Smolensk in Russia

28 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Philharmonic Concert Hall © Борис Мавлютов/cc-by-sa-3.0

Philharmonic Concert Hall © Борис Мавлютов/cc-by-sa-3.0

Smolensk is a city and the administrative center of Smolensk Oblast, Russia, located on the Dnieper River, 360 kilometers (220 mi) west-southwest of Moscow. The city has been destroyed several times throughout its long history because it was on the invasion routes of various empires. Smolensk is known for its electronics, textiles, food processing, and diamond faceting industries. On April 10, 2010, a Tu-154 military jet carrying Polish president Lech Kaczyński, his wife, and many notable political and military figures crashed in a wooded area near Smolensk while approaching the local military airport. All ninety-six passengers died immediately on impact. The purpose of the visit was to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre.   read more…

Taman Peninsula

18 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  4 minutes

Crimean Bridge © Rosavtodor.ru/cc-by-4.0

Crimean Bridge © Rosavtodor.ru/cc-by-4.0

The Taman Peninsula is a peninsula in the present-day Krasnodar Krai of Russia, which borders the Sea of Azov to the North, the Strait of Kerch to the West and the Black Sea to the South. On 8 October 2022, an explosion occurred on the roadway of the Crimean Bridge leading from Russia to Crimea, starting a large fire and causing parts of the road bridge to collapse, with repairs ordered to be completed by mid 2023.   read more…

Garden Ring in Moscow

17 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Sadovaya-Triumfalnaya Street © Mos.ru/cc-by-4.0

Sadovaya-Triumfalnaya Street © Mos.ru/cc-by-4.0

The Garden Ring, also known as the “B” Ring, is a circular ring road avenue around central Moscow, its course corresponding to what used to be the city ramparts surrounding Zemlyanoy Gorod in the 17th century.   read more…

Memorial International receives the Nobel Peace Prize

10 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  9 minutes

© Definite1ymaybe

© Definite1ymaybe

Memorial is an international human rights organisation, founded in Russia during the fall of the Soviet Union to study and examine the human rights violations and other crimes committed under Joseph Stalin‘s reign. Prior to its dissolution in Russia, it consisted of two separate legal entities, Memorial International, whose purpose was the recording of the crimes against humanity committed in the Soviet Union, particularly during the Stalinist era, and the Memorial Human Rights Centre, which focused on the protection of human rights, especially in conflict zones in and around modern Russia. A movement rather than a centralized organization, as of December 2021 Memorial encompassed over 50 organisations in Russia and 11 in other countries, including Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Germany, Italy, Belgium and France. Although the focus of affiliated groups differs from region to region, they share similar concerns about human rights, documenting the past, educating young people and marking remembrance days for the victims of political repression.   read more…

Severomorsk in Russia

1 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Northern Fleet © flickr.com - Сергей Шинкарюк/cc-by-2.0

Northern Fleet © flickr.com – Сергей Шинкарюк/cc-by-2.0

Severomorsk, known as Vayenga until April 18, 1951, is a closed town in Murmansk Oblast, Russia. Severomorsk is the main administrative base of the Russian Northern Fleet. The town is located on the coast of the Barents Sea along the Kola Bay 25 kilometers (16 mi) northeast of Murmansk, the administrative centre of the oblast, to which it is connected by railway and a motorway. The town of Polyarny is in the immediate vicinity on the opposite side of Kola Bay.   read more…

Baltiysk on the Baltic Sea

27 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  11 minutes

Sailor's Club © Saler4uk/cc-by-sa-4.0

Sailor’s Club © Saler4uk/cc-by-sa-4.0

Baltiysk (German: Pillau) is a seaport town and the administrative center of Baltiysky District in Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia, located on the northern part of the Vistula Spit, on the shore of the Strait of Baltiysk separating the Vistula Lagoon from Gdańsk Bay. Baltiysk, the westernmost town in Russia, is a major base of the Russian Navy‘s Baltic Fleet and is connected to St. Petersburg by ferry.   read more…

Gorky Park in Moscow

3 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  6 minutes

Gorky Park main portal © A.Savin

Gorky Park main portal © A.Savin

Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure is a central park in Moscow, named after Maxim Gorky in 1932. In August 2018, the Park’s 90th anniversary was celebrated. Gorky Park, located at Krymsky Val and situated just across the Moskva River from Park Kultury Metro station, opened in 1928. The park followed the plan of Konstantin Melnikov, a widely known Soviet avant-garde and constructivist architect, and amalgamated the extensive gardens of the old Golitsyn Hospital and of the Neskuchny Palace, covering an area of 300 acres (120 ha) along the river. The history of the Neskuchny Garden can be traced back to 1753, when it emerged in the area between Kaluzhskaya Zastava and Trubetskoy Moskva river-side estate. The neighboring area to Neskuchny Garden, from Krymsky Val to Neskuchny Garden, received little attention right up until the 1920s. Initially it was covered with park gardens, meadows and vegetable gardens belonging to the owners of neighboring estates. It formed a wasteland by the end of the 19th century, and served as a waste heap.   read more…

Residence at Cape Idokopas

1 February 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month Reading Time:  10 minutes

© Russian Wikileaks/cc-by-3.0

© Russian Wikileaks/cc-by-3.0

The Residence at Cape Idokopas also known as the “Palace on the Idokopas Cape”, often called “Putin’s Palace”, “Dacha Putin”, “Putin’s country cottage”, etc., is a large Italianate palace complex located on the Black Sea coast near the village of Praskoveevka in Gelendzhik, Krasnodar Krai, Russia. While officially dismissed in 2010 by Vladimir Putin‘s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, it has been claimed that the dacha was built for the personal use of Putin, and that its construction began during his first Presidency. Detailed claims about the project, which allegedly made improper use of state resources, were made by Sergei Kolesnikov, a businessman with ties to Putin dating from his time in Saint Petersburg prior to entering Kremlin politics. What is particularly interesting about the reporting is that it has been an open secret for a long time, but it was only through the documentation by Alexei Navalny that it received great national and international attention.   read more…

Moscow Cathedral Mosque

25 October 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  5 minutes

© Sergey Korovkin 84/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Sergey Korovkin 84/cc-by-sa-4.0

Moscow Cathedral Mosque is the main mosque of Moscow. It is located on Olimpiysky Avenue, close to the Olympic Stadium in the centre of the city.   read more…

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