Archive for June, 2008

Blast from the past – elaboration and comparison

Other stories, Russia June 29th, 2008

The Times article from 1960’s, the copy of which I posted couple of days ago, brought some nostalgic memories :) and desire to elaborate on it and compare to present day. The article is rather good, so, these are not the notes of critique. To follow the read below you’d probably want to read the original article first.

I was born in Sochi in late seventies, and growing up there in eighties I have to note, that not much was changed since the times described by the Times’ correspondent to my childhood days. There were still putevkas, trip vouchers of a sort, and savages, the people who traveled to the Black sea resorts on their own. “Savages” (dikari in Russian), because their lodging was not civilized — or rather not luxurious, by Soviet standards, as stay of people settled in Sochi spas.

The source of the problem

The city of Sochi was established Read the rest of this entry »

Blast from the past (Times article from 1961)

Other stories June 26th, 2008

As you may have heard, UK’s Times newspaper has opened free access to its complete archive — all papers since 1785! I’ve searched articles on Sochi, and found a few that mentioned the city — confrontation of Reds and Whites in the beginning of the century, bombings by Nazis in 40x, travel ads in 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s — but found only one article all about Sochi. It is “Contrasts on Black Sea Riviera” published on November 28, 1961.

Even though I wasn’t around in 1961, I was growing up in Sochi during 80’s, and have to say it was mostly the same as described in this article. The article is rather long, so I’ll post only the copy of the article itself here for now, and my comments on it will come later in a separate post, along with some old postcards scans, so you can get a feel of what Sochi was like three-four decades back.

So, follwing is the “Contrasts on Black Sea Riviera” Times article about Sochi from 1961: Read the rest of this entry »

Coming soon: “Kinotavr” film festival and International cinema-market

Events, Sochi News June 1st, 2008

Kinotavr old logo19th Open Russian Film Festival Kinotavr 2008 will take place in Sochi on June 7 – 15 this year. The official website is (Eng), and you can read my article with photos about last year’s «Kinotavr 2007» here. If interested to go, shop around, at least for the air fair, as prices listed on their tour website are pretty crazy.

During the same time — June 5-10 — Sochi will host 75-th Russian international cinema-market (Kinorynok or Kinorinok). This biggest event of the Russian and xUSSR republics’ film industry takes place three times a year, twice in Moscow (March & December) and in Sochi. It attracts over 1000 representatives from film studios, distribution companies, film producers, creative groups, movie theatres, and companies producing wide range of equipment and services for the film industry.

The official website of the event, with programme, floor layouts, photos, etc., is (Rus)

Geographically, these two events will be happening very close to each other, right in Sochi’s center.

Here are a few photos from previous Kinorynok events: Read the rest of this entry »

Special deal on direct Sochi-Vienna flights

Sochi News June 1st, 2008

Russian page of Austrian Airlines lists special price for roundtrip direct flighs to Sochi — 13.655 RUB which is around 370€. This doesn’t include taxes and other fees, so you should check with Austrian on the details. The announced prices are valid through the end of July.

Here’s the link to announcement (in Russian).

3G network in Sochi soon

Sochi News June 1st, 2008

MTS - Mobile TeleSystemsMTS, Russia’s largest mobile telecom company, announced few days ago that it’s “technically ready” for commercial launch of 3G network in Sochi, as well as two other cities – Yekaterinburg and Kazan.

With the new 3G network, MTS will allow users to benefit from faster data transfer speeds (up to 3.6 Mbps) as compared to the current 2.5G EDGE network. Also, special 3G services will be offered, including video telephony, 3G roaming and mobile TV.

Read full press release »

The only other company I know that launched 3G in Russia is MegaFon, the third largest Russian carrier. Though right now, if I remember correctly, it is only available in St.-Petersburg, and they haven’t announced what other cities they are planning to expand it to next.