Voices from Russia

Saturday, 24 May 2008

24 May 2008. A Day at the Races…

Filed under: Russian,sport — 01varvara @ 00.00

Man United wins Champions League Cup in a penalty shoot-out

FC Manchester United from England won the Champions League Cup for the third time in its history by beating FC Chelsea 6-5 on penalties after a dramatic 1-1 draw during yesterday’s match in Moscow. 65,000 fans attended the event at Luzhniki Stadium, 40,000 of them being British fans that came to Moscow to see the game.

22 May 2008


Olympic torch resumes its journey through China

The Olympic torch resumed its journey through China after a 3-day period of national mourning for the victims of the most devastating earthquake in Chinese history. The relay started in the city of Ningbo. Olympics organisers announced that the Sichuan province leg of the relay had been shifted from mid-June to early August because of the quake. The flame is due to arrive in Beijing on 6 August, 2 days before the start of the games.

22 May 2008


Leaders of the UEFA say that the organisation of the Champions League final in Moscow went well

According to Valeri Vinogradov, the deputy mayor of Moscow, the leaders of the UEFA, the European football governing body, said that the organisation of the Champions League final in Moscow on Wednesday went well. FC Manchester United Defeated FC Chelsea 6-5 in a penalty shoot-out after a 1-1 draw at Luzhniki stadium. In all, 65,000 fans, including 42,000 from Britain, attended the match.

22 May 2008


Russian-Chinese phrase book to help Russian athletes

A Russian-Chinese phrase book will surely help Russian athletes, fans, and sports officials in Beijing for the Olympic Games. The two authors of this small book, Dmitri Shakura and Tatiana Shchenkova of the Voice of Russia, said they used letters of the Russian alphabet to transcribe words of the Chinese language. The phrase book is divided into two parts. It contains useful information about China and a map of Beijing.

23 May 2008


China resumes the relay of Olympic torch

China resumed the relay of the Olympic torch to the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. The send-off was from Shanghai, at the start of a stretch of 200 kilometres. Over 400 runners are expected to take part. The relay resumes after three days of national morning for an estimated 56,000 people who died in the Sichuan earthquake 11 days ago. It will raise funds for victims’ families on the way. The torch will be in Sichuan shortly before arriving in Beijing on 8 August.

23 May 2008


Voice of Russia World Service

Man United breaks Chelsea hearts in Moscow Champions League final

FC Manchester United defeated FC Chelsea on penalties in Moscow on Wednesday night in the first ever all-English Champions League final after 120 tense and incident packed minutes had failed to separate the two sides. The game exploded into life in the 26th minute, United’s Cristiano Ronaldo leaping high to power home a pinpoint header following a Wes Brown cross. United went close to increasing their lead after a breathtaking counterattack saw Petr Cech in the Chelsea goal make two rapid saves in succession from first Carlos Tevez and then Michael Carrick.

However, as half time approached, Chelsea hit back, Frank Lampard taking advantage of deflections off Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand to slot the ball into the United net. The second half saw Chelsea seize the initiative, a Didier Drogba shot bouncing back off the post in the 77th minute. However, the game ended 1-1 and went into extra time as the rain poured down at the Luzhniki stadium.

Chelsea were again denied by the woodwork in the opening minutes of extra time when a Lampard shot came back off the bar with Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar beaten. John Terry was on hand to rescue Chelsea in the 10th minute of extra time heading Ryan Giggs’ header off the line. Giggs had earlier come on as a substitute for Paul Scholes, making a record 759th appearance for the club, breaking the record of Sir Bobby Charlton, who was watching in the stands.

A mass brawl looked on the cards with minutes remaining on the clock as Chelsea’s players protested over what they felt was a lack of sporting manners on United’s half when Tevez failed to “properly” return the ball to Chelsea after Petr Czech had put it out to allow Terry to receive treatment for cramp. In the ensuing fracas, Drogba slapped Vidic and was shown red, much to the delight of the Manchester United fans. The game then went into a penalty shoot out. The match had begun at 22.45 local time, and it was already gone 01.00 in the Russian capital when Tevez stepped up to take the first spot kick, hammering his effort home.

With the score at 2-2 on penalties, Ronaldo cracked under pressure, Cech clawing away his penalty. Lampard, Owen Hargreaves, Ashley Cole and Nani then converted, leaving Chelsea captain Terry with the chance to earn his side their first ever Champions League trophy. It was not to be however, Terry’s shot skimming off the outside of the post, causing Chelsea owner’s Roman Abramovich to clutch his heart in despair. The game then went to a sudden death shoot out, and after Giggs had calmly slotted home, Nicholas Anelka, who had come on as a substitute in extra time, saw Van der Sar beat away his shot.

Manchester United were champions of Europe for the third time, and, fittingly, their triumph came exactly fifty years after the 1958 Munich air disaster in which 23 people, including eight members of the side, were killed in a plane crash as the team came home from a European Cup away game in Belgrade. “It is a fantastic achievement”, said Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson after the game. The victory means Ferguson joins an elite club of managers to have won Europe’s most prestigious club competition twice.

“It’s not the last time you will see Chelsea in the final”, Chelsea’s manager Avram Grant vowed. “You will see us back and we will win the final”. That may well be true, but nothing could hide the Israeli’s disappointment at a season which has seen the Londoners lose to Tottenham in the Carling Cup final, beaten into second place in the Premier League by United, and come so close to glory last night in Moscow. As for United and their players? “It is the happiest day of my life”, said a beaming Ronaldo, his penalty miss forgotten. FC Manchester United will now play FC Zenit St Petersburg in the Super Cup, the annual match between the Champions League winners and the UEFA Cup victors, in August.

22 May 2008


Chelsea fans in Abramovich’s Ice Kingdom taste early defeat

Chelsea fans in Chukotka in Russia’s Far East drowned their sorrows on Thursday morning after the London club, owned by the region’s governor Roman Abramovich, lost to Manchester United in the Champions League final. The match kicked off at 07.30 local time in the Chukotka Autonomous Area, located more than 5,500 km from Moscow (more than 3,400 miles). As a result, many people in Anadyr, the capital of the harsh northeastern region, took a day off work to watch the game, which took place in Luzhniki stadium in Moscow.

“Most fans watched the game at home. However, many preferred to watch it together in the biggest karaoke bar in Anadyr. At the end of the game, the majority of fans stayed in the café to discuss Chelsea’s missed chances and drown their sorrows”, a local fan told RIA-Novosti. Many of the fans belonged to the Chukotka Chelsea fan club, and one of its members said that, “In the event of a Chelsea victory, we were ready to hold a victory parade in the streets of Anadyr. We were forced to put it off until another time, however”, he added philosophically.

Roman Abramovich became governor of Chukotka in 2000. He purchased Chelsea three years later. The side has since won the English Premier League twice, but, have failed to lift Europe’s most prestigious club competition. Chukotka does not have its own soccer team. Spartak Chukotka, who used to play their “home” games in Moscow, was disbanded in 2000 by Abramovich’s predecessor. Manchester United defeated Chelsea 6-5 on penalties after the match finished 1-1.

22 May 2008




Robert Gates Owns Up To Past Mistakes

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

Robert Gates, US Secretary of Defence (1943- )

The war the United States is now fighting in Afghanistan stems directly from the mistakes it made during the anti-Soviet war there in the late 1980s. During a recent speech, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates underscored the need to learn from past experience and prevent a repeat of those strategic mistakes in Iraq. Mr Gates’ belated acknowledgement means that, by supplying arms to the Afghan mujaheddin fighting Soviet troops, Washington precipitated a turn of events that ultimately led to the 11 September 2001 attacks and America’s global war on terror. Fighting al Qaeda differs much from anything the Americans have seen before and many experts are already advising the White House to start looking for a political solution in Afghanistan.

In Moscow, Viktor Korgun, the director of the Centre for Afghan Studies, fully agrees, saying there can be no military solution to the conflict. “Only if and when the Afghan authorities start rebuilding the country’s shattered economy will ordinary Afghans support the government and its western sponsors… They need more money, more energy, and more effort. They need to talk to the enemy, but, certainly not those who are neck-deep in the blood of their compatriots”.

It looks like the people at the Pentagon are finally waking up to the reality that combining naked force and persuasion to force others to give up extremism, terrorism, and support the Afghan government does not work. Some experts say that now that the Pentagon is ready from the top down to own up to past mistakes in Afghanistan and Iraq, it could bring about a dramatic change in American policy in a region where a wrong decision is always fraught with the risk of the sort of military conflict that Americans have never succeeded in…

24 May 2008

Yevgeny Kryshkin


Voice of Russia World Service

USA Gives Up On Missiles in Poland, Opts For Radar in the Czech Republic

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

The United States seems to be ready to give up on planned interceptor missile deployments in Poland, opting instead only for a missile warning radar site in the Czech Republic. This means that what the Americans really want is to keep an eye on Russian territory instead of some imaginary missile threat from so-called rogue nations. Washington’s argumentation that the interceptor missile and radar placements in Poland and the Czech Republic were meant to protect Europe against possible missile attack by Iran or North Korea never really held any water. Meanwhile, the Poles said they will allow the United States to deploy a missile defence base in Poland only if the Americans give them some 20 billion dollars to modernise the Polish armed forces to improve their national security. Apparently tired of all that horse-trading, the Americans advised Warsaw to take a more “realistic” approach on the matter.

In Moscow, defence expert Alexander Khramchikhin believes that having a radar site in the Czech Republic is more important for the Americans than deploying ten interceptor missile silos in Poland. “You can’t have missiles without radar, but, you can have radar without missiles. The USA, at least for now, seems ready to give up on a missile base in Poland”.

The Czech government approved the deployment of the missile defence system on its territory on Wednesday. The basic document still needs to be ratified by the country’s parliament and signed by President Vaclav Klaus. This will give the Americans a unique chance to monitor Russian territory. Without interceptor missiles able to respond to imaginary threats posed by either Iran or North Korea, the Americans will find it real hard to explain to Moscow and their own taxpayers why they need this whole missile defence shield after all.

24 May 2008

Aleksandr Vatutin

Voice of Russia World Service


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

Filed under: ballet,fine arts,intellectual,music,pop,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

News without Politics

The Moscow Kremlin plays host to an exhibition featuring treasures of Japan’s military aristocracy, the Samurai. The exhibition was organised, amongst others, by the Tokyo National Museum, and will be on from 21 May to 16 July. One of the exhibits is an almost millennium-old sword from Japan, the oldest in the Country of the Rising Sun, made back in the 11th century. The exhibition is one of many in a long-term programme of cooperation with the world’s largest collections. Earlier, the Moscow Kremlin hosted exhibitions displaying exhibits from the Louvre, the Beijing Imperial Palace Museum, and the Vienna Museum of Art History.

21 May 2008


The French Encyclopaedic Dictionary “Larousse” is now available for free on the Internet. The renowned publication had to make this move because of tough competition with Internet editions, first of all Wikipedia.

22 May 2008


Anna Pavlova (1881-1931) in 1920, one of the stars who danced in Diaghilev’s troupe

The Museum of Dance in Stockholm presents a unique exhibition of costumes to mark the 100th anniversary of Sergei Diaghilev’s (1872-1929) legendary Ballet Russe. The most outstanding artists of those times, Aleksandr Benois, Natalia Goncharova, Mikhail Larionov, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso, were proud to work on the performances. The 100th anniversary of this Russian ballet troupe will be marked in 2009 world-wide, in honour of a company that for more than two decades was treated as the legislator of fashion in the art of ballet.

23 May 2008


Russian pop singer is the favourite of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest

Dima Bilan (1981- ), pop music star

Russian pop singer Dima Bilan is widely seen as one of the favourites of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, which is wrapping up tonight at Belgrade’s giant Arena sports complex. In the finals, Bilan, assisted by the Hungarian violinist and composer Edvin Marton and Russian Olympic figure skating champion Yevgeny Plushchenko, will sing Believe Me, the song he performed in the semifinals. Bilan is facing tough competition from Ani Lorak from the Ukraine, Jelena Tomašević from Serbia, and Greek singer Kalomira. 25 singers will compete in the Eurovision final, where Russia drew 24th place. Residents of the 43 participating countries will vote by telephone or SMS. The Eurovision Song Contest, one of the best-loved music shows around, has been held since 1956.

24 May 2008


Voice of Russia World Service

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