Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Ukrainian navy are training killer-dolphins to attack enemy combat swimmers by using special knives and pistols which will be fixed to their heads.

October 15, 2012 (RIA Novosti) A military source in the Ukrainian naval port of Sevastopol told Russian news agency RIA Novosti that the dolphins and other animals will also be detecting mines along the seabed. 
"Ten dolphins are now being trained for special tasks in the Ukrainian state oceanarium and the Ukrainian military are now regularly training the animals for detecting things along the seabed," said the source. "We are now planning training exercises for counter-combat swimmer tasks in order to defend ships in port and on raids."
The army has had a history of training dolphins to protect their shores, dating as far back as to 1973. 
As well as attacking divers, they were used to carry explosives on their heads to plant on enemy ships. 
The source said the army has already completed several successful exercises with the dolphins in finding underwater weapons in the aquarium and outside in open water. "Our dolphins found the items and attached devices to them which were fixed on their heads, after which a buoy on it was sent to the surface to mark it.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Facing the Climate Continues Its Tour in Ukraine

October 4, 2012 (
"Facing the Climate" in Ukraine – is a joint project of the Swedish Institute, Embassy of Sweden in Ukraine, and the International Information Center "Green Dossier". To illustrate Sweden’s strong commitment to climate and environment issues, the Swedish Institute launched an exhibition on October 4, 2012 entitled Facing the Climate. In it, five Swedish cartoonists provide some amusing and alarming reflections on climate change. Local artists were invited to give their view of the climate. Since then the climate images reached more than 135.000 visitors when shown by Swedish Foreign missions and their local partners.
Sweden is internationally known as a country that takes environmental issues and sustainability seriously.  But taking something seriously doesn’t necessarily mean viewing it in a humorless way.
“When the Swedish cartoonists are presented to them, local partners are inspired to launch a similar initiative for cartoonists in their own country,” says Project Manager Birgitta Tennander. So they organized a competition. The winning entries were then shown together with the Swedish cartoons. Sweden has come further than many other countries in dealing with the climate issue – but abroad there is often a considerable potential among young well-educated people who are full of energy and commitment. The project gives us the chance to discuss topical environmental issues in both countries. Facing the Climate will be on display in Rio, Athens, Tirana, Tel Aviv, Johannesburg, Novosibirsk  and other cities around the world during 2012.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The touch on the history of Sweden in the depth of Saxony

Not long ago I've gotten a wonderful opportunity to visit another interesting place located in Saxony and linked closely with the history of Sweden. Nowadays a small village of Altranstädt, located 10 kilometers away from Leipzig, definitely doesn’t play such important role like in the very beginning of 18th century when Swedish king Charles XII stayed there for one year until he began his fatal Russian campaign of 1708 concluded with the defeat of Swedish army in the Battle of Poltava on 27 June 1709. You hardly could meet a large crowd of tourists there. Just a few local lovers of history or those who came from Sweden, Poland or Russia could break the silence of Altranstädt castle. I couldn't help feeling like the time has stopped in endless castle corridors with century-old oak floor for some completely incomprehensible reason.
In April 1945 the Western Saxony was conquered by American troops, under the command of General Patton. The Eastern Saxony, at the same time, was occupied by Soviet troops. The agreement on post-war occupation zones, during the Potsdam Conference, provided that the entire state of Saxony would come under Soviet control. As such, West Saxony was transferred to the Soviet Zone, by the American occupation forces in July 1945.
During the Soviet occupation the castle was turned into dwelling-house except a few rooms where negotiations have taken place in 1706 and 1707. Soon after the German reunification the castle was declared a national monument and a small museum located in two rooms has been completed. Not long ago the castle has been renovated although still remains unknown for many Germans. You can see a few pictures taken in the castle a few weeks ago.

The Treaty of Altranstädt (1706) was concluded between Charles XII of Sweden and Augustus the Strong of Saxony and Poland-Lithuania, on 13 October 1706. Augustus had to renounce his claims to the Polish throne and his alliance with Russia. Augustus the Strong made peace with the Swedish Empire and accepted Stanisław Leszczyński as the Polish king. Stanisław Leszczyński was crowned king of Poland on 4 October 1705. An allied attempt to regain control in Poland-Lithuania was thwarted by Charles XII in the Battle of Grodno and by Carl Gustav Rehnskiöld in the Battle of Fraustadt, both in the first months of 1706.

The Treaty or Convention of Altranstädt was signed between Charles XII of Sweden and Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor on 31 August 1707. It settled the rights of Protestants in Silesia. While the Protestant Reformation had strongly affected Silesia, the Habsburg emperors had subjected the province to the counter-reformation in the 18th century. Especially in Upper Silesia, these measures were successful: in the early 18th century, almost half of the Silesian population was Roman Catholic and some 1,000 churches had been rededicated from Protestant to Roman Catholic. During the Great Northern War, Charles XII of Sweden had marched his armies through Silesia and occupied the Electorate of Saxony, where he forced his adversary, elector August the Strong, into the Treaty of Altranstädt (1706). During his one year-long stay in the small town of Altranstädt near Leipzig, Charles XII negotiated a further treaty with the Habsburg emperor. Joseph I returned 125 churches to the Protestant communities and dispensed with any further counter-reformatory policies. Three Protestant consistories were permitted, restoring and stabilizing Silesian Lutheranism.
Nowadays Altranstädt is a village in Saxony, Germany, a part of the Markranstädt district of Leipzig. The village is historically famous for two treaties that were concluded there.