Voices from Russia

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Sputnik International Presents… Christmas Market Spree: Top Seasonal Haunts to Enjoy

00 Christmas Market 01. Strasbourg FRANCE. 25.12.14

The Christmas Market gate in Place Broglie, Strasbourg (Département Bas-Rhin. Région Alsace) FRANCE


00 Christmas Market 02. Edinburgh Scotland. 25.12.14

The Edinburgh Christmas Market at Princes Street, Edinburgh (City of Edinburgh Council Area. Edinburgh Lieutenancy Area) SCOTLAND UK


00 Christmas Market 03. Liseberg SWITZERLAND. 25.12.14

The Christmas Market in Liesberg (Bezirk Laufen/District de Laufon. Canton Basel-Landschaft/Bâle-Campagne) SWITZERLAND


00 Christmas Market 04. Seville SPAIN. 25.12.14

Christmas Market and lights in Sevilla (Sevilla Province. Autonomous Community of Andalucía) SPAIN


00 Christmas Market 05. Moscow RUSSIA. 25.12.14

Entertainers at the opening of the GUM ice skating rink on Red Square in Moscow (Federal City of Moscow. Central Federal Region) RF


00 Christmas Market 06. Köln GERMANY. 25.12.14

The Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt) of Köln (Bezirk Köln. Metropolitan Region Rhein-Ruhr. Bundesland Nordrhein-Westfalen) GERMANY


00 Christmas Market 07. Copenhagen DENMARK. 25.12.14

Christmas in København (Region Hovedstaden) DENMARK


00 Christmas Market 08. Jena GERMANY. 25.12.14

Traditional Christmas Market in Jena (Bezirk Jena. Freistaat Thüringen) GERMANY


00 Christmas Market 09. London ENGLAND UK. 25.12.14

Spitalfields London Market, London (Greater London. London Region) ENGLAND UK


00 Christmas Market 10. Brussels BELGIUM. 25.12.14

An overview of the Christmas Market, Place Sainte-Catherine, Bruxelles/Brussel (Brussels-Capital Region) BELGIUM


16 December 2014

Sputnik International



Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Quirk of Fate: Zoo that Killed Marius the Giraffe and Fed Him to the Lions Kills Two Lions and Two Cubs… Moscow Zoopark Slams Action

00 Lion cub.26.03.14


A story about the København Zoo is taking its turn again. Recently, news about killing a healthy giraffe fed a massive outrage and feedback in social networks and in the media. This time, the zoo killed two old lions and two cubs. The zoo authorities made the following excuse, “Because of the natural structure and behaviour of lion pride, the zoo had to euthanise two old lions and two young lions who weren’t old enough to fend for themselves”. It turns out that the new male lion would’ve killed the 10-month-old lion cubs “as soon as he got the chance”. Therefore, to save the little ones, the zoo authorities decided to eliminate the older ones. According to a zoo spokesman, the authorities failed to find a new home for animals and thus decided to kill four of them on Monday. All four lions belonged to the same family. In a couple of days, the zoo will introduce the male lion to two female lions that’d already borne cubs.

Meanwhile, Steffen Straede, the zoo’s CEO, announced, “The zoo is recognised worldwide for our work with lions, and I’m proud that one of the zoo’s own brood now forms the centre of a new pride of lions”. To bring you up-to-date, last month, one of the zoo’s scientific directors, Bengt Holst, received various threats due to his decision to kill Marius the Giraffe. Marius’ story shocked thousands of people all over the world and led to protests and outcries from people. An online petition from animal lovers attempted to save him. Unfortunately, it didn’t succeed as the zoo authorities declared that Marius had to die according to European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) rules stating that zoos should avoid inbreeding between giraffes. Thousands of people from around the world signed a new online petition urging the København Zoo to stop killing healthy animals.


The Moscow Zoopark doesn’t approve of more killings of animals at the København Zoo, where, after it killed Marius the giraffe, the Danish zoo put down four African lions… two old ones and their two ten-month-old cubs… because of the arrival of a new male. On its website, the Moscow Zoopark stated, “Whilst the Moscow Zoopark understands the whole situation, we can’t approve of such a decision because we believe that in the absence of conditions for keeping all the animals, we shouldn’t acquire new ones, even for improving genetic diversity. We shouldn’t kill an animal just because it’s old. We often receive complaints about ‘old animals’ in our enclosures, but that’s our principled decision. Whenever there’s a choice, we try to keep an animal alive no matter what, even if it doesn’t look the way one would want it to”.

It emerged earlier that the København Zoo put down a pair of old African lions and their two ten-month-old cubs. The Danish zoo excused this decision by saying that it received a young African male lion from another zoo on 24 March. Very soon, the zoo will mate the lion with two lionesses born two years ago at the zoo to make up a new pride of lions in København. Regrettably, the zoo doesn’t have room for accommodating all its predators, and it made an unpopular decision about the euthanasia of two old lions and two lion cubs. In nature, in normal course of events in a pride (a lion family), a younger stronger lion often replaces an older animal as the dominant male. He chases the defeated male out of the pride, and the newcomer kills its offspring. To avoid a similar situation, the Copenhagen Zoo administration made an unpopular decision about the euthanasia of the old and young animals. No other zoo wanted to take the cubs, and their parents, a 16-year-old male and a 14-year-old female were nearing the limit of their natural life expectancy for lions in captivity.


The West stands for death… Russia stands for life. Any questions?


26 March 2014

Voice of Russia World Service



Friday, 14 February 2014

Chechen Leader Offers Shelter to Second Doomed Danish Giraffe

00 happy giraffe. 14.02.14


Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov offered a home in Chechnya to another zoo giraffe facing death in Denmark. The Guardian reported this week that the Jyllands Park Zoo in Videbæk is preparing to kill a healthy young giraffe named Marius to prevent inbreeding. On Sunday, the København Zoo killed another giraffe… also named Marius… with shot from a bolt gun to the head after the zoo deemed him genetically superfluous. About 27,000 people signed an online petition to keep the first Marius alive, and several other zoos offered him a home, but the zoo went ahead with the killing.

On Thursday, Kadyrov wrote on his Instagram account, “I’m worried by reports that another giraffe is about to be slaughtered in Denmark. I’m ready to accept Marius for humanitarian reasons. We guarantee him proper living conditions and will take care of his health”. Kadyrov described Sunday’s killing, billed as an educational event and attended by dozens of children, as a “savage show”. The zoo dissected the giraffe’s corpse in public view and it fed the meat to its lions, tigers, and leopards. Kadyrov, repeatedly accused by human rights groups of human rights violations in Chechnya, has his own private zoo with lions, tigers, and bears on the grounds of his official residence outside Grozny.

14 February 2014



Editor’s Note:

Ramzan Akhmadovich shows the good side of the Caucasian character. If he gives his word… that’s it. He’ll go through hell itself to keep it. When he outlawed casinos in Chechnya, he told all the owners to come to him if they needed help in transitioning to another line of endeavour. He kept his word. He’s a Caucasian chieftain, in all senses… that is, when he pledges his word, that’s it. To tell only the “bad side” of the Caucasian character isn’t fair at all…

Did you note that Ramzan Akhmadovich “has his own private zoo with lions, tigers, and bears on the grounds of his official residence outside Grozny”… lions, and tigers, and bears… oh, my!


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Tuesday, 11 February 2014

København Zoo Kills Healthy Giraffe to “Prevent Inbreeding”… Moscow Zoopark Slams Danish Action

00 Marius the giraffe. 11.02.14


On Sunday, the København Zoo killed a perfectly healthy young giraffe despite an online petition to save it signed by thousands of animal lovers. København Zoo spokesman Tobias Stenbaek Bro confirmed that the zoo put down Marius, an 18-month-old giraffe, with a bolt gun. Keepers chopped up the body of the giraffe, which they killed in a bid to prevent inbreeding, and fed it to carnivores at the zoo. Stenbaek Bro told AFP, “It was put down at 09.20. It went as planned. It’s always people’s right to protest, but of course we’ve been surprised”. The zoo explained that it had no choice other than to prevent the animal attaining adulthood. Under European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) rules, one should avoid inbreeding between giraffes.

Although Marius was healthy, his genes were already well represented at the zoo; none of the other 300 EAZA-affiliated zoos could take him in under the rules. The zoo considered castration cruel with “undesirable effects”, whilst they thought releasing him in the wild unlikely to succeed. The giraffe’s impending death sparked outrage online, with more than 5,000 people signing a “Save Marius” Facebook petition. More than 3,000 people signed a similar Danish-language online petition and nearly 24,000 an English-language version. There were reportedly several attempts made to save Marius. Expressen reported that a Swedish zoo not part of EAZA tried in vain to get Marius transferred. Another newspaper, Ekstra Bladet, quoted Claus Hjelmbak, a Danish promoter living in Los Angeles CA, as saying he found a buyer for the animal. He said, “One of my close friends, a billionaire, said that he wanted to transfer a few million so we could save the giraffe. He could easily have lived in his garden in Beverly Hills, but the zoo director wasn’t interested in a sale. I’m angry”. The zoo made clear from the beginning of the protest that it’s against its policy to sell animals.

9 February 2014


A Moscow Zoopark statement said, “They shot Marius dead and, for educational purposes, dismembered him in the sight of visitors, and they gave the giraffe’s meat to lions. We don’t share this attitude to treating animals”. It slammed the København Zoo for ignoring many protests from environmentalists and offers from other zoos to take Marius in. The Moscow Zoopark also expressed concern that children saw the animal’s killing. København Zoo officials said that they warned visitors about the killing and they could’ve decided for themselves whether to bring their children with them, saying, “We offered children an excellent opportunity to see the anatomy of a giraffe, a better opportunity than if they’d studied a giraffe from photos”.

The Moscow Zoopark said that it admitted the need to make sure of the genetic purity of rare species, but it said, “However, we consider this method of selection extremely brutal. Moreover, we don’t believe it promising to let a baby animal be born when its plight is known in advance”. They went on to say that  there are less brutal, if costlier, ways of dealing with such situations, noting, “Moscow Zoopark seeks to avoid breeding animals if it’s impossible to keep them, or to hand them over to other zoos. Although, as everyone else does, we love puppies, we have to sterilise animals or keep them apart. Nor do we think it possible to kill an animal because of old age. We often receive complaints that we have ‘old animals’ in our cages, but such is our principle. When there’s a choice, we do our best to keep an animal alive even if it doesn’t look the way one would like it to”.

The København Zoo stated on its website that the killing complied with European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) rules on preventing inbreeding. The statement said EAZA supported Marius’ killing and that it believed that the genetic management of animals in zoos was essential. The zoo said that it had no other option because it considered castration too brutal whilst there are no programmes for the release of giraffes into the wild.

11 February 2014

Voice of Russia World Service



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