5 Including Child Killed As Boiling Water Floods Russian Hotel

Moscow: Five people, including one child, were killed in the Russian city of Perm on Monday when a hot water pipe exploded in the night and flooded a basement hotel room with boiling water.

At least three other people were taken to hospital with burns after the incident in the Mini Hotel Caramel, which is located in the basement of a residential building, the region's investigative committee said.

A doctor treating the victims, Andrei Babikov, said a 33-year-old woman had burns covering 35% of her body. Two men aged 28 and 35 were in a less serious condition.

Regional governor Maxim Reshetnikov said it was a "terrible accident".

"We will conduct the necessary checks with law enforcement and monitoring services," he said on Instagram. "Special thanks go to the rescue workers, who themselves received burns in pulling people out."

Video posted on social media showed thick steam billowing out of the hotel's entrance in the early hours of Monday morning, with emergency services in attendance.

Investigators opened a criminal investigation to establish whether the deaths resulted from negligence.

The RIA news agency reported that the heating pipe that exploded had been in operation since 1962 and had broken repeatedly in the past, citing a source in the Perm emergency services.

"There were no victims in previous explosions," the source said. "It was not replaced, only repaired."

  • Published in World

Manned Mars mission isn't science fiction & could have 'reconciliatory' effect on the world – Russian cosmonaut Ryazansky

Sending humans to Mars isn't as far-fetched as it might sound, Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazansky told RT, noting that a joint mission to the Red Planet would serve as a unifying triumph for people of all nations.

In an interview with SophieCo, the Russian cosmonaut and biochemist explained that manned space travel to Mars probably wouldn't be any more dangerous, from a health perspective, than current space missions. He pointed out that "the total amount of radiation an astronaut gets these days exceeds what a Mars mission crew would get," while stressing that more research on the matter was needed.

Ryazansky told host Sophie Shevardnadze that he was an enthusiastic supporter of an international mission to Mars, arguing that such a monumental joint endeavor would help to ease political tensions back on Earth.

I'm a huge fan of the idea and I really hope that a manned mission to Mars will be a joint effort signifying humanity's success rather than the success of a single nation.

The Russian scientist pointed out that the International Space Station (ISS) is already "living proof" that nations can overcome political divides and be "successful as a team."



Russian MPs confirm Mikhail Mishustin as new prime minister after cabinet resignation

Mikhail Mishustin has been ratified as next Prime Minister of Russia by MPs, after the cabinet resigned on Wednesday. Vladimir Putin had earlier proposed Mishustin, formerly head of the Federal Tax Service, as a candidate.

In an overwhelming vote on Thursday, 383 lawmakers supported Mishustin's candidacy. Not a single MP cast their vote against the Prime Minister, but 41 MPs — members of Russia's Communist Party — chose to abstain, RIA Novosti reported.

Later in the day, Vladimir Putin signed a presidential decree appointing Mishustin Prime Minister. He will now have to suggest his picks for ministers and deputy Prime Ministers, as set out in the Constitution.

The Prime Minister didn’t go into detail about this. “I think that an understanding [of who to propose] will arise in the coming days, we consulted with all the factions today,” he revealed. The list of future ministers will be pitched to the President “in the near future.”

Mishustin has already promised a major cabinet reshuffle, meaning that some fresh faces could emerge as new ministers. The incoming government must hold personal responsibility for the decisions they take to help economy grow, Mishustin told MPs ahead of the confirmation vote.

The first thing to do is to seriously engage in institutional and management reform, and, of course, bring in the most advanced information technologies.

To Mishustin, there are enough resources out there to achieve goals set by the President: "We have a fairly stable [economic] situation ... we do have inflation but I think it will not exceed 4 percent, this is obvious."

Also on rt.com Russian government resigns after President Putin’s state-of-the-nation address proposes changes to the constitution...

Mishustin was suggested by President Putin as a replacement of the long-time premier Dmitry Medvedev, who has been offered a position of deputy chief of Russia's Security Council.

The 53-year-old politician has worked in government since 1998 and has been described as a low-profile technocrat who managed to propel Russia's tax service to remarkable efficiency.

  • Published in World

Outgoing PM Medvedev to become deputy head of Russia’s Security Council

Vladimir Putin offered the outgoing chairman of the government, Dmitry Medvedev, the position of deputy head of the Security Council after the surprise resignation of the Russian prime minister on Wednesday.

Medvedev has agreed to take up the role, in which he’ll oversee defense and security issues.

The Security Council is a consultative body which is chaired by the president himself. It consists of several ministers, representatives of the parliament, and law enforcement, and is tasked with assisting the head of state in working out the most important decisions on national security.

The prime minister announced his government’s resignation shortly after the president’s state of the nation address. The ministers will keep working until the new cabinet is formed.

In his address, Putin proposed several key amendments to Russia’s constitution and political system. One of those was giving the parliament the power to approve the candidacies of the prime minister and his cabinet.

Also on rt.com Russian government resigns after President Putin’s state-of-the-nation address proposes changes to the constitution...

When the amendments are introduced they will bring “significant change... to the balance of power” in the country, Medvedev said, explaining his decision to resign.

“In this context, it is obvious that, as the government, we must provide the president with a capability to make all decisions.”

Medvedev has been in charge of the government since 2012. The 54-year-old was also Russia’s third president (2008 to 2012) and occupied other important state positions.

  • Published in World

Russia to begin testing modern S-500 missiles in 2020

Moscow, Dec 28 (Prensa Latina) Russia will begin testing the S-500 missile system in 2020, while the new Sirena-M command missile system is expected to reach the rocket forces next year, Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko said on Saturday.

The first serial model of the S-500 will go into production in 2025, Krivourchko was quoted as saying by the Kraasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) newspaper.

According to the journal, the S-500 is composed of several elements, including remote sensing radars, components for tracking and destroying aircraft or similar objects and other elements for tracking and destroying missiles.

The objective of the anti-aircraft system is to eliminate intercontinental ballistic missiles in their medium or final phase of flight, devices in special near-Earth orbits, medium- and short-range hypersonic missiles, drones and other targets.

Krivoruchko also clarified that the Sirena-M mobile ramps will also be tested in 2020 and go into series production from 2025.

In addition, the Russian Navy will receive new atomic submarines from the Borei-A project, two from the Yasen-M project, two frigates from the 22350 project and two universal landing ships, the deputy minister said.

The Russian general also referred to a three-year contract with the companies of the military industrial complex to produce Yars missiles for three mobile regiments, as well as the Sirena-M mobile command systems.

The entry of the new armaments to the rocket forces brings the level of their modernization to 76 percent, while it is expected to reach 92 percent by 2022, Krivoruchko said.

  • Published in World

Invincible weapon? Russia’s advanced HYPERSONIC GLIDER Avangard now in military service

The advanced Russian nuclear hypersonic glider entered combat service on Friday with the first regiment of Avangard-armed missiles now operational, the defense minister reported.

Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, who reported the development to President Putin on Friday, said Avangard deployment was “a signatory event for the country and the armed forces.”

The Russian military armed legacy silo-based UR-100N ICBMs, also known as the Stiletto, with the cutting-edge warheads meant to penetrate heavy anti-ballistic missile defenses.

Russia’s Avangard hypersonic glider final test launch...

The glider is one of several weapons systems meant to boost Russian nuclear deterrence, which were announced by President Vladimir Putin last year. The build-up is meant to counter Washington’s development of ABM technologies, which Russia sees as a national threat.

The Russian president believes Russia’s nuclear forces need to be strong enough to dissuade any temptation that US military strategists may have to deliver a pre-emptive strike against Russia during a possible crisis. The missile regiment is reportedly deployed in the Orenburg region.

Avangard has reportedly been in development since at least the mid-1980s, with first tests coming sometime around 2004. The specifications and even the appearance of the top-secret weapon remain classified. Russian officials said it can maintain controlled flight through the atmosphere at speeds of up to Mach 20.

Unconfirmed reports claim that the nuclear device it can deliver may be as powerful as 2 megatons, which would be considered overkill for traditional modern nuclear warheads.

Also on rt.com World’s end at their fingertips: Russian troops in charge of ground-launched ICBMs celebrate 60th anniversary

  • Published in World

Russia confirms it will appeal 4-year Olympic ban

 Russia has confirmed that it will appeal its four-year Olympic ban for manipulating doping data.

The Russian anti-doping agency, known as RUSADA, sent a formal letter Friday disagreeing with the sanctions imposed earlier this month by the World Anti-Doping Agency. The case is now heading to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Next year's Olympics in Tokyo will be the third consecutive edition of the games preceded by a legal battle over Russian doping issues.

RUSADA said it “disputes the (WADA) notice in its entirety," including the evidence of tampering with the data archive. The data was handed over in January and was meant to clear up past cover-ups, but has led to more legal tussles.

RUSADA's own CEO, Yuri Ganus, attached his own note of protest to Friday's letter. Ganus is critical of Russian officials and had disagreed with the decision to appeal. He was overruled by his agency's founders, which include some of Russia's most influential sports leaders.

The WADA sanctions ban the use of the Russian team name, flag or anthem at a range of major sports competitions over the next four years, including next year's Olympics and the 2022 soccer World Cup.

However, Russian athletes will be allowed to compete as neutrals if they pass a vetting process which examines their history of drug testing, and possible involvement in cover-ups at the lab.

  • Published in Sports

Russian, Canadian tourism boom excels in Camaguey, Cuba

Despite the political campaigns of the United States against Cuba, the influx of Russian and Canadian tourists to this eastern part of the country, is very noticeable today at the end of 2019.

The main issuing markets have been motivated by the various improvements in the hotel infrastructure of the region, which combines geographical charms with potential for the practice of city tourism in a town declared by UNESCO in 2008, Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

In statements to the digital portal Cadena Agramonte, María Gema Suárez, sub-delegate of the Cubanacán hotel group in the province, said the boom in visitors corresponds to better infrastructure, conditioned to correspond to that increase.

The on-site tour operators has strengthened the criteria and opinion of the main travel agencies, which in turn prestige the destination of sun and beach where the Royal Floor Residential Hotel was inaugurated this season, with 35 rooms, and 4-star category, he scored.

Also this year, businessmen from the tourism sector, from Spain, including the travel agencies Camaleon Travel, Zafiro Tours Cieza and Mundo through, arrived in this province, who joined other European counterparts in the mega Travel Games event , organized by tour operator Thomas Cook.

'By 2020, construction projects will begin until 2025 and we will strengthen the main poles, and in the provincial capital this year we will advance in works such as the San Juan de Dios hotel,' said director of Mintur operations group in Camagüey, Bertha Rodríguez.

Tatiana Shnell, at the head of the tour of the Russian tour operator Pegas Touristik through the town, said that 'the fundamental product we promote is sun and beach, but we are interested in complementing our clients' stay with excursions to the city, as another way of knowing to Cuba and its people'.

Despite the constant measures of the United States government to prevent the rise of tourism in Cuba, the international airport terminal Ignacio Agramonte of the city of Camagüey alone in 2017 experienced an increase in operations to receive 250 thousand passengers from several destinations, according to official statistics.

  • Published in Cuba
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