Voices from Russia

Thursday, 22 May 2008

22 May 2008. A Shot of Culture, if you please…

Days of Moscow Open in Sofia

National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria


The Days of Moscow are opening in Sofia today. As part of the Year of Russia in Bulgaria project, the event features a series of public, political, and cultural meetings. Businessmen from the two countries will gather at the House of Moscow in Sofia to discuss the development of small and medium-scale business. Tonight, the National Palace of Culture hosts the official opening ceremony of the Days of Moscow in Sofia. A presentation of Moscow’s tourist attractions is due to take place during the festival. A group of experts will also discuss healthcare issues and the production of medicines.

22 May 2008



Aleksandr Zarkhis Production of Anna Karenina Presented at Cannes Film Festival



Anna Karenina, a film produced in 1967 by prominent Russian director Aleksandr Zarkhi (1908-97), will be presented at the Cannes Film Festival today. Forty years ago, Cannes waited to see this film with Tatiana Samoilova as Anna, but due to the premature closure of the festival amidst students protests in France the audience didn’t see it. Now, the time’s come to restore its due.



Tver hosts Day of Slavic Language and Culture Celebrations

St Mikhail of Tver

Unknown Artist

16th century



The old Russian city of Tver started celebrations for the Day of Slavic Written Language and Culture, officially marked on 24 May. This is the only holiday in Russia having both a religious and secular meaning. On this day, Russia pays tribute to Saints Cyril and Methodius, who devised the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet used to transcribe the Old Church Slavonic language. The international conference “The Slavic World: A Community of Interests and Diversity” begins its sessions today. Delegates from 8 countries will take part in the forum. Patriarch Aleksei II of Moscow and all Russia sent the participants his greetings and blessings.

22 May 2008



Bonham’s Auction House from Britain Opened its First Display in Moscow

A Self-Portrait with Water-lilies

Natalia Goncharova



Bonham’s auction house from Britain, one of the world’s three leading auctioneers of fine arts and ancient treasures, opened its first display in Moscow ahead of an auction. The visitors of the display unanimously believe that a painting by Natalya Goncharova (1881-1962), Sailing-Ship, will receive the top-bid. The cost of the painting has been estimated at 1.5 million UK pounds (70.146 million roubles. 1.887 million euros. 2.971 million US dollars). Experts praised works displayed by Aleksei Kharlamov, Pyotr Konchalovsky, Vladimir Makovsky, and Lidya Masterskaya. Over 200 lots will be presented at the Russian arts auction by Bonham’s in London on 9 June.

22 May 2008


Voice of Russia World Service


USA Is Paying For Its Mistakes

Filed under: NATO,politics,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates (1943- )

American Defence Secretary Robert Gates whilst speaking in Florida admitted that America‘s current war in Afghanistan is due to its mistakes during the anti-Soviet war toward the end of the 1980s. Mr Gates was extremely frank and did not dodge his own responsibility in the blunder. In the past, he worked in the CIA and the National Security Council. But, he sinned against the truth. Washington committed the mistake not toward the end of the 1980s, but, right at the beginning of the decade. America embarked on the creation of the Taliban, with instructors from the CIA and other intelligence agencies setting up camps for the training of mujaheddin fighters in the methods of waging partisan war, supplying them with the most-modern arms and ammunition. America created the Taliban that is now causing a major headache to the Afghan government and the American-led coalition forces, including troops from NATO. Afghanistan has become one of the most dangerous terrorist recruiting grounds in the world, as well as the headquarters of international illegal drug production.

History is said to teach people nothing and the war in Iraq confirms it. Mr Gates is right to say that if the Afghan scenario plays itself out in Iraq, the consequences would be dire because the forces that are ranged against the USA in the country are deeply religious and revolutionary. Their aim is to drive America and all other Western states out from the Persian Gulf and the whole of the Middle East. It is a fact that anti-America sentiments remain strong in the region and different public opinion polls confirm it. Interestingly, while admitting the mistakes of the past and the present, Mr Gates did not offer a way to rectify the same. It has long been established that the American foreign policy is messianic and has a “high-horse” attitude towards all other countries. This has given birth to anti-American moods, inspiring a spirit of revolt in Afghanistan, Iraq, and in several other regions in the world. In his book A Conflict of Civilizations, the well-known American writer Samuel Huntington clearly alluded to it. Western interference in the affairs of other civilisations is, perhaps, the single most dangerous source of instability and potential global conflict in a multi-civilisational world, he wrote. Quite possibly, White House and Pentagon officials have not heard about or read Huntington’s book, or they simply disagree with him.

22 May 2008

Viktor Yenikeyev

Voice of Russia World Service


Patriotic Coalition is ready to Form a New Government in Serbia

Filed under: Kosovo,politics,Serbia — 01varvara @ 00.00

Patriotic coalition leaders Vojislav Kostunica (1944- ) and Velimir Ilic (1951- )

Following the results of the parliamentary election held on 11 May, Serbia is about to announce the formation of a ruling coalition. The coalition is due to comprise of the parties of the “people’s bloc”, radicals, and socialists. Together they possess 130 out of the 250 seats in the parliament. According to Velimir Ilic, the leader of the New Serbia Party, one of the parties in the “people’s bloc”, a coalition agreement is practically ready. All the posts in the future government have been distributed. The leader of the Democratic Party, Vojislav Kostunica, who served as prime minister in the last Serbian government, was empowered with the mandate to form the new cabinet.

The parties that are due to create the ruling coalition see eye-to-eye on the issues concerning cooperation with the EU and the future of Kosovo as a historically-Serbian province, although Albanian separatists unilaterally proclaimed independence in February 2008. These parties believe that Serbia’s accession to the EU will be possible only if Kosovo remains within the Serbian state. Neither the radicals nor the socialists intend to ignore the national territorial integrity in exchange for the membership in EU.

The recent political events in Belgrade have had a direct influence on the situation in Kosovo. The beginning of the EU police mission in Kosovo earlier planned for mid-June has been postponed. The head of the mission, French General Yves de Kermabon, reported, “There were some political and purely technical reasons postponing the mission”. In accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1244, Kosovo is under UN administration. Here is an opinion from Pavel Kandel, the head of the department of ethno-political conflicts of the Institute of Europe. “The mission will continue its work. There was a plan that the UN would gradually hand over the mission to the EU. However, since the EU mission is illegitimate (it was not approved by the UN Security Council), it cannot accept this mandate from UN”. It seems that Serbia has to some extent contributed to this result. Having supported the independence of Kosovo and hoping that Belgrade would tolerate it, the USA and its partners in Europe now find that they cannot ignore public opinion in Serbia.

20 May 2008

Voice of Russia World Service


Russia Opposes Handover of the UN Mission in Kosovo to the EU

Filed under: Kosovo,politics,Russian,Serbia — 01varvara @ 00.00

Assembly Chamber of the UN Security Council

Russian diplomat Boris Malakhov announced that Moscow opposed the handover of the UN mission in Kosovo to the EU as this is a shady attempt to contravene UN Security Council resolutions regulating the mandate and format of the international presence in this Serbian province. In February 2008, it was announced that a triple-track mission dubbed EULEX Kosovo would bring stability to the Balkans and assist Kosovo institutions, judicial authorities, and law enforcement agencies in their progress towards local rule. The mission is due to begin on 15 June.

An expert at the Institute of Slavonic Studies, Aleksandr Karasyov, commented, “Today, the USA and some European countries are trying to replace the UN administration in Kosovo, established in 1999 by Security Council resolution 1244, with an administration placed by the EU, and, thus, withdraw the Kosovo issue from UN jurisdiction”.

The West treats EULEX as a lever in its moves to support Kosovo’s independence. The stated function of the mission is to ensure that the institutions in Kosovo are free from political interference. Still, the EU mission is illegal since neither the Security Council nor UN Secretary General Ben Ki-moon approved it. All the attempts of the EU members to refer to UN Security Council Resolution 1244 are worthless since the document says nothing about EULEX. What is most important about it is that Serbia should give the EU permission to launch its mission in Kosovo, and this will never happen because Belgrade is not going to put up with any violation of Serbian territorial integrity.

21 May 2008

Voice of Russia World Service


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