Interesting News Tidbits From Russia… (7/25/2011)

A while back a Russian newspaper made a false statement about former Moscow Mayor Yury and he got mad and sued. Well he won, not a lot of money but he won the principle of the matter. Check your sources before you decide to call it fact…

Former Moscow mayor wins damages from newspaper:
Moscow’s Savelovsky Court awarded damages of 20,000 rubles ($715) to former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov on Monday after he won a case against Russian newspaper Tvoi Dyen, and its owner News Media…

I thought that was interesting and only correct. It is a fact that ex-mayor YTuri did not have property in Abkhazia…

Then we are winding down on the investigation on the Volga riverboat incident…

Final death toll rises to 122 as last bodies recovered from cruise ship:
The final death toll from the sinking of a Russian cruise vessel on the Volga river was confirmed at 122 on Monday after rescuers found the last two bodies that had been missing following the tragedy…

That was a sad happening and lots of children died in this tragic accident. They are saying that the Captain who went down with his ship was trying desperately to reach a shllow area of the river and ground the boat. They say he was 40 meters from grounding the stricken boat and saving many lives… :(

Just too many people dieing right now from just too much stupidity. Lets look at the political and energy section of Russia, it seems that Gazprom has a plan to help the Korea’s with energy and make North Korea’s use of nuclear energy defunct as a sound reason to implement…

Russian Gazprom may reconcile two Korea’s:
Russian gas giant Gazprom is preparing a project on gas supplies to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea that will be implemented if Pyongyang winds up its nuclear program…

Lets hope that Gazprom plan can be of use to the Korea’s…

This was surprising! At least to me, because I see Russian police all the time. I have to wonder about the performance reviews that were conducted. 90% – Hummm…

Over 90 pct of Russian police pass performance review – interior minister:
Over 90 percent of Russian police have passed their performance review as part of the ongoing police reform, Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev said on Sunday…

Lets end this with an interesting nature story:

Single swan father hatches offspring all by himself:
An amazing story of love and fidelity has taken place in southern Russia, where a male widower swan has unexpectedly managed to hatch baby swans after his partner was killed by a stray dog…

That is a good daddy and now all he needs to do is find another mate for next year. But that is not easy to do because he is a rare black swan from Australia…

Hope that sparked a little interest in you today. It gives you some idea of what is happening in Russia…

Windows to Russia!

New Russian Visa Dance for Americans is in the Works…

My thinking’s this morning have centered around getting the next visa for Russia. I leave on Wednesday and will spend some time in Ukraine getting my next visa. As I said a few weeks ago I will be getting a year visa this time. The reason for the switching from every three month visa is because for me to get a three year business visa I have to have a recent one year visa first. This is little known information and I am now in the process to be able to get a three year visa next time. Then maybe I will be able to finalize getting a residency permit during the three year visa span…

I have already gotten my HIV test done and I have my office form that says that I do not have HIV. We have already confirmed that the telex invitation is at the Russian Consulate in Kiev and is good for the days that I get there. We are hoping that this invitation will allow me to get a fast visa? We even had them put on the telex for a hurried visa. I really dislike hanging around Ukraine for two weeks when I could be busy back home getting things done…

You still have to have invitation, two filled out applications, two visa/passport photos, one copy of your passport and a copy of migration card to get the visa. It is just that this time I need an HIV certificate to get a year visa…

Everything around getting a Russian Visa is changing for Americans. This is not for other countries and I will update this visa experience after I get back from Ukraine… :)

Windows to Russia!

 

Take a Break and Say a Silent Prayer For the Young People who died on Utoya Island…

I am too mad sad to say much about what happened in Norway…

While you are at it maybe we should all take a break and say a silent prayer for all the needless deaths all over the world. From those dying in needless wars, those drowning in boats on the Volga in Russia, those starving from no food and those that are killed by warped idiots that target innocent children playing on an island…

This quote came to mind today:

I don’t know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn’t. ~ Jules Renard

Nuff said…

Kyle and Sveta
Windows to Russia!

Russia: Beer is now an Alcohol…

Back in early 2008 I posted an article about:

Russia: Beer Is Not Alcohol?

I was poking fun at a sign in that article at a grocery store, who was apologizing for not having alcohol. They had every kind of beer in the world but hard liquor was not available. Beer was considered a softdrink…

Well the Kremlin just made the connection and made it law. Beer is now an alcohol…

Medvedev signs law that likens beer to alcohol

They also are going to reenforce rules that have been in effect ever since Soviet times but have largely been ignored.  Such as no selling alcohol to minors and no walking around with a bottle of beer…

They also, according to what the news is saying, will by 2013 make kiosks stop selling beer. Now that will shut down about 80% of the eyesore kiosks…

I have mixed feelings about rules like this. It seems that rules like this are just enforcing the obvious and I always wonder why we have to be such lowlifes that we have to force governments to enact rules to protect ourselves from ourselves…

Simple example is: There is a beer place near us parents send there 8,9,10 and what every year old kids with a note/money in hand to the beer store. The young kid then carries a bag of beer back home. This is common and I tell Sveta all it is about is a lazy ass parent who can not even walk to get their own beer. Well the laws are going to be enforced… (I hope?)

(Reminds me of so many people I knew in America, who always had their kids get them a beer out of the fridge. Just plain lazy.)

So most rules have been on the book for ever in Russia and most people do not realize that. Many of these rules were just stopped being enforced after the Soviet Union died. But the most important rule that beer was never classified as an alcohol was missing. Now beer is an alcohol in Russia…

Windows to Russia!

Interesting News From Putin about Adoption… (July 21, 2011)

MOSCOW, July 21 (RIA Novosti):
Couples who want to adopt Russian children should undergo special training in the basics of teaching, psychology and first aid, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

“High-quality training must be compulsory for the adoptive parents,” Putin said, adding that the classes should be required for both Russian and foreign couples.

He also said that the regional authorities should cover the costs incurred by Russian couples going through the adoption procedure.

Russia and the United States signed an adoption deal last week that stipulates psychological testing of adoptive parents and requires them to use only accredited adoption agencies.

The new agreement also envisages that all adopted Russian children will maintain dual citizenship until they become legal adults, after which they may choose their citizenship.

Russia is one of the largest sources of foreign adoptions for U.S. families. The latest official figures show that about 60,000 children born in Russia have been adopted by families in the United States since the adoptions started more than 15 years ago. As of January, 17 Russian children adopted by U.S. parents have died as a result of child abuse.

Hummm, that is interesting…

Windows to Russia!

Update: Things have changed in the Russian American adoption issues…

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Interview with with Irene Steffas, an attorney accredited under The Hague International Convention on incoming and outgoing adoptions.

I’d like to ask you some questions about the recent agreement on adoptions signed between the United States and Russia. Why was the US federal government reluctant to sign the agreement at the beginning?

Initially, all efforts are being made to everyone to follow the procedure under the Hague convention. And the US has not been very flexible and not willing to enter into any memorandums, as we understand it, or bilateral agreements. However, in this instance we made an exception and the exception is really one of nomenclature, just a name, because if you look at the essence of the agreement, many of the safeguards that are built into the new agreement are the same safeguards we have under The Hague convention.

I heard, one of the parts of the agreement calls for no more independent adoptions.

That’s correct.

Only agencies authorized by the Russian government will be allowed to participate in the adoption process. Where could the parents that want to adopt a Russian child find such a list of agencies?

They are on the website of www.adoption.state.gov.

Are these accredited by the Russian government or by the US government or both?

These are the ones that have been accredited by the US authorities and then you have to actually inquire and ask: are you authorized to work in Russia? And agencies are going to tell you the truth on this because they are not actually going to be able to move a case forward if they are not certified to work in Russia.

What is entailed by part of the agreement? What’s that more complete information that will be given to the adopting parents on the adoptee? What is entailed by more complete information?

There is more emphasis in knowing who the adoptive parents are and training that they are going to receive that was not there in the past and also in having more certain understanding about the child. We now have a more formal child study, which will be one at the orphanage where the child has resided. It will require medical, family, social history. You know, getting good medical background makes the match more secure. We don’t want a family to adopt a child, who is uncomfortable dealing with the prosthesis.

Who is going to be overseeing this process? Is that both sides that are going to be responsible for that or is it the responsibility of the Russian side?

Let me walk you through the process. The US government, through the Department of Homeland Security, is going to certify the adoptive family.

This is a new procedure? Is this something new?

This is a little bit more involved than what we had in the past. Then the Russian authorities will say: we want this child to go to this specific adoptive family in the US. So the matching is not going to be done by an orphanage, it is not going to be done by an individual. The actual matching is done by the Russian authorities, which is your Department of Education.

Russia will now be able to receive reports on the children, on their well-being. How often will these reports be given and how reliable will they be and who will be administering them?

Let me dissect your question. The person who is responsible for getting those reports back to Russia is a US accredited agency. What was happening in the past – and I’ve seen it with my own eyes – is that sometimes agencies had these reports but they never made it to the right place in Russia. So one of the things that this agreement has done is identify exactly where these reports are going with some sort of a receipt system, so that we know, this agency sent a report and it was in fact received. And there will be no ifs and buts about that. We will have evidence that the report was sent and received. The frequency of the reports and for how many years these reports go on – that is a determination made by Russia. We have different requirements for different countries and what I can tell you is that the US adoption agencies and the US government work very hard to make sure there is compliance with getting those reports and getting them to the correct authority.

Who is going to oversee all this? Because normally this was the domain of state governments, and now the federal government is involved. So who exactly will be administering reports, doing checks and so on?

Let’s say we have ABC agency. And ABC agency is accredited in the US and also certified to work in Russia. However, the family lives in a different state, let’s say in Hawaii. And this agency does not have a branch office in Hawaii. The ABC agency will supervise an agency in Hawaii for the family’s home study and will also supervise that agency to make sure that those post-placement reports are done. Post-placement reports are always going to be sent to the accredited agency and then the accredited agency, also certified in Russia, is going to make sure that they get to the right place.

In summery, is this a positive thing?

Absolutely. This is a very good thing. Our two governments worked very hard together to keep inter-country adoptions open and also to improve the system that’s in place.

WTR