St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov) on the True Face of Protestantism

St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov) St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov) When some people in the Church become interested in liberalism and reforms, expressing their dissatisfaction with the Church’s traditions, it would not be superfluous to remind them that that is precisely how Protestantism was born in its time. What Protestantism leads to, and its hidden essence is something that the holy fathers reveal to us most precisely. Amongst the fathers of the Church, especially significant is St. Ignatious (Brianchaninov) [commemorated today], whose spiritual intuition always exactly exposed the most subtle deceptions.

Being in society and having experienced the influence coming from the Protestant West, St. Ignatius often spoke out on this issue. In the present time, now having the complete works of St. Ignatius, we are able to compile a sufficiently clear picture of his views on Protestantism.

In talking about the nature of Protestantism, which gave birth to a multitude of professors-theologists but not a single saint, St. Ignatius made the following evaluation: “The Protestant is coldly intelligent”,1 that “earthly character”, having nothing in common with Heaven.2 The rationalism of Protestantism, pettily researching the letter of Scripture and not noticing its profound essence, always hindered serious spiritual life. Discussing the Karelians on Lake Ladoga in the article, “A Visit to Valaam Monastery”, the saint next talks about the Lutheran proselytism among the local population, as a result of which Orthodoxy on the Finnish shore was pressured to leave. “Now there are Lutheran churches here, which pronounce only the meagre sermons of a cold pastor. Telling the people in his sermons nothing more than superficial, scholarly information about the Redeemer and His moral teaching, he gives each time something like a funeral eulogy over the true, living faith and Church that the people in these regions have lost.”3 Thus, there is no true faith and life in Protestantism, only rational scholarship with a superficial moral teaching. Therefore, in Protestantism there could never be any serious ascesis, or deep spiritual experience.

Moreover, rationalism, and the absence of a deep spiritual life led Protestantism to the rejection of ascetical principles that have been natural to traditional Christianity over the course of a millennia and a half. To some extent, Protestants, just like godless atheists, blaspheme monasticism, denying its divine origins.4 Such denial was directly embodied in the life of the progenitor of Protestantism—Martin Luther—and was later expressed in Protestantism’s rejection of the Church’s corresponding dogmatic statements concerning the Ever-Virginity of the Mother of God: “Protestants, the sworn enemies of New Testament virginity, assert that the Most Holy Vessel and Temple of God, the Mother of God, violated her virginity after she had given birth to the God-Man, became a vessel of human lust, entered into a relationship with Joseph as his wife, and had other children. A horrible thought! A thought both beastly and demonic! A blasphemous thought! It could only have been born in bowels of profound depravation! It could only have been pronounced and be pronounced by a desperate and outlawed adulterer! It can only be accepted and assimilated by those who have fallen so far from the image and likeness of God to the likeness of beasts, that they have and are only capable of having an understanding of human nature exclusively in in its degraded, animal-like state… Luther, who threw off his own monasticism and took a nun who also cast off her monasticism as his lover—the union of Luther with Catharina Von Bora cannot be understood any other way, because it is not seen that the vows of virginity that they both gave to God were ever returned by them—cries out against Christian virginity. All Protestants cry out against them together with Luther. They call virginity unnatural, against the will, blessing, and commandment of God.”5

St. Ignatius did not even consider the path to Christian perfection to be outside of virginity, chastity, and monasticism. It was a path that was shown in the life of Christ Himself, and was embodied already by the first generations of Christians. Protestantism, in rejecting this foundation of Orthodox asceticism, was naturally regarded by the saint as a fall from a spiritual and moral height to a level of life like that of beasts. “Luther’s writings are unendurable not only for the pious reader, but even for a decent reader. They breathe the crudest depravity and wildest blasphemy… Lutheranism provides more pleasure to the person who desires to turn as rarely as possible to God, and to limit his fleshly desires as little as possible.6

In the complete works of St. Ignatius is published a brief writing entitled, “Lutheranism”, composed of questions and answers. The saint views the birth of Protestantism in the person of Luther as something absolutely unnecessary for people’s salvation. “If Christ’s teachings were sufficient for people’s salvation for fifteen centuries, then what is Lutheranism for? If one accepts Luther’s teaching necessary, then by this very acceptance one is compelled to accept that the original teaching of Christ’s Church was not enough for salvation—which is an obvious absurdity and blasphemy.”7

Although Luther’s writing was directed against a series of errors of the Roman church, St. Ignatius finds three kinds of error in Luther himself. First of all, in place of the Roman errors Luther offers his own errors; secondly, he kept certain of Catholicism’s errors; and thirdly, he even magnified some of Roman Catholicism’s error.

Among the preserved errors of Catholicism, St. Ignatius distinguishes: the teaching of the Filioque (which, in the saint’s view, was the main reason for the West’s separation from Christ’s Church) and the performance of the sacrament of Baptism through pouring [as opposed to immersion].

Among the magnified errors of the Latins, the saint directs our attention to the relationship towards the Eucharist: If Catholics lost the sacrament of the Eucharist by taking out the invocation of the Holy Spirit and the prayers of transubstantiation, then “Luther, rejecting the Eucharist altogether, says, ‘The bread transubstantiates in the mouths of those to partake of it with faith!’”8

Martin Luther Martin Luther The saint sees Luther’s own errors in the following. Having rejected the lawful authority of the Roman popes, Luther rejected also the lawful rank of the episcopate and ordination itself, having by this violated what was established by the Apostles. Having rejected indulgences, he rejected also the sacrament of Confession. The saint points out one of Luther’s key errors: preferring faith with the rejection of good works, saying that supposedly, “faith is sufficient for salvation, even though one’s works do not correspond to faith.”9

Naming Luther’s well-known errors—rejection of icons, holy relics, prayers to the saints in Heaven, most of the Sacraments, and Tradition itself by a false interpretation of the Holy Scriptures according to one’s own whims—the saint concludes, “All of these errors, taken together, are not only in opposition to the one true Holy Church, but also contain in themselves many serious blasphemies against the Holy Spirit!”10 That is, this is not simply a personal opinion with which we can tolerantly agree, but a serious blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

Thus, we do not find in St. Ignatius’s writings even a hint of any remaining grace outside of Orthodoxy. The saint does not see any possibility of salvation within Lutheranism.11 For St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov) himself, the borderline between true teaching entirely corresponds with the boundaries of Orthodox confession, and the grace of the Holy Spirit dwells only there, where the truth is—in the Orthodox Church. As opposed to modern ecumenist ideas, St. Ignatius was not afraid to call Protestantism a soul-destroying, heretical host: “Many millions of Protestants have used and continue to use the most-divine Gospel for evil, for their own destruction, interpreting it incorrectly and impiously, and are as if moving away from unity with the Universal Church, forming a separate, soul-destroying heretical assembly, which they dare to call the Evangelical Church.”12

Heresy leads to destruction. Therefore, the saint always recalls Protestantism in the context of general decline and corruption that was being propagated in the Russian Empire:

  • “We of the Orthodox faith, viewing it and the Church from the vantage poin of ideas brought on by depravity, Protestantism and atheism were the cause for stealthily and forcibly introducing ordinances into the Orthodox Church that are outside, alien, and hostile to the spirit of the Church, and against the canons and teachings of the Orthodox Church.”13

  • The monasteries are corrupted by the pride and ignorance of various “thinkers”, who “think” and act according to the elements of Western Protestantism and atheism.”14

  • “It is obvious that apostasy from the Orthodox faith is widespread among the people. Some are openly atheist, others are deists, others are Protestants, others are indifferent, while yet others are schismatics. There is no treatment for this wound, no healing. May he who is saving his soul, save it!”15

It is telling that St. Ignatius places Protestantism next to atheism, like a certain preliminary step on the path towards ever greater apostasy from God.

In coming out against the Roman Church, Protestants “exchanged evil for evil, error for error, abuse for abuse;” they trampled upon, rejected, and distorted Divine ordinances.16

Accordingly, the saint called to question the developed practice of receiving new converts, according to which those who came from Protestantism to Orthodoxy were generally received without Baptism. In December 1838, St. Ignatius wrote to St. Leonid (Nagolkin), the Optina elder, a letter in which among other things he wrote, “I have a most humble question for you: Please tell me whether in Moldavia and Vlachia they re-baptize Lutherans and other Protestants, and why. Much is now being said here on these subjects; the Ober-Procurator is especially very zealous for Orthodoxy, and is publishing the canons of the Ecumenical and Local Councils, for our Rudder contains largely not the canons themselves, but interpretations under the name of canons and other very extensive interpretations on these brief interpretations. Grant, O Lord, that having received the true canons in printed form, we might at least somewhat raise our weakened hands for action.”17

As could be supposed, the saint’s search for precedents on the practice of Baptism of former Lutherans proceeded from his thoughts on the existence of a practice in the Russian Church of receiving Lutherans through Chrismation alone. The saint himself, having an idea of the total loss of the Holy Spirit in Protestant communities, most likely was coming to the conclusion that it is impossible that they have any [valid] sacraments, including Baptism (incidentally, the saint’s thoughts on this theme have been lost).

We have at our disposal the answer of St. Leonid of Optina: “As to your question concerning whether in Moldavia and Vlachia Lutherans and other Protestants are re-baptized, I can only say that I heard from the elder Fr. Theodore, who lived there a rather long time, that they do re-baptize; but why exactly I cannot say, for I never had the opportunity to discuss it with him in more detail. But since the discussions arising these days on this subject are related to dogmatic topics, and inasmuch as there is some perplexity, then is it not possible to use some means for the publication this year of a booklet of Royal and Patriarchal Grammotas, shown on the fourth page? By the way, this should all be committed to the Head of the Church, our Lord Jesus Christ, and we should pray to Him about it, that He might preserve His Church in purity, with all the beauty of Her Orthodox confession, and suggest to those pastors holding Her rudder to guard Her in safety as a firm stronghold, through the publication of very clear and reliable canons of the Councils. May He grant us the will and strength to fulfill them, and acquire to the measure of spiritual maturity the will of Christ.”18

Compared with Catholicism, St. Ignatius views Protestantism as a greater fall. If the Catholics made changes to the sacrament of Confession, the Protestants rejected it outright.19 If the Catholics excluded the invocation of the Holy Spirit from the Liturgy, “the Protestants have rejected the Liturgy altogether.”20 In Catholicism, there is still an element of ascetism, albeit spiritually delusional, while Protestantism has completely lost the ascetic life; remaining is only soullessness and cold rationalism. As we know, St. Ignatius relied upon asceticism, based upon the writings of the holy fathers, for his entire spiritual life; he saw in it a pure and clear path to salvation. Therefore, he especially sharply commented on Protestantism’s disgust for patristic ascesis. Thus, the saint evaluates Protestantism as the loss of the key institutions of Christianity—a kind of foreshadowing of the ultimate loss of them in atheism and godlessness.

Nevertheless, it can’t be said that the saint despised Protestants themselves. The toughness and categoricalness of his statements were always explainable by the obvious fact that any departure from the truth in Christ, which is manifested in Orthodoxy, is a departure from salvation; moreover it is an unnoticeable departure and therefore more dangerous. The saint’s bitter feelings regarding the spread of heterodox teachings was bitterness over the spread of seductive lies, which conceal the truth. But the saint never expressed any contempt for Protestants themselves.

For example, he had a very warm relationship with a famous artist who was a Protestant by confession—Karl Pavlovich Bryullov (1799–1852). Despite the secular character of his main works, Bryullov often filled orders from churches. For instance, Bryullov painted an image of the Holy Trinity for the St. Sergius Hermitage located near St. Petersburg, where St. Ignatius was the superior. Extant is a letter from St. Ignatius to Bryullov, which shows the heartfelt warmth of feeling he had for the artist. “I have always had a warm sympathy for you. Your soul seemed to me as one wandering lonely in the world. I also wander this way, surrounded by difficulties from my childhood …”21 The saint strove not to wound the artist’s soul, saying of his creative work, “I have long seen that your soul seeks the beauty that would satisfy it, amidst earthly chaos. Your paintings are an expression of a strongly thirsting soul.”22 However, the saint politely and tactfully hinted about the need to seek authentic, eternal beauty: “The picture that would decisively satisfy you should be a picture from eternity. These are the demands of true inspiration. Any beauty, both visible and invisible, should be anointed by the Spirit; without that, the anointing upon it is the seal of corruption; it (beauty) helps to satisfy a person who is led by true inspiration. He needs that beauty to respond life, eternal life. When from beauty breathes death, he turns away from such beauty in disgust.”23 As can be supposed, in the next lines are expressed the saint’s heartfelt desire that Bryullov receive Orthodoxy: “I wish when I arrive to see you healthy and strengthened. And you must live, live in order to become more closely acquainted with eternity, so that before entering it your soul would acquire heavenly beauty; this lofty yearning has always been in your soul. The Heavenly Father’s embrace is always open to receive anyone who desires to have recourse to this holy, saving embrace.”24 Unfortunately, although he associated with a holy man, Bryullov ended his life’s path outside the bosom of Orthodoxy.

On the whole, St. Ignatius’s evaluation of Protestantism might seem to some too categorical and strict. Just the same, it would make sense to heed the saint’s spiritual intuition: The path of rational comprehension of the truths of faith, while having lost the Holy Tradition of the Church, leads to coldness in spiritual life, and without fail to the loss of dogmatic purity, which we often see in our modern liberal reformers.

Priest Valery Dukhanin
Translation by


1 St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, Complete Works, “A Visit to Valaam Monastery” (Moscow, 2001), 1:412.

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid., 401. The very spread of Lutheranism itself the saint saw as due to the initial fanaticism of followers of newly-sprouted Protestantism, which was expressed in bloodshed: “At the beginning of the seventeenth century, the Swedish commander Pontus de la Gardi, who wrought so much evil against Russia, destroyed Valaam Monastery; he put the church and cells to the torch, the icons to the sharp sword. Some fled, taking with them the relics of the monastery’s holy founders. The left shore of Finland underwent the same thing: Orthodox churches were burned; clergy were killed or banished; Lutheranism was spread among the inhabitants, and the followers of Lutheranism breathed even more fanatical attachment to only their own faith being born, and were ready to bathe in the bloodbath of the Thirty-Years War” (Ibid, 402).

4 St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, Complete Works, “On Monasticism. A conversation between Orthodox Christians: a layman and a monk, 1:421.

5 St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, Complete Works, “The Teaching of the Orthodox Church on the Mother of God, 4:400. Luther entered into marriage in 1525, at the age of 42, united himself in the bonds of matrimony with the 26-year-old nun, Catharina Von Bora. They had six children together.

6 St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, Complete Works, Lutheranism, 4:446.

7 Ibid., 443

8 Ibid., 444.

9 Ibid., 444–5. St. Ignatius brings his main thought here in the following citation: “Luther writes in one of his letters, ‘The soul in no way participates in the lustful deeds that the body gives itself over to; it is in no way defiled by them.” Luther once asked his wife if the union of a de-tonsured monk with a de-tonsured nun could be called marriage, and does she consider herself a saint? When Catharina replied that because she is a sinner she cannot consider herself a saint, Luther exclaimed, “There! Such is the cursed influence of papism! We are all saints by faith!” (Ibid., 445).

10 Ibid., 445.

11 Ibid., 445–6.

12 St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, Complete Works, A letter to the superiors of various monasteries, 7:229.

13 St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, Complete Works, On the need for a Council due to the current state of the Russian Orthodox Church, 3:520.

14 Ibid., 445.

15 Ibid., 445–6.

16 St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, Complete Works, On Monasticism. A conversation between Orthodox Christians: a layman and a monk, 442.

17 St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, Complete Works, Correspondence with Optina Elders, 6:539.

18 Cited from: St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, Complete Works, Correspondence with Optina monks, 548.

19 St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, Complete Works, Teaching on the thirtieth week. On salvation and perfection, 4:319.

20 Ibid., 320.

21 St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, Complete Works, Letter to artist K. P. Bryullov, 6:791.

22 Ibid., 792.

23 Ibid.

24 Ibid.

See also
“The Liturgy left a deep and lasting impression on me, as if I had found what I had been looking for all along” “The Liturgy left a deep and lasting impression on me, as if I had found what I had been looking for all along”
A talk with Igumen Silouan (Justiniano). Part 1
“The Liturgy left a deep and lasting impression on me, as if I had found what I had been looking for all along” “The Liturgy left a deep and lasting impression on me, as if I had found what I had been looking for all along”
A talk with Igumen Silouan (Justiniano). Part 1
Igumen Silouan (Justiniano)
I couldn’t fully understand intellectually what was happening. I had never seen anything like it, but it left a deep and lasting impression on me, as if I had found what I had been looking for all along.
On Reading the Gospels On Reading the Gospels
St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov)
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Do not be satisfied with a mere fruitless reading of the Gospel; strive to fulfill its commandments, and read it with your deeds. This is the book of life, and you have to read it with your life.
A Brief Life of St. Ignatius Brianchaninov A Brief Life of St. Ignatius Brianchaninov A Brief Life of St. Ignatius Brianchaninov A Brief Life of St. Ignatius Brianchaninov
St. Ignatius (Dimitry Alexandrovich Brianchaninov in the world) was born on February 5, 1807 on his father’s estate in the village of Pokrov in the Vologda Province. His mother gave birth to him after a prolonged infertility, by her fervent prayers and travels to the surrounding holy places. The boy spent his childhood in the solitude of village life; from his earliest years he was inexplicably attracted to the monastic life. His religious temper appeared all the more noticeably with age, being manifested in a special disposition towards prayer and the reading of spiritual books.
Pfmd5/16/2023 1:44 am
Sherlock Holmes/David: my response to EmilyS was, and is now to you: Some “christians” as yourself preach remaining “calm and patient” and do nothing in the face of the Orthodox persecution. This attitude will lead all Russian and Eastern Orthodox to the slaughter and eventual extinction, and certain individuals as yourself will continue to preach “calmness and do nothing”, in order to expedite the present massacre against our Russian Orthodox brothers. My advice is to you is to bring as much information to the Orthodox world as possible of the atrocities committed by the Anglo-American Nazis against Russian Orthodoxy and it’s children in Ukraine, Kosovo, Yugoslavia and of the millions killed in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and the remaining hundreds of millions slaughtered elsewhere by the Anglo-American tribe who have again raised the specter of Nazism, and not remain quiet and “do nothing”. To quote a famous American baseball player, “it is dejavu all over again” with you. When Russian Orthodoxy is being extinguished and slaughtered, you preach “calmness”, “prayer”, and “do nothing”, because your cause of Russian civilization and Russian Orthodoxy extinction is being advanced. When the reverse is occurring, you and your Nazi sympathizers dream of all types of violations against Russia to enable more sanctions, more shipment of missiles and more destructive uranium missiles, more tanks, more lethal weapons to the Ukrainian regime in order to stop Russia’s advancement against the Nazis you support. It appears your Russian hatred is so deeply entrenched and paid for by your sponsors, that you will use all of your many aliases to continue your rabid anti-Russian and pro-Nazi views.
sherlock_holmes5/15/2023 8:51 pm
I think the humanity is between a rock and a hard place. The global elites ( mainly in UK and US ) wants to lock the heaven and bring the hell on earth. They put corrupted people ( even lunatics ) on all levels of power in US, UK, EU and all their modern colonies throughout the world, in the UN agencies too. Divide and break the countries by exacerbating the nationalistic views (Yugoslavia, USSR...) and then cool them down to an amorphous mass of people when inside the Empire of Deceit. If they put in power the Turkish opposition on May/28 the war in Ukraine could go global....But as EmilyS said: " We, as Christians, should remind ourselves every day; and if necessary more than once a day, that our lives are under the protection of the prayers of the Holy Theotokos and Our Father, who loves mankind. Let us rather then be calm and patient and rest in this mercy. Let us remember to pray diligently for our brothers and sisters who suffer and let us look into our own lives and be ever ready for His coming."
Pfmd5/13/2023 9:18 pm
Regime Change Watch: Tomorrow there will be elections in Turkey and Thailand. In both countries the U.S. would like to see the current opposition win. If the results are to the favor of the current governments the U.S. may well use its well honed color revolution schemes to change the outcomes. It has done so before, not only in Turkey and Thailand, but also in many other countries. For a long time, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has plotted "peaceful evolution" and "color revolutions" as well as spying activities around the world. Although details about these operations have always been murky, a new report released by China's National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center and Chinese cybersecurity company 360 on Thursday unveiled the main technical means the CIA has used to scheme and promote unrest around the world. ... For decades, the CIA has overthrown or attempted to overthrow at least 50 legitimate governments abroad (the CIA has only recognized seven of these instances), causing turmoil in related countries. Whether it is the "color revolution" in Ukraine in 2014, the "sunflower revolution" in Taiwan island, China, or the "saffron revolution" in Myanmar in 2007, the "green revolution" in Iran in 2009, and other attempted "color revolutions" -- the US intelligence agencies are behind them all, according to the report. The US' leading position in technologies of telecommunication and on-site command has provided unprecedented possibilities for the US intelligence community to launch "color revolutions" abroad. The report released by the National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center and 360 disclosed five methods commonly used by the CIA. ... We need therefore to keep an eye open for new regime change attempts.
Pfmd5/13/2023 9:09 pm
“More worrying than hiding the nazis is the open reinterpretation/justification of widespread Western nazi-like behavior: 1. depicting Russians as historically evil (holodomor, Stalin), even genetically, anthropologically evil, unprovoked aggressors 2. and thus justifying forceful, undemocratic "reactions" of all governments/ groups/ individuals, either historically (historic Nazis) or the recent militias, proxy-war, terrorism, censorship, Russophobia, armament.”
Pfmd5/13/2023 9:02 pm
Controlling the narrative ... it is an entire Industry ... and this is how it is done ... control the media - control the message V useful graphic - and useful read - excellent research Report on the Censorship-Industrial Complex: The Top 50 Organizations to Know The citizen's starter kit to understanding the new global information cartel SUSAN SCHMIDT, ANDREW LOWENTHAL, TOM WYATT, TECHNO FOG, AND 4 OTHERS 10 MAY 2023
Pfmd5/13/2023 8:59 pm
Mark Sleboda - The Nazi streets of Ukraine ... h/t nakedcapitalism Includes useful ethno-linguistic map as well - useful reminder .... Well worth perusing ...
Pfmd5/13/2023 8:56 pm
Part 2: Which again leads me to Wikipedia: Andriy Yevheniyovych Biletsky is a Ukrainian far-right politician. He is the leader of political party National Corps. He was the first commander of the volunteer militia Azov Battalion, which he founded in 2014, and a co-founder of the nationalist movement Social-National Assembly. Reading further we can also learn about Biletsky's political views: In 2010, Biletsky said that the Ukrainian nation's mission is to "lead the white races of the world in a final crusade...against Semite-led Untermenschen". There is more to learn about Andriy Biletsky's ideology: In addition to the supremacy of the white race, Biletsky claimed to defend the West, to want the destruction of democracy in Europe, the destruction of capitalism and of the “Zionist international”, which would be replaced by “Nazocracy”, which are his own words. As a historian, Biletsky, in addition to the conspiracy theory that was very much a part of his rhetoric, was also committed to revisionism, rewriting the history of the Ukrainian people, whose roots, according to him, lay in the Scythian civilisation, which he linked to the Cossacks, in an attempt to erase the real origin of the Kiev Rus’. Going much further than the Nazis, he went so far as to declare that the latter had not taken into account the need to racially cleanse the population, including the Aryan population, in order to eradicate degenerate subjects, such as alcoholism, drug addiction and others. His idea was to take into account “the biological character of each family”. Going much further than American eugenics, he proposed the total and literal cleansing of the race, stating that the Ukrainian national culture was derived from the people, not from their history, religion, heritage, or language. He even declared that “the historical mission of the Ukrainian nation at this critical moment is to lead the white peoples of the world in the last crusade for its existence, and to fight against the sub-humanity led by the Semites”. Reading more about him reveals that Biletsky has not only theorized Nazi ideology but has over years committed violent acts against various of the 'enemies' it designates. He had been arrested and jailed for those crimes several times. The Wayback machine has a copy of a booklet (in Russian) with various of his writings. In 2005, for example, he wrote about "What is Ukraine" (pg 17, 18) (machine translation): The nationalists' view of Ukraine is definitely a view into the past and present, and the project of the future - Great Ukraine. Our Ukraine has an area of 945 thousand km2 (i.e., 343 thousand km2 more than today's than today's), inhabited by 60 million people, mostly Ukrainians. These 343 thousand kilometers of land were taken away from the Ukrainian nation in the past: the Kuban and nation: the Kuban and Eastern Slobozhanshchyna (now under Muscovy), Kholmshchyna and Podlasie (under Poland), Beresteyshchyna (under Belarus), Transnistria (under Moldova), Marmoroshchyna (under Romania), Presov region (under Slovakia), Western Transcarpathia (under Hungary). All of these lands, together with modern Ukraine, make up indivisible united Ukraine, which we have no right to trade or nor give up. However, Ukraine is not just a piece of territory in the center of Europe, outlined by the settlement of the Ukrainian nation, it is an absolutely unique alloy, an ethno-geographical organism. Those are a lot of wars that will need to be waged for that 'project of the future' ... I have found no information about Biletsky current official position though the way the NY Times describes him - "who has ultimate command of the brigade, among other units in the Ukrainian Army" - one must assume that he is now a high ranking military officer. From directly describing the ideology of Azov as 'neo-Nazi' the New York Times has moved over several station into avoiding its mentioning. It quotes its leader without identifying him and without giving
pfmd5/13/2023 8:53 pm
They Are Propagandizing For Nazis But Won't Tell You That At the start of the recent war in Ukraine 'western' media changed their mind about Ukrainian Nazi groups. What they had condemned over years in their headlines and pieces was first whitewashed and when was not enough simply eliminated from the context. As example I had pointed to the changing headlines and descriptions of the fascist Azov militia in the pages of the New York Times. Mar 15 2019: “On his flak jacket was a symbol commonly used by the Azov Battalion, a Ukrainian neo-Nazi paramilitary organization.” Feb 11 2020: “Defenders of the Ukrainian Azov Battalion, which the F.B.I. calls “a paramilitary unit” notorious for its “association with neo-Nazi ideology,” accuse us of being part of a Kremlin campaign to “demonize” the group.” Mar 17 2022: “Facebook last week said it was making an exception to its anti-extremism policies to allow praise for Ukraine’s far-right Azov Battalion military unit, “strictly in the context of defending Ukraine, or in their role as part of the Ukraine National Guard.” As I had written previously: “What was once "a Ukrainian neo-Nazi paramilitary organization" which even the FBI said is notorious for its “association with neo-Nazi ideology” was first relabeled as merely "far right" before it became a normal "unit in the Ukrainian military". In yesterday's report about some dubious Ukrainian military success near Bakhmut the Times has taken its next step which is to avoid mentioning Azov at all:” May 12 2023: “Videos released on Friday by Ukraine’s 3rd Separate Assault Brigade showed soldiers piling out of armored personnel carriers and assaulting a Russian trench. “Forward, forward!” a soldier yelled in the video, filmed on a helmet camera. The soldiers dived for cover as Russian fighters threw a hand grenade, then ran forward and threw their own grenade into a Russian bunker. The video could not be independently verified”. When one throws "Ukraine’s 3rd Separate Assault Brigade" into a web search engine one is likely to be pointed to Wikipedia which then reveals the complete name of that military unit: The 3rd Separate Assault Brigade Azov (Ukrainian: 3-тя окрема штурмова бригада Азов) is a brigade of the Ukrainian Ground Forces formed in 2022. ... History The brigade, which was established in November 2022, emerged from the Azov Special Operations Forces (SSO) and initially comprised veterans of the Azov Regiment. Since than its a fully operational combat unit within the Ukrainian Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. During the war Azov has grown through active recruiting from "the Azov Battalion, a Ukrainian neo-Nazi paramilitary organization" into the Azov Regiment and, after losing in Mariupol, into a brigade size unit. Another paragraph in yesterday's NYT report demonstrates that, despite claims to contrary, the ideology of the Azov militia has not changed at all: “The defensive phase of the battle for Bakhmut is ending,” said Andriy Biletsky, who has ultimate command of the brigade, among other units in the Ukrainian Army. Now, he said, Ukraine would ramp up the pressure on the Russians from the north and south. Who is this Andriy Biletsky? Well, you will not learn that from the current New York Times which leaves his title and position undefined.
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