Russia, the first volume of the Large Russian Encyclopaedia, will be on sale from March 1, 2004. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, this was announced today by Nina Litvinets, head of the publishing department of the Russian Press Ministry. She said that 90% of the volume has already been censored and sent for publishing. The volume will include comprehensive information about the history, political infrastructure, economics and environment of Russia as well as statistics about the different regions of Russia and the Russian population. Work on the format and layout of the book is expected to be complete by December 1.
The Large Russian Encyclopaedia will include 4,200 pages altogether (every volume will be about 800 pages). After Russia, the two first volumes in alphabetical order will also be published in 2004. Three more volumes will then be published on an annual basis. 20,000 copies are expected to be sold to private subscribers while the remaining 80,000 will be sent to libraries, research centres and state institutions. The research and publishing council for the Large Russian Encyclopaedia is headed by President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Yuri Osipov.
Representatives of the Israeli Defence Ministry responded to recent reports about the possible delivery of S-300 SAM systems from Russia to Syria. Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel would destroy those systems
Russia is to start supplying S-300 air defence systems to Syria in the near future. The shipments will be conducted free of charge