Russian policeman at the duty office of a precinct. Photo via versia.ru.
Eastern Religions Now Seen Threatening Orthodox Russia Even More than Protestants Do
Staunton, VA, April 11, 2016 – The explosive growth of Protestant congregations in post-Soviet Russia has worried many Russian Orthodox and Russian nationalist observers, but now some of them say that the rise of Protestantism there has slowed, eclipsed by the growth of the activities of Eastern religions.
In a commentary April 11 on the Kavkazoved.info portal, Vladislav Gulyevich who writes frequently on religious issues says that the Krishna movement has become especially active not only in the European part of Russia but also in the Caucasus and Siberia.” [In Russian, the term “Krishnaism” is often used in a narrower sense than elsewhere: it is what Gaudiya Vaishnavism – one of the traditions of the Hare Krishna, is called.]
Because the leaders of this movement say that they “are not against Christ” and offer not an alternative religion but “a science about God,” they have attracted many Russian followers. But they have explicitly attacked Russian Orthodoxy and the other traditional Russian religions (Islam and Buddhism) as being out of date.
In fact, Gulyevich says, the Krishna movement’s ideas are unacceptable for those who are part of the Russian cultural tradition. According to him, “a Krishna tradition does not exist in Russia,” although there are cases where parents have passed on Krishna ideas to their children and thus separated them from the Russian nation.
The Krishna tradition in no way connected present-day Russians with their ancestors and the history of their country,” Gulyevich says. And thus, it is objectively working against the spiritual unity of Russia and must be opposed to the extent that it is an organized movement and not simply the choice of particular individuals.
Participants in the Krishna movement have attracted some support, he continues, because they insist that they are peace-loving and have “never attacked anyone … ‘in contrast to your Orthodox Russia.’” But in fact, “Indian battalions participated in the intervention in Soviet Russia in 1919 as part of the British expeditionary corps and in the Anglo-Afghan wars.”
Half of All Crimes in Russia Not Being Solved at Present Time
Staunton, VA, April 11, 2016 – Not only high profile political crimes remain unresolved in Russia, experts say. At least half of all crimes are not solved, and the figure may be even worse because over the last several years, the Russian interior ministry and other agencies have stopped initiating criminal investigations or publishing data on real crimes.
“Staffers of law enforcement agencies,” Elena Mishina of Novaya Versiya writes, “don’t hide what is going on: they open criminal cases unwillingly lest the statistics make them look bad. And some of them joke darkly that ‘the ministry of internal affairs has been transformed into the ministry of positive statistics.'”
The approach of Russian police and prosecutors to crimes is very different from that of their counterparts abroad, the journalist says. In other countries, police open a criminal case when there are reports of a crime. If those reports don’t prove to be true, the police then close the case.
But in Russia, the police don’t open a case until they have collected enormous amounts of information; and often this process is so extended that no charges are brought at all, Mishina suggests.
According to Russian law enforcement specialists, the situation has been deteriorating in Russia since the 2011 reforms of the militia [police]. Many experienced investigators lost their jobs and the rate of solving crimes dropped in the course of that year alone by six percent. Since then, they say, the situation has only gotten worse.
Mishina notes that “a particular role in the degradation of the agency has been played by the rise of clans within the current system of the interior ministry,” a pattern that “was not true in the USSR or even in the 1990s.” Regional political leaders install their own people in the interior ministry agencies, and the latter know not to do anything to make their bosses look bad.
Many experts hope, she says, that the reconstitution of the interior ministry now being carried about will change things for the better, but both the FMS and the counter-narcotics police agency have been so unprofessional and even incompetent that more than bureaucratic changes will be needed to solve crimes in these areas.
And there is a very real fear that the latest reform will end with dismissals, unmaskings and reports of progress but lead nowhere. That is because “the police command again is beginning to demand positive statistics … at any price,” including falsifications and the refusal even to register crimes, let alone solve them.