Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

11 December 2012. RIA-Novosti Infographics. “MiG” Between Past and Future: The Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau

00 RIA-Novosti Infographics. 'MiG' Between Past and Future. Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau. 2012


On 8 December 1939, Artyom Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich founded the legendary “MiG” Design Bureau. In just over seventy years, about 60,000 MiG aircraft of various designs have been built. MiGs still have a sterling reputation, not even wars like “Desert Storm” could dent it. Just three years after the end of the Gulf War, Malaysia, a traditional Western client-state, acquired the MiG-29 to replace the outdated American F-5NATO tests revealed that, with equal pilots at the controls, the MiG-29 has an advantage over its western adversaries, not only in close-in air combat, where Soviet machines were traditionally strong, but also at ranges where one had to use AAMs (20-30 kilometres (12.5-18.75 miles)).

10 December 2012




Kamchatka Volcano “Flexes its Muscles” in Record Lava Spill

00 Tolbachik Volcano. December 2012. 07.12.12


On Tuesday, local seismologists reported that the erupting Plosky Tolbachik volcano in Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East is spilling a record 1,200 metric tons (1,323 US tons) of lava every second. The 3,085-metre-high (10,122-feet-high) Plosky Tolbachik, which is part of a volcanic complex located 343 kilometres (213 miles) from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the capital of Kamchatka Krai, erupted on 27 November for the first time in 36 years.

Gennady Karpov, a deputy director at the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology of the RAN, said, “This year’s eruption is very powerful. During the Great Tolbachik Fissure Eruption in 1975, the volcano spilled on average 40 cubic metres of magma per second, at present, its ‘productivity’ is about 400 cubic metres (14,125 cubic feet) or 1,200 tons per second”. The volcano has spewed lava from two fissures along its southern slope, with the upper flow descending 6 kilometres (3.75 miles) and the lower flow descending 13.6 kilometres (8.5 miles). The flow from the upper fissure has almost stopped, but it could resume at any moment as the volcano continues to produce magma, Karpov said at a meeting with local officials, adding, “If the activity at the upper fissure resumes, we’ll face a real danger”, noting that the eruption is already at Red Code status.

Lava flows spewing from the volcano earlier caused a forest fire and destroyed buildings at two research bases located 10 kilometres (6.25 miles) from the mountain. Volcanic ash fell in nearby communities forcing local residents to take shelter in their homes. The Plosky Tolbachik erupted 10 times since records began in 1740, with the most notable eruption in 1975, commonly known as The Great Tolbachik Fissure Eruption. Soviet scientists successfully predicted the eruption because a series of earthquakes preceded it. The 1975 eruption dramatically changed the local landscape; it became an ecological disaster, as the volume of lava and ashes emitted by the Plosky Tolbachik was the largest in recorded history of Kamchatka. There are more than 150 volcanoes on Kamchatka, 30 of them active.

11 December 2012




11 December 2012. VOR Presents… Russia’s Main Store Awash with New Year Décor

00a Moscow New Year Christmas decorations. 11.12.12

With New Year and Christmas celebrations just around the corner, Moscow squares, streets, and shops windows are getting their share of holiday décor.


00b Moscow New Year Christmas decorations. 11.12.12

GUM, which is next to the Red Square, is leading the preparations with its new bedazzling look.


00c Moscow New Year Christmas decorations. 11.12.12

GUM is just awash with New Year décor.


00d Moscow New Year Christmas decorations. 11.12.12


00e Moscow New Year Christmas decorations. 11.12.12

A New Year’s bazaar sprawls across the squares of GUM, Russia’s most exclusive mall, ahead of the nationwide celebrations.


00f Moscow New Year Christmas decorations. 11.12.12

A slide in the GUM attracts Muscovite kids.


00g Moscow New Year Christmas decorations. 11.12.12


11 December 2012

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

The Russians have the right idea… they keep the secular and religious holidays separate. New Year’s is full of human good cheer… Christmas is a meditation on the birth of Our Lord Christ in the flesh. We need BOTH. Fie on the prunish neo-puritans who rant about “pre-Christmas celebrations” and fie on their atheist cousins who get upset at any hints of crèches and angels. I can’t stand either sort… and, I’ll warrant, neither can you.

Santa and the Christ Child… 25 December and 7 January… they’re NOT mutually-exclusive. Keep everything in perspective and in its proper place. Look at the bright side… it means that the secular holiday is over when the religious season begins. That means that we won’t confuse the two. There… isn’t that much more modest and realistic than bootless complaining and kvetching is? Compare this to Mattingly’s latest snarky rant about “pre-holiday celebrations”… you can smell the Scroogishness in it, can’t you?


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