Browsing All posts tagged under »Russia«

Vitas, the Man With the Five-Octave Voice

May 1, 2017

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His name is Vitaliy Vladasovich Grachyov, but you can call him Vitas.  He was born in Latvia, raised in Ukraine, sings in Russian, and is wildly popular in China.  When I say “wildly popular,” I mean, he draws crowds of fainting girls worthy of the Beatles’ heyday.  Here is a video of crowd reactions, shot […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Spending the New Year at Swan Lake

January 4, 2017

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By Joan Larsen   It is the New Year – the new year of 2017, celebrated throughout the world with the traditional crowds always seen, fireworks lighting up the skies in every direction, laughter and excitement as there always is. But we, the people of our world, are far more subdued this year. If we […]

Joan Larsen Presents in Photos: The Call of the Wild – the Unknown Story of Jack London Lake in Eastern Russia

November 16, 2016

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By Joan Larsen Among the world’s hidden secrets, the one that has only now been found in the Russian Far East — in the country’s little-known Magadan region – stands out for a unique beauty rarely seen on our Earth.  Its unusual name:  Jack London Lake.  Imagine its waters crystal clear and very cold – […]

Joan Larsen’s Hidden Secrets of Our World: Exploring Unknown Wonders In the Heart of Siberia’s North

March 16, 2016

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By Joan Larsen A place so remote – in the very heart of Siberia – that only now have the first pictures – beyond beautiful – been shot.   So far, there has been no funding allotment to allow explorers to find their way in and explore these remarkable buttes (that you see above) on foot. […]

Joan Larsen Presents James Bond: Shaken, Not Stirred – The Iconic Destinations of All the Bond Movies

October 28, 2015

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By Joan Larsen, adapted from Chris Leadbeater, “Around the World with Every James Bond Film,” Travel Section, The Telegraph, October 24, 2015. Spectre. The James Bond of old is back . . . achingly cool, tackling the action and the romantic scenes with an almost boyish relish that is – well, almost impossible to resist. […]

Joan Larsen Presents: To Melt the Heart – First Photos of the Most Loveable Brown Bears Ever Filmed

July 22, 2015

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By Joan Larsen Dedicated to my long-time friends and fellow explorers, Arthur and Mary Clark.  Arthur is a retired Air Force general, an aviator, and a veteran of World War II.  He has traveled extensively, much of it in Alaska, Siberia and the Arctic.     May I introduce you to Maria, the very becomingly […]

Joan Larsen Presents: Birds Do It, Bees Do It… A First Look From Above at Nature’s Baby Boom

May 6, 2015

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By Joan Larsen You do know how babies arrive, don’t you?   I looked at my mother with those innocent eyes as she told me about the stork flying over our rooftop with that little wrapped bundle swinging from its beak, delicately placing it on the chimney top for us to find. I seem to remember […]

Joan Larsen Shares: Once in a Lifetime – the Extraordinary Friendship Between a Fox and a Cat

April 15, 2015

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In one of the most remote and hard-to-reach places in the world I have ever visited – the Kamchatka Peninsula in Siberia – I was shown photographs of a beautiful cat living at a reserve there who had made a true friendship with a lone fox who came to visit every day.  The story — […]

Joan Larsen Presents: Winter Rescue – Luckiest Moose in the World

February 18, 2015

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By Joan Larsen It is a frozen winter in the higher altitudes of our world. From the vantage point of a helicopter, flying over the frozen taiga of northern Russia, the three passengers only saw below what was ice and snow. But then – then – one man spotted an animal struggling – a large […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: On the Edge – Searching for Bears in Siberia

January 28, 2015

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By Joan Larsen   These bears are seldom asked to pose for their pictures. I would guess that they have never seen humans before either. Still hidden from the world we know, the world’s largest population of brown bears roam freely – in a place called Kamchatka. There are still just a few places left […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Felines in Residence – the Secret World Beneath Russia’s Hermitage

January 7, 2015

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by Joan Larsen St. Petersburg. . . Russia’s most wonderful city has drawn me back more than once. Home of the world-famous Hermitage Museum — just named the best museum in all of Europe (!) — is praise enough to have art lovers making a bee-line north. But – hidden far beneath the museum — […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Spending the New Year at Swan Lake

December 31, 2014

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By Joan Larsen   It is the New Year – the new year of 2015, celebrated throughout the world with the traditional crowds always seen, fireworks lighting up the skies in every direction, laughter and excitement as there always is. But we, the people of our world, are far more subdued this year. If we […]

If Terrorists Attack the Games in Sochi, Don’t Evacuate. Play On.

January 27, 2014

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So they want to scare everyone into stopping the Games?  Don’t let them. Amid concerns about terrorism and security at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, on the coast of the Black Sea in Russia, both the US and Canada have contingency plans in place to evacuate their athletes in the event of an attack […]

Historymaker: Astronaut Valentina Tereshkova

June 18, 2013

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Fifty years ago, Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova became the world’s first woman in space. She was 26 years old, from peasant stock; her father was a tractor driver who died on the frozen Finnish front in World War II, and her mother was a factory worker; Valentina herself was also a factory worker. Ah, but a […]

Steven Seagal Invited to Represent the Russian Weapons Industry: Don’t Do It!

June 7, 2013

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So apparently Russia would like Steven Seagal to advertise for them.  More specifically, they want the action-movie star to “be the face of its weapons industry as it guns for first place on the world arms market,” reports the Associated Press.  Mr. Seagal has been squired around by the Russian Deputy Defense Minister, Dmitry Rogozin, […]

Spy vs. Spy?

May 16, 2013

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I am honestly not sure what to make of the Moscow arrest and PNG (persona non grata) removal of US Embassy employee Ryan Fogle.  Fogle was arrested by the Russian FSB (successor organization to the old KGB), accused of espionage, and filmed with his supposed spy kit, which consisted of two really cheesy wigs, some […]

Our Russian New Year’s Custom

January 1, 2013

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At the turn of the millennium, I had been on assignment in Moscow for some months.  The work was interesting, the city was vibrant, the people were engaging, and I think I must have mailed off matryoshka dolls to everyone I had ever met, and then some.  But as my assignment drew to a close, […]

Russia Bans Adoptions by US Parents; Let’s Re-Look US Adoptions

December 27, 2012

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On 26 December, as expected, Russia’s Parliament voted in favor of banning all US adoptions of Russian children.  All the measure needs now is President Putin’s signature, and it will be law, going into force as early as 1 January. But this is typical Russian politics, and really has very little to do with Russian […]

Vitas, the Man With the Five-Octave Voice

August 14, 2012

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His name is Vitaliy Vladasovich Grachyov, but you can call him Vitas.  He was born in Latvia, raised in Ukraine, sings in Russian, and is wildly popular in China.  When I say “wildly popular,” I mean, he draws crowds of fainting girls worthy of the Beatles’ heyday.  Here is a video of crowd reactions, shot […]

Russia (Update): Pussy Riot Trial Concludes

August 10, 2012

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Remember, we wrote about Russia’s all-girl punk band Pussy Riot way back in March, when they had just gotten arrested – three of them anyway – for performing an unauthorized “Punk Prayer” in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior.  The song was a political protest  in response to Patriarch Kirill’s public statements that people should […]

Russia: The Great White Whale Lives!

April 25, 2012

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It’s like a scene straight out of Moby Dick!  Check out the first-ever video, which includes great still shots, of an all-white adult Orca off Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula at Philip Hoare’s article in The Guardian.   The whale, dubbed Iceberg, was spotted in 2010 and the Far East Russia Orca Project is going back out on […]

Pussy Riot, Russia’s Feminist Punk Band – and Political Prisoners

March 30, 2012

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Pussy Riot is a colorful all-female punk rock group making headlines in Russia, and perhaps soon, the world, as several of their members are now jailed and their lawyer is speaking of taking their case before the International Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The band first came to light last fall during the pre-election […]