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Windows to Russia

Sometimes you understand…

Sometimes when everything is going wrong you understand how little you can plan in your life.
Sometimes when you’ve done as much as you could but things are still going wrong you understand how little depends on you in the life.
Sometimes when Life wants you to get a new experience you can not say “No” and it does not matter if you want such experience or not.

So Kyle did not come on Friday, he is coming on Monday (4 a.m.) with a lot of stories and experiences – what maybe were not fun but will be useful for our dear readers.

With best wishes,
(Windows to Russia)


It’s Svet. I just got home after see off Kyle. Everything is OK here, we moved and finally got Internet working (one day later than we were promised). As you remember Kyle was leaving tonight for a visa trip to Kiev and we got Internet just 5 minutes before we left for the train. I promised Kyle to write a tiny post and tell you how we are doing. He told he would try to post something from Ukraine if it’s possible. He is going to be back in Moscow on Friday. So now all what we need a little more patience… and in few days we’ll see him again!

Best wishes for everyone!



This will be the last post for about two days. On Monday the new internet service is turned on at the new place. This is just an update post for all the readers and to let everyone know that we are not going to disappear for very long. Lets have a look at some pictures of the mess called moving…

Boza does not know what to make of all the mess…
(Boza has his bed with all his toys. The little green guy with white eyes is Boza’s buddy!)
Found a four leaf clover today – That means good luck (right?)…
We travel by surface train now to get to Moscow…
Boxes and plastic bags and plastic bags and…
The pile just gets bigger and bigger…

So until sometime Monday?

Windows to Russia!
comments always welcome.

PS: Anyone wanna help?

Auchan to push ahead with Russian expansion:
Leading international retailer, France based Auchan, says it is not planning to pare its Russian expansion plans with another 6 stores to open this year. RT spoke with Board Member of Auchan Russia, Ludovic Holinier.

New Bulava missile test results in failure – Russian military:
A scheduled test of Russia’s new Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) on July 15 was a failure, the Defense Ministry’s press service said on Thursday.

What the Russian papers say:
MOSCOW, July 16 (RIA Novosti)Russia tells OSCE not to mix Stalinism with Nazism / CSTO force could be deployed in south Kyrgyzstan / Georgia to withdraw from CIS this August / Stroytransgaz could sell stake in Algerian project to Rosneft

President Medvedev defends his European security proposal:
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday described as a mistake the attempts to detect “foul play” in Russia’s proposals for a new European security treaty.

Strasbourg court orders Russia to compensate Chechen family:
The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday ordered Russia to pay 50,000 euros ($70,200) in compensation to the relatives of a Chechen who was abducted in 2003.

Medvedev says Russia not jealous of Nabucco:
Russia is not jealous of the Nabucco natural gas pipeline project, President Dmitry Medvedev said at a joint news conference after talks with the German leader on Thursday.

Miss Moscow beauty pageant crowns winner:
Yelena Obraztsova, 25, took the crown at the Miss Moscow 2009 beauty pageant on July 15, beating fellow contestants who included school and university students, as well as graduates.

Russia air carrier hopes to win U.S. military cargo transit tender:
The Volga-Dnepr Group, Russia’s largest heavy air freight carrier, is planning to take part in the transit of U.S. military supplies to Afghanistan, the company said on Thursday.

Human rights activist’s murderers will be found – Medvedev:
The murder of Russian human rights activist, Natalya Estemirova, cast a shadow over the Russian-German talks. However, President Dmitry Medvedev said he is sure the murderers will be found.

Fines and plastic bullets await Georgian protesters:
Protesting against the ruling political regime in Georgia has become harder as the country’s parliament has adopted new legislation imposing tougher penalties and stronger bans on rallies.

ROAR: Medvedev reaches out to Muslims:
The Russian president has promised Muslim leaders to assist in developing Islamic education and building a mosque in Sochi and asked them to help in fighting extremism.


Today I had business at the American Embassy in Moscow, Russia. I was really looking forward to meeting and talking to a bunch of Americans. I was looking forward to seeing the Marines at the guard post station. (The sign said Marine Guard Post!) I was excited about talking to Americans and seeing some people that maybe had direct news from America…

Oops – I was wrong! (The Americans had disappeared.)

The two guards out front were, Russian. The guard inside the Marine Guard Post was, Russian. The first person that I met to ask directions in the building was – you guessed it – Russian. The young lady who took all my information was, Russian. I sat all alone for a half hour in a special waiting room and everyone (5 people) that came into the room to ask a question to me was, Russian. The young guy who called me into a meeting with someone of importance was – you guessed it – Russian. The person of importance was – A Winner Jackpot – an American!

How do I know for sure? Well I am that sort of guy who asks dumb questions like: Are you Russian or an American? This became a quest to see if I could find a born and raised American. (Other than me)

When I did find such individual he was no more informative than I. He had actually been in Russia a year longer than me (4 years) and said that he only follows sports from home anymore.

I will say though that everyone was very professional and polite. I had no problems and got done what I was there to do.

So after my communication and quest session was over, I packed up my papers and left through the Marine-less Guard Post… :)

Windows to Russia!
comments always welcome.

PS: I asked about the non Marines at the guard post, when they had a big sign that exclaimed it as such. I was told that they really do have Marines on the compound but they had other things to do…

To give credit due: The guards at the Consulate entrance were American. The Consulate entrance was packed with Russians getting paperwork done and such. The Embassy end was just little ol me… (maybe that is where all the Marines are!)

New Flat in Russia! This is some pictures of our new place in the Moscow Area of Russia. Moscow Area means not in Moscow City but in surrounding area. To travel to Moscow now we use a surface train, not a metro or subway anymore. So have a look at some of the pictures. But do not expect much as of now. We are still moving and have lots to do yet…

Below – Svetlana in the kitchen…

Below – The front hall…

Below – A bedroom is starting to take shape…

Below – The front hall the other way…

Below – The bathroom area… (cast iron tub)

Below – The front steel door from the inside…

Below – A look out the kitchen window…

I have big plans to beautify the front door by insulating and covering with a wood veneer to make it look like a real wood door. I do not like the normal door that Russians put up. Big vinyl covered, padded doors that cost a fortune. The door you see in the picture is what Russia applies as standard eguipment when building a new flat. So I am going to make the door beautiful. (I hope)

We have to get the rest of our stuff this Saturday moved in and then Boza the dog, gets to see his new home – Boza has not been told yet! :)

That is it for now…

Windows to Russia!
comments always welcome.

President of Russia Medvedev made a strong statement a week after Obama showed up and gave his disaster of a speech of change and what Russia needs to do! (Oops, I realize that Western press ranked Obama’s speech right up there with the 10 commandments of the bible for importance, but it really showed a lack of forethought.)

Medvedev gives his answer by going to South Ossetia: Russia supports South Ossetia and and will not change her mind. This meeting was to have been a Putin event but in lieu of Obama’s lackluster attempt at a speech in Russia. Medvedev made a surprise visit and sent waves of shock through out Georgia. Sassy the president of Georgia came out of his hole and proclaimed that Medvedev was really a bad dude for doing that. :)

“The political meaning of the visit was to demonstrate the firmness of Russia’s positions in the strategically important region,” said Oksana Goncharenko, expert at the Center of Political Conjuncture of Russia. It was also said that “Georgia will not have territorial integrity even if Obama says this 25 times,” by Markedonov, Head of Department at the Institute of Political and Military Analysis.

Obama repeated numerous times about what Russia should change: Maybe Medvedev is telling Obama to look at America first and make changes before he spouts off about other countries and their problems.

Obama, Russia does not heed Washington’s Antics!

Is that what Medvedev is saying?

Windows to Russia!
comments always welcome.

PS: Sideline issue that contributes to whole picture:
Obama forgot (again) the most important part of visiting a foreign country. Learn ahead of time what is proper etiquette. That will create a better relationship than all the words in the world. Actions speak louder than words! Obama’s actions told Russians that they were not important enough.

When Obama and wife visited Medvedev’s for dinner, Medvedev and wife had gifts for the Obama’s. The Obama’s brought nothing not even flowers. (Flowers in Russia are very important, so important you can find flowers for sale on every corner – literally)

In Russia the guest never forgets to bring a gift for the host. NEVER!

(Obama’s advisers should and do know this, as well as Obama should know this)

In Russia evening meals are never turned down if invited. These meals are important political and business meetings as well as a cultural event for special guests. Obama turned down such meals to go out on the town with his wife…

That was a no, no… Obama was here on business not a vacation!



I was drinking that wonderful cup of coffee and thinking about the hectic schedule that Svet and I have.

Svet and I are moving to a new flat (Link). By this Saturday we should be done and then all we have to do is unpack. :)

The problem is that I also have to make a trip to Ukraine to get a new visa. I was to have gotten a work visa but Russia has virtually shut down their work visa program due to keeping jobs protected for Russians. That is fine and I understand, but it was not conveyed to us until a day late and dollar short. So that means I am taking a fast train to Kiev, Ukraine on Tuesday of next week (21st of July) to get out of Dodge (Moscow) so to speak by the 22nd of July.

So once again I get to spend a week at my home away from home away from home, Kiev! I always enjoy Kiev, Ukraine and it allows me to see what changes are happening in Ukraine.

So we have to rent a truck to move (car stolen and destroyed), order an invitation and telex it to the Russian consulate in Kiev, get train tickets to Kiev and back, get reservations for my hotel and what ever else I am not thinking of right now….

So that means that I may not be as prompt on posting articles to Windows to Russia! I will try but sometimes life gets in the way…

Windows to Russia!
comments always welcome.

Today lets have a look from the – Windows out of Russia!

Unemployment in the US has reached almost 10%, The 2009 budget is already plus 1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion) in the hole with plenty of time to sink deeper. With the jobless rate going to reach much higher levels the debt level is going to reach new heights this year. No job no money to pay taxes… (It is a viscous circle!)

Yet while the country is being crushed under a burden of debt, “the nation’s capital seems to be doing just fine with its traffic jams, packed restaurants and busy people rushing in all directions. Some even think that Washington hasn’t noticed how much the rest of country is suffering.” (Link – Watch the video by Russia Today.)

Washington DC is one the main benefactor of bailout money. So while the people of America are losing their jobs and houses at the fastest pace in know history. Washington DC our nations capital seems to be rock and rolling. Maybe the bailout money should have been sent to the people first and not to the politicians!

Here is a couple of quotes for you to stew over:

“In the Soviet Union, capitalism triumphed over communism. In America, capitalism triumphed over democracy.” by Fran Lebowitz

Or this one:

“It is impossible for capitalism to survive, primarily because the system of capitalism needs some blood to suck. Capitalism used to be like an eagle, but now it’s more like a vulture. It used to be strong enough to go and suck anybody’s blood whether they were strong or not. But now it has become more cowardly, like the vulture, and it can only suck the blood of the helpless. As the nations of the world free themselves, the capitalism has less victims, less to suck, and it becomes weaker and weaker. It’s only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely.” by Malcolm X

Many great men have made statements about capitalism and these thoughts seem to be coming true…

Windows to Russia!
comments always welcome.

What do you get, when you win the chess tournament at Dortmund for the ninth time?

You get a spot in the – Guinness Book of World Records.

Vladimir Kramnik, a Russian grand master, is getting his name in the world record book after accomplishing the near impossible.

Congratulations Vladimir Kramnik…

Windows to Russia!

comments always welcome.

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