I’ve been asked several times over the last month what’s the big fuss about the proposed plans to knock down several thousand of Moscow’s outdated (mostly from the 1950s and 1960s) buildings. Here is an article, in English, summarizing what’s wrong with mayor Sobyanin’s project. And here is another one from The Moscow Times explaining why scores of Muscovites are not that happy about the authorities’ big plans.
The other day I’ve noticed a poster by Orenburzhye Airlines at the local supermarket announcing direct daily Murmansk to Arkhangelsk flights. The cost of the ticket is ~8000 roubles (about $130) one way according to their site. Before this offer became available one would either have to fly via Moscow (that would take pretty much the whole day) or spend one and a half or two days on the train.
The book describes the initial period of the camp’s history, when it was relatively benign, with scientific and literary journals published, before it was turned into a killing site in the 1930s.
For details see legendabooks.com.
If I correctly read this report from www.news29.ru, the brass figure has already been cast, and the procedure of finding “a place of honour” in the center of Arkhangelsk to install it is well under way, with popular support..
A group of courageous/foolhardy Czech travellers sent me a question on the possibility (mostly from the legal rather than technical point of view) of going from Kem’ to Solovki, circling the island, and returning to Belomorsk by sea kayak. At the moment I’m investigating the issue by asking people closely associated with this type of trips, but getting contradictory answers. Does anybody have reliable info on the subject of whether the authorities would interfere and make these travellers stop their suicidal trip, and possibly give them some extra trouble eg. fines or arrest?
From Fred, an old client and friend of mine from Washington. Small, freshly redecorated in simple but modern Russian style, 4th floor of early twentieth century building with no elevator. No info on the rate at the moment but probably on the inexpensive side.
The cost of the project is said to be about 500 thousand roubles (about $7000 at the currect exchange rate), of which 30 thousand have already been collected. Once the funds are there it should take 2-3 monthes to manufacture the statue.