The Christian Orthodox procession that took place in Volgograd on the last Sunday (April 15th, 2012) was marked by very unpleasant incident. The procession was joined by a group of political activists one of whom was wearing the shirt with swastika. It created a surrealistic picture of Christian priest and Russian fascists walking side by side.
Later the Russian Orthodox Church issued apology for this incident:
The procession dedicated to Easter, which last Sunday took place in Volgograd, annoyed most of the laity. In the foreground of this procession together with a number of priests there were representatives of so-called “People’s Militia of Minin and Pozharsky”. They were waving black-yellow-white nationalist flags and at least one guy had swastika appearing from under his jacket. All of this seemed at least strange to the onlookers if not offensive.
- We apologize to all the laity – responded to the incident Father Lazarus from the Volzhsky Monastery. – Some political forces use the authority of the church and in such way want to establish themselves in the eyes of the public, by joining the procession. Without any arrangements with the clergy, they just joined the procession as ordinary lay people, and then later unwrapped the flags. And it would be wrong to stop the procession because of these pseudo-patriots, thus attracting even more attention.
Police also explained why they didn’t see any reason to remove them from the crowd.
- Neither they shouted any slogans nor interfered with the event itself, – told to “Komsomolskaya Pravda” from the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Volgograd region. - They haven’t done anything prohibited by the law, didn’t make any propaganda. But they fulfilled their goal and attracted the public attention.
Netizens on participation of Russian fascists in the Easter procession
And here is what Russian netizens think about this incident (translated comments are from “Komsomolskaya Pravda” and Russian blogs).
Anonymous: Did ments forget about the existence of the article “Propaganda of the nazi symbols”?
Anonymous: I would excommunicate the chief of police or whoever was responsible for the order there.
Anonymous: And why even apologize? They are who they are - the Inquisition. Soon all dissenters will be dealt with.
Anonymous: In Germany they would immediately screw off his head for the Nazi symbols.
Anonymous: At least it can be classified as unapproved rally, since they obviously use flags.
[Note: referring to the fact that many rallies of Russian opposition were handled by police on the grounds of not being arranged and approved in advance]
vashe imya: The guy is both Christian Orthodox and national-socialist. There is no planned “provocation” here. He just unzipped his jacket because he was hot. That’s it!
The rest is speculation.
What is this sensationalism? That Imperial flags are brought to processions? Or that among Russian Nationalists there are also radical National Socialists besides the “respectable” ones?
matraznik: Shoulder to shoulder, excellent picture )
a_kor: They don’t break the laws of Putin’s state.
baby2revolution: Please imprison them all for seven years, they have insulted my feelings of a believing person! :-)
[Note: referring to the members of the scandalous punk group "Pussy Riot" who made a debauchery in the Christ the Savior Cathedral and now might get 7 years of prison]
creator10: So what? Navalny [a prominent Russian oppositionist] had marched with Russian Nazis. And it was normal…
happy_badger: This is Metropolitan of Volgograd, German. I think the guy simply clang to him during the procession. What could he do? Push him away? He might even not notice it.
aniriol: Someone leads someone else straight to the hell.
l_199: Can’t you understand that this guy unzipped his jacket before the pictures were taken? And that the bishop didn’t even know about it? And that the Russian Church doesn’t promote swastika or pro-fascist views? To what state is your brain brought [to think like that]?..
ivansim: What’s so surprising? Orthodoxy and fascism are twin-brothers.
edelveis (asking the previous commenter): And why is that?
ivansim (answering): Factually, they are related misanthropic ideologies…
edelveis (continuing): Depends on what you refer to. If teaching of Christ – he talked about loving the neighbor. But if Russian Orthodox Church – then yes.
ivansim (replying): I refer exclusively to the ideology of the Russian Orthodox Church. Christ’s doctrine is equally irrelevant to it, as swastika to the symbol of Sun, for example.
tufelka_n: One has cross and another has cross…
pycckux: Swastika is likely worn by the provocateur… who wants to discredit the sacred procession. Surely unbuttoned his jacket for the camera.
dimasmel: This world is insane.
vseokey777: ”Sieg Heil!” “Truly, Sieg Heil!”
[Note: parodying the traditional Paschal greeting when one person greets another "Christ is Risen!" and in reply is greeted with "Truly, He is Risen!"]