Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Russia in 2011

The year of 2011 is going to be a history for us in just 4 days...

I have gathered some of the important events happened in the Russian Federation in 2011.

The beginning of the 2011 year started with a very sad event - 37 people were killed when a bomb exploded at Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow.

- Selling of incandescent lamps with more that 100 Watts is forbidden;

- Foreign citizens cannot buy property on the border area in the Russian Federation.

- The first criminal case was opened against the violation of copyright in Russia (how sad, right?)

- Russian Duma (Russian parliament) adopted the law of Police. Note: Russian police was called Militia.

- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev cancelled the winter time shift on the territory of the Russian Federation.

- International driver license is now accepted in Russia.

- Russian team won XXXI World Championship in Gymnastics which took place in Montpellier, France.

- Vladimir Putin was appointed for his third presidential elections in 2012.

- Mass protests started in December against the vote rigging in elections to the State Duma of the Russian Federation.

- Russia has been accepted to the WTO.

Hopefully there is going to be more happy and prosperous news for Russia in 2012.

Happy New 2012 Year!

С Новым 2012 Годом!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Cruiser Aurora - Rumors and Secrets

There is such an impression that the glory of the cruiser "Aurora" is changing. In the past it was called a legendary battleship for its heroic military and revolutionary past, now many media resources call it a "legendarily scandalous" ship. Indeed, none of the ships that are in the Russian Navy have been surrounded by so many scandalous rumors as "Aurora."

Last scandalous rumor launched by a variety of publications in Moscow and St. Petersburg is that officials and businessmen offer to buy tickets for a New Year's party on the cruiser Aurora. Ministry of Defense which still owns the ship fiercely deny this.

Previous scandal in 2009 was that during the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, there was a party on the cruiser organized by a businessman named Mikhail Prokhorov. Guests were entertained with fun anti-crisis chastooshkas and caviar, vodka and waitresses in striped vests! There also were foreign guests attending the party: from London, Australia, USA, etc. Of course, they had Russian interpreter and all conversations were translated into English from Russian.

As already reported by Pravda.Ru as of 1st of December 2010, naval military crew of the legendary cruiser Aurora is disbanded from the War Department, the ship goes into a department of culture and will become a branch of the Naval Museum. Thus, the military biography of the cruiser is completed. On the ship there will be only small civilian staff.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Pushkin House in London

Pushkin house in London. Why Pushkin? I guess Pushkin is the most famous Russian writer known in foreign countries... Or maybe Maria Kullmann - the founder of Pushkin house trust - was a big fan of Alexander's poetry?
Anyways, the actual house has quite of a history of its own. On the 5 Bloomsbury Square lived a doctor of Queen Anne and King William 3. The house was designed in a Georgian style. When you are inside the house, you can feel the history breath upon you. Pushkin house was established in 1954 as a cultural center that would stay like Switzerland in diplomatic and political relationship between Russia and England.
After the collapse of USSR, tons of Russian speaking immigrants flew to UK. And Pushkin House was the place where all the people would get cultural experience that used to have back in their country. They also could get some help in many other aspects of life in a new country - such as Russian translation in London. As of now you can get information about Russia, Russian language and education in Pushkin's House. You can also study Russian language since they have regular Russian language courses there.
Basically, it's a London's bridge to Russia.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Trolleybus History of Saint Petersburg

St. Petersburg is the birthplace of Russian trolleybus history. First trolley bus was built in March 31 of 1902. It was built by Petersburg's engineer P. A. Fresa. The first trolleybus way was from Red Square (now it's Alexander Nevsky Square) and Annunciation Square (now Square of Labor), its length was 5.8 km which is about 3.6 miles. This route was opened on October 21st, 1936. There were 4 cars in first trolleybuses. An interval in between trolleybuses was 15-16 minutes. An overall load was over 8 thousand passengers a day. The first trolley was made at a factory of Vagonoremontny (Varz-1). Later Leningrad was getting these machines from Yaroslavl plant (YATB-1-2-4), they had a wooden body and these trolleys were used until 1959. To support the TV was adapted depot number 3 tram park named Smirnov. By 1940 trolleybuses had transported over 41 million passengers. By 1941 in Leningrad there were 5 trolley routes the length of which was 49.1 kilometers and there were 130 machines.

Trolley-buses were stopped running when Leningrad was in a blockade in December 8, 1941 due to the cessation of the supply of electricity. In February of 1944 a transportation began to work again. In 1944 the line had only 16 machines, but in 1947 the route network had reached its pre-war level, while the volume of annual traffic got to 80 million. In 1946 were built 4 new-generation trolley-buses. They had metal body and a large capacity of 65 people. At the end of 1982 a first trolleybus came out of the plant which could carry up to 250 passengers. By 1990 the length of a single route was about 700 km. St. Petersburg had about 1.3 thousand units. In 1990 it carried about 550 million passengers a year.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Borodino Battle - Insiders Pictures

As I promised in one of my previous posts, I'm uploading pictures of the Borodino Battle Celebration. My friend whose name is Vladimir (I call him Vova - it's a diminutive Russian man's name) kindly let me use his own pictures that were taken during this fabulous celebration of the Battle of Borodino. He participates in the event starting from 1996. An interesting part of this is that you have to be a member of the Borodino club. They gather every two weeks in their own towns to show what they prepared for the anniversary, to ride the horses and much more which sounds like a lot of fun.

Here you can see a General and officers of the Russian army.
This is the actual battle.
A battle again.
Girls also participate in the battle.
Everything looks like it was back to Napoleon's age.

This picture was taken from some Russian phone.
As you can see there are a lot of visitors watching the battle. They come here every year and it's a big attraction for tourists.
My friend with a Russian flag.

These were made by hands when visiting one of those Borodino club meetings.
An injured Russian soldier and a horse.
They shed their tears over the dead friends and they are drinking, of course.
And another hard day on the battle field.
Picture of a Russian Triumph!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

How to watch Russian TV - paid and free

I had a lot of requests about Russian TV. Well, there are two ways you can watch Russian TV:

1) Order it from DirectTV which has a pretty decent selection. They say that they carry RTR Planeta, Vremya: Retro Channel, Muzika Pervogo, Dom Kino, C1RW ... 7 in total. Cost = $45 plus taxes.

You can also get Russian Channels from DishNetwork. There are several option you can choose from, the most expensive is $32 plus taxes and you are getting 5 channels, but in my opinion they are better than those from DirectTV: EuroNews in Russian language, Inter+, NTV America (which I like very much), RTVI, and TVC (popular channel in Russia).

2) You can watch Russian TV for free online using your high speed internet, I found this page with Russian channels -
These channels are all for free, the quality is not that great, but hey it's free!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Comments: American and Russian Churches

Recently I had a lot of visitors reading my post that I got translated from Russian to English. And two visitors wrote very interesting opinions about American church as well as a Russian church in USA.

The first person's nickname is Abales:

"Unlike Europe & Russia - American churches never receive funds from the government. This would violate the US Constitution. Except for some radical fundamentalists that want the whole world under their religion, no one in the US wants government control or money in any church.

US Churches are also free to move about and collect members; and lose members & die off. They are competitive for members. This inspires them to change and adapt to their members spiritual and emotional needs far more than the Russian Orthodox Church or the Catholic Church does even here. Because of the competitiveness and nimbleness of the small churches, they are the dominate form of religion in the US.

Most of these pastors have other jobs. When I worked in the mailroom at the USDA gov agency for food crops we had a lot of pastors working in that building.

What you have witnessed is the evolution of Christianity and the death of Russian/Greek Orthodox & Catholic/Protestant Euro Churches. If trends continue all of those old churches will exist only as muesums.

I am an aethist."

And a second opinion was left by Jeffrey:

"Churches in America can be very competitive. I would not prefer a child of mine to attend a typical church in America because the doctrine allows no questioning. If you do question, the pastors are trained to find the answers in the Bible and guide you to your salvation. God is a personal matter form, and I don't want a church to be critical of every aspect of my life, let alone determine for me how I should be living. On a brighter note, there are a few beautiful places in every city, but the person must endeavor to find these places. You will know you are in the right place when people honor you as a human being and don't spend their time in judgment or criticism of your life. You will know these places by their work to bring a better quality of life to people in the world and in the community and that their work is not tied to any sort of mandatory affiliation.
Last, Let not the government have it's hand's in our churches and let the churches keep away from government. Spirituality has a place in every home, but not in government. Government should concentrate itself on the building of bridges and roads and on feeding the people, proper welfare functions. I understand that government must help to pay for the churches in Eastern countries, but this is so because the churches never had a way to pay themselves and were to be considered a right of the people. American system is vastly different and steeped in a different historical background. Many people use religion as a cover to show the world that they are good people. Good people don't need church to cover with, but many good people are active parts of churches that share their values. Values should not be dictated by churches or by governments but should originate in the minds of honorable women and men who care deeply about their futures, then the church and the government, rightfully so, may find ways to reflect these values. The Christian church in particular claims to have a value system, but it is filled with holes, thus holier than thou. Be careful. If you are a Christian, I only suggest that you reflect on the teachings of Christ and see to it that your church is not trying to control the government, nor that the government is trying to control your church. This is all related to the ideas of free religion, free speech, and free press. A free people must be exactly that, Free!"

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