Friday, January 26, 2007

Extreme sports, Russian style: reckless extreme

Russian T-90 tank

Flying MiGs, shooting RPGs and so on? Forget about it. Unless you've done this, you clearly haven't lived...
В качестве дополнительной услуги предлагается и совсем отчаянный экстрим: участники тура лежат в специальном окопчике, а над ними на огромной скорости проезжает танк. Специалисты говорят, что этот момент, ставший эпизодом многих художественных фильмов про войну, пользуется огромной популярностью.
An additional service offered includes reckless extreme: participants lie in a special trench and a tank drives over them at high speed. Experts claim that this activity - having featured in many war films - is hugely popular.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Escape Moscow without disappearing for a week

6 days, across 9259km, across 2 continents, 14 oblasts and 8 time zones

Many a Muscovite must surely have been tempted, after a tough day, to turn off the mobile phone, and jump aboard Russia's most famous train, the "Rossiya" (No. 2), which departs in the evening on every odd-numbered day from Moscow's Yaroslavsky station, heading for Vladivostok.

Fortunately for the Moscow police's missing persons unit, this trip is now available in virtual form (complete with sound), thanks to this website of Russian Railways.

Snowsquare has taken the (real) train twice, once from Moscow to Vladivostok; once from Beijing to Moscow (via Ulaanbaatar). Highly recommended, particularly if you stop off en route.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Try explaining that to your boss...

From this morning's Kommersant:
Kommersant has learned that Spanish citizen Antonio Valdez-Garcia, former head of the YUKOS affiliate Fargoil, disappeared during his trial. He is accused of involvement in the embezzlement of $13 billion allegedly organized by Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev. After the prosecutor asked the court to sentence Valdez-Garcia to 11 years in prison, he fled from his police guard. [...] His police guards stated that he locked them in his apartment and disappeared.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Russian Old New Year... in London

Image: Eventica

This weekend, London celebrates Russian Old New Year at the Third Russian Winter Festival on Trafalgar Square.

The year's programme includes the Cossack Soul folk group from Ulyanovsk, the Chuvash State Ensemble of Song and Dance, the Danilovsky Monastery Choir, the Ghzel Moscow State Academic Theatre of Dance, Nadezhda Babkina and the Russian Folk Song Ensemble, the Suvorov Ensemble, Dima Bilan, Pelageya, Ranetki, Tokio, Siberia, Nogu Svelo, Garik Sukachev and DJs Venegrov and Fedoroff.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Sleep well, furry friends

At 11pm this Tuesday evening, the temperature's still +4C in the centre of Moscow. Some Moscow residents, it seems, have given up waiting for winter to come.

According to Reuters:
Russian bears at Moscow Zoo have finally dropped off into their hibernation slumber despite months of insomnia caused by a record mild start to winter, zoo officials said on Tuesday.[...]

"The bears have finally fallen asleep and they have not woken up yet," Natalia Istratova, a spokeswoman for Moscow Zoo, said by telephone.

"They usually fall asleep when there is continuous snow cover but despite the fact that there is no snow they are still asleep," she said.
Bears on the packaging of Russia's famous Мишка косолапый (Mishka kosolapiy, Clumsy bear) chocolate:

Image: Shokoladnik