some I.M.F. funds in offshore accounts. But it also asserted that all I.M.F. loans had been accounted for and that there was no evidence of theft.

Chernomyrdin issued a statement in Moscow today denying the accusations and threatening to sue Bush for slander. "I think Mr. Bush Jr. should be getting ready for a court hearing on the issue," Chernomyrdin said.

The Bush campaign said today that Mr. Bush stood by his statement, according to the Times. 

For the rest of the story, check out - http://www.nytimes.com/2000/10/13/world/13FUND.html.

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5. Impoverished Russia Struggles to Save Cultural Treasures

MOSCOW, Oct. 12 - In another sign of the harm western-style “reforms” have brought to Russia, this impoverished giant is struggling to save some of its cultural treasures.  Russia boasts 90,000 official architectural landmarks from every era in its history, and many are inn danger of being lost.   The World Monuments Fund named seven Russian sites in its latest list of the world's 100 most endangered landmarks, more than in any other country, according to today’s report in the New York Times. 

The Moscow Museum of Architecture, for example, housed in a 17th-century mansion, is falling apart. Deep cracks slice through its floors, ceilings and windows, and the subway trains that run beneath it rattle its sinking foundation, the Times reports from the Russian capital.

Tavit Sarkisian, the museum's director, wryly notes the incongruity of its dilapidated state, but he finds it unsurprising. His archives bulge with records of famous buildings in various stages of decay, including the Bolshoi Theater here and the Winter Palace of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.

The government's meager budget can offer little help, and its enormous bureaucracy can discourage preservation. The kind of wealthy sponsors who support culture in richer nations are scarce, and their donations often wind up in the pockets of corrupt officials, Sarkisian says.

Some landmarks have sought foreign help. Unesco, which handles United Nations cultural projects, is raising money for 12 sites in Russia, including the Bolshoi and the Hermitage. I.B.M. supports the Hermitage's Web site and the computer- guided tours through its vast collection, but a more costly project will involve shoring up the green and white Baroque palace that houses the museum; its floors are sinking.

Attracting aid for lesser-known landmarks is daunting. The World Monuments Fund cited the historic center of Rostov Veliky, a city in western Russia that dates from 862. "The medieval town presents a spectacular array of vernacular wooden houses and ecclesiastical domes," the group said, but "moisture has eaten away painted surfaces, ornamentation and entire foundations."

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6. Russian Companies Eye Lucrative Yugoslav Contracts

MOSCOW, Oct. 11 - While Russia’s cultural and historical sights are languishing due to neglect and lack of funds, Russian companies are wringing their hands with glee as they eye the lucrative Yugoslav market.  Now that the Russian government has tossed Serbia into Washington/EU hands, and the travel and oil sanctions have been lifted, Yugoslavia once again promises to become one of Eastern Europe’s most attractive business opportunities.

The preceding rosy pontification comes from Russia’s Economic Development and Trade Minister, German Gref, who was speaking on Tuesday (Oct. 10) in Moscow at a meeting on foreign investment.  He told reporters the Russian companies can expect lucrative contracts to help rebuild war-ravaged Yugoslavia, according to an Interfax story published by the Moscow Times on Oct. 11.

Monday's repeal of the export embargo on oil and oil products to Yugoslavia could mean a competitive advantage for Russia over other countries, the Times opined.  In August (i.e., well before the western sanctions were lifted!), the Russian government signed a free-trade agreement with Yugoslavia that stipulated a gradual five-year shift to a duty-free regime on oil, oil products and natural gas, a source in the Economic Development and Trade Ministry said Monday. Under the agreement, Yugoslavia would not apply an import duty, and the goods would be exported from Russia under general terms.

Not surprisingly, Russian oil companies reacted to the lifting of sanctions with optimism.  "A new market is opening, which is of great interest," the LUKoil press secretary Dmitry Dolgov told the Times.

The government hopes that the EU's next step will be to lift the ban on arms sales. Representatives of arms producers have already said that the Yugoslav market is particularly promising for Russia.

"If the government gives us the green light after the sanctions are lifted, then we will certainly begin work in this area, and Yugoslavia will become an important market for us," said a source in the Rosvooruzheniye arms company, who asked not to be named.

Russia is focused not only on trade with Yugoslavia, however, but also on helping to rejuvenate the country's shattered economy. The market for Yugoslavia’s reconstruction work alone is estimated to be worth at least $30 billion, according to the Times.

Russian gas deliveries to Yugoslavia on credit might also be considered.   According to sources in Gref's ministry, the natural gas monopoly, Gazprom, is already mulling the possibility of participating in the privatization of Yugoslavia's chemical and petrochemical enterprises.

However, few believe this is a realistic possibility. "I doubt the new leadership will be prepared to give up their key assets. Especially now, when the country is set to receive help from the European Union," said Dmitry Avdeyev, an analyst with United Financial Group.

The $2 billion the EU has earmarked for rebuilding would logically go to companies from EU member states. Though the Economic Development and Trade Ministry suggests that Russia may be used primarily for rebuilding the energy, chemical and transport sectors, officials say that even these contracts may be divvied up among the Europeans.

Russian companies participating in rebuilding work have so far achieved little. Russian Transstroi was supposed to get the contract to build a bridge over the Danube in Novi Sad, but this project is still up in the air, Transstroi officials told the Times.

In order to increase Russia's competitiveness, the government could create a banking group that "would provide soft credits to companies participating in the restructuring of Yugoslavia," the ministry source said.

Indeed, a government committee for rebuilding Yugoslavia was created in the summer of 1999, but it hasn't convened since last year. Since then, nothing has been heard of its work, said the head of public relations for the Interros group, Larisa Zelkova. Vladimir Potanin, president of Interros, is chairman of the committee.

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7. Children’s Summit in Atlanta

ATLANTA, Aug. 31 - We received the following letter on from Mark Elliott, of the East-West Church & Ministry Report, quite some time ago, inviting TiM readers’ participation in an upcoming Children’s Summit in Atlanta, GA, Nov. 9-11.  We have accidentally neglected to include it in our report on the more than 50 million children in Eastern Europe who are living in poverty as a result of the New World Order “reforms,” so we enclose it now as an update to that TiM Bulletin:

“Dear Bob, thank you for considering posting something on TiM regarding our CoMission for Children at Risk summit.  Below is an editorial I wrote which will come out in our Summer issue of the “East-West Church & Ministry Report”.  It may give you some more information to consider.  Thanks again.  Godspeed,

Mark Elliott

#     #     #

"I Will Not Leave You As Orphans.  I Will Come to You."

By Mark Elliott

Last year 15-year-old Natasha's mother died a violent death.  Sadly, her father refused to accept the responsibility of raising his daughter and his six-year-old son.  Natasha has had a difficult adjustment to life in an orphanage, running away several times before resigning herself to her lot.  In May, she learned that authorities who had promised that her brother Dima could join her in her orphanage when he turned seven, instead had permitted him to be adopted in the West without her knowledge, a violation of Russian law.  Despite the loss of everyone she holds dear, Natasha somehow manages a ready and winning smile.  What can be done to at least put Natasha in touch with her brother and assist her in her dream of becoming a nurse?

Seryozha is 14, going on 30.  On his own at age 12, he lived on the streets of Moscow for two years before being picked up by the militia and being sent to an orphanage.  A bright youngster, he has better command of Bible stories learned from short-term missionaries than most children born in Christian homes.  Seryozha, remarkably, has a winsome, gentle side to his personality, despite rough-hewn street smarts, a heavy smoker's cough, and a penchant for alcohol.  Could foster care, or a family-style transition center for older orphans, or effective job training, or Christian summer camps with meaningful follow-up help spare Seryozha a life of crime and imprisonment, the fate of most male orphanage graduates?

Natasha and Seryozha help me personalize numbing statistics: an estimated 600,000 Russian orphans and 1.2 million street kids, not to mention children in crisis in Ukraine and other former Soviet republics.  Dr. Susan Hillis of the U.S. Communicable Disease Center in Atlanta recently projected that as many as half a million additional Russian children could be orphaned in the next decade as a result of parents dying of AIDS.

Natasha and Seryozha deserve God's best and the Lord's saving grace-as do all orphans and street children in the former Soviet Union.  But how can God's best and His grace become a reality for these unfortunates?  Today, many Western ministries and many Russian and Ukrainian Christians are working with orphans and street children like Natasha and Seryozha-in the spirit of John 14:18 quoted above-but often without knowing who else is trying to help, or who has helpful advice about running summer camp programs, or post-orphanage transition centers, or orphanage discipleship programs, etc.

On 14 July 1999, over 40 people gathered in Moscow to form "To Russian Children With Love," an umbrella organization that seeks to encourage greater cooperation and a sharing of information among Christians ministering to children at risk.  Natalia Loginova of Moscow's Word of Christ Church agreed to serve as director of this new effort.  Among its goals, "To Russian Children With Love" hopes to encourage more Western church and parachurch ministries to partner with various indigenous Russian initiatives on behalf of orphans and street children.

Mrs. Loginova, herself a long-time volunteer in orphanage ministry, will participate in the upcoming National Summit for Children At Risk, scheduled for 9-11 November 2000, in Atlanta, GA.  The driving force behind this gathering is the desire to see a much greater Christian effort in response to Russian children at risk and a more efficient use of resources through greater networking and collaborative ventures. 

Other speakers will include Baroness Caroline Cox (British House of Lords), Commissioner Kay Rader (Salvation Army), Phillis Kilbourn (Rainbows of Hope), George Steiner (Children's HopeChest), Susan Hillis (Communicable Disease Center), and Barbara Johnson (International Aid). 

I would implore each TiM reader to consider attending the Atlanta Summit or encouraging someone in your circle of workers or friends to attend.

________

TiM Editor's Note:

For further information, contact the CoMission for Children at Risk, 1827 Powers Ferry Rd., Building 15, Suite 300, Atlanta, GA 30339; tel: 770-916-9029; fax: 770-916-9742; e-mail: comissioncr@cs.com ; Web site: www.comissionforchildren.com .  For in-depth analysis of conditions for children at risk see Kathleen Hunt, Abandoned to the State: Cruelty and Neglect in Russian Orphanages (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1998), which may be downloaded from http://www.hrw.org/reports98/russia2/ . 

For photos and testimonies from a Children's HopeChest summer camp for Russian orphans in June-July 2000 led by East-West Church & Ministry Report editors Mark Elliott and Sharyl Corrado, consult: http://www.samford.edu/groups/global/orphans.html

Jena E. Gaston, Assistant Editor, East-West Church & Ministry Report, Global CenterBeeson Divinity School, Samford University, jegaston@samford.edu .

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8. A Heartwarming “Christmas Story”

PHOENIX, Oct. 14 - Some of our regular readers may recall that nearly three years ago, just before Christmas, the TiM editor found myself in Singapore, enroute home from Western Australia. For all outward appearances, and except for the weather, this South Asian city on the Equator could have been New York.  It was glitzy and crass. (see "Singapore- Materialism without Idealism"- TiM GW Bulletin 97-12-2, 12-08-97).

What follows is an update to that story, written in February 1998, and published for the first time now - in support of other stories about the Russian children’s suffering.  Unlike the previous depressing articles, I have a sense that you may find this one uplifting and heartwarming:

PHOENIX, February 1998 - Upon returning home, I was so disgusted with the phony Christmas “spirit,” meaning commercialism, that I informed my family that from now on, they won't be getting any Christmas present from me.

First, because they are among the more fortunate ones among Christians. Second, because I didn't want the money to end up in some non-Christian merchant's pockets, such as those in Singapore or Manhattan whom I described in my above piece. Instead, I told them that I would donate an equivalent amount of money to the needy in three Christian countries where people are especially deprived - Russia, Serbia and Ireland.

Ireland was easy. I simply mailed a check to a friend I knew and trusted, who is himself active in fighting the godless New World Order.

Serbia was also easy. Relatively speaking. I simply hand-delivered the money to a Bishop I knew personally. He took it to an orphanage in Kragujevac, a town in central Serbia, where 30 children (mostly girls) who lost their parents in the latest Balkan war were being looked after and educated by the nuns at a Christian monastery.

But Russia... What to do about Russia, I fretted, considering all the stories about the rampant crime and corruption in that country?

Finally, I heard that a friend of my elder daughter's, a 22-year old woman of non-Slavic ethnic background, but a Heartland America (Nebraska) Christian who had lived in Russia before, was going again to Russia in January for a two-week vacation. She kindly agreed to take the money, and to make sure it reached the real needy, preferably some children or the elderly who cannot help themselves, rather than end up in some institution's or manager's account.

I also told her, as I had told the Bishop, that I wanted the donation to be made anonymously, with a simple annotation - "from an Orthodox Christian." After all, He whose son's birthday the donation was intended to celebrate already knows.

I've just received her heartwarming report which made my eyes water. I wanted to share it with you - my spiritual friends - because her account was so uplifting. As long as there are Christians in America like this fine young lady, there is a good chance that Good will eventually prevail over the Evil even if the Evil seems to have the upper hand right now.

Bob Dj.”

An Uplifting Story

“ST. PETERSBURG, February 1998 - My trip was wonderful and it was hard to come back, St. Petersburg wins me over every time.

My mind is still on vacation and my heart is certainly still there, so excuse my lengthy explanation of where your money went, but I welcome the opportunity to reminisce.

I think I found a wonderful place for your money and I hope that you will feel the same. I'm well aware of and have witnessed first hand what too often happens with well-intended, generous gifts when they fall into the hands of the unscrupulous individuals. Suffice it to say that I was concerned foremost that the money end up outside of a "director's pocket."

I have the good fortune of knowing a very good family in St. Petersburg and from the minute I told them what I needed to do, no one sat still until it was done. They are not naive either, and understood the importance of finding a reliable place for the money. The mother of the family, Nina, is a very religious individual and also considered the church.

However, it was her opinion that the Orthodox churches (at least in St. Pete) have "a lot" of money right now.

Just to attest to that, I was surprised to see the progress of restoration on a number of churches I had previously seen just a year ago. It was then, the general consensus that the money could best be used by an orphanage. I must admit that I also have a soft spot in my heart for providing for the children of a struggling country since I taught in a school there.

At any rate, that decided, we then thought it best to find an orphanage, go and find out what was needed, and then make the purchases ourselves to be sure that the money was not misused. Somewhere in between all of this I took the elektrichkaya to Pushkin about 30 minutes from St. Petersburg where Ekaterinskii Dvorets is located.

As things happen in Russia, my friends have an acquaintance there who was to serve as my LIVELY guide around the city. This woman is about my grandmother's age but has as much energy as I did when I was about 4. Truly a delightful woman. At any rate, she knew of a place called "Aist" which means stork, that was a shelter of sorts for children.

So after a freezing but inspiring jaunt around Pushkin, we went back to her place to warm ourselves with some borshch and made a phone call. Over the phone (three of us spoke to them in one call - you can imagine how amusing this scene was me, the American with sorry Russian skills and two impatient Russian women telling each other and me what to say and then in the end just grabbing the phone and saying it themselves). They seemed to say all of the right things. However, in the end I wasn't satisfied and I wanted to go there and see for myself.

Surprised at the ease with which we found this place (perhaps you've had some experience of your own finding a Russian address!), we rang the doorbell and were met minutes later by a young girl of about 8. She led us to the director's office who received us eagerly. In the short walk from the door to the office my eyes were checking out the place. At the time, it was still unclear to me what exactly this place was (I gathered it was more than an orphanage), but one things was clear, it was a healthy environment for kids. We visited with the director, a very energetic woman, for some time. She explained that all of the children there have parents, but most of them were alcoholics or abusive or had simply kicked their kids out onto the streets because they couldn't afford to keep them at home.

We ended up staying there for a very long time and she shared a lot with us, but since I'm at work and once I get started, I wouldn't stop, I'll just share with you some of the things I thought to be very important and different from a lot of "orphanage-type" establishments.

The kids are free to come and go on their own so that they do not feel as though they are trapped there or that it is like a prison. The door is always open to them when they want to come, when they need a hot meal, but they retain a sense of freedom and independence - responsibility for themselves, if you will.

Unlike lots of "shelters" this was much more than a roof over the kids' heads. They provide enriching activities for the kids, encouraging theater, painting, music, etc. etc. Which from what I can tell does much to nurture a sense of pride and accomplishment. They celebrate birthdays, holidays, etc - do the sorts of things a family would do.

They place the children at a new school in the city so that they are not burdened by the stereotypes and judgments that were established with them in their old schools. They work to place the kids in some sort of job or internship after they graduate from school. They encourage the children to try to maintain a relationship with their parents and even work to rehabilitate or find opportunities for the parents.

All of the furniture, etc. was donated much of it by the few staff that work there. The are in desperate need of some renovation, but don't have the money and as of yet, no one has offered. They survive mainly on donations form what I understood. Currently there are 17 children there and only space (beds) for 14. A lot of what makes the place bright (at first it seemed to me that maybe this place wasn't in such bad shape and didn't really need the money) is work that the children do themselves. Pictures, crafts, etc. simple but with lots of heart.

To say the very least, I felt very good about leaving your money there.  I told them you wanted to remain anonymous. For their official books, however, they needed someone's name to put down, I gave them mine and they indicated somehow that it wasn't actually from me.

Also, they have a very home-made sort of thank you that the kids sign and it has the shelter's emblem on it (they had a contest among the kids to draw the emblem). They filled out the certificate, I instructed them to leave the name blank and that you would fill it in yourself.

They were truly grateful. I toured the place and met some of the kids - it's a place where I'd love to tutor English if I end up spending some substantial time in the Petersburg area. I took some pictures which I will send you and was invited back to a concert if I come in the summer. I also left my address as they thought they would write and let me know exactly what the money was used for and hopefully send more pictures.

In short, it was one of the most fulfilling experiences I had on my short trip to Russia. Thanks for providing me with the opportunity to do that. If you have any other questions, I'd be happy to try to answer them, or get the answers from my friends who were with me.

You'll be getting something from me in the mail later this week or next."

Gifts, Love, Marriage and God

I did. It was a hand-made "thank you" certificate that the Russian kids have made for me along with a photo of the kids.  

Ever since, I have continued this practice of no Christmas gift and making charitable donations.  And not just as Christmas.  

Last year, for example, this Pushkin half-way house used my donation to buy musical instruments, a fax machine and organize a field trip to the beautiful Tsarskoye Selo (Czar's Village) for all the kids (that's one of the biggest tourist attractions in the St. Petersburg area).

By the way, the young American lady who took my donation to that orphanage in 1998 has since married a Russian doctor with whom she fell in love on that trip.  How's that for God's approving finger "meddling" in our lives?

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9. Russia: NWO’s Death CampDec. 3, 2000

PHOENIX, Dec. 3, 2000 - It is not often that we have an opportunity to praise the journalistic work of the New York Times.  Today is an exception.  The Sunday, Dec. 3, 2000 Times front page story put a human touch on the Russian tragedy about which the TiM has been written for years - a slow demographic annihilation of Russia as a result of the western “reforms” (see the TiM Bulletin Index, the Russian affairs section - http://www.truthinmedia.org/Bulletins-Index/Russia-index.html).

There is a twist of perfidy, however, in the title that the New York Times chose for this series - “FREEDOM’S TOLL: Why Russians Are Dying Younger.”  The implication - now that the Russians are free of totalitarian government control, they are killing themselves with living excesses.  Our title for this series would have been: “Russia: NWO’s Death Camp,” just as we named a similar 1997 series about the genocidal pogroms that the New World Order is carrying out in that cast country - “Killing Russia Softly: Yeltsin’s ‘Democide’.”

Here’s an excerpt from the lead and the epilogue to the Times article, followed by a URL to the rest of it:

PITKYARANTA, Russia — When the chest pains first gripped him that February day in 1998, Anatoly Iverianov was driving a tractor through one of the birch-and-pine forests that carpet Russia's border with Finland, dragging fresh-cut logs to a wood lot.  "I had a glass of vodka," he said. "I thought that would help."

It didn't. Mr. Iverianov was having a heart attack. Within six months he suffered another. Two years later, he is disabled, impoverished, embittered and sick — so sick he has been in the local hospital three times since August.

Standing in his crumbling hillside apartment, in a Brezhnev-era block overlooking the paper factory, Mr. Iverianov added up the negatives: his disability pension is a pittance; he is bored and useless at home; hospitalization gives him no respite from illness.  "I've been drinking and smoking a lot," he said defiantly. "And I'm not alone."

Quite the opposite: two years after two heart attacks, 45-year-old Anatoly Iverianov is a Russian Everyman.

In a country whose most overworked word is "krizis" — crisis — here is a genuine one: Russian life expectancy has fallen in 6 of the last 10 years.

It fell every month last year alone, to an average of 65.9 years for both men and women — about 10 years less than in the United States, and on a par with levels in Guatemala. Moreover, government statistics through last August point to a further drop in 2000.

It is a sore-thumb symptom of a precipitous decline in Russia's public health, a spiral not seen in a developed nation since the Great Depression, if then. Life expectancy is not just a medical issue but a barometer of a society's health. In a sense it is a lagging indicator of poverty, of stress, of cohesion and stability — and of a government's ability or willingness to take care of its own.

Since 1990, according to the most recent figures, the death rate has risen almost one-third, to the highest of any major nation, and the birth rate has dropped almost 40 percent, making it among the very lowest. Mortality from circulatory diseases has jumped by a fifth; from suicides, a third; from alcohol-related causes, almost 60 percent; from infectious and parasitic diseases, nearly 100 percent.

Not all the toll was registered in deaths. The rate of newly disabled people rose by half.  When Russia's death rate surpassed its plunging birth rate in the mid-90's, demographers called it the Russian cross and suggested that it had profound implications.

By a United Nations estimate, Russia's population of 145.6 million could shrink to 121 million by 2050. In a report early this year, the Central Intelligence Agency forecast that by 2002, 1 in 70 Russians will carry H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS — almost twice the United States rate. Tuberculosis, once nearly under control, is epidemic, and the C.I.A. says shortages of money and medicine "are creating the context for a large increase in infectious diseases." […]

EPILOGUE:

Mr. Iverianov would not argue with that. "In general, this isn't working," he said. "Basically, the country itself has fallen apart and into bankruptcy. And now I'm waiting for them to turn the lights off here."

Mr. Iverianov's story does not have a happy ending.

Just before 3 p.m. on Nov. 21, he was brought once more to Central Clinical Hospital by ambulance, this time displaying a weak pulse and almost no blood pressure. Doctors suspected a heart attack. Three hours later he died. An autopsy concluded that he had been killed by fluid in the lungs and heart failure due to chronic alcoholism.

Mr. Iverianov would have turned 46 this month.

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TiM Ed.: And so it goes… (as Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. would have put it in the style of his masterpiece, “Slaughterhouse Five,” about the destruction of Dresden in WW II).

Here’s the URL for the rest of the Sunday Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2000/12/03/world/03LONG.html

Here’s also the URL to the Monday segment of this series, titled “In Russia, the Ill and Infirm Include Health Care Itself:” http://www.nytimes.com/2000/12/04/world/04RUSS.html

For additional stories on Russia, check out the TiM Bulletins Index: http://www.truthinmedia.org/Bulletins-Index/Russia-index.html

 

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