Man stabs eight people in northeast Moscow

Police detained a man who stabbed eight people in northeast Moscow on Friday afternoon, a police spokesman said.

“The number of victims has increased to eight. All of them have been taken to hospitals in Moscow,” the spokesman said.

In addition to the stabbing victims, one five-year-old boy received medical treatment for shock after witnessing the attack.

One severely wounded women was taken to clinical hospital #20 in northeast Moscow. Hospital authorities there declined to comment on her condition.



Jackson’s gold jackets reveal real Man in Mirror

The King of Pop had a collection of gloves and gold jackets to die for, but a closer look at his coveted accessories yields surprising insights. Now, photos of MJ’s personal items and scenic suits will go on show in Moscow for the first time ever.

­At the Pobeda gallery, Russian fans will have a chance to see another side of the legendary entertainer captured in revealing images by renowned American photographer Henry Leutwayler, whose credits include portraits of Michelle Obama, Julia Roberts, Beyonce and Martin Scorsese.

But the challenge this time around was to “destroy the media myth and create a portrait of the person” without much glitz and glamour.

Neverland Lost – A Portrait of Michael Jackson by Henry Leutwayler

­Leutwayler chose to focus on the material world of the iconic resident of Neverland ranch, who rose to the inaccessible peak of the musical Olympus – but eventually isolated himself from family and friends.

 “It was the story of a childhood sacrificed to musical gift and show. Neverland was a path which Jackson laid to the childhood,” the photographer explained.

Neverland Lost – A Portrait of Michael Jackson by Henry Leutwayler

­In 2009, he travelled to the singer’s “fortress” to take a photo of the King’s legendary white glove.  

“The house at Neverland had been vacant for several years till the time of my arrival. When I opened boxes with his belongings which were expecting auction, it evoked in me a deep sadness. The accessories of the King of Pop music were very simple. On sparkling shirts and gold jackets — sweat and cosmetics traces”.


Mars ‘astronauts’ are still friends after 520 days locked up together

After 520 days locked in a container in a Moscow car park with just each other for company, the six would-be astronauts hailed as Russia‘s newest pioneers have made their first public appearance.

The three Russians, two Europeans and their fellow volunteer from China took to the stage still dressed in the blue jumpsuits they wore at their exit ceremony on Friday, and sat quietly as officials attempted to repair a broken translation system. One hoped the technology inside the experiment – and on any future mission to Mars – would be more co-operative.

The men were all smiles, hailing new friendships born and knowledge gained during 18 months in lockdown. The fact they emerged alive – not just unbruised, but collegial – is enough for Russian space officials to shower the six men with awards and endless praise as though they had actually travelled the millions of miles to Mars.

“We are very good friends, even family members now,” said Wang Yue of China as they were presented to the press at a grand hall inside the state-run news agency, RIA-Novosti. He said that during downtime he kept busy by working on his Chinese calligraphy and reading books. Roman Charles of France taught him how to play guitar, though he preferred Hey Jude over Charles’s favourite song, Rocket Man.

“First of all, thank you for coming back,” said Alexander Kovalev, space reporter for RIA-Novosti, forgetting, perhaps, that the mission never went anywhere. “It’s a personal victory for each of you.”

Russian officials have gone to great lengths to present the experiment as an unmitigated success. Most of the press conference was taken up by the presenting of gifts – medals from Russian space officials, lucky red plates from the Chinese and visors from the European Space Agency. “You haven’t seen the sun for one and a half years,” said Christer Fugelsang, an astronaut with the ESA. “Maybe you need to protect your eyes.”

Yet questions remain: Were there really no fights? Did everyone really get along all the time? And how did these six men, starved of the affection of loved ones, make do among each other?

“There were no conflicts,” Sukhrov Kamolov, one of the Russian volunteers, told the Guardian. “If people are together for a long time, this can happen, but we understood in space it can become serious.” The solution?

“We had a sign up that said: ‘a fly can grow into an elephant'” – a Russian saying akin to “don’t make a mountain out of a molehill”.

Asked about his gaunt appearance, Kamolov insisted his 24 kilogram weight loss had been intentional. “I didn’t want to publicise it, but it was one of my plans,” he said. Charles said the same thing. He lost 10 kilograms and said “it was a wish on my part”.

How did they cope without their loved ones? “It was very difficult, of course, not to see my wife, and also my kids, but there was a goal and I had to keep my eye on it,” Kamolov said. Asked if the lack of affection was difficult, he answered: “I am a man.”

“It was known from the start that for one year and a half I wouldn’t see my girlfriend,” said Charles. “We coped like all people living far from each other cope – we exchanged messages and talked about the moment we’ll meet again.”

Charles said what he missed most were “cheese, wine and a nice crunchy baguette”. Alcohol was only broken out for birthdays and holidays. “It was powdered wine. As a Frenchman, I can say, it was not wine.”

The Russians were more stoical. “I served in the army,” Alexander Smolevsky told the press conference. “After living through that, you can live through any experiment.”

Russian Jury Convicts Caucasus Man In Football Fan’s Death

MOSCOW — A North Caucasian man has been found guilty of the premeditated murder of a Russian soccer fan in a highly resonant criminal case that triggered ultranationalist rioting near the Kremlin in December.

Late on October 20, the jury found that Aslan Cherkesov intended to shoot Yegor Sviridov dead with his stun gun on December 6, 2010 during a street brawl between Spartak Moscow soccer fans and six North Caucasian men including Cherkesov. 

The jury voted 8-4 in favor of conviction.

His five companions were all found guilty of hooliganism or inflicting light physical harm in connection with Sviridov’s death.

Mariya Semenko, a state prosecutor, told reporters that the jury’s verdict paves the way for them to receive stiff prison sentences.

“The prosecution believes the jury’s verdict to be lawful and well-founded,” she said. “The accused were found guilty of all charges, meaning that the jury agreed with the stance of the state prosecution that they do not deserve leniency.”

Sentencing is scheduled for October 25.

Self-Defense Claim Rejected

The Moscow City Court judge put 29 questions to the jury on which to base their verdict. The most important was whether Sviridov’s killing by Cherkesov was premeditated.

The jury deliberated for five hours after a full day in court and only reached a verdict with a vote late in the evening on October 20.

The defendants’ lawyers maintained that their clients had no intention of killing anyone but only wanted to end the fighting. They said they were outnumbered and acted in self-defense.

Cherkesov, an immigrant from Kabardino-Balkaria, intends to appeal the decision.

“This is a pretty serious verdict for my client,” Cherkesov’s lawyer, Dmitry Pankov, told national television after the trial. “On the most important charge eight versus four found him guilty. That means that four found him not guilty, while eight found him guilty of the murder of the Yegor Sviridov. We are definitely going appeal against the verdict.”

Fears Of Ethnic Clashes

There have been worries that a lenient sentence could spark ethnic clashes.

Yegor Sviridov’s murder in December became a rallying call for Russian nationalists, who rioted on Manezh Square near the Kremlin walls after Moscow police released two main suspects on bail. Dozens were injured in ethnic clashes that followed.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin laid flowers at the site of the shooting and called it a “tragedy.” The protests are seen as having had an impact on the authorities’ handling of nationalist issues. On October 19, the Moscow City Court sentenced three ultranationalists to between 17 and 24 years behind bars for the murder of a Tajik immigrant in Moscow in 2008.

Ultranationalists plan to conduct their annual “Russian March” on November 4 in Moscow despite being denied permission by city officials. Last year, the event was authorized and attracted several thousand people on the outskirts of Moscow.

The Sviridov case has again brought the use of stun guns in Russia under increased scrutiny.

Stun guns — also known as traumatic guns — shoot pellets or rubber bullets and are regarded as nonlethal.

Nonetheless, they have been linked to a number of deaths in recent years.

Man in Tver murdered in alleged satanic ritual

The body of a man who was allegedly killed in a brutal satanic ritual, has been found in the Tver Region, central Russia, the National Investigation Committee said on Monday.

On October 6 the 45-year old victim headed for an appointment to discuss a real estate deal, his wife said, adding that he took 400,000 rubles ($12,600) in cash.

When the police arrived at the address given by the woman, they found the mutilated body of her husband with multiple injuries, as well as numerous blood stains on the walls and pentagram symbols painted on the windows and mirrors.

No money was found at the crime scene. Investigation is underway.

Coming of age

Coming of age

Now in its 21st year, the Message To Man film festival will showcase the best documentary and animated films.

Published: September 21, 2011 (Issue # 1675)


‘Vivan Las Antipodas,’ which opens this year’s festival, depicts life on opposite poles of the globe.

Message To Man, Russia’s only international festival of documentary, animated and short non-documentary films kicks off on Sept. 23 at Avrora cinema with Viktor Kossakovsky’s much-discussed Russian-Spanish documentary “Vivan Las Antipodas” (Long Live the Antipodes!) that was shown at this year’s International Film Festival in Venice.

In search of people and places to feature in his 105-minute film, Kossakovsky embarked on a breathtaking journey that took him to contrasting environments on different continents. The resulting movie, described by critics as a “feast for the senses,” shows the lives of eight people living in parts of Argentina and China that are antipodes — that is, directly opposite each other on the globe.

The festival’s venues include Avrora movie theater, Dom Kino and the Erarta Museum of Modern Art.

The festival was originally established to provide Russian documentary makers with a stepping-stone to the international film scene, and has been a springboard for young and up-and-coming film directors since it was first held in 1988.

The 21st Message To Man event continues to focus on documentaries. Many of the films shown at the festival have rarely been screened and cannot easily be found anywhere else in Russia. During its history, the festival has created a fascinating collection of more than 28,000 films that have been shown at it.

Italian and Spanish connections abound on the program of this year’s festival in recognition of the Russia-Italy and Russia-Spain cross-cultural festivals that are being held this year. Italian and Spanish filmmakers will sit on the jury, and special screenings of Italian and Spanish films have been arranged.

One of the most keenly anticipated events this year is the screening of Bulgarian-American director Tchavdar Georgiev’s film “The Desert of Forbidden Art” about the dramatic life of the Russian artist Igor Savitsky, who rescued more than 40,000 works by the country’s avant-garde artists from the KGB and moved them to Uzbekistan to create a unique art collection.

The event’s anthropocentric philosophy has been carefully preserved by the festival’s president, Alexei Uchitel.

For the people behind Message to Man, individual humans and human life are sacred. The project’s ideologists are convinced that the more personalities there are in the world, the better a place it will be.


Alexei Uchitel, president of the Message To Man film festival.

“The name of the Message to Man festival has also become its mission,” said Angelina Lee, a spokeswoman for the film festival. “It refers to the Bible and reflects the essence of the festival’s purpose: Faith, hope, love, grace and compassion — eternal human values that we always need in life, as well as in films.”

In the 15 years since it was launched, Message To Man has been diverse enough to incorporate films about aged Eskimo hunters, Swedish authors and refugees starting new lives. In 2001, the controversial German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl’s documentaries on the Nazis, “Triumph of the Will” and “Olympia,” were shown, with Riefenstahl, then aged 98, coming to St. Petersburg to enjoy a standing ovation during one screening.

The festival was initially held once every two years, but has developed into an annual event. Since 1995, the debuts have been shown at a separate competition.

Uchitel admits that the festival is surviving against the odds. “To say that we are going against the grain is not enough: Every year I get the impression that we are teetering on the edge of a financial catastrophe,” the filmmaker said. “Raising funds for a non-commercial film event is a Herculean task. Very sadly, in Russia, art house films as well as original domestic films interest hardly anyone, from producers to the authorities, and from potential sponsors to potential spectators. The appetite for what we have been doing is, unfortunately, scarce.”

Message to Man is divided into international and national competitions. The international jury, which always features a winner of one of the previous events, awards the Golden Centaur Grand Prix and several Centaur prizes.

Nearly 3,000 films representing 74 countries were sent to the festival’s jury for pre-selection, and more than 350 films will compete for the Golden Centaur in both sections.

This year, the top prize comes with a cash award of $10,000. Additionally, winners in best documentary film, best short documentary film, best short feature film and best animated film categories will get $2,000. The three best films in the debut category will also be awarded $2,000 prizes.

The jury features an array of internationally established professionals: Italian filmmaker Gianfranco Rosi, Russian documentary filmmaker Vitaly Mansky, Polish film critic Mariusz Frukacz and Armenian director and producer Harutyun Kachatryan.

Message to Man runs through Sept. 30 at venues around the city. For a full program, visit the festival’s web site at

Man faces $675k in fines again for downloading music

For his sake, let’s hope that Joel Tenenbaum really likes the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The three tracks of theirs he downloaded off the Internet stand to cost him around $68,000.

A 2009 copyright case aimed at Tenenbaum found him responsible for a $675,000 verdict to be awarded to five record labels after he admitted to illegally sharing music online. The court found Tenenbaum liable after he confessed to offering-up 31 songs on the Kazaaa peer-to-peer file-sharing network four years earlier and responded by whopping him with $22,500 for each mp3 he made available . A year later US District Judge Nancy Gertner reduced the fine to only a fraction of the original verdict, citing the original decision as “unconstitutionally excessive.” Now a year, however, a federal appeals court has reinstated the original decision and Tenenbaum stands to pay ten-times the settlement from 2010.

The Obama administration has supported the fines of nearly $700,000 and have also taken the side of the appeals court in that Judge Gertner should not have questioned the constitutionality, reports Wired.

While Judge Gertner though she made a valid point, the appeals court has successfully argued that she should have gone through the “remittitur” process to reduce Tenenbaum’s fine before resorting to using the Constitution in his defense. Under a remittitur, Judge Gertner could have attempted to reduce the jury’s verdict without a constitutional basis. By relying on the constitution, however, the appeals court feels that Gertner improperly went through hoops to lessen the fine and has now reinstated the original decision.

Judge Gertner found Tenenbaum guilty of copyright infringement after he admitted in 2009 that he had illegally downloaded the music from the Web. Prior to the case of Sony BMG Music Entertainment et al. v. Tenenbaum, only one other case of copyright infringement relating to online music sharing made it to trial — typically cases come to close after a settlement is reached outside of the courtroom. The 2007 case of Capitol v. Thomas fined a then-30-year-old Minnesota man $222,000 for being liable in the infringement of 24 tunes, but four years later the most recent verdict has found that fine to be only $54,000.

Like Jammie Thomas, law experts expect Tenenbaum to file an appeal again. The Recording Industry Association of America continues to argue, however, that judges are unable to reduce damage awards in cases of Copyright Act trials. Tenenbaum’s attorney suggests that the federal copyright laws and Digital Theft Deterrence Act were never intended to target consumers, however, reports the Associated Press.

Until everything is set in stone, sharing the Chili Peppers’ “Californication,” “Buy the Way” and “My Friends” stands to cost Tenenbaum $67,500. He’ll owe a few bucks to Incubus, Outkast and Eminem as well.

Some of the tunes Tenenbaum shared but not being charged for include the Dead Kennedy’s classic “Kill the Poor” and an arrangement of John Philip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Man arrested with 15 kg of heroin in Moscow region

A man has been arrested in the Moscow region after being found with heroin with an estimated street value of $1 million.

Officers detained the man, a Tajik national, in the industrial town of Elektrostal late on Thursday.

He was carrying a sports bag containing 15 kilograms of heroin.

Another Tajik man was arrested with 17 kilograms of heroin in the Moscow region in June.

Russia has one of the most rapidly growing HIV epidemics globally, fueled by its estimated 1.5 to 3.5 million drug users.