Tuesday, August 20, 2019

"River tram" service re-launched in Kyiv

August 19, 2019 (UNIAN) A new Kyiv "river tram" route has been launched along the Dnipro River between the city's Podil and Obolon areas. The route was officially launched on August 10, according to an UNIAN correspondent. Several dozen people have already made their first voyage. 

Kyiv's "river tram" resumed its service after a six-year break, according to the TV news service TSN. It will offer three voyages a day in the form of a city tour, which will be available on the weekend only and will be themed to Kyiv's history.

 "The service has been resumed in a trial mode. If there are people, more routes will open," captain of the vessel Viktor Hrekh said. A two-way ticket for a 90-minute voyage costs UAH 150, or about US$6.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Vladimir Putin joins bikers for a ride in Crimea

August 11, 2019 (Reuters) Russia's President Vladimir Putin attended a biker show organized by the Night Wolves motorcycle club on the peninsula of Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, amid vast protests in Moscow and several Russian cities on Saturday (August 10). Russian state television showed Putin in a leather jacket shaking hands and hugging with Russian biker club leader Alexander Zaldostanov and riding a Ural motorcycle near the Crimean city of Sevastopol, while tens of thousands of Russians staged what a monitoring group called the country's biggest political protest for eight years, defying a crackdown to demand free elections to Moscow's city legislature.


Police rounded up scores of people after the demonstration in Moscow and at another rally in St Petersburg, and detained a leading opposition figure before it began. But the response from the authorities was milder than the previous week when more than 1,000 protesters were detained, sometimes violently. The White Counter monitoring group said up to 60,000 people had attended the Moscow rally, describing it as the biggest in Russia for eight years. Police put turnout at 20,000.

Russian liberal opposition gather for a rally protesting against unfair Moscow State Duma elections in the center of Moscow, Russia, August 10, 2019. The liberal opposition called their supporters to continue their protest actions against rejecting their candidates for Moscow City Duma elections, which are scheduled for September. (Photo: Yuri Kochetkov, EPA-EFE)

A month of demonstrations over elections for the Moscow city legislature have turned into the biggest sustained protest movement in Russia since 2011-2013, when protesters took to the streets against perceived electoral fraud. Crowds at the rally in Moscow roared "down with the tsar!" and waved Russian flags. They were demanding that opposition-minded candidates be permitted to run in a city election next month after they were not allowed onto the ballot. Putin and the Kremlin have so far avoided commenting on the unrest over the Moscow city elections.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Chernobyl's 'Sarcophagus' Is Being Taken down Due to Fear of Collapse


August 9, 2019 (interestingengineering.com) The Chernobyl nuclear disaster is the worst power plant disaster in history. Just 2 months after the disaster, roughly 600,000 Soviet cleanup workers were given the deadly task of covering the plant's exposed reactor with a massive 'sarcophagus' encasing. Now, it has emerged that, 33 years later, the sarcophagus has to be dismantled before it collapses. Thankfully, this was known ahead of time and an impressive undertaking in precise engineering is making sure that the existing structure is safely replaced.
The 'sarcophagus' encasing the contaminated site of Chernobyl reactor 4 was made in order to lock in radioactive materials like corium, uranium, and plutonium. It was erected only two months after the disaster occurred on April 26, 1986.

At least 31 of the workers who constructed the encasing died of acute radiation sickness. The danger of the construction zone is partially responsible for the deterioration happening today. Though the covering was made from 400,00 cubic meters of concrete and approximately 16 million pounds of steel, the conditions meant that it was hastily built, leaving the building's joints unsealed, and openings in the ceiling, as Science Alert reports. Now, 33 years later, the covering has to be replaced: SSE Chernobyl NPP, the company that manages the nuclear plant site, has released a statement online saying the probability the structure will collapse is "very high" if it is left in its current state.
Read the full article at

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Time travel to "post-war Poltava"

August 6, 2019 Please do not think that these two photos were found in some archive. In fact, they were made a few days ago in the center of Poltava. The city authorities have not been able to demolish these buildings for several years, because the issue of ownership of this property has not been resolved.

Probably some local inhabitants, whose documents confirm that they live in these dilapidated houses, are still alive. This means that before demolishing these houses, their residents must obtain new housing. All this led to the existence of such “post-war ruins” in Poltava.

When I pass these buildings, it seems to me that the Second World War ended just a few days ago. At the end of this post, I would like to show you a third photo that was found in one of the German archives several years ago. It was made by a German officer in 1942 on one of the streets of Poltava. 

Don't you think that these three photos look alike?