Some in Donbas who want to create a new ‘Russian world’ are reaching back to pre-Christian times



Analysis & Opinion, Russia, War in the Donbas

Even as commentators in Moscow continue to debate whether the new Russian world should be based on the Soviet system or alternatively on the tsarist one, some Russians in the Donbas are reaching back to pre-Christian ideas and practices in the hopes of coming up with a definition that all Russians will come to accept.

And while their numbers are not large, at least not yet, they set a tone which is anti-Semitic, anti-modern and anti-intellectual that casts a far larger and darker shadow on those with whom they associate, a trend not unknown to those who have studied what happened in Russia during the Civil War and elsewhere during equally serious periods of upheaval.

In “Novaya gazeta” yesterday, journalist Yekaterina Fomina provides a glimpse into this typically hidden world of those who would restore pre-Christian paganism using the most modern of technologies, the Internet, and who believe non-Aryans are “reptilian” and should be destroyed.

According to Fomina, only about 1.5 percent of Russians say they follow the pre-Christian faiths of their ancestors. But because these pagans believe among other things that people can be only priests, farmers, or warriors, many of them are drawn to wherever there is fighting – and hence the share of such people is far higher on the Russian side in the Donbas.

In some places in the Russian Federation, such as Novosibirsk, the pagans are a well-organized sect; but in most, they are scattered and the followers of this most traditional of faiths which involves the worship of nature and spirits find one another via Facebook pages or online sites.

Those who have gone to fight in the Donbas form groups who celebrate the ancient gods and promote their ideas which include the notions that the Ukrainian leadership consists predominantly of Jews – President Petro Poroshenko according to them is a Jew named Valtsman — and that Russians as Aryans are superior to all other peoples.

Many of those in the pro-Moscow forces there say they were once “nominal” Christians but have now found their true faith and calling by fighting in the Donbas, Fomina reports. They vary on many things but are united by “the odious ideal of the superiority of the Slavs and sometimes more broadly of the Aryan race.”

The main enemies of Russians, these new pagans believe, are “’the reptiloids,’” a term they use to refer to other nations who supposedly have intermarried with animals and then risen to dominate whole peoples. Such humanoids must be wiped from the earth, according to the pagan thinking if the deserving are to flourish.

The Russian Orthodox Church refuses to have much to do with these people except to condemn them, but some like Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin have called for conducting “’enlightenment’ work” with them. That doesn’t bother the pagans who like to keep their distance from anything they see as linked to the political system.

One pagan said debating with officials or clergy online is a waste of time and told Fomina he “doesn’t like democracy. Instead, [he] prefers a traditional structure consisting of priests, warriors and peasants.” He’s for “this structure at the level of a single village or an entire empire. That isn’t important” — although he added quickly that he “likes an empire.”

Edited by: A. N.

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  • Nowhere Girl

    Still, not all neo-pagans are nationalists. One could even argue that those who are nationalists are not-so-true neo-pagans – because their faith is not spiritual but political; not based on truly spiritual/religious convictions, but on rejection of Christianity as “Semitic”.

    • Turtler

      Bingo. And this is something I’ve noticed. I myself am a Christian, but I am able to hold dialogue with plenty of neo-Pagans. These people aren’t murderous savages because they are non Christian any more than Hitler’s Odin-fascination caused the Holocaust.

      Racist totalitarianism stinks the same pretty much regardless of what garbs it wears. The fact that these have so many things in common with the nominally Christian Putin regime says it all.

  • Brent

    Great….the DPR have their own “Tea Party”…… least KGB Putin and KGB agent Patriarch Kiiril aren’t on their side…lock them all in one room with all the vodka they can drink and all the guns they can carry and that will solve it.

    • Turtler

      As a member o the Tea Party, I politely object to the conflation of these goons with Tea Partiers. Yes, ever group has its’ nutjobs, but these have very little in common with even the worst caricature of the Tea Party.


      • puttypants

        I agree. However, Im reading a book by Andrew Wilson, The Ukraine an unexpected Nation. Interesting, These people are practicing ancient Ukrainian pagan rituals. It’s about independence, freedom, love of the earth, animals and all mankind. Nothing wrong with those value’s. I made a derogatory remark earlier but now I’d like to know more of their philosophy. Sometimes what is old is new again!

    • Jack McColley

      Who cares about what those left in Donbas want? Russia helped destroy the area making what was poor into an example of complete devestatlion. Now, Russia has added up the cost of supporting the area and have quickly said “nyet.” They now want Ukraine to fix the area they destroyed. Ukraine knows Donbas is an area they can not possibly rebuild with their current or potential resources. Russia knows that, and they will be happy keeping Donbas poor and miserable as they have in every other area they have taken (Georgia, Maldova, Chechnya). Whoever gets Donbas loses. Russia has lost by “annexing” Crimea. It too is quick sand for money. Europe also does not want to get involved. They have their hands full with Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal. They don’t need Ukraine (especially Donbas) as an additional financial burden. If Ukraine is to succeed and really earn its independence, it has to go it alone. That’s sad, but it’s a fact of life.

      • The truth

        Donbas has potential ! Agriculture, mines, ship yards . It could be going again after liberation. without too much cost !
        Reconstruction of what has been destroyed can be a stimulans for Ukraine . Of course it would take time, but it is not impossible !

  • Being

    Yes Why inteligence+science and look to future when idiotness is much easier and widely understandable. So Donbas is Kremlin’s picture of modern world-cool.

  • puttypants


    • Jack McColley

      It’s a waste of time to even report on such a stupid story.

  • chris hawkins

    Tukhachevsky too chose a pagan God of war before Stalin had him shot.