The White House responded to Kiev’s doubts about Russia’s preparation for an invasion

White House spokeswoman Psaki disagreed with the opinion of the Ukrainian authorities on the escalation This is how she responded to calls from Kiev not to believe the panic rumors about the escalation =”The White House responded to Kiev's doubts about Russia's preparations for an invasion” />

Jen Psaki

Statements by the Ukrainian leadership about the absence of escalation on the border with Russia and threats of invasion “run counter” with Moscow's actions, says White House spokesman Jen Psaki.

At a press conference at the White House, she answered the question of why the Ukrainian leadership says it does not see the threat of a Russian invasion, and how this is consistent with constant warnings Washington about the escalation at the border.

Psaki began her response with the thesis that no one can know what Russian President Vladimir Putin is up to.

“No one can penetrate the minds of President Putin and the Russian leadership. What do we see— various training, including the Russian military at the border, & mdash; said Psaki.

She added that Moscow continues to “aggressive rhetoric” and is looking for a pretext for aggression.

“We are seeing an increase in aggressive actions and preparations on the border,” — assured journalists the press secretary of the President of the United States.

For several days now, the leadership of Ukraine has been calling on citizens not to succumb to panic and assures that the situation on the border with Russia is under control, and there are no signs that Russian troops are preparing to invade Ukraine.

Today, President Volodymyr Zelensky made a special video message on this topic, urging Ukrainians to keep their brains “from bullshit”. The day before, Zelensky, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Yevgeny Danilov and Minister of Defense Oleksiy Reznikov addressed the Ukrainian people with an appeal not to panic and not to believe disinformation.

Moreover, Shmyhal replied that he sees the only threat to the Ukrainian economy from disinformation that breeds instability.

For the first time, the American media reported on the preparation of Russian troops for the invasion of Ukraine in October 2021. Since then, many Western politicians have made various statements on this subject. After Russia put forward demands for security in Europe and talks between Russia, the US, NATO and the OSCE in Geneva and Brussels, the rhetoric of Western leaders intensified. Warnings about a possible Russian invasion followed almost daily.

The United States and its NATO allies threatened Moscow with “unprecedented sanctions”, including sanctions against the country's top leadership and personally Vladimir Putin.

The Kremlin regularly rejected all accusations of preparing aggression against Ukraine, and called the movement of troops across its territory an internal affair of Russia.

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Ukraine accuses Croatian president of “relaying propaganda” to Russia

Kiev demanded to refute the words of the President of Croatia about Ukraine's membership in NATO Croatian President Milanovic said that Ukraine should not be a member of NATO, explaining that in 2014 the power in the country was changed as a result of a coup. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry considered this an insult

Zoran Milanovic

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine considered the words of Croatian President Zoran Milanovic that Ukraine should not be a member of NATO unacceptable and demanded a refutation from him, the report says on department website.

Milanovic previously not only commented on the issue of Ukraine's accession to NATO, but also stated that the change of power in Kiev in 2014 was carried out by a coup.

“Ukraine has no place in NATO. When power changed in Ukraine, this movement was anything but democratic, it was a coup, as a result of which 50 people died, — said Milanović (quote from the Croatian edition of Dnevnik).

The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs considered such statements an insult to the people of Ukraine and expressed disappointment with Milanovic's statements.

“The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry demands a public refutation of these insulting statements by the President of Croatia and their non-repetition in the future”,— The ministry said in a statement.

In addition, Milanovich spoke about relations between Ukraine, Russia and the EU. “Ukraine is going west without consulting Russia, as if honey and milk are waiting for it in the EU. Ukraine still remains one of the most corrupt countries, the EU has not given anything to Ukraine,— he said.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry called these words a relay of “Russian propaganda narratives” that do not correspond to Croatia's official position in support of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.

RBC sent a request to the press service of the President of Croatia.

< p>For his statements, Milanovich ended up in the Peacemaker base, UNIAN reports. The publication writes that the Croatian president was accused of acts of humanitarian aggression against Ukraine, spreading the “Kremlin” propaganda and justification of Russian “aggression” against Ukraine.

On January 25, Milanovic also announced that in the event of an escalation of tension between Russia and Ukraine, Croatia would withdraw its military contingent from the region, which is part of NATO forces.

< p>“I see NATO statements about increasing its presence [in Eastern Europe], about sending reconnaissance ships. Not only will Croatia not send troops, but in the event of an escalation, it will withdraw every single soldier. I promise you this, & mdash; stressed Milanovic.

According to the Croatian president, what is happening is not connected with Russia and Ukraine, but is related to the dynamics of “the domestic policy of the United States, Joe Biden and his administration.” He added that he supported Biden's rise to power, but now sees his “inconsistency” and “dangerous behavior in matters of international security.”

Earlier on January 25, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, in his address to the nation, urged Ukrainians to keep their brains “from nonsense”, not to panic and not to believe all the news from the media or other sources about the escalation of the situation on the border. He called the departure of diplomats of individual states from Ukraine part of a complex diplomatic game and stressed that this does not mean that escalation is inevitable.

At the same time, White House press secretary Jen Psaki, speaking about putting on high alert 8.5 thousand American soldiers to be transferred to Eastern Europe, said that US President Joe Biden does not want to send troops to Ukraine. She added that the only goal of NATO as a defensive bloc— this is the support of partners, and only Russia is aggressive within the framework of the conflict.

Western countries suspect Russia of preparing an armed offensive against Ukraine. The Kremlin denies these accusations. Against the backdrop of what is happening, some Western states began to supply weapons to the Ukrainian army.

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Bloomberg learned about the request to exclude a number of banks from sanctions because of Ukraine

Bloomberg: EU countries ask to remove a number of Russian banks from possible sanctions ” src=”” alt=”Bloomberg learned about the request to exclude a number of banks from sanctions because of Ukraine” />

Some major countries— EU members asked to exclude from the draft anti-Russian sanctions, which are supposed to be introduced in the event of an invasion of Ukraine, a number of banks and already signed contracts, writes Bloomberg citing a source.

In particular, they proposed to provide for transitional periods, as well as to withdraw from possible sanctions transactions in the energy sector, already signed contracts and a number of financial organizations.

One of the interlocutors of the agency added that the European Union is working on a package of measures that will affect Russia's ability to convert currency, and will also include restrictions on exports, imports and access to key technologies. On the last point, a Bloomberg source mentioned the SWIFT system and said that this option is still being considered.

However, according to him, the US, EU and UK still need to come to an agreement on in which case specific actions of Russia, sanctions will be imposed.

While the leaders of the countries— Members of the EU and the US cannot develop a unified position on this matter, writes Bloomberg. According to him, they disagree on how to respond to various scenarios and what counts as an invasion, as well as on what sanctions should be imposed against Russia.

The only thing they agree on is , is that the crossing of the Ukrainian border by Russian military forces will be considered an invasion.

According to the agency, the EU and the US are discussing various forms of possible “Russian aggression”, including a disinformation campaign, cyberattacks, gas supply restrictions and attempts destabilize the government of Ukraine.

The United States and the United Kingdom have both said that in the event of an attempted invasion of Ukraine, Russia faces more extensive sanctions than those already introduced, including post-2014 restrictions. Washington clarified that among the measures being developed — sanctions in the field of exports and in the financial sector.

Bild, citing sources, wrote that the damage to Russia could amount to $ 50 billion. According to the newspaper, the possible sanctions include blocking Russian supplies of raw materials and weapons , as well as the expulsion of some Russian diplomats.

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The United States included the opinion of Ukraine in response to Russia on security guarantees

State Department: The United States briefed Ukraine on Russia's response to security guarantees There will be no surprises for Ukraine, NATO and European allies in the document, Ned Price promised. Asked if the response would come as a surprise to Moscow, he said the US had made it clear what it thought of the Russian proposals

Ned Price

The U.S. informed Ukraine of what would be contained in their written response to Russia's proposals for security guarantees, State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a briefing.

According to Price, the United States not only informed Ukraine about what will be in this document, but also gave it a preliminary version, and also requested the opinion of Kiev and included it in the document.

“So there will be no surprises for NATO, our European allies and Ukraine, — he promised.

Asked if there would be “surprises for Russia,” the State Department spokesman offered to look at Moscow's reaction. However, he added that the United States “made it clear” what they think about Russia's proposals, including points that they consider unacceptable (among them, Washington called the refusal to admit Ukraine and Georgia to NATO and to move the alliance to the east).

Price added that Washington has not yet handed over the document to Moscow: “As soon as it is sent, we will inform you.”

A State Department spokesman said earlier that Washington is sharing with Europe with their ideas and takes their point of view into account when preparing a response. The document, according to Price, will be handed over to Russia this week.

Russia sent draft agreements on security assurances to the US and NATO in mid-December last year. Among other things, they contained proposals for non-expansion of NATO to the east at the expense of the countries of the former USSR and a ban on military activities in Ukraine. On January 10, 12 and 13, three rounds of negotiations between the US and Russia took place in Europe, the Council of Russia — NATO and Russia and the OSCE. They ended without concrete results, Moscow requested written answers to their proposals.

NATO will send answers soon, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg promised. on arms control and measures to achieve greater transparency regarding military activities and deployment of missiles.

The US response, according to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, will represent areas that are of concern to Washington and areas where the parties can work together. Bloomberg, citing a source, reported that Washington would not give a specific written response to each of Russia's demands, but would name the areas in which it was ready to “solve” questions from Moscow.

According to The Washington Post, the United States asked Russia not to make public their written response, while a senior State Department official admitted that Moscow would make the document public. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier that such a step would be the right one.

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The United States announced the consequences for the Russian economy during the escalation in Ukraine

State Department: Russia's economy faces more serious problems in the event of an “invasion” of Ukraine with consequences for the Russian economy in the event of Moscow's aggression against Kiev. This was stated at a briefing by US State Department spokesman Ned Price.

«We are not the only ones warning about a strong, tough and unified response [about sanctions in the event of a Russian ‘invasion’; to Ukraine]. Financial markets, actors in the private sector are taking note, — he said.

According to Price, the Russian ruble “recently sank to its lowest level in more than a year against the dollar, and the Russian the stock exchange recorded the worst performance for the year,” however, all this “does not compare to what awaits the Russian Federation, the Russian economy, if the invasion occurs.”

The representative of the State Department added that, as Washington hopes it won't come to that, and “dialogue and diplomacy will help find a way out of this situation.”

The material is being supplemented

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The State Department announced the difficulties of the Russian Federation due to tensions around Ukraine

photo AgnosticPreachersKid

US State Department Press Officer Ned Price, speaking at a regular press briefing, said that the Russian Federation has already faced serious consequences caused by its “aggressive actions” in Ukraine.

According to him, the financial markets immediately reacted to this situation.

“The Russian ruble recently fell to its lowest level in more than a year against the dollar. The stock market of the Russian Federation also showed a similar decline, dropping to its lowest level in a year,” Price noted.


Zakharova ridiculed the fake Times with an armed “simple citizen of Ukraine”

Photo Federation Council

Official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia Maria Zakharova ridiculed in her Telegram channel the publication of the British newspaper The Times, in which featured a photograph of a member of the Territorial Defense Forces of Ukraine, Maryana Zhaglo, holding a weapon.

The diplomat noted that journalists should not have passed off as a “simple citizen of Ukraine”; a woman armed with a Z-15 carbine.

"Zhaglo turned out to be a "simple Ukrainian woman" from the Territorial Defense Forces of Ukraine … And her uniforms are British. Another fake story about militants, of which Western propaganda makes anti-Russian “freedom fighters,” Zakharova wrote.



State Department: Russia will not be surprised by the response of the United States on security guarantees

According to US State Department spokesman Ned Price, Washington sought the opinion of Ukrainian politicians in preparing its response to Russian security guarantees. Therefore, there will be no surprises for Russia in our response, Price specified.

“There will be no surprises … for the Russians,” he stressed.

The Russian side will receive a written response from the United States on their security initiatives this week. Price also noted that the Western allies had previously brought to Moscow information about in which specific areas progress is possible, and which Russian proposals are unacceptable. For example, the non-proliferation of NATO to the east is classified as unacceptable.


Donbass will be visited by ministers from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria

The heads of the ministries of foreign affairs of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria are planning to visit the areas of Donbass controlled by Kiev. Such a visit is scheduled for February this year, according to the Czech resource Idnes.

The Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipovsky announced such plans to visit the eastern regions of Ukraine. According to him, he first plans to visit Bratislava to take Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Kork and his Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg with him.

After that, European diplomats will arrive in Kiev on February 7-8, where they will be met Ukrainian minister Dmitry Kuleba. After that, they will all go to Donbass together.


Ukrainian authorities made controversial statements about the “war with Russia”

Zelensky contradicts himself

Ukrainian authorities are making contradictory statements about the “war with Russia” – sometimes there is a threat, sometimes it is not. Russian and Ukrainian political scientists told us about the reasons for such behavior.


The Government of Ukraine withdrew from the Verkhovna Rada the draft law on the “transitional period for certain districts Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

This document was opposed by Russia, which considers the bill a step towards withdrawing from the Minsk agreements. France and Germany also promised to prevent its adoption.

According to the chairman of the Servant of the People faction in the Verkhovna Rada, the decision to withdraw the bill was made given that it did not comply with the Normandy format. In this regard, the document will be finalized. It became known that after a long downtime, advisers to the heads of states of the Normandy Four will meet in Paris on January 26.

It is no coincidence that the bill on the “transitional period” caused serious discontent in Russia, France and Germany. It completely contradicts the Minsk agreements. The DPR and LPR are recognized as the occupation administrations of Russia, with which it is possible to negotiate only on a narrow range of issues. All those who worked in the structures of the DPR and LPR are subject to lustration. There is no mention of any special status for certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the document. On the other hand, the voting rights of local residents were to be limited, at the same time, the Ukrainian authorities were going to lead Donetsk and Lugansk through total Ukrainization in two years.

“Kyiv realized that the adoption of the document would be perceived by Russia extremely negatively. At the same time, Moscow would receive a trump card that it could demonstrate to France and Germany in a conversation about the infringement of the rights of the inhabitants of Donbass. At the same time, the withdrawal of the bill might not have happened if it weren’t for the current hysteria around rumors about Russia’s allegedly impending attack on Ukraine, ”said MK MrHead of the Institute for Peacekeeping Initiatives and Conflictology Denis Denisov.

Meanwhile, the leadership of Ukraine seems to have begun to suffer from a split personality. Over the past week, the President of Ukraine, the Minister of Defense and the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council managed to make a whole bunch of mutually exclusive statements. Sometimes they were done with an interval of several hours. Either there will be a war with Russia, and we must prepare for it immediately, or the enemy does not even think of attacking and, accordingly, there is nothing to worry about.

At the end of last week, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, addressing fellow citizens, said that there was no need to worry about the war with Russia, because it had been going on for 8 years. The day after that, his interview was published in The Washington Post, in which Zelensky said that Russian troops could capture Kharkiv. Two days passed – and Kiev began to transfer troops to the Donbass, and Zelensky said that intelligence should go on the offensive in order to ensure the security of the republic. True, in the evening of the same day, the Ukrainian leader again said that there was no threat to the Ukrainians.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has similar problems. On Tuesday, January 24, he said that Ukrainians should join the territorial defense forces in order to protect the country from the aggressor, and on the night of January 25, he said that Russia had not created a single strike group. Moreover, according to Reznikov, after the Winter Olympics in China, the likelihood of an attack will also be “low.”

Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Alexei Danilov during a meeting of the National Security Council said that rumors about a possible war with Russia are being inflated. He is convinced that there is no reason to panic. In turn, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba spoke about the opposite when it became known that Germany was against the supply of lethal weapons to Kiev. The diplomat stressed that in the current difficult conditions, Berlin's policy does not correspond to the level of relations that have developed between Germany and his country.

“Since opinions in the West regarding the imminent war with Russia are divided, Kiev is forced to relay some curators, then others. The United States believes that there will be a war, while Germany believes that it will not. As a result, it turns out that the Ukrainian leadership contradicts itself. However, there may be another reason. While Zelensky says that everything is calm, he is concentrating his forces on the Donbass,” Vladimir Zharikhin, deputy head of the Institute of CIS Countries, told MK.

Ukrainian political scientist Alexei Yakubin< /strong>believes that the American media may inflate a hysteria around a possible war between Moscow and Kiev in the interests of US President Joe Biden. “Now they are trying to present the situation in Eastern Europe as a new Caribbean crisis. At the same time, Biden should act as the main peacemaker. He now needs some kind of quick and big victory against the backdrop of a drop in his own ratings. An agreement with Russia can provide him with such an opportunity, – says Yakubin, – But messages from the American media are also read in Ukraine, so Ukrainians begin to worry about their future. For example, the republic can no longer sell its Eurobonds. Zelensky does not want to escalate the panic even more, although he cannot ignore the flood of messages either”

At the same time, the Ukrainian expert does not believe that discrepancies in the interpretation of the Russian threat can seriously affect US-Ukrainian relations. Kiev, of course, did not like the fact that the Americans decided to take out the families of their diplomats, but in general, there have been as many working contacts between Ukraine and the United States recently as there have been since 2019. As for the number of diplomats, the US embassy in Ukraine, according to Yakubin, is the largest in Europe, so it will not matter who will work in Kiev. Well, in 30 days, Washington may reconsider its decision on the removal of people.

Meanwhile, the residents of the DPR do not worry at all because of rumors about a possible war. Although it will have to hit them first of all, because Donetsk is on the front line. “People are more worried about the coronavirus than a possible offensive by Ukraine. We have been scared by this for almost 8 years, so people stopped responding. Nobody is preparing for anything. They don't dig bunkers, they don't buy canned meat.

In the last two weeks, nothing serious has happened at the front. Well, shells fly in periodically, sometimes they even report the wounded, but that's all. The authorities of the DNR also do not inflate fears. The media report that the republic is ready for anything and there is nothing to worry about, ”Elena Chernysheva, a resident of Donetsk, told MK.


Students spoke with Putin in the language of God

In honor of Tatyana's Day, the President discussed billiards with future mathematicians

Vladimir Putin congratulated the students on Tatyana's Day and wished them not to overdrink mead, marking the end of the session. “Everything is good in moderation,” he admonished. The President promised that the state will continue to support young students, especially those who have decided to devote themselves to fundamental science. The Ministry of Education was instructed to work out the issue of financial incentives for the winners of international student Olympiads. In such matters, according to Putin, one should not be greedy.


Vladimir Putin always celebrates their favorite holiday with students. The history of these meetings includes not only mini-disputes on topical issues of the development of higher education, but also joint gatherings at the table, and even songs with a guitar. However, this time the students will have to drink mead (and those who do not have such a tradition, other well-known drinks) themselves. Because of Omicron, the president was only able to congratulate the student youth via video link. Moreover, exclusively future mathematicians were invited to communicate with VVP. And not simple ones, but those who have already become winners of all-Russian and international tournaments.

As Putin himself explained, mathematics is the science of the future. And also the tool without which the development of new technologies and advanced industries is impossible. Mathematics, according to the president, is necessary for working with big data, developments in the field of artificial intelligence, and even for the humanities, in particular history and linguistics.

“This is the language in which God wrote the universe,” Putin recalled the famous saying of Galileo Galilei. “Therefore, any student, if he has a desire, should be able to study this subject at an in-depth level,” he added.

Young, but already venerable mathematicians did not begin to devote the head of state in detail to the subject of their scientific research. Moreover, half of the words they uttered were already poorly understood by an unprepared person.

The grandson of the rector of Moscow State University, the successor to the dynasty of mathematicians Sadovnichikh Anton, said that he learned to count at the age of two, and his favorite toy was a calculator. During his school years, Anton became the absolute winner of the All-Russian Olympiad and the silver medalist of the International Mathematical Olympiad, and now he is a first-year student at the Phystech School of Applied Mathematics and Informatics.

The Mathematical School of the country's main university was represented at the meeting by 6th-year student Gleb Belozerov, who decided to tell the President about the benefits of pure mathematics, and from a very unexpected perspective – how playing billiards helps to study the Universe. “Billiards is a game of the mind that promises unexpected results,” the student intrigued. – The billiard ball moves simply: the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection. However, if we change the boundaries of the table, a world of rich internal symmetries will emerge.” In particular, it will be possible to observe and study the effect named after the Russian cosmonaut Dzhanibekov.

“Gleb, what if you just increase the size of the hole and their number?” — joked Putin, but did not guess. Mathematicians, according to Belozerov, are not interested in hitting the hole, but in the structure of the trajectory.

Since the winners of international olympiads were gathered for a meeting with the head of state, the conversation turned to their encouragement. After all, these guys, no less than figure skaters and gymnasts, work for the prestige of the country.

True, no one promised expensive foreign cars and millions in students' accounts. However, Vladimir Putin agreed with his assistant Andrey Fursenko that “it is necessary to reward the winners somehow” and one advantage when entering a magistracy is clearly not enough here. “Valery Nikolaevich, why are we greedy?” the President asked the Minister of Science and Higher Education Falkov. “Let's not be greedy, Vladimir Vladimirovich!” he readily responded, promising to present proposals for financial incentives and the payment of “special scholarships” to students who excelled at international tournaments in the near future.


There was a coup d’état in my head

Stop pretending

That's it, the holidays are over, it's time to know. Enough fun guys, let's get serious. I understand that now you are all interested in Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan is scratching, like that Honduras. That's right, because it concerns everyone. Is this our future, son? If only I knew.

Photo: AGN “Moskva”

But no matter how important Kazakhstan is, it distracts from the main thing. Takes under itself all information flows, leaving nothing in return. And this is a substitution of concepts in fact.

At the end of last year, Memorial (foreign agent) was closed. Closed by the court, that is, legally. Long live our court, the most humane court in the world! Hurrah, comrades!

But in fact there was a coup d'état, in the minds. The people did not notice anything at all, they continued to spin as best they could. All these repressed people are no longer included in the circle of his primary interests. It was in perestroika and passed, disappeared into the mist. On the contrary, the people would applaud new plantings, legal, illegal – it doesn't matter. The more we surrender, the better.

But those who understand what happened… We will not forget, we will not forgive.

After the collapse of the USSR, the FSB officers (then they were called the FSK), the former KGB officers swore: never again. In the sense: we do not have and should not have anything in common with the butchery Chekist NKVD past. We are different, humane, law-abiding. Yes, from Monday we start a new life.

Yeltsin was afraid of the security forces from the special services, every now and then divided them by zero, weakened as best he could, if only they would not feel their strength again. But they did not feel, they lived humiliated and insulted, went into crime.

Sergey Dorenko was the first to run into them. Remember, after the Kursk, after that tragedy, when no one is to blame, which means everyone is to blame – the boys were not saved – in his program he is so evil and beautiful about the awakened teeth of the dragon that fell out of the ground. Sergei then had in mind the new government and was soon knocked out of the TV with a kick in the ass.

The old and new security forces were now famously doing business, but the most important person in the country, the successor who came out of there, decided to reconcile everyone with everyone. Like that Solomon, the king: and you are right, and you are right. We had a great but tragic era. One for all, because Russia is one. The executioners, the victims, who changed places so often, are all Russian people in the broadest sense. It is impossible to wash away the black stains of history, it is not necessary to embellish it. This is all our own, dear.

The persecuted returned to the country – Voinovich, Aksenov, Solzhenitsyn … They began to put the forbidden, lying on the shelves. And it all started with Tengiz Abuladze's “Repentance”, then still a national premiere. Then everyone read Rybakov's “Children of the Arbat” avidly, watched “The Cold Summer of 1953”, Papanov's last role…

And all the 90s were like that, and the 2000s, zero. Anti-Stalinist, anti-totalitarian films, TV series showed all the time, endlessly. Here and “Penal Battalion”, and “In the First Circle” with the off-screen voice of the great author, and “Burnt by the Sun” with the smell of “Oscar”, and a film adaptation according to Shalamov … And a documentary, it was always given.

Russia seemed to be a complex country, Christian, repentant. But the atmosphere around and outside was shrinking, and then the authorities began to revise the all-forgiving ideology. They began to draw a new Areopagus, a table of ranks, where both the Terrible Tsar and Usatiy were the forerunners, in the same cohort, at the origins. Suddenly, the authorities decided that the discrediting of Stalin was like a shadow falling on her, beloved, of the current Kremlin dreamers. Moreover, the people do not mind, but even yearn for the return of St. Joseph.

The security forces grew bolder, again began to hang portraits of Dzerzhinsky. What about Dzerzhinsky, at least he had clean legs, a cold head and a fiery engine instead of a heart. So no, in some places they even hung a portrait of Yagoda.

And “Memorial” (foreign agent), in general, the harmless “Memorial” (foreign agent) was also covered up because of the repressed, because of long memory for them. It seems that the current Chekists have decided: that's it, stop pretending, put on the masks of innocent kids. The situation around is vile, the Fatherland is in danger, and now it’s in good spirits: we come from the NKVD, our heart, hands and head are there. We will not forget and we will not forgive – yes, they also say so. They are the power here.

This is the coup d'état. First in the minds, and then in reality, in life itself.


How the most secret area of ​​the USSR was revived: the cosmodrome from the service entrance

Nearly reaching the point of no return, Russia is back in the race for the stars

Arriving at the end of last year at the Plesetsk cosmodrome in order to witness the launch of the Angara rocket, I decided that my text was doomed to begin in the Soviet spirit: “A rocket takes off swiftly towards the blue stars!” Alas, the space gods had other plans. A minute and a half before the start, the launch was canceled due to technical issues. The rocket successfully “took off to the blue stars” a few days later – when I was already back in Moscow. It's a shame? Not that word! But this space is a “substance” that does not tolerate pathos, fuss and “mandatory plans”. Around 1966, a certain “violator of military discipline” wrote the word “Tanya” on a rocket ready for launch into space in Plesetsk – either in honor of his beloved girl, or in honor of the commander of the military unit stationed here Vladimir Tatyankin. The authorities, of course, did not appreciate amateur performance. But an attempt to launch a rocket without the name “Tanya” ended in failure. Since then, this name has become the unofficial mascot of the spaceport. Not a single rocket goes into the sky without the inscription “Tanya” on its body.


In 2019, the Americans released a very high-quality and very atypical series in the alternative history genre “For the Sake of All Mankind”. According to its plot, the father of the Soviet space industry, Sergei Korolev, does not die in 1966 as a result of an unsuccessful operation, but continues to live. As a result, three years later, the first man on the moon is not the American Neil Armstrong, but our Alexei Leonov. Further, the USSR and the USA create permanent inhabited bases on the Moon and begin fierce competition in the space race. We can't rewrite our past. But we can change our present and, as a result, create a fundamentally different future.

The thesis is now deeply ingrained in the Russian public consciousness: having once become the first in space, we have long since lost our leadership positions to competitors. Not being a deep (or even not deep) specialist in space issues, I cannot judge the specific ups and downs of the “race for the sky”: who is behind whom by how much, who bypasses whom at the turn, and who is trailing behind. But I can talk about what I saw with my own eyes: the main cosmodrome on Russian territory, Plesetsk, is the least like a place that is in a state of decline. Yes, residual traces of past decline are still visible. But this is already “outgoing nature”. The cosmodrome is rapidly reviving – or has already been revived. If, in the spirit of fantasy of the authors of the American series, Sergei Korolev had survived, he would definitely have been pleased.

The Angara rocket is the one whose “willfulness” cut down the beginning of this text in the Soviet spirit that I had planned. Photo: PRESS SERVICE OF THE MILITARY CONSTRUCTION COMPANY

Bears in the service of their homeland

To date, there are about two dozen active spaceports on Earth, each of which is unique in its own way. But there has never been and never will be another such unique cosmodrome as Plesetsk on our planet. Don't believe? Believe me in a second: can you imagine a cosmodrome, during the construction of which bears took the most active part in ensuring military discipline? The decision to create in the forests of the Arkhangelsk region near the Plesetskaya railway station the military facility “Angara” (the first name of the future cosmodrome) was adopted by the Council of Ministers of the USSR on January 11, 1957. And the very next month, the first military builders arrived at the site. Among them was 26-year-old German Pitalev. Here is what he said in an as-yet-unpublished interview with my colleagues at Military Builder magazine shortly before his death in September 2020.

Excellent student of military construction Herman Pitalev attracted even forest bears to the cause of ensuring military discipline.

“In forty-degree frost on March 1, at six o'clock in the morning in the dark, we started unloading. The locomotive hummed, the engineer told me that he would come in the evening for the rolling stock, “and you, my dear, come on, unload.” No ramp, no everything. And this is equipment – power plants, bulldozers, everything you need. 35 units. And when it dawned, I saw a huge snowy meadow surrounded by 80-meter pine trees … We were building almost day and night. It was even better to build at night: there were no mosquitoes, but during the day they annoyed. There were no violations of military discipline. There was only one such case. The railroad ran about seven or ten kilometers. And sometimes beeps with a fair wind were heard. The soldier decided to see where the railroad was. And it was possible to go along the Yemtsa River. By the way, salmon fish were found there, and we used this business. And he went for a walk. The next day we found that he was gone. Day no, two no, on the third day we found him, he was sitting on the tree. Searched with dogs. And so Tuzik's husky brought us to him. He sat on a pine tree, turned gray, was bitten all over by mosquitoes. And then the political workers asked me to take this soldier to other parts – that's what will happen if someone goes for a walk in the taiga. After that, there was not even talk about any violations of military discipline.”

Why did a single walk through the woods prove to be so effective in terms of improving military discipline? Because the exercise lover saw too many bears and wolves. But these were, so to speak, “civilian” bears, who raised the level of discipline out of the kindness of the soul, and not because of military duty. However, this is what happened to German Pitalev later: “I received an order from the battalion commander to put up a bathhouse, a stream flowed nearby. We set up a tent, this bathhouse was mobile, there was immediately a water heater. And the first pine tree, which the soldiers cut down at my request, fell on the bear's lair. The bear ran away, but two little bear cubs remained. One of these cubs, the bear Masha, stayed to “serve” together with German Pitalev and his two dogs.

“In the morning, the bear was the first to get up, began to lick my hand, and thus I woke up first. It was at six o'clock, and now at six o'clock in the morning I wake up every day, no matter what time I go to bed. The bear, along with the dogs, also participated in ensuring the punctuality of the beginning of the service meetings, which were held every Monday morning: “No one knows how this trio knew that there would be another meeting. No one saw how they climbed under the stage of the club and continued to rest there. Here the officers were listening, they began to analyze, there was a knock, the door opened: “Comrade Colonel, allow me to enter,” some captain was late. All this pack rushes with barking, and the bear tears off the whip from this captain. The regiment commander says: “Comrade captain, look, even the animals understand that you can’t be late, how can you allow yourself?” And all of them are tearing at his overcoat.”

The first builders of the future cosmodrome lived and worked in very harsh conditions.

In addition to raising the level of discipline, “serviceman Toptygin” actively contributed to improving the moral climate in the team: “While watching films, I always sat near the aisle – as a rule, I was always called for some reason either by the commander, or by someone else, and I had to go out. And the pack lay down next to me in the aisle near me and carefully watched what was happening on the stage. And here comes the movie “Quiet Flows the Don”. And suddenly, while there on the screen Melekhov was squeezing Aksinya, a dog barked. Everyone broke, the bear rushed to the screen, tore it off and cut it into small pieces with its claws. The people, of course, were delighted with this case. No one said a word – they say, there you interfere with watching. They, on the contrary, laughed until they brought new sheets (to use them as a screen. – “MK”).

From these memories, we can conclude that life at the future cosmodrome in the first years of its existence was almost idyllic. But this impression is deceptive. Initially, Plesetsk was created not as a cosmodrome, but as the first combat formation of intercontinental combat ballistic missiles in the USSR. The historical reference provided to me by the command of the Space Forces of the Russian Federation contains, among other things, the following lines: “On September 11, 1962, all combat launch stations of the Third Training Artillery Range (as the future cosmodrome was then officially called) were raised on combat alert and until November 21, 1962 carried combat duty on high alert in connection with the Caribbean crisis. Written in a military way. But how much internal drama is in this brief text! If Khrushchev and Kennedy had failed to come to an agreement then, then Soviet nuclear missiles would have flown to America from Plesetsk.

Life in Plesetsk did not become more serene even after the launch of spacecraft became its main specialization. We are driving from the city of Mirny (the “capital” of the cosmodrome, a 33,000-strong city specially built in Soviet times for the test site workers and their families) to the village of Turpentine. The snow-covered road constantly winds from side to side. And this is not caused by the features of the relief. According to the builders of the future cosmodrome, the road should have seemed like a river mouth from above and was even covered with a special composition for this. For Soviet citizens, the secrecy stamp from the very fact of the existence of the cosmodrome was removed only on June 20, 1983, when an article appeared in the main newspaper of the country, Pravda, with the following enticing beginning: “A call from Sheremetyevo. An excited voice: “I am the co-pilot of the Il-62. Last night, during the landing approach, an unusual phenomenon was observed. The fiery point rose above the horizon, flew parallel to our course for some time, then abruptly went up. Another call from Shatura: “Please explain what we saw yesterday while fishing. Around midnight I got out of the tent and looked east. Something unusual was moving across the sky: a flame was rising from a luminous point. Is it a “flying saucer”? When he learned that he had observed the launch of an artificial Earth satellite from the Plesetsk cosmodrome, the fisherman did not believe it.

But with the declassification of the fact of the existence of Plesetsk for the West, a much more dizzying story is connected. In 1966, a physics teacher at a gymnasium in the provincial British city of Kettering decided to motivate students to study their subject more deeply. To do this, for 25 pounds (about 2,600 rubles at today's exchange rate), he bought an old army radio from the Second World War, rented a signal generator and pulled a wire between the school buildings to use as an antenna. Schoolchildren began to study the signals of Soviet satellites, discovered a spacecraft with an unusual signal, measured its orbit, and in the end concluded that it was launched not from the well-known Baikonur cosmodrome, but from a completely different place in the Arkhangelsk region. The US Department of Defense then pretended that this was news of great importance to him. Why did she pretend? Because when the American spy plane Gerry Powers was shot down near Sverdlovsk in May 1960, the Plesetsk area was listed among his next objects for photographing.

Be that as it may, it was useless to send letters to Mirny in the Arkhangelsk region in Soviet times. Such a city did not officially exist on the map of the USSR. Only the initiates knew what was behind the names Leningrad-300 and Leningrad-400. Plesetsk did not become widely known even after the above-mentioned publication of Pravda in 1983. “My wife is from Arkhangelsk,” one of the officers accompanying me in Plesetsk told me. “When we met her in the 90s, she didn’t even suspect that there was a spaceport nearby.”

But, of course, the most difficult aspect of life at the cosmodrome was the regime of secrecy that did not prevail over everyone and everything. The most difficult was the work itself – exceptionally responsible, painstaking, requiring a huge amount of time (until now, the combat crew takes over the post three days before the launch of any rocket and remains on it all 72 hours – and if necessary, even more). And the most difficult thing was how little this work was appreciated in the last years of the USSR and in the first decade of the existence of independent Russia.


The second birth of Plesetsk

If you leave Mirny in the direction of launch missile systems, then at the turn to the airport you will definitely take away the monument in the form of a helicopter on a pedestal. Now it is an unidentified Mi-9, and until recently, an ancient Mi-4 stood in its place. And there was a tradition in Plesetsk. During any family celebrations such as weddings, it was supposed to come to this unfortunate helicopter and throw empty bottles at it. When the helicopter was changed, several tens of kilograms of fragments and unbroken bottles were scooped out of the skeleton of the old aircraft. And the new helicopter had to be assigned round-the-clock security for several weeks. Destructive tradition, it was decided to lime in the bud. The gambit worked. No one encroaches on the dignity of the Mi-9 anymore. What happened to the Plesetsk cosmodrome in the last thirty years is very reminiscent of the history of these two helicopters.

The Plesetsk Cosmodrome is a whole world with a total area of ​​1,762 square kilometers (for comparison: the total area of ​​St. Petersburg is 1,439 square kilometers). In this world, it is customary to get to work not by buses or minibuses, but by long-distance train cars: a couple of hours there and a couple of hours back. In this world, remote from the main geographical centers of Russia, there were no special opportunities for additional earnings. In it, everything is subordinated to one “god” – the cosmos. In the early 90s, this “god” left Plesetsk – or at least began to appear in these possessions only occasionally.

“In the Yeltsin era, people were given one extra day off a week to work on their personal plots so that they could feed themselves,” one of the cosmodrome veterans told me. – The delay in monetary allowance in other years was 7-8 months. How did the officers survive? Many parents helped. The main component of the diet were cans of stew. Sometimes it was still possible to take a loaf of bread from the soldiers' canteen. The soldiers didn't eat everything. A lot of people quit during those years. When I graduated from college in 1990, there were 80 people in my training company. By the end of the 90s, only six of them continued to serve, including me. Once top-secret and carefully hidden from NATO countries, the cosmodrome has become a platform for launching Western equipment – supposedly only civilian, but in fact sometimes military. For all the humiliation of such a situation, it also had its advantages: it gave Plesetsk additional resources for survival. Such was the time – it was, and fortunately, it ended.

Mirny is the first closed city to which I was thrown by “a difficult (I hope not very) journalistic fate.” And when I walked along it, two points of view fought among themselves in my brain – “wow, what an exotic!” and “wow, what a lack of exotics!”. Arguments in favor of exotic: you can’t just get into Mirny. The only way to access the city is through two checkpoints with a mandatory pass. Arguments in favor of the absence of exotic: the same branches of pharmacies and retail chains as everywhere else, the styles of architecture familiar to our country, posters and signs typical of Russian cities: “What do you choose: a long and healthy life or cigarettes, alcohol and drugs ? and “Microloan: for everyone – 0.9%, for pensioners – 0.7%”. Yes, yes, unfortunately it is. Even a closed city for defense purposes cannot be completely free from the common problems of our society.

When I found myself directly at the facilities of the spaceport, the point of view “wow, what an exotic!”, of course, won. Being a 100% humanist since childhood, I nevertheless adored everything related to aviation and space technology. You will not be surprised, therefore, that in Plesetsk I felt like a seven-year-old boy who was given a free ticket to Disneyland. The launch pad from which Angara-type rockets are launched was occupied. On it, in puffs of steam (the temperature of the rocket should be about twenty degrees Celsius, so at the time of my visit it was heated), the rocket towered majestically – the same one that a little later deprived me of the opportunity to use the pre-invented lyrical beginning of the text in the Soviet style. It was impossible to get closer than a few hundred meters to her.

But the recently reconstructed launch pad from which Soyuz-type rockets are launched was free. And this is where I went full blast. With lyrics (as well as with physics), I honestly admit that everything is bad. Therefore, I cannot adequately convey to you the sensations that you experience walking around the perimeter of the launch pad from which the rocket is launched. A few numbers that will allow you to assess the scale of what I saw: the launch mass of the Soyuz-type rocket is 307 tons, the diameter is 10 meters, the height is 49 meters, the height of the launch complex itself is 43 meters.

Of course, in the eyes of those who accompanied me, I looked like a complete layman (however, for some reason I only looked – I am one). The launch complex is located on the high bank of the Yemtsa River. On the other side of the river is the deaf Arkhangelsk taiga. Naturally, I could not help but wonder: are there any among the inhabitants of the surrounding villages who like to walk along this very other coast in order to watch the rocket launch. In response, after well-hidden chuckles, my attention was drawn to the fact that on the other side of the river, near the bank, the forest does not grow. Any living creature that ends up there during the launch will also immediately “ascend to heaven”.

The Ice Palace in Mirny was built on the personal instructions of Sergei Shoigu. Photo: PRESS SERVICE OF THE MILITARY CONSTRUCTION COMPANY

My visit to the underground control room was also very informative. For those who, like me, are fans of underground bunkers, I inform you: the walls there are decorated with reproductions of Soviet retro posters with verses like: “The lamp is in vain, comrade, it shines! The tile also burns in vain. It's so easy not to notice how the entire limit runs out. Save electricity! But enough about the purely sightseeing part of my trip. I’ll go straight to the conclusions, the main one of which sounds like this: the Plesetsk cosmodrome is a place where what used to be absolute, even unimaginable exotic for our country, is gradually becoming the norm.

The authors of the American series “For the Sake of All Mankind”, mentioned by me at the beginning of this material, have studied both the history of Soviet cosmonautics and Soviet reality very well. In all twenty episodes, there were only a few moments when, watching the Yankees show our past life, I felt the urge to laugh and exclaim out loud: “Well, they turned it down!” Here is one of those moments. On the day when the Soviet Soyuz spacecraft was supposed to dock with the American Apollo, sharp contradictions arise between the two powers, threatening to escalate into war. Wanting to talk to his American colleague not through official channels of communication, the Soviet flight director dictates to her a certain set of numbers under the guise of technical information. Taking the hint, the American lady runs to a pay phone and dials the number dictated to her. The next frame: in the Soviet star city, a street payphone is trilling. The Soviet flight director runs up, picks up the phone, and begins his private conversation with Houston.

What naive ignoramuses these Americans are! This is one possible (and fair) way of looking at the situation. But no less fair is the view from a completely different angle. It didn't even occur to the American authors of the series: the comforts of life, which in their eyes were something elementary, for our country were akin to science fiction.

Sergei Shoigu was appointed Russian Minister of Defense on November 6, 2012. And already on November 14 of the same year, he flew to Plesetsk. And here – in the same military unit in the village of Turpentine, which serves the Soyuz launch complexes – according to eyewitnesses, the following scene played out. The minister ordered to show what the uniform of soldiers who serve in the harsh conditions of the northernmost spaceport on the planet looks like. Sergei Shoigu was very dissatisfied with what he saw. The minister uttered the words, the meaning of which was as follows: we will correct. And such a correction began – not only in relation to uniforms, but in relation to everything.

If the name “Tanya” is not written on the rocket, it will not fly. Photo: PRESS SERVICE OF THE MILITARY CONSTRUCTION COMPANY

The end of “heroic medicine”

On a business trip to Plesetsk, I took with me a book by the American author John Barry “The Great Influenza” about the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918 and soon came across the term “heroic medicine” there. At first I thought it was about heroic doctors who save lives no matter what. But then I realized that we are talking about heroic patients who are treated (or maimed) using barbaric medieval methods. And then it dawned on me: not only medicine can be “heroic” with a “minus” sign.

The schedule of my trip to Plesetsk was drawn up as follows: first, a visit to the numerous new social facilities built or radically reconstructed here in recent years, and then a visit to the cosmodrome itself. I will not pretend: initially, I regarded the first part of the program as a mandatory, but at the same time not too exciting appendage to the second. Judge for yourself: how can any, even the most impressive social facility compete in terms of the degree of wow-effect, for example, with a brand new huge technical complex for mounting missiles equipped with air locks to ensure the necessary air purity?

But then I had a dialogue with one of the former chiefs of the cosmodrome, which made me look at the situation from a completely different angle. “What were your living conditions?” I asked among other things. Answer: “All the chiefs of the cosmodrome lived in conditions of complete asceticism. I had a seventy-meter “three-ruble note” in the usual Khrushchev. “And how was everything in Mirny with entertainment in your time?” I continued my questions. Answer: “The main entertainment was skiing. The Officers' House was then suitable for workshops.”


And then it dawned on me. The indoor ice palace built by the direct personal order of Sergei Shoigu. A water park built from scratch. Underwent a major reconstruction (and in fact also rebuilt) stadium. A capitally renovated House of Officers with a lovingly assembled museum of the history of the cosmodrome, a large hall for matinees, performances and numerous rooms for circles. Two new micro-districts of quite Moscow-looking service housing. Brand new barracks, which are not scary to be in – all these and other objects built or reconstructed by the Military Construction Company, which is part of the Ministry of Defense, are also important for protecting the borders and interests of our country.

More than ten years ago – in the “heroic” (in a not very good sense) period of the history of Plesetsk – there was a shortage of personnel at the cosmodrome. Now there is nothing like it at all. People feel when their work is appreciated. And also, in turn, very much appreciate this fact. Let us not fall into either excessive tenderness or bravura triumphalism. What has already been done and continues to be done in Plesetsk should not be taken as a guarantee of the mandatory return of Russia to the first roles in the global space race. But what has been done in Plesetsk is a prerequisite for such a return. Heroic astronautics should be only in the direct, familiar to us sense of this concept.


In Russia, they started “optimization” of municipalities: there will be fewer elections

The State Duma adopted in the first reading the draft law on self-government

The State Duma adopted in the first reading the draft law on the reform of local self-government bodies: by 2028 the number of municipalities in Russia will be at least halved, and governors will be able to dismiss mayors, who will finally be built into the regional vertical of power. The people themselves will be able to elect the heads of local self-government only if the authorities of the subject of the Russian Federation allow it.

Photo: Alexey Merinov

Once adopted, the bill will replace the law on local self-government (LSG) that has been in force since 2003 – according to one of the authors, head of the Duma Committee on State Building and Legislation Pavel Krasheninnikov (“ER”), it has changed 186 times and “turned, in fact, into patchwork quilt.” The new law, he explained, was needed after an amendment was made to the Constitution in the summer of 2020, enshrining “the principle of the unity of public authority, which involves the coordinated actions of different levels of government as a whole.”

The result will be a reduction “at least twice” in the number of municipalities in Russia (now there are about 20 thousand), the speaker admitted. The goal will be achieved by turning the two-tier system of the Russian LSG into a single-tier system and reducing the possible types of municipalities (MOs) from eight to three. Now, Mr. Krasheninnikov recalled, there are “matryoshka” municipal formations in Russia, for example, municipal districts, which include urban and rural settlements, or urban districts with intracity division into districts. Each of the grassroots MOs has its own elected representative body (council, for example) and a head. When the bill becomes law, only urban and municipal districts will remain in Russia, and intracity territories will remain in federal cities (Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sevastopol). Urban districts will arise around large urban centers, and municipal districts will unite small settlements like district centers or villages. Mr. Krasheninnikov emphasized that it was “not about the liquidation of LSG bodies, but about their unification, that is, optimization”.

There will be much fewer municipal elections, since there will be fewer representative municipal bodies. The draft law proposes three ways of empowering the head of the MD, and, as now, the right to decide which one will operate on the territory of a particular region is given to regional authorities. If they want to allow direct elections of mayors, they will allow it (although for some reason they almost never allow it). If they want to prefer the election of the mayor by local deputies from their own number (in this case, the mayor will be considered both a municipal and a regional official) – please. Another option is for the mayor to be elected by local deputies from among the candidates presented by the governor.

The heads of regions will have more opportunities to remove the head of the Moscow Region, even if elected by the population. “The authorities should work as a single mechanism — for failure to perform or improper performance of the powers transferred by the region to the Moscow Region, a warning, a reprimand can be issued, and if the violation is not eliminated within a month, suspension,” Mr. Krasheninnikov said. Another reason for resignation is the systematic failure to achieve the performance indicators that the president has already set by decree: in this case, the head of the subject has the right to take the initiative to remove the mayor to the representative body of the subject.

Oleg Mikhailov (KPRF), representing the Republic of Komi in the Duma, recalled that in this region there are sometimes huge distances between the regional center and settlements. “Won’t people now have to travel tens or hundreds of kilometers to get to the local authorities?” Roza Chemeriz (New People) also asked. Mr. Krasheninnikov reassured: the power will not come off the people, because as a result of “optimization” in small settlements, territorial bodies of municipalities and their representatives will constantly work. Now in rural settlements the budget is often such that it covers only the costs of maintaining the head of the settlement and his small apparatus, Mr. Krasheninnikov urged. It still cannot do anything useful for people in this situation.

Having barely heard the word “optimization”, the critics of the bill immediately remembered the optimization of healthcare and the optimization of education. “When they were escorted, they also said that there was no money, no personnel, let’s enlarge it,” Alexei Kurinny (KPRF) said, in particular.

Nikolai Novichkov (SR) and Gennady Panin (ER) were worried about the extent to which the proposed new rules corresponded to the Constitution. The fact is that Article 12 of the Basic Law proclaims local self-government bodies independent and not part of the system of state authorities – and here, it turns out, we “incorporate” LSG into the power vertical … Mr. Krasheninnikov answered this that he personally had no contradictions He doesn't see it here.

United Russia and New People supported the initiative. Speaking on behalf of the Liberal Democratic Party, Alexei Didenko expressed concern that the rejection of the two-tier LSG system could lead to an even more active outflow of the population from rural settlements in the Far East, the Far North and Siberia. The Communist Party of the Russian Federation believes that “in fact, the nationalization of local self-government is taking place,” said Georgy Kamnev on behalf of the faction. “SR” was also against: Andrey Kuznetsov called the beneficiary of the innovations the regional authorities, which will be able to get rid of the protests.

294 deputies voted in favor, 77 voted against. Two abstained.


Biden: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will change the world

According to US President Joe Biden, the world will change if Russia decides to invade Ukraine. He added that this would be the largest invasion since World War II. The words of the American leader are quoted by CNN correspondent Caitlin Collins.

“If the Russian army moves there (to Ukraine), it will will be the largest invasion since World War II. After that, the world will change,” Biden said.

He specified that no US or NATO units would enter Ukraine, but stable and predictable relations with Russia may become impossible. After the Russian invasion, there will be “enormous consequences for the entire world community,” he concluded.

Earlier it became known that Washington does not rule out imposing personal sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin. As CNN correspondent Caitlin Collins clarifies, Biden answered “Yes” to the question whether the possibility of imposing personal sanctions against Putin himself if Moscow invades Ukraine is being considered.

.@kaitlancollins: “Would you ever see yourself personally sanctioning [Putin] if he did invade Ukraine?”@POTUS: “Yes.”

— Mediaite (@Mediaite) January 25, 2022


Exile of the mind. To the 100th anniversary of the struggle of the Bolsheviks with the intelligentsia

Weekly “Argumenty i Fakty” No. 4. Crack in education 26/01/2022

In the spring of 1922, in the journal Under the Banner of Marxism, Lenin's infamous article “On the Significance of Militant Materialism” was published. The article became a theoretical justification for the struggle of the communists with what would later be called “dissent”.

Vyacheslav Kostikov, head of the AiF strategic planning center:

In fact, war was declared against our own intelligentsia. The elite were loaded onto steamboats and trains and sent to the West. Without money, with a minimum of wearable things. Realizing the impossibility of coexisting with the new government, many left voluntarily. The choice was small: either the death penalty or expulsion. The main wave of exile came in 1922. Poet A. Gorodnitskyin the poem “The Last Steamboat” This is how he described this episode of communist history:

It has now become a legend —
The distant twenty-second year,
The intelligentsia is sailing away,
Leaving the Soviet system…< /em>

A sad jubilee

100 years have passed. How to celebrate this dramatic “anniversary” today? To denounce the Bolsheviks and Lenin? But those responsible for this tragedy are long gone. Nevertheless, remembering the events of those days and the “driving forces” exile would be useful, since the “brain drain” still going on.

By the beginning of the socialist revolution of 1917 (or, as it is now customary to say, the “October Revolution”), the intelligentsia made up less than 1% of the country's population. Nevertheless, she played a prominent role in the life of Russia, served as a link with Europe. Her expulsion was the first step for the subsequent (and still continuing) isolation and self-isolation of Russia from European civilization. It was also an attempt to tear Russia away from its own historical and spiritual past for the sake of a “leap”; into an unpredictable communist future.

The Bolsheviks began cleaning up the intellectual field of the country from the very first days after the seizure of power. All objectionable parties were banned, local self-government was suppressed, even former comrades-in-arms in the fight against tsarism were removed from power — Socialist-Revolutionaries, Mensheviks, all opposition newspapers are closed. Although the small groups of dissenters no longer posed any practical danger to the government in 1922, Lenin was extremely annoyed by the “groaning of the intellectuals”, whom he called “Mr. ..". The tragic atmosphere of this exodus was described in detail by I. Bunin in his famous Cursed Days. From June 1925, they were published in the Parisian émigré newspaper Vozrozhdeniye. In the USSR, this book was banned, it was published only with the beginning of Gorbachev's glasnost and perestroika.

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It is difficult to give an exact number of those who left. The Soviet authorities did not count the lives or brains of their compatriots. Lenin himself in a narrow circle called the figure of 2 million. The data of the League of Nations allow us to estimate the number of those who left and were expelled at 10 million. The tragedy of the Russian exodus, however, was not so much in the number of those who left their homeland, but in the quality of those who left and were expelled. The Russian elite voluntarily left and was expelled — university professors, scientists, philosophers, engineers, politicians, writers, artists, composers and even students.

The most odious was the expulsion of a group of Russian philosophers in September 1922. As part of the fight against dissent from the country on two ships ( one of which was called “philosophical” in history) 225 people were expelled — “spies and molesters of the youth,” as Lenin described them. At Trotskyhad its own interpretation of events. He called the expulsion “Bolshevik-style humanism”: “There was no reason to shoot them, and it was impossible to endure.”

The quality of the “submitted material” it was such that along all the routes of his forced journey — Turkey, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, France — the exiles enriched the local science, industry and culture. And everywhere (except Turkey and Poland) they were welcome guests. The Russian intelligentsia blended into French life with particular ease. Among other reasons, there was this: France was severely bled dry by the First World War, and Russian educated youth were perceived in French families as enviable suitors.

Despite the fact that the newcomers considered their stay in France to be temporary, believing that the Bolsheviks would not last more than 3-5 years, the emigration quickly created their own “Russian world” in the country. A network of schools, hospitals, mutual aid societies, political clubs, creative associations, and Orthodox parishes sprang up. There were Russian newspapers, magazines, publishing houses. In 1923 the Russian Conservatory was opened. S. Rachmaninov, which still exists. One could live in Paris for years and not go beyond the limits of the Russian world. Children were brought up on the basis of the understanding that in the future they would live in Russia. And of course, Russia remained the center of all interests and disputes.

Irretrievable losses

Emigrants caught the slightest signs of change in the USSR, which would make it possible to return. But there were less and less positive signs. As information about Stalin's repressions penetrated the West, the initial high marks for accelerated industrialization and success in the fight against illiteracy vanished. By the end of the 1930s, hopes for a return were completely exhausted.

The book of the famous French writer André Gide also made a sobering impression”Return from the USSR”. The writer was for some time close to the French Communist Party and admired the “successes of socialism.” In 1936, with Stalin's permission, he was invited to Gorky's funeral. Having got acquainted closer with the life of Soviet Russia, he was horrified. Returning to France, Gide broke off all relations with the communists and published his “Return …”. Stalin was deeply hurt. In Russia, the book was banned. But she made a huge impression on the emigration. Returning home has ceased to be a dream. A short burst of “comeback” arose in 1945 against the backdrop of the victory over Nazi Germany. Many prominent emigrants frequented the Soviet embassy. However, information about new waves of Stalinist repression put an end to these seductions.

* * *

Today, emigration from Russia has a different character than in the 1920s. Few leave for political reasons. The main motive, according to sociologists, — “striving for a better life.” In the West, and above all in the USA and Germany, people are attracted by the level of education, the possibility of self-realization, legal security, and political predictability.

Unfortunately, like 100 years ago, brains are draining from Russia again. Young scientists are leaving. But a new trend was also discovered — run people with big money. According to sociologists' estimates, Russia “would be ready to leave” 17% of the inhabitants. But this is theoretical. Really “packing bags” significantly less. Nevertheless, today, in terms of the scale of emigration, Russia is in 3rd place in the world. The total number of those who have left over the past 20 years is comparable to the post-revolutionary wave: approximately 10 million. At the same time, unlike emigrants 100 years ago, most of the new ones do not think about returning. “Homeland is where the money is hidden.”

Arriving in France on a long business trip under the auspices of UNESCO in 1972, I found the remnants of the “Russian world” that emerged in 1922. Some of the old emigrants had a chance to make friends. Their stories, as well as access to books that were banned in the USSR at that time, to documents and memoirs stored in the Turgenev Library in Paris, made it possible to touch the life of those now long years. The result was the book Let's Not Curse Exile… (it has just been reprinted by Rosebud Publishing). 

Let's not curse. We will honor the memory of those who left and were expelled. And try to learn the lessons of history. The price of unlearned lessons is too high for today's Russia.

The opinion of the author may not coincide with the position of the editors


New approach. How to get rehabilitation funds for victims at work

Weekly “Argumenty i Fakty” No. 4. Crack in education 26/01/2022 Story Social insurance

The project of the Social Insurance Fund helps inform victims at work about the free provision of rehabilitation facilities. How does it ­work?

What the navigator will tell you about

When a health misfortune happens, it is important to know how the state can help a person. And this information is needed as soon as possible. In some situations, this feature has already been implemented.

Since 2021, the project of the Social Insurance Fund “Personal information navigator for people injured at work” has been launched in all regions. At present, the initiative has managed to prove itself and show its best side, it has proven its effectiveness and is successfully developing.

The aim of the project was to introduce a system in the regional offices of the Fund of a system of prior notification of persons injured at work about the right to provide or replacement with technical means of rehabilitation, prostheses, prosthetic and orthopedic products and orthoses.

How to help the victim

An employer is obliged to report an accident at work, as a result of which an employee has received damage to his health, to the regional branch of the Social Insurance Fund within 24 hours. Only situations are recognized as an accident when, as a result of damage to health during the performance of production duties, a temporary or permanent loss of working capacity occurred (a sick leave was issued or a disability group was established).

The medical commission concludes that the victim needs technical means of rehabilitation (RTD) or prosthetic and orthopedic products (POI). And the Bureau of Medical and Social Expertise is developing a program for the rehabilitation of the victim, where these TMRs and POIs are prescribed with specific characteristics.

All information is sent to the regional department of the Social Insurance Fund. And the injured employee receives an individual plan, where the technical means of rehabilitation are prescribed, according to the recommendations of the rehabilitation program for the victim, the procedure for obtaining or replacing them, and the necessary deadlines for submitting the application are indicated.

Information is also collected and accumulated from insured persons about the preferred method of informing them, which, in the context of large-scale work on social support, can significantly improve contact with citizens.

You can choose the form of informing. According to the Foundation, victims (66%) prefer phone notifications, another 20.9% want to receive information by mail, and 13.6% use SMS notifications.

Complaints fewer

This made it possible to apply a targeted approach to providing industrial victims with technical rehabilitation equipment and prosthetic and orthopedic products and optimize the processes of providing these citizens with the necessary services in a timely manner. As a result, the number of complaints and appeals has decreased.

And for the regional offices of the Social Insurance Fund, this project allows you to accurately form the base of the need for technical means of rehabilitation and conduct market research in advance for procurement.


Girl in a case. Alina Rice needs medication before her transplant

Weekly “Argumenty i Fakty” No. 4. Crack in education 01/26/2022

help NOW

Do no harm – the main rule of doctors. Help if you can, – great rule for all of us. Main – be on time with help, because sometimes delay can cost someone's life.

Deadly dangerous, not treated, lung transplantation will be required – this is briefly about the disease of Alina Rice. And if in more detail – Alina, with her worn out heart, can wait for the operation and move on with her life. But this requires medicines that are not given to her.  Alina Rice (13 years old, Kopeysk) needs help. She needs a supply of medicines worth 442,000 in order to survive until transplantation.

13 years old, the most tender age: a braid to the waist, a volume of Chekhov on the shelf. A diligent and quiet teenage girl, eighth grade, a child in a case who is afraid of absolutely everything. Speed ​​up the pace – shortness of breath will begin and build up in the eyes, rise one flight of stairs – may lose consciousness. She's even scared to sleep – Alina stops breathing every night. Sometimes for 3-4 seconds. And sometimes mother Olya, always sleeping side by side, manages to count up to 12.

Alina has extremely high pressure in her pulmonary artery. Because of this, the heart suffers. Doctors do not give any long-term forecasts, but Alina is only 13, she plans her own life instead of doctors. Twice a week she learns English at a language center in her native Kopeysk. She is going to sign up for Chinese, and then to enroll as an interpreter. It would be nice to go to St. Petersburg, it's beautiful there. But you can also go to Tyumen, where your own aunt lives. Only for all this Alina needs a little – survive with heart failure. 

«We are waiting for a call to Moscow. We were asked to hold out until March. This is difficult, because half a year ago, the drug “Opsamite”, which helped my daughter so much, was replaced with an analogue. Alina immediately became ill. There was a first degree of heart failure, now – second»,– says Olga, a kindergarten storekeeper (a pack of Opsamite – five of her salaries).

Alina has had shortness of breath and fainting since childhood. In Chelyabinsk, the girl was treated for epilepsy. But on anticonvulsants it only got worse – up to daily seizures, cardiac arrest and coma. When the correct diagnosis was made, the disease was already running.

Pulmonary hypertension – it just sounds somehow “not dangerous”, because the disease is quite rare, not well known, and its causes are unknown. However, in its severity, hypertension is comparable to the same oncology. And according to the forecasts for recovery – it will be even worse.

“A doctor in Moscow told us this: “Just half a year” and that’s it, they wouldn’t have saved it, – Olga remembers. Without treatment, Alinino's heart swelled like a balloon: the pressure in the pulmonary artery was 10 times higher than normal. Usually such patients die due to heart failure. Alina managed to prescribe the necessary medicines: for two whole years she forgot about fainting. And then one of the drugs was replaced with an analogue that did not suit the girl. And Olga realized that the task of holding out until March was becoming impossible.

What can be done when nothing can be done? It remains only to live. As much as possible. Make plans, study the route from your aunt's house to the future institute (it's definitely not a walk), watch TV shows in English and prepare for a lung transplant, which is already inevitable.

Recently, the family nevertheless achieved the decision of the medical commission to return the drug “Opsamit” to them. But it takes time for the Chelyabinsk Ministry of Health to complete all the documents and purchase the necessary medicine along with the Ventavis inhalation drug. A month, two, three…

Alina's life now consists of minutes that we spend on donations.

Right now.

Opinion  expert

Chief Freelance Pediatric Cardiologist of the Ministry of Health of the Chelyabinsk Region. Olga Sudareva:

– Alina's disease, idiopathic pulmonary hypertension, is very rare. After replacing the drug «Opsamit» on the generic, the pressure in the lungs of the child reached 120. Due to the critical deterioration of the condition, which can lead to death, Alina needs to take “Opsamite”; and do inhalations with the medicine “Ventavis” already today.

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Queen of Kukui Anna Mons. How Peter I was disappointed in his favorite

350 years ago, on January 26, 1672, in the German settlement of Moscow, the fourth, youngest, child was born to a wine merchant and owner of a tavern. The daughter was named Anna. Almost twenty years later, she was destined to open a new era in Russian history. The era of officially recognized favoritism.

The intimate life of Russian sovereigns up to that moment, if discussed, was extremely cautious: for such speeches one could pay with one's back, or even with one's head. No, that, say, the mother of Ivan the Terrible, Elena Glinskaya, seemed to have a favorite, Ivan Ovchin Telepnev-Obolensky, they knew . Some, like Elena Glinskaya's uncle, Mikhailexpressed his dissatisfaction. And for that he was imprisoned by his niece, where he died of starvation.

On the other hand, the rulers themselves were cautious. Or at least they pretended that everything was decorous and magnificent. So, for example, did the princess Sophia, sister of Peter I. The fact that she “is in sympathy” with «Vaska Golitsyn», gossip all over Moscow. But the external rules of decency were nevertheless respected: Sophia did not risk openly appointing Prince Vasily Vasilyevich as a favorite.

And here is her brother, Peter I, decided to take a chance in this field. And, I must say, the risk was quite high. The unpopular reforms of the “tsar-carpenter”, which caused serious discontent in all sections of the then Russian society, were accompanied by a deafening “slap in the face of public taste”. Or rather, traditions. Anna Mons became the first favorite of the Russian Tsar in the Western sense of the word. With all the ensuing consequences: for some time it was Anna Monsand her family personified the classic image of the enemy in the Russian public mind.

True, not immediately. The acquaintance of Peter and Anna did not take place until the summer of 1690. Just for the reason that for the first time in the German Quarter the tsar was at the end of April of that year, and he communicated more and more with General Patrick Gordon. Loose parties with Franz Lefort began a little later. But it was this dexterous Genevan, or, as he was also called, the “French brawler”, who introduced Peter to Anna Mons.

How did the affection develop further, and then the romance between the Russian Tsar and the daughter of the innkeeper? There are two different opinions on this matter. Diametrically opposite.

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Posted by Cathedral Theater (@teatr_sobor)

According to the news of foreigners, Anna was almost the height of perfection: “This person served as a model of female perfection: with extraordinary beauty, she combined the most captivating character; she was sensitive, did not pretend to be a sufferer; had the most charming disposition, unperturbed by whims; did not know coquetry; captivated men, without wanting to; She was smart and eminently kind-hearted. In addition, all the Germans unanimously declare that she was also chaste and, they say, for a long time answered all Peter's proposals with an invariable refusal.

According to domestic gossip, everything was exactly the opposite. «Monsige» even female attractiveness was denied: it was believed that she had bewitched the king. As for the properties of character and chastity, everything is completely lousy here: almost all contemporaries were sure that at the time of meeting Peter, Anna was already the mistress of Franz Lefort, and he, taking care of his status as “closest friend” king, simply slipped him “a cheerful and pleasant joy.”

Aleksey Tolstoy, while working on the novel “Peter I”, sometimes allowed exaggerations and exaggerations. But as far as the relationship betweenLefortand Peter, was accurate: “Peter needed Lefort like a smart mother to a child: Lefort understood his desires from a half-word, guarded him from dangers, taught him to see the benefits and disadvantages” hellip; He was like a leaf of hops in the dark beer of Peter's passions.

But that time, having lied to his ward as Anna's favorite, Lefort made a serious mistake, involuntarily deceiving Peter. He, however, was glad to be deceived. Here is how the historian of the 19th century writes about it Mikhail Semevsky: “He needed such a girlfriend who would know how not to cry, not to complain, but with ringing laughter, gentle caress, a playful word to drive away a black thought from him, soften anger, disperse annoyance; one that would not only not shy away from his feasts, but would herself passionately love them, would dance to the point of exhaustion, deftly and smartly drain their glasses. The girlfriend had to console him with a dance, and a beautiful foreign outfit, and a German or Dutch speech that was kind to him… Anna Mons, it seemed to him, approached his ideal.

Keyword — “it seemed.” So it seemed to Lefort. So it seemed to Peter for a long time. Secretly meet with «Monsikha» he began no later than 1692. Live openly — only after the death of his mother, from 1694. In 1704, a gap occurred between them: on the body of the Saxon envoy Friedrich von Koenigsek, who drowned in 1703 and was found only a few months later, Anna's love letters addressed to him were found.

Could Peter, in these ten-odd years, understand that Anna was not a match for him? The fact is that, oddly enough, they rarely saw each other. Peter is constantly on the move. In 1696-1698, they generally had a break in relations: Peter drove off with the Great Embassy to Europe. By the way, he did not write his “Annushka” from there; not a single letter. In April 1699, he traveled to Azov to settle local affairs and prepare the Constantinople peace treaty. In 1700, the Northern War begins: Peter is almost constantly near the theater of operations, and appears in Moscow on short visits.

What about Anna? Anna — a homebody and a very economic young lady. She writes letters to him, where sometimes she shows almost maternal care: “I am sending four citrons and four oranges so that the sovereign eats in good health.” But only. By and large, Anna turned out to be a European version of the legal wife of the king, Evdokia. That is, “to console him with a dance and a beautiful foreign dress,” as well as “a friendly German or Dutch speech,” she could still. But to become a comrade who shares all the dangers of such a hectic lifestyle, — no longer.

Could Peter marry Anna? At first he really had such plans. And he could easily put them into practice, spitting on gossip, and even on the discontent of the aristocracy. In the end, Peter married his Marta Skavronskaya,the one that went down in history as Catherine I. Her origin was even more dubious than that of the daughter of a tavern keeper from the German settlement. She cheated on Peter no less than Mons. Moreover, Catherine cheated on her husband with the brother of the same “Monsikha”, which did not climb into any gates.

But Catherine had special skills, for which she was forgiven a lot. And this does not apply to bedding. She could gulp down a glass of the strongest vodka. She could and loved to live in an army tent, to sleep on a hard mattress. She made two and even three equestrian crossings a day on horseback in a men's saddle. Accompanied her restless husband even in the war. And how! In the Persian campaign of 1722, she shaved her head and wore a grenadier's cap. She was not afraid to appear on the front line either: before the battle, she personally reviewed the troops, encouraging the soldiers with words and a glass of vodka. According to eyewitnesses, “Enemy bullets whistling over her head almost did not bother Catherine.”

If Anna Mons had at least half of these abilities, then Peter would have had a completely different queen. But we may have a different story.


Survive in the system. From what and how to protect our children

Weekly “Argumenty i Fakty” No. 4. Crack in education 01/26/2022

“More than half of children end up in boarding schools at the request of their parents. This system needs to be changed, – Maria Lvova-Belova, Ombudsman for Children.

At the end of last year, the president appointed Maria Lvova-Belova, senator from the Penza region, as the Commissioner for Children's Rights in the Russian Federation. 5 years before her, this post was occupied by another mother of many children, Anna Kuznetsova, who was elected to the State Duma in the last elections and became vice speaker.

«AiF» spoke with the new children's ombudsman about what and how to protect our children today. 

Survive the system

Yulia Borta, "AiF":  Maria Alekseevna, it was probably difficult to find a person more suitable for the post of commissioner for children's rights. You are the mother of five children and four foster children plus 13 more taken under guardianship.

Maria Lvova-Belova:I took custody of young children with disabilities precisely because this is the only way to take them away from the psycho-neurological boarding school. They don’t give me more, but I want such an opportunity – live not in boarding schools, but in your own house, apartment, accompanied by specialists – appeared in many. For the last 8 years I have been arranging alternative spaces for graduates of orphanages with disabilities. In Penza, where I come from, we built more than one house for the accompanied living of children in wheelchairs, with cerebral palsy, and the blind. These children are always a litmus test for me – their love of life, openness. They taught me to enjoy the simple things. I often heard such words from them: “You don’t understand the happiness that you have when you can just open the door and go where you want.” And they also taught me to live every day like the last and think about what we will leave behind. & nbsp;

How aggression is born

Increasingly, the problem of bullying children on the Internet, at school is raised. Psychological services in schools have been talked about for many years, and school shooters appear every now and then.

We propose to introduce into the law on education the need to create reconciliation services in schools. I think that they can work with suicidal behavior of children and adolescents, as well as with destructive manifestations. But not as the main tool in this work, but as an auxiliary one.

There is information that over the past year or two the number of suicides among teenagers has sharply increased.

< p>– Alas, this is true, the statistics are really deteriorating. There are studies of this problem, conducted by our regional commissioners for children's rights. Experts are trying to identify the reasons that lead to suicide, portraits of guys who decide to take such a step. We also met with representatives of the Investigative Committee. Do you know what struck me? In half of the cases, the reasons are not at all clear. Law enforcement officers study information on phones, social networks and do not find anything that could lead to suicide: there are no personal stories and grievances, unrequited love, difficult relationships with parents, etc. That is, no external factors that could provoke suicide. This means that this is some kind of internal state, an internal intention to die. And this is where the reconciliation service could help. Specialists in certain manifestations of the child's behavior could signal that he needs support.

What about bullying?

– Often the reason for aggressive behavior when a young person takes a weapon and goes to school, – not at school at all. And not always it becomes a consequence of some ideology. When I was a senator, we organized a project in the Penza region to work with teenagers with destructive behavior. Somehow, a girl was identified who was preparing to go to school with a weapon. They began to understand. It turned out that she was from a dysfunctional family, she suffered a lot because of her appearance, she wanted to paint, but there was no opportunity for this in the village. Specialists helped her change her appearance (as a result, relations in the class were improved), arranged her for a good teacher in painting. And literally after 2-3 months the girl came to life. It turns out that aggression arose due to a lack of understanding of the prospects for one's future life, what awaits her further. And such a problem is being solved. 

Difficulties in translation

Where can you find specialists who will identify such children and help them?

– Now we are preparing a program with the Ministry of Education, according to which specialists in the regions will be trained. This will be done by the Moscow State Psychological and Pedagogical University. The funds are planned, and this year the program should start working.

In general, work with teenagers will be one of the priorities. In particular, it is planned to create a network of teenage centers that could help get children out of entrances, shopping centers, give the guys places where they could find like-minded people and communicate. We are thinking about developing alternatives to colonies and special schools for working with teenagers who have broken the law. There are several practices of such work in non-profit organizations. I think that we could expand them to the country.

We will also have a new federal children's public council. Because the principle “nothing for us without us” important. We can say as much as we like what our children need, but until we hear it from them, I doubt that our positions will coincide. The Federal Children's Public Council will be assembled from representatives of children's public councils attached to children's ombudsmen in the regions.

In general, you have quite a few initiatives to support orphans and people with disabilities.

– Yes, guys with disabilities for me – separate topic. It is necessary to create a system for accompanying such a child throughout his life – from diagnosis to assisted living. At the time of the birth of a child with a disability, a family must understand what lies ahead for it, how the state can help it in education, treatment, and rehabilitation. Because the most important question for the family is: what will happen to my son or daughter when I am gone? It is terrible to look into the eyes of a mother with a child with a disability who is afraid of such a future. There is a sad statistic: up to 50% of children can get into baby houses at the request of their parents – well-to-do parents. Suppose a family lives in some village where there is no opportunity to bring up this child, to teach, to rehabilitate. And gradually, parents begin to think: it would probably be better to send the child to an institution. And so the children remain in the system for life – first, until the age of 18, they live in homes for disabled children, and then in psycho-neurological boarding schools or homes for veterans. 

Boarding – not a sentence

What can you do about it?

– We are currently working on a bill on post-boarding support. It is important that after graduating from an orphanage, boarding school, or other social institution, children should not be left alone with their problems. This also applies to children who are brought up in foster families. We often encounter the fact that when a child turns 18, the family no longer needs him, and there is no further support.

Another initiative – distributed custody. This is an opportunity for adults in residential institutions, in particular neuropsychiatric institutions, to have several guardians. Now the psycho-neurological boarding school performs the function of both the customer and the performer. It turns out a conflict of interest. Because of this, we see inadequate conditions for people in boarding schools. Distributed guardianship allows distributing responsibility between several persons: someone is responsible for treatment, someone for support and accommodation, someone for employment and education, leisure. By doing so, we will give people in these closed institutions a chance for a better life.

The most important – we must build a system so that boarding schools become a place for temporary placement of a child. They can remain only in the most extreme case, when there are absolutely no alternatives and other possibilities. 

So far, the scope of work you have declared seems to be completely immense.

– Therefore, it is important to strengthen the team of commissioners for children's rights in the regions. We will train and support them. There is always a lot of everything around childhood, various ministries and departments are involved in children. And there is often no single person responsible, like a mother in a family who is responsible for all aspects of the development of her child. The institution of the commissioner for the rights of the child does not replace the ministries, guardianship authorities. We are exactly at the junction where we need to neatly put it all together. We have found such an image of the work of the Children's Ombudsman – She is such a protective mother. And it seems to me that, as a mother of many children, I should be able to become a translator from children's language to adult and vice versa.


The Russians were advised the best products to strengthen joints

One of the main causes of joint diseases is malnutrition, said nutritionist Svetlana Fus.

The specialist advised to include more foods in your diet, rich in calcium. With its deficiency, the body takes the mineral from the bone tissue, and this, in turn, will lead to osteoporosis.

"Dairy products, as we know from childhood, are the most accessible source of calcium", Fus recalled.

However, you should not overdo it with dairy products, they should occupy a certain proportion in the diet. Calcium is found in other foods, but vitamin D, vitamin C, phosphorus, magnesium and many other trace elements are also necessary for healthy joints.


The United States promised Europe to find an alternative to Russian gas

White House: US looking for alternative sources of gas for Europe in case of problems with Russia The US is working to find gas suppliers from other regions – North Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the Biden administration said.

The United States is negotiating with large companies— producers of energy resources on gas supplies to the European Union, if necessary in the event of an aggravation of the situation in Ukraine and a disruption in supplies from Russia. This was stated at a briefing by an unnamed representative of the administration of President Joe Biden, reports Reuters.

He did not specify which companies he was talking about, but noted that consultations were taking place with producers of liquefied natural gas (LNG). “We are working to identify additional volumes of natural gas of non-Russian origin in various regions of the world— from North Africa and the Middle East to Asia and the USA, — informed the administration.

“Accordingly, we <…> we are negotiating with the largest natural gas producers around the world in order to understand their capabilities and willingness to temporarily increase natural gas production and distribute these volumes among European buyers,— added there.

Later, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed that the United States was working to find alternative sources of gas for Europe in case of interruptions in supplies from Russia. A possible reduction in Russian fuel supplies would have a minimal impact on prices in the United States, she said.

The fact that the United States is negotiating with international business on gas supplies to the EU instead of Russian in case of problems due to the conflict between Moscow and Kiev was reported on January 15 by Reuters sources. According to the agency, major energy companies told the State Department that global supplies are limited and there is little fuel available to cover the volumes supplied from Russia.

Then The Times, citing sources, reported on the fears of British officials that due to possible Western sanctions against Moscow on Ukraine, Russia will reduce gas supplies to Europe. The British authorities believe that if restrictions are imposed, Russia can use its natural resources as a weapon. The press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, in response, called the publication's material an example of “fake hysteria”.

The US authorities threatened Russia with harsh sanctions in case of aggression against Ukraine. Several draft restrictions have been submitted to Congress, which, among other things, involve sanctions against the Russian banking sector, the country's leadership, and the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Sanctions from Europe, according to Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, will not affect the pipeline, since Europe “to a certain extent depends on energy from Russia.”

The Kremlin has repeatedly said that Russia does not use gas as a weapon, and rejected reports of an impending “invasion” to Ukraine.

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Latvia announced the non-admission of inspectors to the Bryansk and Smolensk regions

Latvian Defense Ministry: Russia did not let military inspectors into the Bryansk and Smolensk regions The Russian Ministry of Defense previously announced that it had agreed to the visit of inspectors

Russia has refused inspectors from the Latvian Defense Ministry, who this week were supposed to visit the Bryansk and Smolensk regions as part of the arms control of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). This is reported by the Latvian military department.

As stated in the ministry, their visit was planned from January 24 to 29, but on January 21 Latvia was refused. As a reason, the Russian side named threats due to the spread of the coronavirus.

“This refusal is incomprehensible in a situation where Russia is massively concentrating its troops on the border with Ukraine, at the same time declaring that it does not plan to invade,” — said in a message from the Latvian ministry. Defense Minister Artis Pabriks admits that “Russia has something to hide and does not want to reveal the true size of its military activity and its intentions.”

Despite the refusal, the Russian Defense Ministry on January 24 posted on its website a message about the arrival of four inspectors from Latvia in the country, the Latvian ministry claims. On this day, the head of the National Center for Nuclear Risk Reduction, Sergei Ryzhkov, said that Latvian inspectors would check Russian military facilities in the Bryansk and Smolensk regions, news agencies quoted him as saying. There is no such message on the website of the Ministry of Defense. Ryzhkov also indicated that Russia agreed to the inspection.

RBC sent a request to the Russian Ministry of Defense.

The inspectors were supposed to assess the “scale of hostilities” near Bryansk and Smolensk as part of the Vienna Document 2011, the Latvian Ministry of Defense reported. The Confidence and Security Building Measures document implies that OSCE members exchange information annually on military forces and weapons systems, as well as on defense planning. The agreement allows the presence of observers at a number of military installations.

The Estonian Ministry of Defense also announced that Russia has suspended events under the Vienna Document due to the coronavirus.

The exercises in the Smolensk region, which borders Belarus, as well as in the Bryansk, Belgorod and Voronezh regions bordering Ukraine, began on January 11. The next day, the United States, which claims a concentration of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine, called on Russia to provide an explanation for what was happening, stressing that in order to create a “de-escalation atmosphere”; “transparency around any legitimate exercises on Russian territory” is needed.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow does not intend to discuss with NATO or the United States the movement of troops across Russia. The Kremlin emphasized that this is exclusively Russia's business, and Moscow does not threaten anyone.

In February, Russia will hold joint exercises “Allied Resolve” with Belarus. For this purpose, personnel and military equipment from the Eastern Military District are being transferred to Belarusian territory. The fleet is also involved in the maneuvers.

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Bloomberg learned about Germany’s demand for sanctions against Russia

Bloomberg: Germany urged to exclude Russia's energy sector from sanctions over Ukraine

The German government demands that possible sanctions against Russia over Ukraine do not affect the Russian energy sector, Bloomberg reports citing documents. The German authorities insist on this exception if measures are taken to block the access of Russian banks to settlements on transactions in US dollars.

Germany fears that without this, energy supplies to Europe will be in jeopardy, the agency writes, citing documents. However, according to a Bloomberg interlocutor, the exceptions proposed by the country will not prevent possible measures against the Nord Stream gas pipeline; 2". The German Foreign Ministry did not respond to the agency's request.

According to sources, other Western European countries also support a similar point of view. An energy exemption could be part of a final package of sanctions agreed with the United States in the event of an “invasion” by the U.S., one official said. Russia to Ukraine.

Germany handed over the document with its proposals to the European allies. According to Bloomberg, it was prepared after the German government faced criticism for refusing to supply defensive weapons to Ukraine.

According to the agency, in the event of “military aggression against a sovereign state and a serious violation of international law that poses a threat to peace and security in Europe,” Germany is ready to support a package of sanctions that may include:

  • an asset freeze and a ban on operations for some Russian banks;
  • further restrictions on sovereign debt and restrictions on the capital market for SOEs;
  • a trade ban on a number of Russian SOEs, which will effectively force them out of the stock markets ;
  • restrictions on imports from Russia of certain metals and chemicals, as well as on the export of certain luxury and high-tech goods;
  • tighter restrictions on goods that can be used for civil and military purposes;
  • Travel bans and asset freezes for oligarchs;
  • Restrictions on investment in Russia.

Stuff to be completed

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National Interest announced Putin’s foresight, which in vain rejected NATO

National Interest: President Putin foresaw a NATO crisis in 2007, but his words were not heard

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Russia needed security guarantees from the United States and NATO countries, even during a speech at the Munich Conference in 2007. But according to the author of the article in The National Interest, the message was not understood.

As a result, there was a crisis in relations between Moscow and the West.

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“The speech at the 2007 Munich Security Conference should have dispelled any doubts about whether Russia considers NATO policy in general and the alliance's inexorable march to the east in particular to be provocative and threatening. Putin warned his Western counterparts to change course,” wrote author Ted Carpenter.

In his opinion, the US and NATO called the tone of Putin’s speech “militant” “in their usual absent-minded manner.” American officials felt that such rhetoric is not conducive to “cordial relations” between East and West.

At the same time, Ted Carpenter is confident that NATO members have done enough to inflame the situation.

Formerly the author of the British Ambrose Evans-Pritchard published an article in The Telegraph saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin has a good chance to “overthrow the European strategic order.” The author writes that there is now a gas famine in Germany, US President Joe Biden has no strategy, and NATO is showing toothlessness. Therefore, according to Evans-Pritchard, Ukraine turned out to be defenseless against the “Russian invasion”. It should be noted that the Kremlin and the Russian Foreign Ministry have repeatedly denied Western accusations that Russia threatens Ukraine.


The Prosecutor General’s Office added to the list of undesirable organizations of the Polish WOT Foundation

Photo: Mikhail Kovalev

The Russian Prosecutor General's Office decided to recognize the activities of the Polish non-governmental organization WOT Foundation as undesirable in the country, a corresponding message appeared on the agency's website.

It is noted that the supervisory agency made such a decision based on the results of studying the materials received.

The Prosecutor General’s Office clarified that information about the decision was sent to the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation for entering information into the list of foreign and international non-governmental organizations whose activities are assessed as undesirable in the country.

“It has been established that its activities pose a threat to the foundations of the constitutional order and the security of the Russian Federation,” the ministry noted.


Kadyrov said whether he wants to be president or minister

Photo: Natalia Gubernatorova

Head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov spoke about whether he would like to work in federal positions. He said that he was not going to leave the republic anywhere.

“I also always said and I repeat that I don’t see myself in federal positions in any capacity – neither as a president, nor as a minister, etc. . My place is here, in the Chechen Republic, and I will not leave here!” – Kadyrov said in his telegram channel.

He also wrote that Russia should “help” Ukraine if there are no people “who can resist America.” According to him, he is not given any instructions to voice any theses from the Kremlin, and he makes this statement as a blogger and an ordinary person.

Earlier, Kadyrov said that the republic annually receives 375 billion rubles from Russia . Prior to that, he named the amount of 300 billion rubles and emphasized that without Russia, Chechnya would not last even three months.


NATO leaders vow to impose ‘unprecedented sanctions’ against Russia


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden and leaders of other European countries discussed the development of the situation around Ukraine. This is reported by The Independent.

It is specified that the politicians discussed the possibility of deterring Russian aggression by introducing economic costs and strengthening the defense of NATO's eastern flank.

“Politicians agreed that , if there is a Russian invasion of Ukraine, they will need to take a punitive response and impose an “unprecedented package of sanctions,” the publication notes.

The press office of the British Prime Minister added that diplomatic negotiations remain a priority with Russia, but in the event of an attack on Ukraine, retaliatory measures will be taken immediately.


CNN channel showed footage of Kharkiv as part of Russia

The American television channel CNN believes that the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv is part of Russia.

Thus, showing footage exercise of the Russian army, the location was Kharkiv, Russia (Kharkov, Russia – ed.).

In the plot, various military equipment, including tanks, moved across the field, while uninformed viewers could assume that the Russian the army is moving across the territory of Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reacted to this, who wrote in the comments under an Instagram post that Kharkiv would never be occupied.


The Russian Navy began exercises in the oceans: from the Arctic to the Arabian Sea

140 ships and vessels set out on a long voyage

The Northern Fleet's Arctic Expeditionary Group began its exercise on the night of January 26th. The exercise is led by the commander of the Northern Fleet, Hero of Russia, Admiral Alexander Moiseev. According to the press service of the Northern Fleet, the headquarters will work out action plans to resolve crisis situations in the Arctic Ocean region, and the crews of warships will work out actions to ensure military security, they will test tactics and methods of conducting naval combat in the Arctic region, and protect the communications of the Northern Sea path.

Photo: Alexander Astafiev

The newest frigate “Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov”, the large anti-submarine ship “Severomorsk”, the large landing ship “Ivan Gren”, the missile cruiser “Marshal Ustinov”, the frigate “Admiral of the Fleet Kasatonov”, the large anti-submarine ship “Vice-Admiral Kulakov” ”, submarines, support vessels. In total, the crews of 30 ships, submarines and support vessels, 20 aircraft and helicopters were involved in the exercise.

Exercises in the Arctic are just one episode of the combat training of the Russian Navy. In January-February, he conducts a series of naval exercises under the general supervision of the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, Admiral Nikolai Evmenov. The Navy and Aerospace Forces are practicing actions to protect Russian national interests in the World Ocean, as well as to counter military threats from sea and ocean directions. More than 140 warships and support vessels, more than 60 aircraft and helicopters were involved.

Thus, the joint Russian-Chinese naval exercise “Peaceful Sea-2022” was held in the Arabian Sea the day before. The Russian Navy was represented by a detachment of Pacific Fleet ships: the guards missile cruiser Varyag, the large anti-submarine ship Admiral Tributs, and the large sea tanker Boris Butoma. The Chinese Navy was represented by the Urumqi missile destroyer and the Taihu supply ship. The naval sailors of the two countries worked out the release of a conditionally captured ship.

At the same time, a detachment of ships of the Baltic Fleet, consisting of the corvettes Stoykiy and Soobrazitelny, went on a long voyage. The goal is to ensure the naval presence and demonstrate the Andreevsky flag in various areas of the World Ocean.