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[3 Aug 2009]

Taking a one-off detour from her phenomenally successful “I AM…” tour, internationally renowned singer Beyonce Knowles will play her first ever show in Ukraine for the opening of the brand new Donbass Arena Stadium in late August.   The Donbass Arena is a brand new, 5-star stadium being built in the city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. The project, said to cost almost 400 million US dollars was started in 2006 and is set to open August 29th. August 29th is Miner’s Day in Donetsk and as the Stadium will be the new home of local soccer team FC Shakhtar Donetsk, or in English, “Donetsk Miners”, the day is significant. Donetsk was founded in 1869 around several coal mines and the city, and indeed the entire Donbass area, has a proud blue-collar legacy that lives on today.   For more information: http://donbass-arena.com/en/  

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[3 Aug 2009]

“Pirates of the Caribbean” star, Hollywood beau Johnny Depp, has reportedly agreed to star in a Russian film aimed at children.   One of America’s most profitable actors, Depp usually gets $20 million paychecks for his movies, but this time around money is not the motivator for the A-list star.   Jack Sparrow is set to appear in a film by an aspiring director from the Russian republic of Bashkortostan, where Europe meets Asia.   “It’s hard to believe it, but I’ve had a telephone conversation with Johnny Depp, and he’s personally confirmed his willingness,” Aleksandr Vakhitov told Russian daily Komsomolskaya Pravda. “I’m still impressed – I’ve talked with none other than Jack Sparrow! All the kids on our planet, as well as their parents, are crazy for him! He’s an ideal character for my new film for children!”   The lucky filmmaker told Komsomolskaya Pravda that it took him 3 months to get in touch with the celebrity. In fact, one of his close friends turned out to be well-connected in Hollywood and managed to catch up with Depp’s agents.   According to the Bashkir director, Depp has been inspired by the idea to play in a film aimed directly at children, as he’s worried by the shortage of children’s films around the world. He also said Depp was laughing out loud for five minutes when he found out what role the young director has in store for the star of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.   Hopefully, Depp will guard his sense of humor and enthusiasm throughout the whole period of shooting in Bashkiria’s capital, Ufa.   Source: Russia Today

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[30 Jul 2009]

The only performance of the American pop star’s global “Sticky and Sweet” tour in Russia will be held on St. Petersburg’s Palace Square on August 2. Madonna holds a truly international crew: professionals from the US, Russia, Great Britain, France, Brazil, Japan and South Africa follow her on the tour. The organizers of the concert say Madonna is most likely to come with her children, thus besides dressing rooms for the singer and actors, a special children’s playing room will be prepared in a secret zone backstage. Proving her demanding tastes in food, Madonna will also bring her personal cook to Russia.   The Russian organizers of Madonna’s concert in St. Petersburg, the PMI music corporation, have guaranteed that the pop star’s show on August 2 won’t offend the moral and religious sensibilities of the citizens. St. Pete’s communists have urged the diva be respectful while performing in the historical Palace Square – and asked her to avoid pole dancing.   Source: http://www.russiatoday.com/

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[29 Jul 2009]

On this week’s episode of Miami Social, “The Better Lover”, the tension that had been mounting in previous weeks between George and his Russian girlfriend, Lina exploded into an all-out fight, while Maria, the young Russian professional photographer dealt with the lack of her daughter’s presence. In the previous episode of Miami Social, Maria’s daughter, Angelika, had left to attend boarding school in Switzerland. While she kept repeating what a great opportunity it was for Angelika, Maria seemed very upset by her daughter’s absence. She spent her most of the episode hanging out with her friend and fellow Social circle member Michael and chatting with Angelika on her webcam. Later on that episode, Lina received some shocking and exciting news, she was pregnant. The episode ended with her talking to a family member, unsure of what George’s reaction would be. Miami Social has spent three episodes focusing on the lives of a group of friends which contains two recent Russian immigrants. Maria, a worldly freelance photographer had initially been a way to see the life of a Russian mother, living in the US, but now with Lina and George’s revelation, we can only wonder if the focus of Miami Social may turn to Russian ladies and their families to an even greater extent than before.  

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[27 Jul 2009]

Russian brides (derrogatorily referred to as "mail order brides") are making their way into the American TV mainstream. Battalion Chief "Needles" Nelson (Adam Ferrara) on the hit FX show "Rescue Me" was hiding something. Deputy Chief Sidney Feinberg has this dirt on Needles. Do you know what it is? On Season 5 Episode 16, it is revealed that Needles has a Russian bride. Snezyana (Madison McKinley) made her first appearence when she stopped by the firehouse to see Needles and a few of the main characters were struggling to check her out and look up her skirt. It's not Shakespeare, but its a step in the right direction. Rescue Me is an American television drama series which focuses on the professional and personal lives of a group of New York City firefighters in the fictional Firehouse 62.  

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[24 Jul 2009]

Here's an amazing video about the Moscow Cat Theater. "You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more unusual circus, or father-daughter performing duo. The Moscow Cat Theatre is just that: a travelling show of cats that perform amazing tricks for the owners who love and train them. Everybody in Russia may be used to seeing cats perform tricks, as the theatre’s manager explains in this funny, charming film, but felines walking tightropes, crossing the stage on giant balls and walking upside down is not a common sight in most countries. As a balalaika and accordion circus score plays in the background, Creative Director Vladimir and his daughter Maria combine their love of cats and stage to create a captivating act and illustrate the tricks of the trade – giving new meaning to the expression ‘herding cats’." Source: Babelgum  

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[22 Jul 2009]

Miami Social’s second episode “Single in Sobe” premiered last night on the Bravo channel.   The episode explored the friendships and rivalries of the members of one of Miami’s Premier Social Circles, as the tensions in their relationships began to mount.   Russian ladies Maria and Lina featured heavily on the show this week, as Maria – a single mother and fashion photographer in South Beach, Miami prepared to send her 13 year old daughter, Angelika to a Swiss boarding school (pictured).   Meanwhile Lina, the fiery Russian girlfriend of Circle member George, came back to the United States after an impromptu trip to Saint Barthélemy, a French collective in the Caribbean. Lina works for a high-end real estate developer and is frequently pulled away to attend functions with little notice, much to George’s dismay. This has caused significant disagreements many times in their relationship and caused significant strain throughout the episode, culminating in a breakup before a party at the end of the episode.   Miami Social has once again dipped into the strange and surreal world of Miami’s social elite, illustrating the sunny days and endless nights of the fashionable over-30 set in Florida’s most infamous city. While showing this, Miami Social also gives us great insight into the lives of Russian immigrants to the US with these two working professionals.

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[21 Jul 2009]

Bruno has fallen foul of the censors in Ukraine, who claim Sacha Baron Cohen`s raucous new comedy could "damage the morality" of its citizens, according to BBC. The Ukrainian ministry of culture told local film distributor Sinergia it had "decided to ban all showings of this film on Ukrainian territory". [More]

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[16 Jul 2009]

Bravo’s newest show Miami Social, tells the story of seven friends who make up one of the “social circles” of the titular city. Comprised of fashion designers, photographers, promoters and socialites, the seven live and work to “make this city spin”.   Miami Social also tells the story of life for Russian immigrants in one of the most Cosmopolitan cities in the country. Maria Lankina, originally from St Petersburg in Russia, moved to Miami in 2005 and became widely known as one of the most talented freelance photographers in the city. Her work has graced the covers and pages of In Focus, Miami Fashion Weekly and many other national and international magazines. In between her days of photo shoots and event planning, she looks after her 13 year old daughter, Angelika and frequents the chicest nightclubs in South Beach.   From a technical standpoint, the show is beautifully shot and illustrates the gorgeous scenery and the exciting nightlife in Miami’s South Beach area but the first episode was really more of an introduction to the cast, without much focus on Maria or Lina Fidler, the other Russian Lady on the show. Lina is the hot-tempered girlfriend of George, a high-powered mortgage banker and member of the Miami Social circle. Hopefully the next few episodes will focus more on these ladies and their experiences as Russian women in the United States.      

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[14 Jul 2009]

Bastille Day is the French national holiday, celebrated on July 14 each year. In France, it is called Fête Nationale ("National Celebration") in official parlance, or more commonly le quatorze juillet ("14 July"). It commemorates the 1790 Fête de la Fédération, held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789; the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille fortress-prison was seen as a symbol of the uprising of the modern nation, and of the reconciliation of all the French inside the constitutional monarchy which preceded the First Republic, during the French Revolution.   “Our people are connected by long-standing relations of friendship, mutual respect and trust,” reads the message from the Russian President. “Meanwhile, the traditional Russian-French partnership always has been and remains a significant factor in European and global policy.   2010 has been declared the Year of France in Russia and the Year of Russia in France, and promises to be one more striking example of our fruitful dialogue and multifaceted bilateral cooperation. I am convinced that continuing effective mutually advantageous efforts – of which our joint participation in the G8 summit in L'Aquila is a good example – is perfectly compatible with the interests of our peoples, and helps strengthen pan-European stability and safety.”   Source: http://www.kremlin.ru/eng/sdocs/news.shtml#219562  

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[13 Jul 2009]

Bravo's new show "Miami Social" debuts tomorrow night. The show follows the lives of 7 socialites in the up-all-night party town. The two characters to watch are Maria and George.   Maria Lankina (pictured to the right) is a no-nonsense Russian bombshell who has taken Miami by storm. After moving to the city in 2005, it took her no time to make a mark on the scene, and only is seen at the chicest spots in South Beach. She currently works as an art director and freelance photographer after studying at the prestigious Miami Ad School, and has had the opportunity to travel the world for her job. She describes herself as "forward, rebellious and fiery," but is a passionate and devoted mom to 13-year-old Angelika.   George, a high-powered mortgage banker and also owns his own investment and consulting firm, has a hot Russian girlfriend called Lina. George stands at a crossroads in his life, trying to balance his party animal ways with settling down and making things work with Lina.   Bravo is expanding its arts and culture slate with the network's newest docu-series Miami Social. Heading to the country's hottest city to show you what life is like in the lively social scene of South Beach, Bravo explores the lives of a group of hot, young professionals – corporate types by day and party animals by night – as they navigate the sometimes murky waters of Miami's hottest locales. The show is on Tuesday nights at 10pm. More at http://www.bravotv.com/miami-social/