This week’s big news is still the heat in Moscow, and the fires spreading across the country. I don’t want to go overboard on this, so I’ll just highlight a couple of posts:
- Sublime Oblivion doesn’t think there was much the Russian Government could have done more to contain such a large natural disaster, and that all the hysteria is a bit overblown. He also looks at the longer term impact of global warming on Russia and notes that, for Russia at least, it’s not all bad news.
- Prime Minister Putin, ever keen to be in the limelight, took to the skies and flew a fire-fighting plane. Probably sounded like a great idea to his PR team, but one Russian blogger has pointed out that you need a license to fly a plane in Russia and, erm, Putin doesn’t have one…
- Julia Ioffe apologises to Mayor Luzhkov. And posts possibly the most horrifying picture to emerge from the fires. Never mind apologising to the mayor, she should be apologising to me for making my eyes bleed.
This week also marked the 10th anniversary of the sinking of the Kursk submarine. Two posts of note are:
- It Sank: Ten Years After, by the Streetwise Professor
- Ten Years After the Kursk, by Grigory Pasko
Other articles I’ve enjoyed this week have included:
- Sublime Oblivion’s interview series continues with an impressive catch – this week he interviews Peter Lavelle, the Russia Today correspondent that everyone loves to hate.
- While everyone else is busy worrying about Chinese immigrants in Siberia, Randy McDonald explores Russian immigration to China. Did you know that Russians are one of the 56 officially recognised ethnic groups in China?
- Quick note to update your bookmarks – Ed Lucas, of the Economist, has moved his blogspot blog to edwardlucas.com/blog/
- Do you hate backwards Russian letters?
- The Russian militia are once again to be called by their old Soviet name – police. In Moscows Shadows looks at the pros and cons of this change.
- Scraps of Moscow covers the siting of a Russian S-300 air defence system in Abkhazia, and points out that it’s been there for two years already. He wonders why everyone’s making a fuss about it today.
And, finally, Tim Newman recounts the 39 step process he underwent to register his Russian visa. Step 34 – Wait 10 minutes, and slowly understand why long-life foods are available for purchase in a Russian post office.