Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

25 December 2013. RIA-Novosti Presents… Let’s Meet Ded Moroz (Grandpa Frost)! Russia’s One n’ Only Answer to Santa Claus…

00 Ded Moroz. Grandpa Frost. 01. 24.12.13

Ded Moroz (Grandpa Frost), the Russian Santa Claus, has two homes, one in Veliky Ustyug, in northwestern Vologda Oblast, and the other in Moscow’s Kuzminki Park, where he spends the New Year’s holidays.


00 Ded Moroz. Grandpa Frost. 02. 24.12.13

Dede has a granddaughter, Snegurochka (the Snow Maiden).


00 Ded Moroz. Grandpa Frost. 03. 24.12.13

Traditionally, Dede travels by sleigh.


00 Ded Moroz. Grandpa Frost. 04. 24.12.13

Ahead of New Year’s, Dede has to morph into as many copies as we need to light up New Year’s Trees across the entire country.


00 Ded Moroz. Grandpa Frost. 05. 24.12.13

Dede reads the letters that children send to him to learn what each one of them would like to have for a New Year’s gift.


00 Ded Moroz. Grandpa Frost. 06. 24.12.13

Dede’s bedroom in his residence at Moscow’s Kuzminki Park.


00 Ded Moroz. Grandpa Frost. 07. 24.12.13

Performances dedicated to Dede are an essential part of New Year’s celebrations at Russian schools and kindergartens.


00 Ded Moroz. Grandpa Frost. 08. 24.12.13

Where his sleigh will not pass, Dede uses other modes of transportation, such as this air cushion vehicle in St Petersburg.


00 Ded Moroz. Grandpa Frost. 09. 24.12.13

Dede in a vintage car in a parade on St Petersburg’s Senate Square.


00 Ded Moroz. Grandpa Frost. 10. 24.12.13

Dede has many foreign colleagues, such as Norway’s Julenissen.


00 Ded Moroz. Grandpa Frost. 11. 24.12.13

Dede sitting in his Moscow residence


24 December 2013



Editor’s Note:

Dede is part of the secular New Year’s celebration… he isn’t religious at all. The hyper-religious can all get down from their high horses and they can all sit in the corner with their long faces, tight-arsed attitude, and general killjoy spirit. Meanwhile, the rest of us normal human beings can pop a cork or two and SMILE. God gave us this life, and it’s GOOD. Everything has its place, and the secular is just as important for us as the religious is. In any case, Dede is for EVERYBODY… New Year is a “Party for Everybody” (as Buranovskiye Babushki sang (click here for this fab song)). It’s a time when ALL of us can bow to one another, wish one another a good year, hug one another, be unashamedly happy, and do it as one. I see much good… and no bad… in that. Those who think otherwise can kiss my ass, and that’s that.


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

24 December 2013. RIA-Novosti Infographics. The Main Russian New Year’s Tree in the Moscow Kremlin

00 RIA-Novosti Infographics. The Main Russian New Year's Tree in the Moscow Kremlin. 2013


Loggers cut down the main Russian New Year’s Tree in a forest in Naro-Fominsk Raion in Moscow Oblast on Thursday 19 December. It’s a spruce tree, over 110-years-old. Soon, workers will load it onto a flat-bed trailer and deliver it on Saturday in Moscow, where workers will put it on Cathedral Square in the Kremlin. Strict standards exist for the selection of the Kremlin New Year’s Tree… it must have a smooth trunk, a pyramidal shape, feathery branches, and be at least 30 metres (99 feet) in height. The quality of the trees’s timber is important, for it must be able to withstand temperature fluctuations, and it must last for three weeks without deterioration. Foresters reject any trees with moss or lichen on the trunk, or if they discover that the tree’s hollow. Usually, the trees come from the edge of the forest, as it’s easier to take them out and ship them to the city. For several weeks, a special commission examined the forests surrounding Moscow to select a proper tree. They choose two or three main candidates, for two are backups, just in case the primary tree has an accident for one reason or another during the display period. The decorations are rather simple… it has large, medium, and small ornament balls in the colours of the Russian flag (red, white, and blue).

19 December 2013




Thursday, 5 December 2013

5 December 2013. A Picture IS Worth a Thousand Words… It’s That Time of Year Again… HAPPY HOLIDAYS

00 New Year's Tree. Gorky Park. Moscow RUSSIA. 05.12.13



Every year, the holiday season rolls around, and, every year, all the long-faced and tight-arsed naysayers come out to bedevil ordinary folks. This is the New Year‘s Tree at the entrance to Gorky Park in Moscow. It’s NOT a Christmas tree… it never has been, probably, never will be. Why? The Gorky Park tree is for EVERYBODY… NOT just Christians! As the Buranovskie Babushki sang, Party for Everyody! I’m pretty kosher (in a non-Jewish sense) with “Happy Holidays“… that’s what you wish your non-Christian friends (and do so sincerely, kids, from the bottom of your hearts). “Merry Christmas” is fine, too, as most non-Christians are hip to the time of year, and most of ‘em have year-end holidays, too. However, we should NEVER emulate the nasty Born Agains, with their one-way “respect”. That is, every else has to kowtow to them and suck up to their oddbod notions (don’t forget to tell them how great, moral, and wise they are whilst you’re at it), whilst they get to dump on us and everybody else (we don’t count, dontcha know, we’re not “saved”). Kiss my ass… I’m going to show respect to my fellows and what they believe in, and if that upsets the terminally “religious”, so be it.

It’s a happy time of year for all of us… PARTY FOR EVERYBODY!


Sunday, 13 January 2013

Topless Femen Activists Detained at Gay Protest in Vatican City

00 Femen topless protest. Vatican. Rome. gay rights. 13.01.13


On Sunday, local media said that four activists of the Ukrainian feminist group Femen staged a topless protest for gay rights in Vatican City as Pope Benedict XVI Ratzinger was reciting a prayer. The activists, who had the slogan “In Gay We Trust” painted on their backs, staged a protest by the Christmas tree in the centre of St Peter’s Square. AGI news agency said that the Vatican police briefly detained the women. The radical feminist movement Femen began in 2008; mainly, it protested issues of interest to women. Later, the group made headlines in pro-democracy and anti-corruption protests in Russia, the Ukraine, and London.

 13 January 2013



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