Gorky Park in Moscow

3 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

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

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…

Residence at Cape Idokopas

1 February 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month

© 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.   read more…

Moscow Cathedral Mosque

25 October 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© 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…

Alexander Garden in Moscow

13 September 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Living, Working, Building

Fountain 'Four Seasons of the Year' © SiefkinDR/cc-by-sa-3.0

Fountain ‘Four Seasons of the Year’ © SiefkinDR/cc-by-sa-3.0

Alexander Gardens was one of the first urban public parks in Moscow, Russia. The park comprises three separate gardens, which stretch along all the length of the western Kremlin wall for 865 metres (2,838 ft) between the building of the Moscow Manege and the Kremlin.   read more…

Tverskaya Street in Moscow

10 August 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Tverskaya Street, seen from Manezhnaya Square © flickr.com - Jorge Láscar/cc-by-2.0

Tverskaya Street, seen from Manezhnaya Square © flickr.com – Jorge Láscar/cc-by-2.0

Tverskaya Street, known between 1935 and 1990 as Gorky Street, is the main radial street in Moscow. The street runs Northwest from the central Manege Square in the direction of Saint Petersburg and terminates at the Garden Ring, giving the name to Tverskoy District. The route continues further as First Tverskaya-Yamskaya Street, Leningradsky Avenue and Leningradskoye Highway.   read more…

Transatlantic relations

2 June 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, European Union, General

Transatlanticism symbol: a hybrid out of the Europa and Stars and Stripes © Patrikpluhar/cc-by-sa-3.0

Transatlantiker-Symbol: Eine Hybrid aus Europa-Flagge und Sternenbanner © Patrikpluhar/cc-by-sa-3.0

(Latest update: 27 October 2020) Transatlantic relations refer to the historic, cultural, political, economic and social relations between countries on both side of the Atlantic Ocean. Sometimes specifically those between the United States, Canada and the countries in Europe, although other meanings are possible. There are a number of issues over which the United States and Europe generally disagree. Some of these are cultural, such as the U.S. use of the death penalty, some are international issues such as the Middle East peace process where the United States is often seen as pro-Israel and where Europe is often seen as pro-Arab (Arab–Israeli conflict), and many others are trade related. The current U.S. policies are often described as being unilateral in nature, whereas the European Union and Canada are often said to take a more multilateral approach, relying more on the United Nations and other international institutions to help solve issues. There are many other issues upon which they agree. This article refers to the relations between the EU (Culture of Europe, Economy of the European Union, History of Europe, and Politics of the European Union) and the USA (Culture of the United States, Economy of the United States, History of the United States, and Politics of the United States).   read more…

2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia: The venues

7 May 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Sport

© FIFA

© FIFA

The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be the 21st FIFA World Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament contested by the men’s national teams of the member associations of FIFA. It is scheduled to take place in Russia from 14 June to 15 July 2018, after the country was awarded the hosting rights on 2 December 2010. All but one of the stadium venues are in European Russia, west of the Ural Mountains to keep travel time manageable. The Lushniki Olympic Stadium in Moscow shall be the venue of the opening match and the final. Of the 12 venues used, the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow and the Saint Petersburg Stadium (the two largest stadiums in Russia) will be used most, with 7 matches being played at each of these stadiums. In March 2018, the German Federal Criminal Police Office issued a clear warning about “high threats of terrorism” during the World Cup, so that it is recommended to visit the venues only after the World Cup (additionally: U.S. Department of State – Russia Travel Advisory). All other Western security services have issued similar warnings. The venues are similar to those of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017, which was considered a dress rehearsal for the World Cup. Russia has had to reduce the overall budget for the World Cup several times due to the country’s persistent economic problems, so that the original planning for the World Cup, with the approval of the FIFA, can no longer be met. The venues are:   read more…

Arab–Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflict

6 January 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, General, Union for the Mediterranean

© Oncenawhile

© Oncenawhile

(Latest update: 27 October 2020) The Arab–Israeli conflict is the political tension, military conflicts and disputes between a number of Arab countries and Israel. The roots (European colonial period, Ottoman Empire, widespread Antisemitism in Europe, Jews in the Russian Empire, Baron Edmond James de Rothschild (Jewish land purchase in Palestine), Theodor Herzl, Jewish National Fund (Israel Bonds), timeline of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, World War I, Sykes–Picot Agreement (San Remo conference, Mandate for Palestine, UN Charter, Chapter XII – International Trusteeship System, Article 80 (commonly known as the “Palestine Article” used by both conflict parties, Israel and Palestine, to create the wildest interpretations, speculations and conspiracy theories to assert the respective alleged right to the total land area), McMahon–Hussein Correspondence), Balfour Declaration, World War II, The Holocaust (International Holocaust Remembrance Day), Évian Conference, Mandatory Palestine, Forced displacement, and United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine) of the modern Arab–Israeli conflict (or the history of collective failure) are bound in the rise of Zionism and Arab nationalism towards the end of the 19th century. Territory regarded by the Jewish people as their historical homeland is also regarded by the Pan-Arab movement as historically and currently belonging to the Palestinians, and in the Pan-Islamic context, as Muslim lands. The sectarian conflict between Palestinian Jews and Arabs emerged in the early 20th century, peaking into a full-scale civil war in 1947 and transforming into the First Arab–Israeli War in May 1948 following the Israeli Declaration of Independence (Nakba and the assassination of UN mediator Folke Bernadotte by the terror organization Lehi/Stern gang. Among them, the later Israeli PM Yitzhak Shamir). Large-scale hostilities mostly ended with the cease-fire agreements after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War, or October War. Peace agreements were signed between Israel and Egypt in 1979, resulting in Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula and abolishment of the military governance system in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in favor of Israeli Civil Administration and consequent unilateral, internationally not recognized, annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. Even when the text is about 255 pages long, it is just a summary. The multitude of links point out that there is a lot more to learn in detail. At first, it is a timeline of the major developments in the region and it leads to today’s challenges. The starting point is the view of the international community, especially the European Union and North America, on the conflict, enriched with excursions into the ideas, convictions, believes, and thoughts of the direct and indirect involved parties to the conflict.   read more…

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