1 Feb, 2021

News digest for 01/30-31/2021

In December 2020, more than 211.5 thousand mortgage loans were issued in Russia. This is 12.2% more than in November and 45.7% more than in December 2019. The amount issued amounted to 560 billion rubles, an increase versus November – 14%, versus December last year – 62.3%.

Central Bank statistics show that the total amount of mortgage debt of the population as of January 1, 2020 amounted to 9.086 trillion rubles. The increase was 1.6% in November, and 22.7% in December 2019.

The volume of overdue debt amounted to 77.5 billion rubles, slightly (by 1.8%) having decreased compared to the previous month. By December 2019, the indicator increased by 8.03%.

The Black Lives Matter movement has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

This initiative was made by the deputy of the Norwegian parliament Petter Eide. He called the movement an important part of the “global fight against racial discrimination”

France partially closes its borders.

“Entry into France and exit from our territory to countries outside the EU will be prohibited unless there are compelling reasons,” said Prime Minister Jean Casteks.

The TFR has put the businessman Alexander Khomenko on the international wanted list.

The investigation calls him “the FBK sponsor”. The ICR report says that Khomenko stole about 30 million rubles from the budget of the Moscow region in 2017-2019. He signed contracts for the repair of premises with the Sergiev Posad socio-economic technical school and entered into the papers “false information about the cost of the work performed” for 30 million. A case was brought against him on three episodes of fraud.

Regardless of the plot of the case, the investigators also report that he “provided financial support to the Anti-Corruption Foundation and is currently hiding in Ukraine.” Khomenko is on the wanted list.

Rector of Astrakhan University expelled three students for participating in promotions

The rector of the Astrakhan State University “with a pain in the heart” expelled three students for participating in the actions. Konstantin Markelov told the students about the expulsion on social networks. In response, one of the students also promised to go to court “with pain in my heart”.

I would like to address you both as a rector and as a simple person. You know that after the events of January 23, several students of our university were administratively punished and the university administration, together with student government, were forced to make a decision to expel three students.
I signed these orders with pain in my heart, because I worry about each and every one of you. But the law is the law. According to the internal regulations, we were obliged to say goodbye to them. “

Arkady Rotenberg called his palace in Gelendzhik.

Arkady Rotenberg said that he was going to build an apart-hotel, therefore the “palace” has a large number of rooms. In the future, he plans to transfer the facility to the tourism business.

“I am the beneficiary. There were many creditors, it was a difficult object, ”the billionaire said in an interview with Mash.

Later, Rotenberg’s press service circulated his detailed explanations regarding the purchase of the complex:

The complex at Cape Idokopas is not the only hotel facility in the country that I work on. Lockdown, on the one hand, showed the presence of a high demand for travel within Russia, and on the other, it revealed the lack of volumes for accommodation. I will continue to invest in this line of business. It is important that in the future, residents with different financial capabilities have a difficult choice – to fly to a good hotel in Turkey, Spain, the Maldives, or to spend a vacation in quality hotel complexes on the Black Sea coast, in Belokurikha or Kamchatka.

The representative of Arkady Rotenberg, Olga Antonova, refused to answer the questions of Open Media about the state in which the billionaire acquired the “Putin’s palace”, whether there is a 16-storey underground complex under it, and where the rich interiors from the early photos from the “palace” disappeared.

Antonova only confirmed that Rotenberg is the beneficiary of the palace, as the billionaire himself told the Mash telegram channel. She also did not explain why other billionaires transferred money for the construction of this palace, which Alexei Navalny told about in his investigation.

From Meduza’s material on the building near Gelendzhik

  • the president has been there at least four times;
  • there is a 16-storey underground complex “pierced through” Cape Idokopas;
  • there are two aquadiskotheques, not one, as it turned out earlier.
  • the mud warehouse really exists, the healing mud is stored there;
  • Many companies involved in the construction have kept reports of a prestigious “government contract” on their websites for years.

Moscow Mayor’s Office will not pay compensation

The Moscow Mayor’s Office will not pay compensation to shops and cafes that closed on January 31. The head of the Department of Trade and Services Aleksey Nemeryuk told the Podyom newspaper that this is a “standard format” for the work of establishments during promotions or holidays.

We do not close them on demand, we recommend that they close. And in principle, such a practice exists: on May 9, everyone is closed as well, for some other dates. Therefore, no compensation is provided. Colleagues know that various promotions and events are often held in the city center, so this is a standard format for them

I am sitting in a paddy wagon in good company.

Nikolai Svanidze was detained at an action in Moscow. He told Rise that he was watching what was happening as a member of the HRC. Svanidze was later released.

“I am sitting in a paddy wagon in good company. I was charged that I stand. They came up, politely took them under their white arms and took them to the paddy wagon. I showed no resistance. I just stood in the company of my colleagues on the Human Rights Council. I tried to introduce myself, nobody listened to me. The police did not introduce themselves during the arrest. “

Norwegian pension fund divested of investments in oil and gas

The Norwegian State Pension Fund sold all of its oil and gas assets. This decision was made after, at the end of 2020, shares of oil and gas companies brought the fund a loss of $ 10 billion. At the same time, in total, at the expense of all assets, the fund earned $ 122 billion, which was the second result in its entire history.

A few years ago, the fund’s management announced its intention to stop investing in oil and gas companies, considering that in the near future, with the development of alternative energy sources, this industry will decline.

Former head of state company convicted of corruption and polygamy executed in China

According to the investigation, the ex-head of the state-owned asset management company China Huarong Asset Management Co Lai Xiaoming spent more than $ 3.9 million (25 million yuan), and also received bribes worth almost $ 280 million (1.79 billion yuan). In addition, it turned out that although Xiaoming was married, he cohabited with other women

The President of Lithuania nominated Svetlana Tihanovskaya for the Nobel Peace Prize

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda nominated the leader of the Belarusian opposition Svetlana Tikhanovskaya for the Nobel Peace Prize, informed sources told the BNS news agency on January 30.

Xiaomi sues US over investment ban on Chinese companies

Xiaomi Corp. filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Defense and the US Treasury, in connection with a blacklist that blocks US investors from buying securities of the Chinese smartphone giant.

The lawsuit comes after the Defense Department said earlier this month that China’s largest smartphone maker is linked to the People’s Liberation Army. Beijing-based Xiaomi has called the blacklist “unconstitutional” and is seeking a court order to revoke the designation. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen were also appointed as defendants.

How many people work in small businesses in Russia

The average number of employees of small enterprises in January-September 2020 across Russia was about five and a half million people.

Most small business workers were in Moscow (almost 900 thousand), St. Petersburg (373 thousand) and the Moscow region (327 thousand).

Outside the capital regions, the numbers are sharply reduced: 167 thousand in the Sverdlovsk region, 166 in Tatarstan. Krasnodar Territory, Tyumen and Samara Regions are in the range of 150-140 thousand.

In relative terms, the first two positions are the same: 7.1% of Moscow residents and 6.9% of St. Petersburg residents are employed in small business. Khabarovsk Territory (5.8%) is in third place, followed by Magadan Region (5.6%), Novosibirsk Region (4.8%), Kaluga and Samara Regions (4.5% each)

The lowest figures, both absolute and relative, are in the Caucasus: 0.29% of the population work in small enterprises in Chechnya, almost the same number in Ingushetia, and slightly more (0.36%) in Dagestan.

The Russian government approved the indexation of payments to the military

We are talking about some insurance payments, one-time benefits and monthly compensations established by law for military personnel, employees of executive bodies and citizens dismissed from military service, follows from the document. Indexation will be 3.7%. In addition, lump-sum payments to families in case of death of a serviceman or injury and recognition of incapacity for work will be increased by 3.7%.

Russian travelers will be able to relax in Cyprus from March 1

From spring, the resort will open its air borders to residents of almost 60 countries, said the Deputy Minister of Tourism of Cyprus Savvas Perdiosa. We are talking about all states from the EU, Great Britain, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. According to him, travelers will not be required to comply with the mandatory coronavirus quarantine upon arrival. But you will need to have a negative COVID-19 test result with you.

The modern climate was recognized as the hottest in 12 thousand years

Human-induced climate change has led to unprecedented consequences, scientists have found. It is hotter on Earth now than in the last 12 thousand years (the entire time of the existence of human civilization).

Scientists said they were able to find indirect confirmation of the existence of dark matter.

Signals from neutron stars were previously received, which may be hypothetical particles of axions. These signals were studied by specialists at the Berkeley Laboratory. The standard theory is that clusters of neutron stars emit low energy X-rays and ultraviolet radiation. However, they instead emitted large amounts of high energy X-rays.

IKEA bought forests in the USA to preserve the ecosystem

The Swedish retail chain IKEA bought 11,840 acres (4,450 ha) of forest in Georgia (USA) to preserve the unique ecosystem and prevent construction and industrial use of resources there.

China temporarily bans entry to the country for foreigners from Canada

China has temporarily closed the entry to the country to all foreigners from Canada. This was announced on Sunday, January 31st, at the Chinese Consulate in Toronto. It is clarified that the ban also applies to foreigners who have a residence permit in China, as well as a work permit. Citizens traveling to the country on personal matters and for family reunification will also not be able to enter. The ban does not apply to those with diplomatic and service visas.

Biden suspends arms sales to Saudi Arabia and UAE

According to The Wall Street Journal, the United States presidential administration, Joe Biden, has imposed a temporary ban on the sale of high-precision weapons to Saudi Arabia and F-35 aircraft to the United Arab Emirates while the deal is being verified.

China began selling an electric car one and a half times cheaper than Lada Granta

The Chinese firm Changan has begun selling the BenBen E-Star electric car in a simplified National Edition. The basic equipment of Xindong surprised by the price: such a hatchback costs from 29,800 yuan (350 thousand rubles), that is, an electric car is one and a half times cheaper than the Lada Granta sedan in a modest version of Classic (from 530 thousand rubles).

The head of the German financial regulator resigns

The German Ministry of Finance ruled that the Federal Office for the Supervision of the Financial Sector (BaFin) failed to fulfill its task and allowed long-term fraud on the part of the fintech company Wirecard. In this regard, it was decided to resign the head of BaFin Felix Hoofeld and his deputy Elisabeth Røgele.

China launched the third universal amphibious assault ship

The third general-purpose landing ship of the Type-075 project was launched in China. The ceremony took place on January 29, 2021 at the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (a division of China State Shipbuilding Corporation – CSSC) in Shanghai.

Banks were banned from blocking customer accounts without explanation

Russian banks are prohibited from denying services to customers and blocking their accounts without giving any reason; the relevant law came into force at the end of January. The expert believes that this norm will make life easier for both business and citizens.