Yet another report of a criminal charge for “fictional registration”

registrationB-port reports yet another host in Nickel busted for providing “fictional registration” to foreigners. According to Article 322.3 of the Russian Federation Criminal Code, “fictional registration” is registration without intent to provide living space. At one point, years ago, it was a common $25-50 service available to foreign travellers!

Another Stalin monument in Petrozavodsk

stalin-in-petrozavodskA couple of days ago I wrote about Arkhanagelsk communists’ plan to put up a monument to Stalin. Since that I’ve been sent a link to a Stolitsa na Onego article on doing the same in Petrozavodsk, the capital of Karelia. The article mentions that there is already one in Lipetsk. Someone take me out of here!!

Piles of rotten salmon near Murmansk

salmon-rotten-1

Photo from bloger51.ru

Bloger51 reports of several truckloads of dead fish dumped near the village of Molochny just south of Murmansk. Barentsobserver offers an English summary of the story. In a nutshell, there appears to be mass sickness and death of salmon in the rivers of Kola Peninsula. The problem – fungal infection Saprolegniasis that developes in fish with weakened immunity – seems to trace to artificial salmon breeding operations that, as expected, deny the allegation and are forced to dispose of dead fish discreetly, thus the dump. The site is said to stink and attract bears that are intensely looking for food to put on fat before their winter hybernation.(Based on unconfirmed stories and hearsay.)

Yebenya – “f*cked up destinations”

archangelsk-porchAlexandra has called my attention to Yebenya (“f*cked up places”) – a resource dedicated to savouring the aesthetics of decay and neglect. And here I’d like to share it with you, as decay and neglect is one of the things this country offers in abandance to would-be visitors.

See our own collection of decay and neglect photos >>

Another crazy cyclist victim of Russian roads

tsin-korean-cyclistYesterday a piece of news about Ms. Tsin, a cyclist from Korea pedalling her way from Finland to Murmansk, reached me, followed by a today’s update to the effect that she got into an accident. It appears she got off lightly thought, and will present herself to the public at the New York Coffee in Murmansk tomorrow as scheduled.

The pyromania season

All these Attilas, Ghengis Khans, and Tamerlanes roamed the Eurasian steppe looting, raping, and of course burning what they could not haul off. Their descendants live in cities and take a shower daily but will still set dry grass on fire every freaking spring.

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Who? Me?! Overreacting?!!

somerset-asylum-by-k-drakeTurned the TV on the other day. I regularly do that to maintain my habitual and comfortable depression level for the fear of becoming a regular annoying happy (_*_) orifice. [hide-this-part morelink=”read the rest”]Immediately I was treated to Mr. Putin’s speech where our leader said out loud that the Russian national mental set is characterized by willingness to die for a higher cause, whatever this cause is, and this Todestrieb is somehow bundled with generosity, another fundamental of our character. I was hoping to write this off to the onset of senility or after-lunch torpor but no, today I ran into a transcript of the speech. “Death for the sake of… the nation contains deep roots of our patriotism.. …our country is large, and this reflects our greatness and generosity.” Non-sequitors make me uncomfortable, and those containing words like “death”, “heroism”, and “greatness”, with “generosity” thrown in completes the absurdity, scare me shitless. Especially when these things are said by those in power, and even more when they are well received by 150 million.   …40 minutes, later, and I still can’t get rid of a mini-obsession as to how generosity can be causally linked to the centuries-old propensity to invate neighbours.[/hide-this-part]

‘Been exploring the “Military Town” section of Kandalaksha today

Most of the photos below are of the “Officers House”, built in the late 1930s, served as the town’s major concert hall till 2010, then the army was unable to maintain and closed it after which the best building in Kandalaksha went through a series of fires that damaged it beyond repair. The last one was in March or April 2013.

Now the building is used as a dangerous playground for tough Russian kids. Towards the end of the series of photos you’ll see some looking down from what remains of the roof. Stairs lack railing and invite anyone with a suicidal tendency or just a dizziness spell to a 30 foot drop.

Fire 21 April 2013, when the building was damaged almost beyond hope. Weather and vandals will soon do the rest.

The one next door (6-8 photos at the very end) is what’s left of the military hospital. Lots more ruins, especially in this part of town, but the Officers House is the most spectacular of them all.