Category: Society & Culture

Temporary accommodation centers for refugees from Rukban camp to open on February 19

Temporary accommodation centers for refugees from Rukban camp to open on February 19

MOSCOW, February 15. /TASS/. The Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Sides in Syria and the Syrian government will set up temporary accommodation centers for refugees from the Rukban camp, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov told reporters on Friday. “In order to save refugees coming from Rukban camp, the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Sides and the Syrian government will open temporary accommodation centers in the Jleb and Jabal al-Ghurab areas on February 19,” he said, adding that warm accommodation, hot meals, basic necessities and medical assistance would be available there. According to Konashenkov, motor vehicles will be allocated…

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Seven Moscow residents over the age of 100 continue to work

Seven Moscow residents over the age of 100 continue to work

SOCHI, February 15. /TASS/. Seven citizens over the age of 100 continue to work in Moscow, head of the Russian Pension Fund Anton Drozdov said on Friday in an interview with TASS on the sidelines of the Russian Investment Forum. “There are seven working pensioners over the age of 100 in Moscow. These are the people involved in science, journalism that are still in demand,” Drozdov said. “We have some information that there is also a woman over the age of 120, but I would double-check this data,” he added jokingly. The Russian Investment Forum takes place in Sochi on February 14-15. The main topic…

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Russia’s security chief praises Soviet Afghan war veterans’ experience

Russia’s security chief praises Soviet Afghan war veterans’ experience

MOSCOW, February 15. /TASS/. The experience of Soviet Afghan war veterans remains in demand, Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev said on Friday. Russia’s security chief spoke before participants of an official ceremony held in the Kremlin on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Soviet troops’ pullout from Afghanistan. “The invaluable experience gained in fulfilling combat assignments and rendering economic and humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan is in demand today as well,” the security chief said. ‘We honor the memory of those who gave their lives for the benefit of the Motherland, displaying courage, endurance and heroism,” he stressed. “They…

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Nenets Region to participate in eleven national projects

Nenets Region to participate in eleven national projects

SOCHI, February 15. /TASS/. The Nenets Region will take part in eleven national projects. It will skip only the Science national project, the region’s Governor Alexander Tsybulsky told TASS at the Russian Investment Forum in Sochi on Friday. “Our region will participate in all national projects, with the exception for development of sciences, since we do not have higher education or research institutions – this is how it has formed historically,” he said. “All other directions will be implemented actively in the region.” According to the official, most important would be projects to move people out of outdated houses. “We have problems with moving people…

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Putin awards Hero of Russia title to GRU veteran for courage in Soviet-Afghan war

Putin awards Hero of Russia title to GRU veteran for courage in Soviet-Afghan war

© Alexei Druzhinin/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS MOSCOW, February 15. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has conferred the title of Hero of Russia on Afghan war veteran Vladimir Kovtun for his courage and valor, the Kremlin press office reported on Friday. The presidential decree on awarding the Hero of Russia title comes as Russia marks 30 years since the pullout of Soviet troops from Afghanistan. “To confer the title of Hero of the Russian Federation on Kovtun, Vladimir Pavlovich, for heroism, courage and valor displayed when fulfilling special assignments under conditions that posed life-threating danger,” the presidential decree reads. Vladimir Kovtun was born in 1960.…

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Putin praises professionalism, courage, morale of Afghan veterans

Putin praises professionalism, courage, morale of Afghan veterans

MOSCOW, February 15. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has praised the highest professionalism, courage and morale of the Soviet troops who performed their internationalist duty in Afghanistan. “In harsh conditions, far away from home the military and civilian specialists performed their duties with honor, safeguarded the interests of their country and in coping with major tasks demonstrated the highest professionalism and incomparable valor and morale,” Putin said in a special message published on the Kremlin’s website on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the pullout of Soviet troops from Afghanistan. “February 15, 1989 became an unforgettable date for all veterans and the people.” “On…

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Roskomnadzor may take tit-for-tat steps against British media following Ofcom’s behavior

Roskomnadzor may take tit-for-tat steps against British media following Ofcom’s behavior

SOCHI, February 15. /TASS/. Russia’s media watchdog Roskomnadzor may take tit-for-tat measures against British media, considering the behavior of the British media regulator Ofcom, head of Roskomnadzor, Alexander Zharov said on the sidelines of the Russian Investment Forum on Friday. “Tit-for-tat (measures),” he told reporters when asked what actions his agency can take with regard to the UK media after actions by British colleagues. Zharov did not elaborate. On February 11, Ofcom announced that it was going to consider introduction of sanctions against Baltic Media Alliance Ltd, the license-holder of two Russian TV channels (NTV Mir Baltia and NTV Mir Lithuania) over their failure to…

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This week in photos: Putin, Lukashenko hit the slopes and Medvedev tours TASS virtual expo

This week in photos: Putin, Lukashenko hit the slopes and Medvedev tours TASS virtual expo

Members of a winter swimming club bathe in an ice hole on Lake Boyarskoye, Tomsk, February 10 © Taisiya Vorontsova/TASS Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko take a ski lift to the slopes to enjoy some mountain skiing at the Gazprom Mountain Resort in Sochi, February 13 © EPA-EFE/SERGEI CHIRIKOV/POOL Traditional mass skiing competition “Ski-track of Russia,” just outside Moscow, February 9. About 20,000 skiing amateurs as well as famous sportsmen compete in the 10 km race © AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov African penguins compete for a heart shaped valentine at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, February 12. The hearts were handed out…

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Terrorist tracking system introduced at airports of 13 countries — UN counter-terror chief

Terrorist tracking system introduced at airports of 13 countries — UN counter-terror chief

UNITED NATIONS, February 15. /TASS/. The system of tracking terrorists’ movements has been introduced at the airports of 13 countries and will soon come into operation in 20 more states, UN Under-Secretary-General, Head of the UN Counter-Terrorism Office Vladimir Voronkov told TASS on Friday. Speaking about the specific plans the UN Counter-Terrorism Office was implementing, the diplomat cited as an example “the program of countering foreign militants – terrorists by way of strengthening air security,” which envisages getting preliminary information about passengers. “These are specifically practical projects aimed at introducing the technologies contributed by the Dutch government to the UN Counter-Terrorism Office’s intellectual property,” the…

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Head of Russian media watchdog supports fight against fake news

Head of Russian media watchdog supports fight against fake news

Head of the Russian media watchdog Alexander Zharov © Sergei Bobylev/TASS SOCHI, February 15. /TASS/. The surge of fake news in the media must be prevented, head of the Russian media watchdog (Roskomnadzor) Alexander Zharov told reporters on Friday during the Russian Investment Forum. “The spread of fake news is a scourge. And we definitely need to fight it, I don’t know if through raising fines or through other measures. Everyone must fight the spread of fake news, especially journalists,” he said. The Russian Investment Forum takes place in Sochi on February 14-15. The main topic of this year’s forum is the realization of national projects.…

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Poll reveals Russians’ sentiment on Soviet military presence in Afghanistan, 30 years on

Poll reveals Russians’ sentiment on Soviet military presence in Afghanistan, 30 years on

Soviet troops coming back from Afghanistan © Viktor Budan, Georgy Nadezhdin/TASS MOSCOW, February 15. /TASS/. Three-fourths of Russians interviewed by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center know something about the 1979-1989 Afghan war, while almost one-third of the respondents believe the presence of Soviet troops in the country was justified, a poll dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Soviet pullout from Afghanistan showed on Friday. Knowing and remembering According to the survey materials obtained by TASS, 77% of those polled know something about that war, 43% of them said they heard of those events from eyewitnesses, while almost every tenth respondent (9%) revealed he (she)…

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Tokyo mulls visa-free short-term travel for Russians

Tokyo mulls visa-free short-term travel for Russians

© AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko TOKYO, February 15. /TASS/. The Japanese government is studying the possibility of scrapping visa requirements for Russians paying short-term visits to the country, the Sankei newspaper said on Friday citing own sources. According to the paper’s sources, no visas will be required for Russians visiting Japan for the period of less than 90 days if they submit data from their foreign passports to a Japanese diplomatic mission beforehand. Multiple visa-free entry within a certain timeframe can also be permitted. According to the paper, the timeframe for introducing this system is yet to be determined. The matter could be raised during a meeting…

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First deliveries of Crimean goods to Syria to begin by March

First deliveries of Crimean goods to Syria to begin by March

SOCHI, February 14. /TASS/. The first deliveries of goods from Crimea to Syria are planned for late February or early March, Minister of Crimea’s Industrial Policy Andrey Vasiuta told TASS on Thursday on the sidelines of the Russian Investment Forum in Sochi. The Crimean officials plan to export food, tableware and electrical equipment, he added. Earlier, Head of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov and Syrian Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade Mohammad Samer al-Khalil signed a memorandum on trade and economic development of the regions. The memorandum reinforces the intention of Crimea and Syria to develop cooperation in the sphere of economics, including within the framework of…

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Little boy who survived Magnitogorsk apartment building explosion recovers completely

Little boy who survived Magnitogorsk apartment building explosion recovers completely

Ivan (Vanya) Fokin, a 12-month-old boy, who was rescued from under the rubble of the collapsed apartment building in the city of Magnitogorsk, Russia, was discharged from hospital in Moscow. The boy and his mother left the hospital on February 14. Chairman of the Research Institute of Emergency Pediatric Surgery and Traumatology, Leonid Roshal, ER and EMERCOM personnel congratulated the Fokins on the recovery of the little boy. “The whole country was helping Vanya all this time. It was massive teamwork – it was rescuers, doctors and many other people who made the boy’s recovery possible. I’m happy to see him in his current healthy…

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TASS deputy head raises concern over Russian-language media’s disappearance abroad

TASS deputy head raises concern over Russian-language media’s disappearance abroad

MOSCOW, February 13. /TASS/. Russian-language media outlets are fading out in foreign countries due to a lack of support and proper attention to them, TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman said on Wednesday presenting the integration club’s annual report at the Federation Council (the upper house of Russia’s parliament).. “More than 80 countries have Russian-language journalism. It is important to speak about it. We are alarmed that regrettably, due to a lack of support and proper attention, the Russian-language media are merely disappearing, for example in the Baltic states. The issue is particularly acute in, let’s say, in Lithuania or Estonia,” Gusman said during…

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People make biggest contribution to maintaining their own health, says Russian minister

People make biggest contribution to maintaining their own health, says Russian minister

© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS SOCHI, February 13. /TASS/. People themselves can make the biggest contribution to maintaining their health, however, certain conditions for this must be created, Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova stated during the plenary session of the “Healthy Life Forum: Towards 80+” within the framework of the Russian Investment Forum 2019 in Sochi. “People themselves make the biggest contribution to maintaining their health, but they need to be informed and motivated, that is, have an emotional and motivational basis. Besides, they must find themselves in the conditions to follow a healthy lifestyle,” the minister explained. According to her, it is possible to increase the life…

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Moscow court leaves in custody eight out of 24 Ukrainian sailors detained in Black Sea

Moscow court leaves in custody eight out of 24 Ukrainian sailors detained in Black Sea

MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. On Tuesday the Moscow City Court has recognized as valid the extension of the arrest term for four more sailors out of the 24 Ukrainian sailors charged with the breach on the Russian border in the Kerch Strait, the court’s press service told TASS. “The court recognizes as legitimate the extension of the detention terms for Roman Mokryak, Yevgeny Semidotsky, Andrei Oprysko and Sergei Tsybizov,” the source said. On February 7, the Moscow City Court also left in custody four sailors: Bogdan Golovash, Sergei Popov, Vladimir Tereshchenko and Andrei Shevchenko. The defendants will remain in the pretrial detention center until April…

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Ukraine cannot demand extradition of Russian ship’s captain — prosecution

Ukraine cannot demand extradition of Russian ship’s captain — prosecution

KIEV, February 12. /TASS/. Ukraine cannot demand that Russia extradite captain of the Nord fishing vessel Vladimir Gorbenko who is currently in Crimea, Ukrainian Deputy Prosecutor General Yevgeny Yenin told the UNN news agency. “We just can’t ask Russia to extradite anyone from Crimea because they will take it as if we recognize Crimea as part of Russia,” he said. “We have already encountered this problem before and it still remains unsolved,” Yenin added. According to earlier reports, the ship’s captain, who was under investigation in Ukraine, has returned to Crimea. A week ago, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry issued a nationwide alert for Gorbenko who had…

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Jehovah’s Witnesses prosecuted for breaking law, not over faith, notes Russia’s top court

Jehovah’s Witnesses prosecuted for breaking law, not over faith, notes Russia’s top court

© Sergei Savostianov/TASS MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. Jehovah’s Witnesses has been outlawed in Russia for violating the law rather than due to motives of religious persecution, Chairman of Russia’s Supreme Court Vyacheslav Lebedev told reporters on Tuesday. “Indeed, this is portrayed like people being persecuted over their religious practices, in their view. However, this judgement, which was also pronounced by the Supreme Court, is not linked to religious practice. What we’re talking about here is the law and the rules being broken,” Lebedev specified. This case is not related to extremism, he noted. “No one is persecuting anyone for their faith. A decision was made on…

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Whelan’s defense files appeal against his arrest with cassation court

Whelan’s defense files appeal against his arrest with cassation court

Paul Whelan © AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. Lawyers of Paul Whelan, a US citizen accused of spying in Russia, have filed an appeal against his custody with the Moscow City Court’s cassation instance, his lawyer Vladimir Zherebenkov told TASS on Tuesday. “In our appeal we ask to cancel the decision by the Lefortovsky court on arresting Whelan and also to reverse the ruling of the Moscow City Court, which upheld his arrest,” the lawyer said. He asked to release his client on a 5 mln ruble ($76,200) bail or place him under house arrest either in a rented apartment or in a hotel.…

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Twitter representatives to visit Moscow for talks on data localization in February

Twitter representatives to visit Moscow for talks on data localization in February

MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. Negotiations between Twitter and the Russian mass media regulator Roskomnadzor on compliance with Russian laws may take place by the end of February, head of the regulator Alexander Zharov told reporters on Tuesday. “This should be mutually convenient time. I think that [Twitter representatives – TASS] will come. They should appear by the end of winter,” the official said. Under the Russian law on personal data, which took effect on September 1, 2015, national and foreign companies are obliged to store Russian user data on Russian servers. The media watchdog’s chief Alexander Zharov said earlier that Facebook and Twitter were expected…

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Moscow Zoo celebrates its 155th birthday

Moscow Zoo celebrates its 155th birthday

On February 12, 1864, the Moscow Zoo opened its doors for the first time to the public. In 1864-1865, the zoo was home to more than 134 domestic animal species and 160 wild animal species. The Moscow Zoo currently has over 7,500 animals representing about 1,000 species and covers an area of about 21.5 hectares. See the images of the zoo’s inhabitants.

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Maduro says he will not allow US humanitarian aid in Venezuela

Maduro says he will not allow US humanitarian aid in Venezuela

LONDON, February 12. /TASS/. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has stated that he will not allow the delivery of American humanitarian aid to Venezuela, as the US is thus trying to justify a military intervention, he told BBC in an interview on Tuesday. The US is sparking a war to seize Venezuela, he said, highlighting that “Venezuela is a country that has the capacity to satisfy all the necessities of our people” and that “our people do not to beg from anyone.” Maduro called the American sanctions the reason behind Venezuela’s economic problems that in this way the US “has intended to create a humanitarian crisis…

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Venezuela thanks Russia for support in current situation

Venezuela thanks Russia for support in current situation

MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. The leadership and people of Venezuela are grateful to Russia for support in the current situation and are firmly opposed to outside interference, Venezuela’s ambassador in Moscow Carlos Rafael Faria Tortosa said at a meeting of the working group of the Federation Council’s temporary commission for the protection of state sovereignty and prevention of interference in Russia’s internal affairs. “You protect our country. Objectively you stand for the Constitution and are opposed to interference. Our people, our government and our President Nicolas Maduro are very grateful to you and the Russian government,” Tortosa said. On January 23, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan…

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Nord ship captain’s health in question after returning from Ukraine

Nord ship captain’s health in question after returning from Ukraine

Nord fishing vessel © Ukrainian State Border Guard Service SIMFEROPOL, February 11. /TASS/. Captain of Russia’s arrested Nord fishing vessel Vladimir Gorbenko, who has returned to Crimea from Ukraine, “doesn’t feel well,” spokesperson for the ship owner company Anna Sheveleva told TASS. “The captain is in Russia. His return home is his personal success. He doesn’t feel well but he says he will tell everybody about what happened when he is ready,” she said, adding that the situation had affected the captain both health-wise and emotionally. A week ago, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry issued a nationwide alert for Vladimir Gorbenko who had broken contact with his Ukrainian…

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Russia’s national project bolstering road infrastructure to help reduce fatalities

Russia’s national project bolstering road infrastructure to help reduce fatalities

© Dmitriy Serebryakov/TASS MOSCOW, February 11. /TASS/. Russia’s national project dubbed Safe and High-Quality Roads, planned to be implemented by 2024, is expected to cut road fatalities by 3.5 times compared to 2017, bringing the number to no more than four per 100,000 population and to zero level by 2030, according to documents on the national projects, which have been published on the government’s website. Another goal laid out in the national project is to ease the burden of overloaded federal and regional motorways making it ten percent less strained than in 2017. There are also plans to halve accident-prone areas compared to 2017. The national…

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Grammy Awards 2019: Childish Gambino, Lady Gaga and Dua Lipa win big

Grammy Awards 2019: Childish Gambino, Lady Gaga and Dua Lipa win big

The 61st annual Grammy Awards was held on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles. “This Is America” by Childish Gambino won the prestigious Record of the Year and Song of the Year awards, becoming the first rap song to win the prestigious categories. Country artist Kacey Musgraves took home four Grammys, including Album of the Year and Best Country Album for Golden Hour. Dua Lipa won two Grammys, including Best New Artist. And Lady Gaga won three Grammys, two of them for the song “Shallow”. See the ceremony highlights.

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Russia embarks on cleaning up nation’s eight most polluted cities by 2024

Russia embarks on cleaning up nation’s eight most polluted cities by 2024

Overfilled trash container on a street in Chelyabinsk © Donat Sorokin/TASS MOSCOW, February 11. /TASS/. The Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has set out to fully clean up Russia’s most polluted cities by 2024 within the framework of the state’s national project known as “Ecology”, citing data uploaded to the government’s website on Monday. The “Clean Air” section has been added to the project, which seeks to improve the ecological situation in those cities where it is dire, such as Norilsk, Krasnoyarsk, Omsk, Chelyabinsk and Chita. The “Ecology” project also includes federal programs called: “Clean country”, “The construction of facilities to separate and process…

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