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The Holy Trinity and the Future of Russia

Twenty years ago Communism fell and the Soviet Union collapsed. After this momentous event, the new Russian Federation became a sort of Wild East. The kleptocrats of the ex-Communist Party – and the Soviet Union had been a kleptocracy from the outset; it had long been led by the former bank robber and bandit Stalin – then began to pocket whole industries for a few roubles. Their crime of massive theft was dubbed ‘privatisation’. Thus were born the oligarchs as, overnight, ‘Communists’ became ‘Capitalists’.

After the utter decadence of the ‘South Americanisation’ of the 1990s, when less than 1% of the population came to own most of the country’s wealth and the poor were left to starve, a certain minimum of law and order was re-established under President Putin from 2000 on. His name, meaning ‘the path’, signified that at least there was now a direction after the pathless years, the aimlessness and futility of Yeltsin’s 1990s. President Putin even began to claim back some of the money stolen by some oligarchs – although most were protected abroad by corrupt Western governments. Nevertheless, ‘the path’ given, the course set, has not been followed quickly enough. There is growing dissatisfaction.

After the last eleven years it is clear that much remains to be done. Today, perhaps 20% of the population have considerably benefited from the Putin years. That still leaves most of Russia adrift. 20% of prosperity is not a ‘United Russia’, which is the name of Mr Putin’s Party; it is rather a ‘Divided Russia’. Widespread poverty and very poor living conditions, a largely corrupt business elite, a largely corrupt police force and bureaucracy, a manipulative and manipulated media (more or less as in the West - especially in France and Italy), degenerating health and education systems (heading for US levels), the ravages of abortion, alcoholism and drugs, the migration of the young, and, as a result, a rapidly dwindling population - as elsewhere in Eastern Europe these issues have not been resolved.

Little wonder that only 60% of Russians - a level of cynicism similar to that in many Western countries - bothered to vote in yesterday’s elections. In these, Mr Putin’s United Russia Party has suffered as a direct consequence of its failure to tackle the widespread problems systematically, only gaining just over 50% of the seats. (We ignore the hypocritical claims of Western propagandists, funded and fed by Russophobic Western security services, about electoral fraud: whatever the truth, it is doubtful if the fraud is any worse than in Western elections, especially in the third world electoral system of the UK, where no government for some sixty years has had anything like 50% of the vote).

Prosperity has to be spread to all and serious social problems resolved. Interestingly, the only other serious political parties in the Russian Federation are, in order: the repentant Communist Party (about 20% of votes, mainly those of impoverished pensioners and the over 50s), the Socialist ‘Just Russia’ Party (about 12% of votes) and the right-wing nationalist law and order Party of Zhirinovsky (about 11% of votes). If Mr Putin wishes to regain popularity, he will have to listen to these opponents. And they all have a similar message, which is why various of them have thought about merging - although their collective results would still not amount to more than those for ‘United Russia’. Their message is for discipline and order, an end to corruption and the gulf between rich and poor, in a word, the restoration of social justice. Over the last twenty years most of Russia has been baptised; however, it is clear that the political system also needs to be baptised. What can be said of the future?

Firstly, the future of the Russian Federation is to oppose murderous Eastern collectivism. It was with this blood-soaked collectivism that the Russian Empire was infected after its collapse in 1917. Secondly, the future of the Russian Federation is to oppose greedy Western individualism (the egoistic bubble of which has now burst, bankrupting the Western world and sending it with its begging bowl to China). It was with this selfish individualism that the Russian Federation was infected after the collapse of Communism. It is from this latter infection that the Russian Federation is still recovering today, not yet having regained its balance.

In the new 21st century globalised world, the West is no longer dominant. In this world of the technology and trade of the West and the manufactured goods of Asia (China, Japan, India and other Asian nations which are now awakening), the future of the Russian Federation is to combine and balance the best of Europe and the best of Asia. It is in fact to return to the model of the Holy Trinity, One in Three and Three in One, Unity in Diversity and Diversity in Unity, in which the individual and the collective are balanced.

This is not to return to what existed before 1917. If we were to return to the Russia of before 1917, we would simply have another Revolution. We need to return to a more ancient Russia, before the oligarchs (to use a modern word) of the Westernised aristocracy provoked the anger and envy of the masses and Western Powers funded the Revolution in 1917.

In 1918 the holy Schemahieromonk Aristocleus prophesied that the deliverance of Russia would come through China (Orthodox Russia, No 21, 1969). And over one hundred years ago St John of Kronstadt also prophesied that the deliverance of Russia would come from the East (Sursky, Fr John of Kronstadt, Vol 2, p. 24). It may be that the present emergence of China is what lies behind these prophesies, which have long been beyond our understanding.

If so, then we can await the restoration of the great northern Eurasian Confederation of Orthodox Christendom, similar in many respects to the territory of the former Russian Empire before the catastrophe of 1917. But for this to happen, it will require the appearance of a leader, ‘forechosen by the Lord himself, a man of burning faith, great mind and iron will’, as prophesied by Archbishop Theophan of Poltava nearly eighty years ago. Providentially set between East and West, between China and Europe, the destiny of the Eurasian Russian Confederation holds the key and the balance to the future of the whole world.

Archpriest Andrew Phillips

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