Commentators try to come to grips with how the planned Cuba meeting between two of Christendom’s more or less venerated patriarchs will fall out, when it takes place at the airport in Havana February 12. How will a 1000 years of sorrow and pain be treated in a private conversation no longer than two hours?

Kubasession ..

Moscow Patriarch and Bishop of Rome on their way to Havana – what if they be caught in a total blockade against all and everything ?

It is stated in an article in Radio Echo Moscow: “Этот тот самый случай, когда форма важнее содержания” (= It’s just such an occasion when the form is more important than the content).

And perhaps that is precisely what one could expect.
A highlight of formalism.

 

New York Times

Putin – singled out by a British court as a “probable” orderer of the murder of Litvinenko, is now  engaging himself , among other things, in discussions about the role of Lenin in Russian history

Lenin

Vladimir Ilich Lenin

The same day that the British High Court had published its report on the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, Putin held talks with some members of the “Council for Science and Education of the President of the Russian Federation ” and discussed quite lively which educational institutions really should receive economic support from the State in the present situation .

One of those academics, head of Kurchatovsky Institute Mikhail Kovalchuk, recalled that prominent researchers have coped with scarce resources, and he – by quoting a poem by Pasternak –  first of all called for new ideas:

Then, when I saw him clearly
I thought, and wondered without end
On his initiative and the right
to  take the leadership.
The answer is: He ruled the flow of thoughts
and therefore – the whole country

/ Originally: Тогда, его увидев в яви,
я думал, думал без конца
об авторстве его и праве
дерзать от первого лица.
Ответ такой: он управлял теченьем мысли
и только потому – страной /

The poem was written in the 1920th  and was dedicated to Lenin and his role in history. Putin remarked after hearing the poem, that the flow of thoughts must be managed in a proper way, “..and not as Vladimir Ilich Lenin managed them”. According to Putin Lenin’s thoughts led “..to the collapse of the Soviet Union. He put a nuclear bomb under the building called Russia, and subsequently it was destroyed .”

These statements shook the russian society. Presidential press secretary had to comment: “.. everyone has the right to express his opinions, even the country’s president.” The communist party’s representative said he hoped that it was “… a careless word from the president.”
“Lenin can not be blamed for the atomic bomb”, someone objected.

And so Vladimir Putin had to explain what he had said about Lenin. (A statement which certainly can be worth taking a closer look at, at some point) .

Or did Putin only distract from what happened in London? A Russian-speaking critic puts it this way in a tweet:

rysk tweet

In translation:
(Someone, to Putin): – Vladimir Vladimirovich, do you agree that the use of polonium is equal to “nuclear terrorism”?
(Putin): – Why me? Look at Lenin – he was a nuclear terrorist!

 

 

The Guardian, Le Monde ,The Salt lake Tribunal, Tass

Obama held a little unusual “State of the Union” speech  the other day, as he looked ahead, and challenged Americans not to fear the future.

Putin, giving an interview to the German magazine “Bild“, prefers to look backwards and talk about “what mistakes the West has made over the past twenty-five years.” It is, according to him, perhaps above all, that they did not take advantage of the opportunity, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, to really overcome the division in Europe. Russia has also made mistakes, he says, by not having, in sufficient time, announced about their national interests…

stars

Now, twenty-five (26) years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, with diverse sanctions from the West together with a russian effort to as much as possible escape influences from the west, at least some western stars remain over the russian-speaking cultural sphere. The movie “Star Wars” is said to have  rather high visitor numbers in Russia, and the creator of the song “Starman” – David Bowie –  is, after his death, certainly not exalted the way he is in western media, but a crowd of Bowie fans are said to have stood and sung his songs outside the British Consulate in St. Petersburg, while an awesome snow-storm whirled around their heads.

Let’s move forward in the new year 2016,  hoping that we may escape the great Jabba…