Tag Archives: Moldova

A photographer has spent 3 years taking pictures of women to see how beauty is defined around the world

In 2013, 30-year-old photographer Mihaela Noroc quit her job in Romania to backpack around the world full time.

Since then, she has visited every continent except for Antarctica and a total of about 50 countries, photographing hundreds of women along the way for her project, dubbed Atlas of Beauty.

And she’s still going.

More than ever, I think our world needs an Atlas of Beauty to show that diversity is something beautiful, not a reason for conflict,” Noroc explains to Tech Insider. “I hope that the portraits from The Atlas of Beauty can challenge many misconceptions that exist around the world.”

Noroc’s proficiency in five languages helps her speak with subjects either on the street or in their homes, but sometimes she relies on translators or body language alone to communicate.

Currently, she’s looking for funding to continue her journey, and hopes by 2017 to have enough images to publish a book.

You can follow Noroc’s trip and view more work on her Facebook, Instagram and Tumblraccounts. Keep scrolling to see more of her amazing images.

This is Mihaela Noroc posing in Bogotá, Colombia. The 30-year-old photographer travels the world taking photographs of women from different cultures.

Noroc has spent three years traveling for her “Atlas of Beauty” series. This woman was photographed on the streets of Moldova.

Noroc has spent three years traveling for her "Atlas of Beauty" series. This woman was photographed on the streets of Moldova.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

“I walk hours every day, in very different environments and I try to find relevant faces and stories for each place,” Noroc tells Tech Insider. This woman was in Peru.

"I walk hours every day, in very different environments and I try to find relevant faces and stories for each place," Noroc tells Tech Insider. This woman was in Peru.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

She also finds subjects online. Sometimes she’s invited back to their homes. Here, an Ecuadorian woman in her living room.

She also finds subjects online. Sometimes she's invited back to their homes. Here, an Ecuadorian woman in her living room.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

This woman is a market seller from Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

This woman is a market seller from Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

Noroc photographed women in the Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan. “Although they live in a rough and isolated environment, Wakhi people are amazingly welcoming and friendly,” Noroc says.

Noroc photographed women in the Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan. "Although they live in a rough and isolated environment, Wakhi people are amazingly welcoming and friendly," Noroc says.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

So far, Noroc has been to around 50 countries. Here, a woman smiles in Omo Valley, Ethiopia.

So far, Noroc has been to around 50 countries. Here, a woman smiles in Omo Valley, Ethiopia.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

She tries to capture each woman in her surroundings. This woman was snapped in Thorunn, Iceland.

She tries to capture each woman in her surroundings. This woman was snapped in Thorunn, Iceland.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

“I prefer to photograph natural faces, without a lot of make-up,” Noroc says. Here, a woman sits at a tea house in Istanbul, Turkey.

"I prefer to photograph natural faces, without a lot of make-up," Noroc says. Here, a woman sits at a tea house in Istanbul, Turkey.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

Noroc says this Ethiopian woman is a Muslim, but her best friend is Christian. “While traveling in Ethiopia in February, I admired the way Christians and Muslims got along,” she says. “But in the same country, there are dozens of terrible ethnic conflicts.”

Noroc says this Ethiopian woman is a Muslim, but her best friend is Christian. "While traveling in Ethiopia in February, I admired the way Christians and Muslims got along," she says. "But in the same country, there are dozens of terrible ethnic conflicts."

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

Noroc visited Kichwa, Ecuador in the Amazon Rainforest and took pictures of the women there.

Noroc visited Kichwa, Ecuador in the Amazon Rainforest and took pictures of the women there.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

She has been expanding her project to include a wider range and diversity of subjects, both old and young. This picture was taken in Bukhara, Uzbekistan.

She has been expanding her project to include a wider range and diversity of subjects, both old and young. This picture was taken in Bukhara, Uzbekistan.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

“In some countries I approach 10 women and maybe only one accepts,” she says. “In other places, everybody accepts.” This was in Maori, New Zealand.

"In some countries I approach 10 women and maybe only one accepts," she says. "In other places, everybody accepts." This was in Maori, New Zealand.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

“Usually, in Western countries, I’m never refused [when I ask to take a picture],” Noroc says. This woman poses in Harlem, New York.

"Usually, in Western countries, I'm never refused [when I ask to take a picture]," Noroc says. This woman poses in Harlem, New York.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

An Uzbek woman in Kyrgyzstan.

An Uzbek woman in Kyrgyzstan.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

Here, a Buddhist nun poses in Kathmandu, Nepal.

 Here, a Buddhist nun poses in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

Noroc photographed this woman in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Noroc photographed this woman in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

This woman is a computer engineer from Cairo, Egypt.

This woman is a computer engineer from Cairo, Egypt.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

Traveling across the Java Sea in Indonesia.

Traveling across the Java Sea in Indonesia.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

Going to North Korea was like “stepping [onto] a totally different planet, with different rules,” Noroc says. This woman was photographed in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Going to North Korea was like "stepping [onto] a totally different planet, with different rules," Noroc says. This woman was photographed in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

This woman was spotted in Sofia, Bulgaria.

This woman was spotted in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

Noroc says this woman in Guangzhou, China, was on her way to the hospital with her mother and husband to give birth.

Noroc says this woman in Guangzhou, China, was on her way to the hospital with her mother and husband to give birth.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

A woman standing on a pier in the Baltic Sea, Finland.

A woman standing on a pier in the Baltic Sea, Finland.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

A painter, in her studio in Valparaiso, Chile.

A painter, in her studio in Valparaiso, Chile.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

A woman poses on the streets of Havana, Cuba.

A woman poses on the streets of Havana, Cuba.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

A ballerina displays her talent in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

 A ballerina displays her talent in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

“For me, beauty is diversity, [it’s] what makes us unique,” Noroc says. “I also believe that beauty can teach us to be more tolerant.” Below, a woman in the streets of Iran.

"For me, beauty is diversity, [it's] what makes us unique," Noroc says. "I also believe that beauty can teach us to be more tolerant." Below, a woman in the streets of Iran.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

A young woman in Cape Town, South Africa.

A young woman in Cape Town, South Africa.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

A woman in Oxford, UK.

A woman in Oxford, UK.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

Wearing traditional dress in Otavalo, Ecuador.

Wearing traditional dress in Otavalo, Ecuador.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

“[In India] I photographed subjects from very different environments,” Noroc tells Tech Insider. “From poor women living in slums to Sonam Kapoor, one of the most popular Indian actresses.” Here, an Indian woman poses at a train station.

"[In India] I photographed subjects from very different environments," Noroc tells Tech Insider. "From poor women living in slums to Sonam Kapoor, one of the most popular Indian actresses." Here, an Indian woman poses at a train station.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

A young woman in Medellin, Colombia.

A young woman in Medellin, Colombia.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

“Many people tell me how the project changed the way they see beauty and diversity,” Noroc tells Tech Insider. A woman on the streets of Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

"Many people tell me how the project changed the way they see beauty and diversity," Noroc tells Tech Insider. A woman on the streets of Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

But her project has received criticism for showing a narrow a definition of beauty. “There is also negative feedback sometimes, but you have to accept it, even if you find it unfair,” she says. Below, a redheaded woman posing in San Francisco, USA.

But her project has received criticism for showing a narrow a definition of beauty. "There is also negative feedback sometimes, but you have to accept it, even if you find it unfair," she says. Below, a redheaded woman posing in San Francisco, USA.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

“The internet can make you very popular but also very exposed to different opinions,” she says. “Which is not bad, in the end.” A blond woman outside a home in Latvia.

"The internet can make you very popular but also very exposed to different opinions," she says. "Which is not bad, in the end." A blond woman outside a home in Latvia.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

A Tibetan woman in the Sichuan Province, China.

A Tibetan woman in the Sichuan Province, China.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

A mother and her son pose in Australia.

A mother and her son pose in Australia.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

Noroc hopes to publish an Atlas of Beauty book after another year of traveling. This woman was photographed in Rio de Janeiro.

Noroc hopes to publish an Atlas of Beauty book after another year of traveling. This woman was photographed in Rio de Janeiro.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

“There is much more diversity in the world, waiting for me, and I love to discover it. It’s an infinite treasure,” she says. Below, a woman in Myanmar.

"There is much more diversity in the world, waiting for me, and I love to discover it. It's an infinite treasure," she says. Below, a woman in Myanmar.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

Noroc also traveled around her home country of Romania. Here, a ceramic art student in a workshop in Cluj, Romania.

Noroc also traveled around her home country of Romania. Here, a ceramic art student in a workshop in Cluj, Romania.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

Noroc plans to continue to travel the world with just her backpack and camera. Her next stop? Greece.

Noroc plans to continue to travel the world with just her backpack and camera. Her next stop? Greece.

Courtesy of Mihaela Noroc

You can follow her journey and view more of her work on her Facebook page as well as herInstagram and Tumblr accounts.

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​Poroshenko strikes a blow on Russian military positions in Transnistria

A Ukrainian border guard checks the cars at the check point of Kuchurgany, some 100 kilometers from the Black Sea city of Odesa at the border with the Kremlin-backed Transnistria breakaway republic of Moldova on April 4, 2014.

Better late than never.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed on June 8 a law that prohibits transit of Russian military troops to Transnistria, a Kremlin-backed breakaway region of Moldova. This move is meant to reduce Moscow’s influence in Transnistria, whose independence is not internationally recognized, and could be useful in future negotiations with Kremlin, analysts say.

The law denounces the existing agreement of 1995 that allowed the transit of Russian military troops to Transninstria through Ukraine’s territory. By ending it, Poroshenko may have blocked around 1,500 Russian soldiers currently stationed in Transnistria, putting pressure on the Kremlin.

In response, Moscow said it was ready to provide supplies to Russian peacekeepers in Transnistria by planes.

“It is quite costly for Russia,” says Oleksiy Melnyk, co-director of International Security and Foreign Policy at the Kyiv-based Razumkov Center think tank. “The unrecognized republic does not have a common border with Russia so Moscow will need to ask Ukraine for permission to fly over its territory. This is a good subject for negotiations with the Kremlin that should be used to obtain concessions from Russia.”

Melnyk estimates that there are nearly 1,500 Russian soldiers in Transnistria, rotated every six months.

Before terminating the Transnistria troops transfer agreement, Ukraine’s Parliament ended five military cooperation agreements between Ukraine and Russia on May 21, including the law that allows movement of Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory. The memorandum to the law states that this agreement “is a direct threat to the national security and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

Military experts praised the decision, but say it should have been done earlier.

“This decision should have been made last summer when it was obvious that Russia is an aggressor country,” says Melnyk. “Today Ukraine shouldn’t back off despite Russia’s possible aggressive steps or statements.”

Russian troops that have been sent to Transnistria through Chisinau.

During the last two months, nearly 50 Russian soldiers who came to Chisinau as peacemakers were detained in the airport and sent back to Russia as Moldovan authorities believed they were Russian military, not peacekeepers, according to Oazu Nantoi, program director of the Institute for Public Policy in Chisinau.

Deputy chairman of the Russian Parliament Sergey Zhelezniak said that Moscow will react harshly in case of a possible attack on Russian peacekeepers in Transnistria.

“If we get into war, the defeated side will have to answer for everything,” Zhelezniak said in the interview to the TV Russian political talk show “The Sunday Night with Vladimir Solivyov” on May 31.

Ukrainian analyst Melnyk doubts that Russia will start a war in Transnistria.

Nantoi says Russia’s position in the region is weakening.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities plan another move that will complicate matters for Transnistria. Odesa Oblast Governor Mikheil Saakashvili has promised to strengthen Ukraine’s border with Transnistria to stop smuggling of drugs and weapons.

Transnistrian officials have already accused Ukraine of a blockade when, in May, Ukraine stopped letting Transnistria inhabitants enter Ukraine using Russian passports.

Did This 28-Year-Old Banker Help Steal $1 Billion From Moldova?

Moldovan millionaire Ilan Shor has already accumulated a vast fortune in his young life.

His holdings appear vast, though his public profile is low.

The Israeli-born, Moldovan businessman Ilan Shor may have a fleet of hot cars, a football club, TV stations, and even a Russian pop-star wife, but until now he’s managed mostly to escape public scrutiny.

These days, however, his name is on everyone’s lips. The 28-year-old Shor, who apparently made a fortune selling duty-free goods at Chisinau International Airport, is now a main suspect in the disappearance of around $1 billion from three Moldovan banks late last year.

MOLDOVA LEI

A confidential report by the U.S. investigative consultancy Kroll that was leaked to the public this week documents in detail how companies tied to Shor gradually took control of the banks and then allegedly issued massive loans to Shor-connected companies.

Shor was placed under temporary house arrest on May 6. Earlier, he said he would cooperate with the investigation and provide all necessary documents.

The missing money, which translated into roughly an eighth of Moldova’s total gross domestic product (GDP) at the time of the theft (around a fifth of GDP at current exchange rates), has been dubbed the “heist of the century.”

Thousands of people attended the protest organised by platform 'Demnitate si Adevar'

Public Fury

It’s not clear from the report, which has no formal legal standing, whether Shor himself bears personal responsibility for the missing money. But Moldovans, understandably, are furious.

“A big majority of Moldovans are very, very angry with this case,” says Alina Radu, director of the Chisinau-based investigative newspaper Ziarul de Garda. First, she says, people are angry with the government for failing to prevent the theft. “But they’re also angry [with Shor], as the banker, and his family as well.”

Though Shor’s Russian wife, the pop singer Jasmine, is a fixture on social-media websites and glamor magazines, not much was publicly known about Shor himself or his businesses until the Kroll report was leaked this week.

“He’s a very rich person, and very obscure, and very young, so actually he doesn’t communicate very much with journalists,” Radu says.

Shor’s holdings appear to be vast for such a young person, especially given his lack of experience or education in the various sectors his businesses operate in.

In addition to serving as president of the Banca de Economii, one of the three banks involved in the scandal, Shor is best-known as the director of Dufremol, the country’s biggest seller of duty-free goods. Dufremol was founded by Shor’s father, the late Miron Shor, in 1994.

The Kroll report ties him to several other companies as part of the “Shor Group.” These included Danmira, Davema, Caritas Group, Contrade, and Voximar.

shor

Shor also serves on the board of Avia-Invest, the company that manages Chisinau International Airport.

Radu says controversy has surrounded the airport’s management and the awarding of concessions to sell duty-free goods such as perfumes, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco.

“There were other businesses who wanted to have duty free in the airport,” she says. “And there were a lot of obstacles. It was like a decision from above that only Ilan Shor could have this.”

In September 2014, Shor acquired two local TV stations, EuroTV and AltTV. He owns the soccer club FC Milsami Orhei, and the Klassika Insurance company.

Like Father, Like Son

Much of Shor’s early wealth doubtless came from his father, who died in 2005. In the few published interviews Shor has given over the years, he identifies his father as a strong influence in his life.

“My dad was with me throughout childhood,” he told Moldova’s VIP magazine in 2010. “All my so-called problems until 2005 had the same result — I talked with my father and we found the solution together.”

Ilan Shor as a child with his father, Miron
Ilan Shor as a child with his father, Miron

Miron Shor enjoyed a long career as a businessman and Jewish benefactor abroad. It was Miron who brought the family to Moldova from Israel when Ilan was two years old.

Published accounts, at least, speak of Miron as a generous entrepreneur who did much to support Jewish humanitarian causes in Moldova.

It was Miron who in 2002 established the national Moldovan office of the Jewish philanthropy, ORT, which promotes education and vocational training. That position is now headed by Ilan.

I [Heart] Moscow

In the same interview with VIP, Ilan Shor says his favorite city is Moscow — possibly a diplomatic answer for a man with a Russian wife.

Moldovans appear to have divided feelings about Jasmine’s music — ticket sales for recent performances have not been particularly brisk. And some things about the couple, particularly their wedding in 2011, still rub many the wrong way.

Ilan Shor with his wife Jasmine at their wedding in 2011

Ilan Shor with his wife Jasmine at their wedding in 2011

For a start, the wedding party was held in the former Moldovan parliament building, which — symbolically at least — lends the feeling that anything in the country can be bought.

“If [Shor] wanted today to hold a wedding in the presidential hall, I think [he could] manage it, because I think he can just get whatever he wants,” Radu says.

Shor’s recent troubles may be wearing on both the marriage and Jasmine’s career — at least in Moldova. Earlier this year, the pop singer was forced to scratch a planned concert in Chisinau. The cancellation was widely chalked up to her husband’s legal woes.

Scots ‘ghost’ companies suspected of alleged £12.5bn money laundering scam by Russian mafia

IT is claimed the crime syndicate are taking advantage of Scots corporate rules which allow companies to be set up who are little more than a name plate at an address. 

SCOTS companies are under suspicion of alleged money laundering by the Russian mafia.

It is claimed “ghost” firms based in Edinburgh and Glasgow could be involved in a laundering operation worth £12.5billion.

Police in the former Soviet republic of Moldova are probing some companies involved, as are non-governmental organisation the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.

It is claimed the crime syndicate are taking advantage of Scots corporate rules which allow companies to be set up who are little more than a name plate at an address.

A probe by the Independent newspaper has uncovered at least six companies registered here who have come to the attention of investigators.

The launderers created UK front companies who carried out massive phoney business deals between themselves.

The front companies then sued each other in Moldova, demanding repayment of hundreds of millions of pounds of loans.

Money would be put into the UK front companies’ accounts in Moldova then transferred to another bank in Latvia.

Police are trying to identify the criminals whose money was being laundered, but it is virtually impossible to establish who owns the UK front companies.

One Edinburgh firm claimed a debt of $500million from a Russian guarantor in the Moldovan courts.

The company’s registered address is a small accountancy firm in Edinburgh not involved in any wrongdoing.

The man listed as the sole director of the company who claimed the debt told the Record: “According to the Independent, the criminals fake trials, so they must have a judge working with them in Moldova.

“They stage things so they get damages basically in the courts, then they force the Russian companies to pay up. In that way they money launder.

“But I am sorry I cannot help you because I have no idea. Nobody involved in any way with the company in Scotland knows what happens. That is a fact.”

Asked about his directorships of other companies registered to unlikely addresses here, the man said: “If the police would like to know more, I will talk to them. But I am not ready to waste time on newspapers.”

The scam appears to have gone on for four years before being shut down in May by the authorities in Moldova.

A Moldovan investigator said: “This money was routed from Russia, but the companies incorporated in Britain were instrumental to transit the funds.”

US, Europe at odds over NATO expansion

Various leaders depicted on wooden toys symbolize the conflicts of the Cold War

The thought of Ukraine or Georgia as NATO members constitutes a horror scenario for most European states. But for many in the US, it’s both conceivable and desirable.

 

NATO is only obliged to collectively defend its own member states against attack from outside. Many European politicians must currently be secretly relieved by the existence of the principle.

 

If Ukraine were a member of NATO, the annexation of Crimea in March would have plunged the Western alliance into an immediate military confrontation with Russia.

Yet only a few years ago, there was serious discussion about inviting Ukraine and Georgia to join the alliance. At the 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest, the United States, under President George W. Bush, campaigned vehemently in favor.

However, several European states – including Germany – had misgivings, because even then they were concerned about the possibility of serious tensions with Russia.

Today, Berlin is more convinced of this than ever. Michael Gahler is the spokesperson on security policy issues for the conservative European People’s Party (EPP) group in the European parliament.

He points out that in 2008, there also wasn’t a clear majority of Ukrainians in favor of the idea. Gahler said that adopting restraint with regard to Russia was tied to the expectation “that Russia would respect this, and behave accordingly.”

Georgia as forerunner

The Americans, however, are still aggressively in favor of accession. Last weekend, on a visit to the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that his country would continue to push for Georgia to join NATO. The US is also considering selling military helicopters to the country.

There are clear parallels between Georgia and Ukraine. Many people see the Russian occupation of the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008 as the forerunner for the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

There was a storm of protest back then, too, but the West did not intervene and appeared to come to terms with the new situation.

In the United States, both Democrat politician Robert Menendez, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the Republican Senator John McCain have spoken out in favor of supplying weapons to the Ukrainian army.

But Western European politicians believe Russian President Vladimir Putin would see this as a provocation, and tantamount to handing him an excuse to invade.

A woman stands in Georgia at the Russian border

Will Ukraine become a second Afghanistan?

There are therefore two very different, conflicting interpretations of the situation. The majority of European NATO states do not want to unnecessarily provoke Russia, while the US and some of NATO’s eastern members who suffered under Soviet occupation argue the opposite.

They point out that if Ukraine were already a NATO member, it might have deterred Putin from his Crimean adventure.

Roland Freudenstein, a security policy expert with the Brussels think-tank Wilfried Martens Centre, believes that the refusal to make concrete plans for membership in 2008 “strongly encouraged Putin to embroil Georgia in a war.”

Stronger military ties to NATO would at least have made Russian aggression less likely, he told DW.

Freudenstein is now in favor of providing limited military support to the Ukrainian forces, “in order to repulse completely unprovoked aggression, or at least to drive the cost of it up so high that the Kremlin will reconsider such action.”

Russia, he said, does not have “unlimited possibilities for intervention,” and the “disaster in Afghanistan” will still be fresh in its memory.

The EPP’s Michael Gahler stressed that “not even Russia would claim that Ukraine intends to threaten Russian territorial integrity.” Ukraine’s military actions are, he said, purely defensive.

A soldier fires a gun

No sphere of influence for Russia

Both Freudenstein and Gahler reject the idea of granting Russia a “sphere of influence,” which many Western politicians have implied could be a possibility.

The two experts said that every country has the right to choose its alliances freely, and that NATO membership for the two countries must also remain a possibility, at least in principle. Freudenstein added that excluding Ukraine and Georgia “would constitute a reward for Russia’s conduct.”

However, Gahler said that “stable majority support from the population” would be a requirement, as would the approval of any such accession by all current NATO member states.

The latter is certainly not in the cards at present. Whether that changes, said Gahler, also depends on “what kind of a Russia we will be dealing with in future.” With Putin’s Russia it would not be feasible, he added.

But both experts agree that this doesn’t mean the West should simply stand by and do nothing. “NATO and the EU need a new Ostpolitik,” said Freudenstein.

The EU should, he said, make approaches to civil society and consolidate relationships with elites by way of trade, grants and the lifting of visa restrictions.

NATO should also, he said, continue military cooperation beneath the membership threshold, “whether or not that pleases the men in the Kremlin.”

Gahler also backed greater civil and military cooperation, but added that at the same time it’s important “to continue the dialogue between the EU and Russia,” and to closely follow the dialogues between Russia and Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.

There are many differences between America and Europe where dealings with Russia are concerned, as well as among the Europeans themselves, but presumably these are demands on which all are able to agree.

Two burglaries every hour in Austria

Two burglaries every hour in Austria

 

 

There are at least two burglaries every hour in Austria.  From these, around half of opportunistic offenders could be deferred by simple preventive measures.

A survey conducted by the KFV shows that only 41 percent of Austrians take basic safety measures, despite burglaries having increased by 76 percent in the past few years.

Almost half of the 500 respondents claimed that there would be nothing of value lost if they were burglarized anyway, showing an uncomfortable degree of apathy on the question.

Despite this, the average loss from a burglary in Austria was around €2,200.  60 percent of Austrians gloomily explain that they can’t protect themselves anyway.  

The Vice President of the Insurance Association Hartwig Löger outlined that in many cases, even basic steps are effective at deterring offenders, including locking doors and closing windows when leaving the house.

Equally effective as a deterrent are attentive neighbours, and the regular trimming of hedges, to ensure that the house is clearly visible from the street.  

It’s generally known that criminals will often quickly evaluate the obstacles of a series of possible targets in a short time.  The more barriers to entry that exist, the smaller the chance of a break-in, according to Löger.  Around one third of intrusion attempts are abandoned at the outset, he said.

In 2013, there were 16,548 burglaries recorded by police.  These numbers rise in winter months, as the twilight makes it for burglars to avoid detection.  

The most effective deterrent is a functioning alarm system, said Löger, but only if it is turned on and all entry points are sealed.

Causes for the increase of domestic burglary

Without access to the dark figures and a very low clear-up rate of 7% it is hard to find convincing arguments for the increasing crime rates in this field.

Police experts refer to deep social and political changes in some post-soviet countries (Moldova, Georgia) causing a new wave of criminal activities of foreign offenders in Austria.

Austria in turn became a target for offenders operating in large geographical areas. The increase of mobility in south-eastern neighbouring countries also led to an increase of domestic burglary in Austria.

On the level of subjects psychologists argued that the production of needs for self-realisation and increasing economic pressure foster illegal activities.

Insurance experts and police prevention officers complained about low security standards in Austria, especially in Viennese households, which make domestic burglary more attractive for all kinds of offenders.

There are some indicators (value of stolen goods and overall damage per case) that suggest an increasing level of professionalization among burglars.

Police investigate withdrawal of $18 billion from Russia via Moldova to Latvia

MOSCOW, September 22 (RAPSI) – Russia’s law enforcement agencies are investigating the withdrawal of nearly 700 billion rubles (over $18 billion) from Russia via 21 banks, Vedomosti newspaper writes on Monday.

The newspaper sites letters that Moldova’s financial monitoring service and the anti-money laundering service of Moldova’s National Anticorruption Center to Russia’s Interior Ministry, according to which false injunctions were issued by Moldovan district courts to withdraw massive funds from Russia.

“Foreign companies have signed loan contracts under which Russian firms allegedly took out loans worth between $100 million and $875 million or acted as loan guarantors. When obligations under these fictitious debts were not satisfied, creditors filed suits with Moldovan courts, because certain Moldovan citizens also acted as loan guarantors.These guarantors came from socially disadvantaged families who claimed to have known nothing about these loan contracts and insist that their signatures were falsified,”

 

Vedomosti writes, citing a letter to Sergei Solopov, deputy head of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Main Department for Economic Security and Corruption Prevention.

From March 2011 to April 2014, the fraudsters have withdrawn nearly 700 billion rubles (over $18 billion), the Moldovan financial intelligence service writes in its letter.

 

The funds were removed from the accounts of about a hundred Russian companies with 21 Russian banks that have correspondent accounts with Moldova’s BC Moldindconbank S.A.

The money was then transferred to 19 firms that were registered in the UK, New Zealand and Belize and had accounts with Moldindconbank and Latvia’s Trasta Komercbanka, the newspaper writes.

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The Human Condition.

simple Ula

I want to be rich. Rich in love, rich in health, rich in laughter, rich in adventure and rich in knowledge. You?

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