Russian parents unite to protect orphans
Novye Izvestia reports of a new public organization, created on Saturday – the All-Russian Parents' Resistance (APR). The body was established at Saturday’s Parents’ Congress in Moscow, during which President Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit, who offered his support to the “true patriots of Russia”, as he called the APR. The initiative was spearheaded by Sergei Kurginyan, head of the movement “Essense of Time”, who outlined current priorities – protection of Russian kids from adoption to foreign families. another strong agenda voiced at the rally is opposition to juvenile justice – Kurginyan stated that almost 200,000 signatures were gathered against so-called “juvenile legislature”. Putin highlighted that the state can interfere in family matters only in emergency situations; it needs to be very delicate at that; the president admitted that a number of bills are ambiguous and may not completely accommodate for Russian family traditions. As far as adoptions go, Putin reiterated that Russian orphans need to be adopted by Russian parents, pointing out that the number of Russian potential adoptive parents is growing and further optimization of the bureaucratic process and incentives for adoption are required. Alexey Golovan’, Executive Director of the Charity Center “Fellowship in Fate”, believes that these proposals indicate the society refused the idea of legally outlined child protection: quote “[it’s] imperfect it does not correspond to requirements of protection of children’s interests.” unquote
Izvestia reminds that during his visit to Russia, Mark Zuckerberg met with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Skolkovo, the innovation center dubbed “Russian Silicone Valley”, where the official proposed to the founder of Facebook to open a local research center. According to the president of the Skolkovo Foundation Victor Vekselber, the innovation center and Facebook are currently not involved in any plans for cooperation and there is no information wther Facebook plans to establish a presence in Skolkovo in future. However, another top dog of the technology world may take its place – the official stated that currently the Foundation is in talks with Apple on the nature of imminent collaboration. The daily also talked with German Klimenko, founder of LiveInternet, a blog platform, media and context ad system and online stats tracker. He believes that Skolkovo needs large IT corporations primarily for bragging rights. Quote “The Government, Skolkovko and Facebook will lose nothing if the innovation center never hosts Facebook’s R&D center.” Unquote. He explained that if Facebook needs Russian coders, they’ll simply invite them or hire remotely; at this time, it doesn’t seem Facebook needs to be physically located in Russia. The expert believes that those companies that are located in Skolkovo require presence for a number of reasons – for example, to oversee local logistics or take care of red tape.
The Moscow Times writes that secret US Defense Department studies cast doubt on whether a multibillion-dollar missile defense system planned for Europe will ever be able to protect the U.S. from Iranian missiles as intended. The studies are the latest to highlight serious problems for a plan that has been criticized on several fronts. Republicans say it was hastily drawn up in an attempt to appease Russia, which had opposed an earlier system. The daily reminds that regardless, Russia is also critical of the plan, which it believes is really intended to counter not Iranian, but Russian missiles. A series of governmental and scientific reports has cast doubt on whether it would ever work as planned. The article highlights that a new missile defense system aimed at Russia could undermine the balance between the nuclear powers, prompting Moscow to add to its arsenal and build up its own defenses. It would undermine prospects for further cuts in nuclear weapons, a priority for President Barack Obama, and could also hurt U.S.-Russian cooperation on other issues of international importance. Current alternatives for housing interceptors include Poland ships in the North Sea – both are likely to reinforce Russia's belief that it, not Iran, is the target of the system, the newspaper concludes.
Alcohol commercials have been banned from Russian television for a few months now. Yet still beer and vodka is being advertised through Russian TV, RBC Daily writes. Turns out, they’re exploiting a loophole left by Russian lawmakers to accommodate for live coverage of international events – ads shown on stadiums located outside of Russia’s jurisdiction are shown as is; thus companies interested in maintaining their presence on the Russian market are now buying out advertisement locations during matches featuring Russian teams. A vivid example of such questionable practice was aired February 6th – a friendly soccer match between Russia and Iceland, hosted by an Spanish stadium. According to TNS Russia, over 10% of adult Muscovites tuned in – and that means they were exposed to Russian beer and vodka ads. Representatives of beer companies, Federal Antimonopoly Service and legal experts all agree than this practice breaks no laws. Only one person interviewed by the daily was outraged – Stanislav Kaufman, creator of several vodka brands, believes that the Antimonopoly agency is not doing their job – ignoring Russian alcohol ads featured during live sporting events while going after them in .ru and .com domain zones seems oddly selective, he conclded.