Watch: Thomas Roberts Understands ‘tremendous Hypocrisy’ Of Going To Russia

Indulge in vodka, one of the worlds most popular drinks. No trip is complete without sampling a countrys cuisine, but no trip to Russia would be authentic without a sip (or a glass, or more) of vodka. First produced over 600 years ago, vodka is made by distilling grains such as rye, wheat and barley, and then filtering the liquid with birch charcoal. Its long and fascinating history has survived the Prohibition era, and it has likewise been instrumental to the wealth and the power of the Russian state. For a closer look at how vodka is made, take a tour at Cristall, Russias largest vodka distillery, located in Moscow. Art and culture 6. Immerse yourself in fine art and high cultureall in St. Petersburg. The Russians certainly love culture, as seen in more than 2,000 libraries and more than 200 museums and galleries that have been established in St. Petersburg alone. One of the worlds largest museums, the State Hermitage Museum houses more than three million items and is known for its grand art collection. For something more intimate and quaint, head over to the (Fyodor) Dostoyevsky Memorial Apartment Museum, where the Crime and Punishment author resided during the last three years of his life. Aside from a reconstruction of the Dostoyevsky family home, the museum also houses art exhibits and a small theater for conferences, poetry readings and performances. Russian ballet 7.

Greenpeace drama: Family hopes for return of captain jailed in Russia

Their website Lifenews, which published the photo confirmed authentic by Snowden’s lawyer, is part of an expanding empire that has come to dominate Russia’s media landscape in the decades since the elder Gabrelyanov started off as a provincial tabloid publisher. A key reason for their recent success: obsequious loyalty to the Kremlin. The father, Aram Gabrelyanov, refers to President Vladimir Putin as the “father of the nation” a fealty that was rewarded when one of Putin’s oldest friends spent $80 million to become a key shareholder in the Gabrelyanovs’ holding company, News Media, providing it with a flood of cash for investment. Its purchasing power and carefully cultivated contacts are what brought Lifenews its first Snowden exclusive: a picture of the systems analyst leaving the airport after Russia granted him asylum on Aug. 1. That was followed on Oct. 7 by the image of Snowden carrying groceries in Moscow. With its savvy for scoops, the company often works as a de facto arm of Kremlin power humiliating Putin’s opponents by catching them in all sorts of misdeeds. But it isn’t just the Kremlin that values the Gabrelyanovs. The public feeds on their coverage, too, because they are among the few people in Russian media still able to break news even if it’s with a strong establishment slant enabling them to generate the clicks and the buzz that sterile state media can no longer muster. Aram Gabrelyanov, who resembles a miniaturized, fleshier version of James Gandolfini, can usually be found barking orders across the sleek newsroom to his army of young journalists. Born to an Armenian builder father, Gabrelyanov has a warm, southern sense of humor, and it’s hard for him to go five minutes without whipping out an anecdote.

10 ways to enjoy Russia

“We live here in the States under a different set of privileges. Right now marriage equality is still a big battle. ENDA continues to be a battle in Washington, D.C. We understand what the home turf is like. I want to go and educate myself on what Russia’s turf is like. I want to be able to carve out how I can cover and do stories for our network that way, and show first-hand what it’s like to be there. But I know that I’m going to be treated completely differently. So there is a bit of hypocrisy that goes along with that a tremendous amount of hypocrisy that goes along with that so I hope to shine a bright light on that.” In his op-ed at MSNBC, Roberts, who came out publicly in 2006 and says he’s “never regretted it,” acknowledges the virulently anti-LGBT climate in Russia, where President Vladimir Putin this summer signed a nationwide ban on “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships” visible to minors essentially resulting in the criminalization of any pro-LGBT speech or silent demonstration, including waving a rainbow flag. Shortly after Putin signed the ban on so-called homosexual propaganda, he also signed a law that prohibits gay and lesbian people from adopting Russian orphans, as well as any single people from nations that embrace marriage equality. The Russian parliament, known as the State Duma, is reportedly considering a bill that would declare homosexuality tantamount to child abuse and forcibly remove children of LGBT parents from their homes. Despite widespread calls for an international boycott of Russia and Russian-made products, Roberts wrote that when the opportunity to participate in the Miss Universe program arose, he “aggressively went after it.” “I am not going to boycott,” Roberts wrote.”Boycotting and vilifying from the outside is too easy. Rather, I choose to offer my support of the LGBT community in Russia by going to Moscow and hosting this event as a journalist, an anchor and a man who happens to be gay. Let people see I am no different than anyone else.” Roberts notes that all children Russian, American, or otherwise need hope. And he might be just the person to provide that example, Roberts asserted. “I am a happy, healthy, gainfully employed, educated and married man,” wrote Roberts.

Correction: Russia’s Media Tycoons Story

Willcox, a native of Norwalk, Connecticut, is the sole American citizen in a group of activists Greenpeace is now calling the “Arctic 30.” The 30 detainees include volunteers and crew members from South America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand as well as a Russian freelance photographer and ship cooks from Turkey and Ukraine. What happened in the Arctic Ocean On September 18, two Greenpeace activists from the Arctic Sunrise attempted to scale an oil rig operated by the Russian energy Gazprom. They were planning to protest against Gazprom’s plans to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean. The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation later released an unedited video showing the tense stand-off that ensued. Two inflatable rafts operated by mask-wearing Russian security forces approached the platform. One Russian officer seized the rope an activist was using to try to climb the looming walls of the platform. Two other inflatable rafts from Greenpeace bobbed near by, periodically being drenched by water cannons fired from the oil platform. Greenpeace disputes Russia’s claim it found drugs on ship At one point, someone from above fired a series of shots into the water that struck perilously close to Greenpeace boats and Russian security rafts. Greenpeace activists could be seen holding their hands up in the air as a Russian officer aimed his pistol at them. Russian security forces initially detained the two activists who had climbed onto the oil rig. Later, they commandeered the Arctic Sunrise and towed it to the Russian port of Murmansk. There, Russian prosecutors pressed charges against all 30 of the detainees.