7th July (’22): Kupala Night [Poland, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania and Ukraine]

Kupala Night (Belarusian: Купалле, Polish: Noc Kupały, Russian: Иван-Купала, Ukrainian: Іван Купала), also called Ivanа-Kupala, is a traditional Slavic holiday that was originally celebrated on the shortest night of the year, which is on 21-22 or 23-24 of June (Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia) and in Eastern Slavic countries according to traditional Julian calendar on the night between 6 to 7 July (Belarus, Russia and Ukraine). Calendar-wise, it is opposite to the winter holiday Koliada. The celebration relates to the summer solstice when nights are the shortest and includes a number of Slavic rituals. It involves herb collecting, bonfire lighting, and bathing in the river.

The name of the holiday was originally Kupala; a pagan fertility rite later adapted into the Orthodox Christian calendar by connecting it with St. John’s Day which is celebrated on 24 June. Eastern Christianity uses traditional Julian calendar which is misaligned with actual solstice; 24 June in Julian calendar falls on 7 July in more modern Gregorian calendar.

This holiday symbolizes the birth of the summer sun – Kupalo. In the IV century AD, this day was proclaimed the holiday of the birth of John the Baptist – the forerunner of Jesus Christ. As a result of the Christianization of the pagan feast the name “Kupala” got connected with the Christian “Ivan”.

The Ukrainian, Belarusian name of this holiday combines “Ivan” (Joan/Johan/John, in this case John the Baptist) and Kupala which was thought to be derived from the Slavic word for bathing, which is cognate. However, it likely stems from the proto-Slavic kump, a gathering. The two feasts could be connected by reinterpreting John’s baptizing people through full immersion in water. However, the tradition of Kupala predates Christianity. The pagan celebration was adapted and reestablished as one of the native Christian traditions intertwined with local folklore.
Many of the rites related to this holiday are connected with the role of water in fertility and ritual purification. This is due to the ancient Kupala rites. On Kupala day, young people jump over the flames of bonfires in a ritual test of bravery and faith. The failure of a couple in love to complete the jump, while holding hands, is a sign of their destined separation.

Girls may float wreaths of flowers (often lit with candles) on rivers, and attempt to gain foresight into their romantic relationship fortune from the flow patterns of the flowers on the river. Men may attempt to capture the wreaths, in the hope of capturing the interest of the woman who floated it.

There is an ancient Kupala belief that the eve of Ivan Kupala is the only time of the year when ferns bloom. Prosperity, luck, discernment, and power befall whoever finds a fern flower. Therefore, on that night, village folk roam through the forests in search of magical herbs, and especially, the elusive fern flower.

Traditionally, unmarried women, signified by the garlands in their hair, are the first to enter the forest. They are followed by young men. Therefore, the quest to find herbs and the fern flower may lead to the blooming of relationships between pairs within the forest.

Ferns are not angiosperms (flowering plants), and instead reproduce by spores; they cannot flower.

In Gogol’s story The Eve of Ivan Kupala (also called Saint John’s Eve), a young man finds the fantastical fern-flower, but is cursed by it. Gogol’s tale was adapted by Yuri Ilyenko into a film of the same name, and may have been the stimulus for Modest Mussorgsky to compose his tone poem Night on Bald Mountain.

9th May (’22): Victory Day (Russia and many eastern countries)

Victory Day] is a holiday that commemorates the victory over Nazi Germany in 1945. It was first inaugurated in the 15 republics of the Soviet Union, following the signing of the German Instrument of Surrender late in the evening on 8 May 1945 (after midnight, thus on 9 May Moscow Time). The Soviet government announced the victory early on 9 May after the signing ceremony in Berlin. Although the official inauguration occurred in 1945, the holiday became a non-labor day only in 1965, and only in certain Soviet republics.

In East Germany, 8 May was observed as Liberation Day from 1950 to 1966, and was celebrated again on the 40th anniversary in 1985. In 1967, a Soviet-style “Victory Day” was celebrated on 8 May. Since 2002, the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has observed a commemoration day known as the Day of Liberation from National Socialism, and the End of the Second World War.

The Russian Federation has officially recognized 9 May since its formation in 1991 and considers it a non-working holiday even if it falls on a weekend (in which case any following Monday will be a non-working holiday). The holiday was similarly celebrated there while the country was part of the Soviet Union. Most other countries in Europe observe Victory in Europe Day (often abbreviated to VE Day, or V-E Day), 8 May, as a national remembrance or victory day.

The US government places Kaspersky on the cybersecurity blacklist

In recent days, the Federal Communications Commission has decided to include the Russian security company Kaspersky within the same “entity list” that has hosted Huawei and ZTE since last year. According to the FCC, Kaspersky security products pose a national security risk and therefore will no longer be eligible for federal funds. In addition to Kaspersky, which has long since been banned from all US government networks, China Mobile and China Telecom have also been added to the list of unwelcome companies. “Kaspersky is disappointed with the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to ban the use of certain federal telecommunications subsidies for the purchase of Kaspersky products and services. This decision is not based on any technical assessment of Kaspersky products that the company continually supports. , but it is taken on a political basis, “said the Russian security company. “I am pleased that our national security agencies agreed with my assessment that China Mobile and China Telecom appeared to meet the threshold needed to be added to our list. Their addition, as well as that of Kapsersky Labs, will help protect our networks from threats posed by state-backed Chinese and Russian entities seeking to engage in espionage and otherwise harm America’s interests, “FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said. In this way, Kaspersky earns the double distinction of being the first Russian company and the first company specialized in cyber security to enter the US entity list. Recall that the companies on this list represent, according to the US, a threat to national security and therefore are excluded from the possibility of receiving funds among the 8 billion dollars available every year in the Universal Service Fund program of the Federal Communications Commission, which goes to support telecommunication services in rural areas or for the low-income population or even for institutions such as schools, libraries and hospitals. The move by the FCC comes within the context of the consequences triggered by the military invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation. Company founder Eugene Kaspersky has long been accused of having ties to the Russian military and intelligence, although he has repeatedly stated that his company is completely independent of the government. A couple of weeks ago the German Federal Office for Cybersecurity advised companies in the country not to use Kaspersky products as the company could be forced to put its products at the service of Russian intelligence.

♬ 🇺🇦 ANTI-WAR SONG: Bob Dylan – Masters of War

LYRIC

Come you masters of war
You that build the big guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks

You that never done nothin’
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it’s your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain

You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you sit back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
While the young people’s blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud

You’ve thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain’t worth the blood
That runs in your veins

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I’m young
You might say I’m unlearned
But there’s one thing I know
Though I’m younger than you
That even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good?
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could?
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

And I hope that you die
And your death will come soon
I’ll follow your casket
By the pale afternoon
And I’ll watch while you’re lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I’ll stand over your grave
‘Til I’m sure that you’re dead

TRADUZIONE

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks

You that never done nothin’
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it’s your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain

You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people’s blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud

You’ve thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain’t worth the blood
That runs in your veins

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I’m young
You might say I’m unlearned
But there’s one thing I know
Though I’m younger than you
Even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

And I hope that you die
And your death’ll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I’ll watch while you’re lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I’ll stand o’er your grave
‘Til I’m sure that you’re dead

Venite signori della guerra
voi che costruite i cannoni
voi che costruite gli aeroplani di morte
voi che costruite le bombe
voi che vi nascondete dietro muri
voi che vi nascondete dietro scrivanie
voglio solo che sappiate
che posso vedere attraverso le vostre maschere

Voi che non avete mai fatto altro
che costruire per distruggere
giocate con il mio mondo
come fosse il vostro giocattolo
mettete un fucile nella mia mano
e vi nascondete dal mio sguardo
e vi voltate e scappate lontano
quando volano i proiettili

Come Giuda dell’antichità
voi mentite e ingannate
Volete farmi credere che
una guerra mondiale può essere vinta
Ma io vedo attraverso i vostri occhi
e vedo attraverso il vostro cervello
così come vedo attraverso l’acqua
che scorre nella mia fogna

Voi armate i grilletti
perchè altri sparino
poi vi sedete a guardare
il conto dei morti farsi più alto
Vi nascondete nei vostri palazzi
mentre il sangue di giovani
fluisce fuori dai loro corpi
ed è sepolto nel fango

Voi avete sparso la paura peggiore
che si possa avere
la paura di mettere figli
al mondo
Per minacciare il mio bambino
non nato e senza nome
non valete il sangue
che scorre nelle vostre vene

Cosa ne so io
per parlare quando non è il mio turno?
Potreste dire che sono giovane
potreste dire che non sono istruito
ma c’è una cosa che so
sebbene sia più giovane di voi:
nemmeno Gesù perdonerebbe mai
quello che fate

Lasciate che vi faccia una domanda
il vostro denaro è così potente
che pensate potrà
comprarvi il perdono?
Io penso che scoprirete
quando la Morte chiederà il suo pedaggio
che tutto il denaro che avete fatto
non riscatterà la vostra anima

E spero che moriate
e che la vostra morte arrivi presto
Seguirò la vostra bara
nel pomeriggio opaco
Veglierò mentre siete sepolti
nel vostro letto di morte
e resterò sulla vostra tomba
finchè sarò sicuro che siete morti

Ukraine-Russia war: ‘Russian attack on Wednesday 16 February’.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been informed that the day of the Russian attack will be Wednesday 16 February.

CNN reports it in a breaking news.

Zelensky declared Wednesday, February 16, the potential date of the Russian attack according to the US alert, “day of unity”.

There has been a “dramatic acceleration” in the deployment of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said this, calling on “all Americans still in Ukraine to leave the country immediately”.

Some Russian troops near the Ukrainian border have started moving into “attack positions”. CBS reports this, quoting an American official, according to whom Moscow has moved part of the long-range artillery into firing position.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden agreed that “an opportunity remains” to resolve the crisis in Ukraine “with diplomacy”. Downing Street made it known after the phone call between the two leaders.

“We do not believe that Vladimir Putin has already made a final decision” on the possible attack against Ukraine: Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said, reiterating that military action is possible “at any time”. Kirby, however, did not want to enter into the merits of intelligence information that the scheduled day for the attack would be Wednesday.

Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin will be visiting Brussels, Poland and Lithuania from Tuesday: US Defense spokesman John Kirby announced this.

“There is a chance of finding an agreement with the West,” Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov told President Putin. While Defense Minister Shoigu announced that ‘part of the exercises’ of the armed forces in Moscow ‘is ending, another will be completed in the near future’. During the same meeting, the Russian president, quoted by TASS, said that the expansion of NATO eastwards ‘is infinite, very dangerous and takes place at the expense of the former Soviet republics, including Ukraine’.

But the Pentagon reveals: ‘Russia strengthened its military device on the border with Ukraine over the weekend’

The Italian Russiagate

 

italianrussiagate
The leader of the Lega, Matteo Salvini, with the Russian President Putin.

 

Almost all Americans know the Russigate case or at least have heard of it.

The terminology used to indicate the names of the scandals derives precisely from the famous scandal that occurred in 1972 with an American president: Nixon. In 1972 the watergate scandal broke out. Since then the word gate has been used …

Many people do not know that there is another russiagate: the Italian one.
Although there are still no judicial implications on the case, it is a very important issue because it could affect all European politics.

The coincidence of having two Russiagates overshadows the two events leading the citizen to think that it is an external question.

Moreover, in recent weeks the Italian russigate is taking on more and more relevance because Salvini (leader of the Lega party and former deputy premier) is directly involved and seems to avoid as much as possible questions on the subject.

On October 22nd the RAI3 television channel broadcast an episode with all the details and secrets of the story arousing the criticism (for better or for worse) of many. In fact many politicians are asking Salvini to clarify the matter.

According to many, the Lega would have asked the Russians to finance the electoral campaign for European elections with a good 65 million euros.