November 12th, 2006 - Feedback from the Editor of "St.Petersburg In Your Pocket" magazine

Last Saturday I went on the Back to the USSR walking tour with VB Tours.  My guide was the owner of the business, Slava, who proved to be a very attentive and knowledgeable guide.  He had such an easygoing and engaging style - a well balanced mix of the social and political history peppered with the odd bit of Soviet humour. He gave enough information so it wasnt anything like a lecture but was really more like a conversation.

24.02.2012 | Read more

November 7th, 2006 - Another attempt to say “No” to the Vodka Habit

One of the Soviet dissidents once said: "Fighting against the increasing consumption of alcohol is like Don Quixote's campaign against the windmills”. Yet this week, State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov initiated another round of tomfoolery with his suggestion that the proper remedy for the recent spate of alcohol poisonings lies in the state monopolization of the liquor trade. History suggests that such centralization is not a sustainable remedy for Russia's vodka woes and has ultimately led to deleterious long-term consequences. 

24.02.2012 | Read more

October 16th, 2006 - Babyboom expected in 2007

The Russian Government announced last week giving women 250000 roubles (about 9000 USD) for having a second child. This sum would be kept in some special fund and used only for specific purposes, such as: improving living conditions (purchasing an apartment or a house) or getting education. 

24.02.2012 | Read more

October 13th, 2006 - Mariinsky in California

Russians can be seen all over the place in Orange County, California – the Mariinsky Theatre came here, with its Kirov Opera, Orchestra and Ballet. Musicians and singers in the hundreds are here for orchestra concerts and Wagner's "Ring" operas. As they take to the road on tour, new musicians arrive for dance performances. 

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September 8th, 2006 - Remembering Dovlatov

Like many children of the so-called "third wave" of Russian emigration who washed up on U.S. shores during the 1970s and '80s, Katherine Dovlatov did not want to be Russian."We refused to speak the language among ourselves, and some refused to speak Russian even to their parents," she recalled in an e-mail. "We really wanted to be American."

24.02.2012 | Read more

August 2nd, 2006 - Kresty Prison will be a Hotel?

The notorious Kresty building, the largest prison in Europe, may soon be transformed into an entertainment center, a shopping mall or a hotel, with a new prison facility being built to replace it on the outskirts of the city. 

24.02.2012 | Read more
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