Newly collected and restudied earlier materials on an enigmatic fish Ventalepis ketleriensis Schultze, 1980 from the upper Famennian (postera – ? Lower expansa conodont zones) of Latvia and central and northwestern Russia support its porolepiform affinities. A new family Ventalepididae fam. nova is established for this genus upon a peculiar combination of characters, including scale structure and dermal bones ornamentation. New records extend the distribution of this genus and the Ventalepis vertebrate assemblage on the whole to a vast geographical zone along the south-eastern coast of the Old Red Sandstone continent. The habitat area of the Devonian vertebrate assemblage over such a large territory within the zoogeographical province of Baltica is established for the first time. Palaeozoogeographical analysis suggests Laurentian affinities of the Ventalepis assemblage demonstrating the major congruency to the Belgian and East Greenland ones. These and Russian localities are separated by a vast ORS continent. Presence of the dipnoan Jarvikia in all three locations, as well as an Ichthyostega-like tetrapod in the Belgian one reveals palaeozoogeographical connections, which might reflect possible dwelling not only in the near-shore continent periphery but also in the river systems of the continent itself.
The article presents an analysis of Russia’s participation in international steam coal trade, which has been its important participant for years. The research covered the years 2014–2018. The geographical location on two continents and the availability of coal deposits, favors its presence on both the Pacific and Atlantic markets. The article also discusses the main coal producers in Russia and the prices of Russian steam coal directed to the spot market. Due to the significant share of coal exports for the Russian economy, the focus was also on analyzing Russian seaports. In recent years, Asian exports have dominated in Russian steam coal exports. The share of export to this market in the years 2014–2018 was in the range of 49–57% (60–87 million tons). Currently, three countries play an important role among Asian countries: South Korea, China and J apan. They purchased a total of 38–52 million tons of Russian coal. Although in the years under analysis Russia exported 52–67 million tons of steam coal to the European market, the share of this market dropped from almost half to around 40%. T he slow departure from coal energy contributes to reducing the share of recipients from this direction. Among European countries, in 2014 the main direction of export was Great Britain with 19% (24 million tons) of total export share. In 2018, exports fell to 9 million tons (5%). Among European destinations for Russian coal, Poland’s share is growing in importance. In the years 2014–2018, steam coal exports to Poland varied in the range of 5.6–16.2 million tons. In the years 2014–2018 it changed in the range of 5.6–16.2 million tons. The dynamic growth achieved in the last three years is noteworthy. In relation to 2016, imports increased by 10.0 million tons and in 2018 amounted to as much as 16.1 million tons. The article also discusses the geographical structure of coal imports to Poland by railway border crossings and seaports.
The natural gas supply is used from Russia Federation as a political instrument in the geopolitical and territorial conflict with Ukraine. The effectiveness of Russian strategy towards Ukraine is due to the fact that power in Kiev is also exercised by the pro-Russian politicians and supported on the part of Ukrainian oligarchs. The two countries are interdependent in terms of energy by means of the existing gas infrastructure and long-term contracts, because Ukraine guarantees the Russian Federation the transit of natural gas to Europe through its system of transmission gas pipelines, and Russia pays for the transit and used to supply the agreed amount of gas to Ukraine. For the first time – in 2016 – Ukraine didn’t import natural gas directly from the Russia Federation. This article attempts to obtain an answer to the research question, whether Ukraine actually strives to diversify its natural gas supply. What part of this policy is the Ukrainian political instrument in terms of Russia, and what part is the real political objective? Especially in the context of the gas contract between both States, ending in 2019. What role will be played the underground gas storage in the geopolitical struggle? Despite Nord Stream II the Russian Federation still needs the Ukrainian pipelines to fulfill contractual obligations in gas supplies to Europe. What are the strategic goals of the energy policy of Ukraine and Russia? The geopolitical as well as geo-economic theories will be applied. Moreover, a factor analysis as well as a decision-making analysis will be used. The political analysis method and the forecasting technique are applied to obtain, not only theoretical, but also practical input.
The study focuses on one of the ways to express for eignness of ethnicities encountered by the inhabitants of Medieval Rus’, namely on constructing the origin of those ethnicities. The narrative about the origin of an ethnicity and its ancestors (origo gentis) is known from European medieval historiography in general. The oldest Russian chronicles, however, are distinguishable for not only recording the origin of their own nation, but noting the roots of completely different cultures, i.e. steppe tribes and northern peoples; later the origin of Mongols is refl ected in a similar way. The comparison of the Primary Chronicle and Latin Central European chronicles which were created almost at the same time period (Chronica Boemorum by Cosmas of Prague, Chronica et gesta ducum sive principum Polonorum by Gallus Anonymus and a slightly younger anonymous Gesta Hungarorum) demonstrates that the primary function of Latin origo gentis was to define the identity of the medieval gens, which was changing into natio of the High Medieval Period, and to legitimate its political structures. In these chronicles, origo gentis never became a separate theme in relation to other nations. On the contrary, the authors of the oldest Russian chronicles considered the identifi cation of the origins of the foreign nations to be the key for recognizing their functions not only in the present or in the past, but, first and foremost, in the future, in the end time.
The avifaunistic observations carried out in the tundra valley of the Sob River's upper course (west slopes of the Polar Ural) in July 1995 revealed the occurrence of 39 breeding and 8 non-breeding bird species. The most numerous were Anthus pratensis, Calcarius lapponicus, Phylloscopus trochilus and Anthus cervinus. The great variety of wetland and aquatic habitats had a decisive influence on species-richness and abundance of birds (jointly 30 breeding and 4 non-breeding species). Areas of low humidity were inhabited by 14 whereas anthropogenic habitats by 4 species. Most of them (except for eurytopic A. pratensis and C. lapponicus) occupied one-two habitats irrespective of their numbers. The density of Buteo lagopus was estimated at 1.67-2.00 p/10 km2. Three species of distribution ranges laying to the south from the study area, namely Bucephala clangula, Dendrocopos major, Circus macrourus, were noted in the valley. The results obtained have been compared with available data on the avifauna of the region concerned.
The article discusses views and the ideological evolution carried out by Pitirim Alexandrovich Sorokin, a Russian-American sociologist, philosopher and political activist. Influenced by his observations of the events of 1917, Sorokin radically reformulated his opinions about Marx and Marxism which resulted in his espousing of a traditionalist and anti-revolutionary position. He still shared with Marx his negative diagnosis of the modern world, but proposed a different solution as a remedy. His solution was a purification of the idea of equality by liberating it from reductive materialism. Nevertheless Sorokin’s concept of spiritual equality was as utopian as Marx’s. He presented his ideas in a littleknown novel titled: Предтеча (or Прачечная человеческих душ – ‘предтеча’ means ‘ancestor’ and is commonly referred to John the Baptist). This work is a signal for Sorokin’s denial of Marx’s ideas and his revolutionary zeal.
The paper describes the political use of symbols of childhood and orphanhood in the current policy of the Russian authorities. At the beginning of the Bolshevik regime, homeless children (bezprizorni) became a subject of interest for the security apparatus organized by F. Dzerzhinsky. At that time, A. Makarenko developed his innovative pedagogical approach. These activities were designed to create a “new Soviet man”. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia again faced the problem of homeless children. After several years, however, children and orphans are now being used as a symbol of vulnerability in the government policy of the Kremlin. As an answer to the so-called “Magnitsky Act”, the Russian authorities implemented the “DimaYakovlev law” prohibiting adoptions of Russian children to the United States. In addition to this, the child as a symbol of innocence and vulnerability is an invariant element in the policy of the Russian authorities. This combines symbolism associated with bravery, dedication and sacrifice, allowing justification of the current political course of power in Russia.
There is a growing interest in new transportation routes that combine benefits of shorter distances, cost-effective transits and routes not troubled by maritime security concerns. The Northwest Passage offers a package of routes through the Canadian maritime zone; it is 9,000 km shorter than the Panama Canal route and 17,000 km shorter than the Cape Horn route. The Northern Sea Route shortens a Hamburg-Yokohama voyage by 4,800 miles, in comparison with the Suez Canal route. The transpolar route, if it materializes with an ice-free Central Arctic Ocean route, would shorten distances even further. Given the increase in regional and international navigation and shipping in the region, it is therefore not surprising that in recent years Arctic States and international bodies focused on the needs of enhanced safety and environmental standards for polar shipping. In addition to the dedicated domestic polar shipping regulation, primarily in Canada and the Russian Federation, the Arctic Council and International Maritime Organization (IMO) have launched important initiatives. The most important is establishing of international rules for ships operating in polar waters – The Polar Code.
The authors presented the tendencies in Russian toponomy after the October Revolution, when geographic naming became one of the most important tools of communist propaganda. They showed – following A. Supieranska – three groups of oekokonyms in the 1920s and 30s: 1) those derived from the names of individuals who had achieved renown (e.g. Ленинакан, Ленинск, Лениногорск, Ленинабад, Троцк, Киров), 2) those commemorating phenomena and events linked with the Revolution and the era of Soviet rule (e.g. Комсомольск-на-Амуре, Красногвардейск), 3) those referring to areas of production (e.g. Асбест, Бокситогорск, Магнитогорск, Электросталь). In this context, changes in the naming of towns inhabited by Germans are presented, in particular Marx and Engels, located in the Volga Region. The presentation of the changes is preceeded by a description of the development of the oekonymic system of Volga Germans.
The paper will discuss the Russian involvement in the Holy Land that started from informal actions to evolve into formal activities of religious, trading and scientific institutions related to the Russian authorities.