On Tuesday, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Jacques Rogge announced the cities which will contend for hosting the 2012 Olympics. The IOC Executive Committee has selected five out of nine contenders: Paris, New York, Moscow, London and Madrid.
President of the Russian Olympic Committee Leonid Tyagachev has told Gazeta, "Over the 24 hours that I spent in Lausanne (the IOC headquarters), I have spoken in front of many unbiased sport leaders, trying, and, I think, succeeding to convince them that Moscow is the best venue for the Olympics. IOC Honorary President Juan Antonio Samaranch congratulated me on our capital's advance to the next round." "At home, I will meet Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov and Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, and report about the success to the Russian president. We have entered the final round, and should consolidate the efforts of the city and federal authorities as well as Russian businessmen for the sake of victory." "It might be self-confident to say but neither I nor anybody else in our delegation to Lausanne doubted Moscow's success," said Alexander Chernov, head of the project group of the Moscow-2012 application committee. "Representatives of some other delegations were nervously running around and listening to rumors. And we had a calm dinner the night before, had normal sleep and arrived in the morning to hear the official announcement. I only know that the IOC Executive Committee unanimously voted for Moscow and that we are in third place among the other candidates. Well, the IOC Executive Committee members are high-class professionals, and they have a clear idea of the candidates' potentials. Moscow has the infrastructure, and all its facilities meet the strictest standards. Now we will invest all our efforts in the preparation of the application book of a candidate. It is very hard work, and we will have to lay out every minute, meter and kopeck of the entire future Olympics.
"Moscow undoubtedly deserves to feature among such great cities," Deputy Mayor of Moscow Mikhail Men has told Gazeta. "Now we should consolidate efforts to look decent at the final stage. Opinion polls show that everybody sees our Olympic idea as a whim, which is only interesting to Moscow. This trend needs to be reserved now that the real work is starting. Each of the five candidates has its advantages, and Moscow possibly has the most impressive pluses. Nobody can organize the Olympics in the same compact way as we can - at one site. According to our concept, even the regatta can be conducted inside the city. However, we objectively assess not only our advantages, but disadvantages too. Some things need to be improved, and we will work to do it.
Russia may terminate all kinds of military and military-technical relations with Israel, including the agreement on the exchange of reconnaissance data
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea