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U.S. retaliates against Russia, orders closure of Consulate, annexes

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, September 1st, 2017

The United States has told Russia to close its Consulate in San Francisco and buildings in Washington and New York that house trade missions, the state department said on Thursday, in retaliation for Moscow cutting the U.S. diplomatic presence in Russia.

“These closures have to be completed by September 2nd. We’ve taken a firm and measured action in response to Russia’s unfortunate decision earlier this year. We want to halt the downward spiral and we want to move forward to build towards better relations. We’ll look for opportunities to do that but we also want to have equity in the decisions,” said White House Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee.

The announcement was the latest in tit-for-tat measures between the two countries that have helped to drive relations to a new Post-Cold War low.

Last month, Moscow ordered the United States to cut its diplomatic and technical staff in Russia by more than half, to 455 people, after the US Congress overwhelmingly approved new sanctions against Russia. — Beverly Sayson | UNTV News & Rescue

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Space crew survives plunge to Earth after Russian rocket fails

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, October 12th, 2018

A plane carrying astronauts landing on the tarmac in Baikonur, Kazakhstan | NASA via REUTERS

A two-man U.S.-Russian crew of a Soyuz spacecraft bound for the International Space Station was safe following a dramatic emergency landing on Thursday (October 11) shortly after lift-off in Kazakhstan when their rocket failed in mid-air.

U.S. astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin landed safely and rescue crews who raced to locate them on the Kazakh steppe quickly linked up with them, according to the U.S. space agency NASA and Russia’s space agency Roscosmos.

The emergency occurred as the first and second stages of a booster rocket separated shortly after launch from Kazakhstan’s Soviet-era cosmodrome of Baikonur.

“It just reemphasizes that this is a dangerous business,” NASA’s deputy chief assistant, Reid Wiseman, said during a briefing at the Johnson Space Center.

The Soyuz capsule carrying the two men separated from the malfunctioning rocket and made what NASA called a steep ballistic descent to Earth with parachutes helping to slow its speed. A cloud of sand billowed up as the capsule came down on the desert steppe.

The capsule took 34 minutes to reach the ground after it separated from the faulty rocket, NASA said.

Rescue crews then raced to the scene to retrieve them, including paratroopers parachuting to their landing spot, helicopters and all-terrain vehicles, NASA said.— Reuters

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PH Embassy in Russia reports rise in OFW voters registration for 2019 polls

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, September 28th, 2018

RUSSIA — 500 more Filipinos working in Russia were added to the list of overseas absentee voters following a series of voters registration held in Moscow. An on-site registration is also being held in Yerevan, Armenia.

Philippine Ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta attributes the increase in registrants to rising population of Filipinos in the country, among other factors.

“Ang isang factor po ay dumami ho ang Filipino sa Russia. Lumaki po ang population natin dito mga Filipino, so galing sa Pilipinas at sa iba pang mga bansa tapos ang tingin ko rin nakikita ko ang mga Filipino talagang gustong magparticipate sa ating political process,” said Ambassador Sorreta.

(One factor is the rising population of Filipinos in Russia. I can also see how much the Filipinos want to participate in the political process.)

Earl Lynne Divinagracia, a Filipino migrant worker who just started working in Russia, is looking forward to the election.

“Ito ay mahalaga para mapalitan na yung mga naka upo sa pwesto na walang ginagawa (It is very important. It’s time to remove incumbent senators who are slacking off ,” Divinagracia said.

Overseas Filipino worker (OFW), Jenette Durante was unable to participate in past elections but this time she is ensuring that her vote will be counted.

“Narealize ko po na mahalaga po pala ang boto ko at makakapili po ako nang tamang kandidato para po sa ating bayan ( I realized how valuable my vote is and my right to choose the right people for our nation),”

The Philippine Embassy also reported that in 2016, nearly 3,000 OFW voters registered in Russia with 37 percent or 1,078 voters turnout.

According to Jeffrey Valdez, vice consul at the Philippine Embassy in Moscow, there are an estimated 8,000 OFWs in Russia and 80-85 percent of them are women.

Embassy officials also underscored the importance of the privilege to participate in the political process.

“Ang ating bayan ay isang demokratikong bayan na ang power po ng ating mga leaders ay nanggagaling po sa mga mamamayan po natin. So napakaimportante po na sumali po tayo sa pagpili sa mga taong magdedecide at maglead po sa atin into the future po,” said Sorreta.

(Our country is a democracy and the power of our leaders rests upon the people. This is why its very important to participate in the selection of our future leaders.)

Filipino voters in Russia only have until Sunday, September 30 from 12 to 4 in the afternoon to register for the 2019 mid-term elections. — Catherine Martinez |UNTV News & Rescue, Russia

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Russian military holds chemical attack drill

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, September 17th, 2018

Man in chemical protection suit holding a red flag during the chemical attack drill in Russia | REUTERS

The Russian military held a chemical attack drill on Sunday (September 16) as part of major military exercises Vostok-2018.

The Russian defense ministry published a video showing servicemen in chemical protection suits and gas masks cleaning tanks.

Russia’s biggest war games since the fall of the Soviet Union, the Vostok-2018 (East-2018) drills, which run until Sept. 17, take place in eastern Siberia close to the border with China and involve 300,000 Russian troops.

The exercises involve over a thousand military aircraft as well as up to 36,000 tanks, come amid tense relations between Russia and the West. — Reuters

 

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