Posts tagged ‘Russia’

May 31, 2011

Moscow – distinguished ex naval commissar rapes more than 20 children in an orgy of depravation and lust

[John Connintre, Russia News Contributor]

Ex naval commissar Vasily Midtev, head of  the Young Eaglets of the Fleet Patriotic Club in Moscow, has admitted to sexually assaulting more than 10 children in his care between 2006 and 2011.

Predatory Midtev enjoyed the sexual favours of the children frequently, sometimes group sexual encounters took place.

The 51 year old was arrested by Moscow police on May 17 when they had received over 20 complaints from parents that the salacious Midtev had raped their children.

The Young Eaglets  of the Fleet club was established in Moscow around 25 years ago and admits only children under 14. The club teaches seamanship and organizes journeys to regions of Russia.

Read more…

May 6, 2011

Russian schoolgirl beats her girl friend mercilessly and forces her to eat dog faeces while classmates take video

[Irina Kmoskova, Russia News Contributor]

RT.COM:  In the far-eastern Russian city of Yakutsk, over twenty schoolchildren met in the school yard to witness a fight between two girl classmates and whilst one mercilessly beat the other over a joke gone wrong, the schoolchildren videod the event without even trying to stop the beating. The beating was so horrific that the crime-incident hardened law enforcement officers viewing a video of the event had struggled to control tears.

The mother of the beaten girl says that she used to be friends with her the other girl who had beaten her, but the girls had had an disagreement a few months ago when teasingly, the beaten girl had poured water over the other’s head which appears to have motivated the attack.

The assaulted girl’s family are considering legal action against her assailant and the police have begun criminal procedures to bring justice to the matter.
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April 22, 2011

And finally, in 2011, a Russian IPO that goes well

[Sergey Yankovski, Russia News Contributor]

RT.com: Notwithstanding the sad experience of several Russian companies that were removed from the London Stock Exchange in February due to critically low investors’ interest, as reported by RT.COM, Nomos Bank, a recent Russian IPO has done quite well, thank you very much!

The Russian bank  recently completed its initial public offering which increased its capital by a massive amount of  $718 million which makes it the most successful IPO ever of a privately owned Russian financial institution.  Twenty two per cent of the bank’s shares were sold for an affordable $35 per share and $17.50 per global depositary receipt and according to reports, stock speculators had profited more than twofold from participating in the bank’s IPO.

The total offer included 5.5 billion roubles of newly issued shares as well as the existing shares of one of the minor shareholders.

RT.COM reports that according to Mark Rubinstein,  Head of Research at Metropol, the float: ‘indicated the degree of investor interest in Russian banks.  “The successful placement underscores the attractiveness of the Russian financial sector. GDRs were priced at USD 17.5 each. The price per share implies a 2011E P/BV of 1.5x, a 15% premium to the median for Russian traded banks, according our estimates.”

Specialists are saying that the main reason for Nomos’ popularity is that unlike others before it which had disastrous IPOs,  its considerable free float (in that the majority of its shares were not held by large owners and could not be classified as ‘restricted’ stock) had made it very attractive to the market.

March 29, 2011

News from the other Side – checking out Russia Today..

[Simon Vetrjakov, Russia News Contributor]

Have you ever heard of Russia Today?  Well, it’s the Russian Federation ‘making and breaking’ news portal giving refreshingly alternative views on world developments and Russia in the world today. It’s worth checking out what iToD Daily says…

March 18, 2011

UN approves ‘no fly’ zone for Libya. Germany, India, China, Brazil and Russia abstain

BBC News: This week the UN Security Council has approved a resolution that authorises a ‘no-fly zone’ and “all necessary measures” for the protection of civilians in Libya bar an invasion of the country.

The resolution enables air strikes on Libyan ground troops or permits the attack on Libyan war ships  where they are attacking civilians.

The countries that did not back the resolution were: China, Brazil, India, Germany and Russia and were reported to have been thanked by the Libyan regime leader, Col. Gaddaffi.

BBC News: Saudi Arabia King to address Nation over protests in the country

The Saudi King is due to address the nation this Friday in the wake of demonstrations in the country focussed on human rights and corruption issues.

[Middle East Contributor]

March 13, 2011

After the Cold War, the thaw accelerates as USA and Russia look to abolish visas

At a meeting last week between US Vice President, Joe Biden and Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, co-operation initiatives between the two countries were discussed which included scrapping of visa requirements between Russia and America. The meeting was felt to be successful overall by the two men and a senior  (anonymous) American administration official was reported to have said that the meeting was: “a serious discussion about serious issues, including cooperation on missile defense, accession to the World Trade Organization, Georgia, Afghanistan and energy.”

[Russia Contributor]

March 8, 2011

Russia is St. Lucia’s newest best friend

So it seems, as from yesterday, Russia became the Caribbean island of St. Lucia‘s newest best friend. Why, you might be asking? Well, this seems to be a case of love of the purest sort as the countries have signed a ‘Protocol of Intention‘ whereby Russia has agreed to ‘open its doors’ to St. Lucians and the delighted islanders can now expect science and technology scholarships at Russian universities and other such gifts.

As reported by Caribbean 360, the island’s Minister of External Affairs, International Trade and Investment, Rufus Bousquet said: “This protocol of intention allows us to move in the multilateral arena and to hold discussions in terms of improving our bilateral relations…of course it also includes a clause which allows us to put high level experts to hold discussions on matters of mutual interest…..We understand that Russia has a very strong academic record in the areas of engineering and I am sure that there will be many St Lucians who would like to take advantage of that expertise”.

Caribbean 360 reports that Russia’s Ambassador designate to St Lucia, Victor Zotin, had responded: “I hope very much that the other steps will follow this document and we shall develop a relationship between our two states.  We are interested in developing all round relations with your country: education, investments and tourism which is very important for your country. I hope very much that more and more Russians will come to your beautiful island of St Lucia”. He also said that Russia will co-operate in initiatives to increase tourist visitors from Russia to the island.

Russia and St. Lucia has entered into diplomatic relations in 1979 after the island declared its independence from Britain. Saint Lucia is an independent island on the eastern side of the Caribbean Sea boundering the Atlantic Ocean.[3] It is near the other Caribbean islands of St. Vincent, Barbados, Martinique and Dominica.  It is around 238 square miles wide and has a population of around 174,000.  It is a former British colony. It’s main industry is tourism and over 1 million tourists visit it each year, most of them American.

[Caribbean Affairs Contributor]

March 3, 2011

Russia’s IPO market in 2011 – imploding reality for oligarchs

INSTITUTIONAL INVESTOR  reports on the amazing vanishing Russian IPO phenomenon in 2011.

Russia‘s IPO market fuelled by rising oil prices,  is ‘potato hot’ as borne out by the Russian Trading System‘s index going up 11 percent this year when other emergent markets were trailing behind. However, all is not well it seems as three Russian IPO’s went awry this year when they were unexpectedly removed from the London Stock Exchange in February.

So what is going on? According to Institutional Investor, analysts are saying that  this is due to the companies’ oligarch owners’ skyrocketing price expectations which have been encouraged by too many investors going after a relatively small amount of business in the Russian IPO market. Aton Investment Group is an investment broker based in Russia. According to its board member, Bernard Sucher:  “The pricing process is not very well grounded on planet earth”.

The three pull-backs, Koks,  Chelpipe and Nord Gold did not do well from the start and there was disappointment all-round in Russia. That was because the Russian company, Renaissance Capital, had said that private Russian companies would achieve $20 billion in equity sales in 2011 market offerings during 2011 whilst state sell-offs would get $10 billion and possibly more bringing the total figures close to the boom days in 2007.

Sadly as the 2007 boom day companies did not do as well as predicted, investors seem to be understandably cautious. The 2007 investments saw shares in the state-owned oil company, Rosneft, go just above their starting price. Furthermore, state bank VTB has gone down more than 40% since it went public and there are really no dramatic success stories of the 2007 boom days for investors to take comfort from as such.

The ‘pull-outs’, Nord Gold, Chelpipe and Koks (who are active in the energy and precious metal industries), said market conditions had made their decision necessary. But it seems clear, as far as analysts are concerned, that the pull-out happened because of investors’ worries about Russian IPOs notwithstanding strong market interest in the country as an interesting newcomer to the IPO market.

Chelpipe’s chairman, Sergei Moiseyev, told the FT.com: “We are in a market that feels jittery towards Russia”. According to FT.com, Roland Nash, chief strategist at Verno Capital’s chief strategist: “There’s been quite a bit of scepticism towards new companies coming to the market because Russian companies haven’t performed so well in the past … The current IPOs are paying for the mistakes of [their predecessors].” However, Tom Mundy, chief strategist at Otkritie Financial says: “Every company says they are pulling it because they are worried about market volatility or market conditions. It’s the perennial excuse…companies are forced to pull because the market “doesn’t like the structure or the valuation”.

So, its down to earth with a bump for the oligarchs and more sensible prices all round for the next time it would seem.

March 1, 2011

35,000 homeless Moscow dogs breath a sigh of relief over reprieve

AP reports that Moscow city authorities had planned to arrest the city’s estimated 26,000 stray dogs for moving on to a camp outside the city in the nearby Yaroslavl – around 150 miles northeast of the city. However, the dogs are breathing a sign of relief and tails are wagging in Moscow tonight as the authorities have decided to shelve the plans due to complaints from animal rights activists. They had complained that the dogs would have been put in harm’s way from in-fighting and disease that could proliferate in concentated situtations. Dog control has become a major problem for the city as it has around 35,000 homeless dogs who sometimes attack humans.

POPSCI reports that there is a stray dog for every 300 Muscovites and due to the hectic pace of city living, just like humans in fast-moving city life, the dogs have developed wolf-like traits shown up in increased intelligence and advanced city navigation skills – like subway use.

Researchers say that the dogs are gradually losing their domestic dog features, like spotted coats, wagging tails and instinctive friendship with humans and instead are evolving wolf-like characteristics as scavengers, guard dogs, wild dogs and beggars. The beggar dogs appear to be the most advanced. They can not only work out which humans will feed them, but also how to ride the subway to get to their target destinations.

[Russia Contributor]

February 18, 2011

Russia says ‘nyet’ to people power

[Russia and Asia Contributor]

[primary news source: Voice of America]

Russia is  getting nervous about viralling ‘people power’ in the middle east and Africa. This week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov specifically warned the west against supporting, or encouraging revolution in the middle east referring to the recent uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. He said that revolution could prove ‘counterproductive’ and the west should be encouraging dialogue in the troubled states instead in the interests of all. He was clear that Russia does not support revolution of any kind.  Well, predictably, that was certain to fall on the deaf ears of Americans who are rightly proud of the achievements of their own revolution from British occupation. In particular, America’s president, Barack Obama, has been encouraging of the people power uprisings in the regions.

Is there a real possibility for the uprisings in the middle east and Africa spreading to Russia and the former Soviet Union states?  Voice of America reports that is a possibility. Former Russian leader, Mikhail Gorbachev warns in pointed references to the high levels of corruption in Russia, that it could go down the Egypt way rather soon. Mikhail, 80, the last ruler of the USSR, said on Russian radio: “If things continue the way they are, I think the probability of the Egyptian scenario will grow.” However, analysts disagree. They say that the revolting middle eastern and African states have one thing in common – their populations are relatively young, whilst Russia’s population, like Japan’s,  is aging and shrinking. Russians therefore are not all that keen to upset the apple cart. Unlike the young revolutionaries in neighbouring states, most Russians only want their social benefits and pensions paid and on time and are worried that any kind of revolution will disrupt that and leave them quite vulnerable.

Also, say analysts,  the leadership of the ‘people power’ uprisings in the middle east and Africa are relatively old and out of date autocrats, whereas Russia’s leadership is perceived to be young, dynamic and forward thinking.  For example, Russia’s Prime Minister Putin is a popular and sporty 58 and President Medvedev, sometimes known as ‘Winnie the Pooh’ in Russia, is a childlike, soft featured 45.  Again, generally, the Russian oligarchy has more or less delivered – in the past 10 years per capita income increased by a factor of six.

However, whilst political freedoms in Russia are quite comparable to Hosni’s Egypt, Russians don’t seem to mind as they are certainly now a lot better than they used to be in the old USSR days.  Generally now, Russians have comparable wide personal freedoms – freedom to travel anywhere in the world, the choice of ones own vacation, western-style shopping malls right in the middle of Russia, good employment prospects, surfing the Internet and downloading anything at will without fear of recriminations.

But all is not that good for the Russian Muslims in Chechnya who are already in revolt.  Again, in neighbouring southern Caucasus, unemployment is at more than 50 percent and in Belarus, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan there are rumblings of disquiet due to the failure of these states to modernise with popular democratic processes.  Furthermore, in Central Asia, particularly, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, young job seekers are getting nowhere in a failing bureaucratic system – a relic of the USSR days.  A recent report of  the International Crisis Group commented that in neighbouring Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, young people are doing far worse than they did in the USSR days and for them emigration to Russia for work is the only solution. But this is proving problematic as Russia too has its own unemployment problems. As a result of all that, popular revolts have already taken place in Kyrgyzstan and are catching on in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

So what keeps the Russians from joining the swell of disquiet in the former USSR states? Oil is the answer. Oil and gas sales are around 40 percent of Russia’s income. At $100 a barrel currently, the Russian government can afford to give out good social benefits  to its people and has recently uprated pensions by 45 percent.  But if oil drops below $30 a barrel, it is reckoned, it’s ‘viva la revolution’ in all of Russia it would seem.

Will there be a ‘people power’ uprising in Russia? What are your views? Comment in International Times of Dominica…