Friday, 29 May 2015

Your own home - by your own hands!

I'm not sure of the exact translation of this poster is, or what exactly the viewer is being exhorted to do  "GIVE (help) MZhK! Moskovski Zhilikh Kvartali (Moscow Apartments) Your own home by your own hands".

I bought this poster back in 1989 from the huge book shop  - Dom Knigi - on Kalinin Prospekt (now Novy Arbat) in Moscow.  I had it on my bedroom wall for while when I lived at my parents, but probably chucked it out when I moved into my own place.  

I had a few other Soviet propaganda posters as well, but this was my favourite.  I had forgotten about it for 26 years until last month when my mate Steve, with whom I went to Russia in 1988 and '89, was having a clear out at his house and found this very poster.  He was going to throw it out, but fortunately he asked me if I would like it.  Well, I refuse nowt!  So it is now hanging in my kitchen. For how long - I don't know - but I'm sure it'll be gone soon if wor lass gets her way!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov at Science Museum London

Alexei Leonov, is in London Today at the Science Museum.  The 80 year old retired Cosmonaut, most famous for being the first man to walk in space, was at the museum's announcement of a forthcoming exhibition on Soviet / Russian space travel "Cosmonauts".  This year marked the 50th anniversary of his pioneering space walk:
Leonov also took part in another famous space expedition - 1975 Apollo-Soyuz mission – Soyuz 19 – the first joint space mission between the Soviet Union and the United States.
The Science Museum's exhibition "Cosmonauts" opens in London on 18th September 2015.  This is the blurb from their website:
In 1957 Russia launched the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik, into space and just four years later sent the first ever human – Yuri Gagarin. Discover the dramatic story of how Russia turned the dream of space travel into a reality and became the first nation to explore space in this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition.
Cosmonauts will reveal the most significant collection of Russian spacecraft and artefacts ever to be shown in the UK. Come face-to-face with Vostok-6, the capsule flown by Valentina Tereshkova, the first ever woman in space, and examine the fascinating gadgets cosmonauts need to live in space, including a shower, toilet, medical instruments and survival kits for crash landings. 
Explore the historical, cultural and spiritual context of Russian space travel, shaped especially by the turbulent early decades of the twentieth century. See poignant testimonies and memorabilia belonging to some of the biggest names in spaceflight and discover the deeply personal stories of the pioneers who kick-started the space age.
Opens 18 September 2015
Exhibition will be open until 22.00 every Friday 

Friday, 15 May 2015

McDonald's sanction busting restaurant opening

McDonald's has opened its 500th restaurant in Russia, 25 years after the company opened its first fast food restaurant in the Soviet Union.  The restaurant in Russia's 4th largest city, Yekaterinburg, takes the number of McDonalds to 12 in city close to the Ural mountains.

Obviously if you are a big enough US company, you can be exempt from the sanctions your country is imposing on Russia.

Its probably a good job, given the hard time McDonald's has been having in Russia of late.

Following the closure (temporary or otherwise) of a number of McDonald's in Russia, arising from failed hygiene inspections, the company has permanently closed a restaurant for the first time in its 25-year history in Russia.  

TASS reported in April 2015 that a McDonald's restaurant in the Belgorod region to the south of Moscow, was closed after they were unable to agree on rental payments with the property's owner.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Happy 70 Years Victory Day - s Praznikom Pobyedi

This year is the 70th anniversary of the Victory against Nazism and Fascism in Europe.  The Soviet Union and the Allies defeated Nazi Germany and a formal surrender was signed on 8th May 1945 (9th of May Moscow Time).

Race for Berlin - a Soviet Soldier raises the Hammer & Sickle over the Reichstag
To mark the occasion in my own small way, I bought a St George Ribbon from eBay.