Friday, 23 December 2016

Year-end Newsletter 2016

From Koozma J Tarasoff and Kristina Kristova

Dear Friends,

Pearls Before Swine, by Stephan Pastis, GoComics, Dec. 25, 2016.

The year 2016 has passed by quickly. Both Kristina and I are well and keep busy on our respective activities.

This summer Kristina spent a month in her homeland Bulgaria visiting friends and relatives whom she misses a lot. Her brother Dmitar, long retired, continues to live in Burgas, while son Orlin resides in Bozensi and Sofia while working as composer musician. Kristina’s daughter Milena lives and works as a music teacher in Ottawa.

With the International Languages Program (IL Elementary Program), Ottawa Catholic School Board Continuing and Community Education Department, Kristina continues her Saturday morning work as Site Administrator looking after 240 students. In July she did the same with a full month of work in the Summer School.

On June 3rd, Koozma’s brother John died at the age of 88 in Saskatoon and Koozma joined John’s children in the city celebrating John’s life as ‘a Canadian pioneering hero’. We all miss him dearly ‘a memorable brother, a friend, a father to Lorne, Kerry and Wendy — an example of a hard working man to all of us, our children and our grandchildren’.

As in many previous years, Koozma was busy as a peace activist, peace journalist, and photographer. He appeared as Peace Elder with Bill Bhaneja on Rogers TV in May. He supported the protest against CANSEC with its annual international arms trade show in Ottawa in the same month. His biggest challenge was the Ottawa Peace Festival 2016 where his illustrated Tarasoff Briefs highlighted the 11-day event celebrating peace and environment activities in Canada’s capital city.

Koozma has continued to host the Spirit-Wrestlers Website and Blog with webmaster Andrei Conovaloff in Arizona, focusing on Doukhobors and relevant issues. We often simultaneously co-edit my drafts using Google Hangouts (similar to Skype), and share news and ideas. Our ongoing projects involve false material about Doukhobors in print and on the Internet.

Koozma is behind schedule on his first eBook: Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers and Their Friends, with 35 contributors. Sorry, I get interrupted, often carried away, with important current peace stories.

Koozma’s son Lev continues to teach physics at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland, commuting from Guelph, Ontario. Dr. Tarasov manages glacial research with local and international collaborators. His wife Dorothee Bienzle manages a laboratory studying retroviruses, at the University of Guelph. Son Jaspar studies at Queen's University in Kingston in a dual BSc in Kinesiology and physics; he will have an overseas semester in Auckland, New Zealand this spring (fall in New Zealand); and he was the 2016 Frosh Week coordinator for his college. Daughter Katya will finish high school and will spend February to May travelling around the world before returning for soccer season.

Koozma’s daughter Tamara continues to work for Parks Canada. Her recent trip to the Western Arctic was a highlight for the year. Her husband John continues to work for Heritage Canada. Their son Nicholas began his first year of studies in Mechanical Engineering at McGill University in Montreal, while daughter Elena goes to Filamen Wright School in Gatineau, Quebec. Both children are top students in school and are active in sports.

Keeping healthy and fit has been a preoccupation for all of us. Koozma’s children and families have been active in outdoor sports such as canoeing, hiking, and skiing. Koozma does his morning and evening exercises and takes outdoor walks on a regular basis. To keep their balance and remain in shape, Koozma and Kristina have joined an aerobic dance class for seniors.

As the year comes to a close, we wish our dear friends around the world the best of good health, creativity, joy, love and happiness in 2017.

Koozma J. Tarasoff and Kristina Kristova, 882 Walkley Road, Ottawa, Ontario K1V 6R5, Canada. Emails:,

Previous year-end reports 
     2015  2014 — 2013 — 2012 — 2011 — 2010 — 2009

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Doukhobors and Tolstoy Inspire Novel

Prattis  book.jpeg
Book review of a "futuristic novel"
New Planet, New World
by Ian Prattis, 2016. 288 pages.

How can we build a sustainable community from scratch on a new planet? Dr. Prattis shows 'the demise of modern civilization' via climate change, violence, inequality, and wars on earth, and attempts to provide an innovative architecture for its resurrection on another planet.

This is Prattis’ third book of a trilogy titled:
Chronicles of Awakening
  • Book One: Redemption
  • Book Two: Trailing Sky Six Feathers
  • Book Three: New Planet, New World
Ian Prattis is a friend and retired Professor of Anthropology and Religion from Carleton University in Ottawa, Buddhist teacher, and author. His fictional novel New Planet New World was partially inspired with my help by the teachings of Lev N. Tolstoy and the Doukhobors. It offers hopeful solutions for our addiction to fossil fuels.

We got to know each other working on the annual Ottawa Peace Festivals for 10 years. Prattis, through his organization Friends of Peace hosted the largest gathering of musical performances at City Hall. I am glad he asked me about the Doukhobor Movement and Tolstoy and integrated the wisdom into his book.

In the book, the teachings of Doukhobors and Tolstoy relate to the central value of love, the willingness to cooperate and share, as well as compassion for humanity — values of gentleness, nonkilling and respect which provide hope for the creation of a society without wars.

In short, Earth is destroyed and rebuilt from scratch by '... protagonists ... from different centuries and cultures.' The hero Sian the Celtic seer works with Catriona, blood sisters, Four Hopi Sacred Keepers, Doukhobors, Tolstoy, and others. The survivors conquer the problems of individualism and greed that destroyed Earth, connect as human beings, reject self-centeredness and self-absorption, and take care of Nature.

After two stages of space flight, Prime 3 on Jupiter One Station had a change of crew of Americans replaced by a Chinese and Russian co-pilot from their respective Space Agencies. The Russian co-pilot was Nikolai Chutskov, with wife Elena and son Igor. In the attempted landing on a new planet there was an explosion and the parents were separated from their children, and some pioneers were killed. Two children Andrew and George who lost their parents were adopted by the Chutskovs.

At a meeting of the new settlement, Elk Village, Nikolai addressed the pioneers including Igor and his adopted children, saying they were descendants of the Russian Doukhobors who 'followed a path of peace' (pages 215-216):
The Doukhobors created a movement for peace ethics and community in nineteenth century Russia. They rejected both state militarism and the clergy. In 1895 they sent a strong message of protest by burning three piles of government-issued guns and swords to emphasize their ethics of non-killing and community. This immediately brought state persecution and exile. An initial migration of seven thousand five hundred Doukhobors to Canada soon followed with the help of Tolstoy....
Elena picked up the story. 'Tolstoy was an incredible philosopher and is regarded to this day as the conscience of humanity. He articulated the beliefs of the Doukhobor Movement in his prolific writings, referring to them as "people of the twenty fifth century," which is quite a statement about how they were ahead of their times. They had ethics, values, education and community-living bound up in a new paradigm that re-visits us today with the establishment of Oasis and the the two new settlements to be created at Crossroads and Black Elk Village. We are just hearing about them....'
Elena continued. 'Our ancestors did not migrate to Canada. They settled with other communities in Georgia and at the same time stayed true to their Doukhobor beliefs. This was passed down from generation to generation and came to rest with Nikolai and me. We chose to make a career as astronauts [cosmoauts] with the Russian Space Program rather than serve in the military....The Wisdom of the Elders fits the creed we were born into love, caring, ecology, community and peace....'
Prattis explained his inclusion of Tolstoy:
Ethical settlements grow as a mirror for Tolstoy's vision of 'people of the 25th century' – ahead of their time. ...The inclusiveness of science combines with Tolstoy's vision, ... The underlying message is from Tolstoy, the 'Conscience of Humanity.' He described humanity's bottom line as the cultivation of love, the mainspring for authentic and responsible living. I do not present this as idealism, rather as down to earth wisdom.
The narration is well-crafted, technologically knowledgeable, fast-paced, with twists and turns suitable for a movie. The characters are historically international. The problems to be solved are real — poverty, rape, jihadists, PTSD, hate, revenge, youth involvement, and more.

Mysticism combines with hi-tech. The power of extra sensory perception, dreams and creative breathing are explained. The previous 2 books provide Guidelines for organization, work, ceremony for people to mature, protocols for justice and relations with other people and all creatures and the land are discussed by Rising Moon, mother of Trailing Sky and others.

This is a book for our times which addresses Climate Change, violence, and mass murder wars; and is really about love.

Get it as a gift for your children whose future will depend upon how we handle our problems wisely in the spirit of knowledgeable and friendly humanity. Order from Amazon for Hardcover, Paperback or Kindle E-book editions. Soft cover $25 Canadian, plus S&H. If you order directly from Prattis you will receive a FREE copy of Redemption and Trailing Sky Six Feathers with your purchase!

Thank you Ian Prattis for writing your muse. I was glad to share my knowledge of Doukhobors and Tolstoy with you. My ancestors are honoured you heeded their wisdom.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Q75: 1899 Doukhoboer Baseball Team?

From: Dmitri Fofonoff, Grand Forks, British Columbia (November 19, 2016)

Although we haven't seen each other for years, we did meet a long time ago. While I have lived in Vancouver for a long time, I grew up in Grand Forks, and attended UBC. I continue to read your contributions to Iskra, and sense your interest in Doukhobor history.

I have run across an old reference to Doukhobors in a Toronto paper, and thought you might be interested, and might be able to solve a bit of a mystery.

First, some background. I lived in Toronto (1975-1985) and while there was a member of the Royal Canadian Curling Club. The club recently celebrated its 125th anniversary and decided to look into its history. It started as an athletic club and a bicycle club before transforming into a skating club, and finally a curling club in the 50's. The members also participated in other sports over the years, including baseball. ...

... In the summer of 1899, the Royal Canadian Athletic Club entered two baseball teams into a local amateur league. The names of the teams were the Lobsters and the Doukhoboers (sic). ... original newspaper clipping ...

R. C. B. C. Notes (August 3, 1899)
A baseball match was played on the ball grounds Saturday afternoon between the Lobsters and the Doukhoborers, all members of the Royal Canadian Bicycle Club. The playing on both sides was fierce, many brilliant stops and wild throws being executed. The features were the heavy hitting of the Douks and the poor fielding of the Lobsters. The following composed the teams : Doukhoboers—Messers. L. Saulter, H. Penguilly, W. Vennels, C. Walton, Geo. Cooper, R. Pringles, W. Fortescue, D. Logan, C. Lancaster, B. Leslie, and H. Salisbury. Lobsters—Messers. F. Prouting, W. Crocker, W. Booth, W. Cross, W. Hewlett, H. Lowman, T. Johnson, H. Thompson, J. Grieves, G. Abbott, and W. Simpson. The Douks won by 48 runs to 27. Messers. Pengilly and Pringle served up the snakes [pitched] for the winners, while Messers. Crocker, Booth and Johnson twirled [pitched] for the losers. A good afternoon's sport was the result and the boys will line up again on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

Can Play "De Game."
It is quite evident members of the Royal Canadian Bicycle Club can occasionally play baseball. On Saturday afternoon the baseball team of the club journeyed to East Toronto Village where the engaged the attention of the G. T. R. team of that hamlet. A few words will suffice to tell the story of the battle : score—R. C. B. C., 21 ; G. T. R. , 3. Pringle did the twirling [pitching] and Abbot caught for the victorious Royals.

I don't know what to make of this reference. It's possible that the names were just fanciful, Lobsters being ocean creatures far from any ocean, or just ball players who "lobbed" the ball rather than throwing it hard. And Doukhoboers may have been a mis-spelled name picked out of the news, of a strange group of new immigrants to central Canada, or even a mixed reference with the Boers of South Africa since the Boer War was ongoing at the time. Or it could be something entirely different.

I doubt there is much of historical value here, but it is curious. I wonder if you have any interest in this, and whether you can shed any light on this oddity.


Glad to renew our acquaintance from many years back. Your story from 1899 is indeed interesting.

Why would a local amateur baseball team in Toronto call itself Doukhoboers? None of the players appear to be Doukhobors. That was the year that 7,500 Russian Doukhobors arrived in Canada, and the mainstream media published the story across the country and the world.

Perhaps someone heard about the group and out of a whim said 'that sounds like a good name for a baseball team'. Of course this is speculation.

A Google search for the spelling finds it in a 1903 book for teachers of blind students: The Association Review, Volume 5, American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf, 1903, page 116 : 'Doukhoboers—A peculiar Russian religious sect'.

If any readers can help, please comment below.

See all Questions and Answers.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Q76: Correct Spelling of borshch?

From: Annie B. Barnes, Sundre, Alberta (November 23, 2016)

I do enjoy reading your blogs, even if I don't always comment on them. My question today is this:

What is the correct spelling of borshch? I believe this is the correct spelling, and I am forever trying to convince my fellow Doukhobors there is no 't' on our borshch. Can you please clarify for our Facebook and other readers? Thank you.

Vlad's food cart — Non-sequitur, 24 May 2017


In Russian and Ukrainian it is spelled one way — борщ. Also in Belarus — боршч. All pronounced the same. No 't' at the end.

In English, I use and recommend this English spelling — borshch — to my readers, because it follows the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) from Russian to English. For years I have tried to persuade the public to use this spelling. Thank you for asking.

The Yiddish German spelling borscht is probably more common English due to their huge population in the mid-1800s around New York, where the word likely first appeared in popular print and in dictionaries. See Etymology and History.

People can be confused when this term is phonetically transcribed to English from different languages — barščiai, barŝĉo, barszcz, borŝĉo, borş, borsch, borščs, borscht, borshch, borsjt, borsht, bortsch ... —; and misspelled — brosch, ... For comparison also see: Q78: How Many Spellings of "Doukhobors"?

Photo by William (Uncle Bill) Anatooskin


More confusing to outsiders is the many recipes. There are about 30 types of Ukrainian borsch. In Canada, each Eastern European immigrant group, sub-group, and clan has their own terminology and soup recipes.

Canadian Doukhobor borshch is a vegetarian soup made of cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, carrots, beets, dill, peppers, butter, and seasoning. More than 100 recipes can be found on the Internet.

Other versions include meat and/or lots of beets. Some add sour cream.

Here is my favorite recipe, from my mother Anastasia Tarasoff.

Borshch (for 10 to 15 people)

A large frying pan
⅓ cup butter
½ small beet, shredded (about 1 cup)
2 cups tomatoes (canned or fresh)
½ medium-sized cabbage shredded
Melt butter in pan.
Add onion and cook at low heat for 5 minutes.
Add beets and tomatoes.
Cook at moderate heat for about 20 minutes.
Stir to prevent burning and browning.
Add cabbage and continue for short time.

A 6 quart pot
3 quarts water
2 tbs. salt
6 potatoes cubed
1 large carrot cubed
Meanwhile, bring salted water to a boil.
Add potatoes and carrots, simmer gently ‘til potatoes are cooked.
Remove half of the potatoes and mash them.
Put mashed potatoes in frying pan.
Turn off heat.
½ cup finely chopped fresh dill
3 green onions chopped
1 chopped green pepper
1 stick chopped celery leaves
Add frying pan mixture and these ingredients to the large pot.*
Bring to a gentle boil. Serve hot.
* Option: Simmer in butter 1 cup finely shredded beets.
Add when you combine mixture before the final boil.


See all Questions and Answers.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Q74: About Globalization, Assimilation and Symbols

From: Shayla Hua, grade 10, Lester B. Pearson High School, Calgary AB. November 6, 2016.

My friends and I are doing a project in Social Studies on cultural groups and we chose to research 'The Doukhobors of Western Canada'.

We have a few questions to ask you guys if you don't mind:
  1. How are the Doukhobors affected by globalization? ...
  2. ... the challenges of assimilation, ... conserved the culture ...?
  3. ... symbols ... meaning of the symbols?
You can answer any way you’d like personally, as a group or just your opinion. If you could get back to me as soon as possible that would be great.

Thank you for your time.


Please do not confuse Doukhobors with Sons of Freedom, or Freedomites, which naively done by too many students, professors, journalists, and readers.

1. How are the Doukhobors affected by globalization? And if so, what are some positive and negative impacts on globalization? And has there been any attempt at countering the forces of globalization? How successful has your group been at maintaining your identity while encountering the forces of globalization?

The term 'globalization' is a recent concept involving the process of international integration arising from the interchange of world views, products, ideas, and other aspects of culture. As such most Doukhobors know practically nothing about it. However, if you extend the term to mean becoming part of one world community, Doukhobors have long had a view on this.

After their 1895 arms burning in Russia, Spirit Wrestlers / Doukhobors officially transformed themselves from a sect to a social movement. They consider themselves to be part of one human race and see no need to kill another human being, but need to cooperate together to deal with local issues nonviolently. For them, globalization involves treating people as equals and working to create a nonkilling peaceful world.

To maintain identity under the forces of globalization, extremist forces of assimilation need to be countered. This means respecting local languages, cultures and ways of doing things with simple respect, nonviolence, compassion, and trust in the genius of locality.

Vika, a young Catholic girl, and her mother Kiki became friends with Doukhobors in BC, and met John J. (JJ) Verigin Jr., Executive Director of the USCC. '...Vika asked JJ: "How can I become a Doukhobor? Can I be baptized or do I have to be born as a Doukhobor?" And JJ answered: "If you are loving and peaceful person in your heart, then you are already a Doukhobor!" Wow that sounded easy! But of course, we learned that it's every day work....' (Vodopoff, Kiki. "Why Are We Here?", Iskra, issue 2107, October 2016, page 18.)

2. Has there been a point where you’ve encountered the challenges of assimilation, and how have you conserved the culture these past years?

Most all descendants of Doukhobors in North America have adapted to Canadian life and integrated. To me the term 'assimilate' connotes a 'hate process of change'. I prefer the more friendly process of 'integration' which is more human. Integration affects every group as a process of fitting in as legitimate citizens of a territory or nation. Doukhobors have used many of the same tools as other groups in adjusting to the normal stresses of society affecting language and culture. See:

3. What are some important symbols to the Doukhobors of Western Canada? And if so, what are the meaning of the symbols?

Most important, in my opinion, is that most self-identifying Doukhobors around the world recall in annual celebration the three 1895 arms burning events in Tsarist Russia for getting rid of the institution of militarism and wars. This stems from their 'Spirit Within' which is the spirit of love, beauty, and God within each person; therefore we state it is wrong to kill another human being.

The most common cultural symbols enjoyed by all Doukhobors and shared with the public are traditional Eastern European foods (wood oven baked bread, borshch, pirogi, lapsha, vareniki, etc.), singing hymns and songs, meetings open to the public, and historic buildings and sites. Community Doukhobors in British Columbia, often display cultural symbols abandoned by Independent Doukhobors, like head scarfs on women; many homes display a small spinning wheel, hand carved large wooden spoons, weavings and/or other home-crafted essentials to their ancestors. Our museums, books and many commuity homes displays these items.

Historically Doukhobors have rejected icon worship and generally do not believe in sacred symbols (crosses, icons). However, as a heritage tradition, they have adopted the ancient Slavic practice of bread, salt and water serving as symbols of hospitality, equality, and peace. These items are placed in front of meetings as the basic staff of life. See:

  1. Tarasoff, Koozma J. Evolution of the Doukhobor Movement. Spirit Wrestlers website, November 13, 2013.
  2. Tarasoff, Koozma J. Wisdom of the Ages: Unified Doukhobor Beliefs. Spirit Wrestlers website, March 2015.

See all Questions and Answers.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Tribute to Michael M. Verigin (1929 - 2016)

Michael M. Verigin died September 29, 2016. Obituary in Calgary Herald.

To Michael’s children Venera and Liuba and their children and spouses, my wife Kristina Kristova and I send our sincere condolences in the passing of a dear parent and cultural legend. Michael was a stalwart elder whom people looked up to.

In human societies, the elder is one who has experienced life fully and is respected for the lessons of time. Michael M. Verigin was one of those people who worked hard in a coal mine, who lived a long life, preserved the spirit and traditions of his Doukhobor ancestors, and has shared his wisdom with the wider world.

This cultural activist knew much about the Doukhobors in Alberta. His grandfather was among the first settlers to go there in 1915 to establish a Doukhobor colony in the southern foothills area of Cowley and Lundbreck.* As the oldest of six children, Michael Verigin grew up there as a young pioneer helping with the chores of the household. Since marrying Doris (nee Fedosoff) in 1955, he lived in Cowley for much of his life, and for over 60 years was active in the community.

Michael was generous to me with his knowledge, wisdom and hospitality. When I needed to take pictures of his collection, Michael went into his basement, looked into his trunks and brought out rich treasures: old issues of Iskra and Mir, colourful traditional costumes made by his grandparents, old pens and inkwells used in an early one-room school where he attended, and rugs made by his wife. He had a cornucopia of Doukhoboria.

Michael readily stepped in as President of the United Doukhobors of Alberta, as councilman for the village of Cowley, as Board member of the CCUB Trust Fund, representing Alberta and the Alberta Cutural Council. At the Doukhobor Community Home in Lundbreck, he regularly led the sobranie meetings and joined in the singing of traditional psalms and hymns.

True to his tradition, Michael was a strong peace activist who believed that it is wrong to kill another human being because we then destroy the humanity of each. The historic 1895 burning of guns by his Russian ancestors was an event that he felt our society today can learn from. ‘Disarm our weapons of mass destruction and bring our troops home’, he would often proclaim, ‘and respect the Commandment of “Thou Shalt No Kill”.’

From his ancestors he gained the wisdom that sharing and cooperation are essential to human development. He often visited the local Hutterite colonies where he was welcomed as an honorary member. He was against exploitation and excessive materialism. Greediness for him has no place in a healthy society. The dollar cannot be the real measure of human worth.

When the media and some ignorant writers demonized all Doukhobors as fanatics, he was there to defend Doukhobors and speak up for them. For him, ‘burnings or bombings or disrobing’ were contrary to the Doukhobor movement.

In 1995 Michael and his wife Doris organized a beautiful and harmonious ‘Toil and Peaceful Life’ exhibit on the Doukhobors at the Sir Alexander Galt Museum in Lethbridge. It was produced in honour of the 100th anniversary of the burning of guns in Russia and 80 years of Doukhobor settlement in Alberta.

Yes, Michael Verigin was a man of wisdom, a hospitable man, a man to remember. All of us will miss him. May future generations respect and learn from him and his wife how to treat our neighbours with love and compassion.
 — Koozma and Kristina

See M.M. Verigin biography: Koozma J. Tarasoff,  'Upholding the Culture of Alberta Doukhobors', Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers' Strategies for Living (2002). pages 268-271. 

* Map by Jonathan Kalmakoff, Doukhobor Genealogy Website.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Saskatchewan Pioneer Diary 1934

In 1934, teenager Laura McDonald traveled with her family of 10 for 3 weeks by horse caravan through central Saskatchewan, a 185-mile trip.

The family left Helena, Montana, USA, during the depression to Canada. So far they traveled about 500 miles to Zelma, Saskatchewan, where this story begins, in search of better farm. At the time, Canada was extensively advertising for desirable White farmers.

They had 4 wagons — a 12’ by 14’ caboose for sleeping pulled by four horses, a Bennett buggy for animals, a wagon for animal food and furniture, a wagon with heavy farm equipment; and they brought 21 cattle, 11 horses, five pigs, four turkeys, 24 hens and two dogs.

An except from her diary about the trip was published this year:
Laura McDonald. ‘The Diary of Our Trip Up North: Zelma to Mullingar via Saskatoon, 185 miles by caravan in three weeks, July 3rd to July 23rd, 1934’. Saskatchewan History, vol. 68, Number 1, Spring/Summer 2016: pages 12 - 22.
Direct route is 120 miles. McDonald's traveled 185 miles.
Her Diary was especially interesting to me because I grew up in the same area, and recall many of the images described:
  • ‘Sand drifting four or five feet deep along the road allowance’.
  • Playing ball with neighbours. Because the group travelled in the Eagle Creek area where I went to public school as well as Eagle Point School area where there was a baseball field for Sunday sports days. Perhaps my Dad and Uncle played ball with the McDonalds?
  • Crossing a ferry over the North Saskatchewan River. I have done that many times over the former Petrofka Ferry en route to Blaine Lake, Sask.
  • Picking, eating and canning very tasty saskatoon berries.
  • Many mosquitoes.
  • Drying clothes on a clothesline.
  • Her mother baked 32 loaves of bread which the family ‘ate like nobody’s business’. We did the same.
  • Mullinger, had one street, a store and two grain elevators, familiar, like Environ in the Eagle Creek District.

All of that was good. But the Diary revealed some prejudice towards minorities. Here are the passages that are offensive to me:
  • July 13th, Friday ... When we were camped tonight, an old fat Mennonite drove up. He stopped and when he talked he yelled. When he left he bawled back at Dad for miles almost. He says “goot caboose”. “goot water”. “goot Missus”. “whoa!” “gaddap”!” “giddap!” until we almost died laughing at him.’ (Page 18).
  • July 14th, Saturday ... While I was in bed a Doukhobour [Doukhobor] and wife came by in a buggy. He got out and led the horse by because it was frightened. But just when he got by it jumped and the harness fell half off. The old lady hung onto the lines and screamed. When he got it stopped she got out over the wheel. But one shaft broke. Fred went out to help and gave him “hail hallelujah” in Doukobour language. She’d sit down and bawl and then get up and yell at the old man. He cut another shaft from the trees nearby but when they left she walked behind. This country is overrun with Mennonites and Doukhobours….’ (Page 18).
  • July 15th, Sunday ... There’s a smart alec city kid visiting some of his Doukhobour relations. Can he swear! He brought about 11 kids with him so we played softball. The boys against the girls. We lost. This was after dinner. Then we went for a dip. There were about 25 people at the place where they swim. 99% of them were Doukhobours. There’s only one thing that is smarter than a Doukhobour, that’s two of them. One guy could duck pretty good so he’d duck and dive and every time he’d come up, he looked like a drowned rat with a grin like a monkey….So I afterward said to dad, we saw one white man out of 100 Doukhobours and he has to be walking around with no shirt on. After supper about 15 young men came out and played ball. Us girls had a game among ourselves and my side won for once….’ (Page 19).

The prejudice of the McDonald family in the 1930s was obvious and it was wrong. Her Diary reminds me of Hazel O'Neail's Doukhobor Daze (1962), about her experiences as a one-room school teacher also in the 1930s.

The McDonald Diary and O'Neail book are mild compared to the later sensationalism of the media (1940-2000) demonizing the Doukhobors as ‘nudists’, ‘bombers’, ‘terrorists’, and ‘Communists’. However, these prejudices (mild and serious) do mould public opinion which in turn influence public policy. What can we say about human nature — have we made progress?

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Q73: Am I Biased Towards Russia and Putin?

A friend in Ottawa recently asked me (August 17, 2016): ‘As a peace journalist, are you biased towards Russia instead of being objective?’ While starting to write him a reply, I decided to answer the question here, and he wished to not be identified.

"Media bias", Danielle's Journalism Portfolio, March 24, 2015


No. I prefer to say that I am ‘friendly’ rather than ‘biased’. I understand that because my ancestors immigrated from Russia 117 years ago, some readers may be suspicious of my intentions.

I have a degree in anthropology where I learned that the first step in learning about the stranger is gaining rapport. We need to carefully listen, watch and learn, and gently walk on this earth.

I visited Russia and Europe 13 times since 1957. I feel like a citizen of the world and recognize all people as members of one human family.

My favourite motto is ‘In search of truth and a nonkilling society’ — which pretty well sums up the intent of my storytelling over the years.

‘As a peace journalist’ I have tried to be fair to all sides including Russia and the West — using many sources since the 1950s when I began publishing.

I recognize that propaganda, disinformation, information warfare, lies, fear mongering, etc. are varieties of verbal warfare and are obstacles for reporting the truth.

Because my writing often focuses on facts avoided by western media, I may appear biased to those who don’t know the rest of the story. Some examples:
Other investigative journalists, whom I admire, have also defended Russia, with facts:
Center for Citizen Initiatives speaks up:

Sharon Tennison, founder and head of the Center for Citizen Initiative has posted an article on President Vladimir Putin in how he is using graceful language that is human and friendly and invites people to work together. See Putin: Martial Arts Philosophy in Action. Sharon writes:

'It certainly is putting out a message to the world about the value of a classical man who attempts to be honest, straightforward and leaves doors open for dialogue.'

Ultimately a non-military solution is needed to create a peaceful world. But the first step is good quality diplomacy beginning with compassion within. Let's step back, breathe deeply and normalize the rhetoric and become civil.

Three informative videos:

Here’s another little known fact that exposes the rest of the story. Though my ancestors came in 1899-1930 with 8,300 Doukhobors from Russia, they were invited to settle western Canada in 1899 primarily to prevent annexation of Canada by the USA.

See all Questions and Answers.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

No More Hiroshimas, No More Wars!

Source: Physicians for Social Responsibility, August 27, 2014.
August 6 and 9 marks the 71st anniversary of the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.

Let's learn from the past to prevent a world holocaust by using all of our diplomatic tools.

I feel that former US President J. F. Kennedy and current Russian President Vladimir Putin believe that we share this small planet together, we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children’s future, we are all mortal, and we must therefore work together for peace and respect each other’s sphere of influence.
  • In 1963, Kennedy established a direct communication link with President Nikita Khrushchev and negotiated a settlement to the missile crisis in Cuba. Had Kennedy succumbed to advice to attack by US military leaders, I doubt that we would be here today.
  • In 2008, Russia did not annex Georgia when Georgian president Saakashvili recklessly attacked South Ossetia, violating cease fire agreements and killing Russian citizens. Russia neutralized the Georgian army, then retreated to its bases.
  • In 2014, Russia did not invade Ukraine and seize Kiev when Washington installed a hostile regime in the Ukraine. Instead, Putin secured Sevastopol against the US fleet, protecting the presence of Russian speakers. A legal nonviolent referendum in the Crimea followed and was supported by 93% to join Russia.
  • In November 2015 when Turkey shot down a Russian plane, Russia did not counter attack. Instead it diplomatically humiliated and isolated Turkey. I think Russia prevented a nuclear war.
I believe that the current situation of 28 NATO members encroaching on Russia is as dangerous today as missiles were in Cuba in 1963 when the world feared the beginning of WW3.

Source: Munich Security Report 2016, "Boundless Crises,
Spoilers, Helpless Guardians," Munich Security Conference, page 25

The chart shows how the build-up of NATO bases with missiles encircling Russia provokes a protective response from the Russians. The situation resembles the time when Hitler's fascist forces were threatening USSR, resulting in mass mobilization to counter the threat.

I think people in the West are allowing a new Cold War and possibly WW3. Putin warns the West that any aggressive actions of a nuclear kind against Russia will lead to a direct response on the USA.

NATO Wants WW3 ?

Is anyone in the West listening to the threat of a nuclear war and the direct role of NATO in it? I find no news in any major North American media. US radio and TV talk show host Alex Jones asks why America is literally asleep on this issue.

Let’s take heed of the wisdom of presidents Kennedy and Putin and save our civilization from the catastrophe of a nuclear holocaust and stop WW 3. With the coming of the 71st anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August, let’s recall that madness and make every effort to prevent it today worldwide.

Commemorate August 6th and 9th, 2016 atomic bombings with a resolve:
  • Actively search for nonkilling structures for peace and install them in our regional and national programs.
  • Let’s work to ban nuclear weapons, as have Mayors for Peace, which represent 7,095 cities around the world (105 in Canada).
  • As concerned world citizens we should circulate a petition banning NATO.
  • People, are you listening?

On My Website
  1. Hijacking Hiroshima and Nagasaki.’ August 9, 2015.
  2. May the Third Atomic Bomb Never Come.’ August 10, 2013.
  3. Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki.’ August 17, 2012.
  4. Memorial of 1945 Nuclear Bombing of Japan.’ August 8, 2011.
  5. Hiroshima and Nagasaki Remembrance August 2009’. August 3, 2009. 

  1. Kohls, Gary G. 'Christianity and the Nagasaki Bomb'. Information Clearing House, August 11, 2016. 
  2. Bruce Kidd, James Orbinski, Landon Pearson, Setsuko Thurlow, and Jean Vanier. ‘Let’s Work to Ban the Bomb.’ Ottawa Citizen, August 5, 2016. page A11.
  3. Cunningham, Finian. ‘Britain’s Incorrigible Warmongering Towards Russia.’ Information Clearing House, July 31, 2016.
  4. Clifford, Joe. ‘Corporate Media and Neocon Propaganda Will Get Millions Killed.’ Information Clearing House, July 31, 2016.
  5. Lvov, Petr. ‘Saudi Arabia is Setting a Trap for Moscow Yet Again.’ Information Clearing House, July 30, 2016.
  6. Hallian, Conn. ‘We May Be at a Greater Risk of Nuclear Catastrphe Than During the Cold War.’ Information Clearing House, July 23, 2016.
  7. Putin Issues Desperate Warning of WWIII.’ (video, 8:06 min), Alex Jones radio show,, July 7, 2016.
  8. Hudson, Michael. ‘US-NATO Border Confrontation with Russia Risks Nuclear War.’ Information Clearing House, July 19, 2016.
  9. Munich Security Report 2016, "Boundless Crises, Reckless Spoilers, Helpless Guardians," Munich Security Conference, page 25
  10. Ray, Muon. ‘Michio Kaku - Top Secret Military War Plans.’ YouTube, November 17, 2012. 13:30 minutes.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Russophobia and the Olympics

Politics and the Olympics should not mix!

Political cartoons by Aleksei Talimonov.

'The Greeks saw the ... event as an occasion to halt wars and come together in peace.' (USA Today, 4 Aug 2016)

The International Olympic Committee ‘was founded in 1894 on the belief that sport can contribute to peace and to the harmonious development of humankind.’ (Peace Through Sport)

The 6th Fundamental Principle of Olympism states:
Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.
In recent years, however, Western negative bias has raised its ugly head, called Russophobia, and it seems to be obstructing the Olympic Movement.
Today, we see a dangerous return to this policy of letting politics interfere with sport. … to form a negative image of countries and peoples. The Olympic movement, which is a tremendous force for uniting humanity, ... without waiting for the official publication of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s commission, have hastened to demand that the entire Russian team be banned from taking part in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. What is behind this haste? (Putin, V. ‘Statement in response to the report by the World Anti-Doping Agency’,, July 18, 2016)

Rio 2016 reminds me of Russophobia in 1980

In 1980 as a photojournalist, I attended the Summer Olympics in Moscow boycotted by 65 countries because of the Soviet war in Afghanistan. I mourned that thousands of very disappointed athletes were prevented from participating.

In the 1970s, the USA was Russophobic and secretly working against the Soviet Union by funding Muslim warriors and al-Qaeda to block expansion of communism into Arab states. This funding created ISIL — Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant — ironically now the major enemy of the USA since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The USA was not banned for meddling in the 1980 Olympics, nor was it banned for illegally invading Afghanistan in 2001 under the NATO banner. The USA banned itself, leading 64 other countries, to not participate in our traditional peaceful friendship meeting of people from around the world.

Today Western countries are again active in propagandizing against Russia in any and every way including anti-Russia news releases, cartoons, economic blockades (sanctions), and public policies. This is Russophobia in action.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), headquarters in Montreal, Canada, wanted all Russian athletes banned from Rio 2016; but it was overruled by the International Olympic Committee which decided:
… according to the rules of … justice … to which every human being is entitled... each … athlete must be given the opportunity to … (prove) … his or her individual case.
Despite the strict ruling, 271 (70%) of 389 Russian athletes have been cleared by the IOC and declared 'the cleanest team'.

But these strict rules for Russians don't apply to others just as guilty — Russia misses out while former drug cheats take their place in Rio, RT Novosti, 30 Jul, 2016.

My point is that the USA press propaganda spins this story of injustice (1) negative, while the Russians try to spin it (2) positive.
  1. More Than 110 Russian Athletes Barred From Rio (based on unsubstantiated claims and Cold War rhetoric)
  2. Russia says 272 athletes approved for Rio Olympics
Though Russophobia still exists, I am glad that justice prevailed, and Russia is welcomed to Rio 2016.


A fool-proof testing plan is in place for the Russian athletes, which some argue is still not fair because (a) any athlete with a previous doping record is banned even if they are now tested ‘clean’; and (b) on the average, the rate of Russian doping is 19th (see table* below left) compared to all countries.

The data shows that 18 countries score a higher rate of violations, with no extra testing required. That is a double standard. The most egregious is Iran, with an average score of 9.5% compared to Russia at less than 1% (0.91%), a little worse than Canada (0.77%) and the USA (0.71%).
* Table source is cited as on the WADA website, without dates. So far we have found the data.

The table (above right) in a report covering 44 years of doping (1968-2012) shows Russia/ USSR were assessed 10 times for doping, compared to 8 for USA and 1 for Canada. Why aren't Austria and Greece in the news? The tables and sources are in: Doping Cases at the Olympics, 1968-2012,, 21 Sept 2011.


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Markin’s New CD About Doukhobors

12 original new folk songs dedicated to the Doukhobors are composed, played and sung by Dr. Allan Markin of Penticton, British Columbia.

Places: Songs of Toil and Peaceful Life is his new album with themes about arms burning, sailing to Canada, women pulling plows, building communal villages, zealotry in the Kootenays, and constructing the Brilliant Suspension Bridge.

Dr. Markin reports the 46-minute album took 18 months to write, and describes the music genre as:
... folk-roots, more specifically original Doukhobor folk music in English. I aimed for a traditional Russian feel (in various degrees) throughout the whole album. Deda’s Song in particular uses the accordion, balalaika, and spoons to capture the sound.
Regarding the historic accuracy of the album (lyrics, photos), he responds: 'I used some poetic license.'

Background vocals are by Maureen Haworth and Naida Cochran, both in Grand Forks. Dave Favell, Kelowna, plays acoustic guitars. Other orchestration is composed and performed by Ron Mahonin, Grand Forks, who also recorded and produced the CD.

Dr. Eclectic’ (Markin’s stage name) is an avid guitar player, singer, entertainer, storyteller and part-time songwriter. Selections were first performed on July 2016 at the Whatshan Jam 2016 Family and Friends Festival.

His website — — has lyrics for all 12 songs, and a list of 5 songs with summaries and audio samples.

In Comments, Jim Popoff, Grand Forks, wrote:
… the CD... gave me a strange feeling of sadness and wistfulness about the moving panorama of our people's existence over the past 120 years or so, which you've covered well in your lyrics... and at the same time a kind of pride that a PhD academic could return to his roots in this touching way, with more than a modicum of musical talent, and come out so strongly in artistic manifestation of his heritage. A commendable endeavour by all concerned!
To produce the album, in October 2014 he tried to raise $7,500 on, but only collected $395 from 6 people, not Doukhobors, in 21 months (accessed 7/26/2016). The album is self-financed.

Price: $20 (Canadian), from: Allan Markin, 112 - 170 Stocks Crescent, Penticton, British Columbia V2A 9C6. Phone: 250-493-6150. And, 4 places in Grand Forks and Castlegar, including the USCC office and Doukhobor Discovery Centre.
In November 2011, Markin submitted a letter to the Boundary Sentinel newspaper protesting an editorial that referred to Doukhobors as undesirable ‘borscht’, 13 times.
A different Doukhobor, Allan P. Markin, Calgary, was chairman of Canadian Natural (oil, gas) and co-owner of the Calgary Flames ice hockey team. These two Allan Markins are not related.

Album Review

My wife Kristina Kristova and I enjoyed the album very much. The selections are fresh, the lyrics are written in a way that praise the Russian / Canadian pioneers for their commitment to peace, honest labour and adaptability, and the accompaniment music is colourfully unique. Great rhythm!

Here are some phrases that easily roll of the tongue and create images of a proud people striving to survive in a strange land and build a world without wars:
  • #4 : Baba’s Waltz — ‘I can hear your voice so crystal clear... Do you think of coming to Canada, To a land you’d never seen ….’
  • #6 : The Bridge —‘The Brilliant bridge that Doukhobors built ... was built to last.’ Doukhobors built for the future.
  • #7 : Grave Digging Man — ‘Big John was a grave digging man. ... We were his crew. ... He said to do it right.’ Perfection was the way.
  • #9 : The Five-String Guitar — ‘Deda said “Guitars are not the Doukhobor way. ... a sin”. But the new generation was open and adopted to new ways.
  • #10 : Doukhobor Assimilation Blues — While children moved to the cities ‘in search of high degrees’, others remained home with toil and peaceful life stemming from the God of Love Within.
  • #11 : The Wish — ‘Unlock the secrets of your heart, and bless a bright day.’ The heritage calls to make a better world.
  • # 12 : Burning of the Guns — ‘War no more. Nor more fighting. No more. No more.’ This is a classic Doukhobor call for a nonkilling philosophy in a troubled world. Bravo to our brave pioneers for their eternal wisdom!
‘Places: Songs of Toil and Peaceful Life’ is probably the only original CD in the English language that is authored by one composer and one theme (the life and times of the Spirit Wrestlers / Doukhobors). It is an example of adaptation and creativity in our times. But, I have 2 complaints:
  1. The background music is at times too loud for me, especially #2 ‘Deda’s Song’, making it difficult to hear the words.
  2. #5 ‘Wagon Train to Verigin’ is historically unclear. The photo (lower right) on the disc below shows Yorkton, Saskatchewan (not Verigin). From Yorkton, the wagon train traveled ~100 km (~60 miles) south, ending at Broadview, where the community Doukhobors boarded trains to British Columbia.

Though he dropped out of high school, Markin persevered to earn a PhD in 19th Century English Literature from the University of Calgary in 1981 (thesis: "George Eliot and Education"), and won a Canada Council Doctoral Fellowship to conduct research in the rare-books libraries at Yale University and the British Museum. In 1988 he became a 'Doukhobor professor' (his words) then administrator in 1988, and retired in 2003 as Dean of OUC’s Okanagan/ Similkameen Region in British Columbia. He learned to play the guitar in his youth, and did not play for 35 years until after he retired. Bravo for contributing new folk songs about his Doukhobor roots.

Markin has already contributed to the forthcoming eBook that I am producing (Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers and Friends) which is scheduled to be published later this year.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Independent Doukhobor Project on Radio

The ‘Doukhobor Prayer Service Preservation Project’ was promoted by Ryan Androsoff on Ottawa radio, Tuesday July 19th, 2016, for 87 minutes, and Koozma Tarasoff joined by telephone for 8:37 minutes.

Androsoff works in Ottawa with the federal government and comes from a Doukhobor family in Saskatchewan. Tarasoff is a well published Doukhobor historian.

Androsoff was interviewed on the radio show ‘Tuesday Special Blend, With Mike Powell and Adam Coombs’, CKCU (93.1 FM) Campus radio, Carleton University, Ottawa. On 1 August 2016, Androsoff posted a shortened version (1 hour) of the radio show which he edited, minus interruptions, on, with better sound quality.

He got the special air time by donating to ‘listener supported’ public radio during a fund drive in October 2015, when he was working in Paris, France.

The goal of the Preservation Project is to ‘... document and explore the traditional Doukhobor 'Molenya' ... as practiced by the Saskatchewan Doukhobors.’

Androsoff is now conducting a crowd-fundraising campaign online for $15,000, to produce
  1. a documentary video about the Saskatchewan services, and
  2. a portable exhibit of the service in surround sound.
In his proposal, Androsoff explained his motivation and urgency:
While there have been a number of documentaries that have captured Doukhobor history and culture, there has been little focus in these works on the spiritual rituals of the Doukhobors in detail. The actual mechanics of a Saskatchewan Doukhobor prayer service have not been well documented … With the rapidly declining membership of Doukhobor societies in Saskatchewan and the aging of those who are left, there is a limited window left to capture and preserve the experience of a Doukhobor prayer service for future generations.
The project is endorsed by the Doukhobor Cultural Society of Saskatchewan (DCSS) with particular involvement from the Doukhobor Societies of Saskatoon and Blaine Lake.

The funds, when collected, will hire a video company (Bamboo Shoots), audio-engineer Ross Nykiforuk. Everyone else is a volunteer.

Two professors at the University of Saskatchewan — Dr. Ashleigh Androsoff and Dr. Veronika Makarova — are helping with some of the research for the script and interviews. Ashleigh and Ryan are 3rd cousins, with roots in Blaine Lake. She grew up in B.C.

Recording is scheduled for October 22, 2016, and a premiere of the video and exhibit in Fall 2017.

Androsoff explained the project will be funded and executed in 3 Phases.
  • Phase 1: Development and Production, January - October 2016
  • Phase 2: Post-Production, November 2016 - Spring 2017
  • Phase 3: Release and Distribution, Summer/Fall 2017

Androsoff chose to raise funds with, a large mature company that does not charge fees for non-profit projects. All money donated goes to the project.

Updates and news about the project will be posted by Ryan Androsoff at

After the broadcast Androsoff went to Saskatoon. He met with the audio and video crews, attended a choir practice for the recording session in October, and updated the Doukhobor society.

On August 1, 2006, Androsoff posted an update on his blog, including a short video of choir practice in Saskatoon: Saskatchewan Doukhobor Prayer Service Preservation Project.

In August 2016, Iskra, issue 2105, page 2, Androsoff wrote a guest editorial about his project.

On August 14, 2016, Androsoff broadcast this message by email:

'Friends — as you may know, these last few months I've been putting an increasing amount of my time and energy into a project to preserve some of the traditions of my Doukhobor ancestors in documentary film and multimedia formats. This is a project of personal passion and one that has a real time pressure behind it. The Doukhobor community in Saskatchewan has been declining in recent years and of those who are left, it is a rapidly aging population among whom we have lost many members in recent years. Put simply, this project won't be possible to do in a few years.

'But this type of work doesn't happen for free — and giving it the professional treatment that it deserves doesn't come cheap — and that's why we've started a crowdfunding campaign this summer to help get us along the path to the $15,000 we need to raise. Summer is always a tough time to raise money while people are busy enjoying vacation season, but we've had to start our efforts to be able to get the pieces in place we need for our recording session planned for October. While we've started getting some donations coming in, we are still far from where we need to be.

'There is just over a week left in this first phase of fundraising and while we may not be able to raise the full $15,000 in this first attempt, I am hoping it will get us a significant way towards the goal and help us be able to leverage other funding opportunities (e.g. many grant opportunities require matching funds).

'This is where your support can really make a difference right now. As we come to the end of this first fundraising effort, if you are willing to contribute financially now is the time to take a moment and push that "donate" button! Click here to donate. While there are perks in place for larger donations (at the $25, $50, $100, and $500 levels), any amount helps as momentum matters.

'We are encouraging people to donate through the online crowdfunding page, however if for whatever reason you are more comfortable donating by cheque or cash I can accept those as well. Cheques can be made out to "Spirit Wrestler Productions" (which is the non-profit company that has been set-up to manage this project).

'Finally if you are looking for more information about the project, you can check out some of the media coverage we have received:
'If you have any questions about the project don't hesitate to ask me. Whatever support you can give, in whatever amount, is sincerely appreciated from the bottom of my heart.

'Thank you!'

More Online
  1. Read the project fundraising site: Doukhobor Prayer Service Preservation Project, and donate.
  2. Listen to Tuesday Special Blend, a 2-hour show.
    1. Androsoff begins at minute 5:00 for 87 minutes, ending at minute 92:10, interrupted with news, weather and commercials.
    2. Tarasoff begins at minute 66:45 for 8:37 minutes, to 75:22.
  3. Tarasoff’s radio notes: Insights on the Doukhobors Since the 1950s, with Comments and Corrections of mistakes spoken on the radio.
  4. Ashleigh Androsoff does PhD thesis on Doukhobors, 27 August 2007
  5. New Doukhobor Course at the University of Saskatchewan, by professor Dr. Veronika A. Makarova, 10 September 2013

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Appeal: No to War. No to NATO

At the brink of a NATO summit in Europe (8–9 July 2016, Warsaw, Poland) there is an urgent Appeal to the international peace movement to oppose this meeting and its sable-rattling rhetoric. Following US President Barack Obama's visit to Canada on June 29th, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau caved in to Obama's plea to go to the Warsaw meeting in Europe and lead a combat mission in Latvia on Russia's border. That action is threatening world peace and making us become accomplices to the terrorism of war.

Shame on Prime Minister Trudeau for abandoning his election promises to work for a peaceful world.

The Appeal is one that Canadian peace groups could readily support. We have to act quickly. Contact your Member of Parliament and support the views of sanity for a new world order that is safe for our children and our grandchildren. Stop supporting criminal corporate-neocon-fascists who have a big appetite to make blood money from war.

William J. Perry, former Secretary of Defence in the Clinton administration, says that the danger of some sort of nuclear catastrophe today is greater than it was during the Cold War and most people are blissfully unaware of this danger.'

The detonation of even a single nuclear bomb today could destroy our way of life.

Appeal to the International Peace Movement

In the interest of peace — participate in the protests of the international network “No to War — No to NATO” against NATO’s summit taking place from July 8th until July 10th, 2016, in Warsaw.

We protest for
  • the end of confrontation with Russia! No troops and maneuvers at Russia’s Western border;
  • no further armament in the NATO member states! It can only be financed by sharply reducing spending on education, health care and social security systems;
  • no new nuclear weapons (and no modernization of existing arsenals) in Europe and worldwide;
  • no missile defense system in Eastern Europe because this system only furthers the dynamic of armament and confrontation;
  • no NATO operations against refugees.
In the last couple of years we have never been as close to belligerent confrontation in Europe as today. Leading politicians, military officials and scientists of different NATO member states therefore warn about the politics of aggression pursued by NATO.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists doomsday clock is at three minutes to midnight. It is time to stand up, it is time to protest: the next major war in Europe will be the last one. Therefore, we call on all of you: come to Warsaw and join the anti-NATO-protests at

It is time to say NO to war and confrontation and YES to peace, to life, to disarmament, to cooperative security in Europe.
For the international network “No to War — No to NATO
Kristine Karch, Lucas Wirl (Co-Chairs)


NATO: War Games  on Russia's Border Endanger Humanity. Sputnik News, July 2, 2016.

Mason, Jeffrey W. July: This Month in Nuclear Threat History. Published in Nuclear Age Foundation, July 1, 2016.

Perry, William J. A Stark Nuclear Warning. Originally published in The New York Review of Books, republished in Russia Insider, July 1, 2016.

Belous, Ilia. 'The Forgotten Truth About Lenin'. Fort Russ, July 1, 2016.

Oberg, Jan. 'Why is NATO so irrational today?' Global Research, June 30, 2016.

Canada expected to send troops to Latvia to deter RussiaThe Globe and Mail, 30 June 2016.

Dobbin, Murray. 'As NATO war-mongering against Russia intensifies, Canada faces a difficult choice'., June 24, 2016.

Behrens, Matthew. 'Saying no to Canada's death game'., June 22, 2016.