Dec 13, 2011

Issue #1687(49), Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The St. Petersburg Times
Issue #1687(49), Wednesday, December 14, 2011

LOCAL NEWS

More Than 10,000 Gather at Biggest Rally in 10 Years
Zenit Finishes Year on Historic Note
Semi-spontaneous protests against widespread fraud favoring pro-Kremlin party United Russia at the Dec. 4 State Duma and St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly elections resulted in the biggest rally St. Petersburg has seen in the past decade, drawing more than 10,000 on Saturday.
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Football season is over, but St. Petersburg fans are celebrating the month-long winter lull as Zenit St. Petersburg ends the year with flying colors, having progressed into the Champions League knock-out stage for the first time in history, while six points clear at the top of the Russian league.
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NATIONAL NEWS

Prokhorov Plans to Run Against Putin in Election
Enemies March Side by Side
MOSCOW — Mikhail Prokhorov, the billionaire and failed State Duma hopeful, said Monday that he would attempt a political comeback by running against Vladimir Putin for president next year. The abrupt announcement, which Prokhorov made to gasps of surprise from seasoned reporters at a news conference, could give an air of legitimacy to the election, which is widely expected to be won by Putin.
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MOSCOW — In the hours before Saturday's rally, fears were voiced that police might detain people who arrived at the initially authorized venue, Ploshchad Revolyutsii, instead of Bolotnaya Ploshchad, which was hastily approved a day before the demonstration.
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Protest Called Amazing — What's Next?
State Media Plays Down City Rallies
MOSCOW — Saturday's rally in Moscow marked an "amazing," even unprecedented, event for modern Russia. Yet though euphoria was palpable in the air, it came with a tinge of pessimism, fueled by the simple question: "What's next?" Some linked the bluesy feeling to poor work by rally organizers.
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MOSCOW — Much to the surprise of observers and regular Russian television viewers, state-run channels gave substantial coverage to Saturday's anti-government rallies in Moscow and other cities — even if they still managed to present the protests as insignificant, apolitical events.
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Exam Had Political Message
2 Students Accept Putin's China Prize
MOSCOW — The last-minute test thousands of Russian children were suddenly required to take on the day of the biggest anti-government rallies in years contained political messages, revealed examples from some exams that have appeared on the Internet.
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BEIJING — Two Russian exchange students have accepted a Chinese peace prize on behalf of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who was honored for enhancing Russia's status and crushing anti-government forces in Chechnya, the prize organizers said.
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OPINION

'Opposition' Parties Should Boycott Duma
between the lines: Russia's Media More Accurate Than in the West
As it is clear to almost everyone, the State Duma elections results were fabricated. The question now is: Will the Kremlin-approved "opposition" parties finally oppose the ruling regime? Authoritative and independent elections observers, including Alexander Kynev and Dmitry Oreshkin, estimate that United Russia falsely inflated its results by an average of 15 percentage points to 17 percentage points — and in Moscow, by 20 percentage points.
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I spoke with about 100 pleasant young people last week at the monthly meeting that Russian Reporter magazine editors and journalists hold with readers. Some of the young people had posted election reports on the magazine's web site.
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CULTURE

Fresh start for Foreigners' Club
The demise of St. Petersburg
Anthony William Gear, the longstanding general manager of The Old Customs House restaurant, is reviving the Foreigners' Club, a social community of expats that he initially established in 1996, shortly after his arrival in St.
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Images of disaster have always been morbidly popular, but recently this theme seems to have become especially topical due to the Mayan Doomsday Prophecy, which predicts the end of the world in December 2012.
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Winds of change
the word's worth: How To Deal With Riot Cops
Mikhail Borzykin, the frontman of Televizor — the St. Petersburg band that has been performing protest rock songs since the perestroika days of 1987 — spoke and sang one of his Putin-era songs during Saturday's rally against electoral fraud, which turned out to be the city's biggest-scale demonstration in the past few years, bringing together more than 10,000.
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Всего доброго: All the best A non-Russian friend happened to visit during one of the demonstrations this week. This misfortune made him realize two things. First, it's really scary to walk out of an apartment building smack into a division of cops armed to the teeth and in full riot gear.
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THE DISH: Traiton Beach
 
A day at the beach At first glance — and second for that matter — Traiton Beach looks very much closed, to the shock and dismay of any hungry would-be diner. But turning the corner and straying away from the Fontanka embankment where the restaurant windows are completely closed either by full-length metal shutters or banners announcing its opening in October, Traiton Beach's main entrance is very much open and the kitchen up and running.
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FEATURES

Entrepreneur Attracts Tourists With Travel Magazine
'Russian' Writer Born in U.S. Shares Thoughts on Russian Readers
It was a chance meeting in France that led 23-year-old Petersburger Yana Nelaton to begin a new life in the Caribbean island paradise of St. Barth. "I was studying at St. Petersburg State University, and my mother and I were visiting Paris.
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MOSCOW — On most days, author Michael Cunningham sits in his studio in lower Manhattan and writes. On a good day, he says he writes several pages; on a bad day, he forces himself to write at least one sentence.
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© 2011 The Saint-Petersburg Times

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