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Futura Sciences - Agay, France / Le 22 janvier 2008
Le prix Nobel Lev Landau aurait eu cent ans aujourd'hui
22 января исполнилось 100 лет со дня рождения одного из величайших физиков XX века, лауреата Нобелевской премии Льва Давидовича Ландау.
Il y a 100 ans, le 22 janvier 1908, naissait l'un des plus brillants physiciens théoriciens du vingtième siècle : Lev Davidovich Landau.
On le connaît pour ses multiples contributions à la physique, qui lui vaudront le prix Nobel en 1962, mais surtout pour le cours de physique théorique qu'il a rédigé à partir de 1949, sans en écrire un mot puisqu'il le dictait à son collègue et ancien élève, Evguéni Lifchitz.
Ce cours a inspiré des générations d'apprentis physiciens et, avec ceux de Feynman, il constitue toujours une lecture indispensable pour qui veut étudier sérieusement la physique théorique, que ce soit dans les domaines de la physique quantique, de la relativité générale, de la physique de la matière condensée ou de l'hydrodynamique.
Le prix Nobel français Pierre-Gilles de Gennes n'hésitait pas à donner l'un des volumes du célèbre cours de Landau-Lifchitz à l'un de ses étudiants de thèse sur un sujet donné, avec comme conseil de le lire complètement avant d'attaquer le travail de recherche.
Ce cours lui-même, qui aborde donc presque tous les domaines de la physique, faisait écho au minimum de connaissances en physique théorique qu'exigeait Landau de tous les étudiants de son école. La sélection était ainsi très sévère mais elle a assuré à l'école russe une prééminence indiscutable au niveau international. Plusieurs des élèves de Dau, comme ils l'appelaient affectueusement, devinrent des chercheurs dont les noms sont entrés dans l'histoire.
Un génie précoce et particulièrement productif
Landau lui-même était un enfant prodige, fils d'un ingénieur du pétrole de Bakou, qui a été aussi administrateur de la compagnie pétrolière d'Alphonse de Rothschild, et d'une mère médecin. Il termina l'école secondaire à 13 ans et montra très tôt son talent en mathématique, pour devenir docteur en physique à 21 ans. Le gouvernement soviétique l'autorisa à voyager en Europe où il rencontra Heisenberg, Dirac, Pauli et surtout Niels Bohr, qui fit la plus grande impression sur lui.
Emprisonné lors des purges staliniennes, il en sort au bout d'un an grâce à l'influence de Kapitza, l'un des découvreurs de la superfluidité. Ses travaux les plus célèbres porteront justement sur la superfluidité de l'hélium 3 et plus généralement sur les transitions de phases et la supraconductivité. En 1950, il publie avec Vitaly Ginzburg, futur Prix Nobel, une théorie qui fera date à ce sujet : la théorie de Ginzburg-Landau.
On n'en finirait pas d'énumérer le nombre de ses contributions : matrice densité en mécanique quantique avant Von Neumann, théorie de la turbulence en hydrodynamique, pseudo-tenseur d'impulsion énergie en relativité générale, théorie des interactions faibles et violation de la parité, formule d'amortissement dans les plasmas etc.
Lev Landau fut malheureusement victime d'un terrible accident de voiture le 7 janvier 1962 et il ne survivra à plusieurs morts cliniques que grâce à de l'acharnement thérapeutique. Il ne recouvrera jamais complètement ses facultés et décèdera 6 ans plus tard le 1 avril 1968, visiblement une bien mauvaise blague.
© 2001-2008 Futura-Sciences. Tous droits réservés.
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Russia-InfoCenter / 21.01.2008
Siberian Nations Abandon Their Written Languages
Несмотря на все попытки сохранить языки коренных народов Сибири, диалекты умирают один за другим. По данным Института Филологии СО РАН, сегодня в Сибири существуют 42 языка. Число носителей эти языков колеблется от нескольких сот тысяч до нескольких десятков человек.
Despite numerous attempts to save languages of Siberian indigenous people, dialects are dying one after another.
Russian Institute of Philology (Siberian branch of Russian Academy of Sciences) reports about 42 tongues that currently exist in Siberia.
Said dialects are united in three linguistic communities, and are spoken by various amounts of people, varying from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands.
The problem lies in small amount of people, who speak these languages, and their assimilation with other nations. Scientists try to save these tongues by teaching them to Siberian population, but this makes the situation worse. Since teaching cover one basic dialect of a language, those, who are used to other dialects, concieve it as an incorrect version of their own tongue. This leads to total loss of a dialect. Another problem in conserving dying languages is the lack of written language - one third of Siberian languages lost their written variant. Scientists are currently working on alphabets to said languages.
© Garant-InfoCentre, 2004-2007.
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Space Travel / Jan 22, 2008
Progress Spacecraft Will Sink In Pacific
Отстыкованный от МКС в декабре 2007 года космический грузовик "Прогресс М-61" будет затоплен в Тихом океане.
The Progress M-61 cargo spacecraft, which undocked from the International Space Station last year, will crash into the Pacific on Tuesday evening, a Mission Control center spokesman said on Monday. The spokesman told RIA Novosti that the parts of the craft that do not burn up in the atmosphere will sink in a "spacecraft cemetery" at 40 longitude in the Pacific.
The so called spaceship cemetery is located not far from Christmas Island and is a designated area where many spacecraft, including the defunct Mir station, have ended up.
The Progress M-61 cargo spacecraft, which was detached from the ISS on December 22, 2007, was used as a platform for technical experiments, mission control said.
© Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.
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Herald Tribune / January 18, 2008
Russia signs deal to bring natural gas pipeline through Bulgaria
- By Matthew Brunwasser and Judy Dempsey
Подписан важный газовый договор между Россией и Болгарией. Газопровод "Южный поток", решение о совместном строительстве которого в прошлом году приняли "Газпром" и итальянская энергетическая компания ENI, будет проложен по дну Черного моря. Это позволит России транспортировать природный газ через территорию Болгарии непосредственно в Европу, в обход Турции, которая сегодня является ключевой транзитной точкой экспорта российского природного газа на европейские рынки. Также подписано соглашение о постройке АЭС "Белене", которая станет первым российским ядерным объектом на территории страны-участницы Евросоюза.
SOFIA: Russia strengthened its grip over Europe's energy supplies Friday as it signed a major natural gas deal with Bulgaria in a move that analysts said would further undermine the European Union's attempts to diversify its energy sources.
The South Stream pipeline, which was established last year as a joint venture between Gazprom and Eni, the Italian energy group, is to be built under the Black Sea. This will allow Russia to send natural gas directly to Europe via Bulgaria, bypassing Turkey, which has been a crucial transit route for Russian natural gas exports to European markets.
The agreement, signed between President Vladimir Putin and his Bulgarian counterpart, Georgi Parvanov, was sealed after late-night negotiations with Gazprom, the state-owned Russian energy monopoly.
Putin and Parvanov also signed an agreement for the construction of the Belene nuclear power plant, the first Russian nuclear plant to be built in an EU country. Construction work began in the 1980s but was cancelled in 1990. The project was revived in 2003.
The €10 billion, or $14.6 billion, South Stream deal dealt another blow to Nabucco, the pipeline project designed to diversify the EU's energy sources and reduce dependence on Russian natural gas. "This deal really undermines Europe's attempts to diversify its gas sources," said Ognyan Minchev, director of the Bulgarian office of the European Council on Foreign Relations.
The EU intends to buy natural gas from Iran and Azerbaijan and ship it through Turkey in pipelines that will run to southern and western Europe. But failure to agree on the routes, financing and how to deal with Iran's nuclear program has delayed the Nabucco project.
Analysts said the deal reached Friday meant that Gazprom was locking as many countries as possible into long-term contracts for the South Stream project. This could make it more difficult for Nabucco to find markets for its natural gas. But EU officials said that in light of the growing demand for energy, there would be sufficient customers for natural gas from the Nabucco pipeline.
Ironically, Bulgaria, which joined the EU a year ago, is also a member of Nabucco. The other countries are Austria, Turkey, Hungary and Romania.
"Russia has an almost full monopoly over Bulgaria's energy market and the EU shockingly acts like a naïve bystander, completely blind to the major strategic reconfiguration that it taking place in the Balkans," Minchev said.
Under the terms of the South Stream deal, Russia and Bulgaria will each have a 50 percent stake in the Bulgarian portion of the pipeline.
The pipeline will run 900 kilometers, or 560 miles, crossing Bulgarian territory and transporting 30 billion cubic meters, or over a trillion cubic feet, of Russian natural gas each year. In Bulgaria, it will branch into two spurs: one going west to Italy, the other going north into Austria or Hungary.
"Bulgaria's interests are fully protected, because the company which will be set up to construct and run the pipeline on Bulgarian soil will be 50 percent Bulgarian and 50 percent Russian ownership," said Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev of Bulgaria. He added that the deal would bring the country €1.4 billion in cash.
Other deals signed included the formation of the company that will build the long-discussed Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, which would bypass tanker congestion in the Bosporos.
Analysts said the agreements could undermine Bulgaria if it later sought alternative energy sources. It is almost completely dependent on Russian energy supplies. "The 50-50 deal is not enough to defend Bulgaria's national interests," Minchev said.
Russia is poised to take over the state-owned Petroleum Industry of Serbia, known as NIS, which would increase Gazprom's influence in the Balkans, analysts said. "What the EU lacks is political will in dealing with these energy issues and pushing Nabucco forward," said Borut Grgic, director of the Institute for Strategic Studies in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Hungary, also a member of the Nabucco consortium, is negotiating with Gazprom to join South Stream. Ferenc Gyurcsany, the Hungarian prime minister, has repeatedly said he is committed to Nabucco. But last month, after consultations between Budapest and Moscow, it was agreed that the South Stream pipeline would reach Hungary as well.
The Kremlin said Putin's visit to Sofia would be his last foreign trip before the Russian presidential elections in March. Putin was accompanied by First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, his choice to succeed him. Medvedev is also the chairman of Gazprom.
Putin reiterated a call for further talks between Serbia and the ethnic Albanian leadership of Kosovo to find a compromise solution on the status of the breakaway province. "A unilateral declaration of independence and support for it by members of the international community would be illegal and immoral," Putin said. "Russia cannot support such a decision."
Copyright © 2008 the International Herald Tribune. All rights reserved.
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The New York Times / January 24, 2008
Hiring of Soviet Scientists Has Strayed From Aim, Audit Says
Аудиторы американского Конгресса считают, что возникшая в США после распада Советского Союза тенденция нанимать бывших советских специалистов по вооружениям, чтобы они не продавали свои знания странам, стремящимся к изготовлению ядерного или биологического оружия, теперь выражается в оплате труда людей, которые никогда не были специалистами по оружию и вообще слишком молоды для того, чтобы работать над старыми советскими военными программами. Иначе говоря, программа утратила свою эффективность вследствие изменения обстановки в России.
WASHINGTON, An American effort set up after the fall of the Soviet Union to hire its former weapons scientists to keep them from selling their skills to nations seeking nuclear, biological or chemical weapons is now paying people who were never weapons scientists and are too young to have worked in the old Soviet program, according to Congressional auditors.
In fact, some of the money is going to hire Russians to work on a civilian nuclear power initiative that Congress has been reluctant to finance.
Some members of Congress said Wednesday that the money might even be indirectly helping Russia supply Iran with nuclear technology, and that it might allow development in Russia of commercial products with which America would have to compete.
At a hearing of the investigations subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Representative John D. Dingell, Democrat of Michigan and chairman of the full committee, said that the Department of Energy program had begun with the best intentions but that there was "often a thin line between the noble and the naïve."
The program, which has a budget this year of $30 million, has spent about $309 million since its inception in 1994. It was considered a success in keeping newly impoverished scientists from emigrating to wealthy countries hostile to the United States that were seeking their weapons expertise. But members of Congress have begun to worry that the program may have outlived its usefulness as Russia's circumstances have changed.
Members of the subcommittee pointed out that Russia was awash in oil revenue. The senior Republican member, Representative John Shimkus of Illinois, said that the United States had bought $11 billion in oil and oil products from Russia from January 2005 through last October and that, unlike right after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia was now running budget surpluses.
"Clearly, Russia can afford to participate," he said.
According to the Government Accountability Office, while the program's goal was to prevent technologies for weapons of mass destruction from leaving the Soviet Union, an analysis of 97 projects employing 6,450 scientists from former Soviet states found that more than half of them "never claimed to have W.M.D. experience." And nearly 1,000 of the scientists were born in 1970 or later. The Soviet Union was dissolved in December 1991.
Department of Energy officials at the hearing quibbled with the specifics of the findings, saying that more than half were weapons scientists but that less than 60 percent fell in that category. They defended the program by saying that all the scientists working under it were being kept from helping other countries with dangerous technologies.
Robert A. Robinson, a Government Accountability Office official, said: "It feels a little bit like mission creep. When problem X is solved, we move the program into problem Y, into infinity."
The subcommittee chairman, Representative Bart Stupak, Democrat of Michigan, said the program had become a "slush fund" for the Department of Energy's national laboratories, which are paid to oversee it.
Some of the money went to six research projects related to the Energy Department's Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, a proposal that Congress has not embraced and that would recover plutonium and other materials from spent reactor fuel, for reuse in a new class of reactors.
Energy Department officials could not say if they were financing any scientists in Russian groups directly involved in supplying fuel to Iran. But a State Department official, Richard J. K. Stratford, acting deputy assistant secretary for nuclear nonproliferation policy, who was testifying about a program run by his department to finance science centers in the former Soviet Union, said, "You could argue if you give Russia a dollar for whatever purpose, it frees up a dollar that can then be spent elsewhere."
The State Department runs a program similar to the one at the Energy Department. It is based on institutes, not individual scientists, but has "graduated" some of the institutes as they have become self-sufficient. The State Department hopes to end the program by 2012. Several committee members called on the Energy Department to develop an "exit strategy."
Adam M. Scheinman, the Energy Department's assistant deputy administrator in the office of nonproliferation and international security, said scientists in the program had worked on projects involving land mine detectors, systems for needle-free injections, prosthetic limbs and radioisotopes for cancer treatments.
Copyright © 2008 The New York Times Company.
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Daily Mail - UK / 24th January 2008
DNA tests finally solve the riddle of what happened to the last tsar's two children
Уральским экспертам удалось выявить ДНК из останков, найденных прошлым летом под Екатеринбургом вблизи первого захоронения семьи российского императора Николая II и принадлежащих, предположительно, Алексею и Марии Романовым. Возможно, в этой истории наконец будет поставлена точка.
For 90 years, it has been an enduring mystery - did some members of the Russian royal family survive execution by the Bolsheviks in 1918?
Now DNA tests carried out on two sets of bones found in the Ural Mountains appear to have solved the riddle.
Forensic experts say initial results show the human remains belong to 13-year-old Crown Prince Alexei and his sister Princess Maria, 19.
The pair were shot on the orders of Lenin along with their father Nicholas II, the last tsar, their mother and three sisters in the year after the Russian Revolution. Other tests are under way in Britain, where researchers hope to match DNA to members of the British Royal Family, notably Prince Philip.
He was a great nephew of Nicholas's wife Empress Alexandra, who was notorious for her closeness to Rasputin, the so-called mad monk she believed could cure Alexei's haemophilia.
Philip's DNA has been used to confirm the identities of five previous sets of remains from the Russian royal family.
But the fact that the bones of two of the children were not found in the same grave as other members of the family led to speculation that they might have escaped the shooting.
For many years, there were claims that one of the young princesses, probably Anastasia, had fled the scene of the shootings and gone abroad. Now, however, Russian scientists say the first conclusions of DNA tests indicate that the two sets of bones found last year are those of Maria and Alexei.
Nikolai Nevolin, head of the forensic bureau in Ekaterinburg, where the Romanovs were held under house arrest until their deaths, said: "Tests allowed DNA to be extracted from the bones, which proved positive. Once the genetic analysis has been completed in Russia, its results will be compared with test results from foreign experts."
The remains of the tsar, tsarina and other family members were discovered in a grave near Ekaterinburg in 1991. They were authenticated by DNA tests. Last summer, the two sets of bones were found at a separate site, along with bullets, nails and the hinges of a wooden box.
Searchers also found evidence that bonfires had been lit at the site, which is consistent with a report by one of the executioners that five members of the tsar's family and four of their closest servants were buried in one location, while Alexei and one grand duchess were buried elsewhere in a pit. Their bodies were soaked in sulphuric acid and burned before burial. The shooting itself was chaotic and there were accounts later that Alexei and one of his sisters showed signs of life when all the bodies were lifted on to a lorry.
In following years, claimants emerged all over the world insisting they were royal children who had escaped the assassination.
Best known was the case of Anna Anderson, a woman who appeared in a mental hospital in Germany in 1920 claiming to be Anastasia, the youngest sister. She said she had been rescued by one of the executioners and carried out of Russia on a peasant cart.
For years, she was widely believed, but after her death in 1984, DNA tests showed she was Franziska Schanzkowska, a Polish peasant.
© 2007 Associated Newspapers Ltd.
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Innovations report - Bad Homburg, Germany / 22.01.2008
Elsevier to publish two journals with the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Издательство Elsevier примет участие в издании журналов Сибирского отделения РАН "География и природные ресурсы" и "Археология, этнология и антропология Евразии".
Elsevier, a leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announced today that it will publish Archaeology, Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia as well as Geography and Natural Resource on behalf of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, starting in January 2008.
Elsevier will distribute both journals globally via ScienceDirect (http://www.sciencedirect.com), its market-leading electronic platform, ScienceDirect is currently accessed by over 11 million users worldwide who are able to easily further their research through linked references and many other helpful features.
Archaeology, Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/aeae) publishes a wide range of research, in areas such as quaternary geology; pleistocene and holocene paleoecology; evolution of human physical type; modern methods of paleopopulation genetics; primitive art; astroarchaeology; and cultures of indigenous populations and ethnocultural processes.
Geography and Natural Resource, which was published in English for the first time in January 2008, contains research papers on theoretical problems of geography and nature management, regional problems of the studies into the use and protection of natural recourses, development and allocation of industry.
Martin Tanke, Managing Director of Journal publishing says: "We are very honored to publish these two important journals, and hope that in doing so we will further strengthen our relationship with the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. We remain confident that by working together we can contribute to improving Russian science in general."
© 2000-2008 by innovations-report.
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Science Centric / Wednesday, 30 January 2008
Alphéraky, Sergei Nikolaevich (1850-1918)
90 лет со дня смерти выдающегося русского ученого и путешественника, лепидоптеролога Сергея Николаевича Алфераки.
The outstanding Russian lepidopterist Sergei Nikolaevich Alphéraky, a Honorary Member of the RES, was a contemporary of N.M.Romanoff. Having entered the Moscow University in 1867, he abandoned it in 1869, for his desire to study Lepidoptera met no support with his supervisor, Professor A.P.Bogdanov. In 1871, Alphéraky moved to Dresden, where he worked under the supervision of the famous O.Staudinger, learning the methods of lepidopterological studies.
Coming back to Russia in 1873, S.N.Alphéraky started his own lepidopterological carrier. Very often he spent summer months in Taganrog, Rostov-on-Don region. The results of his explorations there as well as in the northern Caucasus were his first two publications, one concerning the Lepidoptera of the environs of Taganrog (1876), and the other of the North Caucasus (1877).
After that he focused increasingly on the fauna of the endless areas of Central Asia. Alphéraky (1891) wrote: "Having made the acquaintance of Colonel N.M.Przewalsky in 1878, I told him about my plans to visit Central Asia. He advised me to start explorations from the Kuldja region and was so kind as to draw a route for me which was a part of his route when he was travelling via Kuldja to Lobnor".
Speaking of the reasons for this trip, in his work entitled "Lépidoptères du district de Kouldja et des montagnes environnantes", published in the "Horae Soc. ent. ross." in 1881, Alphéraky wrote: "The possibility of a transfer of the Kuldja region territory [then part of the Russian Empire - the authors' comment] to China, which was discussed already then, made me choose exactly that region as a priority area for explorations. My choice turned out to be lucky, for today it has already been decided that Kuldja is to be given to China and, as a result, this region will undoubtedly be closed for any kind of research for a long time. At the same time, this area offered a vast room for new discoveries, and so I did not want to postpone the explorations for a long time".
On 16 January 1879, Alphéraky together with his friend S.Skaramang, who shared the expenses of the expedition, his preparator P.Mistchenko and hunter N.Kurduk started from St. Petersburg. The travelers went to Orenburg by train, and from there they moved in a sledge along the Bashkhir Route via Troitsk, Omsk, Semipalatinsk, often facing severe frosts. On 8 February 1879, the expedition reached Serghiopol (Ayaguz) at the border of the Turkestan region and, on 17 February, it arrived at Kuldja, now in western China, having spent 32 days to get there from St. Petersburg.
In Kuldja, Alphéraky got acquainted with the famous traveler A.Regel. Together they visited the chemist A.B.Golike, who had earlier collected Lepidoptera for N.G.Ershov in different parts of Turkestan. There Alphéraky specified the places for collecting and made a number of test routes along the Ili River. On 4 March, the team left Kuldja and went to the west along the Ili Valley, having reached Horgos, explored the environs of Lake Sairan-Nor and the Talkin Canyon.
On 26 April, they returned to Kuldja to prepare the main expedition. Then they were joined by hunter Yakovlev, an interpreter and several guides.
At last, on 10 May 1879, the caravan started, consisting of 10 camels and 11 horses with a luggage of "about 110 pounds" (1,800 kg). During several months, Alphéraky explored a number of regions of the eastern Tian-Shan, moving to the east toward the Sharbugchi Canyon, the valleys of the Tekes and Kunges, Sharhodzi linn. Finally, by the end of August, they reached the destination: Plateau Yulduz. On 5 September, the expedition got back to Kuldja and then to St. Petersburg.
Thus, Alphéraky managed to explore a larger portion of the eastern Tian-Shan territory, often being the first European visitor ever. There he discovered 112 species of Rhopalocera, among which many were new species and forms: Colias ershoffii, Colias staudingeri, Coenonympha mongolica, Erebia kalmuka, Erebia sibo, and many others. The collection of vertebrates was donated to the Imperial Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, but all the Lepidoptera remained in Alphéraky's hand.
Altogether, there were about 12,000 specimens of Lepidoptera, the treatment of which took Alphéraky several years. The results of the studies were published in the Horae Societatis Entomologicae Rossicae in 1881-1883 and covered various butterfly and moth families.
Duplicates of many butterflies collected by that expedition, including the syntypes of new taxa described by Alphéraky, were delivered by him to Staudinger. He retained the rest, and later some part was transferred to the Zoological Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg.
Alphéraky was eager to repeat his journey, but the establishment of a fixed border with China along the Horgos River made it too difficult for a Russian naturalist to get to western China. So he had to postpone the exploration of the eastern Tian-Shan for a long time.
In 1886-1888, Alphéraky treated the lepidopterological material of the Tibetan expedition of N.M.Przewalsky (1884-1885), kept in the St. Petersburg Museum. The results of that substantial work were published in the first volume of the "Mémoires sur les Lépidoptères", in 1889.
After that, Alphéraky started determining the Lepidoptera taken by the expeditions of G.N.Potanin to China and Mongolia, also kept in the St. Petersburg Museum. The results were presented by Alphéraky in the sixth volume of the "Mémoires sur les Lépidoptères", in 1892. In the ninth volume of the same edition, issued in 1897, Alphéraky published two articles on Lepidoptera of the Amur region and Korea, as well as of Kamchatka, based on material collected by O.Herz.
Copyright © 2008 Net Empire.
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Reuters / Fri Jan 25, 2008
Russia says foreign spies seeking WMD data: RIA
Новосибирские контрразведчики пресекли попытки иностранных граждан незаконно получить сведения о разработках местных ученых.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's domestic security service said on Friday it had foiled several attempts by foreign spies to obtain technology for weapons of mass destruction, RIA news agency reported.
The Federal Security Service (FSB) said Western and Asian spy services had tried to obtain information about nuclear enterprises in Siberia and from scientists working on secret high technology projects.
One Chinese citizen had been expelled and several other foreigners were refused further entry into Russia for seeking information on weapons of mass destruction, the FSB head in the Novosibirsk region of Siberia said, RIA reported.
"They were interested in the developments made by the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences," Sergei Savchenkov, the local FSB chief, was quoted as saying by RIA.
Russian security services have frequently claimed to uncover foreign spying and planned attacks by rebels, but rarely give details on attempts to steal secret data on weapons of mass destruction.
"We discovered that foreign intelligence agencies from the West and Asia were interested in nuclear energy, biological information and cutting-edge scientific developments in the field of nanotechnology," he was quoted as saying by RIA.
Russia, which has the second biggest store of nuclear weapons in the world after the United States, says its weapons arsenals are carefully guarded.
When contacted by Reuters, staff at the Novosibirsk office of the FSB were unable to confirm the RIA report.
Copyright © Reuters 2008. All rights reserved.
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