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00:46 | Jan 18 | 2013

Moscow by Day, Petersburg by the other Day

A summary of anniversary Days of Yakutia in Moscow and Saint Petersburg.

As part of anniversary events to commemorate the 380th milestone of Yakutia’s entry into the Russian state and the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Republic, Days of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) took place in Moscow from 20 to 25 November 2012, and in St. Petersburg from 27 to 29 November.

Development momentum

Anniversary events in Moscow began from laying flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Alexander Garden by the official delegation of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), headed by President Egor Borisov.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and President of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) Egor Borisov signed an agreement on trade, economic, social and cultural cooperation and the implementation plan for 2013-2015 in the Red Hall of the City Hall on Tverskaya Street.
The signed agreement will give a certain momentum to the relations in the coming years. Egor Borisov noted that Yakutia wants to use Moscow experience in different areas of city life. According to him, not only the cultural programs but also the economic potential of the region was represented at the Days of Yakutia in Moscow for the first time. Now Moscow companies implement energy efficiency projects in Yakutia. In the near future the construction of oil and gas industry infrastructure is planned. Yakutia is also actively adopting experience of the capital for nanotechnology introduction.

Strengthening the international position
Egor Borisov met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Russian Foreign Ministry's Reception House on November, 21st. They discussed the results of the Yakut presidency over the international non-governmental organization “The Northern Forum”, the prospects for expanding the geography of the International Sports Games “Children of Asia”, and plans to build-up co-operation between Yakutia and UNESCO. After that a Protocol on Cooperation in International and Foreign Relations for 2013-2017 was signed.
“The Protocol lists the areas of our cooperation, which is actually much richer than is officially declared,” said Sergey Lavrov. In turn, Egor Borisov expressed his confidence that the signed protocol will become an additional impetus for further fruitful cooperation between the Republic and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. “Such relationships with the regions strengthen our state and positions at the international level,” said the President of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia).
After signing the Protocol Sergei Lavrov handed over the certificate of registration of the Natural Park “Lena Pillars” in UNESCO World Heritage List to Egor Borisov. The park became the 25th object under the protection of the organization in Russia. The Minister is confident that the certificate is going to be only one of the steps to preserve this magnificent natural park. Russia is among the top ten states on the number of such objects on its territory. After the meeting, Borisov presented Lavrov with the highest award of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) - Order of the “Polar Star” for his contribution to strengthening peace, friendship and development of international and inter-regional cooperation.

All spheres of life represented
The exhibition “Sakha-EXPO” was one of the central events of the Days of Yakutia in Moscow; it was attended by more than 15 thousand people over three days. The exhibition was held to demonstrate the investment and tourism potential of the Republic, the achievements in the fields of economy, industry, transport, energy, science and culture under the slogan “Creating the Future, Preserving the Eternal”. “Sakha-EXPO” was held in one of the historic buildings of Russia – in the Gostiny Dvor.
“In 380 years, from the moment our people cast their lot with the peoples of Russia, we became one of the leading parties in the East of the country,” said Egor Borisov during his opening speech. “Major projects which will be an outpost of the state development in the coming years are being implemented in the Republic.”
More than 200 exhibitors from more than 130 companies and establishments of the Republic represented the history, ethnography, economy, industry, innovation, agriculture, culture and sport of Yakutia in the exhibition halls.
Section “Investments. Infrastructure. Industry” accommodated a large LED relief map of Yakutia showing the highways and major mineral deposits. Next to it there was a display of the transport complex, showing roads, railways, water and air transport of Yakutia.

Eternal values
At the center of the exhibit in the Gostiny Dvor there was placed a Yakut alaas with an old serge in the middle, which was specially brought from Yakutia; over the serge there was a visual 3D diorama. The diorama symbolized the tree of life – Aal Luk Maas. A Yakut Urasa (a yurt, a dwelling place) decorated in the traditional style stood nearby, various agreements were signed and business meetings conducted there.
Section “Eternal” located in the center of the exhibition was devoted to the history and culture of Yakutia. Here one was able to see the fauna of the prehistoric period – the remains of mammoths, woolly rhinoceros, bisons, as well as to have a look at the exhibition devoted to khomuses – the Yakut national instrument. Russian cosmonauts told how and why the Yakut national musical instrument khomus appeared on board the spacecraft “Soyuz”. The stuffed mammoth with absolutely genuine tusks and with fur grown on a host skeleton attracted much attention of visitors.

Better than a diamond – only a diamond
Yakutia is impossible to imagine without diamonds, and one of the exhibits was dedicated to them. “Treasury of Yakutia” is not just unique pieces of jewelry and handicrafts. This is the best samples of folk crafts of the Sakha (Yakutia) National Art Museum and the exhibits of the State Treasury of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia).
A fashion show “Diamond Firework” and a sale of jewelry encrusted with diamonds and other precious stones was also held in the Gostiny Dvor. The Republic is represented by 15 diamond cutting companies that create its image. During “Sakha-EXPO” there was organized an exhibition and sale of the best jewelry from famous Yakut companies: “Apple Diamond”, “Yakutskaya Almaznaya Kompania”, “Brilliantovaya Yakutia”, “Yuvelirnaya Yakutia”, etc. Both mass made gold and silver jewelry and exclusive designer models were displayed at this year's exhibition.
A collection of the “Yakutskaya Almaznaya Kompania” called “The Call of the Wild” excited a lot of interest. These are crafts that combine gold, fine diamonds, ivory. There also were products made following the current trends of jewelry fashion – using textiles and latex. On November, 24th the “Sakha-EXPO” visitors had a chance to take part in an auction of diamonds and jewelry and a presentation of tourism products “Yakutia – a diamond on the map of Russia”.

Both movie and epic
A Yakut movie Festival was held as part of “Sakha-EXPO” from 23rd to 24th of November. A conference “The Sakha Republic: Development of Regional Cinematography of Russia” supported by the All-Russian Forum “Russian Cinema 2020” took place during the festival. At the conference, an agreement between the Government of Sakha Republic (Yakutia) and the Union of Cinematographers of Russia on cooperation in the field of cinematography development of Yakutia was signed. Films “Dikti Saas” (“A Marvelous Time”) by Nikita Arzhakov and “Suol” ("The Way") by Mikhail Lukachevsky and others were first shown there.
The exhibition gave an opportunity to learn about the mysterious world of Lena Pillars, by watching a movie about this unique national reserve included in the list of UNESCO protected sites.
Pavilion “Yakutsk” was dedicated to the capital of the Republic, which celebrated the 380th anniversary of its foundation. The pavilion of the capital of the Republic took a central place in the exhibition. A photo exhibition “Yakutsk through the eyes of citizens” and a video wall with clips about the city were displayed there. The event was attended by Mayor of Yakutsk Aisen Nickolaev, State Duma deputies, representatives of federal agencies and Vyacheslav Shtyrov, deputy speaker of the Federation Council.
The cultural innovation project “Land of Olonkho” was also presented during the exhibition, the best folk groups of Yakutia performed on stage of the Gostiny Dvor, moreover, a unique theatrical production “Elloy Bohotur” based on the Yakut epic Olonkho, recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, was presented there.
“Friendship Rainbow” finalized the Days of Yakutia in Moscow. Thousands of people danced osuokhay together under the arches of the Gostiny Dvor in Moscow, having again demonstrated the greatness of friendship and age-old brotherhood of Russian and Yakut people.


Muscovites have enjoyed Yakut delicacies
At “Sakha-EXPO” visitors had a chance to try the products of the Republic’s agriculture at the “Shopping rows” in the style of a Yakut arc, where many bought environmentally friendly products and delicious Yakutian farm products for cooking: sausages, venison and horse beef specialties, smoked, dried fish, mare's milk and other national pickled food, sweets and dairy products.
Moreover, Yakut souvenirs and handicrafts were available here as a memento of the Days of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) in Moscow. Top Chefs of Yakutia cooked the most famous dish of the Yakut cuisine – stroganina and scrumptious delicacies from horse beef, venison, Siberian white salmon, broad whitefish, whitefish and traditional Yakut pastries for their guests.


Who will Yakutia work with?

17 agreements, protocols and joint implementation plans were signed during the Days of Yakutia in Moscow, including five documents signed by the President of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia):

- with the Government of Moscow;
- with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation;
- with the Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation;
- with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation;
- with the All-Russian Institute of Aviation Materials.
The head of government of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) signed three agreements:
- with a non-commercial partnership “Center for Public-Private Partnership Development”,
- with the Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises in Science and Technology;
- with the Federal Service for Intellectual Property.
Other documents were signed as well:
- Between the Government of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) and the Union of Cinematographers of the Russian Federation;
- Between the Chamber of Commerce of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) and the private office of Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamadan Al Nahyan;
- Between OJSC “Yakutia Airlines” and “Boeing Commercial Airplanes”;
- Between OJSC “Yakutia Airlines” and OJSC “Aviakor - Aviation Plant”;
- Between the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) and FSBI “Federal Scientific Center for Culture and Sports Development of the Russian Federation”;
- Between the State Committee on Science and Innovation Policy of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) and Pushchino Research Center;
- Between the administration of Yakutsk, the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs and Fund for Assistance to Reforming the Housing and Communal Services of Russia;
- Between the Yakutsk Coordinating Council for Entrepreneurship and the Association of Entrepreneurs, Industrialists and Employers of Moscow;
- Between the Ministry of Culture and Spiritual Development of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) and LLC “Karo Premier” on the development of cinema in Yakutia.


All ministers invited

The following officials participated in the opening ceremony of the “Sakha-EXPO”:
- Maxim Sokolov, Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation,
- Valery Gaevsky, Deputy Minister of Regional Development of the Russian Federation,
- Viktor Seliverstov, Deputy Head of the Presidential Board of the Russian Federation on Domestic Policy,
- Sergey Katyrin, President of the Chamber of Commerce of the Russian Federation,
- Oleg Ageev, Deputy Head of the Department for Regional Cooperation, National Policy and Relations with Religious Organizations of Moscow,
- Grigory Ordzhonikidze, Deputy Director of the Department for International Organizations, Secretary General for UNESCO at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

Russian cosmonauts told how and why the Yakut national musical instrument khomus appeared on board the spacecraft “Soyuz”.

The exhibition gave an opportunity to learn about the mysterious world of Lena Pillars, by watching a movie about this unique national reserve included in the list of UNESCO protected sites.



Ample northern relations

A symbolic shot from the Naryshkin bastion cannon of the Petropavlovskaya fortress marked the opening of celebrations of the Days of Yakutia events in St. Petersburg. The honorable right to fire the cannon was given to Egor Borisov, President of the Sakha Republic. Minister of Culture and Spiritual Development of Yakutia Andrei Borisov played the role of Peter the Great.
A meeting of Egor Borisov and the City Governor Gennady Poltavchenko took place at the government seat of St. Petersburg – at Smolny palace. The joint meeting of delegations from regions summarized the implementation of the Cooperation Agreement and the Joint Implementation Plan between the regions, the signing of the Cooperation Agreement between the Government of St. Petersburg and the Sakha Republic (Yakutia).
“Today we note a great interest to Yakutia – to its economy, culture and the prospects for further growth. Relations between the two constituent entities are permanent and longstanding. The volume of trade is increasing; connections in the field of training and interaction between scientific institutions become more entrenched. Yakutia today is a dynamic region and we believe it appropriate to enhance cooperation for scientific support of major industrial projects, roll out of new technologies and development of small and medium business, student exchange,” said Gennady Poltavchenko.
“We pay great attention to the development of horizontal connections with other regions: agreements with more than forty entities of the country were signed,” said Egor Borisov. “Cultural, humanitarian and economic relations between Yakutia and St. Petersburg have a long and fruitful history, since the Yakutsk region became part of the unified Russian state. It is in the northern capital the first representatives of the Yakut intelligentsia were educated, and in the following years new Yakutia’s professionals were trained. Today, over a thousand and two hundred students from Yakutia are being trained in St. Petersburg. Special role of the city’s scientific community is given to the study of the Arctic, taking into consideration that currently the prospects of offshore territories of the Far North, the Laptev Sea and East Siberian Sea, exploration are declared as one of the priorities of the state policy. During the Days of Yakutia in Moscow an agreement to hold a field meeting of the Russian Geographical Society in Yakutsk next year was reached.”

Members of parliament discussed family issues
On November 30, 2012, the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg had a meeting with the delegation of the Legislative Assembly (Il Tumen) of the Sakha Republic at the White Hall of the Mariinsky Palace. The meeting was attended by Deputy Chairmen of the National Assembly of Yakutia Elena Alekseeva and Andrey Krivoshapkin, Chairman of the Regular Committee of Il Tumen on Construction and Housing and Communal Services Nickolay Kostromin, Chairman of the Regular Committee of Il Tumen on Family, Childhood, Youth, Physical Training and Sports Sergey Syulsky, Deputies of the National Assembly.
From the Legislative Assembly side the meeting was attended by Deputy Chairman of the Legislative Assembly (LA) of St. Petersburg Sergey Andenko, chairman of the LA regular committee on Social Policy and Health Lyudmila Kostkina, Chairman of the LA regular committee on the Urban Affairs, Urban Development and Land Sergey Nikeshin, Chairman of the LA Specialized Commission for Physical Culture and Sports Lubov Egorova.
Members of parliament discussed the legislation of St. Petersburg and Yakutia aimed at family, motherhood and childhood protection, issues of state sports support, experience in solving housing problems of large families, etc. The parties agreed on the joint preparation of legislative initiative to increase period of eligibility for monthly child care allowances up to three years, and the equalization of this benefit in all Russian regions through co-financing from the budgets of the Russian Federation subjects and the federal budget. Apart from that the issue of construction financing or a new building allocation for the St. Petersburg branch of the publishing house “Prosveschenie”, which produces educational materials for schools of the Far North, Siberia and the Far East, was discussed at the meeting.

Veteran builders were not forgotten as well
During the celebration of 380th anniversary of Yakutia’s entry into the Russian state in St. Petersburg a new cooperation agreement between the Primorsky district of the Northern Capital and the Mirny area of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) was also signed. The delegation from Mirny had a meeting with the diamond region veterans who now live in St. Petersburg. Deputy head of the municipal unit D’ulustan Nickolaev awarded diplomas and letters of acknowledgment from the leadership of the Mirny area to the veterans, and vice president of ALROSA Vasily Grabtsevich thanked them for their great contribution to the development of the national diamond industry.
Today St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region is home to about 300 Yakut veterans who were involved in the discovery of the diamond deposits in Yakutia, the establishment and development of the national diamond industry, building cities and hydropower plants in Western Yakutia. Among these discoverers of diamond deposits are Natalia Sarsadskikh and Victor Masaytis, other geologists who worked in the Yakut A.P. Karpinsky Russian Geological Research Institute expeditions, scientists and engineers from Leningrad, who happened to work at the Institute “Yakutniproalmaz” in the town of Mirny, builders and transport workers, doctors and teachers.
The meeting had a warm and intimate atmosphere. Veterans were shown a video about the town of Mirny of today, which has considerably changed and became more comfortable for living. And it's hard to believe that the first builders of the diamond capital once got started from tents, despite the 50-degree cold.

In focus: the Arctic
One of the landmark events of the Days of Yakutia in St. Petersburg was the International scientific and practical conference “The Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation: the North-Eastern Vector of Development”. Issues of effective economic development in the Arctic during industrialization were discussed at the forum, which was held at the headquarters of the Russian Geographical Society on 28-29 November.
The international forum was attended by scientists and specialists from Russia and other Arctic countries, international organizations involved in the development of the Arctic. Forum participants were welcomed by Turi Johan Mathis, Secretary-General of the Association “World Reindeer Herders” (Norway), Sergey Kharyuchi, President of the Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and Far East of Russia, Kirill Chistyakov, Vice President of the Russian Geographical Society, representatives of the legislative and executive branches. Arctic Council Chairman Gustaf Lindt (Sweden) presented a video greeting to the audience. Alexander Pilyasov, Director of the Center of the Economy of the North and the Arctic of the Council for the Study of Resources of the Ministry of the Economic Development and the Russian Academy of Sciences, Evgenia Mikhailova, Rector of the North-Eastern Federal University, Svein Mathisen, a professor of the EALAT Institute of the University of the Arctic and other scientists made presentations at the plenary session.
The conference was divided into sections. The effectiveness of economic development in the Arctic in terms of industrial development was discussed at one of them. Particular attention was paid to the preservation of the fragile nature of this region. Geopolitical aspects of development of the Arctic, security assurance and international cooperation were reviewed at the second section. The third section was devoted to the development of knowledge about the Arctic and the results of the scientific research in the region. Finally, issues related to the human dimension of the Arctic were discussed at the fourth section. Here the preservation and development of traditional ways of life of indigenous peoples, the involvement of local communities in the economic development of the Arctic regions, the prospects of the development of education, health and social infrastructure of the Arctic regions were in question.

Icebreaker as a platform for discussion
Another round table in participation with scientists from Yakutia and St. Petersburg was held in the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute. Its topic was “Exploration of the Arctic and the problems of the indigenous population of Yakutia – coordination of objectives”. The participants discussed experiences and prospects of cooperation in the study of the north-eastern part of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation.
On November, 30th an international seminar “Preparing Future Leaders of the Arctics” was organized in the framework of a program of the International EALAT Institute of the University of the Arctic and a youth project of the EALLIN Arctic Council at the Institute of the North of the RSPU named after A.I. Herzen.
Scientists have shown unprecedented interest to the issues discussed. Over 150 presentations were registered to participate in the conference. Naturally, only a small part was heard at the conference, but all of them will be included in the collected book, which will be released as a follow up of the conference.
In addition, the icebreaker “Krasin” housed a round table organized by the Arctic Academy of Sciences. The participants discussed the geopolitical factors of sustainable development of the Arctic, and innovative technologies to predict and prevent emergencies.

Six nations – one show
The Presidential Library named after B.N. Yeltsin housed an exhibition of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) statehood “Russia-Yakutia, from century to century”, which was opened by Dmitry Glushko, Vice-President of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). The exhibition included archival documents and unique books reflecting the political, socio-economic and spiritual development of the people of Yakutia as part of the Russian state. Special attention was paid to the genesis of the statehood of the Yakut Republic and the main events of modern life in the region. The exhibition “Russia-Yakutia, from century to century” will be available for visits at the Presidential Library until mid-January 2013.
Residents of the Northern Capital were able to watch Yakut movies at the “Rodina” cinema. The Russian Museum of Ethnography housed an ethnographic exhibition “Circumpolar Cultures in the Permafrost”. The main idea of the exhibition was to present the cultural artefacts of six indigenous peoples (Yakut, Evenk, Even, Yukagir, Chukchi, Dolgan) living in Yakutia. The opening of the exhibition was a real treat. The opening ceremony was attended by Vladimir Grusman, Director of the Russian Ethnographic Museum, Arian Ermolaev, Deputy Minister of Culture and Spiritual Development of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) and Egor Shishigin, director of the Yakutsk State Museum of History and Culture of Northern Peoples named after E. Yaroslavsky.

United colors of culture
The festival program was completed by a gala of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) Philharmonic in the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre. The “Festive Overture” and Jazz Suite #1 by Shostakovich, symphonic poem “Finland” by Sibelius, choreographic poem “Oyuun” by a Yakut composer Gerasimov, concert “Samsara” for violin, marimba and orchestra by Brostrom, suite #1 and #2 from music for the drama “Peer Gynt”, #2 by Grieg were performed at the concert. The audience warmly welcomed the musicians. Yakut composer Kirill Gerasimov whose expressive music made a stunning impression on the sophisticated Petersburg public was applauded especially loudly.
At the closing of the Days of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) in the Northern Capital visitors had a chance to watch the premiere of the musical play “The Constellation of Maria” by Vladimir Fedorov, staged by director Andrei Borisov performed by a team of actors of the Russian Drama Theatre named after Alexander Pushkin, in participation of actors of the Sakha Theatre named after P.A. Oiunskii at the famous old-time Academic Theatre named after Komissarzhevskaya in the center of the Northern Capital. The beautiful straight play provoked a storm of emotions and patriotic feelings. Spectators gave a long standing ovation to the artists who played their parts so passionately and truthfully.
Extensive cultural and business program of the Days of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) in Moscow and St. Petersburg demonstrated the entire range of diverse cultural, spiritual and business life of the Sakha Republic of (Yakutia).

Other Events

  • In parallel with the Days of Yakutia a meeting on behalf of Mayor of Yakutsk Aysen Nickolaev with the Yakuts from the capital of Yakutia who live in St. Petersburg and made a significant contribution to the socio-economic development of the Republic and the city of Yakutsk took place in the Northern Capital on November, 28th.
  • In addition, an extensive cultural program was prepared part of which were the concerts of the Yakutsk Philharmonic, Days of Yakut cinema, the premiere of “Constellation of Maria”, etc. In the atrium of the Commandant’s House of the Petropavlovskaya fortress a unique production of “Elloy Bohotur” was performed.

Business development agreements signed

An agreement on cooperation between the Chambers of Commerce of Yakutia and the Northern Capital was signed as part of the business program of the Days of Yakutia in St. Petersburg on November, 27th. The agreement provides for the expansion of bilateral relations, primarily, for the development of small and medium enterprises in the Republic.

Valery Maximov, Minister of Federal Relations and External Affairs of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), and Alexander Volkhonsky, a “Colmar” Company representative addressed the meeting. They spoke about the priorities of the investment policy in the Republic, the prospects for the exploitation and distribution of raw product from the Zyryansky coal mine.

The delegation from Mirny had a meeting with the diamond region veterans who now live in St. Petersburg.

And it's hard to believe that the first builders of the diamond capital once got started from tents, despite the 50-degree cold.