| JRL Home | JRL Simple/Mobile | RSS | Newswire | Archives | JRL Newsletter | Support | About
Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson

What lies in store in 2011

DumaSome plans for 2011 are already taking shape, and there will be some important anniversaries. From Duma elections to 20 years of Russian democracy, to a re-opened Bolshoi, here are some things to look out for.


In 2011 Russia will start selling government property to fight the budget deficit. They hope to get 300 billion roubles ($9.84 billion) from freeing federal property from its apron strings and from selling regional assets. Some of the first companies under the hammer are banks VTB and Sberbank, with 10 and 7.6 per cent to be sold respectively. Privatisation is to continue until 2015 and the total amount they make should come to 1.8 trillion roubles.

Sochi Mascots

Starting from Feb. 7 everyone can help choose new mascots for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and Paralympic Games, the results are to be announced later that month. A short-list has been chosen. Cynical bloggers will be disappointed to learn that "saw" is not one of the options, as in Russian slang "to saw" means embezzle money. It had subsequently been banded about the web as an irreverent candidate for the mascot.

Police reform

There will be no more militsiya, as the new police bill is expected to come into force on March 1. Apart from renaming the force to make it sound less menacing, the law aims to cut corruption and make the force more efficient.

Happy 80th birthday Gorbachev!

Mikhail Gorbachev, the first and only president of the Soviet Union and Nobel Peace Prize winner, turns 80 on March 2. The end of the Cold War and Perestroika were just few moments of history that he contributed to.

Gagarin's space anniversary

Half a century ago Yury Gagarin became the first human being to reach outer space and orbit the Earth. Although he died tragically young his name has been given to numerous districts, streets, parks and school all over the former Soviet Union. April 12, long celebrated as Cosmonauts Day, will be the focal of a special 50th anniversary commemoration of the literally out of this world flight.

Chernobyl anniversary

April 26 will mark a quarter of a century since the Chernobyl Atomic Power Plant explosion - and 25 years on the site of arguably the greatest ever ecological catastrophe is to be opened to tourists. The radiation doze you get from staying there for 4-5 days is equivalent to two transatlantic flights, RIA Novosti reported.

August Putsch

August marks 20 years since the last nail in the coffin of the Soviet Union. Unsuccessful attempts to stop Gorbachev's reforms and bring the Soviet era back failed, paving the way for a new generation of politicians.

North Stream

New routes for Russian gas will be opening up in September, when the first segments of the Nord Stream pipeline will start operations. The pipeline under the Baltic sea will open new markets in the West, and Gazprom has already signed long-term supply contracts with France, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK.

Bolshoi re-opens

Russia's main stage, the Bolshoi Theatre is finally going to open after a six-year restoration. The first concert has been announced in September, "Sleeping Beauty," the first ballet staged by Grigorovich, should be performed in October, and the first opera - Chernyakov's "Ruslan and Lyudmila" will greet the public in November.

Duma elections

The Russian parliament is to be elected on Dec. 4. Although a United Russia victory is expected there are still some question marks hovering, for example, whether Vladimir Putin will head the party or whether a new democratic force "For Russia with no lawlessness and corruption" will manage to register as a party and participate.


Keyword Tags:

Russia, Government, Politics - Russia News - Russia - Johnson's Russia List

Bookmark and Share - Back to the Top -        


Bookmark and Share

- Back to the Top -        

  Follow Johnson's Russia List on Twitter Tweet