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  1. Danica Modesta

    Sightseeing in Moscow

    Russia has been grabbing eyeballs like a behemoth of late. Now, what could the reason be for its sudden popularity? The country has been making it to the headlines for a number of reasons in the last couple of years. In fact, Russia would be hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2018, notwithstanding its clout in the Syrian War and its skirmishes with the Trump government. While there would be 32 teams from different nations participating in this grand event, a great influx of spectators and tourists would be there to watch the tournament and indulge in sightseeing as well. Since this happens to be the right opportunity for you to visit Russia, do start planning right away! While doing so, keep Moscow on your cards. This is because the majestic Russian capital with cosmopolitan and dynamic spirit has a rich history etched in the architecture everywhere- from the Kremlin to the Red Square. Here are the places which should form your itinerary while you go for sightseeing in Moscow: Red Square - As the name suggests, the Red Square leaves every visitor stupefied, since the majestic place unravels incredible richness. The vast stretch, which had been structured with cobblestones is surrounded by architectural splendours, and hence, invokes an awe-inspiring sight. The Red Square unfolds a vast medley of tales, some of which are sybaritic, whereas the others speak of untold bloodshed. This placed used to host a huge market in the earlier days, which the erstwhile Kremlin rulers chose for congregations, celebrations and spine-chilling executions for all to see. This first gateway had been destroyed at the behest of Stalin, since it impeded the mass demonstrations. It was rebuilt in 1995, and the new structure is a replica of the previous structure. The place also witnessed cavalcades of military men marching across the street, thereby intimidating the west with the Soviet might during the Cold War years. These days, a potpourri of tourists, wedding parties and business parties jostle here, and relentless photo sessions capture the grandeur of this place. The night time at the Red Square is peaceful with floodlights, which is panoramically spectacular. Saint Basil’s Cathedral - Located close to the Red square, this massive structure is also known as the Cathedral of the Intercession. The popular tales hold that the present structure was built in the memory of Basil the Blessed, or the “holy fool’ who had been buried at the Trinity Cathedral. Legends also state that the Saint Basil’s Cathedral had been built during the regime of Ivan the Terrible to commemorate the capture of Kazan from the Mongols. Also, there are dubious tales about the builders who were blinded by Ivan’s men so that they could not produce a replica of the structure elsewhere. The magnificent architecture symbolizes the medieval concept of the eight-pointed star, since there are eight churches encompassing the central ninth. The original Cathedral of the Intercession seems to be concealed by the new stylistic churches. A vaulted roof covers the gallery and flights of staircases. Intricately carved domes loom with pride, while the complex and integrated designs of the walls corroborate the rich Russian art. Also, there is a staircase hidden inside a wall. The white colored cathedral is in sync with the Kremlin. Moscow Kremlin - Located at the heart of Moscow, the fortified structure symbolizes the suzerainty of the erstwhile Russian empire. It is flanked by the Red Square and the Saint Basil’s cathedral in the east, while the sprawling Alexander Garden marks its vast ambit towards the west. The red walls and red towers with red stars at the helm endorse the menacing communist past of the Soviets. A Russian military squad which guards the entrance is unique in every respect. Among the famous monuments showcased across the Kremlin territory, the Tsar Cannon is the largest of its kind in the world. Also, the Tsar Bell which stands in accompaniment with the mighty artillery is the largest in the world. Besides, there are museums, the Grand Kremlin Palace and the State Kremlin Palace, which attract hordes of tourists everyday. The Presidential Palace and the administrative buildings are, however, not open for public visits. Alexander Garden - Located in close proximity to the Kremlin, the beautiful flower beds in this garden attract hosts of tourists who love to take strolls here after their visit to the Kremlin. Lenin’s Mausoleum - The onion-colored pyramid was built as a tomb for Lenin, the pioneer of the Russian Revolution. The impressive structure was built in layers of grey, red and black granite, and hence, synchronizes with the Kremlin at the back.
  2. Russia has been making it to the headlines of late. This is due to the fact that the iconic country would be hosting the FIFA World Cup this year. This is the first time that the great tournament would be held in Eastern Europe, in which 32 member teams would be jousting for the trophy. Also, it is expected that there would be millions of spectators who would be travelling to Russia to watch the grand FIFA World Cup 2018, which would be held between June 14 and July 15. When global events such as the Olympics, the Grand Slams or the FIFA are on the calendar, however, security issue becomes ubiquitous. This is because the top profile bureaucrats, politicians, chiefs of states and world renowned players conglomerate in such iconic events, apart from the teeming local and international civilian spectators. The presence of the global leaders and millions of civilians causes security concerns among the local authorities. While the elites and commoners have a great time watching the grand events, the security personnel are at the helm of a great degree of planning and responsibilities, in order to ensure that mishaps do not happen. Else, the slightest security lapse could lead to unexpected catastrophic mayhem. When it comes to the domestic and global state of affairs, it has been lately observed that Russia has become an eye-catcher for all due to the persistent turbulence, which have hit the nation. Political and Diplomatic Issues Vladimir Putin’s reelection as the president of Russia by nearly 77 percent of the population in March 2018 has evoked restive surges among the different political groups nationwide. There are a number of hostile factions and groups, which are keen about undermining his reputation in the global arena. When the political atmosphere reeks of possible strife and unrest, there are chances that certain rival groups might conspire to do something, which would inevitably tarnish Putin’s reputation. These factions are capable of such notoriety, which might jeopardise security in the host cities, hotels, public places and venues. For instance, if an undetected bomb detonates somewhere, it would lead to irretrievable losses of lives and property. In fact, Putin’s reelection has sparked divided reactions from the various nations worldwide. While some countries have been eschewing the possibility of forging alliances with Russia, the rest have sharply argued and condemned the fact that Putin is set against the western liberal ideas. Countries like Iran, China, Venezuela and Japan have speedily congratulated the president, and have mooted their support for him. Under such mixed reactions from the nations worldwide there could be chances of spurts of violence and skirmishes in the host cities and public places. This is because people from these countries would be thronging here to watch the matches, and miscreants could use this opportunity to sabotage the grand event. As far as international politics is concerned, Russia has earned a controversial reputation through its alleged involvement and interference in the 2016 US elections. It is believed that the Russian hackers had been hired for sourcing out clandestine data and sensitive information, which turned the tables against the Democrats. This resulted in great tribulations among Hillary Clinton’s party members, and sparked heady criticism worldwide. Also, tensions mounted between Russia and Great Britain over the murder of a Russian spy in the British territory. This resulted in a stiff face off between the two nations, while the other countries jumped into the bandwagon to voice their protests against the misdeed. The Trump administration dented the schism further by expelling the Russian diplomats from America, and the US allies followed suit as a mark of condemnation against Russia’s profligate action on the British soil. The Russian government retaliated by expelling equal number of diplomats from the United States and its allies from its own territory. These political upheavals, however, should not impinge security during the World Cup tournament, since Russia has welcomed visitors from the different nations to partake in the grand event. Terrorism The intelligence forces have issued red alert regarding possible “lone jihadi” attacks during the summer World Cup. The Russian Islamist militants who have been returning to the country from the war ravaged zones in the Middle East post as alarming threats to the country’s security personnel. These terrorists intend to take revenge against the Russian involvement in Syria and Iraq. Since Sunni militancy failed in both the countries, the ISIS has been fanning hatred via online propaganda and encrypted messages to provoke “lone wolf” attacks during the tournament. This would certainly revive the group’s popularity among its erstwhile followers, which went crashing due to Russia’s clout in both the countries. Besides, the Caucasian rebels who suffered indiscriminate sufferings due to the ongoing wars would take this opportunity to tarnish Russia’s image on the global front.
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