Sunday, August 29, 2010

FDC from Russia/FDC de la russie

The Solovetsky Islands/Îles Solovki

The Solovetsky Islands (Russian: Солове́цкие острова́, Соловки́) are located in the Onega Bay of the White Sea, Russia. The islands are administrated from Arkhangelsk as Solovetsky District and are served by the Solovki Airport. Area: 347 km². Population: 968 (2002 Census); 1,317 (1989 Census).


This archipelago consists of six islands known collectively as the Solovki:

    Bolshoy Solovetsky Island – 246 km².
    Anzersky Island (Anzer) – 47 km².
    Bolshaya Muksalma – 17 km².
    Malaya Muksalma – 0,57 km².
    Bolshoy Zayatsky – 1,25 km².
    Maly Zayatsky – 1,02 km².

The shores of the islands are very indented. They are formed of granites and gneiss. The relief of the islands is hilly (the highest point is 107 m). Most of the Solovetsky Islands are covered with Scots Pine and Norway Spruce forests, which are partially swampy. There are numerous lakes, which were joined by monks so as to form a network of canals.

One interesting feature of these islands is stone labyrinths and other stone settings, especially the Stone labyrinths of Bolshoi Zayatsky Island. Such labyrinths were typical for Northern Europe, but most have perished and now Solovetsky Islands have some of the best remaining examples.


Historically the islands have been the setting of the famous Russian Orthodox Solovetsky Monastery complex. It was founded in the second quarter of the 15th century by two monks from the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery. By the end of the 16th century, the abbey had emerged as one of the wealthiest landowners and most influential religious centres in Russia.

The existing stronghold and its major churches were erected in stone during the early reign of Ivan the Terrible at the behest of St. Philip of Moscow. At the onset of the Schism of the Russian Church, the monks staunchly stuck to the faith of their fathers and expelled the tsar's representatives from the Solovki, precipitating the eight-year-long siege of the islands by the forces of Tsar Alexis.
"Bombardment of the Solovetsky Monastery by the Royal Navy during the Crimean War". A lubok (popular print) from 1868.

Throughout the imperial period of Russian history, the monastery was renowned as a strong fortress which repelled foreign attacks during the Livonian War (16th century), Time of Troubles (17th century), the Crimean War (19th century), and the Russian Civil War (20th century).

Labor camp

After the October Revolution, the islands attained some notoriety as the site of the first Soviet prison camp. The camp was inaugurated as a "detention camp" in 1921, while Lenin was still at the helm of Soviet Russia. It was transformed into a prison in 1929 and was closed ten years later, on the eve of the World War II. The Soviet government realised the islands' strategic importance, and by the beginning of the war, there was a naval base of the Soviet Northern Fleet.

In 1974, the Solovetsky Islands were designated a historical and architectural museum and a natural reserve of the USSR. In 1992, they were inscribed on the World Heritage List "as an outstanding example of a monastic settlement in the inhospitable environment of northern Europe which admirably illustrates the faith, tenacity, and enterprise of later medieval religious communities".Today, the Solovki are seen as a major tourist magnet in the orbit of the Russian North. One can get to the islands either by ship from Kem or by plane from Arkhangelsk.

Les Îles Solovetski (en russe : Солове́цкие острова́), connues également sous les noms de Solovki ou Solovetsk, forment un archipel au nord-ouest de la Russie dans la mer Blanche. Situées dans la baie d'Onega, les îles sont administrées par l'oblast d'Arkhangelsk. Leur superficie totale est de 347 km2 pour une population de 968 habitants en 2002. L'archipel comprend six îles dont les plus grandes sont Solovetski, Anzerski, Bolchaïa Mouksalma et Malaïa Mouksalma). Il est célèbre pour le monastère de Solovetski du XVe siècle et son ancien camp de travail soviétique, précurseur de l'organisation du Goulag. En 1974, les îles devinrent une réserve naturelle protégée : l'archipel, son patrimoine architectural comme son histoire qui en fait un lieu de mémoire privilégié de la Terreur stalinienne, furent l'un des premiers sites russes à être inscrits sur la liste du patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO en 1992.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

FDC from North Korea/FDC de la Corée du Nord

Eternal Sun of Juche/Sol eterno de Juche

12 KPW: Water color painting "The great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung drawing the brush into our party's emblem.
50 KPW: Oil painting "First military flag"
70 KPW: Oil painting "Birth"
140 KPW: Korean painting "Every field with bumper harvest"

Sunday, August 22, 2010

FDC from North Korea/FDC de la Corée du Nord

70th anniversary of Victory in the battle in Musan Area/
Le 70ème anniversaire de Victoire dans la bataille dans la Région Musan

Friday, August 13, 2010

FDC from Russia/FDC de la russie

50th Anniversary of Ice-breaker’s Fleet of Russia/
Le 50ème Anniversaire de la Flotte de Brise-glace de la Russie

7 RUR: Ice-breaker "Lenin".
8 RUR: Ice-breaker "Taimyr".
9 RUR: Ice-breaker "Yamal".
10 RUR: Ice-breaker "50 Let Pobedy".

NS Lenin is a Soviet icebreaker launched in 1957, and is both the world's first nuclear powered surface ship and the first nuclear powered civilian vessel. Lenin was put into operation in 1959 and officially decommissioned in 1989.
In the later configuration (two nuclear reactors), the reactors provided steam for four Kirov turbines. These were connected to generators, which powered three sets of electric motors to drive the ship's three propellers.
When launched in 1957, Lenin was powered by three OK-150 reactors.
In February 1965, there was a loss of coolant accident. After being shut down for refueling, the coolant was removed from the number two reactor before the spent fuel had been removed. As a result, some of the fuel elements melted or deformed inside the reactor. This was discovered when the spent elements were being unloaded for storage and disposal. 124 fuel assemblies (about 60% of the total) were stuck in the reactor core. It was decided to remove the fuel, control grid, and control rods as a unit for disposal; they were placed in a special cask, solidified, stored for two years, and dumped in Tsivolki Bay (near the Novaya Zemlya archipelago) in 1967.
Monument of the icebreaker "Lenin" in memorial to Conquerors of the Arctic in Murmansk
The second accident was a cooling system leak which occurred in 1967, shortly after refueling. Finding the leak required breaking through the concrete and metal biological shield with sledgehammers. Once the leak was found, it became apparent that the sledgehammer damage could not be repaired; subsequently, all three reactors were removed, and replaced by two OK-900 reactors. This was completed in the Spring of 1970.
Details of these accidents were not widely available until after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Taymyr (sometimes spelled Taimyr) is a shallow-draft nuclear powered icebreaker, and the first of four similar vessels. She was built in 1989 for the Soviet Union in Helsinki, at the Finnish shipyard Wärtsilä, by order of the Murmansk Shipping Co.
The Taymyr was delivered to Russia for the installation of the reactor system. It has a nuclear-turbo-electric reactor giving up to 50,000 hp. This shallow-draft icebreaker is used mainly for clearing rivers, including their mouths and estuaries of ice and opening channels in order to make winter navigation possible.
This icebreaker and its sister ship Vaygach belong to a type known as Taymyr-class River Icebreakers.
The Call sign of Taymyr is UEMM.

The NS Yamal (Russian: Яма́л) is a Russian Arktika class nuclear powered icebreaker operated by the Murmansk Shipping Company. It is named after the Yamal Peninsula in Northwest Siberia; the name means End of the Land in Nenets.
Laid down in Leningrad in 1986, and launched in October 1992, after the end of communism in Russia, she never filled her designed role of keeping shipping lanes open. She has always carried passengers on arctic excursions. Yamal took an excursion to the North Pole to celebrate the Millennium. Yamal is the 12th surface ship ever to reach the north pole.[citation needed]
The Yamal is equipped with a double hull. The outer hull is 48 mm thick where ice is met and 25 mm elsewhere and has a polymer coating to reduce friction. There is water ballast between the inner and outer hulls which can be shifted in order to aid icebreaking. Icebreaking is also assisted by an air bubbling system which can deliver 24 m³/s of air from jets 9 m below the surface. The Yamal can break ice while making way either forwards or backwards.
Yamal is one of the Russian "Arctic" family of icebreakers, the most powerful icebreakers in the world. These ships must cruise in cold water to cool their reactors, so they cannot pass through the tropics to undertake voyages in the Southern hemisphere.[1]
Yamal carries one helicopter and several Zodiac boats. Radio and satellite communications systems are installed which can provide navigation, telephone, fax, and email services. Amenities include a large dining room (capable of holding all 100 passengers in one sitting), a library, passenger lounge, auditorium, volleyball court, gymnasium, heated indoor swimming pool, a sauna, and an infirmary. She is equipped with 50 passenger cabins and suites, all with toilets, exterior windows, a television, and a desk.

NS 50 Let Pobedy (Russian: 50 лет Победы), translated as 50 Years of Victory or Fiftieth Anniversary of Victory, is a Russian Arktika class nuclear powered icebreaker, the largest in the world as of 2007.
Construction on project no. 10521 started on October 4, 1989 at the Baltic Works in Leningrad (currently Saint Petersburg), USSR. Originally the ship was named NS Ural. Work was halted in 1994 for lack of funds, so that the actual fiftieth anniversary of Victory Day, in 1995, found the ship in an abandoned state. Construction was restarted in 2003.
On 30 November 2004, a fire broke out on the ship. All workers aboard the vessel had to be evacuated while the fire crews battled the fire for some 20 hours before getting it under control; one worker was sent to the hospital. There was no threat of radioactive contamination as the nuclear reactor did not yet have fuel inside.
She was finally completed in the beginning of 2007, after the 60th Anniversary. The icebreaker sailed into the Gulf of Finland for two weeks of sea trials on February 1, 2007.
Upon completing sea trials, the icebreaker returned to St-Petersburg Baltic shipyard and started preparations for her maiden voyage to Murmansk. The new ship showed superior characteristics for an icebreaker, such as exceptional maneuverability and a top speed of 21.4 knots (39.6 km/h).
She arrived at her homeport Murmansk on April 11, 2007.
The icebreaker is an upgrade of the Arktika-class, the most powerful icebreakers ever built. The 159.60 m (524 ft) long and 20.0 m (66 ft) wide vessel, with a displacement of 25840 metric tons, is designed to break through ice up to 2.8 meters thick. She has a 140-man crew.
50 Years Since Victory is also an experimental project; for the first time in history of the Russian icebreakers it used a spoon-shaped bow. As predicted by the ship's designers, such a shape increases the efficiency of the ship's efforts in breaking the ice. The icebreaker is equipped with an all-new digital automated control system. The biological shielding complex was heavily modernized and re-certified by the State Commission. A new ecological compartment was created.
The ship has an athletic/exercise facility, a swimming pool, a library, a restaurant, a massage facility, and a music salon at the crew's disposal.
A group of eclipse chasers has used the vessel to observe the eclipse of August 1, 2008. They departed from Murmansk on July 21, 2008 and reached the North Pole on July 25, 2008, which sets a speed record for the ship (the trip lasted 4 days instead of 7).