( Guardian Liberty Voice) Russian president Vladimir Putin took a few minutes during his day last Wednesday to pray for the souls of Russian soldiers who have died in the fighting in Eastern Ukraine. Putin visited Moscow’s Church of the Holy Trinity, a church in the “Sparrow Hills” area of southwest Moscow, in the vicinity of Moscow State University.
Putin was in Moscow to greet former Prime Minister of Japan Yoshiro Mori at the Kremlin. Mori was visiting Moscow while participating in a Russian-Japanese Forum. The Russian leader normally works at the official presidential residence in Novo-Ogaryovo, a Moscow suburb. The Moscow Kremlin is used primarily for state and diplomatic functions.
Putin’s visit to the Sparrow Hills Church was brief, just long enough to light several candles, and say a prayer for the souls of Russian soldiers who had died while fighting in Eastern Ukraine.
Putin told reporters that he lit candles for “those who died defending people in Novorossiya.” The term Novorossiya (Новороссия) means “new Russia” and is a resurrected term from the days of Russian imperialism. Putin has recently hinted that he views Ukraine not as a state, but as a territory of Russia, and some say this means that he believes Ukraine is subject to being reclaimed.
On Monday a deadly tornado struck Oklahoma in the USA, on Tuesday President Putin called USA President Obama to express his condolences, and on Wednesday a small tornado-like storm struck a suburb outside the Russian city of Tula.
In his message to the Americans, President Putin expressed his sympathy and support to the families and friends of the victims, conveyed wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured, and stressed Russia’s readiness to provide any assistance that may be required during the relief efforts.
It is a small world and we are connected by means often other than geography. Not yet 24 hours after that message, wind shears from a micro burst ravaged 29 blocks of high rise apartments, 4 schools, 2 kindergardens, and 167 single family homes in the town of Yefremov, a suburb of the city of Tula.
Technically different from a tornado, micro bursts can cause large amounts of damage but generally are not as deadly as a tornado. Micro bursts can be wet in rain storm prone conditions or in dry desert areas.
Voice of Russia radio is reporting that the Ministry of Emergency Situations has declared a state of emergency in the western Russian region of Tula. Thankfully no deaths have been reported so far and local hospitals have treated around two dozen injured persons.