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“Conversion of Russia” Update:

Putin Cult Group Rises in Russia

by Christopher A. Ferrara

Now that Vladimir (“the practicing Christian”) Putin has completed the Kremlin’s takeover of all major independent TV and radio outlets, placing them all under state control, news arrives of the latest development in Russia’s “conversion”.

On January 27, 2002 the London Telegraph online edition reported that “a sinister new organization, backed by the Kremlin, is urging the Russian people to reject pro-Western views and go back to the ‘glory’ of Soviet Russia.” The group is an elite cadre of 50,000 militantly nationalistic Russian men which calls itself “Walking Together”. The Telegraph notes that the group “has strict rules and indoctrination methods” and that is aim, according to its head, Vasily Yakimenko, is “to create a new generation to help the president bring Russia out of crisis.”

Crisis? What crisis? The Fatima revisionists tell us that Russia is converting — it’s (all together now) a MIR-acle!

The Telegraph details the clear evidence that “Walking Together” is a Kremlin operation, controlled by Vladimir (“the practicing Christian”) Putin: “the Kremlin's clear involvement can be traced back to the group’s beginnings. Mr Yakimenko left a job in the Kremlin administration, where he was overseer of state-run charities, in May 2000 to create Walking Together. The senior patron of the movement is Vladislav Surkov, the deputy head of the presidential administration.” All the President’s men — Russian style.

Well, what’s wrong with a little civic group of patriotic Russians? Here’s what’s wrong: “The group is vehemently pro-Putin and its first public action was a huge rally in November 2000 to celebrate his presidency. Wearing T-shirts emblazoned with Putin’s face, thousands gathered near the Kremlin and spoke of their love for the president. Mr Putin later received the organizers of the rally in the Kremlin.”

Get the point? In case you don’t the Telegraph report makes it abundantly clear: “Russian liberals fear that the group is the embodiment of persistent attempts by senior Kremlin officials to set up a new Soviet-style cult of personality around the president: nationalism thinly veiled as patriotism is a hallmark of Walking Together.”

The group requires a kind of martial loyalty and discipline from its members, who are expected to “read at least six Russian classics a year, whether you enjoy them or not, and visit the site of a battle where the Russians were victorious.” The Telegraph notes that “liberal” books which depict the sorry state of Russian society today “have been damned by Walking Together.” Instead, Walking Together has published “thousands of copies of a book of stories recounting the Red Army’s ‘glorious victories’ during the Second World War. These books were offered free in exchange for ‘corrupting’ works.”

Now, where did they get the money to publish those thousands of pro-Soviet, pro-Red Army books? Apparently from “two companies with close Kremlin ties as well as Moscow city council.”

The five-man cells in Walking Together, which are its basic organizational units, are called “Red Stars”. The object is to create your own Red Star and get each of the members in the Red Star to create their own Red Stars — a kind of pyramid marketing scheme for the return of a Soviet-style cult of personality in Russia. And at the top of the pyramid? None other than Vladimir (“the practicing Christian”) Putin.

Isn’t the conversion of Russia a wonderful thing to behold?