Tag Archives: Siberia

ECHR defends Navalny right to life

The European Court of Human Rignt took a decision in Alexey Navalny favour, indicating to Russian government to allow access to family and medics to the patient to assess his condition regarding fit-for-flight.
The interim measure should be enforced without delay, and in any event by noon 22 August 2020 by noon.

The Court has also indicated to Russian government to ensure that Navalny wife Yulia has access to medical file from Omsk hospital; that medics appointed by the family has access to examine him and conclude if he can be issued fit-for-flight; inform the Court about the treatment Navaly receives at present, and submit his entire medical file to Court by latest 24 August noon, Strasbourg time.

The Court explisitly underlined that the family asked for Navalny airlifting to Berlin Charité clinic for treamtment, otherside feraing risks to his health and life in violation of the Article 2 – right to life – of the Euroepan Convention on Human Rights.

The interim measure has been granted to Alexey Navalny on an exceptional basis, taking into consideration his situation of real risk of irreversible harm.

As a member of the Council of Europe, Russia as all the States Signatoires is bound to follow the measures indicated by the Court.
A failure to do so can lead to violation of Article 34 of the Convention – the right of invividual application.

Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny is unconscious in hospital suffering from suspected poisoning, his spokeswoman has said.

The anti-corruption campaigner fell ill during a flight and the plane made an emergency landing in Omsk, where medics said he was in a coma and they were trying to save his life.

His team suspects faul game, and even assassination attempt, presuming that something was put in his tea at an airport cafe shortly before the flight back to Moscow from hism trip in Siberia.

The Kremlin said that it wished Mr Navalny a “speedy recovery”, however Navlny team was accusing the authorities to keeping him hostage in the hospital, and refusing access to his wife and medics from Germany, who arrived to Omsk to air-lift him to Berlin Charite hospitla to receive relevant treatment.

Mr Navalny, 44, has for years been among President Vladimir Putin’s staunchest critics.
In June he described a vote on constitutional reforms as a “coup” and a “violation of the Constitution”. The reforms allow Mr Putin to serve another two terms in office, after the four terms he has already had.
Recently Navalny was accused by Belrus President Alexander Lukashenko in acting as an agitator for the civil unrest.

Navalny poisoning suspicion grows

Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, 44, was in a coma in a Siberian hospital on August 20 after drinking a cup of tea that his spokeswoman said she believed was laced with poison. According to his team he is still in intenstive care ward now.

Navalny was in intensive care and on an artificial lung ventilator, spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on social media. “We assume that Alexei was poisoned with something mixed into the tea. It was the only thing that he drank in the morning. Doctors say the toxin was absorbed faster through the hot liquid. Alexey is now unconscious” Yarmysh wrote on her Twitter micro blog.

A fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin, Navalny started feeling ill when returning to Moscow from Tomsk in Siberia by plane on August 19 morning, Yarmysh said.

This morning Navalny was returning to Moscow from Tomsk. During the flight, he felt bad. The plane urgently landed in Omsk. Alexey has toxic poisoning. Now we are going to the hospital by ambulance”

Judging by the Kremlin garbage dumps [slang for state media], it took them 5 hours to come up with a common breakthrough version: Navalny drank something or ate something himself. This, of course, is complete nonsense. Alexei’s condition has not changed yet. Did not regain consciousness, the diagnosis is not reported” Yarmysh tweeted.

Yakutia 236-carat colour diamond

Alrosa company miners found a 236-carat color rough diamond in North Yakutia. This is the largest color diamond ever extracted in Russia, the producer reports on August 7.

The diamond was extracted from the Ebelyakh mine in Yakutia, Russia. This is the largest natural color rough diamond ever found in Russia,” the company says.
The rough diamond is of intense yellow-brown color. Its sizes are 47x24x22 mm. According to a preliminary estimate, it is 120-230 million years old, Alrosa says.

Such a large natural color rough diamond is a unique discovery. Now, the stone is at Alrosa’s United Selling Organization being studied and evaluated by our specialists. After that, we will decide whether to give it to our manufacturers for cutting or sell it as a rough. Of course, cutters in any country will be interested in such a diamond, as it has the potential to give several high quality polished diamonds,” Pavel Vinikhin, the head of Diamonds of Alrosa cutting and polishing division, said in a comment.

Image: illustration

Siberia fires: illegal timber trade with China

Among major causes of devastating Sibera fires Duma Ecology committee chair Vladimir Bourmatov points at the activities of illegal lumberjacks, or “black loggers”. At present upon the request of the State Duma, the government and the Investigative committee of the Russian Federation, have launched the investigation into the occurrence of 500 epicenters of forest blaze as cause of illegal human activities. (Image above: Russian social networks).

The entire forest industry in Russia is in the “shadow” sector. A temporary timber export embargo has been suggested earlier this year. The statement was made by the chairwoman of the Federation Council (upper house of Russian parliament) Valentina Matvienko, requesting an imposition of embargo on the export of timber from Russia until rules are in place. She suggested to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to take measures without delay in February this year.

Matvienko explained the ways of illegal logging and illegal export abroad. The entire trade is oriented toward China as the largest importer of round timber in the world. Thus, massive deforestation is conducted under the pretext of sanitary protection of removing the diseased and rotting trees, instead the companies which are supposed to take care of the forests, are cutting down the best of spruces, pines and oaks and transporting them to China. The lucrative illegal trade is masked by ecological activities across the entire Siberia.

The forest fires in Siberia began almost a week ago, but because of the negligence of Russian officials, who were unwilling to take an action, the area of ignition has been steadily and rapidly increasing reaching an epic scale: more than three million hectares in flames, and smoke stretches for 700 km. At present it has already reached the coast of the USA and Canada, cities touched Vancouver and Seattle.

However the smoke from the blaze continues to stretch further: is now visible in Alaska. In total, three million hectares of forest burn in Siberia. It roughly reaches the size of Belgium.

Meteorology professor from Moscow State University, Alexander Kislov said that the burning particles can fly around the entire planet from west to east, following the movement of Earth in space.

Under wave of international criticism Roscosmos Corporation revealed the gravity of the situation publishing the images of fires swiftly spreading along territories of Russian Federation in the Jewish Autonomous Region, the Republic of Sakha, Buryatia, the Irkutsk Region, the Krasnoyarsk and Khabarovsk Territories.

After the situation caused grave international concern, Russian authorities started to act under direct orders of President Putin, who sent army to resolve the ecological crisis.

At present more than 2.8 million hectares of forest are consumed by blaze, withe the largest area in fire is in Yakutia, where 1.1 million hectares of forest are in flames, in the Krasnoyarsk Territory the flames spread to more than one million hectares, and in the Irkutsk Region – 700 thousand hectares.

This week only 2.700 people, 390 units of ground equipment and 28 aircraft take part in extinguishing on the territory in flames equal to Belgium. The Siberians claim the response in not relevant to the scale of drama.

Among the other causes of Siberia fires Bourmatov names the inefficient and insufficient measures of prevention.

President Trump spoke with President Putin on July 31, and offered U.S. help in fighting according to a Kremlin account of the call.

Putin, in response, expressed his “sincere gratitude” to Trump and said that if necessary, he will accept the offer, the Kremlin said.

Putin, has called in the army to fight the forest fires, enveloping entire Siberian cities in black smoke for weeks. The local authorities has been explaining to population that measures against forest fires are not “economically viable“. They added that rains will stop the advancement of blaze, while meteo scientists clarified that hot air raising from fires prevents formation of clouds. There are no natural heavy rainfall expected until mid-September.

 

Sweden joins Ice Age wolf research

A 40,000-year-old severed wolf’s head, preserved by permafrost intact with teeth and fur, has been discovered in eastern SiberiaLocals looking for mammoth ivory found the remains on the banks of the Indigirka River in Yakutia, before bringing it to the mammoth studies department at the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Sakha.

Albert Protopopov, director of the department, said that while frozen wolf cubs had been unearthed in the past, the discovery of an adult wolf’s head was novel.

After the experts studied the discovery, it turned out that the hair on the wolf’s head resembles the mammoth cover. According to researchers, the animal has had time to grow up: the age of the beast is estimated from about two to four years, and his brain is undamaged, which will allow to continue the research.The discovery was made in 2018, but the study was carried out only now, with the relevant presentation of the findings.

These are the first remains of an adult (2-4) wolf of the Pleistocene era, found in excellent condition. Now, scientists from the Swedish Museum of Natural History will examine the DNA of the head and compare genetic information with data from modern wolves.

The Yakut wolf’s head had already made a sensation exhibited in Tokyo as part of an exposition dedicated to woolly mammoths and other creatures whose remains were found in permafrost.

Putin is not our ‘tzar’ protests in Russia

Aleksei Navalny was arrested at a demonstration against Vladimir Putin inauguration in  nationwide protest action organized by the Russian opposition leader under slogan ‘He is not our tzar‘, pointing at the similarities of the political trend to establish Russian President as an eternal ruler of the country in tradition of Romanov monarchy.

Navalny was taken into custody by police shortly after arriving at the rally on Pushkin Square,  an emblematic place in the center of Moscow where riot police dealt with the protesters while some were beaten by pro-Putin supporters.

According to local media some 600 protesters have been detained by police so far at rallies across Russia, mainly in the Far East and Siberia.

Vladimir Putin (65) is expected to be sworn in for his fourth term as Russia’s president on May 7, extending an 18-year unchallenged rule for extra seven years to 2024. Many experts compare Putin’s reign with Leonid Brezhnev (1964-1982) ‘stagnation era‘ of the USSR, leading to decline and collapse of the outdated system.

Putin won 76,6% of the vote, with the turnout of 67,47%, which was higher than the previous election participation in 2012. More than 56 million of Russians from 110 million votes supported his candidacy supported his forth mandate.

Siberia 'waterboarded' to ice cube dog killing defended by police

Police of Yakutia (Siberia) reported of an abhorrent death a dog, as claimed in social networks, the owner ‘waterboarded’ and left to die at -50 C° degree frost. The police authorities deny such a case in spite of massive photo, and other evidence brought by the group of animal rights defenders, who attempted to save the dog frozen into ice.

This particular type of execution was practiced in Russia in Middle ages, and even described in novels of 19th century authors: serfs turned into frozen “sculptures” by pouring onto them water in freezing temperatures. Later it was revived by Stalin during ‘great purge’. Today it is considered as at most perverse type of torture and execution.

A local media said about the verification of the publication of a photograph of a dead dog with a comment that a drunk owner doused the animal with water and him outside to die.

Police officers carried out verification activities, during which the owner was defined, as well as the circumstances of the dog’s death. According to police report the Shepherd dog suffered from Carre’s disease, and was partially paralyzed, the Interior Ministry said.

Police said that the owner did not kill the dog himself, but called in the volunteers of one of the animal protection organizations of Yakutsk. They took the animal, and after a while, a photo of a dead dog appeared on the Internet (image below).

dog ice

“The owner of the dog and members of his family are characterized positively, the pet was a favorite of a large family,” the police say.

The volunteers said the owner did not call them, but it was a neighbour who heard the howling animal, freezing into ice. The moment they arrived the dog was a block of ice and had no chance to survive. They suppose when knowing about the illness of the animal the owner decided to kill it himself to save up money and efforts to cure “the member of the family”.

There are no laws, protecting animals from human’s cruelty in Russia. For 17 years the administration of President Vladimir Putin has been blocking a package of laws, prepared previously in times of rapprochement with the West. So called ‘dog-hunters’ movement, promoting poisoning, chopping and shooting dogs is widespread in Russia, never confronted with prosecution, unlike animal rights defenders, who suffer hostility, and even threatened with jail for the promotion of ideals of humanism.