Saturday, April 11, 2009

Even the Russians love The Little Mermaid

2003 Murder Case Closed

The investigation into the mysterious death of investigative reporter Yuri Shchekochikhin closed on April 9, 2009. Reports claimed that his death was no more than an allergic reaction. Oddly, two of his other colleagues from the Novaya gazeta were also shot down in 2006 and as recently as January 2009. All three of the victimes were reporters covering the situation in Chechnya, specifically the capturing of Russian soldiers. Of course there is no proof of a link between these murders and ex-president Vladimir Putin's intense hunting of overly expressive media, but everyone is entitled to their own theories, at least until they get shot.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Russian Journalist dies...shocker

There is much controversy over the latest attack on Russian journalist Sergey Protazanov. Reporters without Borders finds the whole situation to be alarming and disappointing in today's fight to protect journalists living in countries with poor press freedoms. The police have filed reports claiming the death took place due to poisoning by an unknown substance rather than the attack that landed Protazanov in the hospital. It is quite interesting that Protazanov was covering a story about the irregularities regarding mayor-elect Victor Strelchenko. It leads all to wonder what ties this new mayor may have with the Russian mafia given their infamous involvement in dead end murder cases. What secret did Protazanov uncover??

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Russian Cinema

Ten Films Recommended by Russia Today:

1. Beloe solntse pustini (The White Sun of the Desert)
2. Semnadtsat mgnoveniy vesny (Seventeen Moments of Spring)
3. Mesto vstrechi izmenit nelzya (Can’t Change the Meeting Place)
4. Sherlok Holms i doktor Vatson (Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson)
5. Kavkazskaya plennitsa (Kidnapping Caucasian Style)
6. Stalker
7. Brilliantovaya ruka (Diamond Arm)
8. Kin-Dza-Dza
9. Sobachye Serdtse (Heart of a Dog)
10. Ironiya sudby, ili s legkim parom! (The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath!)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Moscow Fashion Week 2009

Here is a clip of one of the top designers from Moscow Fashion Week, Ursula Pelt...please notice the initial cig at the end of the catwalk? I wonder if that would EVER happen at NYC Fashion Week?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Russian billionaire bailout...will it work?

Read this Reuters report to see if you think this plan will work...

Thomson Reuters

MOSCOW, March 23 (Reuters) - Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, Russia's richest man, has offered to bail out indebted financial news provider RBC, investment bank Renaissance Capital said on Monday, boosting the media firm's stock over 30 percent.
Renaissance Capital, half-owned by Prokhorov, said it was proposing upping the share capital at RBC. The mining tycoon's Onexim investment group would buy 65 percent of the new share capital for $35 million, the bank said in a statement.
'Such a decision will not only save the business of RBC and regain the trust of advertisers, partners and employees, but also create new opportunities for the development of the company during the crisis,' said Ruben Aganbegyan, chief executive of Renaissance Capital in Russia.
RBC declined to comment on the proposal.
Renaissance Capital said the $35 million would finance operations and partial repayment of debts. A source close to RBC, who declined to be identified, estimated the company's total debt at between $200 million and $230 million.
At Friday's close, RBC's market capitalisation was about $52 million. RBC shares, which have been creeping up in recent days, soared 31.3 percent on Monday to 16.58 roubles.
Renaissance Capital said that, under its plan, creditors would be offered a three-part settlement. First, all creditors would simultaneously receive 8 percent of the total sum of their debt in cash.
They could then choose to write off 65 percent of RBC's debt with the remainder to be repaid in three years, or write off 45 percent with the remainder to be repaid in seven years.
Third, all creditors would receive a proportional stake of the company's new share capital. The total share to be held by creditors would be 10 percent of the new share capital.
Rosbank, another financial institution owned by Prokhorov, already owns 12 percent of RBC.
Prokhorov secured his place at the top of Russia's rich list by selling real estate interests and a quarter of Norilsk Nickel before the financial crisis took hold.
RBC must repay a 1.5 billion rouble ($45.05 million) bond with a $5 million coupon payment on Tuesday. Another RBC bond issue was trading at an average price of 15 percent of face value on Monday. It rose to 21 percent on the news.
(Reporting by Melissa Akin, Anton Doroshev and Olga Popova; Editing by Andrew Macdonald)
($1=33.30 Rouble) Keywords: RUSSIA RBC/RESCUE
(; +7 495 775 1242)
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2009. All rights reserved.