Russian religious extremists have brought Taliban-style justice with them to east Ukraine. Many of the Russians who have flocked to fight in the Donbas have been motivated by a brand of Russian Orthodox religious fanaticism which has flourished under Vladimir Putin’s 15-year reign. They are now introducing this oppressive brand of fundementalist conservativism in occupied parts of Ukraine. – 11/6/2014: “The lines between church and state have long been blurred in Russia. President Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill – the head of the Russian Orthodox Church – have a famously close relationship, with Kirill once describing Putin as ‘a miracle from God’.


Russian Orthodox Church to use secular schools for Sunday classes – 11/24/2014. – 11/24/2014.

Even having their own sovereign state — incidentally, the largest in the world — with its centuries of rich history, their own language, their own highly developed and world-renowned literature and their own Orthodox Church and patriarch, these Russians seriously fear that circumstances will strip them of their Russian identity and turn them into something else. At the same time, they overlook the fact that Russians are mercilessly destroying the identities of their closest Slavic neighbors — the Ukrainians and Belarussians. – 11/23/2014.

Second, such coverage would have been equipped to explain the pervasiveness of corruption of Ukraine and how Yanukovych’s Donetsk clan were able to seize control of the country despite his defeat during the Orange Revolution. This in turn would have allowed western audiences to see that the Euromaidan protests triggered by Yanukovych’s decision not to sign the Association Agreement last November was not driven primarily by Ukrainians’ burning desire to be part of the EU, but the recognition that Yanukovych was attempting to establish permanent mafia-rule in Ukraine. At the same time, Putin’s willingness to help Yanukovych could be seen for what it was, a means to give Yanukovych the rope needed to continue his corrupt ways and weaken the Ukrainian state to the point where it would become beholden to Russia. – n.d./ 2014.

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