Voices from Russia

Saturday, 22 December 2012

22 December 2012. Sergei Yolkin’s World. Well, the Apocalypse didn’t Happen! But that isn’t the End of the World!

00 Sergei Yolkin. Well, the Apocalypse didn’t Happen! But that isn’t the End of the World! 2012

Well, the Apocalypse didn’t Happen! But that isn’t the End of the World!

Sergei Yolkin

2012

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According to the calendar of the ancient Mayans, 21 December 2012 was the end of the so-called Cycle of the Long Count, the Age of the Fifth Sun, which began in August 3114 BC. On that date, the calendar ends, this gave pessimists reason to believe that the Mayans predicted the end of the world. However, the promised apocalypse never arrived.

21 December 2012

Sergei Yolkin

RIA-Novosti

http://ria.ru/caricature/20121221/915783367.html

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Friday, 21 December 2012

Buckwheat Will Save Us All: Doomsday, Russian Style

Fr Vladislav Provotorov. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. 1985

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Fr Vladislav Provotorov

1985

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Contrary to what the Russian media tells you… about crystal skulls, the planet Nibiru, and Buddhist oracles speaking to NASA… the vast majority of Russians didn’t believe the end of the world would come on or around 21 December. Then, again, you never know. According to a nationwide poll released Wednesday, 9 percent of Russians believed it “likely” that doomsday would strike this Friday, as foretold by some interpretations of a Mayan calendar, while 33 percent more considered it unlikely, but not impossible. A tour guide at a Moscow museum-cum-Apocalypse shelter told RIA-Novosti when asked about the end of the world, “I don’t believe in it, no, but a shadow of a doubt lingers, you know. What if?” The guide, a college instructor, asked not to be identified to avoid embarrassment. A few people went as far as to take actual precautions, but sporadic examples of doomsday preparedness have been surfacing among all the country’s social classes… from urbanite bohemians to villagers in snowy backwaters. Some sought shelter, some stockpiled food and other necessities… all of them seemingly tapping into the historical memory of a country where nearly every generation of the past hundred years was hammered by some calamity. Whether from early-Soviet famines, or the privations of two world wars, or the consumer shortages before and after the demise of the USSR, Russians know better than most that a little hoarding can go a long way.

Bunkers to Fill

Bunker 42, a dim chilly labyrinth with sloping floors, lies 65 metres (214 feet) below the surface of downtown Moscow. Its winding corridors bring to mind 3D shooters, and their metal-plated walls could induce claustrophobia in a Tolkien dwarf. The space, with four separate cavernous rooms, was built in the early 1950s, at the onset of the Cold War, as a nuclear bomb shelter for the top brass of the Soviet Air Force. Abandoned for years after the Soviet collapse and snapped up by a private entrepreneur in the early aughts, it now houses a museum loaded with Soviet memorabilia and rents out event space. On Friday, it also doubled as a doomsday refuge, but visitors did not find bags of flour stacked against the wall. Instead, they were invited to pay 30,000 roubles (970 USD. 735 Euros. 600 UK Pounds) for entry to a 12-hour party that promises to not only keep them safe from the Apocalypse, but also provide food, entertainment, and TV coverage. These preparations for the end times offered a wry show for wealthy fun lovers. That’s another lesson Russians have learned well… faced with fatal threats, sometimes, all that you can do is laugh, relax, and have a good time. A Bunker employee, who asked not to be identified because management wanted to keep the event’s details under wraps, said, “But we’ve got no lack of nut jobs trying to book rooms”. Izvestia claimed last month that companies offering bunker-installation services reported a surge in interest from people checking on shelter construction costs (starting price, 500,000 roubles (16,200 USD. 12,275 Euros. 10,000 UK Pounds). However, the paper said that very few actually shelled out the money.

Booze & Buckwheat

In a nation with an average monthly salary of 900 USD (27,800 Roubles. 680 Euros. 560 UK Pounds), people can’t afford to spend too much on doomsday avoidance. However, concerned citizens did what they can. Back in October, in the Siberian city of Tomsk, a wedding planner started selling Apocalypse survival kits comprising buckwheat kasha, candles, notepad and pencil, some vodka, basic medicines, rope, and soap (soaped rope doesn’t chafe the neck, so goes the popular belief). The kit, priced at 890 roubles (29 USD. 22 Euros. 18 UK Pounds), was marketed as a hipster joke; a “lite” version on offer in Moscow included only the rope and soap. Naturally, everyone is free to customise their own kits, and some Russians seemed intent on doing just that… a number of stores throughout the nation reported fast dwindling stocks of matches, candles, salt, and buckwheat kasha, Russia’s staple food for perilous times. Media reports seemed to fuel the hoarding. In Omutninsk, a town of 25,000 in northern Russia, hundreds of locals stormed the shops for food and candles after a local newspaper plugged a hole on its pages with a reprinted story about the impending doomsday. Nearby towns, which don’t get the paper, reported no such craze.

This and several other cases of stockpiling mania were recounted to no end in the media, grossly exaggerating the number of serious doom-mongers. Only 3 percent of Russians admitted stocking up on foodstuffs and other necessities ahead of 21 December, according to this week’s survey by state-run pollster VTsIOM, which had a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points. Another 1 percent said they prayed to God ahead of the doomsday, whilst 75 percent said they did nothing. The reasons for inaction included “there’s no point”, although the pollster didn’t specify how many people gave that answer (fatalism is reputed to be a typical Russian trait). The assortment of coping strategies is broad… hoard, party, give in. When stories of survival… in war, famine, economic upheaval… have reached so many generations of Russian ears, you can’t blame people for taking precautions. Even though President Putin personally laughed away doomsday rumours on the eve of the dreaded 21 December, Russian history teaches that, in the end, you never know.

22 December 2012 (MSK)

Aleksei Yeremenko

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20121222/178319879.html

 

Sunday, 9 December 2012

9 December 2012. Sergei Yolkin’s World. They Undermined National Health

00 Sergei Yolkin. They Undermined National Health. 2012

They Undermined National Health

Sergei Yolkin

2012

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Chief State Public Health Doctor of Russia Gennady Onishchenko believes that the distributors of the rumours of the approach of the end of the world should face legal penalties, as these stories have had a negative impact on the health of Russians.

30 November 2012

Sergei Yolkin

RIA-Novosti

http://ria.ru/caricature/20121130/912941754.html

 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

27 November 2012. RIA-Novosti Infographics. Doomsday Calendar

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Almost every year, according to various predictions, mankind awaits the end of the world. The notorious preacher Harold Camping predicted the coming of the apocalypse; he said that the world would end 21 May 2011. Based on many years of Bible study and the use of mathematics, Camping suggested that the world would end on 21 May 2011 at 06.00. Besides this, the list of prospective dates of “doomsday” included 22 September 2012… on this day, was supposed to be the “energy end of the world”, a man-made global catastrophe. According to the calculations of NASA scientists, with the National Academy of Sciences, strong solar flares would send out an electromagnetic pulse that would fry almost all electrical and electronic equipment, leading to a disaster causing the deaths of millions of people. According to the predictions of the ancient Mayans, 21 December 2012 would be the end of our civilisation as we know it. On this day, according to an ancient treatise, something unusual happens in the solar system… the so-called “Galactic Alignment“. Earth, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn will all be in line with the Sun. Because of the unusual proximity of the Earth to the Sun, a chain reaction would begin, heavy streams of energy would saturate the atmosphere, and the Earth wouldn’t be able to withstand the shock.

23 May 2011

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/infographics/20110523/164176187.html

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