Category: Society & Culture

US, Irish diplomats soon to visit espionage suspect Paul Whelan

US, Irish diplomats soon to visit espionage suspect Paul Whelan

GENEVA, January 15. /TASS/. US and Irish diplomats will soon visit Paul Whelan, detained in Russia on suspicion of espionage, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters on Tuesday. “Whelan holds the citizenship of the United States and also of Ireland, their diplomats will get consular access to him in the near future,” he said, adding that Russia was strictly abiding by its obligations and rules of procedure. Paul Whelan’s brother David told TASS earlier that diplomats from the US embassy in Moscow would visit Paul on January 17. “We heard from the US Embassy staff today that they have a meeting scheduled with…

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Over 300 thousand foreigners underwent treatment in Russia in 2018

Over 300 thousand foreigners underwent treatment in Russia in 2018

MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. More than 300 thousand foreign patients took advantage of medical services in Russia in 2018, Healthcare Minister Veronika Skvortsova said on Tuesday at a panel session during the Gaidar Forum. “If you recall, we reported the results – 20 thousand foreign patients in 2016, 120 thousand in 2017; according to preliminary data, over 300 thousand,” Skvortsova said. Popularity of medical treatment in Russia among foreigners helps to bring extra money to Russia, she added. It was reported earlier that the Russian Healthcare Ministry is considering opportunities to boost export of medical services and inbound medical tourism to Russia. President Vladimir Putin…

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Kiev Pechersk Lavra brethren offered to join new Orthodox Church of Ukraine

Kiev Pechersk Lavra brethren offered to join new Orthodox Church of Ukraine

Head of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra Metropolitan Pavel © Department of Information and Education of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church/TASS KIEV, January 15. /TASS/. Head of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra Metropolitan Pavel stated that the monastery’s brethren have been offered to join the newly formed Orthodox Church of Ukraine. “Today, they told me: make an announcement and tell them (the monks – TASS), perhaps, the brethren want to join the Ukrainian church,” the metropolitan stated during the briefing on Tuesday, without specifying who approached him. At the same time, the head of the Lavra stressed that the monks “are already in the Ukrainian church, they are fully…

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Almost 3 million people visited Moscow Kremlin Museums in 2018

Almost 3 million people visited Moscow Kremlin Museums in 2018

© Artiom Geodakyan/TASS MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. About 2,867,000 people visited Moscow Kremlin Museums last year. The most popular exhibition was “BVLGARI. Tribute to Femininity. Magnificent Roman Jewels,” the Moscow Kremlin Museums press service told on Tuesday. “In 2018, the Moscow Kremlin Museums received 2,867,000 people. This are visitors of the museum’s main exposition and three large exhibition projects launched in 2018. The most visited exhibition was the project ‘BVLGARI. Tribute to Femininity. Magnificent Roman Jewels,’ which ended on January 13: 220,428 visitors saw it,” the report says. The exhibition “Ming Dynasty: The Radiance of Knowledge” was attended by 121,573 people, and the exhibition “Encompassing the…

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Moscow court to consider complaint against arrest of suspected US spy Whelan January 22

Moscow court to consider complaint against arrest of suspected US spy Whelan January 22

Paul Whelan © EPA-EFE/WHELAN FAMILY MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. The Moscow City Court is due to consider on January 22 a complaint against the arrest of US citizen Paul Whelan in Russia on espionage charges, lawyer Vladimir Zherebenkov told TASS. “At 10:30 a.m. Moscow Time on January 22 the court will consider an appeal against the arrest of our client Whelan,” the lawyer said. He called the pre-trial restriction measure very harsh. In the complaint, the lawyer asks to release Whelan on bail, saying that the court should define the sum. Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said Paul Whelan was detained in Moscow “while he was…

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Get your facts straight: Russian church advises Poroshenko to switch history consultants

Get your facts straight: Russian church advises Poroshenko to switch history consultants

MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko needs professional consultants in order to correct the information on Orthodox Christianity and the status of Local Churches, which he has, Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Synodal Department for Relations between the Church and Society Vladimir Legoida told TASS on Tuesday. During his trip to Vinnitsa, a city in the western part of central Ukraine, Poroshenko earlier called on the Russian Orthodox Church “to show the Tomos (a church decree on establishing an independent church – TASS)” to prove its canonicity. “I believe that Pyotr Alexeyevich needs to change his consultants who formulate reference material on church…

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Frigid marathon: Runner covers 50 km distance in Siberia at minus 60 degrees Celsius

Frigid marathon: Runner covers 50 km distance in Siberia at minus 60 degrees Celsius

© Mikhail Japaridze/TASS MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. An extreme runner from Moldova covered a distance of 50 kilometers in the Oymyakonsky District of Yakutia, Siberia, at minus 60 degrees Celsius (minus 76 degrees Fahrenheit), the event’s organizers said in a statement on Tuesday. “On January 14, Dmitry Voloshin, an extreme athlete from Moldova, took part in a charity race in the world’s coldest place, the Oymyakonsky Ulus (district) of Yakutia, where temperatures sometimes plummet to minus 71 degrees Celsius (minus 95.8 degrees Fahrenheit). Dmitry covered a 50 km distance at minus 60 degrees Celsius. According to weather reports, it felt like minus 67 degrees Celsius (minus…

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US wields censorship baton: Kremlin warns net users vulnerable to Washington’s whims

US wields censorship baton: Kremlin warns net users vulnerable to Washington’s whims

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov © Mikhail Metzel/TASS MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. According to Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, those who are zealous social media users run a high risk, he stated in an interview d with the newspaper Argumenty I Fakty published on its website on Tuesday. “Those who spend a lot of time on social media run a great risk. How many Russian accounts were affected when the US suddenly thought that they were created for interfering in its presidential election? I am confident that there were numerous accounts that knew nothing about this election. But they were just blocked and that was that,” he said,…

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Births will outnumber deaths in Russia by 2023, deputy PM predicts

Births will outnumber deaths in Russia by 2023, deputy PM predicts

© Alexandr Ryumin/TASS MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. The number of births will exceed the number of deaths in Russia in 2023-2024, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, who is in charge of the country’s national demographic and healthcare programs, said on Tuesday. “We expect that a negative trend on natural decrease in population [when deaths exceed births] will start changing in 2023-2024,” Golikova told a session of the Gaidar Forum in Moscow. According to Golikova, over 11 months of 2018 the death rate in Russia exceeded the birth rate by 193,000. The highest death rate – 7 people per 1,000 citizens – is recorded in the…

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Medvedev praises press for helping fight scourge of online ‘death groups’

Medvedev praises press for helping fight scourge of online ‘death groups’

© Sergei Konkov/TASS MOSCOW, January 14. /TASS/. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has stated that it is important that journalists cover the problem of what is known as “death groups” spreading across the Internet. He made the statement at the government’s media award ceremony for 2018. Olga Bobrova and Galina Mursaliyeva, journalists from the Novaya Gazeta daily, were among the winners. They were awarded a prize for a series of investigative reports covering child safety on the Internet. “There is no immunity to crime, bigotry, extremism and all sorts of radicalism, and many Internet criminals take advantage of this skillfully and covertly. Unfortunately, as a result, tragedies,…

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The start of adulthood: Japan’s youth celebrates Coming of Age

The start of adulthood: Japan’s youth celebrates Coming of Age

Coming of Age Day is a Japanese holiday held annually on the second Monday of January. Japanese men and women who turn 20 years old celebrate the Coming-of-Age Day as they are recognized as adults by Japanese society and law after the age of 20. Festivities include ceremonies held at local and prefectural offices and parties among family and friends. See the images. In other media

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Russia’s State Historical Museum adds renowned ‘John the Baptist’ icon to its collection

Russia’s State Historical Museum adds renowned ‘John the Baptist’ icon to its collection

© Sergei Bobylev/TASS MOSCOW, January 14. / TASS /. The 18th Century “John the Baptist” icon and the letter of Russian Emperor Alexander II to the King of the Two Sicilies, Francis II, became part of the collection of the State Historical Museum in 2018. This is what museum director, Alexey Levykin, told TASS. “Our museum’s collection enlarges by hundreds of new items each year, both through beneficiaries and as result of archaeological excavations. In addition, we acquire items that are of interest to our museum. Our sponsors also help us. Thanks to them we were able to add the “John the Baptist” icon of the…

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Vladimir Urin: Nobody can fill my shoes!

Vladimir Urin: Nobody can fill my shoes!

On Pinocchio, the Blue-Haired Fairy and the Harlequin, the housing question, good luck and desktop signs —You don’t look like Mangiafuoco at all, Sir! And do you think I should? — Well, how else can it be when there are so many Pinocchios, Blue-Haired Fairies and Harlequins around? A whip surely comes in handy… I can be tough at times, I’m told. I’ll even concede that this is really so, since I cannot see myself through other people’s eyes. Nevertheless, in any situation, I prefer to talk to people, to persuade others, and not issue orders. Everybody who comes to my office must be sure that…

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Moscow museum to exhibit jewelry from BBC’s ‘War and Peace’ series, Faberge’s rare works

Moscow museum to exhibit jewelry from BBC’s ‘War and Peace’ series, Faberge’s rare works

MOSCOW, January 14. / TASS /. The Russian State Historical Museum will hold an exhibition in 2019, which will display jewelry designed specifically for the filming of the BBC TV series “War and Peace”. The museum will also host an exposition called “Faberge and Court’s Jewelers”, Alexey Levykin, director of the State Historical Museum, stated in an interview with TASS. “This spring, jewelry aficionados will be able to see a collection of gems created for the eminent BBC series “War and Peace”. The works of Peter Aksenov’s jewelry house will be on display at the Russian Museum of the Patriotic War of 1812,” Levykin said.…

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Poll unveils just how much Russians spent per capita on celebrating the New Year

Poll unveils just how much Russians spent per capita on celebrating the New Year

MOSCOW, January 14. /TASS/. Russians shelled out an average of 13,870 rubles ($206) on the more than week-long New Year’s holidays, which is about 300 rubles ($4.50) less than last year, according to a survey by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center that TASS received on Monday. Last year, Russians spent an average of 14,195 rubles per capita ($211), the poll reported. “About 5,375 rubles ($80) went for gifts for loved ones and friends, and another 4,595 rubles ($68) for the New Year’s feast, and 3,903 rubles covered trips, Christmas trees, restaurants, and so on,” it said. “Only 2% of those surveyed didn’t spend a…

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Court rejects Russian National Guard chief’s libel lawsuit against Navalny

Court rejects Russian National Guard chief’s libel lawsuit against Navalny

Head of Russia’s National Guard Viktor Zolotov © Alexei Nikolskly/Russian president’s press service/TASS MOSCOW, January 13. /TASS/. Moscow’s Lyublinsky Court has rejected a libel lawsuit filed by Head of Russia’s National Guard Viktor Zolotov against opposition politician and blogger Alexey Navalny, the court said on its website on Sunday. In December 2018, the court said the document contained discrepancies contradicting Russia’s Civic Procedural Code and obliged Zolotov to refile the lawsuit in a correct form by January 9. However, the complainant failed to meet the court’s demand. Later, Zolotov’s lawyer Shota Gorgadze said he would not represent his client’s interests. Russia’s National Guard (Rosgvardiya) chief filed…

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Ukraine’s human rights commissioner says will meet with Russian counterpart on Monday

Ukraine’s human rights commissioner says will meet with Russian counterpart on Monday

Ukraine’s Human Rights Commissioner Lyudmila Denisova © Alexander Scherbak/TASS KIEV, January 13. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Human Rights Commissioner Lyudmila Denisova said she has reached an agreement on holding a meeting with her Russian counterpart Tatyana Moskalkova in Moscow on Monday. “We will discuss other issues directly at the meeting in Moscow on Monday. We agreed with Tatyana Moskalkova on the meeting’s timeframe and decided that it will be confidential”, Denisova wrote on her Facebook page. The Ukrainian human rights commissioner said she had discussed with Moskalkova the condition of Edem Bekirov, who was detained in Russia on charges of storing explosives, and Stanislav Khykh, who earlier fought on…

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Ukrainian, Russian human rights ombudspersons discuss possible meeting

Ukrainian, Russian human rights ombudspersons discuss possible meeting

KIEV, January 11. /TASS/. The Ukrainian parliament’s Human Rights Ombudsperson Lyudmila Denisova may meet with Russian Human Rights Ombudsperson Tatyana Moskalkova soon, as she herself wrote on Facebook on Friday. “Today, I held a telephone conversation with Russian Human Rights Ombudsperson Tatyana Moskalkova,” Denisova said. “We discussed the possibility of meeting in Moscow on Monday. I said I was ready to meet with her for we have many issues to discuss,” she added. Meanwhile, the Russian ombudsperson’s press service said that Moskalkova was scheduled to make a working visit to Uzbekistan on January 15-18. “The press service has no information concerning a possible meeting with…

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Russian TV series Better than Humans to be available on Netflix

Russian TV series Better than Humans to be available on Netflix

MOSCOW, January 11. /TASS/. The streaming company Netflix has bought the rights to the Russian series Better than Humans, Yulia Mindubaeva, general director of the Start video service told TASS on Friday. Start is an online video service offering best Russian films, series and cartoons. In Russia, the rights for Better than Humans series belong to Yellow Black&White and Gazprom-Media holding. Better Than Humans series will be released worldwide under the Netflix Original brand, will be translated in 25 languages and will be available exclusively in all territories except Russia and China,” she said. The amount of the transaction was not disclosed but according to…

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This week in photos: Orthodox Christmas, Prague’s polar swimmers and Greece’s snowfall

This week in photos: Orthodox Christmas, Prague’s polar swimmers and Greece’s snowfall

A copy of the Russian Imperial Crown made of Christmas baubles at Moscow’s Tsaritsyno Park, January 6 © Sergei Savostyanov/TASS The senior priest of Transfiguration Cathedral Nikolai Bryndin and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin are seen during a Christmas liturgy at the Transfiguration Cathedral, Saint Petersburg, January 6 © Alexander Demianchuk/TASS Pope Francis is framed by cellphones as he arrives for his weekly general audience, in the Pope Paul VI hall, at the Vatican, January 9 © AP Photo/Andrew Medichini Metropolitan Varsonofy of St. Petersburg and Ladoga is seen during a Christmas liturgy at the Kazan Cathedral, January 6 © Peter Kovalev/TASS A baboon peers through the branches of an…

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Ukrainian embassy in Mexico forces visa applicants to donate for Donbass operation — TV

Ukrainian embassy in Mexico forces visa applicants to donate for Donbass operation — TV

KIEV, January 11. /TASS/. Journalists of Ukraine’s 1+1 TV channel have requested the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry to investigate the scandal around its embassy in Mexico, where visa applicants were told to “donate” at least $80 for the military operation in Donbass to obtain a Ukrainian visa. The scandal broke out after Mexican lawyer Carlos Eduardo Soto Trevino, who is married to a Ukrainian citizen and therefore frequently visits the country, had sent a letter to Ukrainian journalists asking them to investigate the matter. According to him, every time he applies for a Ukrainian visa, a consul in the Ukrainian embassy tells him to “donate some…

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Malicious hoax sparks outcry to indict those spreading fake news on Magnitogorsk tragedy

Malicious hoax sparks outcry to indict those spreading fake news on Magnitogorsk tragedy

© Valery Sherdyukov/TASS MOSCOW, January 11. /TASS/. More than 1,000 people have petitioned the State Duma and the Federation Council demanding that the authorities impose criminal penalties on those who spread false information about the tragedy in Magnitogorsk. The appeal to the Russian Federal Assembly’s chambers was published on the web portal change.org. “The tragedy in Magnitogorsk shocked millions of Russians. The New Year holidays gave way to tears and mourning in the blink of an eye. The tragedy was exploited by a cynical huckster of fake news, Ukrainian pranker Yevgeny Volnov,” said the author of the petition, Artyom Soldatenkov. The pranker, who pretended to be…

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Russian artist Pavlensky sentenced to 3 years in jail in France, but allowed to walk free

Russian artist Pavlensky sentenced to 3 years in jail in France, but allowed to walk free

PARIS, January 11. /TASS/. A court in Paris found a controversial Russian artist, Pyotr Pavlensky, guilty of setting on fire a Banque de France office in Paris in October 2017, but permitted him to walk free on Thursday, the France Info radio reported. Pavlensky was sentenced to one year in prison and two years of suspended sentence. As the artist had already spent 11 months in pretrial detention, he was allowed to walk free. As part of the same case, Pavlensky’s wife Oksana Shalygina was sentenced to two years in prison, of which 16 months are to be served as a suspended sentence. She has already…

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BBC operates in Russia in compliance with Russian legislation, spokesperson says

BBC operates in Russia in compliance with Russian legislation, spokesperson says

LONDON, January 10. /TASS/. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) operates in Russia in full compliance with the country’s legislation, a BBC spokesperson told TASS, commenting on a statement by the Russian media watchdog, which said that some features on the BBC’s websites conveyed the ideas of international terrorist organizations. “As a global broadcaster, BBC fully complies with the legislation and regulations of every country where it operates, including Russia, and we are always ready to provide additional information about our coverage when requested by the appropriate regulator,” the spokesperson said. The Russian media watchdog said in a statement on Thursday that some features on the…

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BBC’s websites convey terrorist ideas, Russian media watchdog says

BBC’s websites convey terrorist ideas, Russian media watchdog says

© AP Photo/Frank Augstein MOSCOW, January 10. /TASS/. Some features on the BBC’s websites convey the ideas of international terrorist organizations, the Russian media watchdog said in a statement on Thursday. “Features conveying the ideas of international terrorist organizations have been exposed (quotes from terrorist al-Baghdadi [the leader of the Islamic State terror group outlawed in Russia – TASS]). A probe is underway to figure out whether these features are consistent with Russia’s counter-extremism legislation,” the statement reads. According to the watchdog, the BBC’s websites, including the Russian-language one, are checked on a regular basis in order to make sure that there are no violations of…

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Russian movie enters competition of International Film Festival Rotterdam

Russian movie enters competition of International Film Festival Rotterdam

Grigory Dobrygin © Mikhail Japaridze/TASS MOSCOW, January 10. /TASS/. “Sheena667,” a debut film of Russian director Grigory Dobrygin has entered the main competition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the filmmaker told TASS on Thursday. “The film entered the main program of the festival, which is called Tiger Competition. Eight movies take part in it and all have equal chances to win. But participation itself – the fact that a debut film was selected by the festival, focusing on the support of independent, non-commercial films – is a great joy,” Dobrygin said. The film set in Vyshny Volochyok, a city in Russia’s Tver region. It is…

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David Bowie: the chameleon of rock

David Bowie: the chameleon of rock

David Bowie, an iconic British singer, died of cancer on January 10, 2016, days after turning 69 and the release of his last album, Blackstar. Bowie’s innovative songs and stagecraft had a major influence on popular music in the early 1970s. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him 39th on their list of the 100 Greatest Rock Artists of All Time and the 23rd best singer of all time. The iconic pictures of David Bowie – in this gallery by TASS. In other media

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Last chairman of USSR’s Supreme Soviet Anatoly Lukyanov dies at 88

Last chairman of USSR’s Supreme Soviet Anatoly Lukyanov dies at 88

Anatoly Lukyanov © Vladimir Musaelyan/TASS MOSCOW, January 9. /TASS/. /TASS/. Last Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and former member of the Russian State Duma Anatoly Lukyanov has died on Wednesday at the age of 88, Smolensk Region Governor Alexey Ostrovsky wrote on his official Twitter account. “We received very sad news. A notable Smolensk native and overall amazing person A.I. Lukyanov, who served as the last chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, has passed away today. Anatoly Ivanovich did me an honor and became my authorized representative at the general gubernatorial elections. May he rest in peace,” Ostrovsky said. Lukyanov’s daughter…

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Moscow taxis see major pickup in passengers during holiday season

Moscow taxis see major pickup in passengers during holiday season

© Andrei Makhonin/TASS MOSCOW, January 9. /TASS/. Moscow cabs served nearly twice as many passengers during the recent holiday season as the year before, Moscow’s City Hall said in a statement following a municipal government meeting, adding that the increasing tourist inflow was the reason. “Moscow’s transport system served 91.8 mln passengers, which is five percent more than the same period last year. The number of passengers who traveled by taxi doubled in the wake of the increasing tourist inflow. On New Year’s eve, the Moscow Metro served 30% more customers than the year before,” the statement reads. According to the City Hall, as many as…

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Classic carvings: Harbin ice festival brightens up China’s northeast

Classic carvings: Harbin ice festival brightens up China’s northeast

The Harbin Ice and Snow Festival 2019 kicked off in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province on January 5th. This event is considered to be the biggest one of its kind in the world. Famous for its massive, elaborate and colorfully lit ice sculptures of animals, cartoon characters and renowned landmarks, the festival has been held since 1963 and draws millions of visitors from around the world annually. This year, some 120,000 cubic meters of ice and 111,000 cubic meters of snow were used to build the festival’s venue. Click through these photos of the festival’s masterpieces. In other media

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