Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Russia is pleased that Beijing is holding the Olympics

Filed under: China,Olympics,Russian,sport — 01varvara @ 00.00

Russian businessman Yuri Ilyakhin was a participant of the Olympic torch relay in the city of Lanzhou in north-western China. The Russian is one of the eight foreigners who won the right to be in the relay by participating in the “I am and China” competition. The competition was organised by the newspaper China Daily and the Lenovo Chinese Company, a producer of computers and electronic appliances. Several thousand Internet users from China and Russia voted for Yuri Ilyakhin.

This is pleasant news for the staff of Voice of Russia. Some time ago, Yuri Ilyakhin worked as part-time reporter at the broadcasting company, but, now, he is a successful businessman. He worked at the Soviet news agency TASS in the 80s after graduating from the Institute of Asia and Africa of Moscow State University. He is fluent in the Chinese language, translates poems by Li Bo and other Chinese classical poets, and writes and edits books on traditional Chinese opera. “We are happy to be involved in an Olympic torch relay that unites people. We wish success to the Olympics starting next month”, Yuri said on behalf of the other foreign participants.

Preparations for the Olympic Games are in the final stretch. One of the largest contingents to take part in the Olympics shall be the Russian team, as was stated by Vitaly Mutko, the Minister of Sports, Tourism, and Youth Policy, at a meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin last week. About 500 Russian sportsmen will take part in 28 sport events. Russia is sincerely happy that Beijing won the right to hold the Olympic Games and believes that they will be staged with the highest standards. The participants and guests of the Beijing Olympics will remember them as a great holiday, a holiday of sport and free communication uniting athletes from many countries.

Russia and other member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation will cooperate actively with China in guaranteeing security to the event. This issue was discussed at the recent meeting of the Executive Committee of the regional antiterrorist structure of the SCO in Beijing. A statement released after the meeting says that Beijing Olympic Games are a great event not only for Chinese people, but, also for the people of the SCO member countries. In view of this, the SCO members said they would oppose any attempt to boycott the Olympics. They emphasised that they would not support any action that undermines the 2008 Olympic Games.

9 July 2008

Igor Denisov

Voice of Russia World Service



Deep-Submergence Research Vehicles Mir-1 and Mir-2 to Study Lake Baikal

Filed under: Russian,science — 01varvara @ 00.00

The deep-submergence research vehicles (DSRVs) Mir-1 and Mir-2 shall dive to the floor of Lake Baikal. The scientific expedition is aimed at gathering information that shall help to determine methods to preserve the unique natural lake. The two vessels shall go to Lake Baikal after diving to the floor of the Arctic in August. They will be used to study the lake, the Pearl of Siberia or Holy Sea. The depth of the lake at its deepest point is 1,637 metres (5,370 feet). It has 20 percent of the fresh water in the world. There are over 2,600 various kinds of flora and fauna, the majority of which exist only around or in the lake. The Mir DSRVs shall help to reveal many secrets hidden in the lake. The programme of research drawn up by the Russian Academy of Sciences provides for gathering information about tectonic activity on the floor of the lake, studying underwater muddy volcanoes, and determining the amount of mineral reserves.

Solid-state gas, gas-hydrate has been discovered in the lake, like in the Arctic, said Anatoly Sagalevich, Russian scientist and deep-water diver. “Baikal is a unique lake, a crack in the earth’s crust; it is a mini-oceanic rift zone with all its features. Consequently, the programme includes studying the geological structure of the lake, its banks, and floor. Special research shall be devoted to hydrothermal effusions, which have been discovered on the floor as methanoic sips. We are going to study gas-hydrate. Reportedly, there is a large amount of gas-hydrate. Fauna is another area of research. We hope to find new species. I think the results of the expedition will be quite valuable”, Professor Sagalevich said. Sagalevich reached a depth of 1,400 metres (4,593 feet) beneath the lake in the DSRV Paisis 20 years ago. Now, he plans to reach a record depth of 1,600 metres (5,249 feet) on board the Mir vessels.

Video cameras installed on the vessels send images during the dive. These recordings will be used to make a science film. The leading Russian and foreign scientific centres will work out practical measures and recommendations in conjunction with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre to preserve the natural resources of Lake Baikal. “The preservation of Lake Baikal is a national task, and Russia must do its best to preserve it for future generations”, said Artur Chilingarov, scientist and deputy of the RF Gosduma, who headed a recent expedition to the North Pole.

The Mir DSRVs shall be sent to Ulan Ude, the capital of Buryatia. The first submergence is scheduled for 20 July. Scientists plan to make 60 submergences this year and another 100 next year. Among the participants of the expedition are Prince Albert II of Monaco, the Japanese Association of Baikal programme, and the Royal Society of England.

9 July 2008

Voice of Russia World Service


Mathematician Vladimir Arnold, Universal Scientist

Filed under: biography,intellectual,Russian,science,Soviet period — 01varvara @ 00.00

Academician Vladimir Arnold (1936- ), honoured scientist, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAN)

The State Prize for 2007 was awarded in the Kremlin on 12 June, Russia Day. The laureates of the awards in Science and Technology were physicist Alexei Khokhlov, linguist Andrei Zaliznyak, and mathematician Vladimir Arnold. Vladimir Arnold was honoured for making great contributions to mathematical physics. He is considered one of the most brilliant universal-scientists in the world. He approaches mathematical problems as a natural scientist, and his results are used by chemists, physics, and biologists. His former student, Academician Viktor Vasilev, said that his works on dynamic systems theory, classical and celestial mechanics, singularity theory, topology, algebraic geometry, hydrodynamics, differential geometry, mathematical physics, the calculus of variations, and combinatorial theory have been recognised throughout the world.

“Vladimir Arnold engaged himself in practically all areas of mathematics. This is a distinguished feature of our mathematical school, where we consider it correct that people should have interest and knowledge of all areas. Many of the accomplishments of Vladimir Arnold are brilliant in his specific area of expertise, but, his knowledge of other areas helped him to this end, and, sometimes, he discovered unexpected linkages. The fact that he is keen on everything led to limited successes in some areas where there was no correct solution, whilst an analogue with another theory helped him to solve the specific question”, Professor Vasilev said.

Vladimir Arnold was awarded a doctorate when he was 28. He won his first award in 1965. He and his teacher and guide Andrei Kolmogorov were honoured with the Lenin Prize for their work on celestial mechanics. However, he became world famous when he was 20, after solving Hilbert’s thirteenth problem. “Vladimir Arnold solved the problem when he was studying in the second or third course of Moscow State University. David Hilbert put forth 26 unsolved problems in 1900, which are considered the main mathematical problems of the century. Arnold solved one of them. This is a great achievement”, Professor Vasilev said.

Currently, Academician Arnold is a member of many foreign academies, including the French Academy, the Academy of Arts and Sciences of the United States, the Royal Society of London, and he is an honorary doctor at several universities. The great scientist has been keen on sports since childhood. He is now 72, but, he starts seminars after a 50-kilometre bicycle cross. He is an alpinist and likes to swim in icy ponds in the winter. Professor Arnold insists that sports are essential for doing scientific work. This is advice that he could have given to his students.

9 July 2008

Voice of Russia World Service


President Medvedev took Positive View of Hokkaido Summit

President Dmitri Medvedev (1965- )

President Dmitri Medvedev took a highly positive view of the results of the Hokkaido summit conference of the world’s leading industrial nations. First of all, President Medvedev thanked the Japanese for their ability to streamline the summit conference which focused on pressing and meaningful global problems. He said that the developed nations had been able to make a few sweeping decisions, in particular, on food relief and other emergency aid to developing countries. President Medvedev saw a boost in food production as Russia’s contribution to the efforts to meet the problem of food shortages. In addition, he suggested calling a grain summit conference.

The leading industrial nations emphasised the key role of the United Nations in the war on international terrorism. They focused on the situation in Afghanistan and the Middle East, and the North Korean and Iranian moves in the nuclear field. It turned out they held similar views of those problems. They upheld the call for the convocation of an extended conference on the Middle East in Moscow. They conferred with the five biggest developing nations, China, India, Brazil, South Africa, and Mexico. It became clear that upgraded cooperation would meet both their own and the developing countries’ interests. This is necessary because it takes more than just the efforts of the G8 members to settle global problems.

President Medvedev told newsmen that opinions were exchanged on the US-Czech agreement on basing elements of the American anti-missile defence system. He said that Russia refuses to accept the American plans. According to Mr Medvedev, “Russia refuses to kick up a row, but, we shall do what we must to meet this challenge. We hold the door open to continued anti-missile negotiations and will continue these negotiations, with other members of the G-8 and the members of the North Atlantic Alliance, amongst others”. A newcomer to G-8 gatherings, President Medvedev closed the press conference by saying he took a positive view of the Hokkaido summit.

9 July 2008

Voice of Russia World Service


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