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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, August 10, 2011, 9:00 AM ET


    Russian Truth
    By Bishop Paul Peter Jesep

    Pravda hasn't changed since the days of the Soviet Union. It purports to be, as its Russian name suggests, a news source of truth. In reality, it's still a mouth piece for government propaganda. Mae West once quipped: “I use to be snow white, but I drifted.” In Pravda's case it too has drifted – a lot. Virgin snow it has never been. Its latest propaganda piece, "Nazi Issue in Baltics: EU Needs to Take a Stand," is a parody of truth.

    In an August 8th commentary, the “news” outlet calls on the European Union to condemn former Nazi SS recruits from Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia who annually celebrate their military service. It also threw in Ukraine for good measure slamming the Ukrainian Insurgent Army and Roman Shukhevych in particular. According to Pravda, these once Soviet oppressed nations show “suspicious loyalty to Nazism.” Of course this is not about Nazi loyalty, but making a misguided short- or longterm pack with the devil to fight the Soviets.

    It merits repeating that anyone's willing participation with the Nazis in furthering war, murder, genocide, and destruction must be condemned. There are moral and ethical lessons and principles that should never be overlooked to justify fighting the Soviets or Communism even though they committed equally reprehensible atrocities. Two wrongs don't make a right.

    Nor can Pravda's historical amnesia go without comment. Its willingness to gloss over history underscores the inner spiritual and political rot that Russia is unwilling to cut from its soul. The Russian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate only adds to the problem with its secular and corporate approach. Russia lacks national courage and intellectual honesty. Its failure to confront and reconcile itself with an evil past will prevent it from realizing its full potential.

    September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany invaded Poland from the west. September 17, 1939, as agreed to in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Soviet Russia invaded Poland from the east. The Pact also provided for the later Soviet takeover of the Baltic nations.

    Hundreds of thousands of Polish soldiers, politicians, and intellectuals were deported to Siberia by the Soviet government. Four major deportations took place from 1939-1941. Most didn't return. Polish citizens were routinely evicted from their homes to enable the relocation of Russians and Soviet army personnel. In 1940, on direct orders from Joseph Stalin, approximately 22,000 thousand Polish officers were shot and buried in the Katyn forest.

    The Soviet government persecuted the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Western Ukraine then part of Poland driving it underground. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church was forced to merge with the Russian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate. Patriots for an independent Ukraine were arrested and shot or sent to camps to die. This occurred while Ukraine was still recovering from Stalin's forced collectivization that killed up to 10 million Ukrainians. Whether it was genocide or incompetence of the greatest magnitude doesn't matter. Where the Soviets injected themselves they brought death and destruction.

    Not long after the invasion of Poland the Soviets gave ultimatums to the governments of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuanian. Formal military occupation followed by the forcible incorporation of the countries into the Soviet Union. Similar to the approach in Poland Baltic soldiers, politicians, and intellectuals were shot or imprisoned.

    Perhaps the oddest thing about Pravda's commentary is calling on the European Union's involvement. Really? Does Pravda actually want to remind the world of Russia's barbaric policies in Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltic countries? Does it want to remind or perhaps educate for the first time millions of people who have forgotten or never learned about the Soviet Union's devilish behavior? If it does then Pravda would live up to its name for the first time – truth.

    Bishop Paul Peter Jesep of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church is the designated United States spokesperson for His Beatitude Metropolitan Myfodii of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine. The views expressed here are personal and in no way reflect those of his Church. Bishop Jesep is also a New York attorney. He may be reached at

    * * * * *


  • Apr 22 12 - Op-ed: Aiding and Abetting the Moscow Patriarchate
  • Mar 23 12 - Friends of Ukraine Take Action
  • Feb 24 12 - Will Ukraine have Its First Modern Political Martyr?
  • Jan 23 12 - Holocaust Remembrance Day
  • Dec 30 11 - Ukrainian World – Praise for Major Archbishop Shevchuk
  • Dec 21 11 - Lessons from Muscovy
  • Aug 10 11 - Russian Truth
  • Apr 14 11 - President Yanukovych's Chance to Show Leadership
  • Mar 14 11 - An Open Letter to Viktor Yanukovych
  • Aug 27 10 - Independent Ukraine 2010
  • Jan 31 10 - Remembering Ukraine's Jews
  • Jan 15 10 - Orange Forever!
  • Aug 27 09 - UAOC Mourns the Passing of Senator Edward Kennedy
  • Jan 14 08 - UAOC Bishop Condemns United Fatherland and Union of Orthodox Citizens
  • Oct 25 07 - Bishop calls for Annual Holocaust Memorial Day
  • May 28 07 - Priests try to end anti-Semitism
  • Feb 12 07 - Statement on Anti-Semitism
  • Feb 5 07 - Kyiv Patriarchate Appoints U.S. Director of Public Affairs
  • Nov 23 05 - Archbishop Husar's Orange Revolution of Faith
  • Sep 12 05 - Yushchenko showed leadership
  • Sep 7 05 - Metropolitan Mefodiy of Kyiv to visit America
  • Sep 2 05 - UAOC issues strong condemnation of anti-semitism
  • Apr 28 05 - Yushchenko at the Kennedy Library
  • Apr 1 05 - Diaspora rebirth begins in dialogue
  • Mar 11 05 - The Politics of Orthodoxy
  • Feb 11 05 - The Diaspora's Future
  • Jan 21 05 - Ukraine, Orthodoxy, and the Greek Prelate
  • Dec 22 04 - Has the Diaspora failed? Can more be done?
  • Dec 22 04 - Russia will not leave Ukraine alone
  • Dec 14 04 - God, Faith and the Orange Revolution
  • Dec 8 04 - Ukraine must run the extra mile
  • Dec 1 04 - Cage the Russian Circus Bear
  • Nov 24 04 - Support liberty - Practical things you can do
  • Nov 22 04 - Ukraine's Election - NOW WHAT?
  • Oct 11 04 - Catholic Patriarchate in Kyiv
  • Sep 29 04 - Kuchma and the American presidential election
  • Aug 13 04 - Op-ed: Foreign churches cannot dictate a unilateral non-Ukrainian spirituality in Ukraine (Patriarch Filaret and Ukrainian Spirituality)
  • Jul 26 04 - Op-ed: Viktor Yushchenko and Ukraine's future (Ukraine needs a patriot as its next leader)
  • Mar 18 04 - Ukrainian influence in the 2004 American presidential election

    Email: VladykaPaulPeter(at)

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    The images and information contained in BRAMA News and BRAMA Press reports may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of BRAMA and/or author/photographer. The views and opinions of authors expressed on do not necessarily state or reflect the views of Brama - Gateway Ukraine or its officers, directors or associates.

  • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


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