Russian news, notes and thoughts

December, 2010 / RSS notes

31 December, 2010  // We are wishing Happy New Year for all our visitors and their families! Next year we will do our best to share with you more info about how it is to live in Russia and the places that are worth seeing.

30 December, 2010  // The Economist magazine has released it's 2010 Democracy Index. Out of 167 countries, Russia is ranked 107th in terms of the quality of democracy. The survey put Russia between Kyrgyzstan and Nepal, and Iraq is on 111th place.

29 December, 2010  // Russian billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov's holding company AFK Sistema unveiled first Russian smart phone equipped with Glonass navigation chip. Really Russian "smart" phone made in China by the technology of 2004 and with Google software inside.

28 December, 2010  // Russia's Transport Minister Levitin criticized Moscow's Domodedovo airport and air carrier Aeroflot for being unable to cope with critical situation that transpired following chaotic weather conditions and power blackouts. Winter is always a problem in Russia.

27 December, 2010  // Icy rain shut down Moscow's largest airport for nearly 15 hours, coated roads with ice and left more than 200,000 people and 14 hospitals without electricity; drivers woke up to find their cars covered with an inch of ice. The weather in 2010 was really unpredictable.

25 December, 2010  // Train travelers can zip from Helsinki, Finland, to St. Petersburg, Russia, in less than four hours, thanks to a new high-speed rail service. It is first such link to cross the former Iron Curtain. Let's hope we will never have it again.

24 December, 2010  // Russia's main Christmas tree is up in Moscow Kremlin's Cathedral Square and is ready for the holidays. The grand-looking spruce is 100 years old and 30 meters height. Happy holidays!

23 December, 2010  // Vitaly Petrov, Russia's first Formula One driver, is staying with Lotus Renault for next two seasons and will resume his partnership with Robert Kubica. Will Fernando Alonso have a chance for revenge?

23 December, 2010  // Russian President has welcomed US ratification of a treaty to cut nuclear arsenals and says he hopes Russia's parliament will ratify it too. Present Russian parliament is not the place to have the discussions so no doubt the ratification will be soon.

22 December, 2010  // Russia cancelled plans to build skyscraper at controversial site in central St Petersburg. 1,322-foot tower, set to house gas giant Gazprom, has caused an outcry among city residents and opposition parties. Small victory of Russian civil society.

21 December, 2010  // The Yamalo-Nenets region could become a new supplier of halal meat to Muslims in Qatar. This week Qatari officials will get their first taste of reindeer at Russia-Qatar investment forum in Doha. Russia is rich in tasty reindeer.

20 December, 2010  // Exhibition of Modern North Korean Artists opens in Moscow. The exhibition "Water Flows under Ice Too" opened in the Winzavod Art Center in Moscow will run till the end of January. Nice chance to go back to the past.

18 December, 2010  // The world's first nuclear fuel bank of low enriched uranium (LEU) was officially launched in Russia, which aspiring nations could use for nuclear reactors instead of making it themselves. Nuclear plants for everyone?

17 December, 2010  // In the result of a lethal mixture of poultry and politics, 400,000 baby chicks have been put to death at Russian farm, additional 600,000 have died of malnutrition and the lives of 3 million more remain imperiled. Looks like chicken genocide.

16 December, 2010  // Russian army's new uniform created by Moscow fashion designer Yudashkin has been criticized for being too thin after hundreds of young conscripts in Siberia kitted out in it fell ill with pneumonia and flu. Made by Russian nanotechnology industry?

15 December, 2010  // Russian billionaire Prokhorov rolled out another project: Russia's first gas-electric hybrid car. It is called the Yo and it can use either gasoline or natural gas. Imagine the phrase possible: Yo, dude! How is your Yo?

14 December, 2010  // Street melees in Moscow over the past few days, sparked by killing of a soccer fan and fueled by nationalists' hatred of immigrants from Caucasus, have caught police and other authorities unprepared. The level of anger in Russian society is increasing.

13 December, 2010  // With NASA finally retiring shuttle program next year, Russian workhorse Soyuz spacecraft is now set to become the world's only lifeline to International Space Station. Without doubt the USSR role in making space useful is huge but will Russia continue going this way?

12 December, 2010  // Russia has made a suggestion that controversial founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, be awarded Nobel Peace Prize in a show of support for recently jailed internet whistle-blower. Will this position be the same if he publishes some Russian secret documents?

11 December, 2010  // Putin sang a song in English and played the piano, US film actress Sharon Stone danced, while Gerard Depardieu spouted Yesenin's poetry. Madness? No, just a charity concert.

10 December, 2010  // So far the biggest barrier for Russia to enter WTO has been Georgia's position which demands legalization of customs checkpoints on official border. These places however are controlled by Abkhazia and South Ossetia claiming their independence. The deadlock or not?

8 December, 2010  // China's decision to boycott Nobel Peace Prize ceremony was supported by Russia, which declined the invitation to attend this week's awarding of prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. Bowing down before China or worrying about own inner issues?

7 December, 2010  // Russian President is due to attend 26th Russia-EU summit, which is getting under way in Brussels today. The summit will probably complete the procedure of Russia's joining the WTO. Also waiting for good news about visa-granting.

6 December, 2010  // President Medvedev was due in Poland Monday for the highest-level visit in nine years, as Moscow moves to boost cooperation with its western neighbor. Russia needs to have friendly countries at least near its boundaries.

6 December, 2010  // Russian Glonass navigation system was left incomplete after the loss of three satellites that plunged into Pacific Ocean when Proton-M rocket failed to reach its planned orbit. Can't say it is not rocket science.

4 December, 2010  // Last month, Russia was No.1 source of spam. It's probably because of Oleg Nikolaenko, a 23-year-old recently arrested for flooding the world with 10 billion spam emails a day. Russia still has some talents.

4 December, 2010  // Russia will spend $10 billion to prepare for 2018 World Cup, but observers warn that it will be unlikely to make a lasting contribution to the nation's modernization. At least something useful for people will be built.

3 December, 2010  // PepsiCo Inc. is buying Russian dairy products and fruit-juice maker OAO Wimm-Bill-Dann in a deal valuing the company at $5.4 billion. Russia will become PepsiCo's largest market outside the U.S.

3 December, 2010  // Russia will send firefighting aircraft to Israel hit by the largest wildfires in its history Russian Emergencies Ministry spokeswoman Irina Andrianova said. Hope it will be helpful.

2 December, 2010  // Russia will host soccer's biggest tournament, the FIFA World Cup, for the first time in 2018. Unbelievable!

2 December, 2010  // A monument to three-times Academy award-winning American actor and director Woody Allen was unveiled in Russia's westernmost city of Kaliningrad on the Baltic. The monument features a bronze hand holding Woody Allen's signature goggles.

1 December, 2010  // Russia's Strategic Missile Forces will be rearmed with multiple-warhead RS-24 missiles instead of single warhead RS-12M Topol-M. RS-24 will be more likely to be able to penetrate anti-missile defense systems. And we know who is working on getting one.


2010: December (32), November (43), October (5),
2011: December (12), November (16), October (24), September (23), August (20), July (23), June (19), May (19), April (20), March (27), February (24), January (29),
2012: December (4), November (5), October (9), September (10), August (9), July (7), June (8), May (6), April (8), March (10), February (7), January (11),
2013: December (2), October (3), September (5), August (1), July (4), June (2), May (2), April (2), March (4), February (5), January (6),
2014: December (2), November (1), October (1), September (1), August (1), July (2), June (1), May (4), February (1),
2015: December (2), November (2), October (2), September (3), August (1), July (3), June (2), May (1), April (1), March (2), February (2), January (1),
2016: December (3), November (1), October (3), September (3), August (1), July (2), June (3), May (2), April (4), March (3), February (2), January (2),
2017: December (2), November (1), October (2), September (4), August (3), July (2), June (2), May (1), April (2), March (2), February (1), January (2),
2018: December (2), November (2), October (3), September (3), August (2), July (4), June (3), May (2), April (3), March (2), February (2), January (2),
2019: December (1), November (2), October (2), September (2), August (2), July (2), June (1), May (3), April (3), March (4), February (2), January (3),
2020: December (3), November (3), October (3), September (1), August (3), July (2), June (1), May (3), April (2), March (2), February (2), January (3),
2021: December (1), November (2), October (1), September (1), August (2), July (1), June (1), May (2), April (2), March (1), February (2), January (2),
2022: November (1), October (2), September (1), August (1), July (2), May (1), April (1), March (1), January (2),

The comments of our visitors

Paul Manoli
News reporting
Excellent reporting. Interesting content.

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