History, traditions
Author`s name Dmitriy Sudakov

Putin, Solzhenitsyn and Arshavin become Russia’s People of the Year

Vladimir Putin, Andrei Arshavin and Alexander Solzhenitsyn became the People of the Year for most Russians in 2008, whereas the financial crisis was the central event for the Russian population, a recent opinion poll conducted by the Public Opinion Research Fund said.

About 40 percent of the polled named Prime Minister Vladimir Putin when answering the question “Whom of the Russian politicians and public figures would you name the Person of the Year 2008?”, Interfax reports. All other politicians lag far behind Putin’s name. The top five also included President Medvedev (12%), Patriarch Alexy II (4%), parliament leaders Vladimir Zhirinovsky (2%) and Gennady Zyuganov (2%).

Late writer and Nobel Prize winner Alexander Solzhenitsyn was named the Person of the Year among science, culture and art figures. The famous writer received 4 percent of votes. Footballer Andrei Arshavin was named the Athlete of the Year with eight percent of votes.

Many of the polled Russians (15%) said that the financial crisis became the most important event of the outgoing year 2008. The list continues with the election of the Russian president (8%), the election of the US president (7%), the war in South Ossetia (7%), the Beijing Olympics (6%) and the death of the Russian Patriarch Alexy II (5%). Every other respondent (49%) was undecided about the year’s main event.

Many newspapers and magazines sum up the results of the year 2008. Time magazine, for example, named Barack Obama its Person of the Year. Last year, the title was awarded to Vladimir Putin.

Google made the chart of most popular searches in 2008. As it turns out, web surfers were most interested in the personas of Sarah Palin and John McCain.

Science magazine published the top ten list of the most important scientific achievements in 2008. The reprogramming of adult human cells took the first place of the list – scientists learned to turn them into stem cells that will make it possible to cure serious diseases in the future.

On December 10, 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, its thirty articles enshrining basic and fundamental rights guaranteeing dignity of the human person and equality for all, regardless of race, color, creed or gender. A pipe dream?

Human Rights Day: Let us hang our heads in shame
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