Voices from Russia

Sunday, 24 March 2013

24 March 2013. RIA-Novosti Infographics. Global Event “Earth Hour”: History, Purpose, Participants

00 RIA-Novosti Infographics. Global Event 'Earth Hour'. History, Purpose, Participants. 2013


Click here for an “Earth Hour” image gallery

The World Wildlife Fund sponsors “Earth Hour” annually. On the last Saturday in March, at 20.30 local time, all participants turn off lights and electrical appliances for an hour. This is the fifth “Earth Hour” held in Russia; last year, about 20 million people in Russia took part in it. According to WWF, about 70 Russian cities will participate in the action in 2013. The WWF specifically mentioned that Moscow, St Petersburg, Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, Lipetsk, Serpukhov, Vladivostok, Krasnoyarsk, Voronezh, Irkutsk, Krasnodar, Vologda, Nizhny Novgorod, and Syktyvkar would have special events. For the first year, Novy Urengoy will take part.

In Moscow, on 23 March, more than 80 buildings will plunge into darkness for an hour. On Saturday, the main attractions of St Petersburg… the Winter Palace, Palace Square, and the Petropavlovsk Fortress… will turn off their architectural and artistic lighting. The same thing would happen at St Petersburg State University, as well as at Troitsky Bridge, Blagoveshchensky Bridge, Bolsheokhtinsky Bridge, and Aleksandr Nevsky Bridge.

A giant ball, symbolising planet Earth will be set on fire in Nizhny Novgorod on Rozhdestvenskaya Street. The organisers of the action said, “The contours of the Earth’s continents would burn only for a short while, thus, presenting a representation of the limited and exhaustible basic resources used by mankind”. The event will take place on Markin Square near Rozhdestvenskaya Street. Residents of Krasnodar shall place candles outside a shopping mall on Stasov Street. The candles will have the inscription “Kuban +” as a symbol that the Krasnodar Krai joined the “Earth Hour” event. The shopping mall will turn off all its lights and signs.

23 March 2013




Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Man Stomped to Death in Russia for Performing Rap



Sometimes knowing your audience can be truly vital. A hip-hop aficionado in the Russian Far North proved this with his life when he was stomped to death this weekend for rapping at a sports bar. On Monday, the Arkhangelsk Oblast SKP said on its website Monday that the incident took place in the city of Arkhangelsk. Aleksei Gorlishchev, 25, was rapping at the local Bookmaker Pub, sparking the ire of some patrons, Lifenews.ru reported. One of the critics, Artyom Furzikov, 21, told the rapper to “take it outside”… where he threw the artist on the ground and jumped on him, the tabloid said. The SKP said that the victim died of internal bleeding shortly after hospitalisation; it didn’t release any names, but confirmed rapping to be the cause of the brief fight. The irate listener faces 15 years in prison if charged and convicted of intentional infliction of grave bodily harm that resulted in death.

Hip-hop has had a hard time in Russia, with the 1990s seeing street wars between rap and heavy metal fans complete with beatings and stabbings. It remains unpopular among many sports fans, especially, those who tend towards nationalist views, who prefer punk, rock, and related genres such as “oi”, favoured by skinheads worldwide. Russian music fans in Russia have killed before. In December, police in Astrakhan Oblast reported that a taxi driver murdered by his two passengers over a music-related argument. They didn’t release any specifics on what caused it. Last July, in Nizhny Novgorod, a drinking companion stabbed a Deep Purple fan to death. They’d asked in vain to hear some “shanson”, a specific Russian genre of music combining folk and cabaret influences with sappy lyrics about criminal life.

18 February 2013



Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Russian Factory to Repair Hero-Pilot Chkalov’s Plane

Hero of the Soviet Union Valery Chkalov (1904-38), a hero of early aviation


The Tupolev ANT-25 flown by Georgi Baydukov, Valery Chkalov, and Aleksandr Belyakov in 1937 on their non-stop flight from Moscow to the USA


The famous ANT-25 plane that hero-pilot Valery Chkalov flew on the first ever non-stop flight from Moscow to Vancouver WA in the 1930s is to get a new lease of life at an aircraft repair plant in Nizhny Novgorod, the plant’s press service said on Tuesday. In June 1937, Chkalov flew the ANT-25, made at the Sokol plant, from Moscow to Vancouver WA (USA) via the North Pole. The 9,130-kilometre (5,674 miles) flight lasted 63 hours and 16 minutes, setting a record at the time. US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt met the crew when they landed.

The press release from the Sokol plant stated, “Experts at the Sokol plant are repairing the ANT-25 that made the Moscow-North Pole-Vancouver flight. It’s one of the unique items on display at the Chkalov Museum”. The plant will restore the lacquer cover on the plane and repaint it by early June. Last year, Sokol technicians renovated vintage Polikarpov I-16 and Po-2 warplanes in the same Chkalov museum. Aleksandr Karezin, the General Director of Sokol said, “In the 1930s, Valery Chkalov was our senior plant test pilot; he checked out the I-16s built at our factory”.

Nizhny Novgorod will celebrate the 75th anniversary of Chkalov’s mission on 23 June, and will hold a series of aviation-related events, a souvenir fair, and a feature film devoted to the legendary flight. Born in 1904 in Vasilevo (near Nizhny Novgorod), Chkalov joined the Red Army in 1919 and undertook pilot training in 1921-24 in various flying schools across the country. He was known as a troublesome, risk-taking pilot, and was sentenced to a year in jail for a brawl in 1925 and then to another year for violating flight safety regulations in 1928. Chkalov was the holder of numerous high-ranking state awards, including the Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of the Red Banner. He died in 1938 at the age of 34 during a test flight of the Polikarpov I-180 fighter. Development of the aircraft was incomplete and it had numerous defects, but the authorities rushed the test programme on Stalin’s orders.

22 May 2012




Stratostat Osoaviakhim-1

Georgi Bibikov



Editor’s Note:

Soviet Russian aviators wrote a glorious chapter in aviation history, but they lost as many daring pilots as any other of the pioneering aerial countries. One need think only of the bravery of the crew of the stratostat Osoaviakhim-1, which burst after it rose above its pressure ceiling. Bravery wasn’t only the province of the Western Übermenschtum… it resided (and still resides) amongst the other civilisational blocs as well. Americans would do well to remember that… we should remember the hero-martyrs Pavel Fedoseyenko, Andrei Vasenko, and Ilya Usyskin. Not all martyrs are religious… some gave their lives for their country, others for the good of all mankind… we owe them honour, too. A people without heroes is a people without a soul… and a people without a soul are nothing but “brutes in suits”… ponder that when you pass your next McMansion in  the affluent effluent exurbs (it says much about the likes of draft-dodging money-grubbing scum like Rush Limbaugh, Willard Romney, and Richard Cheney)…

Click here and here for two earlier posts that explore my submission in a deeper way.


Friday, 4 November 2011

4 November 2011. A Photo Essay. “If This is 15.00, This Must be Nizhny… Misha, Where ARE We?” His Holiness’ Fabulous Adventures…

The day started on Red Square… Moscow (Federal City of Moscow. Central Federal District) RF


Serving Liturgy at the Kazan Cathedral. Moscow (Federal City of Moscow. Central Federal District) RF


With Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov (1958- ), Superior of the Sretensky Monastery, at the Orthodox Rus-Day of National Unity exhibition at the Manezh Exhibition HallMoscow (Federal City of Moscow. Central Federal District) RF


His Nibs encouraging young talent at the Orthodox Rus-Day of National Unity exhibition at the Manezh Exhibition Hall. Moscow (Federal City of Moscow. Central Federal District) RF


His Holiness deplaning at Strigino Airport in Nizhny. Archbishop Georgi Danilov (1964- ) of Nizhny Novogorod and Arzamas is behind him. Nizhny Novgorod (Nizhny Novogorod Oblast. Volga Federal District) RF


Exiting the cathedral in Nizhny. Nizhny Novgorod (Nizhny Novogorod Oblast. Volga Federal Region) RF


Nibs at a rubber-chicken reception in Nizhny with PM Vladimir Putin (1952- ). President Medvedev was also present. Nizhny Novgorod (Nizhny Novogorod Oblast. Volga Federal Region) RF


His Holiness with Muslim leaders. From the left: Mufti Ravil Gainutdin (1959- ) (in white turban), KMG, Metropolitan Varsonofy Sudakov of Saransk and Mordovia (MP Chancellor) (1955- ), (in fur hat, unknown), and Mufti Talgat Tadzhuddin (1948- ) (in green turban). They seem to be getting on quite nicely… no problem with new mosques here! Nizhny Novgorod (Nizhny Novogorod Oblast. Volga Federal Region) RF


Nibs with Archbishop Georgi and Metropolitan Varsonofy before emplaning at Strigino Airport to return to Moscow from Nizhny. Nizhny Novgorod (Nizhny Novogorod Oblast. Volga Federal Region) RF


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