Category: Society & Culture

Court sentences teenager who attacked schoolchildren to 9 years behind bars

Court sentences teenager who attacked schoolchildren to 9 years behind bars

PERM, December 18. /TASS/. A District Court in Perm in the Urals has sentenced a teenager who attacked schoolchildren and a teacher at school No. 127 in January, injuring 15 pupils, to 9 years and 8 months in a prison, TASS reports from the courtroom. “To find the suspect guilty and sentence him to 9 years and 8 months in a prison,” the judge read out the verdict, noting that the convict would serve his term in the juvenile correctional facility. The incident occurred on January 15, 2018. According to the investigators, the tenth-from pupil and his underage acquaintance came to the school with knives.…

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Pushkin Museum sends Renaissance masterpiece back to its owner

Pushkin Museum sends Renaissance masterpiece back to its owner

MOSCOW, December 18. /TASS/. Moscow’s Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts has sent the Venus and Adonis masterpiece, by the Venetian Renaissance artist Titian, back to its owner. The museum is not losing hope to acquire the painting, although the owner has reneged on the deal, the press service said. “Yesterday we removed the painting from the exhibition and packed it. Today it was already sent to the owner,” the museum said, noting that the new talks with the owner on selling the masterpiece were scheduled for December 25. “We hope that they will be successful and the masterpiece will become part of our museum’s…

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Yoko Ono to attend opening of her Moscow exhibition in autumn 2019

Yoko Ono to attend opening of her Moscow exhibition in autumn 2019

© © EPA-EFE/ANDREA MEROLA MOSCOW, December 17. /TASS/. Japanese artist and performer Yoko Ono plans to attend the opening of her exhibition at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA) in October 2019, the museum’s press service informed TASS on Monday. The exhibition under the name of “The Sky is Always Clear” will be open for visitors from October 1 to November 24, 2019. According to the organizers, the exhibition will uncover the basic elements of Ono’s art works and show the Japanese artist’s views concerning the meaning of art and its relation to political and social life. “Yoko Ono and her team will visit Moscow,”…

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Taimyr’s university begins unique bachelor’s degree program

Taimyr’s university begins unique bachelor’s degree program

TASS, December 17. The only university on the Taimyr Peninsula (the Krasnoyarsk Region) – the Norilsk State Industrial Institute – launched a special training program, based on requests from a future employer – the Norilsk Nickel Company (Nornickel). The Institute’s Acting Head Dmitry Dubrov told TASS about the program and about the plans to open a master degree program and to have new disciplines. The Norilsk State Industrial Institute was established in 1961. Currently, it teaches more than 3,200 students, and further professional education programs are taught to more than 8,000 specialists. Though the Institute is not big and it as yet does not participate…

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Canonical Ukrainian Church ousts two bishops who took part in ‘unification council’

Canonical Ukrainian Church ousts two bishops who took part in ‘unification council’

© Igor Yashkin/TASS KIEV, December 17. /TASS/. The Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has deposed Metropolitan Simeon (Shostatsky) of Vinnitsa and Metropolitan Alexander (Drabinko) of Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky for taking part in the so-called ‘unification council’ on December 15 at its extraordinary meeting, Archbishop Clement, Chairman of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) Synodal Information Department, has said. “The Holy Synod had to make appropriate decisions regarding the two bishops, who, despite the bishops’ council’s decision, took part in the December 15 council. The Synod dismissed Metropolitan Simeon of Vinnitsa and Bar as diocese head and deposed him and dismissed vicar bishop Metropolitan Alexander of Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky and…

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South Ossetia to invite observers from Syria to parliamentary election

South Ossetia to invite observers from Syria to parliamentary election

MOSCOW, December 17. /TASS/. Syrian parliamentary members will be invited as observers for the parliamentary election in South Ossetia, Chairman of the parliamentary Committee for Foreign Policy and Interparliamentary Activity Igor Kochiyev told TASS on Monday. The election to the supreme legislative body of the republic is scheduled for the summer of 2019. “We always invite our colleagues as observers, when elections are held in the republic. We will send invitations to parliamentary members of the Syrian Arab Republic so that they could participate as observers. We also plan to sign an agreement with Syria at the interparliamentary level and establish closer ties between our…

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Constantinople undermines Orthodox unity in Ukraine — UOC

Constantinople undermines Orthodox unity in Ukraine — UOC

KIEV, December 17. /TASS/. The actions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople have come in the way of restoring Orthodox unity in Ukraine “for a long time, if not forever”, the address of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) of the Moscow Patriarchate informed. The Synod stated on Monday, that the so-called Unifying Assembly, which took place on Saturday in Kiev, “is a union of schismatics, and has no relation whatsoever to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.” “Essentially, nothing has changed for our church, as the schismatics remain in the schism, and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church remains the true Christ’s church in Ukraine,”…

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Trotsky coming soon to Netflix: Russian revolutionary series to go on online streaming

Trotsky coming soon to Netflix: Russian revolutionary series to go on online streaming

A snapshot of the series © Sreda production MOSCOW, December 17. /TASS/. The streaming company Netflix has bought the rights to the Russian series Trotsky, a representative with the Sreda production company told TASS. Sreda is in charge of the distribution rights for the series. “Netflix has purchased the rights to screen the Trotsky series. The film starring Konstantin Khabensky (a well-known Russian actor – TASS) is already available on the platform,” the representative said. The film describes the story of the former leader of the Russian revolution Leon Trotsky. The series’ first screening on Russian TV in 2017 was timed to mark the centenary of…

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Philippines’ Catriona Gray crowned Miss Universe 2018

Philippines’ Catriona Gray crowned Miss Universe 2018

BANGKOK, December 17. /TASS/. Catriona Gray from the Philippines was crowned on Sunday night Miss Universe 2018 after the 67th international beauty pageant in Bangkok, Thailand. The crown for the new Miss Universe was passed on to Gray by South Africa’s Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, who won the title of the Miss Universe 2017 last year at the beauty contest in the United States. The second place in the beauty pageant went to Tamaryn Green of South Africa and the third place to Venezuela’s Sthefany Gutierrez. Russia’s was represented among this year’s record high number of 94 participants by 18-year-old Yulia Polyachikhina, but she failed to make…

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Far Eastern authorities seek Russian rescuers’ aid in evacuating tourists from China

Far Eastern authorities seek Russian rescuers’ aid in evacuating tourists from China

KHABAROVSK, December 16. /TASS/. The administration of Russia’s Far Eastern Khabarovsk Territory may ask the Russian Emergencies Ministry to send a plane for Russian tourists, stuck on China’s resort island of Hainan, the region’s governor Sergei Furgal said on his official Instagram page. Currently, about 160 residents of Khabarovsk Territory are unable to leave Hainan due to problems of their tour operator, Pearl River. “As of midnight local time (17:00 Moscow time on Saturday), a flight to Khabarovsk was not yet organized. The situation is critical, a plane must be found as soon as possible. We will do our best. Possibly, we will manage to…

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Attempt to set up unified church failed, there’s no unity in Ukraine — domestic expert

Attempt to set up unified church failed, there’s no unity in Ukraine — domestic expert

KIEV, December 16. /TASS/. The attempt to create a unified church in Ukraine has failed despite Saturday’s unification council held in the capital Kiev on Saturday, Ukrainian expert Ruslan Bortnik has told TASS. “In fact, the Kiev Patriarchate has become legal today, together with the [unrecognized] Ukrainian Autocephalous Church and two hierarchs of the [canonical] Ukrainian Orthodox Church [reporting to the Moscow Patriarchate]. Of course, it would be wrong to say that today a unified national church was established in Ukraine, because there is no unity,” said Bortnik, who heads the Ukrainian Institute for Analysis and Management of Policy. He explained that the new church…

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Schismatic Ukrainian church head to receive autocephaly decree on January 6

Schismatic Ukrainian church head to receive autocephaly decree on January 6

ANKARA, December 15. /TASS/. Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople plans to hand over the Tomos (decree) of Autocephaly to the head of Ukraine’s newly established church, a spokesperson for the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople told TASS on Saturday. “The patriarchate welcomes the success of the unification council in Ukraine. Patriarch Bartholomew invited Metropolitan Epiphany [to Istanbul] on January 6 to give him the Tomos of Autocephaly,” the spokesperson said. “In a phone conversation, the patriarch congratulated Epiphany on his election [to the post].” ‘Completely dependent’ church Ukraine’s new church will be completely dependent from the Constantinople Patriarchate, said Vasily Anisimov, the chief spokesman for the canonical…

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Canonical Orthodox Church to stay in Ukraine after schismatics got autocephaly

Canonical Orthodox Church to stay in Ukraine after schismatics got autocephaly

MOSCOW, December 15. /TASS/. The canonical Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate will continue serving in Ukraine after a new church – the Autocephalous Orthodox Church – was established in that country, the Reverend Alexander Volkov, spokesman for Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, told TASS on Saturday. “The Russian Orthodox Church is praying in its whole plentitude for a comprehensive consolidation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church headed by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev. Canonical Orthodoxy has entrenched itself today. People have believed deeper in the truth of the evangelical phrase ‘I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail…

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Russian Orthodox Church warns of further fragmentation of schismatic groups in Ukraine

Russian Orthodox Church warns of further fragmentation of schismatic groups in Ukraine

MOSCOW, December 15. /TASS/. After the creation of an Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Ukraine, schismatic religious groups will grow in number in that country, the Reverend Alexander Volkov, spokesman for Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, told TASS. “As for those rulings passed in the ancient St. Sophia’s in Kiev (the St. Sophia’s Cathedral) desecrated by that gathering, we can say that schismatics elected a schismatic as their new head, and honestly speaking, nothing has changed for that schismatic group,” he said. “However, if Ukraine used to have two schismatic branches earlier, their fragmentation and multiplication in the future can be foreseen. We cannot…

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Putin arrives at St. Petersburg Philharmonic’ concert honoring conductor Temirkanov

Putin arrives at St. Petersburg Philharmonic’ concert honoring conductor Temirkanov

MOSCOW, December 15. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic for concert marking the 80th birthday of celebrated conductor Yuri Temirkanov. The president attended the concert after a meeting of the Presidential Council for Culture and Art held at the Konstantin Palace in Strelna. After the interval, Putin is due to greet Temirkanov who turned 80 on December 10. In other media

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President Poroshenko declares establishment of Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Ukraine

President Poroshenko declares establishment of Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Ukraine

Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko © EPA-EFE/MIKHAIL PALINCHAK KIEV, December 15. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has declared establishment of a new church in the country – the Autocephalous Orthodox Church. “I congratulate everyone on setting up the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church which has been just created at St. Sophia’s,” he said addressing the crowd in Sofiyskaya Square after the end of the ‘unification’ council. Metropolitan Epiphany of Pereyaslav and Belotserkovsk, who had earlier served as a bishop of the uncanonical Kiev Patriarchate, was elected head of the new church. In other media

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Ukraine’s autocephalous church will depend on Constantinople – Russian Orthodox Church

Ukraine’s autocephalous church will depend on Constantinople – Russian Orthodox Church

MOSCOW, December 15. /TASS/. The Ukrainian church will not be able to make independent decisions if granted autocephaly as it will be closely controlled by the Constantinople Patriarchate, Spokesman for Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia Rev. Alexander Volkov told Russia’s NTV channel on Saturday. “The noose is tightening and now the schismatics will be kept on a short leash, they will not be able to make any independent decisions concerning personnel and spiritual matters,” he said. According to Volkov, all documents and key decisions are prepared by the Constantinople Patriarchate. “They are drafting all documents, while representatives of the schismatics are not permitted,…

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‘Unification’ council aimed at creating autocephalous church begins in Kiev

‘Unification’ council aimed at creating autocephalous church begins in Kiev

KIEV, December 15. /TASS/. The “unification” council aimed at creating an autocephalous church in Ukraine under the Constantinople Patriarchate, has begun in the St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate said in a statement. According to the statement, the event involves bishops, priests and parishioners, including Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko. The event is aimed at establishing a new local Orthodox Church in Ukraine, which will be considered as autocephalous but in fact will be headed by the Constantinople patriarch. Ukraine’s church crisis Kiev has been making attempts to create a Local Orthodox Church in Ukraine, independent of the Moscow…

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Kiev tightens border control ahead of “unification council”

Kiev tightens border control ahead of “unification council”

KIEV, December 14. /TASS/. Additional checks while crossing Ukraine’s border during the so-called church unification council will be organized for citizens from the migration risk countries, including Russian nationals, spokesman for the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service Oleg Slobodyan told TASS. “These measures will affect, first and foremost, citizens from the migration risk countries, including the Russian Federation,” he noted, without providing more details. Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service earlier reported that it had prohibited Russian men aged 16 to 60 years from entering the country. Its head Pyotr Tsigikal pointed out that entry was only possible should the situation a “humanitarian nature” emerge, like…

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Key cleric of Kiev’s landmark monastery says SBU accusations part of anti-church campaign

Key cleric of Kiev’s landmark monastery says SBU accusations part of anti-church campaign

KIEV, December 14. /TASS/. Abbot of the Holy Dormition Kiev-Pechersk Lavra (Monastery of the Caves), Metropolitan Paul, has called accusations against him of organizing protests aimed at disrupting the “unification” council by Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) a well-planned action against the church. “The event, which took place in recent days, was a well-planned action. These people are against the church and against me personally, as they are telling lies. No one phoned me, no one warned that there would be such a meeting, that we should organize a rally with some posters,” he told the 112 Ukraine TV channel. “Let me say once again: that…

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Ukrainian intelligence agents drag UOC bishop to Kiev for ‘talk’ with Poroshenko

Ukrainian intelligence agents drag UOC bishop to Kiev for ‘talk’ with Poroshenko

KIEV, December 14. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) in the Vinnitsa Region (in west-central Ukraine) has forcibly brought Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) bishop, Metropolitan Agapit of Mogilyov-Podolsky and Shargorod to Kiev, allegedly for a conversation with Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, Chairman of the UOC’s Legal Department, Archpriest Alexander Bakhov, wrote on his Facebook page on Friday. “Remember, I said UOC bishops would be brought to the [unification] council under escort? Today, Metropolitan Agapit (Bevtsik) of Mogilyov-Podolsky and Shargorod was forcibly transported to Kiev by the SBU’s Vinnitsa regional branch,” he wrote. Earlier on Friday, head of the UOC Synodal Information Department, Archbishop Clement, stressed that…

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This week in photos: Miss Universe contest, hole in Soyuz spacecraft, Strasbourg shooting

This week in photos: Miss Universe contest, hole in Soyuz spacecraft, Strasbourg shooting

Miss El Salvador Marisela de Montecristo poses in her national costume during the Miss Universe 2018 national costume contest at Nongnooch International Convention and Exhibition Center in Pattaya, December 10 © EPA-EFE/RUNGROJ YONGRIT US President Donald Trump tosses a coin before the Army-Navy NCAA college football game in Philadelphia, December 8 © AP Photo/Matt Rourke Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Sergei Prokopyev conducting a spacewalk outside the International Space Station Space, December 11. The spacewalk’s main objective was to inspect a hole on the external surface of the habitation module of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft © Roscosmos Window cleaners wearing a dog and a boar costumes clean windows…

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Breakaway clerics pick candidate for chief bishop of Poroshenko’s ‘new’ church — media

Breakaway clerics pick candidate for chief bishop of Poroshenko’s ‘new’ church — media

KIEV, December 14. /TASS/. The Bishops Council of the non-canonical Kiev Patriarchate voted at its Thursday meeting for Metropolitan Epiphanius (Dumenko) of Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky and Belaya Tserkov as the candidate for the post of primate of the new Ukrainian Church due to be created at the “unification council” in Kiev on Saturday, the online edition of Ukrainskaya Pravda reported on Friday citing its own sources in the patriarchate. According to the news outlet, he was backed by nearly 30 bishops, while 12 other bishops supported Metropolitan Mikhail of Lutsk. It also noted that the vote did not mean that another candidate would not be considered at…

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Poroshenko-led church council will have no canonical force, vows UOC

Poroshenko-led church council will have no canonical force, vows UOC

KIEV, December 14. /TASS/. The ‘unification council’ to create a new Local Church in Ukraine, scheduled to be held on December 15, will be illegitimate and its decisions will have no canonical force, Archbishop Clement, Chairman of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) Synodal Information Department, told TASS on Friday. “From the standpoint of Orthodox Christian religious doctrine, this council is not a legitimate church event, and those who are going to take part in it and their decisions will have neither church significance nor canonical force whatsoever,” he said, adding that the stance on the non-recognition of the ‘unification’ council and its potential decisions was…

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Russian Orthodox Church urges world leaders to defend religious rights in Ukraine

Russian Orthodox Church urges world leaders to defend religious rights in Ukraine

MOSCOW, December 14. /TASS/. The Russian Orthodox Church expects European political and religious leaders to properly evaluate the infringement of believers’ religious rights in Ukraine, spokesman for Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Rev. Alexander Volkov, told TASS on Friday. The primate of the Russian Orthodox Church earlier addressed the heads of the Local Orthodox Churches, Pope Francis, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel over mass violations of rights and freedoms against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s bishops, clerics and believers. “The purpose of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia’s appeal…

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Patriarch of all Russia draws global attention to pressure on Ukrainian Orthodox Church

Patriarch of all Russia draws global attention to pressure on Ukrainian Orthodox Church

MOSCOW, December 14. /TASS/. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has sent messages to heads of the world’s Churches, the United Nations and OSCE secretary generals and the leaders of France and Germany, drawing their attention to violations of the rights of bishops, priests and parishioners of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations said in a statement on Friday. “The authorities of the secular state of Ukraine, who have been interfering in the affairs of the Church for quite a while, have recently moved to exert brutal pressure on bishops and priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which…

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Jailed Russian activist Butina signed plea deal on Dec. 8 — state attorneys

Jailed Russian activist Butina signed plea deal on Dec. 8 — state attorneys

WASHINGTON, December 13. /TASS/. Russian citizen Maria Butina, accused by the United States of acting as an unregistered foreign agent, accepted a plea offer on December 8, according to the document, obtained by TASS. The papers, signed by Butina, her attorneys Robert Driscoll and Alfred Carry and US attorneys Jessie Liu, Erik Kenerson and Thomas Saunders, are dated December 8. The plea offer was to expire on December 10. The US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia rejected a TASS request for a comment, “because this is a pending case.” Public Information Officer Bill Miller said no sentencing date has been set. “A status…

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BBC to air series about bear rescue center in Russia’s Tver Region

BBC to air series about bear rescue center in Russia’s Tver Region

LONDON, December 13. /TASS/. A two-part series by Scottish wildlife filmmaker Gordon Buchanan telling the story of the Orphaned Bear Rescue Center in the Tver Region and the Pazhetnov family who work there will air on BBC Two on December 18-19, Buchanan posted on Twitter on Thursday. Buchanan has several times come to the village of Bubonitsy, in the Tver Region, where the IFAW Bear Rescue Center is based. The film, called ‘Grizzly Bear Cubs and Me’, is about three sets of orphaned cubs whom the staff of the center feed and return back to the wild. Cubs Slava and Pasha were found in a…

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US court accepts Butina’s guilty plea to one of charges

US court accepts Butina’s guilty plea to one of charges

WASHINGTON, December 13. /TASS/. The US Court for the District of Columbia on Thursday accepted the guilty plea of Russian national Maria Butina to one of counts as part of a plea deal and appointed next hearing on her case on February 12. However Judge Tanya Chutkan did not appoint the judgement date but said the next hearing will be held on February 12. The judgement date was not appointed at the request of a representative of the US Attorney’s Office who said that Butin is currently cooperating with the investigation and this process may take some time. Butina’s public defender AJ Cramer stated that…

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