Hieromonk Nikon (Belavenets) - SERVICE TO RUSSIA
Questions "Tomorrow" meets the spiritual father of the movement "For Faith and Fatherland" hieromonk Nikon.
Tomorrow. Father, there was a controversy about monarchical project for Russia in the newspaper. It is logical to hear monarchists.
Father NIKON. I recently returned from Madrid, where fulfilled an honorable mission to convey the message of His Holiness Patriarch to the Dowager Grand Duchess Leonida Georgievna in connection with her 95 anniversary. I visited the imperial family, raised in a small elevator to the fifth floor of a rather ordinary house in one of the central avenues of Madrid. The second time in my life I was in a modest apartment of August Family. With great emotion I greeted an amazing woman. Her personal history was affected by the whole tragic history of the XX century. She - the last of the imperial family, who was born before the revolution. Her grandfather - Maj. Gen. suites Emperor Nicholas II, Prince Alexander Iraklievich Bagration-aineee in the 1918 year was killed in Pyatigorsk. Her father left early twenties, from Georgia, but not finding a place for himself in exile, returned back having heard about the relief measures. Grand Duchess studied in Soviet schools in Georgia. When the clouds again began to thicken in the late 1920-s, with the help of Maxim Gorky, they again went to the West. Surprising connection between proletarian writer and the Georgian royal family. However, among the aristocracy at the beginning of the century it was fashionable to support young talents of the people. Young Gorky found refuge in the house of Prince Bagration and subsequently proved to be thankful.
I delivered the message of His Holiness the Patriarch, which said a lot of warm words about the significance of the Grand Duchess, her ministry: "With perseverance and patience, you carried this burden, to help our contemporaries to touch, it would seem, almost lost to the historical traditions of service to the Fatherland. Russian Orthodox church strongly suggests that the Romanov family in the harsh conditions of exile kept the spark of faith and loyalty to the Motherland ".
Tomorrow. The current controversy surrounding the Romanov dynasty, regarding "misconduct" of Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich during the revolution.
Father NIKON. Unfortunately, when it comes to 1917 Russian egg-heads are especially superficial and stereotypical - read a dozen works and think they know Russian history.
One of the favorite myths - a red ribbon, which supposedly had the Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, August grandfather of Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna. Imagine the Grand Duke, walking the streets of Petrograd with the bow. Oh, probably, dozens of journalists of metropolitan newspapers could not miss such a juicy fact. Open the newspaper on March 3, which describes the arrival of the Grand Duke in the Duma. There are all the details what the Grand Duke told, and what M.Rodzianko replied and others, but there is no information about the bow. For the first time a red bow emerges already in exile when the adherents of the Provisional Government, Constituent Assembly, once broken trough, trying to put together a sort of anti-Bolshevik fronts, including back and grass, and orchard, from monarchists to socialists, and the figure of the Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich, nearest to the succession was not suitable to them categorically.
The Great Prince, being a senior in the Imperial House, thought that he had no right to evade the burden that falls on him by will of God. And he was attacked by the people directly involved in the overthrow of the monarchy. For them the most convenient unifying figure, but in any case not a monarchist, appeared to be Grand Duke Nicholas, the former Supreme Commander, Emperor’ uncle. He was pleased to play the role of leader of the emigration, and so that the national-conservative elements could not rally around the Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich, started this campaign. Suddenly, all remembered the red bow and this gossip started to go from one book to another. There is no direct witness of this most bow! But I would like to draw attention to the more important question. The enemies of the monarchy say that the Grand Duke prior of the Emperor’ abdication went to the State Duma. So the aim of his visit to Duma was - to prevent the abdication! On March 1st in St. Petersburg Grand Duke was the only member of the royal family, who, not having any news of the Emperor, left Mogilev, but have not arrived at Tsarskoe Selo, in a situation where, admittedly, the imperial government simply fled. Protopopov, minister of the Interior, responsible for restoring order, went to the Duma, and asked for his own arrest. In these circumstances, the Grand Duke, with a more or less efficient fighting part, considered that it is important to gain time, retain interim committee of the Duma from some ill-advised policies. Trying to influence Rodzianko, he came to him. Contrary to popular belief, the State Duma was dissolved, its meetings were suspended. So the chairman of the Duma, the chamberlain of the Imperial Court, Mikhail Rodzianko, remained the only legitimate officer of the Empire in Petrograd. Grand Duke came to him and offered his support. Unfortunately, Rodzianko was already fascinated by the revolutionary ideas, and declined this support. On the day of the Imperial Family’ arrest Grand Duke, resigned from his post as commander of the Navy Crew Guards.
And interviews of Grand Duke and other Imperial Family members published in the newspapers are full of distortions of words, outright fraudulent. Even today, when there are many alternative media, it is often difficult to restore the truth. What to say about the situation, when the press was actively involved in the process of overthrowing the throne?
By the logic of our grief-monarchists, the Grand Duke just had to sit tight, wait for the abdication - and he would have been an honest man. But the Grand Duke thought that he has no right to sit idly, and must do something. There is a detailed study made by the Director of the Imperial House Office Alexander Zakatov of the February days of 1917 and the role of the Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich. All Grand Duke activity was analyzed by minute precision. His proposed the imperial government to restore order, he attempted to strengthen minister of war, and the mayor of Petrograd. But, unfortunately, those on whom the Emperor put the mission to restore order, did nothing, just going from one building to another, and finally surrendered to the revolutionaries, and the Great Prince, left without support, began to act at his own risk, considering that his duty was to fully utilize all opportunities to save the empire. Yes, it is not happened. And those who tried not to be involved later started throwing stones at him. Most meanness is impossible to think.
Tomorrow. Imperial Family in exile - "questionable contacts", "collaboration".
Father NIKON. If now somebody trying to convince our gullible compatriots that the Imperial House was an advocate of intervention in Soviet Russia, then in exile Cyril was accused of what he was going to compromise with the Soviet regime. Initially, the position of Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich was in the fact that he is not the Emperor of emigration, but he is the Emperor of all the Russian people. Assuming the title of Custodian of the Imperial throne, he issued an appeal to the Russian army, where were remarkable words: "No two Russian armies, is a single Russian Army, standing on both sides of the border." In 1925 he published a statement in which stated: "Once again there are calls in parts of emigration to speak against the Bolsheviks on the side of a foreign armed force. I openly announce that I am against foreign intervention." At the end of 1932 a large emigration was strongly against the Christmas message of Emperor Cyril. He wrote about big construction process which is taking place in the Motherland and it is a crime to ignore it. Then, in the 30-s, in one of the manifestos of the army, he said, "Yes, today, this is known as the Red Army, but on its banner all the more clearly favor the eternal word - Russia."
Do not forget that the main backbone of the dynasty in the thirties was the party of Young Russians, who felt it necessary to preserve the best that has been accumulated over the years of Soviet power, and to connect it with the tradition of Imperial Russia, hence their famous slogan: "The Tsar and the Soviets."
Emperor Cyril spoke against revenge and restitution. That's why he had to work very hard - Imperial House suffered attacks both the left and, alas, right.
Regarding contacts with the German nationalists. The Emperor realized that the First World War, the clash of European powers led to the disappearance of the three great empires. He believed that it was important to try to put an end to this feud. When he was contacted by influential circles grouped around General Erich Ludendorff, he felt that he had no right to reject their support. The circle included Ludendorff and Hitler, who was not Chancellor of Germany, his political biography practically just begun. Then, surrounded by Hitler were strong pro-Russian sympathies. German of Baltic origin Max Erwin von Scheubner-Richter influenced Hitler, he tried to unite the group. Since November 1923, the Munich "Beer Hall Putsch" and the death of Scheubner-Richter, Hitler's mood changed, his position gradually became anti-Russian, which led to the well-known result. Of course, it is very easy to judge now, when we know of what happened later, to accuse someone in the short-sightedness, "not those" contacts. But at least it's not very honest.
The Second World War highly polarized the emigration. Many Russian people were in different camps. Very difficult situation with the Russian emigres were in occupied France. Many were arrested in particular secretary of the imperial family of Rear Admiral George Graf was in concentration camp. Immigrant’s group turned to Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich with a request to issue an appeal to his compatriots, in varying degrees, supporting the liberation aspirations associated with Germany. Did not want to aggravate the situation and the position of Russians in France, knowing their status, the Grand Duke has released a very short statement, the meaning of which was that they themselves should take advantage of Russian situation and liberate Russia from Communism. Compared with the declarations of many of the White generals, statements of hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church in Abroad, the address of the Grand Duke was the mildest and shortest. But speculations about collaboration continue. I must say that the Grand Duke at all times remained under virtual house arrest at his estate in Saint-Briyake. Nevertheless, he did his utmost to alleviate the plight of Russian prisoners who were in camp on the island of Jersey. In 1944, he actually was interned in Germany, as they say "he was strongly encouraged to go to Germany”.
Any unbiased researcher will see that there was nothing similar to collaboration. We know, as in postwar France is very meticulously checked all the cooperation with the occupation administration. Significantly, the Grand Duke was not charged with any claims.
Even after the fall of the communist regime, when many leaders of the liberal wing began to pin their hopes on Western aid, the Grand Duke insisted that we, Russians, should rely on ourselves and be very cautious about foreign participation in our affairs, so that Russia does not become the economic colony of the West. The same line continues to the present Head of Russian Imperial House, Empress Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, who does not consider herself an emigrant, but the person of contemporary Russia. The Imperial Family has never taken foreign citizenship: at the earliest opportunity in 1992, the Grand Duchess received Russian passport.
Her sincere patriotism is confirmed by such a funny and eloquent episode. In 1964 in Madrid took place the final match at the European Cup football. To the capital of Franco's Spain came the Soviet team. Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich and his family were invited by General Franco's government at the podium and watched the match. As you know, the Spaniards won 2:1, and eleven years old Grand Duchess was asked by someone from the Spanish grandees: Are you happy victory, Maria has publicly declared that she supported the Russian team, and they lost only because their boots were worst than boots of Spanish players.
Tomorrow. What is the Imperial House of Russia today, what do you think about its meaning?
Father NIKON. I believe that today, the Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna is a symbol of the unity of the peoples of Russia. Last year, the Grand Duchess was asked in the Central Election Committee: Do you participate in the voting. She replied that she did not participate in some elections in Russia, as the head of Russian Imperial House can’t divide her compatriots to parties they all are equally dear to her, regardless of party affiliation. And it is not just fine words. In 2003, the Grand Duchess visited the Volgograd region. She was accepted by the Governor Maksyuta, who is member of the Communist Party Central Committee. About her visit to Ulyanovsk there was warmest article in local Communist newspaper.
Many in exile do not understand the relationship of Russian Imperial House, to members of the Russia army. How she could reward the former Soviet officers with the Imperial awards. But for the Grand Duchess important is not the "politeness” but and achievements and services to the people. Recently we have experienced the death anniversary of the Hero of Russia, Colonel General Gennady Troshev. On his uniform of the Order of St. Nicholas was side by side with Soviet and modern Russia's military awards. I think that is the clearest symbol of the unity of our people and the continuity of our history.
The most important event in May of this year was the highest visit to the Pridnestrovskuyu Moldavskuyu Republic. During the week there were a lot of meaningful events. This is the decision to take under the Highest patronage Tiraspol Interior Ministry legal Institute. And the fact that the Grand Duchess became the godmother of the Republic Vice-President Lieutenant-General Alexander Korolev. And a genuine love and gratitude with which the residents met the head of Russian Imperial House, seeing her as a symbol of Russian support of the great Western imperial enclave in the former Soviet Union.
It must be said about the immense contribution of Russian Imperial House in restoring the unity of the Russian Church. Imperial Family has never adhered to any one jurisdiction, always stressing its neutrality with respect to internal church disputes. The fact that Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna as head of Russian Imperial House, following her father supported the Most August, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, has become a weighty contribution to the reunification of the parts of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Tomorrow. In the 90-s everybody were intrigued by the news that the Tsarevich preparing to enter the Suvorov school.
Father NIKON. Unfortunately, the desire of the Grand Duke to receive military training in Russia stumbled on the political opposition of Yeltsin's leadership and the initiative was stopped at the level of the Presidential Administration, headed by Chubais.
Grand Duke graduated from Oxford, he is a lawyer. He worked in the European Parliament, then for two years at the agency of the European Commission on Nuclear Safety in Luxembourg. Since last November, was appointed advisor to Chief Executive Officer of Norilsk Nickel and defends the interests of Russia in the Nickel Institute in Brussels. There is a real trade war against Russia the European Commission is trying to link the supply of nickel to Europe, with regular special permit. Russia categorically disagrees, and now all the efforts of the Grand Duke are directed to defense the positions of our country.
In April, the Grand Duke made a trip to Norilsk, where descended to a depth of nearly two thousand meters in the mine called "Komsomolsk".
Tomorrow. Implementation of monarchical project usually provokes the concern regarding a possible crack in the system, starting with restitution and ending with aggravation of interethnic relations, until the collapse of Russia.
Father NIKON. Imperial House of Russia has always opposed the indiscriminate demolition of everything. Moreover, the Grand Duchess stresses that we should concentrate on construction, rather than destruction. Recently in an interview with the empress there was discussion about monuments and their renaming. Grand Duchess said that now in Spain she is witnessing a campaign to erase from the national memory of all that is connected with the Franco era. The Empress saw that she understands the Communists. It is painful to watch destruction of the symbols which are directly related to their lives. And here we need to conduct the most sensitive policy. The pain of every Russian man - that her pain, and the problem of monuments and names - not the most important thing in our life today.
In every interview the Grand Duchess said she like her grandfather and her father did not speak for restitution. However, speculation continues. According to the Grand Duchess, restitution in modern Russia would have led to a wild repartition of property and civil disorder. And Russia has earned peace and tranquility.
Regarding the national question, recall the typical episode, when in 1993 the Grand Duchess with her family sailed on the boat on the Volga. There also was a group of businessmen from Kazan. Then Yeltsin phrase "take sovereignty as much as you can" was the motto of the borderlands, and there was a certain tension: how these people will perceive the presence of the Head of Russian Imperial House. What was surprising suite, where businessmen have asked to be introduced to Empress. Explaining their desire, they told: we have contradiction with the republican authorities in Moscow, but there can be no conflict with the Imperial family.
Many peoples of Russia have respect for the White King in the blood. That liberal system and its offshoots do not correlate with the bulk of Russia, the diversity of its cultures. Particularly progressivist unification is resisted by natural right and desire of peoples to live by their own laws, according to their traditions. In the Russia Empire there were different modes: in Finland there was a constitution, and in the Bukhara emirate ruled by Muslim law. Monarchy has a different approach, like in the family. The monarchy is a big family. All children are equally precious: that the elder that junior. But for all of them head of family has individual standards, but not to force them to wear clothes of one size. Blooming complexity of peoples and cultures is the only possible in the imperial project.
Why am I surprised antimonarchic attacks from the pages of your newspaper? "Tomorrow" is regularly appealed to the federal policymakers - become leaders, and in response sounds - we are only employees, managers, the bureaucratic superstructure. And legally they are right. Today we are in line with the development of Western civilization, when the State is only a matter of social contract. Principle of spiritual leadership is consistent metaphysically and legally indeed in monarchical project.
Tomorrow. One motif sounds often. Yes, they are nice, well-educated people, but ... absolutely Western, they are not connected with our reality, lost Russian soul long time ago...
Father NIKON. In general, it seems to me that the Grand Duchess Maria and Tsarevich much more aware of modern Russia than many of our federal officials, who thoroughly studied the Cote d'Azur of France and London Chelsea. Grand Duchess visited almost all regions of our country, from the west to Vladivostok and Magadan. A Grand Duke tried the depth.
In this regard, all the true patriots of Russia should welcome the efforts of Her Imperial Highness to strengthen ties with Great Russia.
Somebody fight. Here are anonymous libels, and the project "Michael of Kent" involved. Many, including the establishment, would like to see in the imperial family of some puppets, which can be manipulated as needed. Grand Duchess makes it clear that she has a position from which she never leaves.
Nobody says that you can’t criticize the idea of a monarchy or estimate the Romanov dynasty in negative terms. But let's deal openly and explicitly, not hanging labels, without cliché and stereotypes.
Imperial House of Russia has consistently expressed support for the creative processes in our country. If next to our authorities will be a symbol of the national history continuity, which is the Imperial House, it will only strengthen the power. People oppose the imperial family, thus act against Russia's statehood. In fact, they want to deprive the existing Russia strong in-house bar. They'd love to have caused a blow to the Russian Church, but the Church has matured enough, nothing could be done to it. The same institution strengthening our statehood could become the Imperial House of Russia, subject to his final return to Russia.
With regard to the misuse of words - the Grand Duchess, Tsarevich, then, sorry, it's just stupid. Nobody will address to His Holiness simply: Vladimir Mikhailovich. Although in terms of legislation, RF - a secular state, all religions are equal. However, everyone understands the role of the Orthodox Church. According to his passport Holiness Patriarch is V.M. Gundyaev, but all reasonable people turn attributed to him - "Your Holiness".
Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna no one is arguing, she serves her people. Voices are being raised: what they say, she does? Simply "tours" for her own pleasure for the country? Yeah, try to participate in such "tours".
I accompanied the Grand Duchess during a visit toPridnestrovie. All members of the delegation toppled to the ground from exhaustion. "Tour" began in the early morning, when at nine o'clock the first meeting, further visits to military units, businesses, hospitals, cultural institutions ... But we could sit down stealthily, to go somewhere. Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna has always been viewed and not allowed herself to relax for a second. It is a hard work, which can be understood only twist so within a few days.
Again, think: the meeting - this is not the level of resources, decisions. But the policy - not just a set of tangible actions. It is a tool of influence, the impact on people. Visits of the imperial family in the former part of one country affect the people and in respect to Russia itself. As noted by PMR President Igor Smirnov referring to the Grand Duchess: "You are doing a lot to elevate the glory of Great Russia, so - help us. Because Pridnestrovie people have always been together with Russia."
Nobody says that tomorrow monarchy should be imposed upon the people, but Russian Imperial House should have possibility to return to the Fatherland. It is important that the Imperial House has gained status as a kind of historical institute. This is not linked to the privileges or resources. It is important that the recognition or non-recognition of Imperial Family members do not depend on the good or ill will of an official from the president to the governor. This should be a solution that will operate for many years to come.
In fact, the historical identity of today's Russia is in the air. Giving the status of Russian Imperial House would strengthen continuity. This would allow the House of Romanov to continue its mission of national unity. That is not always convenient to make the existing policy, may the Imperial House of Russia do it through their family ties.
First of all, this is a diplomatic capacity to promote the interests of Russia, establish contacts. In Serbia, the successor to the throne Prince Alexander Karageorgievich received back the royal residence and state guards. He does a tremendous job in support of the international prestige of Serbia, and raising the national spirit. When the Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich made a visit to Russia, his cousin Bulgarian king Simeon II said: "You opened the way for all of us” Years passed. There is a corresponding status in Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, but in Russia we still do not have result.
The interview was conducted by Andrei Smirnov