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WHAT'S IT LIKE LIVING IN RUSSIA TODAY?

 
 
Mapleleaf
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Oct, 2005 11:14 pm
SerSo,

I consider your postings as GOOD STUFF. Hope you are able to continue post on a regular basis.
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spidergal
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2005 02:48 am
Recently, we had a movie released in India by the name of Lucky: No time for love. The whole movie is shot in Russia. 90% of it around St. Petersburg.

I must say what i gathered after watching that flick is that Russia is a beatiful country - an ideal blend of modernity and traditions.
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Mapleleaf
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2005 01:21 pm
Hello spidergal,
I don't believe I have read you before...hope to read you again.
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spidergal
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2005 07:46 am
I have read Anna Karenina. That novel really has helped me understand Russia. How different is the Russia of today?
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Mapleleaf
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Nov, 2005 11:03 pm
If you have time, skim through the earlier postings. There are postings and pictures which deal with that question.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2005 12:20 pm
Serso, I´m now in Barcelona, but will be leaving tomorrow on the ship, the Insignia, for a ten day cruise on the Med. The travel company will take care of our visa for Russia, and we will be ¨"living" on the boat for the cruise from Moscow to St Petersburg. But thank you for the offer. I will send you an email when I get home on November 19.
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SerSo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2005 09:56 am
Update on Russia
An update on most recent events in Russia:

2005 is the first year when November 7 is no more celebrated and excluded from the list of official holidays. It used to be the main national holiday in the Soviet Union under the name of "The Day of the Great October Socialist Revolution". (It is called October Revolution because it took place on 25 October according to the old Julian calendar that was in use in Russia before 1918. The same day according to the new Gregorian style is November 7.) When Yeltsin was reigning over Russia this holiday was given a new name of "A Day of Accord and Conciliation" - being a convert he seemed to be a greater anti-communist than Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher together. No matter what feelings about the communist revolution people had this day still remained for most Russians to be the day of the October Revolution. We here kept joking that what Yeltsin really wanted was only accord and conciliation with him personally. Now Mr.Putin has moved the day-off to the 4-th November and called it "A Day of National Unity". Very few people in today's Russia know its official name and the fact that November 4 was chosen because on this day in 1612 Polish soldiers had surrendered after a year-long siege and Russian militia army had entered the Kremlin.
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SerSo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2005 12:42 pm
Bird Flu
Mapleleaf wrote:
How is the populace reacting to the bird flu scare that is encircling the globe?

At least there is no panic here. People are normally preoccupied with their everyday cares and worries and bird flu concerns them but it is not the thing they are scared of most of all.

I don't know if it is true but I heard that a greater number of people had been killed by coconuts falling from the palms over a year period than the quantity of bird flu victims all over the globe that had died during two years.

A doctor advised me to get a shot against group A flu viruses, the only type she said that can be accompanied by bird flu. Said and done. Cannot say I feel 100% secure after this but it is better than doing nothing.
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Mapleleaf
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2005 06:55 pm
SerSo, thanks for the information. You are one of the few real Russian members that frequents this thread.

Once he returns, I expect CI to have much to share. Will the two of you meet?
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spidergal
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Nov, 2005 12:37 pm
Now, one question for my Russian friends:

Geographically, 75% Russia lies in Asia but why then politically its considered more of Europe?

Russians call themselves Europeans, isn't it?

When Myskina won the French Open, would she have been the first asian to do it?
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Nov, 2005 12:42 pm
I'd would venture a guess and say that most of the western sections of Russia where their governments and architecture were developed and established are the reasons for their European attachment.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Nov, 2005 12:43 pm
For anyone interested, I've started a travelogue on my recent cruise to the Med in the Travel Forum.
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dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Nov, 2005 12:46 pm
Oh, how is it that I haven't seen this thread before? Good stuff! I am particularly intrigued about the 4th November stuff. Writing a dissertation on historical memory in politics this is the stuff that fascinates me. 1612. That is some time ago...
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Mapleleaf
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Nov, 2005 12:30 am
dag,
Maybe you will be able to add some tidbits from your research.
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SerSo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Nov, 2005 01:52 pm
Re: Update on Russia
Another update:

To start with I should say that in December there will be elections to the Moscow city parliament. In the context of the general electoral reform (Mr.Putin has pushed through the federal assembly new laws to provide for a completely different electoral system) these elections are going to be held according to new rules. Nearly 2/3 of the members of the local parliament will now be elected by proportional polling where voters will choose between political parties who need to pass a 10% barrier to send their representatives to the "Moscow Duma". Another novelty is that people have been deprived of the possibility to vote "against all".

There is a scandal that is now widely discussed in the Russian media. I was going to describe it here myself but reporters from Guardian were ahead of me.

Link:
'Racist' Russian TV advert investigated
Quote:

'Racist' Russian TV advert investigated

Tom Parfitt in Moscow
Thursday November 10, 2005

Guardian


Russian prosecutors are investigating a TV advert produced by a Kremlin-linked political party which suggests that dark-skinned Caucasians should be purged from Moscow's streets. The ad was produced by Rodina, an ultra-nationalist party set up by President Vladimir Putin's allies two years ago to leach votes from the Communist party.
In the advert two party members approach a small group of swarthy men who are eating melon in a park. The rinds that the men discard foul the wheels of a pram pushed by a slavic-looking Russian woman. The Rodina leader, Dmitry Rogozin, demands the men - who are played by actors - pick up their litter, but he receives no reply. His sidekick then claps a hand on the shoulder of one man and asks, "Do you understand Russian?" Finally, a slogan appears on the screen saying: "Let's clean our city of rubbish!"

The advert plays on strong anti-immigrant feeling in the capital, ahead of city parliament elections next month. Melon sellers in Moscow are often from Azerbaijan or Russia's southern republics.

The Moscow prosecutor's office said yesterday it was launching an investigation into whether the advert incited violence against ethnic minorities.

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005


Also, a 'screenshot' from the controversial advert:
http://pics.rbc.ru/img/top/2005/11/11/rodina250.jpg

In response to accusations that their pre-election TV advert promotes xenophobia and abuses ethnic minorities 'Rodina' functionaries claim that their ad only implies that Moscow streets should be kept clean and those who find it nationalistic are themselves obsessed by xenophobia if they think of ethnic purity each moment they see somebody's swarthy complexion. (Blah-blah-blah! I have recently read an interview with Mr.Rogozin. When questioned about elections in Moscow he immediately started speaking about measures to fight illegal immigration!) Nevertheless the next week 'Rodina' slightly changed their ad: in the same TV advert people speak only French and it is now shown under the caption "Paris, 1 year ago".

I am afraid this scandal only makes them more popular and many people will vote for them on December 4.
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Glorius
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Nov, 2005 05:26 am
spidergal wrote:
Now, one question for my Russian friends:

Geographically, 75% Russia lies in Asia but why then politically its considered more of Europe?

Russians call themselves Europeans, isn't it?

When Myskina won the French Open, would she have been the first asian to do it?

Russians is European people and it doesn't matter that the largest part of Russia lies in Asia. Cultural similarities could be far from geography... In European part of Russia live a lot of non-Russian peoples. Those peoples (Tatars, Kalmyk and others) could hardly be considered as European peoples, though they live geographically in Europe.
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SerSo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Dec, 2005 02:24 pm
TV Advert Removes Party from Elections
Today the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation has confirmed the ruling of the Moscow city court of November 26 to cancel the registration of the "Rodina" party for the elections to the Moscow parliament. The court found the TV advert of "Rodina" offensive to ethnic minorities and "provoking interethnic hatred". (Btw this accusation can lead to a criminal lawsuit against them what can in its turn result in the ban of the party itself.)

Mr.Rogozin urged all his supporters to go to the polling stations on December 4 and vote for "Rodina" despite the fact that it would have been excluded from the ballot. Thus if the number of votes that would be recognized void is significant "Rodina" will enjoy a kind of "moral victory".

The withdrawal of "Rodina" from the elections creates rather a complicated political situation because this party was expected to be the main competitor to pro-Putin "United Russia" and hold a second large proportion of seats in the local parliament. In the event the winning parties together do not receive more than 50% of all votes casted the new law provides for a decrease of the 10% barrier to 3% in order to let smaller political factions enter the parliament.
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Mapleleaf
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Dec, 2005 04:17 pm
OK, is this the same old stuff or does it represent a basic change in the way that government does its business?
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Apr, 2006 07:09 pm
I have in principle little sympathy with Khodorkovsky, just another tycoon who got scandalously rich through scandalous business in the anarchic Yeltsin years -- but the way he's still, and ever worse, being mangled by the Putin regime recalls the worst of Soviet history...

Quote:
Court rules jailed tycoon's solitary confinement was illegal

Wednesday April 19, 2006
The Guardian

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Russia's most high-profile inmate, was illegally put into solitary confinement by prison authorities, a Siberian court ruled yesterday, in a rare victory for the former oil magnate. Khodorkovsky, 42, spent five days in solitary confinement in the prison colony where he is serving an eight-year sentence for fraud and tax evasion.

The prison claimed he was caught with a justice ministry book outlining the code of conduct for prisoners, which they said inmates were not allowed to have. A court in Krasnokamensk, home to the colony in Russia's far east, ruled that his five days in the "isolator" were illegal. "Decrees of the justice ministry are not classified documents and were earlier published in the media," Judge Larisa Zhukova said, according to the Interfax news agency. [..]

On Friday Khodorkovsky needed two stitches after his nose was cut in a knife attack in his cell. A fellow inmate, named as "Kuchma" and aged 22, has since been moved to another wing. Alexander Sidorov, a prison service spokesman, said yesterday that Mr Khodorkovsky would be put in a separate cell while the attack was investigated. "It's so we can guarantee his security," he added. "It's not punishment." [..]

Yuri Schmidt, a lawyer for Khodorkovsky in Moscow, said his client's life remained in danger from attacks that he claimed were organised by the government.

Russian media loyal to the state have portrayed the assault as a tiff between two lovers. The director of the prison service, Yuri Kalinin, told Interfax yesterday that Khodorkovsky "himself provoked that situation to an extent. One shouldn't get too close and friendly with young convicts." The report quoted an anonymous source saying that Kuchma had accused Khodorkovsky of sexually harassing him. [..]

Since the arrest of Khodorkovsky - founder of the Yukos oil firm - in 2003, Yukos has been slowly dismantled by a series of court rulings and bailiff auctions.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Apr, 2006 09:14 am
Serso, I'll be in Moscow from May 31 for several days. Any chance of meeting for a meal and/or drinks?
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