Russian Dating App Recruits Couples to Boost Election Turnout

Flag of Russia.svg

Aug 21, 2017 — 14:27— Update: 15:29

A Russian dating service has launched an app to encourage Russians to get together as part of a reported Kremlin initiative ahead of upcoming municipal elections to boost voter turnout.

The app titled “Together to the Elections” matches users to meet and go to polls together on Sept. 10, the day of municipal elections in 16 regions across Russia.

The app’s users are shown photos of possible matches and asked: “Will you go to the elections with him/her?” Available for iPhone and Android, “Together to the Elections” had been downloaded 10,000 times as of Monday.

The opposition-leading Dozhd news website reported that the app was affiliated with another Russian dating site Mamba, citing similarities in design and that all technical queries to the new app are redirected to Mamba.

Mamba launched “Together to the Elections” at the request of Russian authorities who are hoping to boost turnout for the municipal elections on Sept. 10, Dozhd cited sources close to the Kremlin as saying.

The head of Mamba, Andrei Bronetsky, told Dozhd he was “advised” to launch the app and when asked whether the advice had come from the presidential administration, he asked Dozhd to call back later.

If the initiative proves successful, it will also be used to boost the turnout for the presidential elections in March next year, Dozhd reports.


Source  :  The Moscow Times

Massive Fire Breaks Out in Southern Russia

Flag of Russia.svg

Aug 21, 2017 — 19:04— Update: 19:04

A massive fire in the center of the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don engulfed 25 homes on Monday afternoon.

The fire started as the result of a gas explosion and soon spread across an area of roughly 10,000 square kilometres, the Interfax news agency reports, citing the local branch of the Emergency Situations Ministry.

Source  :  The Moscow Times

Putin Appoints Antonov as New U.S. Ambassador

Flag of Russia.svg

Aug 21, 2017 — 16:14— Update: 18:33
Anatoly Antonov Russian Defence Ministry Press Office / TASS

President Vladimir Putin on Monday appointed Russia’s former Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov to be the country’s next Ambassador to the United States.

statement on the Kremlin’s website said Antonov was appointed by presidential decree, replacing Sergei Kislyak, who was drawn into the controversy over Russian meddling in last year’s U.S. presidential election after meeting with members of Donald Trump’s campaign team.

The former deputy defense minister, who is widely seen as a “hardliner” was first chosen as a possible candidate in the autumn of 2016 during the presidential campaign.

The news of Monday’s appointment comes as the U.S. Embassy in Russia is temporarily suspending processing non-immigrant visa applications in response to Russia’s expulsion of American diplomats.

“Due to the Russian government-imposed cap on U.S. diplomatic personnel in Russia, all non-immigrant visa operations across Russia will be suspended on Aug. 23,” the U.S. Embassy said in a statement published Monday morning.

The move is just the latest in a series of tit-for-tat measures between Russia and the United States as part of an ongoing diplomatic spat over fresh sanctions codified by U.S. President Donald Trump on Aug. 2.


Source  :  The Moscow Times

Russia to launch plastic money this year

File:Flag of Russia.svg

Russia to launch plastic money this year. 61085.jpeg

Money with special polymer treatment will appear in Russia already this year. The new technology will make bank notes more durable.

The innovation will be used for the new 200-ruble note and a commemorative note to be released for the World Cup 2018, representatives of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation said, adding that the new notes will feel plastic.

Experts point out, though, that such banknotes have a significant disadvantage: they can be disposed of only in fire, which is not friendly to the environment. In addition, the production of such notes will be much more expensive, but they will last up to five times longer than paper money. To crown it all, it will be much more difficult to forge plastic money.

Plastic 200 ruble-notes are said to appear in Russia already this year. The bill will feature a Sevastopol monument to flooded ships and a view of Tauric Chersonesos. The commemorative 100-ruble note dedicated to the World Cup 2018 will go into circulation in the first quarter of 2018.

Plastic money has been in use in Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Vietnam, Maldives, Canada, Papua New Guinea and Romania. Polymer banknotes are partially used in Brazil, Great Britain, Israel, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Mexico, Northern Ireland, Singapore and Chile.



Source  :  Pravda Report

Russian cheese producers need at least ten more years of sanctions

File:Flag of Russia.svg

Russian cheese producers need at least ten more years of sanctions. 61055.jpeg

Russian farmers and cheese producers consider Western sanctions against the Russian Federation a gift. If the sanctions stay in effect for another ten years, Russia will start exporting its cheeses to  Europe, the United States and Canada, CBC News reports.

Many Russian farmers saw the sanctions as a chance to open their own businesses. This year, Russian producers offer soft cheeses, such as Bree, Camembert and goat cheese, as well as harder cheeses,  for example, Gouda. Yet, the taste of those cheeses varies greatly, because the elaborate technology to make cheeses may take decades. Russian farmers admit that the quality of their cheeses may not be as good as that of Italian producers, but still, Russian cheeses are already very good.

Earlier, Russia’s cheese imports from the EU amounted to $1 billion a year. For countries such as Denmark, Russia used to be the largest export market for cheeses. Today, the production of Russian cheeses grows by ten percent every year. The Russian government has spent a lot of money and effort to help farmers acquire necessary equipment.

At the same time, a recent opinion poll showed that 27 percent of Russians found the quality of Russian cheeses decreasing. Eighteen months ago, this opinion was shared by 33 percent. After the introduction of the food embargo, many Russians pay special attention to the quality of cheeses. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said that the quality of cheeses has not changed over the past year. Yet, the quality of meat, according to respondents, has decreased. The number of customers dissatisfied with the taste sausage products has increased by one-third.



Source  :  Pravda Report

Russia’s FSB Says It Foiled Moscow Terror Plot

Flag of Russia.svg

Aug 14, 2017 — 14:50— Update: 18:52

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Monday it had detained four people suspected of plotting terror attacks on Moscow’s public transport system and major commercial centers.

In a statement on its website, the FSB said it had uncovered a terror group in the Moscow region which was planning to commit “a series of terror attacks in crowded places, including transport sites and large commercial centers.”

The FSB also said it had shut down a bomb-making lab on the outskirts of Moscow.

Two potential suicide bombers, an explosives expert and an “emissary” of Islamic State, a terrorist organization banned in Russia, were detained. One of the detainees is a Russian citizen, while the others are from Central Asian countries, the statement said.

Russian media published a video on Monday afternoon supposedly showing the FSB raid on the terrorists’ hideout. The Moscow Times could not confirm the authenticity of the video.

Federal Security Services supposedly raiding a terrorist hideout in the Moscow region.
Source  :  The Moscow Times