The Union of Yedinstvo and Otechestvo /Unity and Fatherland/ all-Russia public organisation has been transformed into the all-Russia party Yedinstvo and Otechestvo, or Yedinaya Rossiya /United Russia/ for short, by unanimous decision of the party's constituent congress, which is currently being held in Moscow. Sergei Shoigu, Yuri Luzhkov and Mintimer Shaimiyev were elected co-chairmen of the party. Delegates also elected a Higher Council of the party, which consists of 18 members. Further on, the congress unanimously adopted the party's Statute /which lists "election of a party candidate as the President of Russia, acquisition of the majority of seats in legislative authorities of the Russian Federation and in representative self-governing bodies" among the party's goals and tasks/ and Program /which identifies Yedinaya Rossiya as an organisation uniting citizens who place freedom, law, justice and conciliation above everything else/. Other decisions made at the congress deal with the party's symbol /a bear against a Russian flag and the country's map as the background/ and a model of the party membership card /a dark blue plastic card with the member's photograph/.
Forest fires in Siberia have been raging for three months already. They have become a disaster not only of Russian, but of global scale. The fires have already scorched 12 million hectares of land