Fire in the Pskov Kremlin

Pskov Kreml

Pskov Kreml - Source: RIA Novosti

RIA Novosti:

MOSCOW, April 28 – RIA Novosti. A fire that broke out on Wednesday night, destroyed the roof and the wooden structures of two of the seven towers of the Pskov Kremlin, which is a monument of architecture the representative of Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia in the Pskov region told RIA Novosti.

“The fire started Tuesday around half past eleven at night. Passers saw the burning roof of Vlasyevsky tower and reported it to the guard service”, – said representative of the MOE.
According to her, at the arrival of firefighters Vlasyevsky wooden roof of the tower was burning openly and the fire began spreading to the Rybinsk tower.
“They failed to stop the further spread of the fire. The fire lead to sever damage to roofs and the wooden structures of the two stone towers”, – a representative of the agency said.
According to her, fighting the fire was hampered by the considerable height of the towers – the Vlasyevsky tower, which has suffered more, is up to 30 meters, Rybinsk – is about 20 meters high.

In the region in recent days there was no significant rain, so the dry wooden structures burned pretty quickly. Fire in the Pskov Kremlin was extinguished by about 40 people with 11 items of equipment, including two trucks and telescopic ladder.
“Right now, fire shed wooden structures. Carrying out investigative steps to determine the cause of the fire,” – said the representative of the MOE.

Pskov Kremlin – is a historical and architectural center of Pskov. An architectural monument located on a narrow and high promontory of an area of about three hectares, at the confluence of the rivers Pskov an Velikaya.

Troytzky Sobor

Troytzky Sobor - Source: Wikimedia

The Trinity Cathedral, Троицкий собор, which is inside the Pskov Kremlin, was not damaged by the fire.
Currently, there are investigations ongoing as to the cause of the fire. While authorities have called on people not to rush to judgments as to the cause of the fire, the media are forwarding two possible causes: Arson and electrical equipment malfunctioning.

The history of the Trinity Cathedral goes back at least to the 11th century, according to Wikipedia.

Some nice pictures of the Pskov Kremlin are at RIA Novosti.

In Spain Unemployment Reaches 20 Percent

From El Pais:

In the end, and as become a habit during the current crisis, the worst predictions on the labour market have materialised. The unemployment rate in Spain has surged during the three first month of the year and has at the end of March reached 20% for the first time since 1997, according to data of the Encuesta de la Población Activa which were released yesterday by error by the INE [National Institute of Statistics] on their web site and were published today in ABC [another Spanish newspaper].

The National Institute of Statistics confirmed in a publication this morning that “there was an incident” during the validation processed and readied for distribution, and that “some of the data was temporarily visible on the web.”

Note: The official data will be released as planned on Friday this week.

This is the data and visualisation from ABC:

Russian State Duma approves Black See Fleet Treaty with Ukraine

Black Sea FleetFrom RIA Novosti:

MOSCOW, April 27 – RIA Novosti. The State Duma ratified on Tuesday the agreement between Russia and Ukraine to extend the Russian Black Sea Fleet (BSF) on the Crimea for 25 more years after May 28, 2017, with [the possibility of] further prolongation of the agreement by five-year periods by mutual agreement of the parties.

410 deputies have voted unanimously for this treaty. The members of the LDPR faction did not participate in the voting. As previously stated by the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the LDPR faction will not vote for ratification of the agreement with Ukraine on the extension of the Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, because there is no assurance that this contract will be performed by the Ukrainian side. As a second reason the party’s leader called it to be “the wrong approach from the beginning.”

Earlier on Tuesday, the agreement that has been signed by the presidents of two countries on April 21, was ratified by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Note that Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is stationed in Sevastopol which is situated on the Crimean Peninsula, which today forms part of independent Ukraine.

North Korea said to prepare new nuclear test

This news from ITAR-TASS:

SEOUL, April 20. Itar-Tass. Since February the DPRK is preparing the third test of nuclear weapons. It may take place in May or June this year, said today the South Korean radio station YTN, citing an unnamed diplomatic sources.

According to them, Pyongyang is preparing a nuclear test on a considerably higher technical level than the first two test explosions of nuclear devices, which were held on October 9, 2006 and May 25, 2009. The power of the second test was, according to experts, from 10 to 20 kt. Both trials have been recognized abroad, as at best, “partially successful”. At the same time North Korea has a program to create its own ballistic missiles.

We will see how the West reacts to that, probably with the usual condemning.

Medvedev arrived in Krakow – By Plane

While many Western, especially European leaders didn’t want to take the risk of flying to Krakow for the funeral of deceased President Kaczynski, Russian president Medvedev seems to have been unimpressed and had his plane fly to Krakow:

МОСКВА, 18 апр – РИА Новости. Президент РФ Дмитрий Медведев вылетел из Москвы в Краков, чтобы принять участие в траурной церемонии похорон президента Польши Леха Качиньского, погибшего 10 апреля в авиакатастрофе под Смоленском, сообщила пресс-секретарь президента РФ Наталья Тимакова.

Moscow, April 18 – RIA Novosti. President of the Russian Federation, Dimitri Medvedev flew from Moscow to Krakow to participate in the funeral ceremony for the Polish president Lech Kaczynski, who died April 10 in an air crash near Smolensk, said the Russian presidents press secretary in a communique.

Russian technology is very resilient in unfavourable circumstances. He is being flown around in an Ilyushin Il-96 300 in case your interested, but not the standard one, of course. It was commissioned under Putin with a quite luxurious interior, pictures are here.

Source: RIA Novosti.

Venezuela and China Sign New Cooperation Treaties

Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez

From El Nacional:

The Republic of Venezuela and the People’s Republic of China on Saturday signed new treaties for cooperation and improvement of bilateral ties, during a working session of the President of Venezuela with the delegation from Asia.

Both nations signed seven new treaties in the field of oil, technology and infrastructure.

In accordance with recent remarks from the Ministry of Pubic Works and Housing (Mopvi in Spanish), Diosdado Cabello, an important support from China in infrastructure projects is planned, like the construction and maintainance of railways and housing.

In the meeting the Venezuelan president expressed his condolences to the Chinese people:

The dignitary expressed regrets to the people of China for theterrible hours which obliged the president to suspend his voyage” due to the earthquake which cost the live of more than a 1000.

“This tragedy which we feel as well in our hearts and minds, represent a hurt that we sharing” he added.

“Despite the tragedy we decided to not postpone these treaties which have a high social, political and economical importance which are easily overlooked.”

These treaties seem to be important to both countries. China is looking mainly for oil and Venezuela wants to put a satellite into space. As Hugo Chavez said:

Chávez aseguró que la relación entre ambas repúblicas van ‘desde la búsqueda del petróleo hasta el satélite Simón Bolívar”.

Source: El Nacional.

Russia to invest in Argentinian Nuclear Power

Russian President Medvedev is currently visiting Argentina. On his visit contracts  or the development of nuclear power in Argentina were signed by representatives of the two countries. Ria Novosti writes:

Russia intends to invest in Argentina, in atomic energy alone, a few billion dollars, said President Dmitry Medvedev, speaking at a press conference with his Argentine counterpart Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Medvedev noted that many documents were signed today , and now the main task was to implement them.

“Let’s say, for example about nuclear power, that the arrival of a Russian company, Rosatom, on the market of Argentina would involve several billions of dollars of investments in the creation of the appropriate power blocks, as well as infrastructure development,” – said Medvedev.

He noted that such projects usually create a multiplier effect, developing not only the energy, but also creating new jobs, creating new projects and helping develop the business environment.

After signing the agreements on cooperation, they held a common press conference. La Nacion quotes:

This is the first president of Russia in the 200 years of the State, and he is received by the first elected female president of Argentina, and it rains, ” said Cristina Kirchner.

Medvedev replied: “Coincidentally, this visit is accompanied by certain good signs, including the rain.”

President Medvedev arrived in Buenos Aires with an extensive agenda centered on enhancing the bilateral interchange in nuclear material and on the developing the military cooperation to peaceful ends. He was accompanied by a numerous delegation of entrepreneurs and officials, writes La Nacion.