Russia to build hulls for 2 Mistral-class warships

Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation and the Baltiisky Zavod shipyard signed a 2.5 billion ruble ($80 million) contract on Friday to build hulls for the third and fourth French Mistral-class warships for the Russian Navy.

The signing ceremony took place in the presence of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

French shipbuilder DCNS said on Wednesday it had received advance payment from Moscow under a $1.2-billion contract and would start the construction of the first warship for the Russian Navy.

Russian defense officials previously said Russia would account for 80% of labor inputs in building the third and fourth warships.

The two countries signed a contract in June on two French-built Mistral class amphibious assault ships including the transfer of sensitive technology.

The first ship will be delivered in 2014 and the second in 2015.

Construction of the second ship should start in several months and will proceed simultaneously with the first, but will depend on when the full payment for the first ship is made, a DCNS source said.

A Mistral-class ship is capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing vessels, 70 armored vehicles, and 450 personnel.

A number of Russia’s neighbors have expressed concern over the deal, in particular Georgia and Lithuania.

The Russian military has said it plans to use Mistral ships in its Northern and Pacific fleets.

Many Russian military and industry experts have questioned the financial and military sense of the purchase, and some believe that Russia simply wants to gain access to advanced naval technology that could be used in the future in potential conflicts with NATO and its allies.

 

France starts building first warship for Russia

French shipbuilder DCNS has received advance payment from Moscow under a $1.2-billion contract and will start the construction of the first warship for the Russian Navy, the DCNS press service said on Wednesday.

The two countries signed a contract in June on two French-built Mistral class amphibious assault ships including the transfer of sensitive technology.

“The advance payment was received several weeks ago and work on the first ship is getting underway,” the service said. “The first ship will be delivered in 2014 and the second in 2015.

Construction of the second ship should start in several months and will proceed simultaneously with the first, but will depend on when the full payment for the first ship is made, a DCNS source said.

A Mistral-class ship is capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing vessels, 70 armored vehicles, and 450 personnel.

 

A number of Russia’s neighbors have expressed concern over the deal, in particular Georgia and Lithuania.

The Russian military has said it plans to use Mistral ships in its Northern and Pacific fleets.

Many Russian military and industry experts have questioned the financial and military sense of the purchase, and some believe that Russia simply wants to gain access to advanced naval technology that could be used in the future in potential conflicts with NATO and its allies.

 

Moscow court sanctions arrest of Luzhkov’s brother-in-law

A Moscow court sanctioned on Wednesday the arrest of Viktor Baturin, the brother-in-law of former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov, on charges of attempted fraud.

Baturin, who is already serving a suspended sentence, was detained in the Russian capital on Monday.

Investigators claim he demanded payment of 10.8 million rubles ($344,000) from his billionaire sister’s company Inteko under a fake promissory note.

In early June this year, Baturin, the brother of property construction tycoon Yelena Baturina, received a suspended three-year jail term for fraud. He was found guilty of selling one property in downtown Moscow to two men for $857,000 and $1.5 million within the space of one month in 2008.

The Presnensky district court also fined Baturin $10,800 in damages.

 

Luzhkov’s brother-in-law charged with fraud

Russian businessman Viktor Baturin, the brother-in-law of former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov, was charged with attempted fraud on Tuesday, a police spokesman said.

Baturin was detained in Moscow on Monday. Investigators said he demanded payment of 10.8 million rubles ($344,000) from his billionaire sister’s company Inteko under a fake promissory note.

“The suspect said he was aware that the note was forged and said he received the document from his sister. He also had two similar notes at home,” the Moscow Police Department’s press office said. “Baturin was charged with attempted fraud.”

The investigators said they would request to put Baturin into a pre-trial detention facility as he currently serves a suspended sentence.

In early June this year, Baturin, the brother of property construction tycoon Yelena Baturina, received a suspended three-year jail term for fraud. He was found guilty of selling one property in downtown Moscow to two men for $857,000 and $1.5 million within the space of one month in 2008.

The Presnensky district court also fined Baturin $10,800 in damages.

One dollar house gets foreclosed; 101-year-old granny gets evicted

It’s no secret that Americans are losing their jobs in droves. The country can’t create new ones and nearly one-in-ten are unemployed. As incomes are eradicated and careers crumbled, the new terrible trend in the US is hitting home hard. Literally.

Homes across America thought safe from foreclosure are going back to the banks as more and more people are finding out that their not as safe and sound as they once thought. As bills add up and Americans become unable to make payments, banks are becoming quick to step in and swipe houses from those that are even one payment late.

Such was the case recently with Linda Hatchel and her 1895 Victorian home outside of Chicago. She purchased the house when it was up for demolition for a single dollar over 20years ago, but spent $50,000 alone on moving it a distance of only 1.5 miles. She gutted the home and restored it herself, eventually taking out a second mortgage to pay for her renovations. She’s been able to make her payments ever since, but a bout with cancer has left her with medical bills coming before housing payments. Now after failing to make her final payment, the banks are bugging her to pay up.

“I had one year left on my mortgage, and it would have been paid off,” she tells an NBC affiliate from Chicago. “I wanted to live here for as long as possible,” she says, so Hatchel managed to empty out the countless antiques from the home to make that final payment. More than 20 years after buying the house for the price of a few games of Pac Man, Hatchel found herself jobless thanks to a banking job gone bad and a diagnosis with cancer. Now as she scrounges for change in an attempt to make her payments, the one-dollar house of a lifetime might be going back to the demolition block.

Only a few hundred miles away in Detroit, Texana Hollis, age 101, was evicted from her home this week. In Hollis’ case, she actually owned her home and had managed to make all of her payments after spending nearly 60 years in the house. In 2003, however, her son asked her to sign it over to a reverse-mortgage company for $32,000 to help with home repairs, but now that the centenarian is unable to make ends meet, the bank has kicked her to the curb. On Monday night, Hollis found herself homeless and in need of help, only to be admitted into an emergency room for several anxiety and disorientation.

Are investments as safe as Americans think they are? For Hatchel, a one-dollar purchase is leaving her pawning off her possessions decades later and Hollis now finds herself homeless at age 101. Just as Americans aren’t able to make ends meets during dire times, the banks are begging as well and it looks like they are ready to step up and kick a few to the curb if it means more money for them in the long run.

Russia’s Kruzenshtern Barque is Leaving for Her Autumn Voyage…

As I said the other day I just love these huge sailing ships of Russia’s. We have a Tall Ship right now in Honolulu:

A Russian Tall Ship (Pallada) in Honolulu is so beautiful.

But my favorite is the Kruzenshtern. It is as I have said before it originally was German made but Russia got her after World War Two as payment for the war…

So Russia’s famous tall ship, the Kruzenshtern, will set off on Wednesday for its 97-day fall voyage to visit seven European ports. “The route lies in the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The ship will visit seven ports in four countries: Helsinki (Finland), Warnemunde (Germany), Zeebrugge (Belgium), Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Spain), Vigo (Spain), Bremerhaven (Germany), and Rostock (Germany),” spokeswoman Irina Chiklinenkova said…

The Kruzenshtern with 120 naval cadets on board is scheduled to return to its home port of Kaliningrad on December 1. The Kruzenshtern is widely regarded as one of the jewels of the Russian sailing fleet. It was built in Germany in 1926 as a windjammer class ship (then called The Padova).

That is one beautiful ship…

Windows to Russia!

PS: Search for Kruzenshtern