23 September 2008

FSB and its patron saint

A Russian religious group called Union of Russian Orthodox Citizens proposed promoting teh Saint Alexander Nevsky to the role of the patron saint of FSB - the Russian federal security service, the main successor of KGB. Here is Alexander:

When you stop laughing at the mere idea of a saint overlooking the essentially dirty business of the (not so) august organ, consider the following:

  • Alexander Nevsky is the person to whom the inspirational slogan "Whoever will come to us with a sword, from a sword will perish" is ascribed. This text inspired, between other things, the famous KGB shield and sword emblem. So the hereditary lines are easy to trace.
  • The second reason why the good folks of the Union proposed Alexander as a patron is to prevent implementation of another brilliant idea, offered by a member of the Duma (the Russian parliament): to return the statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky, the bloody founder of the Bolshevik secret police, the Cheka, to its original location on Lubyanka Square. The historic haunts of the Cheka, NKVD, KGB and now FSB. It is not that the Union minds Derzhinsky's blood thirst, it is rather that he was a raving atheist and invested quite an effort in elimination of the church and its clerics.
So there. Cannot say I don't understand the Union's drive.

Before you become too serious, though, here is a related brilliant idea: to assign the Russian SVR - the foreign intelligence service - another patron saint. So that the respective bailiwicks of FSB and SVR will be clearly demarcated in the spiritual sphere as well as in the practical one, and they wouldn't have to fight over rights of prayer.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.