Models of the Ingush Towers

Man named Magomed-Bashir Ozdoev creates the miniature models of Ingush towers. His models reportedly are shown in the museums of Ingushetia and being sold to private collections. As being posted on Russian blog the man, Magomed, is doing this for fun as his main job is being a lawyer. Some of the models he was making for six – nine months.

He uses natural materials, like brings the stones from the real world locations and use them to create its miniature copy.

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7 Russian Teens Conquer North Pole

MOSCOW, April 18 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian team of seven 16-year-olds together with two experienced polar explorers and the country's children's rights ombudsman, Pavel Astakhov, have skiied to the North Pole, the ombudsman's press service said Friday.

“On April 18, 2014 at 12.44, the Seventh Russian Youth Expedition 'Skiing to the North Pole!' has reached its goal! The teen polar expedition has planted a Russian flag at the top of the world!” the press statement reads.

The team traversed 180 kilometers to reach the chilly spot in eight days, while expeditions of experienced adult athletes from the US and Norway fell behind, according to Astakhov.

The teens traveled to the North Pole while battling severe northern winds, huge ice ridges and other dangers.

Among the participants were students of schools for children with special needs and orphanages. Two of them are hearing-impaired, another three are being raised in orphanages, and one attends a military boarding school. The team will return to Moscow on April 20.

Russia regards development of the Arctic as one of its top priorities. Last year, Moscow unveiled a strategy aimed at increasing its presence in the region and boosting development by 2020. Experts say it may take Russia five to seven years to ratchet up its Arctic exploration effort to what it was during its golden era in the 1930-40s.

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Russia to Keep Working With Astronauts From US, Europe, Japan

MOSCOW, April 18 (RIA Novosti) – Russian cosmonauts will continue to work with their colleagues from the US, Europe and Japan, despite a number of recent NASA statements about curtailing space cooperation, the head of the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center said.

"I have been flying with these guys, with the Americans and the Europeans, my friends have been flying as well," Yuri Lonchakov, a former cosmonaut, said in an interview with the Russia-24 TV channel.

"I can say for sure that we have always worked together for the good of Earth and will keep on working in the future. So these recent statements are wrong. Our colleagues in the US, Europe, Canada and Japan have also confirmed their readiness to continue joint projects," he said.

Lonchakov was appointed head of the cosmonaut training center earlier this month.

He earlier told RIA Novosti that he had accepted the offer by Roscosmos to focus on creating a new organization for the strategic development of Russian manned spaceflight, which would be established on the basis of the Central Research Institute of Machine Building, Roscosmos' leading spacecraft scientific center.

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Ukraine Denied Entry to 600 Russians in First Day After Imposing Ban

MOSCOW, April 17 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian border guards denied entry to about 600 Russian citizens in the first 24 hours of an entry ban on Russian males, Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service told RIA Novosti Friday.

“Over the last 24 hours about 600 Russian citizens were denied access to Ukraine,” the agency said.

The Ukrainian State Border Guard Service announced Thursday it was banning Russian males aged 16-60 from entering the country. Russia’s largest airline Aeroflot earlier announced it had received an official letter from Ukrainian authorities notifying the company of the severe restrictions.

The exceptions to the ban include passengers traveling with relatives who are women or children, or those who have documents confirming an invitation from close relatives or serious illness or death in the family, the company said.

Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service told RIA Novosti that the final decision on an entry ban will be made at the border.

“I can say that we will be particularly meticulous in relation to Russian citizens of the indicated age. For example, if they are well-built they will undergo a second screening,” a representative for Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service told RIA Novosti.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has requested an official explanation from Kiev on the restrictions and said that it did not rule out retaliatory measures following the move.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that the entry ban imposed by Ukraine on certain groups of Russian citizens was outrageous.

“We drew attention to the decision banning Russian males of a particular age from entering Ukraine. This is outrageous and does not correspond with the atmosphere our Western counterparts aimed to create during the meeting,” Lavrov said.

He also called this move on the part of the Ukrainian government “obviously discriminatory and unfriendly.”

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Naftogaz Confirms Ukraine Still Importing Russian Gas

KIEV, April 18 (PRIME/RIA Novosti) – Ukraine is currently importing natural gas from Russia, the head of the country's state-run Naftogaz confirmed Friday.

"We are currently importing Russian gas, but it remains on the territory of Ukraine, we are not redirecting it elsewhere," Andriy Kobolev said, without specifying the volume of imports.

Naftogaz began importing reverse gas from Europe through Poland this week after Russia canceled all discounts for the company. Gazprom increased the price of gas for Ukraine in April from $268.50 to $485 per thousand cubic meters.

The total value of gas that Ukraine imported for the first half of April at the new price is approximately $400 million, the deputy head of the Russian National Energy Security Fund, Alexei Grivach, told RIA Novosti.

The possibilities of reverse gas supplies to Ukraine are modest, about 1.5 billion cubic meters per year. To increase the purchase amount Ukraine is trying to negotiate gas imports from Slovakia. Last year, Ukraine imported 28 billion cubic meters of gas.

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Russian Space Agency Creates Hashtag for Cosmonaut Selfies

MOSCOW, April 18 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian space agency Roscosmos has launched a project to collect cosmonaut self-portrait photos and publish them online, the agency’s press office said Friday.

“In the spirit of current trends, Roscosmos has created the hashtag #cosmoselfie,” the agency said.

The space agency is going to use the new hashtag on social networks to publish selfies taken by cosmonauts.

Roscosmos recently created accounts on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, where it publishes the current news on space research and photos taken by Russian cosmonauts on board the International Space Station. The agency also organizes special events aimed at educating students about space and science.

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Shell to Get Support in Sakhalin-2 Development – Putin

NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia, April 18 (PRIME/RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to provide support for Royal Dutch Shell’s operation in the country on Friday, including further development of the Sakhalin-2 project.

"I am pleased that the company has plans to expand its area of activities in Russia," Putin told the head of the company, Ben van Beurden.

"Of course, we will render all the necessary administrative support and assistance," the Russian president said.

"Shell is one of the largest investors in the Russian economy, your work is almost omnidirectional in the energy area, you have your own network of gas stations, and you are one of the largest traders of Russian oil, 20 percent of the whole market is involved, it is a big figure," Putin said.

Van Beurden thanked Putin for the meeting, saying the Russian president "knows the business of the company as well as he does.”

"We need to further expand our presence in Asia, where we have strong and steady positions," he added, noting that Shell has other projects in Russia, in particular, a joint venture with Gazprom Neft.

The first Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant was commissioned as part of the Sakhalin-2 project in 2009, and began deliveries of Russian LNG to international customers.

Shell and Gazprom, which together own over three-quarters of the project, decided to design a new LNG production line. The project also has Japanese shareholders Mitsui and Mitsubishi Corporation, which hold 12.5 and 10 percent respectively.

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Russia Eyes Arctic Oil Drilling To Boost Market Presence

NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia, April 18 (RIA Novosti) – Oil extraction at the Prirazlomnoye Arctic oilfield in the Arctic Pechora Sea will boost Russia’s oil output and increase its presence on energy markets, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday during a video link-up with an oil rig in the region.

“It is the beginning of our country’s massive effort to extract mineral resources and oil in the Arctic,” Putin said.

“The project will increase Russia’s presence in global energy markets, boost its overall economy and our energy industry in particular,” he explained.

During the video hook-up, the president congratulated rig workers on their first oil shipment in the Arctic. Putin said the development of this deposit would give an impetus to Russia’s machine and ship industries.

Two huge ice-breakers have been assigned to the rig to perform year-round maintenance, which will also improve the standing of Russia’s ship-building companies, Putin said.

The Prirazlomnoye oilfield was discovered in 1989 and is believed to hold some 70 million tons of extractable oil, with year-on-year yields expected to reach 6 million tons. Russia intends to extract at least 300,000 tons this year.

The project has been accumulating investment, estimated at around 90 billion rubles ($2.5 billion).

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