Friday, August 18, 2006

Russian Culture Minister Requests $500 Million to Fit Out Museums after Hermitage Theft

Russia's culture minister asked the Cabinet Thursday for hundreds of millions to improve security and staff salaries at the nation's cash-starved museums in the wake of major thefts including at the famed Hermitage museum. via

Top Yukos Officials Charged with Embezzlement, Money Laundering

The Russian Prosecutor General's Office has launched a criminal case against former Yukos President Steven Theede and two other Yukos top-managers - Yukos Financial Director Bruce Misamore and Yukos managing advisor David Godfrey. via

Russian Culture Minister Requests $500 Million to Fit Out Museums after Hermitage Theft

Russia's culture minister asked the Cabinet Thursday for hundreds of millions to improve security and staff salaries at the nation's cash-starved museums in the wake of major thefts including at the famed Hermitage museum. via

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Dementieva Wins Carson Tennis Title

Going deep into a tournament often means three-set matches and a lot of court time for Elena Dementieva. The extra effort was worth it Sunday, when Dementieva outlasted Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to win the JPMorgan Chase Open championship.

Russian Girl Mocks Million Dollar Homepage Selling Own Naked Body

A Russian girl called Natasha has put up her body for sale on the Internet. Customers may request that she draws or writes anything on the millimeters they pay for.

The blonde, aged 25, casts herself as a “very shy girl” from a common background who has “understood that if she won’t do something in her life, all the good things, her desires and wishes will come past her.”

For just $1 per millimeter anyone can request that Natasha draw any picture or slogan on the chosen part — save for the head, genitals and nipples that remain covered — and wear them for a whole year.
“It’s an amazingly unique way of advertising!” the girl says in her blog.
Besides the advertising, customers are offered a variety of bonuses, such as a five-minute liveshow or holidays with Natasha.
The minimum purchase is $100 for 100 millimeters. A cheaper offer is $10 for 50 pixels that will not be drawn on the girl’s body but will appear on the website.

Photo from


Russian Diaspora in Latvia

Russian President Vladimir Putin in June gave the nod to a package of incentives aimed at bringing ethnic Russians living abroad back to Russia. Latvia, whose large Russian diaspora has long been complaining of bad treatment, is one country where this program seems likely to generate interest.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Moscow Court Declares Yukos Oil Company Bankrupt

A Moscow judge on Tuesday declared the Yukos oil company bankrupt, paving the way for the liquidation of what was once Russia's biggest oil producer.

Russian Volunteer Fighters to Defend Breakaway Abkhazia from Georgia

About 20 Russian volunteer fighters have arrived in the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia to lay plans for defending the territory in case of war with Georgian forces. The volunteers arrived in response to an operation by Georgian forces last week aimed at taking control of the Kodori Gorge, which is strategically located between Abkhazia and the rest of the country.

Sharapova Advances to Third Round of WTA Tour

Maria Sharapova and Martina Hingis on Tuesday bagged easy wins to advance to the third round at the San Diego Classic WTA event. Second-seeded Sharapova bounced back after trailing an early break in the first set before running the table to sweep past fellow teenager Vasilisa Bardina 6-4, 6-1 in one hour, 29 minutes.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Russia Launches $1.3 Million Mobile Phone

MosNews writes about world’s costliest mobile phone: A Moscow-based firm has launched production of what has been tagged as the world’s costliest mobile phone, the website reports.

The Diamond Crypto Smartphone, designed by luxury accessories maker Peter Aloisson, is priced at a crisp $1.3 million and is tagged as the costliest in the world. It features a cover adorned with 50 diamonds, ten of which are the rare blue ones. Apart from this, it also features a few sections made in rose gold as well.

Apart from the enticing looks, this phone manufactured by the Moscow-based JSC Ancort Company uses powerful encryption technology to provide special security. This technology is used with the aim of securing the user’s identity together with keeping intact info about kidnapping, technological blackmail, financial racketeers and corrupted state officials.

Together with this, the phone is built on the lines of Windows CE operating system, and features a high-resolution color TFT display and stores up to 4000 numbers in it’s memory.

European Satellite Launch Postponed Due to Russian Rocket Problem

The launch of a European weather satellite on a Russian rocket was postponed Monday 24 hours because of a problem with the rocket.

However, the launch was scrubbed shortly before the scheduled liftoff time because of an unspecified problem with the rocket. (via)

First Russian Evacuees from Gaza Arrive in Moscow reports: An IL-62 aircraft of the Russian Emergencies Ministry has brought the first group of evacuated Russian and CIS nationals to Moscow from Palestine. Some 75 Russian citizens were reported trapped in the Gaza Strip Monday.

Several women from Moldova and Ukraine with children were evacuated together with the Russians.

Monday, July 17, 2006

If Russia Is the Chair of the G8, It Must Be a Member of It

Before the summit in St. Petersburg, Vlast analytical weekly and Echo of Moscow radio station interviewed five of the G8 countries' ambassadors to Russia. Unfortunately, France and Japan forbade their ambassadors to give interviews before the summit. Read more.

G8 Summit Over in St. Petersburg

In the energy sphere, the St. Petersburg Plan of Action was adopted to “enhance global energy security through efforts to increase transparency, predictability and stability of the global energy markets, improve the investment climate in the energy sector, promote energy efficiency and energy saving, diversify energy mix, ensure physical safety of critical energy infrastructure, reduce energy poverty and address climate change and sustainable development.”

“In Lebanon and Gaza the most urgent priority is for a cessation of violence and not to allow extremist elements to plunge the region into chaos and provoke a wider conflict,” the G8 nations agreed.


Russia May Send Navy Ships to Lebanon

MosNews writes: Russia may send navy ships to the Lebanon coast, the ITAR-TASS news agency reported on Monday quoting a source in the Defense Ministry. The move is being considered as Russia prepares to evacuate its citizens from the conflict zone.

On Sunday Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia is preparing to evacuate its citizens from Lebanon

Lavrov warned that the fighting between Israel and Lebanese guerrillas could ignite a wider conflict, and said the international community had to use all means possible to end the violence immediately.

“If Lebanon explodes, we all know ... how it can resonate across other countries in the region,” Lavrov told reporters at the G8 meeting in St. Petersburg.

The United States and France have also begun preparations and Britain dispatched two ships, including an aircraft carrier, to the eastern Mediterranean in apparent preparation for evacuations.

Israel launched air strikes in Lebanon last week after militants captured Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid. At least 130 people have been killed in the fighting, mostly in Lebanon.


Putin Says Does Not Know Why Russia Barred British Investor reports: Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he does not know why Russia refused a visa to Bill Browder, head of Hermitage Capital Management, a fund with about $4 billion invested in Russia. More.