Windows to Russia

Hello,

The article should read: The West Turns a Blind Eye to Abuses in America!

I would like to know why I see so many articles about how bad the Human rights are in Russia? These articles many times come from American based Groups……

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MOSCOW, January 31 (RIA Novosti) – Human Rights Watch said on Thursday that Western democracies are failing to put pressure on Russia over what the U.S.-based NGO sees as human rights violations…(Click: Read More)

“International criticism of Russia’s human rights record remains muted, with the European Union failing to challenge Russia on its human rights record in a consistent and sustained manner,” the rights organization said in an annual report, World Report 2008.

The HRW highlighted flaws in December’s parliamentary election in Russia, relations between public organizations and state bodies, as well as the situation in the North Caucasus and Russian nationals’ right to fair trials.

The report highlighted dispersals of opposition rallies and intimidation of opposition activists as major rights violations by Russian authorities last year.

“Authorities banned or severely restricted a series of opposition demonstrations known as “Dissenters’ Marches,” which were nonetheless held across Russia,” the report said.

“In November the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe cancelled its mission to observe Russia’s December 2 parliamentary elections, citing operational concerns. The Russian government had imposed unprecedented restrictions on the size of the mission and did not issue visas to observers in a timely manner.”

The organization also cited the barring of Russian sexual minorities from holding public gatherings last year.

“On May 27 several dozen Russian lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and their supporters, tried to hold a peaceful demonstration outside Moscow’s City Hall. Police arrested 21 demonstrators and observers as the event’s organizers attempted to deliver a petition to the mayor’s office protesting its ban on a gay pride parade,” the report said.

On the situation in the North Caucasus, the HRW pointed to the activities of Chechen security officers, who allegedly torture terrorist suspects.

“2007 proved a landmark year for international justice on Chechnya. Unable to secure justice domestically, hundreds of victims of abuse have filed applications with the European Court of Human Rights.”

“In 11 rulings to date, the ECtHR found Russia responsible for serious human rights abuses in Chechnya, including torture, extrajudicial executions, and enforced disappearances. In every ruling the court has found a failure by the Russian government to launch a meaningful investigation,” the report said.
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This is my article from the past…………..

Hello,

I was drinking my morning cup of coffee and thinking about a video that I found. I also read an article about free countries and not free countries. The saying: “The pot, calling the kettle black!” comes to mind.

This is a contradictory situation of existance!

You see: I grew up in America……………………………………

I grew up, seeing a world that was very unfair to many people that lived in America. I grew up watching the African American be treated less than dogs.

I grew up in a world that put the American Indian in some of the worst pathetic land in the whole country.

I grew up in a world that when it was found out that this land that was given to the American Indian was rich in minerals and other precious things, they tried and did succeed to remove them.

I grew up in a world that allowed burning crosses in peoples front yards.

I grew up in a world that men are paid more than women.

I grew up in a world that, was so bad that we had to make rules on how to treat nonwhite people.

I grew up in a world that, labeled everyone! (white, black, minority, …..on and on)

I grew up in a world that, had to be politically correct!

I grew up in a world that had separate bath rooms and water fountains for whites and blacks.

I grew up in a world that treated people who were (claimed to be) communist. Like evil demons, then beaten, jailed and murdered.

I grew up in a World that talks down to the Mexican, but will work him in the fields for very little money.

I grew up in a world that dropped the first Atomic Bomb on Humans.

I grew up in a world that allowed white men to kill black men, with no repercussions.

I grew up in a world that with out money you are less than someone.

I grew up in a world that children bring guns to school and kill other kids.

I grew up in a world that Drugs are on every street corner including those near the schools.

I grew up in a world that saw girls at 13 pushing their baby stroller with their baby, and are impregnated with another child.

I grew up in a world that bussed white kids to the inner cities and black kids to the suburbs.

I grew up with open concept class rooms in school, (the only thing you learned was that you could shoot a spit ball 100 feet.)

I grew up with, “In God we trust” then they took “God” away from schools.

I grew up saying the “Pledge of Allegiance”. That offended some one and they said no more “Pledge of Allegiances”.

I grew up in a world that all men are created equal as long as you do not THINK!

I grew up in a world that if you are rich you can get away with murder.

The world I grew up in, allows most criminals more rights than the average person has.

I grew up in a world that made women fight for their rights before giving them some!

I grew up in a world that said only bad girls smoke, then they discovered that bad girls have money and created cigarette’s for them called slims.

I grew up in a world……(How many more examples do you need?)……

Some of these statements are from my past to now.

They all are truths because I have lived them all. America needs to reread the Constitution of the United States!

This video will give you something to think about.

I grew up in a world that I thought was better than what I see on this video!

Kyle Keeton

comments always welcome.

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Guess what I try to say all the time is, Make sure your own closet is in order before you accuse others of wrong doing!

Kyle

comments always welcome.

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Hello,

We did multiple articles in the past on: Yalta in the Crimea!

http://kylekeeton.com/2007/06/crimea-part-1
http://kylekeeton.com/2007/06/crimea-part-2
http://kylekeeton.com/2007/08/crimea-village

I thought I would pull out some more pictures that we never printed on the Blog! If you ever want to see what we consider one of the most beautiful areas of the world, just follow the links!

That is my Sweetie in the top picture! :)

Kyle

comments always welcome.

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Hello,

I was drinking my morning cup of coffee & thinking about the reports from travel agencies that more foreign travelers are coming to Moscow every year!

So I did some looking around and came up with this tidbit of information….
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MOSCOW, January 30 (RIA Novosti) – Over 4.1 million foreign tourists visited Moscow in 2007, 7.5% more than the previous year, the city’s tourism committee said on Wednesday. Germany had the largest number of tourists visiting the Russian capital, totaling over 296,000. The next four countries on the list were the United States, China, Britain, and France, respectively. The committee said the number of Moscow visitors is expected to increase to around 4.5 million this year, and to 5 million in 2010. A total of 3.7 million tourists visited the Russian capital in 2006.
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That is 11233 foreign visitors a day!

I think this is a very good sign for Russia! People are starting to think of Russia as a safer place to visit. Now if the Media from around the World, would quit the sensationalism about Russia and Past Cold War games, Russia could double those tourist numbers!

Would you travel to Russia?
Do you think Russia is safe?

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

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31/01/2008 16:26 MOSCOW, January 31 (RIA Novosti) – Suicide is the primary cause of violent deaths globally with over one million people taking their own lives annually, the head of Moscow’s social and forensic psychiatry center said Thursday.

Suicide is the world’s eighth leading cause of death. Globally, suicide takes more lives than murder and war put together, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report.

“Since 1950 the figure has grown 60% worldwide,” said Professor Boris Polozhy of the Moscow Serbsky Institute for Social and Forensic Psychiatry.

In Europe the country with the highest rate, among both men and women aged 25-64 years, is Lithuania, followed by Belarus, Russia and Latvia. The region with the lowest suicide rate is Latin America.

In Russia, the number of suicides has plunged 30% from 2001 to 2006, when a total of 42,855 Russians committed suicide. Currently, the overall rate is 30 deaths per 100,000, with over 22% of suicides committed by people aged 40-49. Almost six times as many Russian males commit suicide than females.

“The peak suicide rate in Russia was in 1995, and the figure is now falling,” Polozhy said.

Research also shows that the most vulnerable jobs are psychiatrists, musicians, lawyers, military personnel and insurance agents……(Click: read more for rest of News Items)

31/01/2008 15:32 MOSCOW, January 31 (RIA Novosti) – Soviet soldiers buried in the Hungarian village of Kiskorpad will not be removed after the land was sold to a private owner, a Russian embassy spokesman said citing local authorities on Thursday.

The cemetery was sold “through a misunderstanding” and “Hungarian lawyers are considering the issue and drafting proposals in accordance with Hungarian laws,” Irina Zvonova said.

“A move is out of question,” she added citing the village mayor.

In May 2007, the removal of a monument to Soviet soldiers in another ex-Soviet country Estonia led to clashes between protestors and local police, leaving one dead, over 150 injured and more than 1,000 arrested.

The human rights group Amnesty International condemned the situation in Estonia and called on its leadership to respect the rights of ethnic Russians.

31/01/2008 15:42 MOSCOW, January 31 (RIA Novosti) – The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe may refuse to monitor Russian presidential polls due to restrictions, a spokesman for the OSCE’s election-monitoring arm told a national daily.

In an interview with Moskovsky Komsomolets published on Thursday, Curtis Budden, a spokesman for the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), said that conditions set by Russia’s Central Electoral Commission (CEC), meant that his organization would be unable to perform its functions fully.

He said Moscow had given permission for monitors to enter Russia on February 28, which would not give them enough time to adequately prepare to observe the March 2 vote.

The ODIHR refused to monitor Russia’s parliamentary election on December 2 last year, citing visa delays and restrictions. The OSCE subsequently declared the polls not free and not fair.

Budden said the invitation the OSCE had received for the presidential polls “has serious restrictions both in terms of the number of observers and time they are allowed to observe.”

The head of the CEC, Vladimir Churov, said on Monday that 70 ODIHR observers had been invited to monitor the presidential election.

The ODIHR asked Russia on Tuesday to reconsider its quotas for the number of observers as well as the observers’ mandates. A Russian election official said the CEC was studying the OSCE’s request, and the election body’s deputy chairman, Stanislav Vavilov, said a reply would be provided soon.

President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia will not allow foreign countries to influence its presidential election.

Speaking at a session of the country’s state security service, the FSB, Putin called for measures to deter “attempts to interfere in Russia’s domestic affairs.”

31/01/2008 14:53 MOSCOW, January 31 (RIA Novosti) – The state-run VTsIOM opinion center forecast on Thursday that Dmitry Medvedev, a first deputy prime minister and a presidential runner, will receive 74.8% of the vote in the March 2 elections.

Another three candidates have passed the registration procedures ahead of the polls in addition to Medvedev: Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, the ultra nationalist Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Andrei Bogdanov, the leader of the tiny pro-Western Democratic Party.

“This is about the number [President] Vladimir Putin received in 2004 [71%],” VTsIOM Director General Valery Fyodorov told a news conference. He added that 75% of Medvedev’s electorate were those who voted for Putin in 2004.

Publicly endorsed as his choice of successor by Putin, Medvedev enjoys high popularity ratings in the country and is the clear front-runner.

Fyodorov forecast that Zyuganov would receive 12.8% of votes, Zhirinovsky 11.5% and Bogdanov a mere 0.9%.

Fyodorov said that a survey conducted among a sample of 1,600 in 46 Russian regions last weekend showed that 63.5 % of respondents would vote for Medvedev, 5.3% for Zyuganov, 5.5% for Zhirinovsky and 0.4% for Bogdanov.

Zyuganov said he would take part in the TV debates.

Fyodorov also said that voter turnout on March 2 would be around 70.7%.

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Hello,

I was drinking my second cup of coffee & I was thinking about the Moscow Metro. So I did a little home work on the Metro.
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Moscow Metro (Russian: Московский метрополитен), which spans almost the entire Russian capital, is one of the world’s most heavily used metro systems. It is well known for the ornate design of many of its stations, which contain beautiful examples of socialist realist art.In total, the Moscow Metro has 292.9 km of route length, 12 lines and 176 stations; on a normal weekday it carries over 7 million passengers. Passenger traffic is considerably lower on weekends bringing the average daily passenger traffic during the year to 6.8 million passengers per day. The Moscow Metro is a state-owned enterprise.
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The Moscow Metro is opens at about 5:30am until 1:00am the next day. The cost to ride the Metro is currently: (Jan, 2008) ; 1 ride is 19 rubles (78 US cents).

I think that the Moscow Metro is fabulous and this is the first of three articles that I am going to do on the Metro.

Lastest Statistics from Metro Site! Link…

Passengers 2475.6 million passengers
— privileged category 917.3 million passengers
—— students and schoolchildren 254.6 million passengers
Maximum daily ridership 9149.5 thousand passengers
Revenue from fares (2005) 15997.4 million rubles
Route length 292.9 km
Number of lines 12
Longest line Serpukhovsko-Timiryazevskaya (41.2 km)
Shortest line Kakhovskaya (3.3 km)
Longest section StroginoKrylatskoye (6.7 km)
Shortest section Delovoy TsentrMezhdunarodnaya (502 m)
Number of stations 176
— transfer stations 60
— transfer points 27
— surface/elevated 15
Deepest station Park Pobedy (84 m)
Most shallow underground station Pechatniki
Station with the longest platform Vorobyevy Gory (282 m)
Number of stations single entrance 70
Total number of entrances 271
— with surface vestibules 122
Total area of cladding 754.3 thousand sq. m.
— with marble tiles 340.1 thousand sq. m.
— with granite tiles 68.6 thousand sq. m.
— with different tiles 210.7 thousand sq. m.
— Other cladding materials 134.9 thousand sq. m.
Number of turnstiles 2374
Number of stations with escalators 124
Number of escalators 631
— including Monorail stations 18
Total length of all escalator 65.4 km
Number of depots 15
Total number of train runs per day 9915
Average speed:
— commercial 41.71 km/h
— technical (2005) 48.85 km/h
Total number of cars (per day) 4428
Cars in service (average per day) 3397
Total run of cars 679.6 million car-kilometres
— with passengers 649.5 million car-kilometres
Average run of cars per day 548.1 car-kilometres
Average passengers per car 53 people
Longest escalator 126 m (Park Pobedy)
Total number of ventilation shafts 393
Number of ventilation systems 4965
Number of medical stations 46
Total number of employees 34792 people
— males 18291 people
— females 16448 people
Timetable fulfilment 99.96 %
Minimum average interval 90 sec
Average passenger trip 13.0 km

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

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Hello,

I was drinking my morning cup of coffee & thinking about the Snow!

I have just finished walking the dog (Boza) & it is snowing very heavy outside. The weather is wonderful, the air is fresh and clean. All the roads and ground is covered with a new coat of white. Just like a fresh paint job.

Boza likes the snow, He sticks his head under the snow & looks for treasures! The picture to the right ====> If you look closely you will see a treasure popping up out of the snow by Boza’s nose…

How about you, Do you like the snow? (I Do)

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

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RBC, 29.01.2008, Moscow 11:55:28.Foreign car sales surged 61 percent to 1.65m cars in Russia in 2007 compared to a year earlier, Russian Economy Minister Elvira Nabiullina said during the official signing of an agreement for the construction of a PSA Peugeot Citroen plant in Kaluga today. The Minister noted that total sales of both Russian and foreign cars (including those assembled in Russia) were expected to reach 4m in 2011. The ministry has already signed 23 agreements with car producers, and investments under these agreements total $5.2bn, Nabiullina stated, adding that total corporate investment in the automobile industry was projected to reach $6.5bn.

RBC, 29.01.2008, Moscow 11:41:59.Russia’s central Election Commission (CEC) has received an official notice from presidential candidate Dmitry Medvedev on his refusal to participate in televised debates prior to the upcoming election, CEC’s press office told RBC today. Meanwhile, another candidate Gennady Zyuganov has not yet filed a similar notice despite speculations on the matter in various media resources. Andrei Bogdanov is poised to participate in the debates…..(Click: read more for rest of the news!)

RBC, 29.01.2008, Moscow 10:41:05.About 30 minutes into this morning’s special dollar trading session for today deals, the low on deals stood at 24.30 RUB/USD, which is RUB 0.30, or 1.2 percent, lower than the official rate set by the Bank of Russia for January 29. The ruble’s noticeable advance against the dollar on the domestic market can be attributed to the euro’s considerable appreciation against the US currency on international exchanges. The euro is now trading at nearly USD 1.4760, up from around USD 1.4660 at the same time at the previous session. Consequently, the euro has gained almost 0.7 percent against the dollar on the global market since then.

RBC, 29.01.2008, Moscow 09:28:14.The owners of the Euroset group of companies do not intend to sell their stakes in the Russian mobile handset retailer and are not currently discussing any borrowings from the public market, the company’s Chairman of the Board of Directors Yevgeny Chichvarkin told journalists. Meanwhile, the group’s President Alexei Chuykin added that any reports of a possible sale of their stakes in Euroset by the current owners were pure rumors that had been circulating for a fairly long time. Chuykin asserted that the company’s business was under no threat whatsoever at the moment, and thus selling stakes in the company would have been senseless. This follows reports citing Euroset executives that the owners were in a position to transfer up to 25 percent in the group to a third-party investor either through a sale and purchase transaction or an IPO. While denying the feasibility of an IPO in the near term due to extreme instability on stock exchanges, Chichvarkin nevertheless did not rule out such a possibility completely in the foreseeable future.

RBC, 28.01.2008, Moscow 19:57:19.Tatneft’s balance-sheet profit increased 27 percent in 2007 from a year earlier, reaching RUB 64bn (approx. USD 2.62bn), the Tatarstan-based company said in a statement. Its sales revenue rose RUB 198bn (approx. USD 8.1bn), up 13.8 percent from 2006. According to earlier reports, the company’s RAS-based net profit grew 3.6 percent to some RUB 34.29bn (approx. USD 1.4bn) in the first nine months of 2007 compared to the same period in 2006.

RBC, 28.01.2008, Moscow 18:22:30.Inflation is expected to range between 5.8 percent and 7 percent in Russia in 2009, Andrei Klepach, head of the Russian Economy Ministry’s macroeconomic forecasting department, told journalists today. This is the revised estimate of social and economic development for 2009-2010, which was discussed during today’s meeting of Russia’s government commission for budget planning. Klepach noted that inflation was expected to reach 7.5-8.5 percent in 2008. Meanwhile, the ministry intends to cut inflation to 5-6 percent by 2010 by means of structural changes in the economy, anti-inflation measures, and stricter monetary policy . Klepach added that the forecast figure could change in the future, but the government was doing everything possible to curb inflation.

RBC, 28.01.2008, Moscow 17:45:14.Russian President Vladimir Putin has held a telephone conversation with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy today, the Russian leader’s press office reported. The two Presidents discussed a number of current issues of bilateral cooperation, including affairs in which third countries were involved. Putin also wished Sarkozy a happy birthday.

RBC, 28.01.2008, Moscow 16:27:56.Chairman of Russia’s Central Election Commission Vladimir Churov signed invitations to international observers during a press conference today. Among the observers invited to monitor Russia’s presidential election were Churov’s colleagues from Italy, the UK, Mongolia, Poland, and other states, including 70 officials from the OSCE. The number of observers invited to the presidential election remains the same as it was during the last parliamentary election.

RBC, 28.01.2008, Nizhny Novgorod 11:41:59.GAZ Group’s consolidated revenue increased 30 percent to RUB 154bn (approx. USD 6.3bn) in 2007, the Russian automotive giant’s press office reported. Sales on international markets including the CIS grew 40 percent to roughly RUB 10bn (approx. USD 409m).
Commercial passenger car sales rose 9.8 percent to 210,409 cars. GAZ Group attributes the increase to higher retail sales and real disposable incomes, as well as the implementation of national projects in the area of utilities and agriculture. GAZ’s consolidated revenue from sales of commercial passenger cars increased over 22 percent to RUB 49bn (approx. USD 2bn) in 2007. Heavy truck sales grew 47 percent to 15,773 vehicles, while bus sales increased 7.8 percent to 22,344 vehicles, with revenue in this segment rising by almost a quarter to RUB 19.1bn (approx. USD 782m).

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Natural Gas Production by Country

Group of Countries called, Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), which includes Russia, plan to set up an international organization on its basis, around the same principles as OPEC.

The forum doesn’t have fixed membership structure, however Algeria, Bolivia, Brunei, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Libya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad & Tobago, the UAE and Venezuela could be identified as current members. Turkmenistan, Bolivia, Indonesia, Libya and Oman have participated at different ministerial meetings. Norway has status of observer.

The charter of the new structure could be submitted at the forum’s seventh meeting in Moscow in June of 2008. Most of the charter that concerning membership, secretariat and financial provisions are almost a carbon-copy of OPEC’s charter.

GECF then could have more clout to control the gas market in the same way as OPEC does the oil market.

But experts do not believe that a gas OPEC will quickly become as influential as its oil counterpart, with opposition from the United States and the European Union.

The USA has vowed to fight against the GECF, because no one has invited them! :)

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

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Hello,

My Wife was coming home from work & she came upon a Accordion Player in the Lubyanka Metro Station. She stopped and recorded this video!


Deep in the heart of the Moscow Metro was an old Gentleman playing beautiful music! The sound reminded us of an old Italian Movie!

Hope you enjoy the video, The Moscow Metro is full of interesting people & is a world all its own!

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

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Hello,

The idea of this article came to me several days ago when I came at work and one of my colleagues played music on his computer. What it was – something good, what I knew before – but I could not recognize any words. Of course, that was not Russian or English words. I listened a little bit and realized – that was songs of Vladimir Vysotsky but his songs were translated on Hebrew!

Vysotsky wrote that there is a quatrain of Israel people are from here (Soviet Union). And people who came to Israel did not want to forget our culture. They kept “bard songs” and even translated the songs to Hebrew. I don’t know but after translation the song got something very special what take your heart and does not allow your heart back. That is at least my feeling about this translated songs. Maybe that’s my Jewish quarter, that talks to me about Eternity. Who knows…

Today is 25th of January: birthday of Vladimir Vysotsky. He would be 70 today, he died 27 years ago. He died but people still love his songs they translate and sing them on different languages (http://www.wysotsky.com/index.htm). Here is a link where you can get a lot of information about Vysotsky and his original songs: http://www.kulichki.com/vv/eng/.

More translations,
http://www.geocities.com/akbaramuhammad/word/

And here I’ll give you to listen my favorite song of him. This song is from his “Mountain circle”. And we will listen to the song in Hebrew!

You want to know what the song is about. Find a language what you know and follow the link. Don’t forget to listen to the original Vysotsky’s song – just click on the note’s sign at page with translation.

Горная лирическая

Български Лирична песен за алпийската стена Анна Колчакова 1990
български Надежда Асен Сираков 1987
български Планинска лирична Асен Сираков 1989
čeština NadějeJana Moravcová 1988
English A Day Akbar Ali Muhammad
English So there, the tremor left my hands… Andrey Kneller
English To a summit Natalie Golightly 2000
English To the top George Tokarev 2001
English Well, now, my hands don’t shake at all… Alec Vagapov 1999
français Vers les cimes
français Vers les cimes Sarah Struve
בריתאל הפסגהאלכסנדר בלפר
עבריתצמרמורתיונתן גפן1990
italiano È cessato il tremito delle mani Silvana Aversa 1992
Nederlands
Naar de top Hans Sleurink 1997
norsk Mot toppen Jørn Simen Øverli 1989
polski I oto znikło drżenie rąk… Paweł Orkisz 2005
polski Na szczyt
polski Ustąpił dreszcz… Jan Słowiński
svenska Mot toppen Ola & Carsten Palmær 1986
lietuvių Pradingo drebulys Irena
Aršauskienė 2001
español De las montañas lírica Illya Gendler 2007

Svet & Kyle

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NATO has proposed a summit meeting between heads of state and government of the alliance member states and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the NATO Bucharest summit scheduled in April, the NATO spokesman said Wednesday.

“I can confirm that the (NATO) secretary general, in his capacity as chair of the NATO-Russia Council, has written to the Russian Federation, suggesting that we hold a NATO-Russia Council in Bucharest at the level of heads of state and government,” James Appathurai told reporters at a regular briefing.

“The letter is addressed to President Putin,” he said.

The spokesman said it is up to Putin to decide whether such a summit meeting will take place. He said the letter has been received by Moscow.

All the 26 NATO allies believe in added value in such a meeting, said the spokesman.

The NATO-Russia summit would be the first of its kind if it becomes reality in the end.

Source:Xinhua
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I was right, I thought that NATO had issues with Russia! I just posted an article about Russia / NATO issues. I turn around and then find this all over the internet!

Lets hope that Putin is in a good mood and will decide to have this meeting.

Seems NATO might be getting a little bit intimidated by a possible Angry Bear!

Kyle

comments always welcome!

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Russia concerned over NATO military buildup around its borders

23/01/2008 15:42 MOSCOW, January 23 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is concerned over NATO’s expansion, which is aimed at building up its military potential around Russian borders rather than strengthening European security, the foreign minister said on Wednesday.

Russia has been unnerved by NATO’s eastward expansion and recent U.S. plans to deploy missile defense elements in Poland and the Czech Republic.

“We are certain that the geographical expansion of NATO cannot be justified by security concerns,” Sergei Lavrov told a news conference in Moscow.

“But it is clear that NATO is building up its military potential around our borders and its new members continue to increase their defense budgets,” he said.

Lavrov said NATO’s “open-door” policy has been inherited from the Cold War and can only antagonize relations with Russia.

“This policy cannot resolve any security problems,” the minister said.

NATO has signaled its backing for the recent bids by Russia’s former Soviet allies, Georgia and Ukraine, to join the alliance, a move that has infuriated Moscow.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that the country would have to take “appropriate measures” if Ukraine were to join NATO.

An additional problem overshadowing cooperation between Russia and NATO is the bloc’s refusal to ratify an updated version of the Soviet-era Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE), aimed at regulating the deployment of non-nuclear weapons on the continent.

Russia imposed in December last year a unilateral moratorium on the arms reductions treaty, which the West regards as a cornerstone of Euro-Atlantic security, and said it would resume its participation in the treaty only after NATO countries ratify the document.
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Looks like NATO has it out for Russia! Not a very friendly way for NATO to do business with its members!

Could NATO be scared of the Russian Bear?

Kyle

comments always welcome.

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Hello,

I posted an article awhile back about the special garages that are everywhere in Moscow!
http://kylekeeton.com/2007/07/russian-garage

Well Moscow has decided that they have to go! Moscow wants to use the parking areas to build better parking and other businesses.

I will admit that these garages are everywhere, they also put them on kids playgrounds and that I think, should be a crime! I use to have a better thoughts about them but I have studied them and over half of them are empty & or just used to store junk!
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Every Muscovite is familiar with the scene: a courtyard lined with unsightly metal garages that blight surroundings, obstructing paths and forming labyrinths that can be dangerous to navigate at night.

To the delight of many who loathe the rusty, ubiquitous rakushki, or metal storage sheds, City Hall has been demolishing them with great abandon over the past several years and putting up multistory garages or other buildings in their place.

Part of the problem is that while the garages are private property, the plots underneath them are usually city property. Proponents of ridding the city of rakushki argue that they take up valuable space that could be used for multistory garages that could help alleviate the city’s dire traffic woes.

The lack of parking spaces has exacerbated heavy traffic jams because drivers park in the road, a practice that could be reduced with the construction of more multistory garages, said Grigory Vengerov, deputy head of the Moscow City Union of Motorists.

But Vengerov, who is working with City Hall to hammer out a legal basis for tearing down rakushki and replacing them with other parking facilities, also gave a nod to aesthetics, calling demolition of the sheds “correct.” he said, “They are making the city ugly,”

Dmitry Strzhezhovsky, a youthful 70-year-old pensioner who lives in central Moscow, said rakushki prevented all the drivers except their owners from using the area to park.

“Besides, rakushki don’t make the courtyard look beautiful,” Strzhezhovsky said.

Ivanova, 52, said, Her courtyard in northern Moscow was completely filled with rakushki, making it impossible to drive or even walk through. She said there was no space in the courtyard for her to park her car and that she typically has to drive around nearby courtyards to find a spot and then walk home on foot. She said. “There are rakushki on the lawns, on children’s playgrounds,”
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This is becoming a hot issue here in Moscow, people do not want to loose their rakushki because the garage gives them a private, no one can steal parking space!

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

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Hello,

It is not very often that I get beaten to the punch on something that I feel is important! Real Russian Project has posted an article on Russia and economic freedom!

(article)

Rankings Versus Reality:
It’s Time for Inside-the-Beltway Conservatives
to Get Real on Russia

I scrapped my article because I think that Yuri did a good job at getting the point across!

Thank you Yuri, for real insight.

Kyle
comments always welcome.

PS: This is the link, to the know it all: American Foundation!
http://www.heritage.org/index/

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(Click: Read More for Yuri’s article)========================================
Last week, the Heritage Foundation, one of the largest and perhaps most influential think tanks in Washington, D.C., published its annual global rankings of economic freedom. While think tank reports seldom have as much impact as their authors would like to believe, this particular document was published in partnership with The Wall Street Journal.

The report claimed that out of 150 countries surveyed in 2007, Russia is now ranked 134th in the world in terms of economic freedom, allegedly slipping fourteen spots from its lowly 120th ranking at the end of 2006. Russia was supposedly less free than all of the other countries in the former Soviet Union, with the exceptions of Belarus and Turkmenistan. Russia is also said to be lagging far behind such surging economic powerhouses as Pakistan and Cambodia.

Not just oil, gas, timber and metals anymore – Russia’s booming consumer sector has drawn the most interest from emerging market fund managers and investment banks in the past year.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where members of the 10,000 strong Saudi royal family find their way into every major deal, was ranked sixty spots ahead of Russia. This could lead a cynical Russian to ask whether the Heritage rankings are based on a country’s actual investment climate and success in global markets, or whether the country in question is a close ally of America. The point here is not to belittle the hard won economic gains that have been made by any particular country, but to challenge the premise that countries can be neatly graded on some imaginary freedom scale by think tank scholars sitting in Washington D.C.

In the same year that the Heritage Foundation claims that Russia backslid on democracy and economic freedom, global investors cast a vote of confidence in the country by pouring over $55 billion into the Russian economy. Many scholars and pundits can try to dismiss this record as a lucky break caused by high commodity prices and a glut of global liquidity, but one need not look very far to find some very large holes in this argument.

First, the biggest IPO recorded worldwide in 2007 was for Russia’s Vneshtorbank (VTB) – the second largest retail bank in the country – not for some Russian oil and gas or mining conglomerate. Second, in 2008 the largest Russian IPO will be for Unified Energy Systems, when the Russian government will be breaking up the state-owned monopoly and privatizing Russia’s electric power grid. Third, for anyone who actually flips past the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page to the business pages, the fastest rising Russian stocks in recent months have not been energy exporting giants such as Gazprom, Lukoil, and Rosneft, but consumer-oriented companies that are enjoying strong domestic growth like Golden Telecom, Rostelekom, and Wimm-Bill-Dann.

Fourth, many countries are receiving huge windfalls from oil and gas prices as well, but their economies remain basket cases – Venezuela, Nigeria and Iran come to mind – while others have failed to convert their enormous natural resources into any globally recognized brands or diversified companies. Just ask yourself – how many global emerging market equity funds hold Petreleos de Venezuela in their portfolios, as opposed to Gazprom? And how many car factories are Toyota, Nissan, and Ford building in Saudi Arabia, as compared with Russia? To ask each question is to already know the answer.

Granted, Russia is still not Switzerland by a long shot. As President Putin’s designated successor, Dimitri Medvedev, has repeatedly acknowledged, Russia has severe problems that threaten its long-term economic growth, including double digit inflation, a declining population outside major cities, and the age old bane of corruption. But the question remains: why do so many Western think tanks and scholars feel compelled to downplay or dismiss the real economic gains that Russians have achieved in the last eight years? Is it just opposition to the Putin government and its policies, or is there an ingrained anti-Russian bias in many American institutions, particularly among Washington’s leading conservative think tanks?

The Cold War has left behind many legacies, and one of them was a certain number of people and donors inside the Beltway who still proudly take credit for hastening the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1980s. Unfortunately, when it comes to Russia, many of these same aging donors and think tankers have remained stuck on autopilot since 1992. They still view Moscow as the seat of an Evil Empire that must accept having NATO on its doorstep and being cut out of energy deals in its own back yard.

After 9/11, many inside-the-Beltway conservatives were prepared to accept President Bush’s vision of the America and Russia as allies in the war on international terrorism. But the well-financed “revolutions” in Ukraine and Georgia soon restored these die hard Russophobes to their previous default worldview. Rather than seeing these developments for what they actually were – the settling of accounts between rival clans of oligarchs and their political patrons in each country – each “revolution” was magnified into a zero sum struggle for power and influence between Moscow and Washington. Such simplistic attitudes naturally lead to a host of logical absurdities and ideological contradictions, with the only consistency being that Russia’s position must always be wrong.

For example, when Gazprom stopped subsidizing several former Soviet republics with cheap natural gas in 2005-2007 , Russia was condemned for allegedly using energy as a weapon to punish ex-Soviet republics for not towing Moscow’s line. Even Belarus, which The Wall Street Journal and The Economist had previously derided as an impoverished Kremlin puppet state, was instantly transformed, following its price dispute with Gazprom, into yet another victim of the Kremlin’s “energy imperialism”. The idea that Russia simply cannot afford to subsidize its neighbors anymore, or that former Soviet republics that claim to have adopted market economics ought to be charged at least half of what Western Europeans are paying for the same Russian gas never seems to have registered with these so-called “free marketeers”.

Naturally, all of this leads us to the question of motives and double standards. No less a Putin skeptic than Washington Post reporter Anne Applebaum, has asked how much influence money from deposed Russian oligarchs like Mikhail Khodorkovsky has bought in Washington. It remains far more politically acceptable for elite Washington conservatives to be wined in dined in Amman or Singapore than in Moscow. When the President of Georgia is an alumnus of Columbia University and mouths all the right buzzwords, American think tankers don’t ask why they are attending a democracy promotion conference in Tbilisi that costs $6,000 per person while the average Georgian makes $300 a month.

Ultimately, why should ordinary Americans care about any of this? What affect does it have on their lives, their jobs, or their investments? The answer, which we have all been reminded of in recent weeks, is that after decades of Americans investing in the rest of the world, the world is now investing in America. If Kuwaiti and Abu Dhabi-based sovereign wealth funds can buy major stakes in Merrill Lynch and Citigroup then the Kremlin’s $180 billion Stabilization Fund can invest in American companies and capital markets. Russian companies also want to swap assets with multinational oil companies in return for exploration and development contracts in Russia – which means Gazprom and Rosneft may be acquiring shares of oil refineries in Texas or Lousiana in the not too distant future.

Twenty five years ago, when many American protectionists were alarmed about government-backed Japanese firms allegedly buying up a “bankrupt” America, a Reaganite supply-sider named George Gilder wrote a book titled Wealth and Poverty, supporting free trade and arguing for American optimism. Gilder wrote that “capital goes where it is welcomed.” and argued that Americans should welcome international investment, regardless of whether it comes from foreign firms with government ties or not.

What was true in the 1980s holds even more true in today’s globalizing world. If American conservatives are confident that democracy and free trade will prevail over protectionism and authoritarianism, then they should believe that our marketplace will have a greater effect on Chinese, Arab or Russian investors and policies than their money will have on our markets. It would be a shame if a combination of Cold War nostalgia and ignorance were to cost the U.S. thousands of jobs, and prevent the formation of a lasting partnership between America and Russia.

The author of this article is a former intern at several Washington D.C. think tanks. The author currently works in the U.S. financial services industry. The views expressed here are his own.
=============================================

Hello,

I was drinking my morning cup of coffee & thinking about a comment that I received about Alexander Litvinko!

Rotus said.”Recall that this spat began because Russia refused to extradite Andrei Lugovoy to Britain for trial for the murder of Alexander Litvinenko.”

So I started to look up about: Who did kill Alexander Litvinenko?
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/01/05/60minutes/
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17332541/
http://www.slate.com/id/2167972/entry/2167974/

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2006/11/29/

http://www.russiablog.org/2006/11/who_poisoned_alex
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6180432.stm

The statements are all hearsay & accusations!
We all seem to know who did it, but yet we all can not prove it!
We have let media muddle and destroy the facts & allowed media to sway public opinion.

The bottom line is that no one knows!

Kyle & Svet

PS: Thanks Rotus for bringing that up, I find it interesting that the world has made up its mind on who killed Litvinenko! Reminds me of the old days; “Hang them first from the nearest tree, then ask questions later!”

Last But Not The Least Important Link: Russia’s Killing Game!(Click: Read More!)
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Alexander Litvinenko and Russia’s killing game

The death from radiation poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko has cast light on the Russian power struggle, writes Boris Kagarlitsky

After the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya in October, I predicted that there would be a follow up to this story. Unfortunately, I was right.

Alexander Litvinenko’s death has become headline news in Britain rather than in Russia. This is quite logical – the British people won’t just stand and watch a political exile living in England being dispatched.

Scotland Yard confirmed that Litvinenko, a former KGB officer who was granted British citizenship only a month ago, was poisoned. On Friday 24 November he died.

Litvinenko’s employer, or at least sponsor in London, is the opposition oligarch Boris Berezovsky. He hastened to name the main suspect – Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The assault on Litvinenko seems to be connected to the assassination of Anna Politkovskaya, which makes the plot even more twisted.

Investigators believe that the former KGB agent was poisoned in a Japanese restaurant where he met an Italian journalist who allegedly possessed data concerning the Politkovskaya case.

After being interrogated by British detectives, the journalist, fearful for his life, took cover in Italy.

The whole situation could serve perfectly as a plot for a political detective novel.

The rules of the genre dictate that the evidence will lead to the top of the power hierarchy.

The number of victims will grow as the investigation goes on, but in the long run no charge will be filed, though everything will be as clear as a day.

Litvinenko had accused the Kremlin and the Russian intelligence agencies of paving Putin’s way to power by blowing up residential houses in Moscow in 1999 and blaming Chechen rebels. Some of Litvinenko’s arguments were quite convincing, some not enough.

The case of the house explosions in Moscow will never be solved. The true story of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attack in the US or the murder of John Kennedy and many other high profile cases of the 20th century will also never be revealed.

As a rule in these events, the official version loses its credibility with time while alternative versions lack evidence. The authorities ostentatiously refuse to examine these versions, and thus deflate them.

Private investigations generate contradictory facts and speculations. But the verdict is delivered by public opinion, which is always set against the powers that be.

Raising the ghosts of the past would be the most disadvantageous tactics for the Russian administration. Litivinenko, residing in London, was not a thorn in the side of the Russian authorities.

His version of the story behind the explosions in Moscow is just one of a number, and not the most convincing. But when a former KGB agent becomes a murder victim, his accusations gain credibility and the whole affair moves to the front burner.

The Kremlin’s foes will not miss a chance to use the poisoning of Litvinenko as one more argument against the authorities. Moscow will again be seen by the West as a capital of the “Evil Empire”. What is to the Kremlin’s benefit in all that?

It is only in “first approximation” that the critics of the present regime seem to be the only victims of the current events. If we consider the situation in more detail, we find that the authorities are extremely vulnerable to such developments.

The blows hit those in power, leaving the opposition leaders safe and sound. As a result the opposition gets its martyrs and the authorities are challenged.

Some pro-Kremlin analysts have even suggested that Litvinenko’s poisoning and the journalist’s murder are provocations and that the opposition itself and Boris Berezovsky in person have organised the affairs in order to discredit the Kremlin’s ruling elite.

But it’s difficult to think of Berezovsky trying to kill his closest associate in London. However vicious he might be, he is not crazy.

The 1999 explosions in Moscow reflected the struggle for power within the ruling elite. The current murders and murder attempts have the same nature.

Neither Putin nor Berezovsky would contract such murders – for both of them the possibility of the backlash is higher than possible revenues.

I think there are other stakeholders at a lower level who pursue their own interests and use their own methods.

Intensification of the struggle for power is the result of their activity. The less stable the situation in the country is, the more there is ground for drastic changes in the political life of the country.

And undermining Russia’s position in the world will permit the political elites to retain control over the new president, who will be elected next year. They want to make him a hostage of those who have taken him to power.

Dirty and ineffective political tricks will make Putin’s successor dependent on forces behind the Kremlin’s throne.

The Big Game is on and it’s not the presidential post that is at stake. It is the leverage of control over whoever is in this post.

Boris Kagarlitsky is a director of the Institute for Globalisation Studies in Moscow.
===============================================

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MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia on Tuesday sent two long-range bombers to the Bay of Biscay, off the French and Spanish Atlantic coasts, to test-fire missiles in what it billed as its biggest navy exercise in the area since Soviet times.

British and Norwegian Tornado and F-16 jets were escorting the Russian ‘Blackjack’ bombers, Interfax reported, quoting the Russian Air Force.

However, the French Defence Ministry spokesman said his country had been informed about the Russian exercises.

Firing missiles off the coastline of two members of the NATO military alliance is the latest in a series of Kremlin moves flexing Moscow’s military muscle on the world stage. =================================
RBC, 22.01.2008, Moscow 14:10:22.Revenue of Dixy Group, one of Russia’s top food retail chains, surged 42 percent to USD 1.431bn in 2007 compared to a year earlier, the company reported today. In ruble terms, revenue amounted to RUB 36.604bn (approx. USD 1.48bn), which is 33 percent greater than in 2006.

RBC, 22.01.2008, Moscow 13:32:51.As a result of geological survey, Gazprom has been able to report a rise in gas reserves totaling 585bn cubic meteres in 2007, which is 7bn cubic meters greater than the estimate, the Russian energy giant’s press office stated today. Natural gas production (excluding that of Gazprom’s subsidiaries) amounted to 548.5bn cubic meters.

RBC, 21.01.2008, Moscow 16:51:14.Russia is not willing to exert pressure on Poland or other countries regarding the deployment of the US anti-missile defence system in Eastern Europe, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists following a meeting with his Polish counterpart Radoslaw Sikorski. Russia only wanted Poland to consider all risks and threats to both its own and European security before making a final decision, Lavrov said. He added that Sikorski had confirmed that this was Poland’s intention as well. In turn, the Polish Minister noted that only the US and Poland would decide on the issue and that Russia would also benefit from the deployment of the shield, as it was designed to intercept ballistic missiles.

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I had to reprint this article: It says a lot in a short amount of time!
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By Konstantin Sonin,

Ten years ago, an economic crisis in one developing country could set off a chain reaction among investors around the world. And once investors suffered sharp losses in one place — for example, Thailand, South Korea or Indonesia — they began rolling back everywhere. This time around, the scenario is playing out differently. Although the financial markets crisis that began last year has not yet reached the point where investors are pulling out of developing markets, money continues to flow freely in the opposite direction as the world’s financial giants tap into government funds from former Third World countries.

Citigroup and Merrill Lynch announced multibillion-dollar losses in connection with their mortgage portfolios last week. Citigroup has twice over the past three months turned for cash to so-called sovereign wealth funds. It sold 5 percent of its shares to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority for $7.5 billion in November, and now it is offering shares to financial corporations controlled by the governments of Singapore, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The haste with which Citigroup is seeking investment from the developing world suggests that the company does not see any light at the end of the tunnel for its internal financial problems.

In all fairness, though, this is not the first time Citigroup has resorted to such measures. The Saudi royal family, along with others, first came to Citigroup’s rescue early in the 1990s. In fact, it is difficult to find a global financial giant that is not hunting for cash these days. Merrill Lynch has already turned for help to a Singapore government investment fund, while Swiss-based UBS received $9.7 billion from another Singapore government fund last fall. At the same time, Morgan Stanley received a $5 billion investment from a Chinese government fund.

It is understandable why these corporations are turning to foreign investment funds for badly needed cash. They very well might not know the full scope of their financial losses stemming from the collapse of the subprime mortgage market. But what can be motivating the owners of these sovereign funds to invest? Of course, buying into a “distressed” company often leads to reaping big profits down the line, and there is the possibility that this might actually be one of those rare opportunities that investors dream about their entire lives — to buy a valuable commodity at bargain prices. But there is also a high probability that they could end up on the losing side of this gamble. The owners of sovereign funds understand that, as foreign investors, they are treated as outsiders by U.S. politicians, and this carries a certain element of political risk from them.

The dollar has become the world currency based largely on the belief that the democratic system in the United States will not allow the government to shift to inflationary financing. Thus, Chinese and Singaporean investors are willing to channel huge sums of cash into Citigroup and Merrill Lynch in the belief that U.S. democracy — with its competitive electoral system, independent judicial system and a media acting as a powerful Fourth Estate watchdog — will continue to function as an effective and powerful regulator of financial corporations and guarantor of political and economic stability.

We have already become accustomed to a growing U.S. trade deficit and to the fact that the developing world finances American consumers to a large degree. It may now be the case that taxpayers’ money from developing countries being sent to the United States will end up covering losses incurred by irresponsible bankers and inattentive market regulators.

Keeping faith in the United States’ economy and democracy comes at a price indeed.

Konstantin Sonin, a professor at the New Economic School/CEFIR, is a columnist for Vedomosti.
==============================
Kyle

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Hello,

Just some news off the wire, Russian stock market is being affected by this also. Looks like the world is losing a lot of faith in the American Dollar! Russian stocks down about 7 % today.
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LONDON (Reuters) – World stocks nosedived and demand for safe-haven bonds and currencies soared on Monday as fears gripped investors that a deteriorating U.S. economy would drag others down with it.

The losses on the blue-chip stock indexes of Germany, Britain and France alone amounted to more than $350 billion, or roughly the size of the combined economies of New Zealand, Hungary and Singapore.

MSCI’s main world stock index, a benchmark gauge of stock markets globally, sank 3.3 percent, falling below its 2007 bottom to lows last seen in December 2006 and taking it down more than 12 percent so far this year.

Its emerging market equities counterpart lost more than 5.5 percent. Meanwhile, the spread between emerging market bond yields and U.S. Treasury yields, a key gauge of risk appetite, was just off its widest in two years.

“Weak global economic data, poor corporate data, increasing fears about the possibility of a recession … have left investors drowning in a sea of red,” said Henk Potts, equity strategist at Barclays Stockbrokers.
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I hear rumor that England is having to back the banks with a lot of their Nations money??
I also hear that Bush is asking countries for help and to still believe in America??

Looks like my articles are correct, The Dollar is going down! (Thump)
http://windowstorussia.com/2007/12/russia-not-happy-that-dollar-crashing.html
http://kylekeeton.com/2007/11/russia-dollar-is-hurting-overseas.html
http://kylekeeton.com/2007/11/russian-rubles-dollar-is-unstable.html
http://kylekeeton.com/2007/11/russians-do-not-give-us-dollars.html
http://windowstorussia.com/2007/10/russian-ruble-growing-stronger-everyday.html
http://windowstorussia.com/2007/09/10-reasons-why-russia-cant-trust-uncle.html
http://windowstorussia.com/2007/08/rbc-tells-it-like-it-is-dollar-going.html

This is not something I am proud of & wish that America would have dealt with her problems years ago. I was in the business of making money for companies all my working career! This was a problem that has been in the works for many years. Now it is a problem for the world!

Do you think that there is a replacement Dollar in the works?

America is going to have to bite the bullet on this one!

Kyle

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Looks like: cultural and educational?

The Russian Foreign Ministry stated Friday that the British Council’s regional offices might be allowed to reopen if Britain resumed cooperation with the Federal Security Service and expressed a willingness to ease visa rules for Russians. It was this lack of cooperation in the first place that expelled Britain!

Britain refused to hold talks to simplify the visa regime and stopped cooperating! After Britain became stubborn, the conditions had to be recreated for the resumption of talks.

Britain may not be ready to resume cooperation, there seems to be a list of 34 Russian diplomats who may face expulsion from Britain. The group includes Alexander Sternik, head of the Russian Embassy’s political section, and Andrei Pritsepov, aide to the ambassador, & Britain still makes public statements that Russia is to blame for the all the issues! (Seems childish)

While all these issues are flying around; The Britain council’s Moscow office remains open. Seems that the Moscow Britain office knows how to be nice and give the local government what they want?

A statement from Britain was issued, “The standoff was harming the Russian people but not Britain.” also stated, “We concluded that the only victim in this issue appears to be the people of Russia.” also said. “Sharing our cultural and educational technologies benefits Russians and not Britons. Thus it is only Russia that is losing.” also said, “British newspapers are warning Russia of possible repercussions!”

Is Britain really serious about this? (What makes Britain so special?)

America once had to get tough with the British! Looks like Russia needs to put them in their place also!

Now I see the root of the Visa issues in Russia, We can all thank, British Government!

Kyle & Svet

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research), the world’s biggest retailer, could expand its reach into Russia in within the next 24 months, according to a research note from UBS.

“We believe expansion into Russia rounds out Wal-Mart’s ‘BRIC’ (Brazil, Russia, India and China) exposure,” UBS analyst Neil Currie wrote in a note on Thursday.

Currie said he expected Wal-Mart to make the leap into Russia within the next 12 to 24 months, probably by taking a minority stake in a local retail chain.
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This is not a good thing for Russia!
Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

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Hello,

A week ago we published a cartoon about Vinni Puh. (Russian version of Winnie the Pooh) During the last week, we discussed how it’s difficult to translate Vinni Puh in English.

We translated some expressions from the cartoon and now we tried to translate the Vinni Puh song. (not exact translation more transition of the mood ;)):
————————————————
In the 1st video, Vinni Puh sang this song: (Link)

If I scratch my head – It’s OK.
I have sawdust there And that is great!

In my head I have sawdust! But; I can compose:
My happy-songs, my noisy-songs, my puff-puff-songs, want-wishing-songs.

Vinni Puh lives so good in the woods.
That’s because he compose his funny songs.

Does not matter what he’s doing, if he does not loose his weight,
and he never loose his weight if he has his snack in time. :)
———————————————–
This time we can have rest because we found a version with English subtitles. I think the guys, Artem, Lesha & Co have done very good job!They translated just the second part but are going to translate all three. I’ve read in one forum that they appreciate any help with translation – their e-mail in subtitles.

So now we will watch and enjoy. (Would you want Vinny to visit you?)

Best wishes,
Svet and Kyle

comments always welcome

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Hello,

I was drinking my morning cup of coffee and I was thinking how glad I am that Russians seem to eat so much less processed foods. I feel that my diet here is so much better. It is very easy to get fresh foods. You can buy fresh vegetables and fruits at almost every bus stop & Metro in Moscow. When we travel to the Village we pass by areas that specialize in certain fruits. On a 350 km trip we pass what I call; Pear valley, Apple way, Potato City, Cranberry Mile & Blueberry Village! These are just a portion of the available foods on the road trip. Then I was presented with an article about “Kellogg Foods” from America! I then realized that Russians are eating more like Americans everyday.

Once again Russia has let an American company buy up a gold mine! (link)

I have watched, in the 2 years I have been studying Moscow, The infiltration of American foods! Example: 2 years ago peanut butter and maple syrup was almost impossible to find. Now you can find more than one brand and the price is dropping fast! 2 years ago you could not find celery anywhere, now every fruit and veggy stand carries it as normal product. 2 years ago the availability of lettuce was very scarce. Now they have leaf lettuce everywhere! The list goes on and on….

We go shopping and you see rows of Lays Potato Chips,Coke,Pepsi & Products labeled American! The Red, White & Blue stands out like a sore thumb on the shelves. :)

Now Kellogg has infiltrated Russia in a big way! With all the food brands from America here, I feel right at home!

So if you travel to Russia, You will have no problem finding foods that you can eat and recognize.

I am not sure that is a good thing??

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

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(Click: Read more for Kellogg article!)
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Kellogg, whose cartoon tiger is pictured on its Frosties cereal boxes, announced Thursday that it had purchased United Bakers Group, the country’s biggest breakfast cereal maker, to take almost complete control of the local market.

United Bakers’ products, marketed primarily under the Yantar and Lyubyatovo brands, are very popular, and the company said it had a market share of 90 percent. Kellogg’s share is miniscule.

Both companies were tight-lipped about the terms of the deal, but Kellogg said it would have no impact on its 2008 operating profit.

Kellogg chief David Mackay described the acquisition as “an exciting strategic development for Kellogg.

“Consistent with our strategy, we continue to pursue the right kind of opportunities to grow our business,” he said in a statement.

The deal gives Kellogg its first plants in Russia — a total of six scattered across the country — as well as a large sales and distribution network.

Kellogg is coming to the right place at the right time because consumers have just started shifting en masse toward light-and-fast meals for breakfast, said Andrei Nikitin, a retail analyst with UralSib bank.

“Power-advertising by the likes of Kellogg and a new business culture have weaned Russians from their traditional breakfast meals, such as kasha,” Nikitin said.

“Many Russians now favor fast breakfast meals such as Kellogg Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies, in part because of strong advertisement by big companies with huge budgets like Kellogg,” he said.

Rice Krispies are not widely available in Russia, although Special K, Corn Flakes and Frosties can be found on many Moscow store shelves. Tony the Tiger, one of the company’s best-known trademarks, is known in Russia as “Tigr Tony.”

“This is fertile soil for Kellogg, and the trend will accelerate,” Nikitin said.

With the buy, Kellogg will make considerable savings on import tax, which had increased prices for its products, said Andrei Verkholantsev, consumer analyst with Antanta Capital Investment.

“Kellogg could leverage the synergy and economics of scale accruing from the deal to emerge as the single largest player in Russia,” he said.

Yevgeny Okulich-Kazarin, general director of United Bakers, called Thursday’s deal a reward for the company’s hard work. “This is an opportunity for United Bakers to further grow the business,” Okulich-Kazarin said in an e-mail.

Voronezh-based United Bakers, a closely held company, posted net sales of about $100 million in 2007. Like Kellogg, it also produces biscuits.

The company was founded in 2002 with an initial investment from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Eagle Urals Fund, a regional venture fund managed by the Dutch company Eagle Venture Partners, acquired the company in 2004 and immediately invited in new investors. Alfa Capital Partners took over in 2005 and a year later sold control to International Moscow Bank. United Bakers’ nearly 4,000 employees, including its management team, will join Kellogg under the terms of the acquisition. The business will continue to have its headquarters in Voronezh and will report to Kellogg’s European division.

With 2006 sales of almost $11 billion, Kellogg Company is the world’s leading maker of cereal and a leading producer of convenience foods. Kellogg products are manufactured in 17 countries and marketed in more than 180 countries around the world.
=================================

Hello,

Just thought that we would post some pictures of village homes in Russia!

Kyle & Svet

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Hello,
I have been writing about Coca Cola and their issues with Russia! Link 1 ; Link 2

It seems that Coke got smart and bowed to the pressure. This was a good move on their part, it might just have saved the Coke business in Russia!(Click: Read More for rest of article)
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Coca-Cola has called off a promotion after offended Orthodox believers lodged a complaint with prosecutors, a sharp reminder of the cultural pitfalls that foreign companies face when doing business abroad.

Hoping to tap into a growing tide of patriotism, the U.S. beverage giant had placed pictures of religious sites together with its logo on fridges in kiosks and shops in Nizhny Novgorod, the country’s third-biggest city.

In mid-December, a group of Orthodox believers sent an angry letter to the Nizhny Novgorod prosecutor’s office, the local bishop and the regional governor complaining about the promotion, which it claimed was blasphemous.

Some images, the authors of the letter said, portrayed religious sites upside down, including the cross. An inverted cross is said to represent a mockery of the Christian cross.

“In line with our internal policy of responsible marketing … we have decided to withdraw the images of religious objects and not to use them in the future,” Coca-Cola spokeswoman Yana Guskova said Tuesday.

Guskova maintained that the promotion had not intended to cause offense.

“This was an initiative using famous Russian historical sites and images to try to promote Russian cultural heritage and the idea that we need to preserve it,” she said.

All the pictures contain an outline of a Coca-Cola bottle with a photograph of a local religious site, such as a cathedral, captured inside it. The slogan “The Value of Tradition” runs up the side of the fridge, while the Coca-Cola logo dominates the other.

Orthodox church representatives said, however, that Coca-Cola had ridden roughshod over cultural sensitivities. “Large corporations have to take into account the local context, particularly the Christian context,” said Mikhail Prokopenko, spokesman for the Moscow Patriarchate. “[Coca-Cola] didn’t recognize the boundaries.”

The Orthodox protesters said in December that Coca-Cola should face formal charges for “inciting religious hatred.” But Prokopenko urged restraint, and said, “Both sides are at least now listening to each other, thank God.”

Irina Monakhova, a spokeswoman for the Nizhny Novgorod prosecutor’s office, said investigators were conducting an inquiry into the claims at the request of the residents and would make their findings known by the end of January.

Coca-Cola has run similar — but not so overtly religious — promotions with refrigerators in St. Petersburg, Ufa and Kazan without any problem, Guskova said.

Advertising slip-ups, while not uncommon, are often accidental in Russia, said Donald Tursman, creative director at the advertising agency TWBA in Moscow.

“In Russia, most clients are very conservative. They avoid drawing too much attention to their brands. It’s why most ads are bland and formulaic,” he said. “If there is even a chance that an ad will cause a stir, they won’t run it.”

In contrast, he said, some Western advertisers “intentionally run controversial ads because they know the media will talk about it.”(Moscow Times)
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Coke needs to realize that this is not America! I think that they got off easy this time.

Kyle & Svet

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Over ten years ago I met the most wonderful Russian woman in the world! What started as friends on the Internet per e-mails and text messages, became a dream come true for this American...

I moved to Russia nine years ago and have never, one time, in all those years, regretted that move to Russia. In fact, I have realized over the years that Russia is safe, incredibly fantastic and a wonderfully explicit country to live and travel in...

I have been lucky in many ways and meeting a normal Russian woman whose main goal is not to leave Russia, that was a blessing in disguise, as I was the one who had to make the hard decision to leave my country. It was a decision that I have never ever regretted and it also opened my eyes to a whole new world of ideas and thinking's...

So welcome to Windows to Russia and stay a spell, sip a cup of coffee...

(Svetlana and Kyle)

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The US led "War on Terror" is an open ended vehicle by which any people on the face of the planet who do not agree with America may be targeted by covert Western forces using methods like drone strikes, social media instigated color revolutions, assassinations, death squads, 'humanitarian' bombing, sanctions and blockades. America forgets that during their much lauded 'War of Independence', THEY were the saboteurs
and terrorists...

The current activities and narratives of the USA are solely based on their egregious efforts to expand their hegemony, no matter who is 'right' and who is 'wrong'...

The Kiev regime using the word 'Terrorist' to describe 4 million of your own citizens who don't accept a government installed by a foreign power is a prime example. While the world debates semantics, thousands of men women and children die and millions are chased away from their homes and nobody cares...

kKEETON

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