August 99


"Window to Europe is open"

The last cimena festival for Northwestern region in this year "Window to Europe" is open 9 August in Vyborg.
The city's cinema hall is overcrowded with those who want to see new native films (all the showings are free). This year the festival has new participants - animated films.
The chairmen of the festival are Stanislav Rostocki, Amalia Mordvinova, Vladimir Grammatikov, Gennadi Poloka, Vladimir Makanin, Petr Todorovski, Vladilen Arseniev etc.
President of the festival is Savva Kulish. The money for the festival was given by Moskow government, Vyborg Administration, Goskino.
The ceremony of the opening and closing of the festival will show national TV (RTR).

img align=left src="news/04_fire.gif" hspace=14

Season of fires

Changing winds have resulted in St. Petersburg's southern residential districts being engulfed in smoke for the second time this summer, as nearly 5,000 hectares of Leningrad Oblast forest continue to burn.
At least 53 fires in the oblast are still ablaze, and several of the smallest of these are the ones producing the smoke clouds that are enveloping the Kup chino and Vyborsky regions of the city, Emergency Situations Ministry officials said Monday.
Small fires in Shyshar, Pargolovo and Untolovky - all in the oblast - are the culprits, as wind continues to fan the smoke from small pockets of burning peat moss toward the city center.
So far this summer, fires have consumed over 14,000 hectares of forest in Northwest Russia, according to the ministry.
Despite the fears of residents brought about by the reappearance of the massive smoke clouds - which first appeared early last month - there have been no reported deaths or injuries related to the fires, said Nikolai Kirichenko, press secretary for City Hall's Health Committee. And officials say there is no threat yet of the fires spreading into residential areas or near dangerous gas pipelines.
Ministry officials said that fires in the Kirishy, Tikhvin, Boksitogorsky and Volkhovsky regions are currently the most serious and officials there are working around the clock to combat the blazes.
The biggest threat, said the ministry, is the rapidly burning peat moss - buried as much as 10 meters deep - which comprises almost half of the area presently on fire.
Oblast fire rangers, however, are worried that with the upcoming berry-picking and mushroom-gathering season more fires could be on the way, the newspaper Izvestia reported Saturday. According to statistics provided by the Emergency Situations Ministry, 95 percent of the forest fires in the oblast have been the result of carelessly discarded cigarettes.
The last time such a number of forest fires engulfed the area was in 1992, and before that, in 1972. Prior to this year's blazes, officials believed that such fires occurred on average only once every 20 years.

St. Petersburg Time

Sabadash Charges Vyborg TsBK

Representatives of Alcem UK Ltd, the new owners of the Vyborg Pulp and Paper Plant (TsBK) and bailiffs have attempted to seize the Vyborg Pulp and Paper Plant.
The plant, located in the Leningrad Oblast, has been resold several times, the last owners being Cyprus-based Nimonor Investments Ltd, which purchased the bankrupt company at auction, but failed to take over the plant, and handed the ownership rights to Alcem.
One of the reasons for the latest sale was the conflict between the plant staff and foreign owners, and the sale of the company to Alcem exaggerated the situation.
On the morning of 9 July, Alcem representative Alexander Sabadash, accompanied by bailiffs, the police and ZAO AFB-2 security staff, entered the plant's administrative building, sweeping aside factory security staff. They entered the office of the 'people's director', Alexander Vantorin, and demanded that the bailiffs be allowed to seal the plant's management offices.

At midday, several hundred plant employees and residents of the local village, who had collected near the administrative building, came into contact with AFB-2 staff, and at least one person required medical treatment as a result of the crush.
At 5pm on the same day, the time of going to press, tense negotiations were continuing at the plant. The building was filled with an aggressive crowd, and lists of volunteers were being drawn up for 24-hour patrols.
Alcem UK Ltd (which is backed by financial groups involved in vodka manufacturing and the aluminium business) plans to refurnish the plant to produce panelling. The workers' collective wants the plant to continue producing the same products as previously, and has experience of standing up against the plant's legal owners

Delovoj Petersburg

Paper revolt

Confrontation of the working people and the new owners of Vyborgsky paper-mill took a new step recently.
Trade-union of the enterprise woked out a declaration against privatization of the plant and repair demonstration near Leningrad region government bilding.
Piket of the building is going to take place 16 August. The Government doesn't plan a repressions against demonstration.
One of the new owners of TsBK - Alexandr Sabadash (director of AFB-2 company) said during the phone conversation that every worker will get his salary paing no attention what they do and if they do it according to civil laws.


New information technologies help in education

Realization of joint Russian-Finnish project "Training of specialists for development of education system and preparation of personnel of Leningrad disctrict on the base of virtual technologies" came to end.
This project was sponsored by TASIS-Bistro programme. Realization of the project took 9 months.
The main aim was to take European experience by application of modern technologies of distant education and preparation of the personnel.
A team consisting of 3 members was selected in Vyborg. They will work under future development of distant educational centre "Znanie".
It will a starting point for the modern system of virtual educational technologies in Leningrad oblast and for making contacts with European Net Assotiation of virtual education Centres.