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…

Vladimir Putin, hands off Ukraine! 🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine #StopPutinNOW #StopRussia

26 February 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  626 minutes

© BBC

© BBC

(latest update: 23 August 2022) Russo-Ukrainian War, Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russo-Georgian War (Abkhazia, South Ossetia), Transnistria War, Russian military intervention in the Syrian civil war and Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Against the background of the statements made by some simpletons, especially Westerners, this:

There are exactly two options: If Putin stops the war of aggression and annihilation against Ukraine and withdraws his mercenaries completely from Ukraine, there will be peace. If Ukrainians ceased their resistance to Putin’s war of aggression and annihilation, Ukraine would no longer exist. Everything coming from Russia that is not stopped in Ukraine and pushed back today can be in Warsaw the day after tomorrow. It is therefore in the greatest security interest of the EU and NATO to support Ukraine as much as possible, instead of just standing by and thereby sealing the own fate.

  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…

Portrait: Ayn Rand, the voice of libertarian Objectivism

24 June 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  43 minutes

Ayn Rand quote - American Adventure - Epcot Center - Walt Disney World © flickr.com - Cory Doctorow/cc-by-sa-2.0

Ayn Rand quote – American Adventure – Epcot Center – Walt Disney World © flickr.com – Cory Doctorow/cc-by-sa-2.0

Ayn Rand< was a Russian-American writer and philosopher. Rand was born Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum on February 2, 1905, to a Russian-Jewish bourgeois family living in Saint Petersburg. She is known for her two best-selling novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and for developing a philosophical system she named Objectivism. Educated in Russia, she moved to the United States in 1926. She had a play produced on Broadway in 1935 and 1936. After two early novels that were initially unsuccessful, she achieved fame with her 1943 novel, The Fountainhead. In 1957, Rand published her best-known work, the novel Atlas Shrugged. Afterward, she turned to non-fiction to promote her philosophy, publishing her own periodicals and releasing several collections of essays until her death in 1982. Rand advocated reason as the only means of acquiring knowledge and rejected faith and religion. She supported rational and ethical egoism and rejected altruism. In politics, she condemned the initiation of force as immoral and opposed collectivism and statism as well as anarchism, instead supporting laissez-faire capitalism, which she defined as the system based on recognizing individual rights, including property rights. In art, Rand promoted romantic realism. She was sharply critical of most philosophers and philosophical traditions known to her, except for Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas and classical liberals. Literary critics received Rand’s fiction with mixed reviews and academia generally ignored or rejected her philosophy, though academic interest has increased in recent decades. The Objectivist movement attempts to spread her ideas, both to the public and in academic settings. She has been a significant influence among libertarians and American conservatives.   read more…

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