Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Presidential candidates

On Monday January 28th, the final list of the candidates for the Russian presidential election for presented by the Central Election Committee. The list is short and simple:

- Gennady Zyuganov - the Russian Communist Party.
- Vladimir Zhirinovsky - the Liberal Democtratic Party, its most recent recruit includes Andrei Lugovoi, the main suspect behind poisoning Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB agent.
- Andrei Bogdanov - Democratic Party, an unknown, a mystery, a "spoiler" as he calls himself behind the scenes.
- Dmitry Medvedev - current deputy prime-minister, chosen presidential succesor.

Another candidate, former prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov (May 2000 - February 2004) had been disqualified due to the electorate finding too many suspicious signatures in the list of his supporters.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A January in Russia

The whole world has a tendecy to complain about the amount of vacation Europeans and especially Mediterranean citizens get. If you count all the Santos, Santas, Christmas, New Year, Indepedence, Worker, Mother, Father...Grandmother days, add to that siestas, the dead month of August and the concept of manana - you do not keep but wonder how Europe ever mananged to become a First world country.

Russia, although lagging behind, manages to hit back in January. In fact, while the world goes through some of the worst stock market days since September 11, holds the World Economic Forum in Davos, Russia only barely manages to wake up.

Here is a quick snapshot of the January celebrations:

December 31st - January 8th - state holidays
January 7th - the old Russian Christmas
January 14th - the old Russian New Year
January 25th - Tatiana's and Student Day.

Excellent, it's the perfect time to have a break during the heart of winter! May be, if it was not for the amount of emails that you have to go through when back and the fact the the world seems to just move on without waiting.