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Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

Maria Putin makes her first public debut online

Posted by Kris Roman on September 10, 2008

 

A photograph of one of Vladimir Putin’s grown-up daughters, Maria Putin (born 1985) appeared on the Russian internet. The picture was originally taken by the owner of an online diary known as Idiot.

 

We would like to remind here that the private life of the former President of Russia and his family is a tabooed subject for public discussions and publications in this country.

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Why did you kill me, mother?

Posted by Kris Roman on July 11, 2008

Abortion is not something to be proud of. Abortion is not the best thing that can happen to a woman, no matter whether she treats it as a common medical procedure or a sinful action that kills an innocent life inside her.

Abortion is a social phenomenon. It is very simple to accuse women of this problem, although it is the society that should carry responsibility for it. One can dwell upon the ethics of abortions, about women destroying their own lives, about problems with the public morality, etc. However, nothing can cancel the right of a woman to take her decision, to receive high-quality medical and psychological aid and become a happy person in the future.

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Surprisingly enough, many Russians still miss Stalin’s strong hand

Posted by Kris Roman on July 11, 2008

The Russian Television Channel, the Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Public Opinion Fund currently conduct an online poll within the scope of the project titled “Russia’s Name. Historical Choice-2008.” The project was launched to determine the most outstanding persona in the history of the nation.

Preliminary results of the online voting have proved to be very unusual. Joseph Stalin takes the lead in the poll with 160,000 votes. The project currently determines 12 most popular and significant historical personas of Russia. The final stage of the project will start in September. Aside from Stalin, the top 12 of Russia’s historical leaders currently include: Vladimir Vysotsky (singer and actor), Vladimir Lenin, Nicholas II, Ivan the Terrible, Sergey Esenin (poet), Azexander Pushkin, Anton Chekhov, Peter the Great, Yuri Gagarin and even Boris Yeltsin.

It is worthy of note that many modern-day communists have a negative attitude to Joseph Stalin as a historical figure. Specialists say that the preliminary results of the online poll most likely mirror Russian people’s need in a strong hand. In addition, the goals which Russia faces nowadays are similar to the goals which Stalin solved during his stay at power. In addition, people closely associate Stalin with the USSR’s victory in WWII. Many Russians believe that the victory would not have been possible without Stalin.

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100 years on, mystery shrouds massive ‘cosmic impact’ in Russia

Posted by Kris Roman on June 29, 2008

A hundred years ago this week, a gigantic explosion ripped open the dawn sky above the swampy taiga forest of western Siberia, leaving a scientific riddle that endures to this day.

A dazzling light pierced the heavens, preceding a shock wave with the power of a thousand atomic bombs which flattened 80 million trees in a swathe of more than 2,000 square kilometres (800 square miles).

Evenki nomads recounted how the blast tossed homes and animals into the air. In Irkutsk, 1,500 kilometres (950 miles) away, seismic sensors registered what was initially deemed to be an earthquake. The fireball was so great that a day later, Londoners could read their newspapers under the night sky.

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Slavic idol worshipers reject modern life

Posted by Kris Roman on May 12, 2008

A group of Russians have set up a village where they live on their home-grown food and practice pre-Christian Slavic traditions. Their lifestyle is just a short train ride away from Moscow.

 

The people in Popovka village have traded modern civilisation for age-old traditions and the mercy of nature. They welcome the summer with an ancient Slavic rite, and feed idols with bread, milk and oil to ask for plentiful harvest.

Svetlana and Aleksey, a young couple who used to live in Moscow, say they are happy heating their house with wood and drawing water from the well.

“You know, I have lived in Moscow while studying at a university. I had enough. The big metropolis destroys our communication with nature,” says Aleksey.

The community was formed 20 years ago by Olga Toropova, together with a few followers.

“We live here as we like. We don’t want to impose anything upon anyone, we are just restoring old Slavic holidays,” says the villagers’ spiritual leader.

The community lives on what they grow in their fields and gardens. They also keep bees and a couple of cows.

Tourism is becoming another source of income.

 

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“It makes me crazy to be Russian”

Posted by Kris Roman on April 8, 2008

 

No comment …

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Sotheby`s Sells $8.3 Million of Russian Art in London

Posted by Kris Roman on March 14, 2008

Sotheby’s sold 4.1 million pounds ($8.3 million) of Russian postwar and contemporary art in London today as demand from Russian collectors pushed prices to records.

The 153 lots offered had a total presale estimate of 2.7 million pounds to 3.9 million pounds. Sotheby’s said 31 record prices for artists at auction were set and 12 of these artists appeared at auction for the first time. About two-thirds of buyers were Russians, said Sotheby’s.”Top works fetched high prices,” said Matthew Bown, a London-based dealer of Russian postwar and contemporary art. “The market is gradually getting stronger with new buyers coming in.”

Russia’s economy has grown for nine consecutive years, creating a pool of collectors willing to spend lavishly. Most purchases have been 19th-century and pre-World War II works, but in the past two years interest in postwar art has increased.

The auction’s top lot was “Before the Sunset” (1990), an oil painting by Soviet non-conformist artist, Oleg Vassiliev. It sold for 468,000 pounds on an estimate of 200,000 pounds to 300,000 pounds. The hammer price, which did not include commission, was 400,000 pounds.

The painting foreshadows the Soviet Union’s demise in 1991. The canvas is primarily black with two white geometric shapes. In the center is a small painted statue of Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin, pictured from afar and facing a setting sun.

Market Moving

“Russian money is moving this market,” said the buyer, Catherine MacDougall of London dealer MacDougall Arts Ltd., bidding in the room on behalf of a Russian collector. “Vassiliev is one of the top postwar artists. This is the top piece in the auction.”

Vassiliev’s “Walking Away” (1978) sold to a telephone bidder for 180,000 pounds on a top estimate of 70,000 pounds. It was the third-most-expensive lot.

The second-most-expensive lot was “Beauty” (1988) by Semen Faibisovich, selling for 265,000 pounds on a top estimate of 60,000 pounds. The oil-on-canvas work depicts Soviet workers happily marching in a May Day parade.

“Warrior No. 4” (2006) by AES+F sold for 120,000 pounds on an estimate of 100,000 pounds to 150,000 pounds. The work is a life-sized bronze sculpture of a girl armed with a futuristic weapon.

AES+F is a foursome from Moscow that produces installations, photos and videos. They are best known for “Last Riot,” a video and photo installation at last year’s Venice Biennale.

Sotheby’s first London sale of postwar and contemporary Russian art in February 2007 made 2.6 million pounds, surpassing the top presale estimate of 2 million pounds, and setting records for 22 artists.

 

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The feast before the fast

Posted by Kris Roman on March 10, 2008

The feast before the fast    Russian blini – the traditional Maslenitsa meal

Across the land Russians were abandoning their diets to indulge in one of the nation’s favourite pastimes – gorging on pancakes. And the reason? Sunday is the last day of Pancake Week, or Maslenitsa – a holiday with its roots both in pagan and Christian culture.

Celebrations have been taking place in Red Square, right in the centre of Moscow, where lots of food and traditional crafts stalls have been set up. Also, a concert of folk and contemporary music has been held. A firework display has been organized in the afternoon to symbolise the start of Lent.Russia’s Mardi Gras is the last chance to pig out before the Great Lent fast which lasts until Easter.The week-long Maslenitsa is a time for merry-making and feasting, which includes eating pancakes topped with honey, jam or sour cream – all washed down with a nice cup of tea.   The festival dates back to pagan times, originally a celebration of the equinox. It was then adopted by the Orthodox Church but banned during Soviet times. Nowadays, it’s more a good excuse for a celebration, although the old rituals remain.One Muscovite told RT what it meant.“It’s a good chance to satisfy your stomach because it’s going to be the last time to enjoy a hearty meal before Lent.” According to the pagan tradition, this is a sun festival that celebrates the end of winter. The Maslenitsa mascot is a giant straw doll. In the evening at the end of pancake week it gets stripped of its winter wardrobe and set on fire, symbolising the coming of spring. Time to ask for forgiveness Meanwhile, Patriarch Aleksy II has led the Sunday morning Forgiveness liturgy in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.According to Orthodox tradition, the final Sunday of the week of Maslenitsa is a time to ask for forgiveness from God and from friends and family.The liturgy precedes the final festive meal of the week, after which believers attend a special forgiveness service in the evening, when they take part in prayers for the observance of Lent. During the service members of the congregation ask each other for forgiveness for their sins. Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, Aleksy II, is due to hold the first Lenten service at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour on Monday night.

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Goodbye winter! Russians celebrate Maslenitsa

Posted by Kris Roman on March 8, 2008

Goodbye winter! Russians celebrate Maslenitsa Maslenitsa, also known as Pancake Week, is a Russian religious and folk holiday, a centuries-old tradition with pagan and Orthodox Christian significance. In Slavic mythology it’s the celebration of the coming end of winter.

For Orthodox Christians it marks the last week before Lent, leading up to Easter.The most typical elements of the festivities are bliny – Russian pancakes, which are popularly taken to symbolise the sun, and the traditional mascot – Lady Maslenitsa. At the culmination of the celebration on Sunday evening, Lady Maslenitsa, a straw effigy symbolising winter, must be burnt. 

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Russian women to use men as chess figures on Women’s Day

Posted by Kris Roman on March 7, 2008

Russian women in the Volga region city of Nizhny Novgorod are set to play chess using men as pawns, rooks and other figures on March 8.March 8 is International Women’s Day, celebrated as a national holiday in Russia and several ex-Soviet countries.The young men from local universities who have volunteered to take part in the unusual chess matches will wear specially-designed masks and gowns as the women command them around the chess board. The board has been drawn out on a large ‘carpet’ which will be rolled out on a city square on Saturday.”We had difficulties in finding men to volunteer. It was hard to convince young men to be under [women’s] control for the games,” a spokesman for the organizing committee said, adding that he hoped the event would increase young people’s interest in “intellectual pastimes.”

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It’s official! Russians love sex

Posted by Kris Roman on March 3, 2008

Perhaps it’s the cold climate, the vodka or the beautiful women. A new global survey has revealed that Russians enjoy the most active sex lives in the world, with more sex and more partners than anyone else, except for the Austrians.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that Russia came a heady second in a new global survey, on which countries have the most sex. But is Russia really a hot bed of lust and love?

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