A Russian Orthodox monastery outside of Moscow is openly cooperating in a youth indoctrination camp run by one of the irregular units that recently fought in eastern Ukraine. When Hamas or ISIS does these kind of things, people often get upset.
Check out this video of the training camp. The training took place in late September and was run by the Russian irregular outfit calling itself ENOT (Raccoon). The ENOT unit is a well-known unit that fought in Donbas and has a pretty lively presence on social media. See this Russian-language article, or this English summary for more information about the camp and the unit (warning, there are some VERY graphic pictures in the article, including members of the group mutilating Ukrainian corpses.) There is an archived copy of the announcement for the training on the website of the unit.
If there is any doubt about the connection of this training camp to the Russian deep-state and the fighting in E Ukraine, the former prime minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Borodai made an appearance. You can see him on the video at the 4:40 mark. At 6:00 he addresses the kids, commending their activities, stressing that “there are many tests ahead of Russia,” and that “there will be lots of fighting ahead.”
According to the video of the training, and the website advertising the training (which includes transit directions) the training took place in cooperation with the St. Nicholas-Berlyukov monastery. This monastery is located a little to the East of Moscow. It was re-founded in 2006. According to the monastery’s website it regularly collects “humanitarian aid” for Donbas. In the video of the training, one can see a monk bless the participants. The promotional material for the camp lays out their legitimacy step by step. The camp was conducted “as part of the military-patriotic education of young people and to prepare young people for service in the Armed Forces of Russia, which is carried out on the instructions of the President and the Government of the Russian Federation, with the blessing of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill,…”
Sure, perhaps this is all a front and the monastery has nothing to do with the camp, it just happens to be nearby. Doubtful, and I haven’t seen any denials in the Russian press. This is a terrorist indoctrination camp conducted with the collusion of a Russian Orthodox Monastery. Russia says it is bombing terrorist infrastructure in Syria. While the Russian state proclaims itself the worst foe of religious extremism it is fostering a new kind of extremist at home. These new extremists have already been used in Ukraine and may be headed to Syria in some numbers right now. Where will they show up next?
Some kids in those videos were given introductory training in firing a pistol from the hip at close-quarters. It looks like they might be doing some training with a traumatic pistol. This training is not combat training, this is for murder. Of course, most of these kids probably just had their parents pay the 300 rubles (about $5) for a fun time in the woods playing soldier, but this is a pool to vet and recruit new operatives, fundraisers, couriers, etc… As usual, the most interesting person in the video is the guy who has his face covered, he was doing the training with pistols.
Then why isn’t the War in Ukraine called a Holy War?
Also on the subject of religious terrorism, a counterpoint: There is evidence of a fissure (or a very clumsy compromise or deception) somewhere in the Russian Deep State that involves the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church.
In early June Russia propaganda said that Kirill announced that the Ukrainian state is godless. He did not say this. A few weeks later Kiril sent a letter to both Putin and Poroshenko appealing for peace. This was interesting because, as you know, Putin never ceases to re-iterate that he is not involved in the war in Ukraine. While Kirill is certainly anti-Maidan and I presume in favor of the seizure of Crimea, he has not broadcast a strident anti-Ukraine view of the fighting on Donbas, despite what Russian propaganda wants Russians to believe.
It looks like some of the Russian Orthodox crazies are starting to notice. After Putin sent his jets down to Syria a senior member of the Russian Orthodox Church declared the fight in Syria a Holy War. This has never been forthcoming in Ukraine. On the website of the ENOT group (that ran that aforementioned camp) there is an article about this discrepancy titled “New Crusade.” Here is an interesting passage.
“…(there was) a completely unexpected statement from the Russian Orthodox cleric Vsevold Chaplan that the church blesses the holy war in Syria. Truly, this is a dream come true. This, which everyone was waiting for against the Ukrainian punishers, happened (with Syria) with a sudden stroke.
But as always, there is a nuance. The schismatic Uniate (Roman Catholic Eastern Rite) “Church” is thriving in Ukraine, and the schismatic Filaret (head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate) is leading a war against the Orthodox Church, capturing parishes and killing priests. But despite this the Russian Orthodox Church does not respond for some reason…
…Most analysts and forecasters have predicted for a long time that the Third World War will be a religious war. It seems they were right. Syria can be seen as a training-ground for every side, so that in future battlefields one can know one’s enemy. Already it is obvious that Europe will become another battlefield…”