Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

30 July 2008. Out and About…

New military satellite goes into orbit

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A Soyuz-2 rocket placed a military satellite of the Kosmos series in orbit from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in the northwest of the country. The Soyuz-2 rocket was developed at the request of the Defence Ministry and the Federal Space Agency. According to experts, the modernised rocket can place a satellite more precisely in orbit. It can carry up to 7.5 tons of payload. Most likely, the Soyuz-2 rocket system will be handed over to the space forces later this year.

27 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=30158&cid=50&p=27.07.2008

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Russian space gear arrives in Guiana

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The first ship carrying Russian equipment for the Soyuz Kourou launch pad arrived in French Guiana. The Flinterland delivered 161 containers, including the service module, the key element of the prospective launch pad.

28 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=30185&cid=87&p=28.07.2008

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Russian fireworks in South Korea

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Pyrotechnicians from five countries, including Japan and Russia, will light up the night skies over Pjojan during a week-long fireworks festival that just kicked off in this South Korean town.

29 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=30234&cid=87&p=29.07.2008

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Moscow Patriarchate doesn’t rule out reprisals by Ukrainian schismatics

Patriarch Aleksei Ridiger of Moscow and all Russia (1929- ) on his recent pastoral visit to the Ukraine

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The Moscow Patriarchate doesn’t rule out attempts at reprisal on the part of Ukrainian schismatics and will do its utmost to foil such attempts. A statement to this effect was made at a press conference in Moscow by Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad. He stressed that we can only use canonical means to overcome the church schism in the Ukraine. No political schemes are of any use. As Metropolitan Kirill emphasised, at the recent session of the Holy Synod of the UOC/MP, all hierarchs except one defended the preservation of Orthodox unity. The recent visit to Kiev by Patriarch Aleksei of Moscow and all the Russias, who took part in the festivities marking the 1020th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia, is an important factor that helped in this cause.

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Sergei Kislyak named as new ambassador in Washington

Sergei Kislyak (1950- ), new Ambassador of the RF to the USA (left) with Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski (1957-  ) (right)

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Russia named Sergei Kislyak, who previously served as this country’s point man on US missile defence and Iran, as the new ambassador in Washington. Kislyak, who once was on the staff of the Soviet mission to the UN and the Soviet embassy in Washington, replaces Yuri Ushakov who was recently appointed the Kremlin’s deputy chief of staff.

29 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=30242&cid=45&p=29.07.2008

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Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan to discuss Customs Union

President Dmitri Medvedev (1965- ) (left) with President Aleksandr Lukashenko (1954- ) of Belarus

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The integration committee of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan shall discuss issues linked with the foundation of a Customs Union as a part of the Eurasian Economic Union at its meeting in Moscow. Russia will be represented by First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov. Russian President Dmitri Medvedev discussed the issue with his Byelorussian counterpart when he visited Minsk. The senior officials from the three countries will also draw up documents that will be signed by their presidents at the summit in autumn.

29 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=30222&cid=45&p=29.07.2008

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New Buildings in Moscow for City Day

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Some new buildings objects will appear in Moscow on the eve of City Day celebrations on 6-7 September, a spokesman for the city government reported. Among other sites, there will be a new metro station, a museum of the history of medicine, and a retro car museum. Seventeen new kindergartens and more than 10 schools will open their doors to children at the beginning of the new academic year.

30 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=30300&cid=87&p=30.07.2008

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Russia and ESA to design new spaceship

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Russia, together with the European Space Agency, is working to design a new piloted spaceship that is expected to replace the famous Soyuz ships, a spokesman for the Energy Missile and Space Corporation reported. The new ship will accommodate 6 crew-members and will be used to deliver cosmonauts to the ISS and the Moon. The first test flights are expected in 2015, and the first piloted launch in 2018 from a launching site in the Russian Far East.

30 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=30307&cid=50&p=30.07.2008

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Tourists arrive in Novosibirsk for solar eclipse

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Thousands of foreign and Russian tourists are arriving in Novosibirsk to watch the total solar eclipse on 1 August. It will be seen perfectly there, as weather forecasters promise no clouds. Hundreds of telescopes will be emplaced on the roofs of the highest buildings in the city. The solar eclipse will be broadcast on the Internet.

30 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=30306&cid=48&p=30.07.2008

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HQ war games in Moscow

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In Moscow, the second stage of the Rubezh-2008 command and staff military training exercises began under the aegis of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation. The participants are expected to elaborate on matters of giving military and military-technical assistance to the Organisation’s member-nations subjected to outside attack. Involved in the training exercises are some 4,000 servicemen, armoured troop carriers, heavy guns, aircraft, anti-aircraft missiles, and communication units. The Collective Security Treaty Organisation comprises Russia, Armenia, Byelorussia, Kazakhstan, Kirgizia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

30 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=30287&cid=47&p=30.07.2008

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Russia to spend 120 billion USD on Chechnya’s restoration

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In the coming 4 years, the Russian government will allocate 120 billion dollars (2.812 trillion roubles. 77.004 billion euros. 60.516 billion UK pounds) for the restoration of Chechnya. The money will go into the restoration of over 2,000 facilities, including higher educational establishments and the airport. By 2012, industrial output in the republic is expected to double, and almost 100,000 new jobs will be created.

30 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=30284&cid=46&p=30.07.2008

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Karadžić’s trial may ruin credibility of The Hague tribunal

Radovan Karadžić (1945- ), as President of Sprbska Bosna

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Leading Russian law-makers believe the trial of Radovan Karadžić will ultimately ruin the credibility of The Hague tribunal. They accuse the Tribunal of exercising double-standards and selectively targeting Serbians amongst the multitude of violent actors in the late Balkan wars. The foreign affairs head of the upper house of the RF Gosduma, Mikhail Margelov, told the media this on Wednesday a few hours after Serbia extradited the former Bosnian Serb leader to The Hague to face charges of war crimes. The Serbian people are bitterly divided over the extradition.

30 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=30328&cid=45&p=30.07.2008

Voice of Russia World Service

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Toddler survives after being run over by train in Eastern Siberia

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An 18-month-old girl who crawled onto a railroad track in Eastern Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk krai survived between the rails as a freight train passed over her, transport police said on Monday. The girl made her way to the rail line located about 50 metres (160 feet) from the family home near the town of Achinsk, while her mother thought the child was sleeping. “The freight train driver noticed the child, sounded the horn, and used the emergency brake, but, the heavily loaded cars were unable to stop, and the girl ended up under the locomotive”, spokesman Irina Belova said. When the train screeched to a halt, the driver’s assistant found the child under the locomotive, with only minor scratches. The child was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for shock, but, was released the next day. Ms Belova said the family home had no fence to prevent the girl from reaching the rail line, and that the parents are likely to be fined.

28 July 2008

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20080728/115072329.html

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Russian court fines woman for ‘illegal’ feeding of stray cats

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A court in Primorye krai in the Russian Far East ordered a woman to pay a 3,000 rouble (128 USD. 82.14 euros. 64.58 UK pounds) fine for “illegal” feeding of stray cats, local court authorities said on Tuesday. The woman’s neighbours, troubled by the animals that were taking shelter in the basement and nearby buildings, asked the court to help them fight the cat-lover. The court told the woman to stop feeding the cats for sanitary reasons. However, she was twice caught feeding the animals when court authorities came to visit her. A court spokesman said the woman would continue to be fined until she complied with the court order.

29 July 2008

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20080729/115151946.html

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New doomsday sect in Penza “calmly awaiting end of world”

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Two months after a doomsday sect gave up its underground wait for the apocalypse in central Russia, a new cult has been discovered in the same region, a local official told RIA-Novosti on Tuesday. The Penza oblast sect has existed since the 1990s, when Russia was submerged by a tidal wave of New Age groups and self-proclaimed messiahs. “They are not doing anything dangerous, they are calmly waiting for the end of the world”, said Aleksandr Yelantontsev, who is responsible for religious issues in the provincial administration. The group, said to consist of a core of about 15 women aged 45-50, is headed by 52-year-old Aleksandr Zhukov, who calls himself Raphael. According to a number of occultists, the archangel Raphael is one of the seven angels of the apocalypse. Among Catholics, Raphael is the patron saint of mental illness. Mr Yelantontsev said that more of the group’s followers, “from the surrounding regions”, often come to visit ‘Raphael’ in the sect’s fenced-off residence on the outskirts of Penza.

Last November, 35 members of another Penza oblast sect went underground to wait for the apocalypse, which they initially claimed would come in May. Their leader, Pyotr Kuznetsov, is reported to have said they would be given the power to decide who would be sent to hell and who would go to heaven. The sect pledged to commit mass suicide if any attempt was made to force them to come to the surface. Two members of the sect perished in the dugout, one from malnutrition brought about during fasting, and another from cancer. Although Kuznetsov has already been declared legally insane, a court is currently attempting to determine his mental state at the time his followers first went underground. He himself remained above ground. Both Kuznetsov’s sect and the current group are generally considered part of a wave of extreme Russian Orthodoxy sweeping Russia and some former Soviet republics. Adherents of this radical form of Christianity refuse to own passports, as they “contain the number of the Beast”, and will not handle money or consume products packaged in containers bearing ‘Satanic’ barcodes.

Russia has seen a great number of sects throughout its history. One of the most famous of these was the Skoptsy, who castrated themselves and cut off women’s breasts “to avoid sexual temptation and sin”. The sect was first reported in the 18th century and is known to have still existed in the 1920s. Another notorious sect was the Khlysty, a breakaway offshoot of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Khlysty believed that the way to salvation lay through the repentance of sins. The greater the sin, the greater the repentance, the Khlysty reasoned, and following this logic they rejected conventional doctrines of “right and wrong”, indulging in sins that they could later confess to, being in this way “pleasing to God”. Grigori Rasputin, the mysterious monk who had a major influence on the Tsar and the Tsaritsa prior to the 1917 Russian Revolution, is believed to have had links to the group, which was active from the 17th to the early 20th century.

29 July 2008

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20080729/115154013.html

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Estonian who lost passport detained swimming home from Russia

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Estonian border guards said Tuesday they detained one of their citizens who lost his passport during a visit to Russia and tried to return home by swimming across the border at the Narova River. The 45-year-old man was drunk and soaking wet when he was detained near an Estonian border post after climbing out of the river, which is on average 300 metres (@1,000 feet) wide when it flows between the easternmost Estonian city of Narva and the Russian town of Ivangorod and on into the Gulf of Finland. The man has been charged and faces a fine if found guilty.

29 July 2008

http://en.rian.ru/world/20080729/115188581.html

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Russian mini-subs on Lake Baikal to continue work on 2 August

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Repairs on one of the mini-submarines being used for the ongoing exploration of Siberia’s Lake Baikal are almost complete and the research mission will continue on 2 August, the expedition leader said. The Mir-2 DSRV sustained minor damage on Wednesday whilst being lowered from a barge with a crane. Due to a sudden gust of wind, the Mir-2 struck the side of the barge and one of its propellers was damaged.

“The repairs will be completed by tomorrow and the expedition will continue its work on 2 August, according to schedule”, Academician Artur Chilingarov said. On Tuesday, the Mir-1 and Mir-2 DSRVs descended to one of the deepest points of what locals call the “Sacred Sea”. The crew initially claimed to have reached a depth of 1,680 meters (5,515 feet), which would have been a record for a freshwater dive, but, after clarification, they said no records had been broken and the maximum depth during Tuesday’s dive was 1,592 meters (5,223 feet). The expedition is set to run for two years, during which the scientists will conduct around 160 dives in various areas of the lake. Research will include tectonic information-gathering and a search for archaeological artefacts.

30 July 2008

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20080730/115258689.html

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1 August 2008: Full solar eclipse 

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On 1 August 2008, residents of Moscow will be able to watch a partial solar eclipse during which the Moon’s shadow will hide about half of the Sun. The eclipse will begin in northern Canada at 13.21 hours MSK. The full eclipse of the Sun would be seen in Nizhnevartovsk at 14.31 hours Moscow time, in Novosibirsk at 14.45 hours MSK, and in Barnaul at 14.48 hours MSK. Full solar eclipses were observed in Moscow on 11 August 1123; 20 March 1140; 7 June 1415, and 25 February 1476. In Moscow Oblast, one was observed on 19 August 1887.

30 July 2008

http://en.rian.ru/science/20080730/115258953.html

Editor’s Note:

Moscow time is 8 hours ahead of EDT, so 13.21 would be 05.21, 14.31 would be 06.31, 14.45 would be 06.45, and 14.48 would be 06.48. That is, if you are on the east coast of the USA, get up early and have the STRONGEST coffee you can on the brew! On the west coast of the USA, which is three hours behind New York, conversely, STAY UP LATE. You are going to have to brew even-stronger coffee. What’s that? The “real thing?” Don’t crack open a bottle of THAT until it’s over (and I DON’T mean Coca-Cola!)

RIA-Novosti

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