Posts Tagged ‘Russia’
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 27, 2012
Russia’s halting attempts to build a next generation spacecraft have received a boost after a leading constructor announced that it has completed the design of a new prototype. But seasoned space watchers await specifics before popping their corks.
“We have finished the design of the new spaceship. We took into consideration that the new craft has to be able to travel not only to the International Space Station (ISS), but also to the moon,” said Vitaly Lopota, the chief of RSC Energia, the Russian space industry’s primary spacecraft builder.
The proposed spacecraft is commonly known as PPTS (or Prospective Piloted Transport System) and RSC Energia won the tender to build it in 2009. Initially, 2015 was named as the date of the first test flight, but that was then shifted to 2018. Now, Lopota has brought the test date forward again.
“We are currently working on the first full-size model. The first test flights should take place in 2017,” he announced during a press conference in Moscow.
Currently, Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, uses a modernized Soyuz spacecraft, a basic design that flew its first mission in 1967, to deliver cosmonauts to the ISS.
On paper, PPTS sounds like a significant upgrade, although all design information is preliminary and has not been finalized by the designers. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Global, Science &Technology | Tagged: China, NASA, Next-gen spacecraft design, Reaching for the stars, Roscosmos, Russia, Russia’s space agency, SciTech, Soyuz spacecraft, Space, USA | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 21, 2012
Russian President Vladimir Putin answers journalists’ questions during the annual big conference at the International Trade Center in Krasnaya Presnya, 20 December 2012 (RIA Novosti / Iliya Pitalev)
In response to the first question at his annual international press conference in Moscow, Vladimir Putin said he was in favor of banning the adoption of Russian children by US citizens.
The question dealt with legislation that seeks to prohibit the adoption of Russian orphans by US citizens.
The bill, part of a package of measures drafted by Russian lawmakers in retaliation to the US Magnitsky Act, was approved this week by the Lower House in the second reading.
Putin answered that the Magnitsky Act should be prioritized as it is a deliberately unfriendly piece of legislation aimed at Russia (The act is named after lawyer Sergey Magnitsky, who died in pre-trial detention in Moscow in the course of a massive tax fraud investigation. In addition to banning individuals who US officials believe were involved in the death from visiting the US, it also freezes their US-held assets).
The United States “replaced one anti-Russian law with another,” and this indicates that our foreign partners are living in the past and intend to maintain relations “rooted in a standoff between two systems,” the Russian leader stated.
Speaking on the proposed adoption ban (named in honor of Dima Yakovlev, a Russian boy who died as a result of being left inside of a car on a hot day by his adoptive American parents), Putin said that to his knowledge the majority of Russians disapprove of foreign adoptions. He added that he fully agreed with Prime Minister Medvedev who said that Russia should develop its own adoption system.
The President told his audience that the amendment is not against adoptions per se, but rather a response to the US judicial system that regularly denies Russian diplomats from monitoring the wellbeing of Russian children adopted by US citizens. Putin called this practice “a humiliation,” saying that no one should have to tolerate such an attitude. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Global | Tagged: Corruption, Dima Yakovlev, Election, Khodorkovsky, Magnitsky, Mass media, Politics, Putin, Russia | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 18, 2012
The Horse Whisperer
In this Sept. 2010, photo released on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin pats a horse during his trip in Ubsunur Hollow in the Siberian Tyva region (also referred to as Tuva), on the border with Mongolia, Russia. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)
MOSCOW, Dec 17 (Reuters) -
Russian arms exports reached a record $14 billion this year, President Vladimir Putin said on Monday, extending a run of record-breaking sales in recent years that have included deliveries to Syria despite the civil war raging there.
The world no. 2 arms exporter has cultivated new weapons clients in Southeast Asia and Africa, despite criticism that it is failing to deliver the technological benefits of Western suppliers or the low costs of emerging weapons exporter China.
“Let’s talk about our results – they are positive. We are reaching a record level of weapons exports. Their total volume was above $14 billion,” Putin said in a televised meeting with officials.
He said Russia had signed over $15 billion in new export contracts this year alone. He did not spell out when deliveries on those deals were expected.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Global | Tagged: President Vladimir Putin, Reuters, Russi Syria Relations, Russia, Russia Arms, Russia Arms Sales, Russia Arms Sales Syria, Russia President Vladimir Putin, Russia Weapons, Russia Weapons Exports, Russia Weapons Sales, Syria Weapons, Vladimir Putin, World News | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 10, 2012
By Gleb Bryanski
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Sept 9 (Reuters) – Days after flying with migrating cranes, Russian President Vladimir Putin likened his opponents on Sunday to weak birds that are unable to follow their leader.
Putin put on a baggy white jumpsuit, helmet and goggles on Wednesday for two flights in a light aircraft with young cranes born in captivity. The aim was to help introduce them to the wild and teach them how to follow a leader.
His flight has provoked mockery by his critics, including talk show host Ksenia Sobchak, who likened his adventure to the presidential election in March at which he won nearly two-thirds – but not all – of the votes.
Asked about the comment at a news conference after a weekend summit, Putin said with an ironic smile: “Yes, its true, not all the cranes followed right away. Only the weak cranes did not follow at the first attempt. At the second attempt all of them followed.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Global | Tagged: Anti-Putin Protests, Dictator Debacles, Putin Bird Stunt, Putin Crane Flight, Putin Hang Glider, Putin Hang-Gliding, Putin Publicity Stunts, Putin Siberian Cranes, Reuters, Russia, Russia Opposition, Russia Presidenti Vladimir Putin, Video, Vladimir Putin, World News | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 10, 2012
By MATTHEW LEE
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, meets U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on her arrival at the APEC summit in Vladivostok, Russia, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel,Pool)
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia — Alarmed by a rise in nationalist sentiment around the Asia-Pacific, the Obama administration is looking for Russia to play a greater role in the region as it seeks to quell growing maritime tensions.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was to meet on Saturday with Russian President Vladimir Putin at meeting of Pacific Rim leaders to gauge Moscow’s intentions as it looks increasingly eastward after decades of European orientation. U.S. officials say they would welcome a more active Russian role in the Asia-Pacific where territorial disputes, including between U.S. allies Japan and South Korea, sparked by nationalist rhetoric have fueled fears of conflict. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Global | Tagged: Asia Tensions, Clinton Apec, Hillary Clinton Apec, Russia, Russia Role Asia, U.s. Apec, U.s. Role Asia, Video, World News | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 9, 2012
A woman walks toward the Kremlin at the Red Square in Moscow, on January 12, 2012. (KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW — A self-proclaimed prophet had a vision from God: He would build an Islamic caliphate under the earth.
The digging began about a decade ago and 70 followers soon moved into an eight-level subterranean honeycomb of cramped cells with no light, heat or ventilation.
Children were born. They, too, lived in the cold underground cells for many years – until authorities raided the compound last week and freed the 27 sons and daughters of the sect.
Ages 1 to 17, the children rarely saw the light of day and had never left the property, attended school or been seen by a doctor, officials said Wednesday. Their parents – sect members who call themselves “muammin,” from the Arabic for “believers” – were charged with child abuse.
The sect’s 83-year-old founder, Faizrakhman Satarov, who declared himself a prophet in contradiction to the principles of Islam, was charged with negligence, said Irina Petrova, deputy prosecutor in the provincial capital of Kazan.
The children were discovered when police searched the sect grounds as part of an investigation into the recent killing of a top Tatarstan Muslim cleric, an attack local officials blame on radical Islamist groups that have mushroomed in the oil-rich, Volga River province of Tatarstan.
Satarov ordered his followers to live in cells they dug under a three-story brick house topped by a small minaret with a tin crescent moon. Only a few sect members were allowed to leave the premises to work as traders at a local market, Russian media reported.
The children were examined at hospitals and will temporarily live in an orphanage, pediatrician Tatyana Moroz said. “They looked nourished but dirty, so we had to wash them,” she said in televised remarks. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Global | Tagged: Faizrakhmam Satarov, Russia, Russia Sect, Russia Sect Cells, Russia Sect Locks Children Underground, Russia Underground Sect, Underground Sect, Video, World News | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 8, 2012
By Maria Tsvetkova
MOSCOW, Aug 7 (Reuters) – A state prosecutor on Tuesday demanded a three-year jail term for three women from the punk band Pussy Riot, saying they had abused God when they stormed the altar of a Moscow cathedral and sang a “protest prayer” against the Russian Orthodox Church’s close links to Vladimir Putin.
The case, in which the three are charged with hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, has outraged many Russian Orthodox believers.
But it has also caused an international outcry and focused attention on a crackdown on dissent since Putin returned to the presidency for a six-year term on May 7.
“The actions of the accomplices clearly show religious hatred and enmity,” federal prosecutor Alexei Nikiforov said in closing arguments, watched by the women’s lawyers, friends and family in the tiny courtroom.
“There was real mockery and humiliation directed at the people in the church,” he said.
The defendants looked pale and tired as they sat silently in a glass and metal courtroom cage, two of them scribbling notes. Their lawyer said the demand for a prison sentence was disproportionate and shameful. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Article | Tagged: Pussy Riot, Pussy Riot Jail, Pussy Riot Protest, Pussy Riot Trial, Putin, Putin Pussy Riot, Reuters, Russia, Russia Human Rights, Video, Vladimir Putin, World News | 1 Comment »
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 24, 2012
Up to 250 human embryos found trashed in Russian forest (Still from NTV coverage video)
A fishing trip in Russia’s Urals ended with cries of horror as a man found canisters filled with human embryos, some already shaped to baby bodies.
Lids on the bright blue containers apparently unlocked as the canisters hit the ground, and many embryos spilled out. The little bodies, no longer than 15 centimeters, shrank, turning into mummies.
“A friend of mine called at night and said he went finishing and wanted to get some wood for his fire. He found some abandoned water canisters and wanted to take them for his house. And when he came up, he saw… little baby bodies,” a local told Russia’s Channel 4.
Arriving Monday morning, police found 248 embryos aged 12-16 weeks in and around the four canisters. Labels attached to tiny hands and legs listed family names of assumed mothers and some digit codes, which may refer to the pregnancy period, date of abortion or the hospital where the body originated from.
The 50-liter canisters filled with formalin seem to have been thrown out of a vehicle not far from a road leading to Nevyansk, a town on the slopes of the Ural Mountains.
Nevyansk authorities immediately said the canisters could not have originated in their town.
“Our area is too small; we can’t have so many stillborns, miscarriages or artificial abortions,” they said.
Later it was revealed that the horrifying content was “biological waste” from at least three hospitals in Ekaterinburg, the region’s major city.
“It appears a waste disposal company has failed to carry out its duties properly,” remark local authorities as the investigation continues. The Ministry of Health has been requested to determine which companies provide embryo disposal services to Ekaterinburg hospitals. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in International | Tagged: Children, Health, Human embryos scandal, Russia, Scandal | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 20, 2012
Russia and China have vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution that threatened Syria with more sanctions.
It was the third time in nine months that Russia and China used their powers as permanent members of the 15-nation council to block resolutions on Syria. There were 11 votes in favor of the resolution. Russia and China voted against it, while South Africa and Pakistan abstained from voting. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Global | Tagged: China, Conflict, Marina Portnaya, Meeting, Opposition, Politics, Russia, Sanctions, Syria, Syria Conflict, UN, VETO, William Hague | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 20, 2012
By Michelle Nichols
UNITED NATIONS, July 19 (Reuters) – Russia and China vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution on Thursday that threatened Syrian authorities with sanctions if they did not halt violence against an uprising, thwarting Western hopes for tough action as the crisis in Syria escalates.
It was the third time that Russia, a key ally of the Syrian government, and China have used their veto power to block U.N. Security Council resolutions designed to put pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and halt the violence in a 16-month conflict that has killed thousands of people.
As efforts to forge a diplomatic solution appeared to collapse, Syrian rebels clashed with forces loyal to Assad in Damascus, a day after the killing of three close allies of the president led to fresh warnings that the situation was spinning out of control.
The vetoed resolution, which would have extended a U.N. observer mission in Syria for 45 days, received 11 votes in favor, while South Africa and Pakistan abstained.
International mediator Kofi Annan, who had sought a tough resolution to save his disintegrating peace plan, voiced disappointment, saying the council had failed “to take the strong and concerted action he had urged and hoped for.”
Russia, which had proposed its own alternative resolution without the sanctions threat, said it did not now plan to bring that measure to a vote, leaving the future of the monitoring mission hanging in the balance less than two days before its U.N. mandate expires.
Britain proposed a resolution to extend the monitoring mission for 30 days and hoped to put it to a vote on Thursday, diplomats said, but it remained unclear how much backing this new measure might win.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, described the twin vetoes as “dangerous and deplorable” and said the Security Council had “failed utterly.”
“The United States has not, and will not, pin its policy on an unarmed observer mission that is deployed in the midst of such widespread violence and that cannot even count on the most minimal support of this Security Council,” Rice said.
“Instead, we will intensify our work with a diverse range of partners outside the Security Council to bring pressure to bear on the Assad regime and to deliver assistance to those in need.”
The United States has been instrumental in forming the “Friends of Syria” group, which includes a wide range of Western and Arab countries, that has sought to increase pressure on Damascus and encourage more unity among Syria’s fractured opposition. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Global | Tagged: Bashar Assad, China, China Syria, Reuters, Russia, Russia China Syria, Russia China Veto, Russia China Veto Syria Resolution At Un, Russia Syria, Syria, Syria Crisis, Syria Sanctions, Topicsyria, UN Resolution Syria, World News | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 7, 2012
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens during a meeting of the “Friends of the Syrian People” at the MFA Conference Center July 6, 2012 in Paris, France (AFP Photo Pool/Brendan Smialowski)
Russia rejects in the strongest possible terms allegations that it supports President Assad in the Syrian conflict. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Moscow and Beijing must ‘pay a price’ for backing Assad.
“I do not believe that Russia and China are paying any price at all – nothing at all – for standing up on behalf of the Assad regime. The only way that will change is if every nation represented here directly and urgently makes it clear that Russia and China will pay a price,” Clinton warned.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said the west is operating within a friend-or-foe framework that he called outmoded.
“We categorically reject that such a question would even be posed regarding the current situation in Syria and Russia’s ‘backing’ of President Bashar Assad. This is not a question of supporting certain political figures or leaders. This is a question of managing a crisis situation in the country within a normal political framework,” Ryabkov said.
“Unfortunately, we’re unable to get a basic understanding from our western partners. The west is still appealing to “friend-or-foe” terms. We considered such terminology to be a thing of the past,” Ryabkov explained.
Russia and China once again opted not to attend the “Friends of Syria” meeting. Neither Moscow nor Beijing believe the meeting in the French capital will be helpful in uniting the Syrian opposition “on a constructive basis”.
“We have frankly laid out the reasons why we have restrained from joining the mechanism, the very name of which has a contradiction between the word and the deed,” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier this week. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Global | Tagged: Arms, Hillary Clinton, Lavrov, Military, Politics, Russia, Sanctions, Syria, Syria unrest, USA | 1 Comment »
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 15, 2012
The Legend of Bigfoot roadside attraction outside Richardson Grove State Park in California
Scientists and yeti enthusiasts believe there may finally be solid evidence that the apelike creature roams the vast Siberian tundra, reports the Guardian.
A team of a dozen-plus experts from as far afield as Canada and Sweden have proclaimed themselves 95% certain of the mythical animal’s existence after a daylong conference in the town of Tashtagol in the Kemerovo region, some 2,000 miles east of Moscow. In recent years, locals there have reported sightings of the yeti, also known as the abominable snowman.
(LIST: Top 10 Famous Mysterious Monsters)
The Kemerovo government announced on Oct. 10 that a two-day expedition the previous weekend to the region’s Azassky cave and Karatag peak “collected irrefutable evidence” of yetis’ existence on the wintry plateau.
“Conference participants came to the conclusion that the artifacts found give 95% evidence of the habitation of the ‘snow man’ on Kemerovo region territory,” read a statement. “In one of the detected tracks, Russian scientist Anatoly Fokin noted several hairs that might belong to the yeti,” it added. The group also discovered footprints, a presumed bed and various other markers. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Article | Tagged: Anatoly Fokin, Animals, Azassky cave, Bigfoot, Bizarre, Canada, experts, Himalayas, Karatag peak, Kemerovo, Newsfeed, North America, Russia, sasquatch, Science, scientists, Siberia, Sweden, Tashtagol, theyeti, Tundra, World, yetis | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 12, 2012
MOSCOW — Tens of thousands of Russians flooded Moscow’s tree-lined boulevards Tuesday in the first massive protest against President Vladimir Putin’s rule since his inauguration in May – a rally that came even as police interrogated key opposition leaders.
Since embarking on his third presidential term, Putin has taken a stern stance toward the opposition, including signing a repressive new bill last week introducing heavy penalties for taking part in unauthorized rallies.
Police on Monday searched opposition leaders’ apartments, carting away computers, cellphones and other personal items. They also demanded that opposition leaders come in for questioning Tuesday just an hour before the rally began – widely seen as a crude attempt by the government to scare the protesters. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Global | Tagged: Moscow, Moscow Demonstrations, Russia, Russia Demonstrations, Russia Opposition, Russia President Vladimir Putin, Russia Protests, Russia Violence, Video, Vladimir Putin, World News | Leave a Comment »