As it is already well known, on Thursday his Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill I arrived in Kiev, Ukraine where he is to stay for three days to mark the 20th anniversary of the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev. The Patriarch’s arrival in Ukraine was momentarily marred by yet another provocation against the Russian Orthodox Church, when Yana Zhdanova, a member of a Ukrainian group calling themselves Femen, rushed the Patriarch as if to attack him, shouting “Get out! Get out!”. She was intercepted within meters of Patriarch Kirill by a priest, body guards and members of the security detail, who within seconds surrounded his Holiness and escorted the screaming woman away.
The attack appears to have been carefully planned and designed to get maximum press attention, as his arrival would be the moment when he would be in the limelight the most. The words “Kill Kirill” were carefully written in large letters on the woman’s bare back in English. To me this was a curious detail no one has really noticed but which makes it clear the act of provocation was choreographed for the Western media. Had it been aimed at Russia or Ukraine the words would have been obviously written in the language of either country. It is also clear she did not act alone.
The Femen women protest group famous for its radical exhibitionism first appeared in 2008.
Femen also posted a statement on the Internet accusing the Patriarch of encouraging the detention of activists, an obvious reference to members of another provocation group Pussy Riot which on February 21, 2012 desecrated the Christ the Savior Cathedral and are currently detained in Russia.
Some say Femen aims to advance women’s rights but I think the “women’s libbers” of the 60s would not support their tactics, if you are as old as I am, or older you may recall how those “feminists” threw away their bras, high-heels and cosmetics because they were “womanizing” objects and dressed in a sever fashion, yet these women choose to wear sexy lingerie and run around top-less in a bid for attention.
If these two groups really have a coherent agenda we can sympathize with, such as women’s rights, freedom of expression or eliminating prostitution, then I am afraid their message is not getting through. What is getting through is the fact that they have absolutely no respect for any kind of authority and that their tactics are vulgar and socially unacceptable. How they behave is always the focus, not why they are doing what they do, that is assuming they really do have a message and are not just out to insult and provoke Russians and the Orthodox Church.
This time the reaction from the West is a bit more subdued, compared to all of the Pussy Riot hoopla. However, many in the Western press are still attempting to show this in a way which plays down the vulgarity of the display. Had anyone rushed the Pope with Kill the Pope written on their back, well you know what the reaction to that would have been.
Another curious thing concerning both groups is the lack of transparency they possess when it comes to who backs them financially. This is very important because when you want to know what an organization is really about you have to look at who is financing them. Several web searches only revealed the names of a German individual called DJ Hell, one Helmut Josef Geier and Jed Sunden, an American ex-pat living in Ukraine who is the publisher of the English language Kiev Post, as financial backers for Femen. No information on the shadowy backers of Pussy Riot is currently available.
Jed Sunden, a pro-Western American with a history of meddling in the internal affairs of Ukraine, a man who called Lenin statues: “… a disgusting sight Ukraine should be ashamed of….” and was declared persona non grata in Ukraine, might be a good indication of who is behind these groups. If they are being financed by the West, then this would explain many things, among them the level of arrogance and boldness and lack of coherent message they both possess. They also appear to exist for one reason, to provoke Russia.
On July 28, Patriarch Kirill will take part in commemoration ceremonies to mark the day of the Enlightenment of Rus’, a national holiday in commemoration of the anniversary of Kyiv’s baptism and of Saint Volodymyr. After the service, the primate will lay flowers by the eternal flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Hopefully the likes of Pussy Riot and Femen will have the good taste to not attempt to mark the events with yet another vulgar, pointless and silly display of their own foolishness.
How about it girls? Maybe you should all write a coherent argument in the form of a treatise (not striptease), or an essay and distribute it to the masses (after all you do have a publisher as a backer). Here’s another idea: gather a million signatures in support of some change in policy. That is what real activists do. And please keep the vulgarity to yourselves and for crying out loud, keep your shirts on, your message (if you have one) is being ignored and overshadowed by your public nudity and anti-social behavior. Or could it be you have no message?
The views and opinions expressed here are my own.