MOSCOW, March 5 (RIA Novosti)
Miss Russia Falls Victim to Ethnic Abuse Online
Siberian beauty Elmira Abdrazakova, crowned Miss Russia last weekend, came under unexpected fire for having a Tatar father and “non-Russian” looks.
Before she sparkled in the national beauty pageant, the 18-year-old student from a small miners’ town never thought her looks could spark such angry passion.
So what did she do to provoke this response from so many online critics? Could it be that the pageant jury offended the numerous connoisseurs of female beauty by selecting someone who does not fit international beauty standards? Well, she is 5’9” and measures 33.9”-23.6”-36.2” (86-60-92 cm), accepted beauty queen proportions.
Or maybe she is beautiful but stupid? This happens. But that’s obviously not the case here considering she’s a student at the Siberian Transport University.
Maybe the jury was hoping for bribe money? Unlikely: she comes from a modest family with a single mother and a brother. Her mother is a teacher.
Elmira is an ordinary Russian girl. True, she is only half Russian ethnically; her father being of Tatar descent. But in fact very few Russians can boast that they have not a single drop of Tatar blood in them. So what’s wrong with her?
This may be the issue: she’s not the kind of girl that tycoons would appreciate or would want as an escort. This is what annoys them so much.
When people rant about politicians or billionaires, their attitude is at least understandable. Others hate their co-workers or neighbors, which is not a big surprise either. But intimidating an 18-year-old girl is something beyond reason. This is substandard behavior for anyone who calls himself a man.
Those from Fratria, the FC Spartak Moscow fan club, who abused her online, ought to be ashamed of their attitude. Their misplaced attempt at humiliation by comparing her with their own ideal, the blond Miss Spartak, was certainly unprovoked. Why would the supporters of a team that has been the home of several famous ethnic Tatar stars – Galimzyan Khusaimov, Rinat Dasayev and Vagiz Khidiyatullin – be so annoyed by her being half-Tatar? What is the issue?
Even the MK website administrator, not an easy man to shock given the broad range of controversial issues and personalities this newspaper typically deals with, had to shut down the comments page on the piece about Abdrazakova on Monday. He closed it because he was offended by the landslide of uncivilized insults aimed at Elmira, her looks and her ethnicity. The next day she closed her page on the VKontakte social network.
They say beauty knows no pain. But it does, now.
Putin Promotes Customs Union for Yanukovych’s Benefit
Yesterday, Vladimir Putin met with his Ukrainian counterpart, Viktor Yanukovych, at the Zavidovo residence to discuss the future of Ukraine’s gas contracts and Ukraine’s potential membership in the Customs Union.
The leaders outlined the prospects for this renewed partnership during a question and answer session.
“There are no analysts in either Ukraine or Russia who would be against the accession of Ukraine to the Customs Union,” Vladimir Putin noted.
The Ukrainian President agreed but admitted the issue was more of political one.
“We respect your decision whatever it is,” said Putin.
The Zavidovo residence is part of a hunting estate on the Moscow-Tver regional line. To promote a less formal atmosphere, the two leaders didn’t wear ties during their meeting.
At the beginning of the talks, the presidents sat by the fire and outlined the main points for the media. They included cooperation in high-tech, aircraft engineering (production of the An-124) and nuclear energy. The heads of state discussed the upcoming inter-regional forum in Nizhny Novgorod. Viktor Yanukovych pointed out that the regions were quicker at making agreements than the presidents.
“Our remaining issues haven’t changed. We need to work out the relationship between Ukraine and the Customs Union and what Russia and Ukraine stand to lose as a result of lower gas sales.”
Yanukovych acknowledged the efforts of the experts in working for a resolution to the gas issue. Ukraine is seeking an almost 50 percent cut in prices and wants to toss out the penalties for failure to meet pre-specified purchase volumes.
The meeting continued behind closed doors, but before the media left the room our correspondent asked if Ukraine’s accession to the Customs Union would be discussed.
Vladimir Putin quoted statistics from Russian analysts and, more importantly for Yanukovych, data from the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences’ Forecasting Institute.
“Ukraine can expect 1.5 to 6 percent GDP growth as a member of the union.”
Putin also suggested that the more Russia integrates with Kazakhstan and Belarus, the more difficult it will be for Ukraine to catch up later.
Viktor Yanukovych admitted Ukraine was far behind the Customs Union in terms of regulations. The framework for the Customs Union took eight years to develop. Ukraine was considering membership before the Orange Revolution that, among other things, diverted the country away from integrating with its neighbors. Yanukovych added there are opponents to Ukraine’s membership inside Ukraine and that the issue has more to do with politics than the economy.
Indonesian Superjet Contract Falls Through
Indonesia’s Kartika Airlines and Russia’s Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company signed a $900 million contract in 2010, for the delivery of 30 Sukhoi Superjet-100 airliners. Unfortunately, the Indonesian airline has since filed for bankruptcy.
The Russian-Indonesian contract had not gone through the required approval processes and was thus delayed, Mikhail Pogosyan, President of United Aircraft Corporation, which unites all Russian aircraft-production assets, said on Monday.
At this point, Kartika Airlines is only operating three planes, said Roman Gusarov, Editor-in-Chief of the Avia.ru aviation news website. In 2012, this Indonesian airline was banned from flying to the European Union. Gusarov said the Superjet-100 contract, which was mythical from the start, would have increased Kartika’s fleet ten times over. He added that several other contracts have fallen through as well. Malev and Kuban Airlines have ceased operations, and Finance Leasing Company (FLC) had gone bankrupt.
“Our plans have not gone as we had hoped when we were signing the contract,” Pogosyan said. He added that certain transaction provisions in the contract had to be approved by the shareholders and Indonesia’s aviation authorities.
Sky Aviation, another Indonesian airline, which plans to buy 12 SSJ-100s, received its first plane last week. United Aircraft Corporation has signed contracts for the delivery of 179 SSJ-100 airliners with a catalogue value of $5.4 billion. Russian flag carrier Aeroflot and Mexico’s Interjet are among the recipients.
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The solution to the Ukrainian problem will directly depend on how the military operations unfold in Donbass. If the militia fighters take over the strategic initiative, win back Donbass and extend the war to the Zaporozhye and the Kharkov regions, then Kiev will be more amenable to a compromise