World Cup Fans Have To Sit Outside This Soviet Stadium To Watch

The World Cup begins today, with Russia playing Saudi Arabia in Moscow for the opening match. 32 countries will be competing in the tournament, which concludes on July 15th.

The Russian Federation is hosting matches in 12 stadiums across the country. One of the last stadiums to be readied for the World Cup is the Yekaterinburg Arena, which was originally constructed in 1957, during the Soviet heyday.

A protected cultural monument, the stadium seated 23,000 people, falling about 12,000 seats short of FIFA’s requirements. So in 2014, chief architect Oleg Gak was tasked with rebuilding the arena to meet the World Cup requirements. There was one caveat, he had to do so, while preserving the arena’s unique Soviet architecture.

“FIFA wanted specific kinds of stands that could hold 35,000 people” said Gak.” So the new stadium was built around the old protected walls.”

Gak’s team decided to open the stadium’s perimeter and build temporary grandstands. The expanded seating puts approximately 12,000 fans outside the stadium walls — but their view of the field should be uncompromised.

“We as designers made plans for the future, assuming the grandstands would go away, and the facade would be closed off” says Gak.

The Yekaterinburg arena will host its first match, Egypt versus Uruguay, on June 15 at 17:00 local time.

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Putin inaugurated as Russian president

Vladimir Putin is inaugurated in Moscow for his fourth term as president of the Russian Federation, marking the start of a six-year term. The presidential election was held on March 18, 2018, when Putin was re-elected with 77 percent of the vote.

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Anti-Terror Raids: FSB arrests 12 suspected members of Jihad Mujahideen Jamaat

Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) arrest 12 alleged members of the Islamic Jihad Mujahideen Jamaat group, deemed a terrorist organization by the Russian Federation in Kaliningrad. Those arrested included the group’s leader in an operation conducted by the FSB, National Guard (Rosgvardia) and the Interior Ministry.

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Rescue team helps moose babies to cross strong currents

Central Siberia Nature Reserve’s officials rescued two moose calves that risked drowning in the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in the Krasnoyask region.
Two moose calves were sighted attempting to cross the freezing river with their mother. It appeared their lives were in danger as the currents grew stronger.
Rescue team successfully pulled them away from harm and returned them to their mother.

COURTESY: Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation

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Economic impact of migrant crises (Panel discussion at St Pete Intl Forum)

As the International Economic Forum kicks off in St. Petersburg, RT’s Peter Lаvelle is ready to delve into the world’s most acute agenda.

The massive influx of refugees from the Middle East and Central Asia has become a major international challenge, threatening the political fortunes of a number of individual EU heads of government and straining the Union’s core foundations.

But Europe is not alone in confronting a backlash to immigration; in the US the influx of the Latino population has increased xenophobia and reshaped the body politic, while regional economies such as Turkey and Jordan must manage the flood of huge minority populations.

What policies must be implemented to create a sensible and sustainable immigration plan for each of these economies, turning what is presently viewed as a crisis into a potential economic growth opportunity? What is at stake for the rest of the world if these crises continue unabated?

Panelists:
Ben Aris, Editor-in-Chief, Business New Europe
Yaroslav Lissovolik, Chief Economist, Eurasian Development Bank (EDB)
Alexander Mercouris, International Law Expert
Xavier Moreau, Founder, Centre of Political-Strategic Analysis STRATPOL
Jim Rogers, Chairman, Beeland Interests Inc
Stefan Schaible, Partner, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Roland Berger
Frank Schauff, Chief Executive Officer, Association of European Businesses in the Russian Federation
Andy Xie, Independent Economist

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St Petersburg Economic Forum: Opening Ceremony

The main St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) kicks off with an opening ceremony in Russia’s northern capital, St Petersburg.

The opening remarks are being delivered by:
Sergey Prikhodko, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Chief of Staff of the Government of the Russian Federation, and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum
Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations
Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission
Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea
Tigran Sargsyan, Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission

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VICE News Meets NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (Excerpt from ‘The Russians Are Coming’)

In the wake of events in Ukraine, NATO has turned its attention towards countries that border the Russian Federation — attempting to boost its quick-response capabilities in Europe. In September, the alliance agreed to create a 5,000-strong rapid reaction Spearhead Force, which will be capable of deploying across the continent within 48-hours of a military incursion. VICE News joined several thousand NATO troops in western Poland, for the first deployment test of the “Very High Readiness Joint Task Force.”

According to the premise of the exercise, Poland and the Baltics were under threat from the fictional state of “Bothnia” — a master of conventional and hybrid warfare. NATO forces had been ordered to deploy, and quickly, to Poland.

During the deployment test, NATO’s top diplomat Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg flew in to watch its progress. He told VICE News that NATO was undertaking “the biggest reinforcement of our collective defense since the end of the Cold War.”

While in Poland, VICE News filmed with non-governmental paramilitary groups, which are training young Polish people to defend their towns and cities in the event of a foreign-backed assault. Participation in paramilitaries has reportedly increased since Russia’s seizure of the Crimean Peninsula.

We also traveled north, to visit the border that Poland shares with the heavily armed Russian territory of Kaliningrad. This spring, Poland built six high-tech watchtowers along the 125-mile border.

In this excerpt from ‘The Russians Are Coming: NATO’s Frontier,’ VICE News travels to Poland to speak with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg about Russian threats in Eastern Europe and the Baltics.

Watch “The Russians Are Coming: NATO’s Frontier” – http://bit.ly/1P3lvYv

Read “Military Confrontation Between NATO and Russia Is Increasingly Likely, Warns New Report” – http://bit.ly/1JqiIdF

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Dutch Forces Mobilize (Extra Scene from ‘The Russians Are Coming: NATO’s Frontier’)

In the wake of events in eastern Ukraine over the last year, NATO has turned its attention towards countries that border the Russian Federation and attempted to boost its quick-response capabilities in Europe. In September 2014, the alliance agreed to create a 5,000-strong rapid reaction Spearhead Force, which will be capable of deploying across the continent within 48 hours of a military incursion. In June, VICE News joined several thousand NATO troops in western Poland, for the first deployment test of the “Very High Readiness Joint Task Force,” known as Noble Jump.

Dutch forces were among those participating in the exercise. In this extra scene, VICE News travels to the Netherlands to see how NATO armies would mobilize and deploy in the event of a conflict in Europe. One Dutch major told us that Russia’s invasion of the Crimean Peninsula had been a “wakeup call” for the continent.

According to the premise of Noble Jump, Poland and the Baltics were under threat from the fictional state of “Bothnia” — a master of conventional and hybrid warfare. NATO forces had been ordered to deploy — and quickly — to Poland.

During the deployment test, NATO’s top diplomat, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. flew in to watch its progress. He told VICE News that the alliance was undertaking “the biggest reinforcement of our collective defense since the end of the Cold War.”

Watch “The Russians Are Coming: NATO’s Frontier” – http://bit.ly/1P3lvYv

Read “France and Russia Finally Reach Deal Over Suspended Warship Delivery” – http://bit.ly/1Pir99Q

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The Russians Are Coming: NATO’s Frontier

In the wake of events in Ukraine, NATO has turned its attention towards countries that border the Russian Federation — attempting to boost its quick-response capabilities in Europe. In September, the alliance agreed to create a 5,000-strong rapid reaction Spearhead Force, which will be capable of deploying across the continent within 48-hours of a military incursion. VICE News joined several thousand NATO troops in western Poland, for the first deployment test of the “Very High Readiness Joint Task Force.”

According to the premise of the exercise, Poland and the Baltics were under threat from the fictional state of “Bothnia” — a master of conventional and hybrid warfare. NATO forces had been ordered to deploy, and quickly, to Poland.

During the deployment test, NATO’s top diplomat Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg flew in to watch its progress. He told VICE News that NATO was undertaking “the biggest reinforcement of our collective defense since the end of the Cold War.”

While in Poland, VICE News filmed with non-governmental paramilitary groups, which are training young Polish people to defend their towns and cities in the event of a foreign-backed assault. Participation in paramilitaries has reportedly increased since Russia’s seizure of the Crimean Peninsula.

We also traveled north, to visit the border that Poland shares with the heavily armed Russian territory of Kaliningrad. This spring, Poland built six high-tech watchtowers along the 125-mile border.

Watch “The Russians Are Coming: Lithuania’s Operation Lightning Strike” – http://bit.ly/1RzVIHw

Read “Russian Bomber Crashes in Siberia in Military’s Latest Accident” – http://bit.ly/1OpLid5

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The Russians Are Coming: NATO’s Frontier (Trailer)

In the wake of events in Ukraine, NATO has turned its attention towards countries that border the Russian Federation — and attempted to boost its quick-response capabilities in Europe. In September, the alliance agreed to create a 5,000-strong rapid reaction Spearhead Force, which will be capable of deploying across the continent within 48-hours of a military incursion. In June, VICE News joined several thousand NATO troops in western Poland, for the first deployment test of the “Very High Readiness Joint Task Force.”

According to the premise of the exercise, Poland and the Baltics were under threat from the fictional state of “Bothnia” — a master of conventional and hybrid warfare. NATO forces had been ordered to deploy, and quickly, to Poland.

While in Poland, we filmed with non-governmental paramilitary groups, which are training young Polish people to defend their towns and cities in the event of a foreign-backed assault. Participation in paramilitaries has reportedly increased since Russia’s seizure of the Crimean Peninsula. We also traveled north, to visit the border that Poland shares with the heavily armed Russian territory of Kaliningrad. This spring, Poland built six high-tech watchtowers along the 125-mile border.

At the end of our trip, VICE News sat down with NATO’s top diplomat, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. He told us that NATO was undertaking “the biggest reinforcement of our collective defense since the end of the Cold War.”

Watch “The Russians Are Coming: Lithuania’s Operation Lightning Strike” – http://bit.ly/1RzVIHw

Read “Russian Spies, Suspicious Books, and the New Cold War Emerging in Europe” – http://bit.ly/1M3Rzfz

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Gun Talk with Young Cadets (Excerpt from ‘Child Warriors of Donetsk’)

Once a relic of the Soviet era, patriotic youth clubs in the Donetsk region of Ukraine are gaining new popularity, offering military training to their members. As young people practice assembling guns, marching, and military drills, a strong sense of allegiance flows through the ranks, with some members holding high aspirations of joining the Russian Federation army.

Up to 15 of these clubs compete in the annual Future Warrior Contest held in a local military academy, which is judged by the academy’s members and former Russian military. The contestants battle each other in displays of military prowess, vying for the prize of a visit to a training camp near Moscow.

In this excerpt, VICE News speaks to young cadets about their experiences with guns, as they take a break from their military training at the Future Warrior Contest in Donetsk.

Watch “The All-Girl Soldier Club: Child Warriors of Donetsk” – http://bit.ly/1BJyiOf

Read “Flexing Its Military Might, Russia Is Pushing Sweden Into NATO’s Arms” – http://bit.ly/1N5eHbC

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The All-Girl Soldier Club: Child Warriors of Donetsk

Once a relic of the Soviet era, patriotic youth clubs in the Donetsk region of Ukraine are gaining new popularity, offering military training to their members. As young people practice assembling guns, marching, and military drills, a strong sense of allegiance flows through the ranks, with some members holding high aspirations of joining the Russian Federation army.

Up to 15 of these clubs compete in the annual Future Warrior Contest held in a local military academy, which is judged by the academy’s members and former Russian military. The contestants battle each other in displays of military prowess, vying for the prize of a visit to a training camp near Moscow.

VICE News follows the Vityaz Squad as they compete against other patriotic youth clubs at the Future Warrior Contest in Donetsk.

Watch “On The Line: Simon Ostrovsky Discusses the Latest From Russia and Ukraine” – http://bit.ly/1JtjPqu

Read “Beauty Amid the Chaos: The Donetsk Opera Offers Relief to a City in the Grip of War” – http://bit.ly/1MpzVBs

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Thousands Attend Pro-Putin Rally in Moscow

Bikers, teachers, teenagers, veterans, and pro-Vladimir Putin political organizations from all over Russia gathered February 21 in downtown Moscow to mark the one-year anniversary of what they see as a bloody coup of the Yanukovych regime in Ukraine.

The rally, which referenced the iconic Euromaidan protests last year in Kiev, were partly organized by Alexander Zaldostanov, the leader of Russia’s Night Wolves biker gang and public ally of Putin.

VICE News was in Moscow to witness tens of thousands of Russians protesting in support of a unified Russian Federation and against any possible Orange Revolution in their country.

Watch “Civilians Return to Debaltseve: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 96)” – http://bit.ly/1FNSCuz

Read “Russia Says Security Cameras Weren’t Pointing at Nemtsov Shooting — But Blogger’s Photo Suggests They Were” – http://bit.ly/1B1OQNu

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Crimea: March of the Tatars

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In one of history’s most severe and efficient incidents of mass exile, the Tatars in Crimea were removed from their homeland by Stalin in 1944. Within just three days, 200,000 Tatars were forcibly deported. After spending 50 years in exile, the Tatars returned to their homeland in Crimea at the collapse of the Soviet Union, and have since felt generally protected under Ukrainian rule.

Following a fraudulent and illegal referendum earlier this year on whether to become part of Russia, Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation — a move that brought back painful memories of persecution and oppression for the local Tatar community.

VICE News spent time with Tatars around the time of the commemoration of their exile, and found a community already under pressure from new Russian authorities. It’s unclear what their future will hold under Russian rule again, and many fear that history could repeat itself.

Read more on VICE News: Crimean Tatars Are Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands – http://bit.ly/1pqWDhQ

Watch “Tatar Nation: The Other Crimea” – http://bit.ly/1u0NnT5

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Defending Ukraine’s Naval and Air Bases: Russian Roulette in Ukraine (Dispatch 18)

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Despite overwhelming support within Crimea to join the Russian Federation, Ukrainian forces refused to give up their naval and airbases to the Russians last week. In this dispatch, VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky visits the Belbek airbase, which was being overrun by Cossacks and members of Russian forces, who believe they had liberated Crimea — though local forces don’t seem to agree.

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Ukrainians Build a Militia: Russian Roulette in Ukraine (Dispatch 16)

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The day after Crimea’s controversial referendum, in which 97 percent of the peninsula’s population supposedly voted to join the Russian Federation, Ukraine’s newly-formed National Guard began training in anticipation of further Russian aggression.

Against the backdrop of exploding RPGs, the crackling of heavy machine guns, and the rumbling cannons of the BTRs, Ukrainian officials and the international media got a first look at the ragtag civilian force that could be on the front lines of the new cold war.

Start from the beginning and watch Dispatch 1 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNKsLlK52ss&list=PLw613M86o5o5zqF6WJR8zuC7Uwyv76h7R&index=2

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