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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Amid Beau Monde, Kwasniewski Snubs Zyuganov

The official visit of Alexander Kwasniewski to Russia began with a meeting on Tuesday with Boris Yeltsin. The evening before, however, this correspondent met the Polish president and his wife in the Polish Embassy for cocktails with representatives of the Russian political elite.

Did the Polish president like the Moscow beau monde? I think he did. Those around Yeltsin must be grateful to Kwasniewski that he did not put off his meeting until the fall, thus showing indirect support for his Russian counterpart. But he diplomatically repeated to others that he would support any candidate the Russian people elected -- notwithstanding the fact Vladimir Zhirinovsky did not receive an invitation to the embassy.

Kwasniewski showed up somewhat late for his guests, because he had been talking with Grigory Yavlinsky. By no means, however, did he throw himself into a brotherly embrace with comrade Zyuganov. The Russian Communist Party leader waited a whole seven minutes before he had the opportunity to talk with the president.

Kwasniewski was so distracted by conversations with a series of retired democrats -- Alexander Yakovlev, Gennady Burbulis, Gavriil Popov, Andrei Kozyrev -- he simply did not notice Zyuganov.

When a Polish presidential aide decided to break the awkward anticipation and brought the Communist deputy forward, Kwasniewski instantly took him by the shoulders, turned with an embarrassed official smile to the cameras and said something meaningless, to the effect, "We'll see in the future and we'll talk." He then continued on his rounds of the people who were gathered.

Komsomolskaya Pravda, April 10.

Yavlinsky and Kovalyov

Human rights activist Sergei Kovalyov explains why he has chosen to support Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky in the June presidential election.

"I haven't left Russia's Democratic Choice. What's more, I haven't gone over to Yabloko. But I am supporting Yavlinsky, since I consider that of all the presidential candidates, he is the best for advocates of democracy. I would be happy if the coming congress of Russia's Democratic Choice supported his candidacy. As for the decision of the political council of Russia's Democratic Choice recommending that I and my colleagues suspend our activities in support of Yavlinsky until a decision by the council is taken, I interpret this as a misunderstanding, a political throwback. By the way, [Russia's Democratic Choice leader] Yegor Gaidar was not present at the meeting of the political council."

Izvestia, April 11.

Conjugal Duties

This spring has been a quiet marriage season for the inhabitants of the Moscow Zoo. The zoo administration told us that this month, which is usually one of honeymoons for the animals, has changed for both the birds and the beasts. In fact, it is the renovation work that is being done on the zoo that is now hindering the animals from mating.

Some animals such as the snow leopard and the red wolf didn't even risk coming together. The fact is that even if some of the animals could manage to mate, and the female to bear a child, it is possible she would be unable to feed the newborn because of the constant din.

The situation with the birds is even more serious. Ducks, geese and valuable breeds of swans migrated from the large pond that had been closed for repairs to a smaller one. They felt so crowded that they were in no mood to mate.

The workers at the zoo were disappointed with a young couple of brown bears. Because the couple obstinately stayed in the den that was built for them, the zookeepers were sure that the female bear was pregnant. This hope, however, proved to be without grounds. The bears met for the first time, but the male (apparently out of inexperience) was unable to fulfill his conjugal duty.

Moskovsky Komsomolets, April 10.

Russian Easter Eggs

In Russia onion skins are traditionally used to color Easter eggs. Here is another method.

Our grandmothers used to decorate Easter eggs using strips of faded silk cloth. The strips had to be stretched, mixed up and bound tightly around a washed, damp egg. Then all this would be wrapped in a dyed cotton rag, tied around with threads and lowered into a saucepan with warm water. Boil 10 minutes. Remove, let it cool down and only then unwrap the material, which leaves the patterns from the silk on the egg.

Argumenty i Fakty, No. 15, April.

Easter Message

Some passages from a Moscow News opinion piece by Patriarch Alexy II.

The path of extreme national and regional isolation, which we have already experienced to a significant degree, will not bear fruit. The coming together of peoples ... is not part of a pre-election campaign but is the basis for a deeper rootedness in the past and striving for the future ...

The free development of this community, the East's and West's mutual repudiation of expansion ... will remove the remaining tension between separate unified civilizations and make the threat of global confrontation unlikely.

Moskovskiye Novosti, April 7-14.