At the end of the Caucasus war Russians deported millions of Circassia natives, an area that has seen recent investment from ski resort businesses eager to profit from the upcoming Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
Esto-Sadok — When Valter German’s ancestors came to the mountains above Sochi from impoverished Estonia, they found a bucolic valley with few traces of the indigenous people chased out by the Tsarist army.
But the history of Russia’s brutal deportation of the native tribes from the area some 150 years ago has stirred up international controversy and threatens to taint the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
Russia is trying to promote the area as a skiing destination, with President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin regularly photographed sitting on ski lifts and chatting in cafes overlooking the slopes.
- 2014 Winter Olympics: Sochi Proposes to Take Olympic Torch to Space (bleacherreport.com)
Canada and Russia agreed Thursday to strengthen their economic ties and increase cooperation in both aerospace and scientific research in the Artic, the home of vast hydrocarbon reserves.
Canadian Minister of International Trade Ed Fast and Russian First Vice-Premier Viktor Zoubkov signed the joint declaration in Ottawa between the two countries with the biggest territories in the world as part of their Eighth Intergovernmental Economic Commission meeting.
“With trade representing some 60 percent of our economy, deepening our relationship with key countries like Russia is vital to our economic recovery,” said Fast.
“As a fast-growing economy, Russia offers great potential for Canadian companies, which would strengthen our economic growth and lead to more jobs.”
Bilateral trade with Russia totaled $2.8 billion in 2010, an increase of 12.3 percent from the previous year, according to Canadian government figures.
An old house in the small town in Solovki was originally built to house prisoners in the 1920s and 1930s.
But the Volga is more than a river. It is an elaborate system of lakes, locks and manmade canals that links Russia’s two most famous cities. This network also reaches far to the north into the White Sea. For centuries, it was the shortest route to Europe and it became Russia’s main center of trade and defense.
The Solovetsky Islands, less than 100 miles from the Arctic Circle, have become a popular destination. Their history is dramatic — and that drama is still being played out.
For Russian tourists, the trip north to Solovki, as the islands are known, is worth the voyage. These remote islands sum up their country’s greatest achievements and its greatest tragedy.
Father Porfiry is abbot of the newly restored Solovetsky Monastery.
“For 500 years, this place reflected the genius and power of God. The Communist revolution was the story of a great fall. Now we have overcome all that and see the restoration of Russia and its spiritual life,” he says.
- “Ugol” Meaning “Angle” – The Volga bends here – Uglich, Central Russia, Russia (travelpod.com)
- You: Scholar sees Russian-held isles slipping away (search.japantimes.co.jp)
- U.S. backs Japan over isle dispute with Russia (search.japantimes.co.jp)