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Monthly Archives: May 2008

Russian News: May 23rd, 2008!

Russian News: May 23rd, 2008!

RBC, 23.05.2008, Moscow 14:52:43.The National Banking Board may review the Russian banking sector’s development strategy until 2020 in the fall of 2008, President of the Association of Regional Banks of Russia, State Duma deputy Anatoly Aksakov said during the association’s general annual meeting. If the board approves the strategy, the document will be almost mandatory for the authorities, Aksakov stated. A draft strategy has already been devised, and a working group to be headed by the association’s First Deputy President Alexander Khandruyev will be created to finalize it. The document is to be prepared before the beginning of the Sochi economic forum scheduled for September 2008. It must be in line with financial markets’ development strategy and provide for closing the 22-fold gap between the incomes of the rich and the poor, reducing inequality between Russia’s regions, and maintaining the country’s economic sovereignty, Aksakov noted.

RBC, 23.05.2008, Moscow 14:09:05.According to preliminary data, Russian producer prices grew 4.5 percent in April 2008 and 26.6 percent between January and April, the Russian Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) reported. As stated in the federal service’s document, the price of crude oil and associated gas jumped 9 percent and the price of natural gas and gas condensate rose 6 percent, while a 4.9-percent decline in prices was seen within the non-ferrous iron ore mining segment. Prices increased in the manufacturing sector (certain refined oil products), metallurgy and the chemical industry, while the price of electricity produced domestically slid 5.5 percent, and the price of electricity supplied to industrial consumers and agricultural producers dropped 1.4 percent.

RBC, 23.05.2008, Moscow 13:42:21.At today’s annual general meeting, NOVATEK shareholders approved the payment of RUB 1.52 (approx. USD 0.06) per share as dividend for 2007, one of the shareholders told RBC. Consequently, combined with an interim dividend of RUB 0.83 (approx. USD 0.04) paid for the first half of 2007, total dividend for the 2007 fiscal year will amount to RUB 2.35 (approx. USD 0.10) per common share. As reported earlier, NOVATEK paid RUB 1.10 (approx. USD 0.05) per common share for 2006, with the total payout, including interim dividend payments, amounting to RUB 5bn (approx. USD 212m).

RBC, 23.05.2008, London 13:15:36.Severstal has reached an agreement on the acquisition of up to 61.5 percent of African Iron Ore Group Ltd. (AIOG) shares, the Russian steel producer said in a press release today. AIOG’s subsidiaries have a license for conducting a geological survey at the Putu Range iron ore deposit in Liberia. In addition, Severstal is expected to buy a 6.29-percent stake in Mano River Resources Inc., which holds a controlling stake in AIOG. The Russian company is to pay $37.5m for the stake in AIOG, while the price of the second deal is estimated at GBP 2m (USD 3.9m). Both deals will be implemented through Severstal’s Dutch subsidiary Lybica Holding B.V.

RBC, 23.05.2008, Moscow 12:23:04.According to preliminary data, real disposable cash incomes of Russians grew 11.8 percent in January-April 2008 compared to the same month a year earlier, the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) said in a report today. The average monthly accrued wages climbed 28.1 percent to RUB 16,253 (approx. USD 689) in April 2008 against April 2007 and went up 28 percent in the first four months of 2008 compared to January-April 2007.

RBC, 23.05.2008, Moscow 12:03:25.Today’s session on the Russian stock market opened with a rise in most traded securities. On MICEX, the majority of stocks went up 0.5 percent on average within the first few minutes of trade. Meanwhile, Polyus Gold, Norilsk Nickel, and Gazprom Neft traded below yesterday’s close. However, the situation changed after the first 30 minutes of trade, as only Sberbank, Rosneft and Polyus Gold remained in positive territory. Most securities declined 0.5 percent on average and the RTS index was slightly down.

RBC, 23.05.2008, Moscow 11:12:00.Russia’s natural gas production rose 1.3 percent to 56.9bn cubic meters in April 2008 compared to the same month a year earlier, the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) reported today. Meanwhile, gas output fell 4.4 percent in April against the previous month.

RBC, 23.05.2008, Moscow 11:01:54.Russia’s retail trade grew 13.2 percent to roughly RUB 1.058 trillion (approx. USD 44.9bn) in April 2008 compared to the same month a year earlier, the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) reported today. The figure edged up 0.3 percent in April compared to March.

RBC, 23.05.2008, Moscow 10:53:14.Russia’s oil and gas condensate production inched down 0.7 percent to 39.7m tonnes in April 2008 compared to the same month a year earlier, the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) reported today. Oil output shrank 3.6 percent in April compared to March.

RBC, 23.05.2008, Moscow 10:32:04.According to preliminary data, Russia’s fixed investment grew 20.3 percent to RUB 529.6bn (approx. USD 22.5bn) in January-April 2008 compared to the same months a year earlier, the Federal State Statistics Service reported today. In April alone, fixed investment went up 2.2 against March.

RBC, 23.05.2008, Moscow 09:55:07.Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is expected to arrive in Minsk today. As part of his visit, Putin will take part in the meeting of the heads of government of CIS member states. Moreover, the Russian PM intends to meet one-on-one with his Ukrainian counterpart Yulia Timoshenko, who will be chairing the meeting the the commonwealth’s Prime Ministers. The chairmanship will be handed over to Belarus during this meeting.

RBC, 23.05.2008, Moscow 09:28:15.Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will today begin his official visit to the People’s Republic of China. He is visiting China at the invitation of the country’s President Hu Jintao. At the talks in Beijing, the leaders intend to discuss cooperation in the nuclear industry, fuel and energy, and investment. Particular attention will be paid to the matter of state support of banking institutions and mechanisms. Moreover, such issues will be considered as collaboration in civil aviation, migration, and environment.

RBC, 22.05.2008, Kiev 19:31:06.Whether to increase the capacity of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium or not is to be resolved by the end of May 2008, Deputy Energy and Mineral Resources Minister of Kazakhstan Lyazat Kiinov told an energy forum in Kiev today. He added that the issue had been settled in principle, and shareholder approvals were expected in the near future. He regretted that there had been no serious discussions of linking the Caspial pipeline project to the Odessa-Brody pipeline. This would require an additional leg of 150 kilometers, including across the Russian territory. For this, in turn, Russia’s agreement would be needed. Yet, this link is approved, there would be no difficulty in finding enough oil to load the Oddessa-Brody pipeline, the Deputy Minister assured. According to Kiinov, the Caspian pipeline would be able to carry some 67m tonnes of oil, of which some 37m tonnes could be bound via the Ukrainian route.

RBC, 22.05.2008, Moscow 16:32:35.The government board is to consider on Monday a reduction in the tax burden for the oil industry, a source close to the cabinet told journalists today. The bills are to be introduced to the State Duma during the spring session. The matter of the extension of a tax holiday to several Russian regions, as well as methods of calculation of oil production will also be reviewed during the session, the source said.

RBC, 22.05.2008, Tbilisi 14:58:07.International observers from the CIS, who monitored Georgia’s parliamentary election on Wednesday, have named it democratic. Although there have been some violations, they cannot affect the election results, the observers said in a statement today. They also noted that Georgia had created all necessary conditions for monitoring the election.

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Posted by on May 23, 2008 in Russia

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Russia: What Is Minimum Wage?

MOSCOW (Moscow News) – The minimum wage per month in the capital (Moscow) is to come to 10, 900 rubles by the end of 2010. Currently the minimum wage in the city is 6,800 rubles. After September 1, it will be 7,500 rubles.

Additionally, pensions in the capital are to exceed the cost of living by the end of 2009, Igor Antonov, the chairman of the budget and finance committee of Moscow State Duma, said.
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That in American Dollars: (at exchange of 23.5 rubles per dollar)

Per Month:
6800 rubles = $290 (now)
7500 rubles = $319 (Sept.1st 2008)
10,900 rubles = $464 (2010)

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

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Posted by on May 23, 2008 in Russia

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Russia & Ukraine: Like Two Kids!

Hello,

Now this statement could cause some fun times in the future:

The head of the State Duma committee on CIS affairs, Alexei Ostrovsky, said in April that Russia could reclaim the Crimea if Ukraine was admitted to NATO. Media reported that President Vladimir Putin issued a similar threat during a closed-door speech to NATO leaders at the Bucharest Summit earlier in April.

Now lets have tea!

Posted by Kyle Keeton
Windows to Russia…

 

 

Posted by on May 22, 2008 in Russia

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Russia: What Is President Medvedev Doing?

Russia: What Is President Medvedev Doing?


Hello,

Yesterday I wondered what Prime Minister Putin was up to. So today while I was drinking my coffee I thought that I would see what the President of Russia Medvedev is doing!

1. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is expected to discuss space exploration and military cooperation with his Kazakh counterpart, Nursultan Nazarbayev, during his first trip abroad as president on May 22-23. Medvedev’s visit to Kazakhstan will be followed by a two-day trip to China, during which the countries will sign a number of documents, including a joint declaration on key international issues.

2. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said he will hold one-on-one talks with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy during the G8 summit in Japan in July.

3. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called for reforms in Russia’s judicial system to prevent bribery and corruption, and make the courts truly independent.

4. Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev signed an order on May 14 allowing Manchester United and Chelsea fans holding tickets for the final at Luzhniki Stadium to enter the country without visas.

5. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visits the 54th Strategic Missile Division deployment area.

6. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s successful start suggests that we should expect many and substantial reforms soon, and they are badly needed. Corruption cannot continue like this if the Russian state is to stay manageable. Long-prepared reforms for education, health care and pensions are urgent. The country’s infrastructure must be extended and renewed. The government can no longer afford not to reform as it did for the past five years. There is new hope for Russia.

Looks like Medvedev is being the President of Russia……

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

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Posted by on May 22, 2008 in Russia

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Russia: United Won Championship ,(Looks Like Moscow Won Also!)

Russia: United Won Championship ,(Looks Like Moscow Won Also!)
Hello,

I see United Won the football game & Moscow is still here :) No beer & vodka left though….
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Almost three hours after the opening whistle sounded, United goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar dove to his right to push Nicolas Anelka’s penalty wide, and the Manchester United squad erupted into celebration.

In the stands, the United fans went wild, their 2,000-kilometer trip across Europe to Moscow having been rewarded with a victory in the Champions League final.
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Seems that all went well & everyone had a good time!

Kyle & Svet

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Posted by on May 22, 2008 in Russia

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Russia: What Is Putin Doing!

Hello,

I was drinking my morning cup of coffee & thinking about what Putin is doing now that he is not President anymore!

1. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin approved on Tuesday the country’s largest spending project since the Soviet collapse, a $570 billion program to overhaul and expand the country’s transportation infrastructure over the next seven years.

2. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Thursday announced the creation of a new executive body that he said would inject efficiency into the unwieldy government machine. The new body, called the presidium, will comprise Putin’s seven deputies and seven other ministers and meet once a week, in a routine reminiscent of Putin’s weekly Monday meetings with key ministers in the Kremlin. The entire Cabinet will convene at least once a month, Putin said.

3. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin urged his government on Tuesday to give Russia a modern fleet of ships for its flourishing energy sector and named his close ally, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, to manage the multibillion-dollar project.

Looks like he is busy being a Prime Minister….

Kyle & Svet

PS: Tomorrow we will see what President Medvedev is doing!

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Posted by on May 21, 2008 in Russia

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A Quick Look At Russia!

Hello,

In the last few days in Russia there have been interesting tidbits of information.

1. Vodka is on the decline by 2%….. but the catch is that champagne and sparkling wines are up 16%, cognac production increased 19.6% and the output of low alcohol drinks (beer) doubled.

2. An Estonian court said Monday the trial of a 88-year-old WWII veteran and Hero of the Soviet Union on charges of genocide is due to start on May 20 in the town of Kardla in the country’s western island of Hiiumaa. Meri is a cousin of the late former Estonian president Lennart Meri.

3. The British are Coming! Roughly 7,000 police officers and interior military were attracted to ensure order in the city. The police will be wherever the fans are, Over 50,000 Britain’s fans are expected to arrive for the final match of the UEFA Champions League that Manchester United and Chelsea will play in Moscow May 21. (Today)

4. A 58-kilometer (36-mile) long pipeline to the Yury Korchagin oil and gas field, located in the Russian sector of the Caspian Sea has been completed.

5. Russia has been ranked 131 out of 140 countries & the USA ranked 97 out of 140 in the Global Peace Index, an annual study of how peaceful countries are, both domestically and internationally. (Sounds like the USA and Russia are not very peaceful)

So that is about it… Oh yes the weather for the UEFA Champions League is terrible. Rain, rain and more rain.

Kyle & Svet

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Posted by on May 21, 2008 in Russia

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Russian News: 05-20-2008

Russian News: 05-20-2008

RBC, 20.05.2008, Moscow 09:58:13.The Executive Board of the international special-purpose entity (SPE) Trans-Balkan Pipeline B.V. has resolved 10 out of 12 issues regarding the implementation of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project during its first ever meeting held in Amsterdam on May 15, head of the Executive Board, the company’s President Sergei Vinnichenko told RBC on Monday. Among the most important matters he named the agreement in principle of the board’s members to raise the company’s initial budget (currently set at EUR 5.8m), depending on the future need for additional funding to make a feasibility study. The existing budget is not enough to launch the project, Vinnichenko said, adding that the required figure would only be determined after talks with the potential contractor on the feasibility study, which had yet to start.

RBC, 20.05.2008, Moscow 09:23:49.Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will hold a meeting on the development of Russia’s transportation system in 2010-2015 in Sochi today, the government’s press office reported. The PM is also expected to visit the “Transport in Russia Ч 2008″ international exhibition.

RBC, 19.05.2008, Moscow 19:44:51.The Board of Directors of Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), Russia’s mobile services provider, recommended that the company’s shareholders approve nearly RUB 29.581bn (approx. USD 1.24bn) as the total dividend payment for 2007, which is 1.5 times more than in 2006, the company’s official documents show. Hence, the dividend per share is recommended at RUB 14.84 (approx. USD 0.622). MTS’s President Leonid Melamed stated earlier that he expected the dividend payment to top USD 1bn, in line with the dividend policy that the company adopted in 2007.

RBC, 19.05.2008, Moscow 19:19:19.At their meeting today, Gazprom’s Chairman Alexei Miller, and Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan and Prime Minister Tigran Sargsian agreed to sign a mid-term gas supply contract. Until January 2009, Armenia will be buying Russian gas at $110 per 1,000 cubic meters. By 2011, the countries expect Armenia (as well as Russia’s domestic consumers) to pay European-level prices, Gazprom’s press office reported.

RBC, 19.05.2008, Moscow 15:28:45.Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia’s Board of Directors has recommended that its shareholders approve a dividend of RUB 30 (approx. USD 1.26) per common share for 2007, the corporation stated today. The total payout will amount to roughly RUB 33.712m (approx. USD 1.414m), while net profit reached some RUB 130.071m (approx. USD 5.46m) in 2007.

RBC, 19.05.2008, Moscow 14:47:57.Two and a half hours before the close of today’s special dollar trading session for tomorrow deals, the high on deals remained unchanged at 23.80 RUB/USD, while the low on deals fell RUB 0.04 to 23.69 RUB/USD. Meanwhile, the weighted average exchange rate stood at 23.71 RUB/USD, RUB 0.01 lower than the official rate set by the Bank of Russia for May 20. The current developments on MICEX can be attributed to the dollar’s decline against the euro on international exchanges. The latter is now trading at some USD 1.5590, up from roughly USD 1.5570 in the morning.

RBC, 19.05.2008, Moscow 13:44:17.A council for the fight against corruption will be established in Russia, and will be chaired by the country’s leader, the President’s Chief-of-Staff Sergei Naryshkin reported following an anti-corruption meeting with the President today. Naryshkin was also quoted by the Mayak radio station as saying that it had been decided to form an interdepartmental group for the fight against corruption, to be headed by himself. According to the Chief-of-Staff, Dmitry Medvedev had charged the participants of the meeting to prepare a national plan for countering corruption. In turn, Russia’s General Prosecutor Yury Chaika added that the plan would be approved by a presidential decree.

RBC, 19.05.2008, Moscow 12:26:36.Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC) carried out the first flight of the Sukhoi SuperJet-100 (SSJ-100) Russian regional jet in Komsomolsk-on-Amur today, the company’s press office told RBC. The plane was in the air for one hour and five minutes, reached the altitude of roughly 1,200 meters, and landed safely. The flight was preceded by a variety of trials, as all systems were tested on the ground.

RBC, 19.05.2008, Moscow 09:58:38.Russia has won first place in the ice hockey World Championship, beating Canada 5-4 in the final match. This is Russia’s first “gold” since 1993, when the current Russian chief coach Vyacheslav Bykov played for the Russian team. This was also the first ever game, in which Russia played versus Canada in the World Championship finals.

RBC, 19.05.2008, Moscow 09:24:42.A Russian delegation will resume multilateral consultations in Geneva on Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), which will last until the end of the month. It is expected that the delegation will be led by head of the Russian Economy Ministry’s trade negotiations department Maxim Medvedkov. As part of the preparation of the final document, Russia will discuss with its key trade partners such systemic issues as customs and technical regulation, protection of intellectual property rights, and state support of agricultural producers. The major issue that has yet to be agreed upon with the US and the Cairns Group (an interest group of agricultural exporting countries) is the size of agricultural subsidies.

RUSSIA

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree on measures to counter corruption, the Kremlin said on Monday

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has appointed Arkady Dvorkovich sherpa in the Group of Eight industrialized nations, and also reappointed four officials as heads of presidential administration departments, the Kremlin said on Monday

* Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin issued instructions on Monday to assess and check foreign trade contracts in the agricultural sphere for their compliance with the country’s interests

* Russia’s new Voronezh-type radar site in the southern town of Armavir will be put on combat duty in February 2009, the commander of the Russian Space Forces said

* Russia’s Maria Sharapova once again heads the rating list of the Women Tennis Association after the former World No. 1, Justine Henin of Belgium, announced she was quitting tennis last week

* Dmitry Medvedev has appointed Sergei Ushakov as a presidential adviser, the Kremlin press service said on Monday

* Irina Khakamada, a well-known Russian opposition figure, told RIA Novosti on Monday that she had quit politics

* The first charter planes carrying Manchester United and Chelsea supporters have arrived in Moscow as the Russian capital gears up to host the first all- English final in the history of Europe’s most prestigious club competition

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will head an anti-corruption council to be set up in Russia in the near future, Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Naryshkin said after a presidential conference

* Agricultural experts have detected bird flu antibodies in migratory birds in southern Siberia, Russia’s agricultural watchdog said in a statement Monday

* A Tajik national in possession of over 5 kg (11 lbs) of heroin has been detained near Moscow’s Kazansky railway station, a police source said

* Russia’s new Superjet 100 medium-haul passenger airliner made its first test flight on Monday, a spokesman for manufacturer Sukhoi Civil Aircraft said

* A new round of bilateral and multilateral talks on Russia’s bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) will begin in Geneva on Monday, Russia’s chief delegate to the talks said

* Eighteen people including 15 Russians were injured when a tourist bus crashed in Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, a spokesman for the local emergencies service said on Monday

WORLD

* During a meeting with the UN envoy to Afghanistan on Monday Iran’s president said that foreign intervention in Afghanistan would not solve the problems in the country

* The government of Kosovo has adopted a law on public holidays in the “world’s newest state”, Serbia’s Tanyug news agency reported

* An Estonian court said the trial of a 88-year-old WWII veteran and Hero of the Soviet Union on charges of genocide is due to start on May 20 in the town of Kardla in the country’s western island of Hiiumaa

* The cost of damage from Myanmar’s Cyclone Nargis, which hit the Southeast Asian country over two weeks ago, has been assessed at over $10 billion, national media said on Monday, citing Myanmar Foreign Minister Nyan Win

* Kazakhstan has banned the export of petroleum products in a bid to stem price growth on the domestic market, Prime Minister Karim Masimov said on Monday

* The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will donate 135 million euros to support international efforts to clean up the territory of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the bank said on Monday

* Russia’s national ice hockey team beat Canada 5-4 in overtime in the final of the 2008 IIHF World Championship in Canada to become world champions for the first time in 15 years

* The Ukrainian government plans to involve the international community in an investigation into a mineral license scandal concerning a U.S. oil company, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said

* Another two Russian aircraft will deliver humanitarian aid to southwest China, which was devastated by an earthquake May 12, the Russian Emergencies Ministry said

* Georgia and its breakaway republic of Abkhazia have drawn up a plan to resolve their long-running conflict, a Russian business daily reported

* Eight people have been killed and nine injured in two terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, the country’s interior and defense ministries announced on Monday

* Some 200 relief workers have been buried in landslides over the past three days in China’s quake-hit province of Sichuan, the Xinhua news agency reported on Monday

* A group of Syrian military officials arrived in Moscow on Monday to discuss prospects for bilateral military and technical cooperation, a Russian Air Force spokesman said

BUSINESS

* Novatek said on Monday its net profit calculated to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) grew 80%, year on year, in January-March 2008 to 7.5 billion rubles ($315 million)

* Severstal, Russia’s top steelmaker, said on Monday it had signed an agreement to buy 100% of U.S.-based WCI Steel’s shares for $140 million

* Russia’s crude exports declined 3.3% year-on-year in the first quarter to 61.1 million metric tons (448 million barrels), the country’s top statistics body said on Monday

* Russia’s largest steel producer Severstal is set to issue $1.5 billion in Eurobonds and could invest the funds in buying U.S. steelmaker Esmark, business daily Vedomosti reported

* The European Union said it had cleared the joint venture between SolVin, owned by the Solvay Group, BASF, and the Russian energy giant Gazprom’s Sibur

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Posted by on May 20, 2008 in Russia

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Russian Health Care!

Russian Health Care!

Hello,

I was drinking my morning cup of coffee later than usual today, I had to undergo some tests for my cardiologist and I have more tests to come in the next few weeks. As I was drinking my coffee I thought about how fantastic the health care is here in Moscow.

I have an insurance plan that costs me $500 per year. (Yes, per year : not per month!) It is not a plan from America, but a Russian health plan.

I have a cardiologist, a regular doctor (therapist), a dentist, a doctor for pain, a doctor for arthritis & in fact, a doctor for any issue that I need. These doctors are all women, no men. In Russia the medical field is dominated by women.

In America one trip to the cardiologist was $500. I had 6 heart attacks before I came to Russia & it was a concern of mine, about health care. Everything that I read was about how terrible the health care is in Russia.

I am here to tell you that if I had the cardiologist in America that I do now (in Russia), I may have not suffered 5 more heart attacks. I feel that if I had a cardiologist that cared about me, instead of did I have insurance (I did) & how fast can we get you out of the hospital! I would have been better off.
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My first heart attack was while driving to work. I drove myself to a hospital and was released in two hours after a cardiologist said: “It is all in his head!” Two weeks later I drove myself to another hospital, to find that I had a blockage of my LAD or *widow maker of 98 percent!

*(A widow maker is a nickname used to describe a highly stenotic left main coronary artery or proximal left anterior descending coronary artery of the heart. This term is used because if the artery gets completely occluded it will cause a massive heart attack that will likely lead to death.)

To make a long story short, I had a stent put in the second time and the following 4 trips to the hospital, I ended up with 5 more stents being put in for a total of 6 stents.**

**(In medicine, a stent is a tube that is inserted into a natural conduit of the body to prevent or counteract a disease-induced localized flow constriction.)

Out of 6 trips to the hospital I drove myself 5 times & rode the ambulance once. The insurance that I had, refused to pay for the ambulance ride? ($3867)

The total bills of all my heart fun times came to over $1,000,000.
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The health care in Russia has been fantastic, Now I have a group of doctors that take all the time that is needed and they run any test that is needed. They never make you feel like you are a burden all for $500 a year……

Kyle & Svet

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Posted by on May 19, 2008 in Russia

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Russia: Moscow Getting Very Expensive To Rent Property!

Hello,

Just found a tidbit of information about renting office space in Moscow….
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Rent in Moscow business centers had skyrocketed. According to consultants Cushman & Wakefield & Stiles & Riabokobylko, the average cost for 1 sq. m. of class-A office space, not counting VAT, services and other charges, rose within the Garden Ring rose from $1000 in March to $1200 in April, up 75 percent in one year, and 20 percent in one month, that is 14 times more than the official inflation rate for that month of 1.2 percent. C&W&S&R say that Moscow has passed Paris in the rating of expensive office rentals, and may exceed London by 2010.
In the first quarter of this year, total office space in Moscow reached 7.31 million sq. m., almost 60 percent of which is in the Central District. Rent is rising is other parts of the city as well. Rent in Moscow City rose 40 percent in a year to $1340 per sq. m. in April. There is also high demand for office space in the northern bedroom neighborhoods, although rent there has increased only 1 percent in a year, to $600 per sq. m. In London, Europe’s most expensive capital, prices in the Western part of the city, the section favored by large corporations, are rising by 2-5 percent annually.

The situation in Moscow is due to reduced new construction in the center of the city. While it was planned to build 155,000 sq .m. of new office space in the first quarter of this year, much less than that was built. Furthermore, city officials have banned the building of new office space in the center. Until 2009, only projects begun before the moratorium will be completed. Olga Yasko of Colliers International said that 377,000 sq. m. of new office space were made available in 2007. This year, 429,000 sq. m. are planned, and next year 524,000 sq. m. will be made ready. The financial crisis has forced up the cost of credit for developers from 10-11 percent to 18 percent annually, which is also reflected in the prices.
www.kommersant.com
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Leaves me out of the office renting game.

Kyle & Svet

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Posted by on May 19, 2008 in Russia

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Russia Says: Lets Work Together On The Litvinenko Case!

Not the kind of Tea that is healthy!

Hello,

Looks like Litvinenko is a issue again.
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18/05/2008 16:03 MOSCOW, May 18 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Sunday it was prepared to cooperate with Britain in investigating the case of poisoned defector Alexander Litvinenko after London lifted its unfounded accusations.

Former Russian security service officer Litvinenko died of radioactive poisoning in London in November 2006. London accused Russia’s security services of their complicity in Litvinenko’s death.

“We are ready for cooperation and interaction with them [British security services] but the first step should be made by Britain. We expect them to apologize for unfounded accusations as we are absolutely uninvolved in what they accuse us,” Viktor Komogorov, head of the FSB operative information and international relations service said.

A large amount of radioactive polonium-210 was found in the Russian security service defector’s body, but the British authorities have not yet made public any official document specifying the exact cause of his death or the results of the autopsy.

Litvinenko was fired from the FSB (formerly the KGB) following a 1998 press conference in which he and a number of other FSB officers alleged that they had been ordered to murder and kidnap a number of high-profile figures.

London has requested the extradition of its chief suspect in the Litvinenko case, Russian businessman and MP Andrei Lugovoi. Moscow has refused to extradite the former Kremlin security guard, saying its Constitution does not permit this.

Lugovoi, who met with Litvinenko in London before the ex-FSB officer fell ill, denies any involvement and says Litvinenko tried to recruit him for the British Intelligence Service (MI6).

The dispute has led to a dramatic deterioration in relations between London and Moscow, including tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats and the closure of two British Council offices in Russia.

Litvinenko received British citizenship in 2006 and published two books in the U.K. alleging the involvement of the Russian security services in a series of apartment bombings in Russia in 1999.
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I think that Britain needs to open up on this one, admit any mistakes & get coordination with Russia!

Kyle & Svet

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Posted by on May 18, 2008 in Russia

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Russia: Lots Of Smoke!

Russia: Lots Of Smoke!


Hello,

Big Fire could be seen from our Balcony. I couldn’t get the camera out in time to get the flames but it sure made lots of black smoke. This fire was about 5 km away…..
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http://en.rian.ru/russia/20080517/107646166.html

MOSCOW, May 17 (RIA Novosti) – A fire has broken out at an electric substation in south-east Moscow, but the transformer involved was not connected to the power grid and the work of the substation will not be affected, said a representative of the Federal Grid Company.

“Repair work is taking place at the substation, during which new equipment is being tested. A new transformer, not connected to the power grid, was being tested and a fire broke out. This will not affect the work of the substation itself,” said Olga Kindyashova.

The alarm concerning a fire on the territory of the substation was raised at 5:20 p.m. Moscow time (13:20 GMT).

There are no reports of injuries.

Firefighters are at the scene. The fire has been classed as a level ‘two’, with the maximum being five.
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It smelled the whole are up..(Yuck!)

Kyle & Svet

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Posted by on May 18, 2008 in Russia

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U.S.A.: Has Racial Problems?

Population of the USA will change drastically in the future!

Hello,

I thought Russia was the only country with racial problems……

Never dreamed that there is racial problems in the USA. I lived there 47 years and saw it all. Now The UN is going to investigate these problems. (I do not think that the USA cares what the UN thinks!)
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U.N. racism investigator to visit U.S. from Monday
Fri May 16, 2008 2:48pm EDT

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA (Reuters) – A special U.N. human rights investigator will visit the United States this month to probe racism, an issue that has forced its way into the race to secure the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

The United Nations said Doudou Diene would meet federal and local officials, as well as lawmakers and judicial authorities during the May 19-June 6 visit.

“The special rapporteur will…gather first-hand information on issues related to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,” a U.N. statement said on Friday.

His three-week visit, at U.S. government invitation, will cover eight cities — Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Omaha, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Race has become a central issue in the U.S. election cycle because Sen. Barack Obama, the frontrunner in the battle for the Democratic nomination battle, stands to become the country’s first African American president.

His campaign has increased turnout among black voters but has also turned off some white voters in a country with a history of slavery and racial segregation.

Diene, a Senegalese lawyer who has served in the independent post since 2002, will report his findings to the U.N. Human Rights Council next year.

However, the United Nations has almost no clout when it comes to U.S. domestic affairs and is widely perceived by many as interfering. The United States is not among the 47 member states of the Geneva-based forum, but has observer status.

In a report last year he said Islamophobia had grown worldwide since the September 11 2001 attacks on the United States, carried out by al-Qaeda militants.

DEATH PENALTY

A U.N. panel which examined the U.S. record on racial discrimination last March urged the United States to halt racial profiling of Americans of Arab, Muslim and South Asian descent and to ensure immigrants and non-nationals are not mistreated.

It also said America should impose a moratorium on the death penalty and stop sentencing young offenders to life in prison until it can root out racial bias from its justice system.

Racial minorities were more likely than whites to be sentenced to death or to life without parole as juveniles, according to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It monitors compliance with an international treaty which Washington ratified in 1994.

U.S. officials told the body, made up of 18 independent experts, that they were combating hate crimes such as displays of hangman’s nooses and police brutality against minorities.

Some 800 racially motivated incidents against people perceived to be Arab, Muslim, Sikh or South Asian had been investigated since the September 11 attacks, they said at the time.

Substantial progress had been made over the years in addressing disparities in housing, education, employment and health care, according to a U.S. report submitted to the talks.
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Now it is not just Russia everyone points the finger at. My country gets a taste of what they give Russia all the time……….

Never Dreamed….. “racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia”

Kyle

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Posted by on May 18, 2008 in Russia

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Russian News: May 16th, 2008!

Russian News: May 16th, 2008!

RBC, 16.05.2008, Moscow 11:53:03.After an hour and a half of today’s special dollar trading session for tomorrow deals, the weighted average exchange rate stood at 23.84 RUB/USD. The official rate for May 17-19 could therefore be revised RUB 0.01 lower. Considering that the dollar, in contrast, climbed RUB 0.13 against the ruble over the two previous sessions, the latter currency has been able to recoup only some of that loss today. The current developments on MICEX can be attributed to the euro’s slight advance against the dollar on international exchanges. Meanwhile, commercial bank activity has been consistently high, and the trade volume amounted to USD 828m as of 11:30 a.m.

RBC, 16.05.2008, Moscow 11:20:38.Open Investments has set the offering price for its additional share issue at RUB 6,915 (approx. USD 289.9) per share, the investment and development company’s official documents state. The flotation was launched today, and the company is planning to place 1,692,252 shares with a par value of RUB 1,000 (approx. USD 41.93) each. The company’s shareholders can exercise preemptive right to acquire additionally issued shares in proportion to the amount of shares they already own.

RBC, 16.05.2008, Moscow 10:55:37.During an annual meeting, Evraz Group shareholders approved a dividend of $4.2 per common share and $1.4 per GDR for 2007, the company’s press office reported today. Therefore, the total payout for 2007 will amount to $9 per share and $3 per GDR, including interim dividend. The record date for the payment of dividend was set for May 14. In addition, the shareholders have appointed Ernst & Young as the company’s auditor.

RBC, 16.05.2008, Moscow 09:57:28.Russia has sent its first rescue crew of the Emergency Ministry to China to help the search and rescue operations which have been underway in the country after this week’s earthquake, the ministry’s press office said. The crew consists of 49 specialists, including 29 rescuers, 13 doctors and 3 psychologists. Yesterday, the ministry reported that two Il-76 transport planes were bound for China carrying 87 crew members and an airborne hospital. The second plane will take 38 people to China, including 28 doctors of the Emergency Ministry, and seven tonnes of medicines alongside the hospital facilities.

RBC, 15.05.2008, Moscow 16:55:31.According to preliminary estimates, Russia’s cash budget surplus reached some RUB 1.084 trillion (approx. USD 45bn) in January-April 2008, the Finance Ministry reported today. The primary surplus (excluding foreign debt repayments) amounted to nearly RUB 1.143 trillion (approx. USD 47.9bn). Budget revenue stood at roughly RUB 3.025 trillion (approx. USD 127bn), or 37.5 percent of the target for 2008, while cash budget spending totaled nearly RUB 1.941 trillion (approx. USD 81bn), or 26.2 percent of the amended target.

RBC, 15.05.2008, Moscow 15:29:51.The Russian government must present a draft federal budget for 2009-2011 to the State Duma in August 2008, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said during a cabinet meeting today. He stressed that the document needed to determine the country’s priorities and key macroeconomic objectives. It also must include exact and realistic estimates, as well as take into account the current trends in the global economy, Putin noted.

RBC, 15.05.2008, Moscow 14:07:19.Aeroflot – Russian Airlines’ net profit under RAS stood at RUB 1.336bn (approx. USD 56m) in the first quarter of 2008 against a RUB 1.15bn (approx. USD 48m) loss a year before, Russia’s flagship air carrier reported. As reported earlier, Aeroflot’s annual net profit fell 23.89 percent to RUB 6.074bn (approx. USD 255m) in 2007 compared to a year earlier.

RBC, 15.05.2008, Moscow 10:49:44.Mongolia’s President Nambaryn Enkhbayar will pay a working visit to Moscow on May 15-18. During a meeting with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev scheduled for Friday, the two Presidents are expected to discuss a large number of issues regarding bilateral relations, as well as exchange opinions on international and regional problems of mutual interest, the Russian leader’s press office reported today.

RBC, 15.05.2008, Moscow 13:52:56.Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has put forward a proposal at today’s cabinet meeting to set up a government board. The board is required to enhance the government’s efficiency and flexibility, as it is obvious that government meetings are a slow and bureaucratic process, the Prime Minister said. The board will include Deputy Prime Ministers and some ministers. Government meetings are to be held at least once a month, and all current issues would be resolved by the government board weekly, with particular ministers invited to attend.

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Posted by on May 16, 2008 in Russia

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Russia: Save The Gazelles!

Russia: Save The Gazelles!

Russia Today:
Several kilometers of Russia’s border with Mongolia will be without fencing for a while to let some 100,000 gazelles move north. Years of drought have forced them to migrate to the Russian side of the border and, in doing so, many gazelles got tangled up in barbed wire and died.

The animals are heading for the Russia’s Daursky Nature Reserve in search of food and water.

Many of the trapped gazelles died from injuries and thirst, and conservationists feared an environmental disaster. But now several segments of the fence have been temporarily dismantled to allow the animals through.

The Nature Reserve staff are busy saving the gazelles by helping them to get out of the “traps” and disinfecting their wounds. Drinking bowls for the animals have also been installed at the scene.
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I wondered what they where going to do about this problem. I am glad to see that they have removed the fences.

Kyle & Svet

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Posted by on May 15, 2008 in Russia

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Russia: Gazprom Is Going To Be Richer!

Gazprom Presented with 1/3 of Nation’s Gas Reserve

Before Dmitry Medvedev’s inauguration, Russia’s gas monopoly Gazprom had received a generous farewell gift from him. With no tender whatsoever, the monopoly obtained a third of gas fields of the federal reserve with the total resources of nearly 4 trillion cu meters. Gazprom’s wealth will step up by 13 percent as a result of that present.

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Posted by on May 15, 2008 in Russia

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Russia: LADA, A Russian Car!

Russia: LADA, A Russian Car!

Hello,

I was drinking my morning cup of coffee & thinking about another car that I really like here in Russia.

The LADA:

The LADA is a trademark of AvtoVAZ, a Russian car manufacturer in Togliatti, (Samara Oblast or province). The name replaced the original Zhiguli brand, because of phonetic resemblance of Zhiguli to Gigolo, which hampered exports. Lada made its name in Western Europe selling the Lada Riva as an economy car in large quantities during the 1980s, but subsequent models have not enjoyed the same success.

The common Lada sedan/estate series, known as the Classic in the west (Signet in Canada), is one of the most produced car models in history. The car was based on the 1966 Fiat 124 sedan. Since 1980, more than 13.5 million Lada Rivas have been built, and unknown millions were produced between 1969 and 1979 badged as 2101s – 2107s (depending on engine size and interior specifications). Lada has since ceased production of the Classic but the car is in production at another Russian car plant as well as being built under licence in other countries.

The Lada was widely exported throughout the world in the 80s and 90s (the US was the only large market not to have imported Ladas, but Canadian cars can be found there) and is unique in being the only car model that can be found on every continent, including Antarctica (where the Russian research base used Lada Nivas). The rugged design of the Lada Classic, which was built to cope with extreme Siberian climates[citation needed] and poor roads, meant that high mileages were possible under normal conditions (300,000 mls + on the same engine). Because of their economy and ease of service, Lada Classics are commonly used as police cars, taxis, and as a range of public service vehicles in many parts of Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean.

Models:

VAZ-2104: “Lada” (domestic name – “Zhighuli”) is variant of VAZ-2105 sedan. It is 5-seat 5-doors classic station wagon 4×2. Rear wheel drive. Suspension: front – A-arms, coil springs, rear – solid axle, leaf springs. Engine: VAZ-2105 type – gasoline (carburetor) 4 cylinders in line, ohc, displacement: 1,294 cc (3.1″x2.6″), compression ratio: 8.5:1, power: 64 hp @ 5,600 rpm., torque: 68 ft.-lb. @ 3,400 rpm. Gears: (old models – 4) 5, top speed 84 mph, acceleration 0 to 62 mph – 18.5 s. Brakes: front – disks, rear – drrums, with hydraulic control. Measures: LxWxH: 13’6″x5’3.8″x4’8.8″, wheel base: 7’11.4″. Track front/rear: 4’5.7″/4’4″. Trunk space: 13.2/47.3 cu. ft. Curb weight: 2,050 lbs. Max. towing ratio: 1,507 lbs. Tyres: 175/70R13S. Fuel tank: 11 gal.

VAZ-21043: is powered by VAZ-2103 type engine: gasoline (carburetor), 4 cylinders in line, ohc, displacement: 1,452 cc (2.99″x3.15″), compression ratio: 8.5:1, power: 71 hp @ 5,600 rpm., torque: 76 ft.-lb. @ 3,400 rpm. Top speed: 89 mph, acceleration 0 to 62 mph: 17 s.

Export variant VAZ-21044: is powered by VAZ-21073 type engine: gasoline (single-point injection) 4 cylinders in line, ohc, displacement: 1,690 cc (3.23″x3.15″), compression ratio: 9.3:1, power: 80 hp @ 5,200 rpm., torque: 83 ft.-lb. @ 3,200 rpm. Top speed: 91 mph, acceleration 0 to 62 mph: 17.5 s.

VAZ-21045: is powered by Barnaul’s diesel engine VAZ-341 type. Displacement: 1,524 cc (2.99″x3.31″), CR 23:1, power: 53 hp @ 4,800 rpm, torque: 68 ft.-lb. @ 2,500 rpm. Curb weight: 2,050 lbs, full weight: 2,964 lbs. Top speed: 78 mph. Acceleration 0 to 62 mph: 23 s. Stopping distance from 62 mph: 175′. Fuel economy: 45.2 mpg at 56 mph, 31.4 mpg at 75 mph, 37.9 mpg in the city.

VAZ-21047: is luxury variant of VAZ-21043 (with same stuff as VAZ-2107 has).

VAZ-21048: (s. 2000) is powered by Barnaul’s diesel engine VAZ-343 type. Displacement: 1,770 cc, power: 62.5 hp.

VAZ-2105: “Lada” (domestic name – “Zhighuli”) is a 5-seat 4-doors classic rear wheel drive sedan 4×2. Suspension: front – A-arms, coil springs, rear – solid axle, coil springs. VAZ-2105 type engine: gasoline (carburetor) 4 cylinders in line, ohc, displacement: 1,294 cc (3.1″x2.6″), compression ratio: 8.5:1, power: 64 hp @ 5,600 rpm., torque: 68 ft.-lb. @ 3,400 rpm. Gears: 4, top speed 90 mph, acceleration 0 to 62 mph – 18 s. Brakes: front – disks, rear – drums, with hydraulic control. Measures: LxWxH: 13’6.5″x5’3.8″x4’8.8″, wheel base: 7’11.4″. Track front/rear: 4’5.7″/4’4″. Trunk space: 12.9 cu.-ft. Curb weight: 2,194 lbs. Tyres: 175/70R13S. Fuel tank: 10.3 gal. Fuel economy: 32.2 mpg at 56 mph, 23 mpg at 75 mph and in a city.

VAZ-21051: is powered by VAZ-2101 type engine: gasoline (carburetor), 4 cylinders in line, ohc, displacement 1,198 cc (2.99″x2.6″), compression ratio 8.5:1, power 58.5 hp @ 5,600 rpm., torque 63 ft.-lb. @ 3,400 rpm. Top speed: 88 mph, acceleration 0 to 62 mph: 20 s. Fuel economy: 32.7 mpg at 56 mph, 24 mpg at 75 mph and 22.4 mpg in a city.

VAZ-21053: is powered by VAZ-2103 type engine: gasoline (carburetor), 4 cylinders in line, ohc, displacement: 1,452 cc (2.99″x3.15″), compression ratio: 8.5:1, power: 71 hp @ 5,600 rpm., torque: 76 ft.-lb. @ 3,400 rpm. . Top speed: 93 mph, acceleration 0 to 62 mph: 17 s. Fuel economy: 31.8 mpg at 56 mph, 22.6 mpg at 75 mph and 22.2 mpg in a city.

VAZ-21063: Zhighuli (Lada) Striking representative of cars – “Lada” (domestic name – “Zhighuli”) VAZ- 21063 (1976-2000). It originates from FIAT-124bis (1964-72). 21063 – 5-seat 4-door classic sedan 4×2. Suspension: front – A-arms, coil springs, rear – solid axle, coil springs. There are rear drive, gasoline (carburetor) engine : 4 cylinders in line, ohc, displacement 1,294 cc (3.1″x2.6″), compression ratio: 8.5:1, power: 63.5 hp @ 5,600 rpm., torque: 68 ft.-lb. @ 4,000 rpm. Gears: 4, top speed: 90 mph, acceleration 0 to 62 mph: 19 s. Brakes: front – disks, rear – drums, with hydraulic control. Stopping distance from 50 mph: 125′. Measures: LxWxH: 13’8″x5’4″x4’9″, wheel base: 7’11.4″. Track front/rear: 4’5.7″/4’4″. Maneuverability: turning circle 37′; groung clearance: 6.2″. Curb weight: 2,304 lbs. Tyres: 175/70R13S, pressure: 24/28 p.s.i. Fuel tank: 10.3 gal. Fuel economy: 22.6 mpg (highway, city cycle). Coefficient of drag (Cx)=0.45. Since 1998 is being produced by Roslada company.

VAZ-21061: Engine: VAZ-2103 type: gasoline (carburetor), 4 cylinders in line, ohc, displacement 1,451 cc (bore/stroke = 2.99/3.15″), compression ratio: 8.5:1, power: 71 hp @ 5,600 rpm., torque: 76 ft.-lb. @ 3,400 rpm. Gears: 4 or 5, top speed: 93 mph.

VAZ-21065: Engine: VAZ-2103 type: gasoline (carburetor), 4 cylinders in line, ohc, displacement 1,451 cc (bore/stroke = 2.99/3.15″), compression ratio: 8.5:1, power: 71 hp @ 5,600 rpm., torque: 76 ft.-lb. @ 3,400 rpm. Gears: 4 or 5, top speed: 93 mph.

VAZ-2107: “Lada” (s. 1981) (domestic name – “Zhighuli”) is a luxury variant of VAZ-2105 sedan. Visible differencies: front grill, hood, bumpers, tail lights, front seats. It is 5-seat 4-doors classic rear wheel drive sedan 4×2. Suspension: front – A-arms, coil springs, rear – solid axle, coil springs. Engine: VAZ-2103 type engine: gasoline (carburetor), 4 cylinders in line, ohc, displacement: 1,452 cc (2.99″x3.15″), compression ratio: 8.5:1, power: 71 hp @ 5,600 rpm., torque: 76 ft.-lb. @ 3,400 rpm. Gears: 5, top speed 93 mph, acceleration 0 to 62 mph – 17 s. Brakes: front – disks, rear – drums, with hydraulic control. Measures: LxWxH: 13’7.2″x5’3.8″x4’8.8″, wheel base: 7’11.4″. Track front/rear: 4’5.7″/4’4″. Trunk space: 12.9 cu.-ft. Curb weight: 2,070 lbs. Max. towing ratio: 1,206 lbs. Tyres: 175/70R13S. Fuel tank: 10.3 gal.

VAZ-21072: is powered by VAZ-2105 type engine: gasoline (carburetor) 4 cylinders in line, ohc, displacement: 1,294 cc (3.1″x2.6″), compression ratio: 8.5:1, power: 64 hp @ 5,600 rpm., torque: 68 ft.-lb. @ 3,400 rpm. Top speed: 90 mph, acceleration 0 to 62 mph: 18 s.

Export variant VAZ-21073-40: is powered by VAZ-21073 type engine: gasoline (single-point injection) 4 cylinders in line, ohc, displacement: 1,690 cc (3.23″x3.15″), compression ratio: 9.3:1, power: 80 hp @ 5,200 rpm., torque: 83 ft.-lb. @ 3,200 rpm. Top speed: 96 mph, acceleration 0 to 62 mph: 17 s.

VAZ-21074: is powered by VAZ-2106 type engine: gasoline (carburetor) 4 cylinders in line, ohc, displacement: 1,569 cc (3.11″x3.15″), compression ratio: 8.5:1, power: 75 hp @ 5,400 rpm., torque: 86 ft.-lb. @ 3,200 rpm. Top speed: 93 mph, acceleration 0 to 62 mph: 16 s.

VAZ-21079: is powered by VAZ-415 type engine: gasoline (carburetor) 2 section Wankel, displacement: 2,616 cc, compression ratio: 9.4:1, power: 140 hp @ 6,000 rpm., torque: 137 ft.-lb. @ 4,000 rpm. Top speed: 112 mph, acceleration 0 to 62 mph: 9 s. Length: 13’6.8″. Curb weight: 2,210 lbs.

Now this is a LADA!

http://www.lada-auto.ru/

Kyle & Svet

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Posted by on May 15, 2008 in Russia

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Russia: Moscow Planetarium Needs To Be Saved!

Russia: Moscow Planetarium Needs To Be Saved!

Hello,

I found this sad situation about a Planetarium in Moscow that seems to be loosing the battle to greedy people……
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Opened in 1929 the futuristic silver-domed Moscow Planetarium has been closed for repairs since 1994. Plans to reopen the landmark structure, shut shortly after the Soviet collapse, are mired in a years-long conflict for control over its real estate.

The conflict took a startling turn last week when staffers say about 20 uniformed men forced their way onto the grounds, beat an unarmed employee and proclaimed that a new boss was in charge.

The space-age cupola of the planetarium, which opened in 1929, embodied the Utopian dreams of a nation that saw science as the key to a glorious future.

Now it stands as a symbol of an era in which millions of Russians believe the good of society is routinely sacrificed to the commercial interests of bureaucrats and businessmen.

“It’s shameful,” said Anatoly Cherepashchuk, director of the Shternberg Astronomy Institute at Moscow State University. “It’s no good when for 14 years all of Moscow and society suffer because of some disagreement among businessmen.”

Link: To Article
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I am not sure why science has to take a back seat to money all the time……..

Science Definition:

The word science comes from the Latin “scientia,” meaning knowledge.

How do we define science? According to Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, the definition of science is “knowledge attained through study or practice,” or “knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, esp. as obtained and tested through scientific method [and] concerned with the physical world.”

What does that really mean? Science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge. This system uses observation and experimentation to describe and explain natural phenomena. The term science also refers to the organized body of knowledge people have gained using that system. Less formally, the word science often describes any systematic field of study or the knowledge gained from it.

What is the purpose of science? Perhaps the most general description is that the purpose of science is to produce useful models of reality.

Seems that Science helps make the world a better place…….

Kyle & Svet

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Posted by on May 14, 2008 in Russia

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Russia: Strong Government!

The new government appears to be the strongest in Russia’s modern history, State Duma Deputy Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin told journalists today, commenting on today’s new cabinet appointments. The new ministers are efficient and well-known for their work, which means that the government will tackle the problems faced by Russia and its society, Volodin said. He noted that the Industry and Energy Ministry’s split into two separate bodies proved that the development of Russia’s industrial potential was among the government’s priorities.

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Posted by on May 13, 2008 in Russia

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Russian News: 5-13-2008

Russian News: 5-13-2008

RBC, 13.05.2008, Moscow 15:54:30.Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has approved the division of responsibilities between his deputies, the government’s press office reported today. specifically, First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov is to deal with the matters of agriculture and the agribusiness sector. First Deputy PM Igor Shuvalov will oversee the government’s international economic policy, talks on Russia’s accession to the WTO, support for small businesses, and state property governance, among other things. Deputy PM and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin will be responsible for Russia’s social and economic development and monetary policy. Deputy PM Alexander Zhukov is expected to work on top priority national projects, Deputy PM Igor Sechin will deal with industry and energy issues, and Deputy PM, the government’s chief of staff Sergei Sobyanin is to oversee the efficiency of Russia’s executive bodies. Finally, Deputy PM Sergei Ivanov will be in charge of the government’s industry, defense, transportation, communications, and innovation policies.

RBC, 13.05.2008, St. Petersburg 15:20:18.Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin requested during today’s meeting on the development of shipbuilding in Russia that the most promising areas of the industry’s development be determined. He stressed that the construction of a new generation of ships and other marine equipment must be launched. It is necessary to focus efforts on projects that are vital for sustaining Russia’s defensive capacity or have a noticeable commercial potential, Putin said. The creation of the full range of marine equipment for the production and transportation of hydrocarbons on sea shelves is especially important, as offshore output of hydrocarbons alone is estimated at $80bn-$100bn per year in the world at large, Putin stated.

RBC, 13.05.2008, Moscow 14:52:07.Slightly over two and a half hours before the close of today’s special dollar trading session for tomorrow deals, the high on deals stood at 23.83 RUB/USD, which is RUB 0.11 higher than the official rate set by the Bank of Russia for the next day. As a result of the dollar’s further advance against the ruble, the spread on dollar deals has widened to RUB 0.14, or 0.6 percent. The current developments on the domestic market can be attributed to the euro’s unremitting recession against the US currency on international exchanges. Meanwhile, the weighted average exchange rate reached 23.77 RUB/USD and the trade volume has already exceeded USD 3.1bn at the UTS.

RBC, 13.05.2008, Moscow 11:42:30.After an hour and a half of today’s special dollar trading session for tomorrow deals, the weighed average exchange rate stood at 23.72 RUB/USD. The official rate for May 14 could therefore be revised RUB 0.11 lower. Combined with a RUB 0.05 loss on Monday, the dollar has tumbled a total of RUB 0.16, or 0.7 percent, against the ruble in two days. The current developments on the domestic market can be attributed to the dollar’s considerable depreciation against the European currency on international exchanges. The latter is now trading at around USD 1.5515, up from nearly USD 1.5385 at midday at the previous session. Consequently, the euro has edged up roughly 0.8 percent against the dollar on the global market since then. Meanwhile, commercial bank activity has been consistently high at the UTS, where the trade volume exceeded USD 867m as of 11:30 a.m., and the average deal size was fairly high at USD 3.6m.

RBC, 13.05.2008, Moscow 09:34:31.Moldova’s President Vladimir Voronin congratulated Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev on his inauguration, the press office of the Moldovan President has reported. In his address to Medvedev, Voronin said he was positive that the new President’s stance on key interior and foreign issues would work to foster Russia’s welfare and to provide decent living conditions to its citizens.

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Posted by on May 13, 2008 in Russia

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