Tag Archives | Russia

Did the Chernobyl Disaster Cover Up Something Even Worse?

Did you hear the one about the Russian Woodpecker? Newsweek tells the tale:

Dormant for a decade and a half, the Russian Woodpecker appeared to return in December 2013. Once, the notorious tapping of the massive Soviet over-the-horizon radar had frustrated and puzzled Western radio operators, who could discern neither the origin nor purpose of the strange signal. It was coming from somewhere behind the Iron Curtain; its frequency, 10Hz, made some think it was intended for mind control. In 1981, an NBC newscaster wondered, “Are they trying reduce us to a zombie stumbling and groping around and waiting to be told what to do?” And, no, he wasn’t hosting Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live.

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DUGA Radar Array (Russian Woodpecker) near Chernobyl, Ukraine. Photo: Ingmar Runge (CC)

 

Even after the fall of the Soviet Union, the 14,000-ton military radar installation in northern Ukraine, near the border with Belorussia, has remained a mystery to outside observers, largely because it sits right next to the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station, where a reactor meltdown in the spring of 1986 rendered the surrounding area uninhabitable for the next, oh, several thousand years.

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Who Killed Litvinenko? Perhaps Not Russia After All

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Doubts are being cast on whether or not it was really the Russian government that infamously poisoned Alexander Litvinenko with radioactive polonium. From Newsweek:

It has taken more than eight years. But finally, at 10am on Tuesday 27 January, the doors to court 73 at London’s Royal Courts of Justice will swing open; the barristers, solicitors, reporters, and a host of other interested parties will troop in, and judge Sir Robert Owen will declare the start of a public inquiry into the death of Alexander Valterovich Litvinenko, a fugitive from Russia and newly-minted British citizen, who died in a London hospital on 23 November 2006.

At the centre of proceedings will be Marina Litvinenko, Alexander’s wife for 12 years and a figure of preternatural calm and dignity amid all the hurly-burly and frustration of the near-decade since his death. In large measure, that these hearings are being held at all, and that they have been designated a ‘public inquiry’ rather than an inquest, represents a personal victory for Litvinenko, reflecting her dogged determination to find out how and why her husband died.

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Flying Hamsters: Circus Attaches Alive Hamsters to Balloons For Children, But They Died Mid-Flight

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Who thought up this brilliant idea?

From November via The Daily Mail:

Animal rights campaigners in Russia are furious after a circus allegedly attached hamsters to balloons and dropped them down to children in the audience as ‘live gifts’.

The rodents were apparently dead by the time they reached the crowd below, leaving the children in the audience ‘acutely distressed’.

Some parents have complained the animals were placed inside bottles and thrown into the audience and, in some cases, rats were used instead of hamsters.

The circus, based in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, takes this controversial act all over Russia, according to the Siberian Times.

34,000 animal lovers have so far signed a petition calling for them to stop using hamsters in such a way.

Olga McManaman, who organised the petition, said: ‘I invite all animal lovers and caring people to protest against this outrageous practice of inhumane animal treatment.’

The animal rights campaigner from Siberia has urged people not to donate hamsters to the circus because they will be mistreated.

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Russia Bans Transsexual and Transgender People From Driving

Russia has decreed that drivers must not have ‘sex disorders’ according to BBC News:

Russia has listed transsexual and transgender people among those who will no longer qualify for driving licences.

Moscow Traffic (1479225593)

Fetishism, exhibitionism and voyeurism are also included as “mental disorders” now barring people from driving.

The government says it is tightening medical controls for drivers because Russia has too many road accidents.

“Pathological” gambling and compulsive stealing are also on the list. Russian psychiatrists and human rights lawyers have condemned the move.

The announcement follows international complaints about Russian harassment of gay-rights activists.

In 2013 Russia made “promoting non-traditional lifestyles” illegal.

Valery Evtushenko at the Russian Psychiatric Association voiced concern about the driving restrictions, speaking to the BBC Russian Service. He said some people would avoid seeking psychiatric help, fearing a driving ban.

The Association of Russian Lawyers for Human Rights called the new law “discriminatory”. It said it would demand clarifications from the Russian Constitutional Court and seek support from international human rights organisations…

[continues at BBC News]

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Strange Rock from Russia Contains 30,000 Diamonds

This rock from Russia's Udachnaya mine contains 30,000 diamonds. Credit: Larry Taylor

This rock from Russia’s Udachnaya mine contains 30,000 diamonds.
Credit: Larry Taylor

via Live Science:

SAN FRANCISCO — Here’s the perfect Christmas gift for the person who has everything: A red and green rock, ornament-sized, stuffed with 30,000 teeny-tiny diamonds.

The sparkly chunk was pulled from Russia’s huge Udachnaya diamond mine and donated to science (the diamonds’ tiny size means they’re worthless as gems). It was a lucky break for researchers, because the diamond-rich rock is a rare find in many ways, scientists reported Monday (Dec. 15) at the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting.

“The exciting thing for me is there are 30,000 itty-bitty, perfect octahedrons, and not one big diamond,” said Larry Taylor, a geologist at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, who presented the findings. “It’s like they formed instantaneously.”

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Obama Preparing to Declare WWIII on Russia

Arend (CC BY 2.0)

Arend (CC BY 2.0)

Via 21st Century Wire:

Behind the White House’s political smokescreen in Ferguson and New York, US lawmakers were busy sliding through a pre-declaration of war against Russia.

The latest resolution by the US Congress, most likely drafted and presented to the speaker by Washington DC-based Neoconservative think tank, Foreign Policy Initiative (formerly Project for a New American Century), calls for renewed political, and military support for Fascist and NeoNazi-sympathizing regime in Kiev, Ukraine, which will include:

- US aid for Kiev regime to keep using its military against ethnic Russians in east Ukraine.
- US funding for more weapons and military support in the Ukraine.
- More US funding for foreign language, pro-US, and anti-Russian propaganda throughout eastern Europe and in countries bordering Russia.

In all but name, this US resolution is preliminary declaration of war, moving Washington right up to the final step, which is a formal declaration of war.

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Russia Wants Bulgarians to Stop Vandalizing Soviet Monuments To Look Like American Superheroes

Паметник на Съветската армия 18.06.2011

The Moscow Times is reporting that Bulgarian pranksters are repainting Soviet-era monuments so that the Soviet military heroes depicted are recast as American Superheroes (h/t to trans-atlantyk posting at reddit’s /r/worldnews):

Russia is demanding that Bulgaria try harder to prevent vandalism of Soviet monuments, after yet another monument to Soviet troops in Sofia was spray-painted, ITAR-Tass reported.

The Russian Embassy in Bulgaria has issued a note demanding that its former Soviet-era ally clean up the monument in Sofia’s Lozenets district, identify and punish those responsible, and take “exhaustive measures” to prevent similar attacks in the future, the news agency reported Monday.

The monument was sprayed with red paint on the eve of the Bulgarian Socialist Party’s celebration of its 123rd anniversary, the Sofia-based Novinite news agency reported.

The vandalism was the latest in a series of similar recent incidents in Bulgaria — each drawing angry criticism from Moscow…

[continues at Moscow Times]

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The West’s Reckless Rush Towards War with Russia

Are we being hasty in our surmising of Putin’s involvement in the MH-17 tragedy? Chris Martenson seems to think so.

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via Peak Prosperity:

For reasons that have no rational explanations at this time, the US and Europe have embarked on a concerted program to demonize Putin, ostracize Russia, and bring the world as close to a major conflict as it’s been since the Cold War, a time hardly memorable to many in the current crop of our elected officials.

Within hours of the MH-17 plane crash, the United States pinned the blame on Russia generally, and Putin particularly. The anti-Putin propaganda (and if there were a stronger term I’d use it) has been relentless and almost comically over-the-top (see image above, and those below).

The US and the UK in particular, are leading the charge. Indeed, the UK’s Daily Mail managed to crank out an article on the MH-17 affair within just a few hours on the very same day it occurred with this headline:

The blood on Putin’s hands…

Jul 17, 2014

The world may have averted its gaze towards Israel and Gaza, but this week the rumbling warfare in eastern Ukraine has been erupting into something growing daily more dangerous.

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Russian Teens Build Swimming Pool in Living Room

I saw this on Reddit and now it appears to be making its rounds on the Internet. How do they plan on removing the water? What if the cover breaks? The whole thing gives me anxiety.

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via Dangerous Minds:

Two enterprising teenagers have found a novel answer to Moscow’s current heatwave by turning a living room into their very own mini indoor pool. The big question is, whose front room have they used?

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Photos appeared on social networks of the two nameless lads bathing in their DIY paddling pool. According to the Moscow Times, the pool was constructed “using a basic tarpaulin and held in place by Scotch tape”.

The boys, who hail from the Oryol region about 350 kilometers southwest of Moscow, where temperatures rose above 30 C this week according to the weather bureau, were seemingly oblivious to their unconventional setting as they posed for pool snaps amongst a radiator, some curtains and a chandelier.

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