The St. Petersburg Times http://www.sptimes.ru The St. Petersburg Times 1993 - 2011 webmaster@sptimes.ru 60 http://www.sptimes.ru/images/spt_logo_rss.gif The St. Petersburg Times http://www.sptimes.ru en Translation Is New Weapon in Propaganda War Latest News By Michele A. Berdy http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41721 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41721 Sat, 31 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 ́: masochism Here at The St. Petersburg Times language desk, we\'ve written a lot about gaffes in the translation and interpretation of official statements over the years.]]> Russian Businessman Buys \'Leviathan\' Skeleton for Moscow Lawn Latest News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41722 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41722 Sat, 31 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Andrei Zvyagintsev, director of the Oscar-nominated \"Leviathan,\" said that a businessman bought the huge whale skeleton which plays a major part in the movie and features on the film\'s poster.]]> Top Executive Attacked for Ukraine Links Quits Moscow Exchange Latest News By Howard Amos http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41720 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41720 Sat, 31 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 A senior executive of Ukrainian origin at the Moscow Exchange resigned Friday after being accused of currency speculation and extremism by a senior nationalist lawmaker.]]> You\'re Fired! Airport Staff Booted After Russians Push Plane Down Runway Latest News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41718 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41718 Fri, 30 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Several employees at a Western Siberian airport have been fired following an incident that saw passengers being asked to push their own plane down a runway in temperatures of minus 50 degrees Celsius presumably to discourage staff from pulling a similar stunt.]]> Falling Ruble Promises Renaissance for Russia\'s Tourism Industry Latest News By Delphine d'Amora http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41719 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41719 Sat, 31 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Russia is looking forward to a renaissance in domestic tourism as the ruble\'s devaluation scares Russians away from European destinations and makes prices at home seem ever more appetizing.]]> Russians Say They Fear Hunger, Unemployment and Nuclear War Latest News By Anna Dolgov http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41723 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41723 Sat, 31 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 A recent state poll asking Russians about their fears has laid bare a telling change in attitudes: more than double the number of respondents said they feared a nuclear war compared to two years ago.]]> Russian Central Bank Set to Keep Growth-Stifling 17% Rate Business By Howard Amos http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41713 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41713 Fri, 30 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Anton Titov, head of mid-sized Russian footwear retailer Obuv Rossii, has halted his firm\'s 2015 investment program, frozen planned shop openings and is looking at production cuts.]]> New Russian Space Station Blueprint Ready for Kremlin Consideration Business By Matthew Bodner http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41649 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41649 Tue, 20 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 A prominent research institute affiliated with Russia\'s space agency will present conceptual designs for a new Russian national space station to the government\'s military-industrial commission that would potentially replace the International Space Station (ISS), the institute\'s deputy director said.]]> Russia to Spend $50 Million Taking Roof Off Sochi Olympic Stadium Business http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41654 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41654 Wed, 21 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 In preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the Krasnodar regional government will spend 3 billion rubles ($46 million) removing the roof of a stadium built for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, the TASS news agency reported Tuesday.]]> Aeroflot Buys 20 More Sukhoi Superjets Business http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41625 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41625 Fri, 16 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 State airline Aeroflot has bought 20 new Sukhoi Superjet 100s the Russian aviation industry\'s flagship commercial airliner to facilitate growth in the company\'s domestic traffic, Aeroflot said in a statement on Thursday.]]> MTS to Launch Russian Answer to Skype and WhatsApp Business http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41647 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41647 Tue, 20 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Russia\'s leading mobile phone operator MTS plans to challenge leading chat applications Skype and WhatsApp with a service that would take the place of both.]]> Russia Faces Uphill Battle Convincing Delegates at Davos Business By Alexander Panin http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41656 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41656 Wed, 21 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 As the World Economic Forum kicks off in the Swiss alpine town of Davos on Wednesday, Russian delegates will be working hard to convince participants that the country is still a sound investment despite tensions over Ukraine and a faltering economy.]]> New Approach to Ruble Crisis Seen in Russian Central Bank Reshuffle Business By Howard Amos http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41624 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41624 Fri, 16 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 The appointment of a new deputy governor to the Central Bank has raised the prospect of shifts in Russian monetary policy as the country continues to grapple with a currency crisis that saw the ruble lose a third of its value against the U.]]> Vladivostok Gambling Zone Aims to Become Next Macau Business By Delphine d'Amora http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41650 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41650 Tue, 20 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 A long-awaited gambling oasis designed to tempt wealthy Asian and domestic tourists into Russia\'s Far East is finally getting off the ground, with $2.]]> Cost Of Russia-China Airplane Project Estimated at $13 Billion Business http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41716 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41716 Fri, 30 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 A proposed joint project between China and Russia to develop a wide-body aircraft will cost around $13 billion, the president of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), Yury Slyusar, was quoted as saying by the TASS news agency on Thursday.]]> RFU Misses Deadline to Pay Coach Capello Business http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41648 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41648 Tue, 20 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 After failing to meet an official deadline to pay its outstanding debt to national team coach Fabio Capello, the Russian Football Union (RFU) faces a slew of legal consequences, R-Sport reported Monday.]]> NBCUniversal Stops Broadcasting Cable Channels in Russia Business http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41677 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41677 Sat, 24 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 The international channels division of U.S. mass media group NBCUniversal has decided to leave the Russian market after a law came into effect banning advertising on cable channels, a news report said Friday.]]> Russia Launches First Sugar-Price Fixing Cases as Inflation Rockets Business http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41681 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41681 Sun, 25 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Russia\'s anti-monopoly watchdog said Friday it had launched two cases against companies suspected of colluding to artificially hike the price of sugar, as authorities step up efforts to curb rapid food price inflation.]]> Prices of Russia\'s Top Export Commodities Fall Amid Oil Price Drop Business http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41697 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41697 Tue, 27 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 While the plummeting price of oil has occupied headlines in recent months, it\'s not the only commodity of key importance to the Russian economy whose price is dropping.]]> Warnings of Russian Financial Crisis Spread as Banks Start Failing Business By Howard Amos, Delphine d'Amora http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41638 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41638 Sun, 18 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 The head of Russia\'s largest bank, German Gref, offered a bleak picture of the fate awaiting the country\'s banking sector in 2015 during the set-piece Gaidar economic forum in Moscow this week.]]> What Exclusion From SWIFT Payment System Would Mean For Russia Business By Howard Amos http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41706 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41706 Thu, 29 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Discussions among European leaders about new sanctions on Russia have again raised fears that the SWIFT international payments system might be cut off, a move that experts warn would wreak financial havoc on Russia.]]> Turf War Seen at Heart of Russian Space Industry Shake-Up Business By Matthew Bodner http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41669 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41669 Fri, 23 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 An ambitious drive by a friend of President Vladimir Putins to take control of Russias defense industry may be behind a shock announcement this week that Russia would merge its federal space agency with a major industry group, analysts said.]]> Russians Must Adapt to More Unemployment Says Deputy Prime Minister Business http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41683 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41683 Sun, 25 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Unemployment is set to rise in Russia amid a prolonged economic downturn, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said Friday during a set piece discussion about the state of Russian politics and business at the World Economic Forum.]]> Railway Chief Threatens to Quit Over Demands to Publish Salary Business By Peter Hobson http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41617 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41617 Fri, 16 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 The head of Russia\'s vast state railway company on Thursday said he might quit if the government persisted in its \"unreasonable\" demands that he publish his salary.]]> Apple Cuts Ties to Sanctioned Crimea Region Business http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41674 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41674 Fri, 23 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Bowing to U.S. sanctions, Apple has decided to end sales of its products in Crimea in move likely to deepen the region\'s already record inflation, news agency RIA Novosti reported Thursday.]]> Russian Central Bank Ignores Downgrades as Economic Pressure Builds Business http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41653 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41653 Tue, 20 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 In an attempt to to ease pressure on the country\'s buckling financial system, the Central Bank announced Monday it would ignore recent downgrades of Russian banks and instead refer to ratings issued before Western sanctions against the country over its role in Ukraine\'s crisis.]]> Airlines Brace for Tough Year as Ruble Falls Business By Alexander Panin http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41687 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41687 Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Russia\'s top airlines are eyeing the specter of bankruptcy in 2015 following last year\'s ruble meltdown, which decimated travel spending and drastically upped the costs of maintaining carriers\' fleets.]]> Russian Oil Firms Can Weather $50 Oil Forum Business By Alexander Panin http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41623 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41623 Thu, 15 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 If oil remains at its current price through this year, Russia\'s gross domestic product will likely shrink more than 6.5 percent, but Russian oil companies will continue to make a profit at even lower prices, analysts at the Gaidar Economic Forum said Thursday.]]> Ruble Fall Checks Global Expansion of Pro-Kremlin Media Business By Delphine d'Amora http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41675 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41675 Sat, 24 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Pro-Kremlin broadcaster RT and news agency Rossiya Segodnya will have to slash spending by 50 percent or more and likely give up on expansion plans as the steep devaluation of the Russian ruble hits their margins, news reports said.]]> Russia\'s Backtracking on TV Ad Law Points to Top Media Boss\'s Departure Business By Sam Skove http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41705 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41705 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Russia\'s lower house of parliament on Tuesday passed amendments that could return advertising to Russian pay-to-view channels, a move that analysts say points to the waning influence of recently retired state media boss Mikhail Lesin.]]> Oil Price Drop Casts Shadow Over Russia\'s Arctic Drive Business By Ivan Nechepurenko http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41619 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41619 Fri, 16 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 While governors of Russia\'s Arctic regions agreed Thursday that the development of the Arctic would be the \"next space program,\" there are increased fears that the recent plunge in oil prices could jeopardize these ambitious plans.]]> Sochi\'s Luxury Ski Chalets Enter World\'s Top 20 for Price Growth Business http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41694 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41694 Tue, 27 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Russia\'s resort town of Sochi, host of the 2014 Winter Olympics, has broken into the world\'s top 20 ski resorts by price growth for high end residences, according to a recent study by real estate agency Knight Frank.]]> Putin\'s Capital Amnesty Could Land Russia on Money Laundering Blacklist Business http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41632 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41632 Sat, 17 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 An amnesty on capital returning to Russia proposed by President Vladimir Putin risks putting Russia on the blacklist of a global anti-money laundering watchdog, potentially deepening the country\'s isolation from global financial markets, the Vedomosti newspaper reported Friday.]]> St. Petersburg Deputy Governor Didn\'t Bring Real Gun Into Work, Aide Says Local News By Anna Dolgov http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41680 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41680 Sat, 24 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 A photo showing the deputy governor of St. Petersburg with a handgun clipped to his belt at a local government meeting has prompted assurances from his aide that the weapon was nonlethal and that the politician is a \"law abiding man.]]> Carl\'s Jr. Causes Controversy as It Pulls Out of Russia Local News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41621 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41621 Fri, 16 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 U.S. burger chain Carl\'s Jr.\'s exit from the Russian market has proven messy, as employees claim the company intends to dismiss them without severance pay as required by Russian labor law, according to St.]]> Federal Museums Now Free for Children Under 18 Local News By Layli Foroudi http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41672 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41672 Fri, 23 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Parents were given their own New Year\'s present over the holidays when the country\'s federal museums scrapped all entry fees for children under the age of 18.]]> St. Petersburg Lawmaker Wants to Recall \'Leviathan\' Film Funding Local News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41642 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41642 Mon, 19 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 A firebrand Russian lawmaker famous for authoring anti-gay legislation is now calling for the makers of the award-winning film \"Leviathan\" to return the money they got from the government to make the film.]]> Nonconformist Art Pioneer Dies in St. Petersburg Local News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41699 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41699 Tue, 27 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Vladimir Ovchinnikov, a founder of the Leningrad Nonconformist art movement, has died in St. Petersburg after a lengthy illness, the Interfax news agency reported Monday.]]> Russia\'s \'Leviathan\' Takes Top Honors at Golden Globes, Sets Sights on Oscars Culture By Ali Sar http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41628 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41628 Fri, 16 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 LOS ANGELES, CA The dark Russian movie Leviathan came a step closer to capturing the best foreign language film Oscar when it was nominated Thursday by the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences as one of five finalists.]]> Church Spokesman Says \'Leviathan\' Made for West Culture http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41663 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41663 Thu, 22 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 The spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church harshly criticized director Andrei Zvyagintsev\'s award-winning film \"Leviathan\" on Wednesday, suggesting it was meant \"to please the West,\" though inadvertently admitting to having downloaded it illegally.]]> Artists Who Doused Lenin\'s Mausoleum With Holy Water Sent to Jail Culture http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41665 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41665 Thu, 15 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 A Moscow court has handed down 10-day jail sentences to two activists who splashed holy water on Vladimir Lenin\'s mausoleum on Red Square in an artistic attempt to exorcise the Soviet founder\'s specter from today\'s Russian politics.]]> Valery Gergiev Takes Mariinsky on Whirlwind Tour of U.S. Culture By Chris Gordon http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41645 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41645 Mon, 19 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 As cultural ambassadors go, Russia doesnt have much better than The State Academic Mariinsky Theater under the direction of Valery Gergiev. Now on tour in the U.]]> Culture Ministry Reverses Plans to Ban Films That Undermine \'National Unity\' Culture http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41659 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41659 Wed, 21 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 The Culture Ministry has reversed plans to deny distribution licenses to films deemed harmful to Russia\'s \"national unity,\" after the proposed restrictions drew widespread criticism.]]> St. Petersburg Noise-Pop Quintet Readies Debut Culture By Timothy Misir http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41691 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41691 Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Five years after the release of \"Happy Songs for Happy Zombies,\" Pinkshinyultrablast\'s first EP, the Russian shoegaze/dream-pop band will finally release its debut album, \"Everything Else Matters,\" on Monday.]]> Russia\'s Education Watchdog Says Wikipedia Should Be Banned Culture http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41670 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41670 Fri, 23 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 The deputy head of Russia\'s education watchdog said Thursday that Wikipedia should be banned, the TASS news agency reported. \"Wikipedia does not help, but only harms education,\" TASS cited Alexander Biserov, deputy head of Rosobrnadzor, as saying.]]> Georgia: Playing With the Country\'s Dance DNA Culture By Monica Ellena, Justyna Mielnikiewicz http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41710 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41710 Thu, 29 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Three long-limbed, statuesque women swirl across the stage in red dresses. Their drooping sleeves slash the air. Their bleached, buzz-cut heads glow in the dim light.]]> \'Sunstroke\' Beats Out \'Leviathan\' at Russia\'s Eagle Awards Culture http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41692 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41692 Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Nikita Mikhalkov\'s \"Sunstroke,\" set in post-revolutionary Crimea, took the best film prize at Russia\'s Golden Eagle award ceremony, beating out Andrei Zvyagintsev\'s \"Leviathan,\" which has been nominated in the best foreign-language film category at next month\'s Academy Awards.]]> Artists Detained for Attempting to Exorcise the Ghost of Lenin With Holy Water Culture http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41660 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41660 Wed, 21 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Two members of an art collective were detained for flinging holy water at the Moscow mausoleum containing Vladimir Lenin\'s corpse, in an apparent bid to resurrect the revolutionary leader.]]> Ministry, Duma Back Profanity in Movies Edict Culture http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41673 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41673 Fri, 23 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 The Culture Ministry said it would consider the idea of allowing swearing in films, after a group of prestigious Russian film directors asked Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev earlier this week to amend a 2014 law prohibiting profanity in works of art, but had no intention of changing its position that the ban was right in comments provided by the ministry\'s press service.]]> Pre-Revolutionary Names Making a Comeback in Russia Culture By Peter Spinella http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41693 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41693 Tue, 27 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 The most popular first names in Moscow over the past century and those currently gaining in popularity reveal an inverse dynamic, with several pre-revolutionary favorites making a strong comeback.]]> No Money? \"Eat Less!\" United Russia Lawmaker Advises Food & Drink By Anna Dolgov http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41678 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41678 Sat, 24 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 A lawmaker from the ruling United Russia party has offered his advice to Russians struggling to pay for food amid the country\'s soaring inflation: \"Eat less.]]> Russian Files Lawsuit Against McDonalds Over \'Nauseating\' Stench Food & Drink http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41652 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41652 Tue, 20 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 A disgruntled Muscovite has filed a lawsuit against a local branch of fast food chain McDonalds, claiming the lingering smell of chips is making his life unbearable.]]> Russian Prosecutors Crack Down on Retailers as Food Prices Soar Food & Drink By Alexander Panin http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41709 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41709 Thu, 29 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 As the ruble\'s fall drives up the price of even the most basic necessities, the Russian government is cracking down on retailers in an effort to curb soaring food prices.]]> Putin Backs Creation of Giant Russian Space Corporation National News By Peter Hobson http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41662 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41662 Thu, 22 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday backed the creation of a sector-spanning space corporation designed to revitalize the commercial rocket industry and advance Russia\'s growing cosmic ambitions.]]> Russia\'s Foreign Intelligence May Have Shaped Billion-Dollar Aerospace Deal National News By Matthew Bodner http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41701 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41701 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Russia\'s intelligence services may have pressured a Western labor union during negotiations with a major aerospace company in 2013 to win favorable terms for a state-owned Russian corporation, according to charges filed against Russian banker Yevgeny Buryakov by U.]]> Siberian Man Clings to Moving Train for Hours After Seeking Shortcut National News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41637 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41637 Sat, 17 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 A man in the Kemerovo region got the ride of his life after an ill-advised shortcut saw him travel for two-and-a-half hours clinging to the underside of a freight train.]]> Russian Lawmakers Zero In on Foreign Undesirables National News By Anna Dolgov, Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41664 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41664 Thu, 22 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Russia\'s parliament has given preliminary approval to a bill that would prohibit the activities of so-called \"undesirable\" foreign companies and organizations in Russia, should they be deemed to pose a threat to the state.]]> Russian Analysts Warn Change Needed to Avoid \'Revolutionary Chaos\' National News By Ivan Nechepurenko http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41643 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41643 Mon, 19 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 President Vladimir Putin cannot afford at this point to reform the political system he has built up, as doing so would undermine his grip on power, a panel of political analysts said at the Gaidar Forum on Friday.]]> Russian Students Feel The Pinch as Cash-Strapped Universities Raise Tuitions National News By Ivan Nechepurenko http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41651 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41651 Tue, 20 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Amid a currency crisis and spiraling inflation rates, some Russian universities have sought to cut losses by increasing tuition fees, sometimes by 30 to 35 percent, TASS news agency reported on Monday.]]> Video Claims to Show Yeti Stumbling Through Russian Forest (Video) National News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41636 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41636 Sat, 17 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 A video claiming to prove the existence of a bigfoot has been posted online, after a group of Yeti spotters supposedly chanced upon one while they were out walking in southwestern Russia.]]> Russian Railways Boss Yakunin Sues New York Times National News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41695 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41695 Tue, 27 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Vladimir Yakunin, head of Russia\'s railroad monopoly Russian Railways, is suing The New York Times in a Russian court for libel, saying the respected U.]]> Russian Delegation Awaits New Decision on PACE Voting Rights National News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41690 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41690 Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Russia is set to participate Monday in its first session at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) since it was stripped of its voting rights last year in connection with the Russian annexation of Crimea.]]> Arkhangelsk Governor Admits to Drunk Driving on Televised Polygraph National News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41689 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41689 Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 The governor of the Arkhangelsk region admitted during a televised polygraph test Saturday to having driven under the influence. Governor Igor Orlov agreed to sit for a televised polygraph test on the NTV channel in a bid to debunk local news reports that he had increased his own monthly salary to 600,000 rubles ($9,350).]]> Minimum Wage Hike and a Raft of New Legislation Comes Into Effect in 2015 National News By Ivan Nechepurenko http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41658 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41658 Wed, 21 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 New year, new you: An expression that has taken on a special meaning for those living in Russia, where a plethora of new laws many with a direct impact on the daily lives of citizens and residents entered into effect on Jan.]]> Russian Post Launches Railway Service With China, Starts Delivering Packages to Homes National News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41667 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41667 Thu, 22 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Packages can now travel from Beijing to Moscow by rail following the launch of the first Russia-China railroad delivery service, the logistics branch of Russian Railways announced Monday.]]> Russian Region Bans Sale of Coke, Mountain Dew to Minors National News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41676 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41676 Sat, 24 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Schoolchildren in Russia\'s Vologda region will no longer be able to pick up a can of Coke on their way to class after the local parliament banned the sale of fizzy caffeinated drinks to minors.]]> One in Nine Fires in Russia Caused by Arson, Officials Say National News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41704 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41704 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 One out of every nine fires registered in Russia was caused by an act of arson, news web site Gazeta.ru reported Tuesday, citing the Emergency Situations deputy minister.]]> Russian Mom Faces Treason Charges for Call to Ukrainian Embassy National News By Allison Quinn http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41715 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41715 Fri, 30 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 A Smolensk woman faces charges of high treason after she phoned Ukrainian diplomats to warn them that Russian troops may be en route to their country, newspaper Kommersant reported Thursday.]]> PACE Votes to Deprive Russia of Voting Rights, Again National News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41708 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41708 Thu, 29 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) voted Wednesday to deprive Russia of its rights within the assembly for the second consecutive session, a decision that could mark the country\'s exit from the legislative body, state news agency RIA Novosti reported.]]> Russia Ratifies Military Alliance With Abkhazia National News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41682 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41682 Sun, 25 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Russia\'s parliament on Friday ratified a military alliance with the disputed territory of Abkhazia, a breakaway Georgian republic not recognized by the United Nations as an independent state, the TASS news agency reported.]]> Foreigners Visiting Russia Required to Submit Detailed Travel Plans National News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41698 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41698 Tue, 27 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Foreigners planning to travel to Russia will have to provide detailed itineraries along with their visa applications as of Monday, according to the country\'s Association of Tour Operators.]]> Will Russia\'s Economic Crisis Help It Defeat Corruption? National News By Alexander Panin http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41717 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41717 Fri, 30 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Recent official statements, backed by upcoming laws and decrees, suggest that Russia is launching a real war on corruption, a systematic illness that has long eaten at the type of stable economic growth that could provide a bulwark against the country\'s current political and financial crisis.]]> ECHR Backs Russian Courts in Stalin Defamation Case National News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41622 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41622 Fri, 16 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Russian courts ruled appropriately in dismissing a defamation claim brought by Josef Stalin\'s grandson against Novaya Gazeta, which had referred to the late Soviet leader as a \"bloodthirsty cannibal,\" the European Court of Human Rights said Thursday.]]> Russian-Language Tweet Prompts Fears CIA\'s Twitter Account Was Hacked National News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41641 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41641 Sun, 18 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 A Russian-language tweet posted on the CIA\'s Twitter page left some Internet users in a buzz on Thursday, amid speculation that the agency\'s account had been hacked.]]> Russian Defense Ministry Releases Trove of Secret Auschwitz Documents National News By Ivan Nechepurenko http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41702 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41702 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 As the world reflected on the horrors of the Nazi regime on Tuesday International Holocaust Remembrance Day Russia seized the opportunity to emphasize the Red Army\'s role in liberating the death camps.]]> Russian LGBT Activist Fined 50,000 Rubles for Disseminating \'Gay Propaganda\' National News By Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41686 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41686 Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Yelena Klimova, the founder of an online support group for LGBT teenagers, has been fined 50,000 rubles ($780) for violating Russia\'s controversial law against the \"propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors,\" she announced Friday.]]> Russia\'s Circus Animals Face Layoffs as Recession Strikes National News By Delphine d'Amora http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41700 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41700 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 How does a circus cut costs in an economic crisis? Answer: Find out which crocodiles are slacking, and fire them. Of the nearly 2,000 animals employed by the massive Russian State Circus Company, many especially the reptiles never perform, CEO Vadim Gagloyev said Tuesday during a presentation of the state company\'s plans for dealing with the economic crisis.]]> Officials Split on Charlie Hebdo Protests National News By Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41644 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41644 Mon, 19 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Moscow authorities rejected on Saturday a request for permission to hold a protest march in defense of the feelings of religious believers, while two predominantly Muslim republics in southern Russia have gone ahead with plans for similarly-themed protests challenging French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo\'s contentious caricatures of the prophet Muhammad.]]> Russian Paratroopers to Train in 20 Foreign Countries This Year National News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41640 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41640 Sun, 18 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Russian paratroopers will conduct exercises in 20 foreign countries this year, as the country continues to flex its resurgent military muscle amid a standoff with the West over Ukraine, a military spokesman said Monday.]]> Gorbachev Warns of Threat of \'Hot War\' With U.S. National News By Ivan Nechepurenko http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41714 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41714 Fri, 30 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, warned that Russia and the United States may be teetering on the brink of a \"hot war\" in comments to Interfax on Thursday.]]> Most French Citizens Think Paris Should Deliver Mistral to Russia National News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41661 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41661 Wed, 21 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Over 60 percent of French citizens think their country should honor a 1.2 billion euro ($1.39 billion) contract with Russia for the stalled delivery of two French-built Mistral-class helicopter carriers, according to a poll published Tuesday.]]> Chechnya Plans Mass Rally to Protest Prophet Muhammad Cartoons National News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41620 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41620 Fri, 16 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Authorities in Russia\'s mainly Muslim republic of Chechnya on Wednesday announced a large-scale protest against publications \"insulting\" the prophet Muhammad.]]> Russian Cat Protects Abandoned Baby While Meowing for Help National News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41635 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41635 Sat, 17 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 A stray Russian cat has been hailed as a hero by members of the domestic and international media after it helped save an abandoned baby in the town of Obninsk near Moscow.]]> Obama\'s State of the Union Angers Russian Officials National News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41666 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41666 Thu, 22 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 U.S. President Barack Obama\'s claim that Western sanctions have isolated Russia and left its economy in tatters at his annual State of the Union address on Tuesday has ruffled feathers among Russia\'s political elite.]]> Increasingly, Russians See No Alternative to Putin National News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41626 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41626 Fri, 16 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Though it will be another three years before Russian voters cast their ballots for the next round of presidential hopefuls, most people already know whom they plan to vote for.]]> More Than Half of Russians See Stalin in a Positive Light National News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41657 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41657 Wed, 21 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 More than half of Russians believe Soviet leader Josef Stalin played a positive role in Russia, a poll published Tuesday by the independent Levada Center revealed.]]> Brightman\'s Cosmonaut Training Delayed After Arriving in Russia National News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41618 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41618 Fri, 16 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 British soprano Sarah Brightman has arrived in Russia to begin training for her October sight-seeing trip to the International Space Station (ISS), but officials at the Yury Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center outside Moscow have unexpectedly delayed the start of her training to sometime next week, Interfax reported.]]> Ukraine Accuses Russia\'s LUKoil of Financing Terror in War-Torn East National News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41631 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41631 Sat, 17 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Ukraine\'s Security Service said Friday it is investigating Russian oil major LUKoil for allegedly financing terrorism in two breakaway regions of Ukraine\'s war-torn east.]]> $1 Billion Rocket Engine Deal Cements Russia\'s Place in U.S. Space Industry National News http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41633 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41633 Sat, 17 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Russian rocket maker Energia has signed a $1 billion deal with U.S. space firm Orbital Sciences to deliver 60 RD-181 Russian rocket engines to the U.S.]]> Syrian Refugees in Russia Stuck in Dangerous Waiting Game Features By Allison Quinn http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41707 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41707 Thu, 29 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 NOGINSK, Moscow region As members of the government and opposition of war-torn Syria met in Moscow on Thursday in the latest attempt to reach a political settlement, in a small rundown house outside of Moscow, a dozen young Syrian children sat around tables reciting the Arabic alphabet and learning to find their devastated homeland on a map.]]> Putin Isn\'t Worrying About the Ruble Opinion By Georgy Bovt http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41655 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41655 Wed, 21 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 In recent weeks, news from around the country has shown panic among bank depositors and long lines at currency exchange points. Reports on the exchange rate consistently make headlines.]]> Russia\'s Economic Crisis Is Just Getting Started Opinion By Konstantin Sonin http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41684 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41684 Sun, 25 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 The ruble price of the dollar rose by more than 20 percent on Dec. 15-16, 2014, and now that the currency markets have calmed down a bit, the dollar costs about twice as much as it did one year ago.]]> Russia\'s Deadly Roads Are Harming its Economy Opinion By Cesar Chelala http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41629 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41629 Fri, 16 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 An adequate road network is one of the necessary factors in the economic development of any country. In the case of Russia, any economic gains run the risk of not being sustained unless the government pays special attention to building an efficient and safe road network.]]> Russia Is Turning Into a Rogue State Opinion By Alexander Golts http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41696 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41696 Tue, 27 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Against the backdrop of renewed hostilities in the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine, the Russian public paid little attention to the recent visit that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu made to Iran.]]> Did Russia\'s Central Bank Kill the Ruble? Opinion By Konstantin Sonin http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41703 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41703 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Last summer, Russia\'s entire adult population turned into experts on football. It turned out that the head coach of Russia\'s national team, Fabio Capello, had chosen the wrong team members, used the wrong tactics and failed to properly inspire his Russian players.]]> Russian Economy Will Rally, But Won\'t Boom Opinion By Chris Weafer http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41679 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41679 Sat, 24 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 There is currently a lot of noise about the Russian economy and almost all of it is bad. Many commentators predict that a catastrophe lies ahead and the economic destruction will lead to social instability and eventually a political crisis.]]> \'Je Suis Charlie\' Demands Free Speech, for Some Opinion By Pyotr Romanov http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41646 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41646 Mon, 19 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Unlike many, I do not feel a sense of solidarity with \"Charlie.\" To empathize with the victims of terror is one thing, but in my opinion, the newspaper\'s employees were foremost victims of an ossified democracy that has lost its capacity for self-criticism.]]> Russia Will Stick With Putin Till the Bitter End Opinion By Alexander Morozov http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41639 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41639 Sun, 18 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Russia\'s actions in 2014 were shocking both for their scale and abruptness. Tossing aside all concern for world rankings, economic considerations and the standards of international cooperation all of that boring baggage of today\'s global system the Kremlin set sail for unchartered waters.]]> Russian Officials Are Dangerously Out of Touch Opinion By Mark Adomanis http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41688 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41688 Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Pauline Kael was a film critic for The New Yorker magazine who entered the American political lexicon with a now-infamous statement about former U.S. President Richard Nixon\'s re-election: \"I live in a rather special world.]]> 2015 Promises Bad News for Russia Opinion By Fyodor Lukyanov http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41671 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41671 Fri, 23 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 The global system will not reach any major milestones of development in 2015. However, judging from events in the opening weeks of this year, the general global trends that were already evident will become more clearly defined in the coming months.]]> The Rise of the Russian Mafia Myth Opinion By Mark Galeotti http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41711 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41711 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 It probably reflects the current heightened tensions between Russia and the West, a time when many are willing to believe the very worst about Russians, that I have also noticed an upswing in queries coming my way about \"Russian mafiosi.]]> Russia\'s Space Industry Is Funding Black Hole Opinion By Pavel Luzin http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41712 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41712 Fri, 30 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 The recent change of leadership in the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and the announcement of plans to merge that agency with the United Rocket and Space Corporation (URSC) suggests at first glance, that chaos reigns in the Russian space industry.]]> Russia Left Out in the Cold by Its Neighbors Opinion By Ivan Sukhov http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41668 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41668 Thu, 22 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 The tragedy in Gyumri, Armenia, where Russian soldier Valery Permyakov is suspected to have killed a family of seven, once again demonstrates the sad state of Russia\'s relations with countries that it considers part of its \"sphere of influence.]]> Killings in Armenia Point to Flaws in Russian Army Opinion By Simon Saradzhyan http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41634 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41634 Sat, 17 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Like many others in the Armenian diaspora, I have been shaken by the news out of the Armenian city of Gyumri where six members of the Avetisyan family were killed.]]> All About Town ALL ABOUT TOWN http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41630 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41630 Fri, 16 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 Friday, Jan. 30 through Wednesday, Feb. 4 A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of Repulsion at 7 p.]]> Trying to Stay Calm in a Russian Supermarket Blog By Michele A. Berdy http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41685 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41685 Sun, 25 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 ́ ́: to cost a pretty penny While I was swanning through the produce section of a supermarket the other day, humming a little food tune as I contemplated dinner, a price tag suddenly stopped me dead in my tracks.]]> Dreaming of the Quiet Life in 2015 Blog By Michele A. Berdy http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41627 http://www.sptimes.ru/story/41627 Fri, 16 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0300 ́: rest, quiet, peace, calm, serenity Yup, that\'s what we need this year : some inner calm, peace and serenity to get us through what are sure to be 12 tough months.]]>