Voices from Russia

Monday, 8 May 2017

8 May 2017. What’s Shakin’ at the Novosibirsk Zoopark? Mother Love… What Else?


Mother love conquers all at the Novosibirsk Zoopark. Can you believe that chowderheaded “animal rights activists” made stupid comments about this image on other sites? Trust me, if any such nudnik were to comment on my wall, I’d block them faster than anything. There’s nothing wrong with this image and I’m proud to post it. Animals aren’t human and we shouldn’t anthropomorphise them, but they have consciousness, as all animal lovers know. Do avoid the PETA types, though… they don’t know how to shut up and they’re the dreariest sorts you’ll ever encounter. Be wary of the earnest and “well-intentioned”… they do FAR more harm than the evil-intentioned and nasty-minded ever do…



Thursday, 1 January 2015

ITAR-TASS Presents… Russian Streets and Squares Decked Out for the New Year

00 Russian New Year 01. Moscow Red Square. 01.01.15

Children on a merry-go-round in Red Square in Moscow (Federal City of Moscow. Central Federal District) RF


00 Russian New Year 02. Moscow Christmas Fair. 01.01.15

Festivities at the Christmas Market in Red Square in Moscow


00 Russian New Year 03. Moscow Christmas Fair. 01.01.15

A view of the Christmas Market on Moscow’s Red Square


00 Russian New Year 04. Moscow Christmas Fair. 01.01.15

A view of the Christmas Market near the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow


00 Russian New Year 05. Moscow Manezhnaya Square. 01.01.15

A couple at Moscow’s Manezhnaya Square


00 Russian New Year 06. Moscow Red Square New Year Tree. 01.01.15

New Year Tree on Red Square


00 Russian New Year 07. Moscow Tverskoy Boulevard. 01.01.15

Tverskoy Boulevard in Moscow decorated for the upcoming Christmas and New Year celebrations


00 Russian New Year 08. Moscow Manezhnaya Square. 01.01.15

A giant decoration made of 9.5-metre-long (31-feet-long) LED lights in Moscow’s Manezhnaya Square


00 Russian New Year 09. Moscow Manezhnaya Square. 01.01.15

Most expect the decoration to enter the Guinness Book of World Records


00 Russian New Year 10. Moscow Red Square GUM. 01.01.15

A high-wire trapeze performer in Moscow’s Red Square with the illuminated GUM department store in the background


00 Russian New Year 11. Moscow Tverskaya Square Ded Moroz. 01.01.15

A musician dressed as Ded Moroz (Grandpa Frost) playing a tuba on Tverskaya Square, Moscow


00 Russian New Year 12. Moscow Tverskaya Square Christmas Market. 01.01.15

A Christmas Market on Moscow’s Tverskaya Square


00 Russian New Year 13. Moscow GUM. 01.01.15

Moscow’s GUM department store, decorated for the upcoming Christmas and New Year celebrations


00 Russian New Year 14. Moscow. 01.01.15

Children looking at New Year decorations in Moscow


00 Russian New Year 15. Moscow Red Square GUM skating rink. 01.01.15

Visitors at skating rink set up by the GUM department store in Moscow


00 Russian New Year 16. St Petersburg. 01.01.15

Street decorated for the upcoming Christmas and New Year celebrations in St Petersburg (Federal City of St Petersburg. Northwestern Federal District) RF


00 Russian New Year 17. Vladimir. 01.01.15

A decorated New Year tree in Vladimir (Vladimir Oblast. Central Federal District) RF


00 Russian New Year 18. Yekaterinburg. 01.01.15

A decorated tree in front of the Gorsoviet building ahead of New Year and Christmas celebrations in Yekaterinburg (Sverdlovsk Oblast. Ural Federal District) RF


00 Russian New Year 19. St Petersburg Pionerskaya Square. Christmas Market. 01.01.15

Christmas Market on Pionerskaya Square, St Petersburg


00 Russian New Year 20. Vladivostok. 01.01.15

A giant decoration made of Christmas lights at Central Square ahead of New Year and Christmas celebrations in Vladivostok (Primorsky Krai. Far Eastern Federal District) RF


00 Russian New Year 21. Novosibirsk. 01.01.15

Decorated New Year Tree in Novosibirsk (Novosibirsk Oblast. Siberian Federal District) RF


Unlike in many Western nations, where Christmas is the main celebration, New Year is the main winter holiday in Russia. Lights and decorations, giant baubles and street artists, abound in public places ahead of the New Year celebrations.

22 December 2014



Sunday, 6 April 2014

KPRF Candidate Wins Mayoral Election in Novosibirsk

00 Anatoly Lokot. Novosibirsk. Russia. 06.04.14


Early returns from the Novosibirsk Mayoral election tallied almost 100 percent of the votes cast. KPRF candidate Anatoly Lokot won the election. Gorizbirkom processed the data, with 99.5 percent of polling stations reporting in. Lokot gathered 43.76 percent of the vote. His main competitor was Vladimir Znatkov of United Russia, who got 39.56 percent of the ballots cast. None of the other nine candidates seriously competed with the leaders. Third place went to Vladimir Anisimov from “Cities of Russia” (3.25 percent). One of the taildraggers was rocker Sergei “Pauk” (“Spider”) Troitsky . Interfax reported that he took the second-to-last position with 1.07 percent of the vote. Gorizbirkom will announce the final voting results Monday at a meeting set for 12.00 MSK (15.00 local time. 18.00 AEST. 09.00 BST. 04.00 EDT. 01.00 PDT). However, the figures are unlikely to change much. The special mayoral election for 6 April was to finish the term of former Mayor Vladimir Gorodetsky, who left office to become Vice-Governor of Novosibirsk Oblast. Voting had a fairly low turnout… 31.3 percent, but there were no disturbances to report.


Novosibirsk is the largest city in Siberia. In short, this isn’t a minor win. Bet on “red”…


7 April 2014



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Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Golden Time for Silver Age Volunteers at the Olympic Games

00 Sochi Olympics. 18.02.14


If you’re in Sochi for the Winter Olympics this month, you might notice elderly men and women telling foreign visitors where to see the sights in town, manning the areas where big screens show the Game’s events, or even filling empty seats at Olympic events if needed. They’re all part of Leonid Lyubimov’s Silver Age volunteers, which started up three years ago, and now has more than 500 members. The group, with members aged between 46 and 85, organises from 35 to 40 events a month, from helping to clear waterways of trash to cleaning local landmarks and fixing up badly planted trees. Lyubimov, an energetic, grey-haired 71-year-old, said in an interview in the small office where he sat with his two deputies in downtown Sochi, “People usually feel that the elderly need to be helped, but we decided to do the reverse. We help ourselves, organise ourselves”.

Now retired, Lyubimov spent most of his professional life at a scientific institute in Novosibirsk, in Siberia, but he always dreamed of moving somewhere warm. He had maps of Crimea on his wall, almost moved to Cyprus, but eventually plumped for Sochi. He said that when Sochi became the venue for the Winter Olympics it provided a push to start the volunteer movement, “It’s interesting for us to live in a city where the Olympic Games will take place”. He said that the Silver Age volunteers all remembered the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics, adding, “To live through that was great, but to see another such event is super”.

He’s particularly proud that the group came up from the grassroots and not by government command, although Silver Age gets support from the city and local governments. With a structure that harks back to the Soviet Vladimir Lenin all-Union Pioneer Organisation, Lyubimov said that his group could drum up a few dozen volunteers in less than an hour. Many of them had English lessons in preparation for the Games “so at least we can explain how to get to the toilet”, as well as lessons in dealing with the public and with foreigners… skills not well honed in Soviet times.

Lyubimov said, “We love the city; although it’s no secret that many people in Sochi say, ‘Why do we need the Olympic Games?’ But we’ve built a new city”. Seventy of the volunteers shall take part as actors in a Chekhov-inspired part of the Paralympics opening ceremony slated for March. One member, a retired doctor, wrote an anthem for the group and the Silver Age has its own flag too. Lyubimov sees the group as for not only the Games, saying, “The Olympics will end, but we’ll continue to work. Our main aim is to wake up those who have become indifferent”.

7 February 2014

Kevin O’Flynn



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