Moscow Weather Sets Another Temperature Record

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, May 15, 2013) ­ The spring weather in Moscow broke the temperature record for the second day running on Wednesday, hitting 28.8 degrees Celsius (83.8 degrees Fahrenheit), Meteonovosti weather website reported on Wednesday. “For the second day in a row, Moscow has set a record high. The previous maximum temperature for May 15, registered in 1946, […]

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Nickel and dimes

Nickel Operation file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Marc Bennetts – May 2, 2013) Marc Bennetts is a British writer and journalist. He lives in Moscow and is author of “Football Dynamo”, a book on modern Russia and football published in 2008. The fertile territories around Voronezh have long been referred to as Russia’s ‘breadbasket’. They also hold the last major nickel reserves in Europe, and […]

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Spring Arrives in Moscow

Gorky Park file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 17, 2013) The federal weather bureau announced on Wednesday that all the snow in the capital had finally melted, giving Muscovites the go-ahead to cheer the arrival of spring. On Wednesday morning, the snow cover at the weather station at the All-Russia Exhibition Center in Moscow had fallen to zero centimeters from Tuesday’s measurement […]

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Putin’s cranes fail to reintegrate with the wild over diplomatic rifts – newspaper

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Pilot in Hang Glider Airborne Next to Flying Cranes

(Interfax – MOSCOW. April 12, 2013) The rare Siberian cranes that took a migration flight with President Vladimir Putin’s motorized deltaplane in the autumn of 2012, have not reintegrated with the wild over diplomats’ failure to come to terms on their hibernation in Uzbekistan, Vedomosti wrote on Friday citing the Flight of Hope project director, Alexander Sorokin. “Uzbekistan’s border service […]

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Over Three Meters of Snow Fell on Moscow This Winter

File Photo of Moscow In Snowy Winter Showing St. Basil's At Night in Snowfall, with People on the Ground in the Distance

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 12, 2013) It’s official: This past winter will down in history as one of the snowiest ever. An astounding 3 meters, 29 centimeters of snow fell on Moscow, more than double the average of 1.5 meters, Deputy Mayor Pyotr Biryukov said Friday. The snowfall hit another record on Feb. 12, when 30 centimeters of […]

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Global warming will soon make white bears extinct – expert

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

MOSCOW. April 1 (Interfax) – Yury Neyelov, a member of the Arctic Council, former governor of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, and a senator, believes white bears may become extinct in 30-50 years. “The situation with the population of white bears currently causes serious concerns without exaggeration. According to the World Wildlife Fund, white bears may stop reproducing in 2-3 years, […]

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Arctic Temperatures to Grow Twice as Fast – Russian Ministry

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

MOSCOW, March 20 (RIA Novosti) ­Temperatures in the Arctic will warm up twice as fast as in the rest of the world this century, Russian Emergency Situations Ministry has warned. “In the 21st century, the temperature in the Arctic ­ the average [speed] of global warming ­ will rise 2-2.5 times faster,” the ministry’s center responsible for monitoring meteorological trends, […]

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Heaviest Snowfall in a Century Hits Moscow

File Photo of Moscow In Snowy Winter Showing St. Basil's At Night in Snowfall, with People on the Ground in the Distance

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Roland Oliphant – February 6, 2013) The heaviest snowfall in a century brought Moscow and the surrounding region to a near standstill and left hundreds of people without power, officials said Tuesday. And with snowfall set to continue at least until the end of the week, the authorities are bracing for more chaos on the […]

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$3.3 Billion to Clean Up Soviet Pollution

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Roland Oliphant – January 23, 2013) The government is preparing to allocate 100 billion rubles ($3.3 billion) to clean up pollution left over by Soviet-era industry. Natural Resources and Environment Minister Sergei Donskoi told President Vladimir Putin that a bill to allocate that sum as well as define responsibilities for cleaning up decades-old industrial waste […]

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Winter in Russia: cold indoors as well as out

File Photo of Moscow In Snowy Winter Showing St. Basil's At Night in Snowfall, with People on the Ground in the Distance

(www.opendemocracy.net – Mikhail Loginov – January 16, 2013) Mikhail Loginov is a journalist and novelist based in St. Petersburg. He is the author of the recently published bestselling political thriller “Battle for Kremlin”. Most radiators in urban Russian homes are fed by hot water transported from heating plants miles away. Ageing pipes frequently burst, causing hardship and even fatalities. Could […]

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Scramble for the Arctic to Dominate Environmental Agenda

Map of Barents Sea and Polar Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Roland Oliphant – December 20, 2012) 2012 saw the climate-change-fueled dash for the Arctic’s riches dominate the environmental agenda. The debate over the high north, the annual nightmare of forest fires and continuing battles between activists and developers over roads, mines and the Sochi Olympics are only likely to intensify next year. Greenpeace activists stormed […]

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Russia’s Winter Transport: From the Troika to Rubber Tires

Map of Russia

(Voice of America – James Brooke – Dec. 3, 2012 – James Brooke is VOA Moscow bureau chief, covering Russia and the former USSR) It snowed in Russia last week. (Yawn. What else is new?) But Russia no longer is Dr. Zhivago country, a rural place where troika sleighs slide smoothly across white, wintry landscapes. Modern Russians have a deep, […]

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Russia Confirms Emissions Goal at Doha Talks

File Photo of Smokestacking Spewing Cloud of Discharge

DOHA, December 6 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia reaffirmed on Thursday its decision to withdraw from the second period of commitment to the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, but said it would stick to its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent in the next decade. “In 2013, our country will begin implementation of its commitments to reduce greenhouse […]

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Moscow faces coldest winter in decades

File Photo of Moscow In Snowy Winter Showing St. Basil's At Night in Snowfall, with People on the Ground in the Distance

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com –  Alina Lobzina – Dec. 5, 2012) Muscovites are to brace for the coldest winter in 20 years, a weather forecast service warned on Wednesday. “It will be like in the good old times ­ snowy and frosty, with no deviations,” a representative of the Fobos weather center told RIA Novosti. Winter seasons when Muscovites wade […]

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Russia Hopes Climate Change Maximizes Arctic Shipping

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

(Voice of America – James Brooke – Nov. 28, 2012) MOSCOW ­ Americans may have seen the downside of climate change when Hurricane Sandy bashed into New Jersey and New York City in October. Some scientists say melting Arctic ice helped to create the largest Atlantic hurricane on record. Russians and Chinese, however, see an upside to ice melting in […]

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Thawing Permafrost Threatens to Intensify Warming

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Alex Morales – November 27, 2012)   Thawing permafrost threatens to intensify global warming, sending the planet beyond the 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) of increases that envoys at United Nations climate talks have set as a maximum. Frozen soils that cover a quarter of the land area in the northern hemisphere contain 1,700 gigatons […]

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NEWSLINK: Scientists say new signs of global warming in Russian Arctic

Map of Barents Sea and Polar Environs

[Scientists say new signs of global warming in Russian Arctic – AFP – November 22, 2012 – click here for full article] AFP covers warming in the Russian Arctic: The Russian Arctic is losing ice cover and being inhabited by species from the south in the latest sign of climate change, according to a group of Russian scientists. * * […]

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Putin’s last crane returning to Russia

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Pilot in Hang Glider Airborne Next to Flying Cranes

ASTANA. Nov 21 (Interfax) – A Siberian white crane from the project backed by President Vladimir Putin has been sent from Borovoye in the Kazakh northern Akmola region to Russia, the Kazakh Agriculture Ministry reported on Wednesday. Russian ornithologists will bring the crane back home. “An Akmola regional forestry and hunting inspection officer kept the crane at his Borovoye home […]

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Russia’s Arctic rush ­ a potential gravy train; Economic considerations have so far failed to stop the push for state-run oil and gas corporations to go north

Map of Barents Sea and Polar Environs

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Alexey Eremenko – October 29, 2012) It is cheaper to send a rocket into space than to drill a single oil well in the Arctic Sea. One Proton rocket launch costs from $80 million to $100 million, while offshore oil wells in the Arctic come in at $100 million to $150 million apiece ­ and […]

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MOSCOW BLOG: 1812 revisited

Painting of Napoleon Bonaparte on Horseback

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – October 31, 2012) Exactly 200 years ago this month, Napoleon rode out of Moscow with what was left of the Grande Armée, having failed to crush the Russian army, only to be famously defeated himself by the Russian winter. Given the love of round number anniversaries by the press […]

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First Frost Forecast for This Week

Map of Russia

(Moscow  Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 22, 2012) With weather forecasters promising a rapid dip in Moscow’s temperature, traffic police urged drivers Monday not to delay installing winter tires on their cars ahead of an expected first frost. “With the arrival of fall, weather conditions have definitely become worse, which demands drivers be extra careful on the roads,” traffic police […]

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Environmentalists Recommend Russia to Stay in Kyoto Protocol

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

MOSCOW. Oct 18 (Interfax) – Russia should stay in the Kyoto Protocol; its possible secession will have negative consequences, Greenpeace Russia Program Director Ivan Blokov told Interfax on Thursday. “The Kyoto Protocol is important to Russia. The world will shift to a low-hydrocarbon economy just the same. If we disregard the Kyoto Protocol and keep using fossil fuel, we will […]

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Medvedev Mulls Ending Kyoto Role

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Roland Oliphant – October 18, 2012) President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered a review of Russia’s involvement in the Kyoto Protocol, raising the possibility that the country could finally “wave goodbye” to the climate treaty altogether. “We have to admit that we did not get any special benefits from the Kyoto Protocol in the commercial sense,” […]

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Arctic Sea Route to Open Year-Round in 2013 – Scientists

Polar Bear on Ice

ST. PETERSBURG, October 17 (RIA Novosti)-The record reduction in Arctic pack-ice this year has created favorable conditions for year-long navigation along the Northern Sea Route (NSR) in 2013, offering major savings to shipping operators, Russia’s Arctic Institute said on Wednesday. The ice coverage in the Arctic reached its record minimum of 3.41 million square kilometers (1.32 million square miles) in […]

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Russian Environmentalists Skeptical As Spy Chief Blames Al Qa’idah For Wildfires

Forest Fire file photo

(Interfax – October 3, 2012) Russian environmentalists have poured cold water on claims by the head of the country’s main security service that Al-Qa’idah was responsible for forest fires in a number of countries across the European Union over the summer. In remarks reported by the privately-owned Interfax news agency on 3 October, Aleksandr Bortnikov, head of the Federal Security […]

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Altai and Chechnya “Greenest Economies” in New Integrated Index

File Photo of Grozny, Looking out of Building Through Damaged Wall

Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Roland Oliphant – October 4, 2012 The Altai republic and Chechnya have the cleanest economies in Russia, according to a new index released Tuesday. The index, put together by WWF Russia and state-owned news agency RIA-Novosti with the support of the Russian Geographic Society, is one of the first attempts to combine environmental threat factors, […]

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Russian Analysts, Rights Activists, Opposition Comment On USAID Closure

USAID From the American People Logo

RIA Novosti – September 19, 2012 The Russian authorities’ decision to bring to an end the work of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has been widely commented by Russian political analysts, opposition politicians and human rights activists. Analysts The closure of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) operation in Russia is a disturbing signal which indicates that […]

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