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[2006-03-02] Russian women face discrimination and don’t assert their rights
(The Moscow Times) On paper, women's rights are better protected in Russia than in many countries in Europe. But in reality, Russian women face discrimination nearly every day due to poor enforcement of laws and their own reluctance to go to court, according to an authoritative study released Wednesday. Women's salaries are 36 percent less than men's, they often lose jobs because of pregnancy and maternity, and they have little chance of succeeding in politics or getting senior posts in government, according to the study conducted by the Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative, together [...]
[2006-03-01] About 50% of Ukrainians nostalgic for Soviet times - poll
RIA Novosti, Vladimir Suprun About 50% of Ukrainians want to live back in the Soviet Union, a national pollster said Monday. According to the survey conducted by the Razumkov center of economic and political research, 20.4% of respondents said they wanted the Soviet Union and the socialist system to be restored, and 28.3% said they wanted this as well, but believed it was impossible under the present conditions. A total of 51.3% of respondents were against a return to Soviet times. More than 57% of the Ukrainian respondents said Russian should be made the official or state language in c [...]
[2006-02-28] EasyJet starts online check-in service
Low-cost European airline easyJet launches online check-in for their passengers flying out from London’s Gatwick and Stansted airports and Edinburgh, Scotland. Passengers with hand baggage only will be able to bypass queues at the check-in desk at the airports by printing off their boarding pass from their own computer. They will need to be at the gate just 15 minutes before departure, but certainly before that they will still face the same security checks. EasyJet said the launch of its Internet check-in followed a successful trial in early February and the service should be available to 90 [...]
[2006-02-28] Russia is celebrating Maslenitsa and eating pancakes!
This week Russia is celebrating Maslenitsa. This holiday is similar to Carnival, Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday in the way that they all are the late-winter festivals of eating, drinking and merrymaking. As with many holidays, Maslenitsa has a dual ancestry: pagan and Christian. On the pagan side, Maslenitsa is a sun-festival. Spring is coming, the sun is shining longer, it is getting warmer each day, and winter is clearly on its way out. What a good cause for celebration!On the Christian side, Maslenitsa marks the last week before the onset of Lent, which is a period of a very strict fasting befo [...]
[2006-02-28] New restrictions on import to Russia
According to the new law that came into effect since February 26, physical persons can bring consumption goods to Russia duty-free only once a month. Before that, it was allowed to do it once a week. Alongside with that, non-chargeable weight has been lowered from 50 to 35 kilograms. The aim of these rules is to struggle with people who go abroad for buying things to sell them in Russia. “The government must keep creating conditions for development of Russian plants and factories that produce consumption goods”, said Galina Balandina, the head of the department of state control over foreign [...]
[2006-02-28] New Summer Area Studies Program from American Councils (ACTR)
American Councils is pleased to announce a new opportunity for summer study in Moscow, Russia. Dear Colleagues and Friends, American Councils is pleased to announce a new opportunity for summer study in Moscow, Russia. "Contemporary Russia" is the first American Councils program open to students with no prior training in Russian language. The five-week program will provide classes in Russian economics, Russian politics, and Russian culture. All content-based courses will be taught in English by faculty of the State University: Moscow Higher School of Economics, one of Russia's most prestigi [...]
[2006-02-28] Godzilla Moves In on the Budget Hostel Market in Moscow
By Edmund Harris The Russian word for hostel -- obshchezhitiye -- is unlikely to conjure up positive associations in the mind of the average Muscovite. And so do Moscow's hostels in the mind of backpackers who have experienced what the city has been able to offer them so far. Although the market has improved in recent years, local hostels tend to be characterless and functional Soviet-era institutions located outside the center and not always well acquainted with the ethos of backpacking. Given this situation, Godzilla's Hostel, which British entrepreneur James Skinner opened in October, ca [...]
[2006-02-28] Foreign currency exchange rates as fixed by the Central Bank of Russia for March 1
MOSCOW, February 28 (RIA Novosti) - The following rates of exchange of foreign currencies to the ruble of the Russian Federation have been fixed for the purposes of accounting and customs duty payments from March 1, 2006: 1 Australian dollar - 20.7506 rubles 1 British pound sterling - 48.8970 rubles 1,000 Belarusian rubles - 13.0665 rubles 10 Danish krones - 44.6537 rubles 1 US dollar - 28.1211 rubles 1 euro - 33.3291 rubles 100 Icelandic krones - 42.4149 rubles 100 Kazakh tenges - 21.5807 rubles 1 Canadian dollar - 24.6525 rubles 1 new Turkish lira - 21.3832 rubles 10 No [...]
[2006-02-27] US Department of State doesn’t consider Russia dangerous for tourists
Recently the Forbes magazine included Russia in its annual list of the most dangerous destinations. And though they explained that it referred only to the North Caucasian republics, it has definitely harmed the general travel image of Russia. However, the US Department of State has a different view on the situation. The similar list issued by the Department of State consists of 26 countries. Russia is not among them, though after terrorists captured the school in Beslan, blasted two passenger planes and carried out terror acts in the public places in Moscow in 2004, Russia was on the list fo [...]
[2006-02-27] Surfing couch is an alternative kind of traveling
There is a sort of tourists that don’t like staying at hotels. They prefer to stay at someone’s place even if they don’t know the host well, and offer hospitality at their place in return. There are many sites for search of people that like this sort of traveling. One of them is http://www.couchsurfing.com/ where people from different nooks of our planet place their ads and offer to stay at their places (not necessarily couch) to all people traveling through their city (and there are about 9000 cities on the site). You can contact them and get to know if they can host you for the time that mee [...]
[2006-02-24] 50 percent of Russian women are single
On March 8, Russia will celebrate Woman’s Day, when men of all ages congratulate and give presents to all women they know – mothers, grandmothers, sisters, wives, daughters, girlfriends and just friends and coworkers. Men usually try hard to make this day special for their wives, some of them even cook and do woman’s work about the house! Sadly, but a lot of Russian women won’t feel so special on this day. Recent demographic study shows that half of the Russian women are single and major part of this half have never been married. The study is based on the national census 2002. According to t [...]
[2006-02-22] American Express intends to open its bank in Russia
American Express is going to open its own bank in Russia in the current year. The bank has already been registered and it is in the process of getting a license from the Central Bank of Russia. “The license hasn’t been given yet, as the authorized capital stock hasn’t been paid”, the Central Bank says. Experts think that the reason that urged American Express to hasten was the conflict that broke out between the company and leading Russian banks. Recently leading Russian banks sent the letter to the leaders of American Express company, claiming for the right to issue AmEx plastic cards in [...]
[2006-02-22] Aeroflot's Service keeps improving
In a poll organized by the renowned UK-based SkyTrax Research, Aeroflot was named the leader in "Onboard Service Improvement Excellence" in 2005 among 95 aircarriers worldwide. Here is what SkyTrax says: “In the past few years AEROFLOT has invested heavily in the improvement of product and service across its international routes, and has now in many areas reached and surpassed the Quality standards offered by many of it's competitor airlines throughout Europe. Shaking off a time-old image of poor service or product is never an easy task, but Aeroflot Russian Airlines has now achieved Onboard S [...]
[2006-02-22] 23 February is a public holiday in Russia
Tomorrow, February 23, Russia is celebrating the Defenders of Motherland Day. It is a public holiday and most Russians are going to enjoy three days off in a row - February 23, 24 and 25 and start to work on February 26 (Sunday). It is a common practice in Russia to extend the public holiday to the following day and work on Saturday or Sunday instead. Russians love to have a rest to the fullest! February 23 is originally the date of the foundation of the Soviet Army. However, with time it has become the day of all men. On this day, all Russian girls and women say their best wishes, make surpr [...]
[2006-02-22] Global survey shows popularity and pitfalls of online dating
The latest GMIPoll reveals that internet dating is no longer the preserve of geeks, freaks and the plain desperate but instead is becoming an increasingly credible and popular way of finding friends, partners and even 'something for the weekend'. The global survey of 17,500 consumers in 18 countries reveals that 10% of those polled have found a long-term partner through internet dating sites. When compared to other countries, Britons are somewhat reluctant Internet daters. Only 5% have married as a result of the internet, 14% have had a casual sexual relationship and only 14% have had a seri [...]
[2006-02-22] GMIPoll Reveals That Americans Use Internet More For Friendship Than For Love
Powered by global market intelligence solutions provider GMI (Global Market Insite, Inc.), the latest GMIPoll, a survey of 17,502 online consumers across 18 countries, finds that Americans go online seeking friendships (21%) more than casual sex (16%) or a serious, long-term relationship (19%). The report also reveals that Americans lag behind the global average when using online dating and social networking sites for any kind of relationship, whether for romance (4 percentage points lower), sex (2 percentage points behind), or friendship (one-third as frequently). The GMIPoll numbers prove th [...]
[2006-02-21] Warning issued for online dating scams
The UK's Office of Fair Trading has issued the following warning concerning online dating scams: What is an online dating scam?An online dating scam is when a scammer, male or female, creates a false personal profile and makes contact with you via an online dating agency or even a specialised chat room. The scammer says that they are seeking romance or a soul mate but are really out to steal not only your heart but your cash too. Scammers can sign up to online dating agencies or chat rooms just like anyone else. Many online dating sites allow anyone to join for free, and they usually do not [...]
[2006-02-20] The list of visa-free countries for Russians to be lengthened with Thailand
You are considering where to meet with your Russian lady and want to avoid visa problems and make this trip unforgettable for both of you? You may go to Thailand, ‘cause Russians don’t need a visa to this country any longer. Starting from February 17 Russian tourists won’t have to fill in special questionnaires and receive visas at the Thailand border. Now they will enter Thailand absolutely free of charge. The agreement about two-side visa-free trips was signed in the middle of December but has been put into action only now. However, “Banko” information service in the Embassy of Thailan [...]
[2006-02-20] The quality of water in Russia leaves much to be desired
Drinking water often turns out to be the reason of enteric infections in Russia, says the chief sanitary inspector of Russia, Gennady Onitshenko. By his words, there are a lot of polluted resources of water supply in the country, the zones of sanitary care either don’t exist or in a very bad condition, a great number of water pipes are not equipped with water-treatment and disinfectant plants. Besides, the water pipes themselves are so worn-out that they can become the source of dangerous infections at any time. Local authorities are well aware about it, however, referring to financial troub [...]
[2006-02-20] The US visa procedure for Russians can be simplified
The United States is ready to simplify the visa procedure for the Russian citizens. It is planning to shorten the terms of waiting for the interview and getting a visa, said US Assistant secretary of state for consular affairs Maura Harty. The authorities are also discussing the possibility to conduct visa interviews with the help of videoconferences through the Internet. Besides that, the United States wants to prolong the validity period of entry visas to 5 years, provided Russia does the same. [...]
[2006-02-17] Heathrow Airport increases security measures
New security measures have been introduced at Heathrow Airportfollowing a recent review of the procedures in the airport. The British Airports Authority (BAA) is recommending all the passengers traveling through Heathrow take as minimum baggage through security as possible and arrive at least three hours before departure for international flights, two hours for European flights and an hour for UK and Ireland flights. Heathrow has warned passengers of delays that may be caused by the extra security measures and asks them to be patient as the measures are in place for their safety. Heathrow al [...]
[2006-02-13] Moscow hotels are one of the most crowded and expensive
According to the research of the British corporate consultant company Deloitte, the occupancy rate of Moscow hotels takes the second place among all major European cities. Their occupancy reached 72,4% in the year 2005. Only Istanbul leaves Moscow a little behind. The reason of the recent success of Istanbul hotels, reaching 74,4% of their overall occupancy, was the increasing popularity of the city as a choice to host a large number of international organizations. The third place is held by Tel-Aviv with 68% occupancy. At the same time there seems to be no end in sight in the growth of aver [...]
[2006-02-13] Changes in application for the UK visa
The United Kingdom will be introducing a change to the Immigration Rules with effect from 12th February 2006. Anyone intending to travel to the UK on, or after that, date will be required to complete the new visa application form (VAF-1 FEB 2006). It can be downloaded from the web-site of the UK Embassy. The new form contains questions relating to any children (a person under the age of 18 at the time of the application ) that intend travelling to the UK. A declaration has to be completed indicating whether they are travelling alone or with an accompanying adult. If accompanied by an adult [...]
[2006-02-10] Moscow “925” telephone numbers have changed over to “625”
The Moscow city telephone network (MGTS) informed that effective from February 6 Moscow’s telephone numbers starting with “925” would switch over to “625” due to the replacement of the previously used analog exchanges by digital ones. Therefore, instead of the previous 8-495-925-XX-XX, one must dial 8-495-625-XX-XX, where “495” is the city code. Note that in connection with this changeover, a number of telephones of the Moscow city police department, some embassies of foreign countries, and institutions change as well. However, an autoinformator will be installed on the old numbers to tell t [...]
[2006-02-10] Foreigners will pay a ruble per Day for stay in Russia
Effective from February 1, foreigners will be required to pay a fee of 1 ruble per day when registering their stay in Russia. Thus the fee for a three-month registration will be 90 rubles, while the fee for six months will be 183 rubles. The sum can’t exceed 200 rubles. Payment must be made at Sberbank. The new fee doesn’t revoke fees for all other procedures: giving a visa, prolongation of its term, invitation, residence permit, etc. For thosethat are not familiar with the Russian law, all foreigners entering Russia must be registered within three days at the police passport-visa services (ab [...]
[2006-02-09] Kiev is applying for the title Cultural Capital of Europe 2010
Kiev aspires to get the prestigious title of the European cultural capital 2010. The Kiev City Administration prepared and sent the application to the European Institution at the end of 2005. The initiative was also supported by the Cabinet Council of Ukraine. For those unfamiliar with the European Cultural Capital designation, it is an appellation given annually to a particular European Union city. The first Cultural Capital of Europe was Athens in 1985. It was the initiative of the late Greek Minister of Culture of Greece Melina Mercouri, which evolved into a leading cultural institution f [...]
[2006-02-08] British Airways wants to double flights from St. Petersburg to London
British Airways (BA) has said the airline would like to increase its passenger numbers from St. Petersburg's Pulkovo airport next year. The airline has reportedly seen a 20% increase in passenger numbers on the route this year and Daniel Burkhard, British Airways' commercial manager for Eastern Europe, has said that it is a profitable route. The airline is looking to increase the current seven flights to London per week to 14, reports the St. Petersburg Times. CurrentlyBA performs only one evening flight from St. Petersburg to London daily and it wants to establish one more flight in th [...]
[2006-02-08] Rules for Foreign Workers in Russia to Be Eased.
The Federal Migration Service plans to ease the rules for foreigners employed by representative offices of foreign companies by allowing them to work in Russia without work permits, officials said Tuesday. Under the proposed change, which is currently being drawn up by the FMS, employees of some 10,000 representative offices will no longer need work permits, said Artyom Frolov, head of the service's department that grants permission to employ foreign workers. The change would allow representative offices to bypass the lengthy work permit application process and move straight to applying for [...]
[2006-02-08] Cheap flights from Moscow to the USA
SWISS has published a special offer on flights from Moscow to the USA via Zurich. The tickets are sold from January 23 till March 15, 2006. The travel period is from February 1 till March 31, 2006. The cost of a round-trip ticket to New York is $369, to Chicago or Boston - $399 (price excluding taxes). The minimal time of travel is till the nearest Sunday, maximum time of travel is one month. Aeroflot offers flights from Moscow to New York for $395 and to Toronto for $399. The offer is available till February 12, 2006. KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) offers flights from Moscow or St. Petersburg [...]
[2006-02-02] Our news
Children of ChanceForLove When our couples inform us that they expect a baby, it is not just good news for us, it is very, very good news! What does it mean? It means that a couple has a stable and loving relationship, that they believe their relationship is a life-long one, that they are ready to make one more step to become even closer. It is so touching! In the first days of the year a couple came to our office. They had got married in April last year and came to Kazan to visit their relatives on new year holidays. The day before their departure they dropped in at the agency office to see [...]
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