Voices from Russia

Thursday, 1 May 2014

1 May: It’s International Labour Day! Russia Marked It… the USA Did NOT… One of these Things is NOT Like the Other!

00 may day russia 01. 01.05.14


May Day on Red Square! Unity! Solidarity! The Dignity of Human Labour! The best of the USSR IS coming back… and no amount of American blubbering and posturing can stop it! URA!! (the whole one-hour rally)


Labour Day is on Thursday. This holiday, celebrated in Russia, the USA, some countries in Europe, Africa, Latin America, and Asia on the first day of May, has several names, such as International Workers’ Solidarity Day, Spring and Labour Day, Labour Day, and Spring Day. In Soviet times, most Russians called this holiday the First of May or May Day, referring to the date on which they celebrated it.

The celebration dates back to events that took place in Chicago in the 19th century. Large-scale rallies and demonstrations of workers demanding an eight-hour workday began in Chicago on 1 May 1886. The rallies ended in clashes with the police. On 3 May, at the McCormick harvester thresher factory, police opened fire on strikers, killing at least two workers. On 4 May, at a protest rally in Haymarket Square, someone threw a bomb at police, who fired back at the crowd. The clash injured 60 police officers and eight died. The exact number of workers who died is unknown. Police arrested hundreds of people and seven anarchist workers received death sentences.

In July 1889, through a suggestion by French delegate Raymond Lavigne, the Paris Congress of the Second International decided to hold an annual 1 May workers’ demonstrations as a sign of solidarity with the Chicago workers. On 1 May 1890, the first May Day rallies occurred in Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Italy, the USA, Norway, France, and Sweden. In the UK, the holiday was on 4 May. Their main theme was a demand for an eight-hour workday. On 1 May 1891, a Social Democratic group led by revolutionary Mikhail Brusnev held the first illegal May Day gathering in St Petersburg. After the 1917 October Revolution, it became an official holiday.

On 1 May 1933, the first flypast happened over Red Square. Then, flypasts were a regular part of the May Day demonstrations to display Soviet military might until the beginning of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45. During the VOV, no major May Day events occurred. In 1970, USSR labour legislation gave the holiday a new name… 1 and 2 May officially became International Workers’ Solidarity Day. On 1 May 1990, the official May Day rally happened for the last time. In 1992, International Workers’ Solidarity Day became renamed Spring and Labour Day.

Mass demonstrations and rallies for social and labour justice, folk festivals, and concerts mark Spring and Labour Day in Russia. In 2013, marches and rallies occurred in more than a thousand Russian cities. Moscow hosted 14 events, the largest of which drew 90,000 people under the flags of trade unions, the National People’s Front, and the United Russia Party. In 2014, a May Day trades-union rally will occur on Red Square in Moscow.


The Moscow GU MVD stated, “Around 80,000 people gathered on Vasilievsky Spusk and nearby streets just half an hour before the beginning of the festive labour union demonstration. Citizens are continually arriving to take part in the event”. The demonstration started at 10.00 MSK (23.00 30 April PDT. 02.00 EDT. 07.00 BST. 16.00 AEST). Moscow will see several dozen rallies on Thursday, including one on Tsvetnoy Bulvar, attended by around 2,500 people. Since the early years of the USSR, 1 May has been a public holiday in Russia. Now known as Spring and Labour Day, trades unions and other groups mark the holiday, with traditional marches to protest labour grievances and other issues.


More than 40,000 residents of Primorsky Krai took part in the 1 May procession in Vladivostok. Last year, sources in the regional administration said that 35,000 people participated in the procession on the city streets. This year, the procession route, the same as in 2013, ran on the bridge across Zolotoi Rog Bay. Just two years after its completion, the bridge is a recognisable symbol of the city. Then, the marchers walked along the city’s most picturesque streets, where city dwellers welcomed them. Primorsky Krai Governor Vladimir Miklushevsky said, “The bridge across Zolotoi Rog Bay is a new symbol of Vladivostok. Today, thousands of people of different professions and age have again marched shoulder to shoulder over it. Only we, together, can make our region even better and more beautiful. Only we, on us, can ensure the future of Primorsky Krai”.

The Zolotoi Rog bridge, built for the APEC summit in 2012, links the city’s centre with the district where the first-ever May Day meeting in the Primorsky Krai capital was held in 1901. The May Day procession ended in the central square where artists from all over the region will perform until late at night. The May Day craftsmen’s foundry includes mater classes on painting wooden handcrafted items, making clay figurines, and a press wall for taking pictures against the background of the Olympic and Paralympic flames was at the sports exhibition ground of the Fetisov Arena.


The Moscow City GU MVD reported that more than 100,000 people took part in the May Day trades-union demonstration of in the centre of Moscow, “The festive procession of trades-union activists from Vasilyevsky Spusk down Tverskaya Street has begun in the Russian capital”. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, Mikhail Shnakov, head of the Federation of Independent Trades-Unions of Russia (FNPR), and Sergei Chernov, head of the Moscow Trade Union Federation, led the procession. Young people and students were the majority of participants, but older folks were also present. The column marched from the place of execution in Red square to the State History Museum carrying slogans, “Unity! Solidarity! Rights of Working People!”, “Decent Work – Fair Pay!” Chairman of the “unions” party Labour Union, FNPR Secretary Aleksandr Shershukov said, “In addition to socio-economic slogans, we also regard this year’s May Day demonstration as an antifascist event”. Marchers from the A Just Russia party will also call for “decent wages for decent work”. This column will march from Trubnaya Square along the Boulevard Ring Street to Pushkin Square, where a public meeting will take place.


On Thursday, Sergei Aksyonov, Chairman of the Government of the Republic of the Crimea told reporters in Simferopol about this year’s 1 May rally in Simferopol, “It’s the first time that we had such a large-scale rally. According to preliminary estimates, more than 100,000 took part in it. We’re convinced that this patriotic upsurge in the Crimea will spread across the entire Russian Federation”. The May Day rally continued for about two hours, with people carrying flowers, flags, and banners moving along Simferopol’s central street, Kirov Avenue. Members of the Crimean government, employees of Simferopol enterprises, teachers, hospital staff, as well as activists from United Russia, A Just Russia, and the KPRF attended the event. Many people brought their children along.


Several thousand people gathered for a May Day demonstration in the centre of Kiev. A march staged by the Justice Bloc of Left Forces started from the Arsenalnaya metro station down Grushevskaya Street to the Rada building and Europe Square, where they held a public meeting. The march’s promoters told ITAR-TASS, “Ukrainian presidential candidates didn’t take part”. The rally will present demands consisting of seven political and seven economic points to junta chieftain Aleksandr Turchinov and so-called “Prime Minister” Arseny Yatsenyuk. The demands participants include immediate constitutional reform, early elections to the Rada and local soviets, as well as an all-Ukraine referendum on determining the Russian language’s status and on the Ukraine’s development vector.


00 Moldova. May Day. 01.05.14


Moldovans celebrated May Day with rallies in support of joining the Customs Union of the Eurasian Economic Community (TS EvrAsES). Opposition communist and socialist blocs took thousands of people to streets in Chișinău, the capital of the country. Former Deputy Prime Minister Igor Dodon said, “We’re for integration with Russia; we see our future in the Customs Union, because the agreements imposed upon Chișinău by Brussels are disadvantageous. This question arises now because Moldova is at a crossroads, and its choice that will be critical for its future. We can’t sit in two chairs at once. Look at what’s happening in the neighbouring Ukraine. If the authorities keep dividing the country into ‘us’ and ‘them’, and limit the use of the Russian language, we’ll face the same plight. All left-wing parties should unite under these ideals”. The leaders of Moldova’s Party of Communists, the largest single party, with more than one-third of seats in the national parliament, also spoke of the risk of divisions in society. Party leader and former President Vladimir Voronin said, “The country’s modernisation in the European way is a normal process, but we need to look at where our main markets are and where our people work… all this must be taken into account before we sign an association agreement with the EU and a free trade agreement”.

Moldova initialled association and free trade area agreements with the EU; it hopes to sign them in August. Parliamentary elections are due at the end of this year and observers noted the dwindling ratings of parties that want to break ties with the east. A public opinion poll, published last week, indicates that over 60 percent of respondents in Moldova link their future with Russia, whilst only 39 percent support EU integration. This marks a significant change in people’s attitude towards the TS EvrAsES and the EU.  A poll conducted a year ago showed that 52.1 percent would vote to join the Customs Union and 23 percent would vote against it. EU integration only garnered the support of 50.3 percent, and 30 percent would oppose it. The latest polls indicate that the number of people who support Moldova’s accession to the Common Economic Space of the TS EvrAsES is growing, as is the number of those increasingly sceptical about admission to the EU. According to a public opinion poll conducted by Moldova’s Public Policy Institute in late 2012, 57 percent supported Moldova joining the Common Economic Space, 20 percent opposed it, and the rest had no opinion on it. At the same time, 53 percent spoke in favour of EU integration and 30 percent spoke against it.

On 2 February 2014, the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia (Gagauz Yeri), an autonomy within Moldova, held a referendum; the overwhelming majority of voters showed that they preferred to join the TS EvrAsES and not opt for EU integration. The referendum recorded a record-high turnout; more than 70.4 percent of those eligible went to the polls. According to the results, CEC Chairman Valentina Lisnik said that 98.4 percent supported integration into the Customs Union, only 1.5 percent voted against it; 2.5 percent supported joining the EU and 97.4 percent were against it. She said that 98.8% of people supported the idea of “deferred status of autonomy”, which gives Gagauzia the right to self-determination if Moldova loses independence. The Moldovan authorities consider the referendum in Gagauzia unlawful, saying, “The country’s foreign policy isn’t decided by local authorities”. However, Gagauz leader Mikhail Formuzal hoped that its results would influence Chișinău’s dialogue with regions. He told ITAR-TASS, “The EU, which the Moldovan leadership seeks to join, has the practise of holding referendums even on less important issues. Our authorities didn’t ask the people’s opinion about independence, foreign policy, language, Transdniestrian settlement, or any other vital issue. The plebiscite in Gagauzia showed that there’s a large gap between the declarations made by the leadership of the republic and real life on the ground. Now, I hope that they’d respect the people’s opinion, which would allow us to start building a truly democratic state”.

1 May 2014

Voice of Russia World Service









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Saturday, 21 September 2013

21 September 2013. RIA-Infographics. Project 949A Antei Nuclear-Powered Cruise Missile Submarines (SSGN/PLARK)

00 RIA-Novosti Infographics. Project 949A Antei Nuclear-Powered Cruise Missile Submarines SSGN PLARK. 2013


The famed submarine K141 Kursk, lost in northern waters under murky circumstances, was of this class.



Nuclear-powered Cruise Missile Submarines (SSGN/PLARK) of the Project 949A Antei class have the mission of destroying enemy aircraft carrier battle groups and other surface targets. Distinguishing characteristics of this class are negligible noise levels, remarkable manoeuvrability, and high submerged speed. To find out more about this class of submarines, known throughout the fleet as “the aircraft carrier killers”, see our infographic.

In the morning on 16 September, a fire broke out during welding on the PLARK K150 Tomsk, at the Zvezda shipyard in Bolshoi Kamen in Primorsky Krai. No one was injured in the fire, and there was no radioactive leakage. The proximate cause of the fire was a violation of safety regulations. The Tomsk was laid down on 27 August 1991 at Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk. On 13 April 1993, the government of Tomsk Oblast  took on sponsorship of the ship, resulting in it being named Tomsk. In July 1996, the submarine was launched. In March 1997, the Tomsk became part of the Northern Fleet; on 9 October 1998, the sub was transferred to the Pacific Fleet, with a homeport at Krasheninnikov Bay in Kamchatka. Click here for technical details of the Tomsk.

16 September 2013




Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Hungry Bears Approach Villages in Flood-Hit Russian Far East

00 bear in a tree. 28.08.13


On Wednesday, local police said that aggressive bears, starving because their natural food sources were destroyed by floods, are becoming a growing threat for villagers in the Russian Far East. According to Yevgeny Shukshin, police chief of Polina Osipenko Raion  in Khabarovsk Krai, bears currently have difficulty finding their usual food… berries and salmon… because of floods. He said, “Chances of meeting a predator have increased. Hunger drives the animals closer to humans; it forces them to search for food in garbage dumps. More and more often, we’re informed of bears approaching villages”. In one such incident, police dealt with an aggressive bear, which dangerously approached a group of children picking mushrooms. At once, the cops tried to scare the animal off, but it ran towards them, so, they killed it. Due to the flooding, which has occurred over several weeks, an emergency was declared in four Far Eastern areas… Amur Oblast, the Jewish Autonomous Oblast (Birobidzhan), Khabarovsk Krai, and Primorsky Krai… as well as in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). On Tuesday, Vladimir Pysin, Deputy Presidential Envoy to the Russian Far East, said that the overall damage is currently estimated at 30 billion roubles (900 million USD. 937 million CAD. 980 million AUD. 684 million Euros. 576 million UK Pounds). In three of the affected regions… Amur Oblast, the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, and Khabarovsk Krai… the floods affected 190 settlements with almost 9,500 buildings.

28 August 2013



Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Russian Driver Beaten to Death at Road Crash Scene

00 auto accident. cartoon. 01.04.13


On Tuesday, local police in Primorye Krai in the Russian Far East said that a car driver involved in a traffic accident in which a motorcyclist died was himself killed at the scene by the biker’s friends. A car driven by a man and his son… a MVD GAI officer… hit a motorcycle carrying two passengers when the car turned across the road into oncoming traffic. The motorbike driver died on the spot, whilst his female passenger died in hospital. Their friends arrived at the scene of the accident and attacked the car’s driver and passenger, killing the driver. A local police spokesman said that his son was in hospital with head and face injuries. Cops arrested three people detained over the incident, and they’re searching for a fourth. The spokesman said that the suspects were unmistakably drunk when they were detained adding, “After the beating, he [the passenger] managed to call the police. His father was killed. There wasn’t a sober one among them”. Police opened an investigation into the incident. If a court finds the suspects guilty of intent to cause grievous bodily harm, they could face up to 15 years in prison.

17 July 2013




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