Friday, December 22, 2006

Russian democracy in action again

As I told you in one of my previous posts "The Next President of Russia" mayour of Arkhangelsk Aleksander Donskoy declared his intentions to become President of Russia. In a small time after that strange things began to happen.

Our mayor is known for his strong opposition to our Governor Kiselev. Donskoy criticizes him a lot from the point of effectiveness of Governor's work. It should be noticed that from the point of view of common people Kiselev is far far less effective as a manager than Donskoy. For example, our Region is still out of the Federal Program for young families.

About a month ago our Office of Public Prosecutor told press that mayor Donskoy used faked certificate of degree to become a candidate for the mayor's position. Where were the eyes of Public Prosecutor two years ago when Donskoy's certificate of degree was checked very hard? Nobody knows.
It's the end of december now and there's still no proof of fake and even no expertise in action to check whether it is actually faked. I can make only one conclusion - it is not a fake for sure.

The second strange thing happened right after that. Office of Public Prosecutor "misprinted" the press release and instead of faked certificate of degree Donskoy is now charged in "Organizing armed crime gang". Way to go!

Donskoy says that the Governor has given an order to the Office of Public Prosecutor and militia to put Donskoy in jail by the end of this year. I'm not sure that this is true, but it seems like everything is going in that way.

Today mayor's assistant told press that she was oppressed and abused during interrogation. ( Interrogator said that he will do everything he is able to do to imprison her. Assistant is now shocked for his behavior.

It seems to me that this is not the end and the scandal is going to grow even bigger. I'm a common man and I am not a professional political analyst, so I can not tell who is wrong or right. Actually when it comes to politics everything is not what it seems. But people around me support mayor because he is the first one who actually does something for the city (or at least makes people think that he does). So if the situation will keep runnung like this the confrontation "Mayor against Governor" would become "People against Governor" what is far worse.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Russian Christmas Sale

Me and my wife are a little envy when we hear about Christmas sale in Europe or USA. Prices are so low, most of the merchandise is even cheaper than here in Russia, and of course the quality of the products sold is higher than here.
You might say "Poor Russians, how you live without Christmas sale?". You are wrong, we have a christmas sale. But as with all the things that we borrow from you, it is enriched with Russian colour.
Almost all of the december you can see a lot of billboards that say "New Year's 50% discount". Looks attractive. Let's vizit one of this sales. Wow! The price is 20% HIGHER than it was in November! Well, that is New Year's sale in Russia! Merchants know that demand is very high before the New Year and try to get more money. Not from larger amount of sales but from the higher prices. People would buy in any way, especially if it is said that "discount is 50 %".

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Software bugs lead to deaths from alcohol poisoning.

We all know that software bugs are annoying and sometimes dangerous. When you are in Russia, software bugs can harm your health or cause your death.

This year is the worst of almost 20 years for Russian alcoholics. Our government has decided to put in some order to the alcohol market, centralize and computerize it. The idea was to develop a computer database to store all the operations performed between players on the alcohol market. It’s aim is to stop cheap illegal alcohol products circulating here. What we get when our government tries to make something ordered? Right. Even more disorder.

The computer database was full of bugs. Actually, legal alcohol manufactures, importers and intermediaries were unable to operate. The database was down almost all the time during summer. Unfortunately by that time the law prohibiting alcohol operations that are not reflected in this database was already in action. There was almost no alcohol at shops. It was a perfect situation for criminal alcohol market to grow. And it did.

What is the criminal alcohol like? It is produced from spirit that is not intended to be used by humans as a drink. It’s a poison. Today we almost have an epidemic of alcohol poisoning. Large amount of the poisoned people are pensioners. I saw an interview with one woman suffering from toxic hepatitis caused by illegal alcohol. Correspondent asked her «Did you know that this is dangerous alcohol?» - «Yes» - «Why did you drink it?» - «It’s cheap».

What can I say. Russian people still combine extreme genius with extreme stupidity.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Beware of sharks!

From Here

Russian Typhoon Class submarine (Russian name is Akula (Shark)) passes near the beach full of people.


You can read more about this class of submarines here:

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

"Thank you for smoking" - In the Russian way

According to the recent research conducted at Arkhangelsk, 38% teenage boys and 28% teenage girls are smokers. It's amazing how tobacco compamies are receiving this amount of young customers even without television ads (that are illegal in Russia). Back to Soviet Union, a smoking kid was a kind of outcast or a misfit. Now it is "cool" to smoke.
The average age of death for the male population of Russian North is about 50 years. The generation that is dying today at this age is far more healthy than those smoking kids. What we will get in the near future? 40 years of life or less...