Browsing Category: "Russia"

Sibir Air and Dexter Air-Taxi to open new flights to Sochi

Russia, Sochi News July 28th, 2007

S7, also known as «Sibir» Airlines, will start operation of St.-Petersburg — Sochi flights for the first time. Three and a half hours flights will operate every day starting September 17 with starting price of $145 (3700 rub); «Sibir» also offers lower cost tickets online – web-price for these flights will start at $80 (1990 rub).

Another flight, Novosibirsk – Samara – Sochi will start operating on September 19th and will also be a daily flight. These flights will start at $225 (5700 rub) one way.

«Dexter» Airlines will also start operating flights to Sochi, as well as several other southern cities, from Rostov and Krasnodar. «Dexter» is Russia’s first airline to offer “on-demand” flights. With prices “by kilometer” and park of Swiss-made Pilatus PC-12 and Russian-made M-101T airplanes, «Dexter» offers on-demand and regular flights from Business and VIP terminals, with registration times under 15 minutes. Prices for flights to Sochi will be $0.6-1 per kilometer for regular flights, and $4-5/ km for on-demand flights.

New Olympics are born

Olympics 2014, Russia July 23rd, 2007

Several newborn girls in Chelyabinsk were named Olimpiada (“Olympics” in Russian), reports First Channel TV. I knew something like this would happen… really! This name is used in Russia, but it was never popular (well, actually, I don’t know what was going on with baby naming during Olympics in Moscow :)). Diminutive form of this name is Lipa.

Sochi wants to host European Thai Boxing Championship in 2008

Events, Russia, Sochi News July 17th, 2007

Russian Thai Boxing Federation has applied to host 2008 European Thai Boxing Championship in Sochi, Russia. Sochi has strong Martial Arts traditions, for example we have one of Russia’s best Muai Thai clubs – «Atlan». Several of Atlan students have become Russian and European champions in Thai- and kickboxing. Also, Sochi often (every year?) hosts finals of the Russian «Pankration» (aka “Russian Absolute” – Russian version of UFC) Championship.

Sochi Olympics Mascot Contest

Olympics 2014, Russia July 12th, 2007

Chebu - Russian Olympic mascotOk, there’s no official contest for Olympics 2014. Not yet anyways. However Sochi-2014 organizational team promised in the recent interview that the Mascot will be selected through public contest. So, people didn’t wait long to overwhelm them with ideas :) It seems most people want to see a bear as a mascot for Sochi Olympics. All kind of “bear” ideas were sent organizational team’s way, from reusing “Mishka” of 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow (everyone in Russia adores him! :)) to other “Mishkas” from cartoons and famous paintings. Other, more exotic, ideas include ski-jumping dolphin, a seagull (the last name of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, Chaika, means “seagull” in Russian; he was just selected to keep an eye on Olympic money spending), and five (for Olympic rings) gas pipelines with flames :o) But it is very likely that Cheburashka, current Russian Olympic Team mascot, will become Sochi Games mascot. Besides, (american) people confuse it with a bear all the time anyways, I have one in my office : )

Moscow Olympic Mishka
Mascot of the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow

I personally think, that most likely the mascot will be created by the professionals (please, God, make them NOT select the same ones that did London’s logo!), and they just want to see what people want, and to keep up the excitement.

So, do you have an idea for Sochi Olympics mascot? If you do, you can send it to the head of Sochi-2014 team Dmitry Chernyshenko to

Cheburashka in my office
Chebu in my office :)

Some Olympics related news

Development, Olympics 2014, Russia, Sochi News July 7th, 2007

News stories that caught my eye; some are new, some are updated:

  • Over $622 million are allocated for Sochi program for the rest of this year from federal budget. Next year this sum will be $1.2 bln, and in 2009-2014 around $1 bln every year. Additional funds will be allocated in Krasnodar Regon’s and Sochi’s budgets, and more money will come from private investments.
  • Business delegation from Belgium and Luxemburg will visit Sochi in May 2008 to learn about the opportunities in preparation for the Olympics. They are interested in construction, construction materials and hi-tech infrastructure projects.
  • Second hydroelectric power station in Krasnaya Polyana will be completed by 2010 and will comply with all environmental requirements, including requirements of the Kyoto Protocol. Moreover, three billion dollars – a quarter of the promised 12 billion dollars investments, will be spent on upgrading Sochi’s energy sector. And this is a good thing, if you’ll remember this year’s (and every year’s) power outages in Sochi. All planned energy related projects are promised to be completed by year 2012.
  • Around $117 million will be spent on four telecommunications projects in Sochi.
  • Over 50 000 police officers will be ensuring safety in Sochi during the Olympics — that’s three and a half times fewer than during Summer Olympics in Moscow in 1980. Large role will be given to the hi-tech tools, such as state of the art video surveillance systems and new systems setup around the city with direct lines to the police.
  • Three backup airports will be built for the Olympics in Russia’s South: in Gelendzhyk (another Back Sea resort north of Sochi), Mineralnye Vody (“Mineral Waters”, a … mineral waters resort :)), and Krasnodar (region’s capital). Sochi’s airport will be upgraded to accept any size aircraft in almost any weather conditions.

Backup airports for Olympics in Sochi
Backup airports for 2014 Winter Olympics

Three days later: news overview

Events, Olympics 2014, Russia, Sochi News July 7th, 2007

Wow! As you can imagine the news media of all sorts as well as regular people in blogs and forums are talking about our Olympic bid’s success. The win’s Pros and Cons arguments seem even more heated than before the vote: new infrastructure vs environmental worries, higher salaries vs high inflation, pride and recognition vs prospects of weaker foreign policy, ability vs inability to complete construction on time, international spotlight vs corruption – you name it, its been talked about. Whose shares went up? What will happen to people who live in and around the areas of constructions? What will happen to the “Olympic” money? Will the Olympics be profitable? Will it become’s Putin’s project for the upcoming years (after he leaves office next year after second term as President)? Both optimists and pessimists know all the answers, and they are completely opposite :) The truth, as always, lays somewhere in between. But everybody agrees – making this Olympics a success is a big exam for Russia.

I’ll try to avoid covering the arguments about all this questions as right now all of it is just speculations and personal views, and will stick to the facts.

So, how did Russia react to Sochi’s win? Mostly with shock and cheer! A lot of people, even the one’s who really wanted the win, did not believe in it. I’ve read that Russian betting offices lost over 10 million rubles (~$390 000). Betting is not that popular in Russia, but the point is they burned on this. A lot of people feel pride (so do I :)), and most are lost in guesses on how and how much this will change Russia’s South, and people’s lives.

July 5th (because of the time difference, it was 5th in Sochi when results were announced in Guatemala) will very likely become an official holiday in Sochi, this idea is already being proposed by Sochi’s mayor, Viktor Kolodyazhny. Russian businesses celebrated this victory with enthusiasm and introducing “olympic” sales. For example Russia’s biggest online store introduced 20% off almost all items for purchases on July 5th ans 6th, several travel agencies introduced lower rates to Sochi for those who’ll order next 10 days, “Ural airlines” introduced special “Olympic” rate for people going to Sochi for it’s development — from construction workers and engineers to sportsmen and their trainers, etc.

Anyways, I’ll keep an eye on the developments and keep you posted ;)

Visitor registration: now easier then before

Russia June 24th, 2007

The information in this article is still in effect, however according to recent news reports the registration of foreigners will not be required in the near future, as the point of new migrations law is not registration of foreigners, but monitoring of how many foreigners are in Russia at any given time.

Migration Card for entrance to Russia One of the biggest pains about traveling to Russia for foreigners is a required registration in the city of stay within three business days of arrival. When you stay in the hotels, most hotels will take care of it for you, but if you come to visit (and stay with) your friends and family, you have to get registered.

Read on for the registration procedure guide. Read the rest of this entry »

Increased security measures for the summer season

Russia, Sochi News June 24th, 2007

According to the article published in «Rossiyskaya Gazeta» newspaper, the police in Russian resort cities will patrol streets and beaches on bicycles, patrol boat, and light flying vehicle (whatever that is) during summer season.

The police force will increase by 20% on the resorts to counter average 18% crime hike during summer tourism season. Increased security measures in trains, airports, seaports and surrounding buildings, mandatory emergency police button in all big hotels and spas, more road police posts are among other ways making people’s travel and stay safer. Every bus with children will be escorted by police car. Video surveillance and direct phones to police will be installed in places with large number of people.

“Kinotavr” film festival open in Sochi!

Events, Russia, Sochi News June 3rd, 2007

Kinotavr logo«Kinotavr» is Russia’s biggest open film festival. It takes place in Sochi annually, this year its 18th time.

The opening ceremony took place evening June 3rd. There are fourteen moves in the competition program; they’ve been selected from over 100 films. Most of the participating movies are Russian (only one foreign move is Ukrainian), you can find the complete list of the titles at the official website’s program page.

Kinotavr old logo Zimny teatr during Kinotavr open russian film festival Dolph Lundgren at the Kinotavr festival in Sochi, Russia Kinotavr film festival prize

Read the rest of this entry »

S7 Airlines cancels cheap tickets prices to Sochi

Russia March 31st, 2007

“Sibir” Airlines (S7 Airlines) stopped cheap tickets sales for flights from Moscow to Sochi. During last month tickets were sold for $12 (300rub; not including airport fees) if tickets are puchased 30 days in advance, and for $35 (900rub) if puchased 14 days in advance. Now both of these prices are canceled, and the ticket price is $84 plus $28 of airport fees.

This was an experimental action by S7 (these prices were also introduced to two other cities), and after analyzing the results “Sibir” will make a decision on weather to continue similar actions.

Carrefour’s plans in southern Russia

Russia March 24th, 2007

Real Estate Krasnodar reports on Carrefour’s plans in Russia.

You can read the full article on Real Estate Krasnodar blog »

Archeologists find ancient writings on Sochi’s dolmens

Russia, Sochi News March 24th, 2007

 Sochi dolmen

«Dolmens are a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of three or more upright stones (megaliths) supporting a large flat horizontal capstone (table). Dolmens were usually covered with earth or smaller stones to form a barrow, though in many cases that covering has weathered away, leaving only the stone ‘skeleton’ of the burial mound intact.»
– Wikipedia

The monuments date between the end of the 4th millennium and the beginning of the 2nd millennium B.C. — that’s older that Pyramids of Egypt! Read the rest of this entry »

After IOC visit more Russians believe its possible for Sochi to win 2014 Olympic bid

Olympics 2014, Russia March 14th, 2007

61% or Russians believe Sochi has better chances to win 2014 Olympics bid then its competitors, Salzburg and PyeongChang. 11% believe in Salzburg’s chances, and 5% in PyeongChang’s. This was revealed during most recent survey by the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM). Same survey showed that 81% of Russians thinks that it is important that 2014 Olympics will take place in Sochi, 43% of which think its “very important”, and 38% think its “rather important”.

Last year’s survey showed that only 45% of Russians believed in Sochi’s chances.

Average salary in 2006 was $350/mo

Russia, Sochi News March 1st, 2007

«Narodnaya gazeta Sochi» reports that average monthly salary in Sochi in 2006 was 9270 rubles, which is around $350 US.

Average monthly salary in Russia in 2006 was 10736 rubles, around $405 US.

Tu-134 and Tu-154 planes will be banned in Russia in five years

Russia February 17th, 2007

Russian Ministry of Transportation announced today new rules which are intended to improve air-travel safety in Russia. Igor Levitin, Russian minister of transportation, said that all Russian airline companies will have to replace all their Tu-134 and Tu-154 airplanes. Around 270 of these planes are operating in Russia today. It is expected that many of these planes will be replaces by new Sukhoi SuperJet 100 (formerly known as Russian Regional Jet or RRJ) which is expected to be approved for commercial use soon, and by regional Airbus jets. Among other rules is increased training time required for pilots and mandatory installation of training simulators in Russian Federation for any airplane that will be certified to fly in Russia.


This is great news. I’m 185 cm tall, and my legs simply don’t fit between my chair and the one in front on both of these planes, and I’m glad they’re finally doing something about it :)