Jan 24, 2012

Issue #1692(3), Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The St. Petersburg Times
Issue #1692(3), Wednesday, January 25, 2012

LOCAL NEWS

State Fails Offenders Both In and Out of Jail
100 Most Powerful Women
Is it the responsibility of the state to look after former prisoners once they have been released? This question may seem unrelated to the life of the average person, but this is in fact an illusion. According to official statistics, every fourth man in Russia has either already served or is currently serving a term in prison — or will undoubtedly do so later in life.
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Ex-St. Petersburg governor Valentina Matviyenko topped the list of the 100 most influential Russian women released this week. St. Petersburg natives Svetlana Medvedeva, wife of President Dmitry Medvedev, and Ksenia Sobchak, a TV anchor and the daughter of St.
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City Celebrates Anniversary of End of Siege
Putin's Popularity Is Low in City Ahead of Elections
More than 154,000 Siege of Leningrad survivors living in St. Petersburg will celebrate the 68th anniversary of the full liberation of the city on Friday, Jan. 27. Events dedicated to the anniversary will, as usual, be held around the city.
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Opinion polls conducted in St. Petersburg last year show that people now see Prime Minister and presidential hopeful Vladimir Putin's main trait as greed (cited by 46 percent of people), unlike in 2007, when the majority of people polled assigned Putin mainly positive qualities, and only 5 percent cited greed as his overwhelming trait.
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Policeman Kills Teen
IN BRIEF
A policeman has been suspended after a teenage boy died in police custody at the weekend. Nevsky district police inspector Denis Ivanov, 24, acknowledged that on Sunday night he beat up a 15-year-old boy at the police precinct where the teenager had been taken after being detained for attempted robbery.
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CEO Killed In Crash ST. PETERSBURG (SPT) — The general director of the Russkii Standart vodka plant, Sergei Andreyev, was killed in a car accident in St. Petersburg on Jan. 14. Andreyev crashed into a truck while driving his Volkswagen Tuareg.
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Young Girl Dies After Dental Treatment
Neo-Nazis Attack Anti-Fascist Group
A criminal investigation was opened last week into the death of a three-year-old girl who died after being put under general anesthetic at one of the city's private dental clinics. The three-year-old girl underwent dental treatment performed with the use of general anesthesia at one of the city's private Scandinavia clinics.
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Dozens of neo-Nazis attacked anti-fascist activists returning from a memorial event for slain anti-fascists Stanislav Markelov and Natalya Baburova, shooting them with pellet guns in Mayakovskaya metro on Thursday, witnesses and activists said.
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Honest Elections Marchers Pledge to Take to Nevsky
Demolition Law Reviewed
The St. Petersburg organizers of the March for Honest Elections, a national rally calling for open and fair elections, insist they will march on Nevsky Prospekt, the city's main street, despite this being banned by City Hall.
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The St. Petersburg prosecutor's office has investigated a law adopted in 2009 on the preservation and protection of cultural heritage objects in St. Petersburg. The law prohibits the demolition of historic buildings, except for cases in which their condition is so poor that they can't be restored.
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NATIONAL NEWS

Election Webcam Installation Begins
Russia Plans to Sell Combat Jets to Syria
VELIKY NOVGOROD — In this historic city that was once the cradle of Russian democracy, an unprecedented new campaign kicked off over the weekend to install web cameras in every polling station around the country in an effort to prevent voting fraud.
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MOSCOW — Russia signed a contract to sell combat jets to Syria, a newspaper reported Monday, in apparent support for President Bashar Assad and open defiance of international condemnation of his regime's bloody crackdown.
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PM Putin Calls Nationalism a Danger to the State
Prokhorov's Platform Courts Protesters
MOSCOW — Prime Minister Vladimir Putin lashed out Monday at nationalists who call for cutting off government funding to the North Caucasus as well as those who want to create regional separatist parties, saying their positions could lead to the collapse of Russia.
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MOSCOW — Billionaire and presidential hopeful Mikhail Prokhorov — who has presented himself as the candidate for the urban middle class — has unveiled a 15-page presidential platform that closely reflects the demands made by protesters at two massive opposition rallies last month.
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OPINION

Why Putin Is Mad at Me
regional dimensions: Losing Confidence in the Direct Election Bill
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin got very angry last Wednesday when he met with the editors-in-chief of Russia's top media outlets. He complained to Ekho Moskvy editor-in-chief Alexei Venediktov about the "complete rubbish" that he heard from two defense analysts on a recent program on the radio station.
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The Kremlin is trying to present President Dmitry Medvedev's new bill as a way of bringing back direct gubernatorial elections, but it is more of a Trojan Horse than a political reform. According to the bill's language, regional heads will be "vested with authority.
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CULTURE

CHERNOV'S CHOICE
Silver Age spirit
This week's music sensation has been mixed with politics, namely the protest mood on rise in Russia since the flawed State Duma elections in December. A new YouTube video made by anarcho-feminist punk band Pussy Riot shows eight women with their faces concealed by colored balaclavas on the strictly guarded Red Square pumping out a punk song called "Putin Zassal.
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This year, the city's legendary Stray Dog cafe, which endeavors to maintain the spirit and history of the Silver Age within its walls, celebrates its centenary. While the cafe may have changed drastically during its 100-year history, St.
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Breaking stereotypes
Art for a wintry day
The idea of meeting Billy Novik — frontman of the local jazz quartet Billy's Band and father of "alco-jazz" — in an ordinary café may seem strange to some. After all, the band's public image has been determined by songs like "Let's Drink Some Wine" and "200 Cubic Milliliters of Agdam" (Agdam was the producer of a well known fortified wine in Soviet times).
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As the mercury finally plummets to more usual St. Petersburg winter temperatures, the city's museums and galleries have come up with plenty of indoor entertainment. Back at the end of last year, the city's Artillery Museum unveiled an exhibition titled "Weapons of the East in the 16th to 19th Centuries.
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THE DISH: FARTUK
 
Home on the range In the world of pain that frequently masquerades as dining out in St. Peterburg, it's the little things that can often make a disproportionately huge difference. A spontaneous offer of a wine tasting to help make choosing the right bottle easier, friendly advice on which dishes the server recommends, or something as simple as an unaffected smile are all things that are typical of standard service elsewhere, but can never be taken for granted in Russia.
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© 2011 The Saint-Petersburg Times

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