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New metallurgy and world-class scientists: how Russian universities innovate

Russia is turning out leaders in science and engineering who will develop the next generation of technology




(Sputnik) – Vice-Rector for Science and Innovations of the National University of Science and Technology (MISIS) Mikhail Filonov told RIA Novosti how this leading university is overcoming the resistance of the environment, finding opportunities to build new laboratories, attracting world-class scientists and implementing unique, innovative projects in resource-intensive areas.

Q: Mr. Filonov, MISIS scientists are working in different areas developing innovations. But your university is also dealing with metallurgy, which has been important for it since Soviet times and which requires urgent modernization. Are you managing to achieve anything in this area?

Mikhail Filonov: MISIS has a group of industrial partners – RUSAL, OMK, Nornickel, Severstal, and NLMK – with which we have been cooperating. They regularly give us technical assignments on different projects. Here’s an example of our cooperation. During the past few years the MISIS working group developed technology for the production of high-purity aluminum oxide and received a relevant contract from RUSALto move forward with this project. RUSAL also concluded contracts with it on 10-15 other projects.

Another project that MISIS successfully commercialized is a high-tech uniform for the Fire Service of the Emergencies Ministry. It can withstand temperatures of up to +800 C. Its heat-resistant fiber can withstand open flames up to +1,200 C, the influence of strong magnetic fields and chemical compounds.

Q: Have you been able to persuade private companies to invest long-term?

Mikhail Filonov:  We have developed a unique first trial model of the Vanyukov furnace.

This is an autogenic smelt-furnace for processing non-ferrous metals. Smelting occurs in the slag-matte bath of the furnace where a mixture of oxygen and air is intensively pumped. Its counterpart in ferrous metallurgy is the Romelt furnace. It was also developed by MISIS scientists. As I said, the Romelt furnace was built for processing ferrous metals in Lipetsk in the 1980s.

We carried out this breakthrough project in metallurgy with the funds of a private investor. The new furnace for non-ferrous metals is based on the development of Romelt technology. It works on the bubble principle and has two sections for restoring and oxidizing smelting. These two processes are united into one cycle. Some 200-250 million rubles were invested in this comparatively small two-meter furnace. Its construction from scratch – outside a metallurgical plant – will cost one billion rubles.

Its purpose and competitive advantage lies in processing slags and toxic waste of metallurgical and chemical production. It is possible to use low-grade coal. Its efficiency rate is less than that of a blast furnace but the latter cannot process slags and toxic waste. Now that the world’s only trial model has been created, it is possible to build a bigger furnace to process waste. This is a ticket to the future because all metallurgical plants lack room for storing their waste.

Q: Does NUST MISIS hire not only Russian but also foreign world-class scientists?

Mikhail Filonov:  We have both university graduates that are among the most cited in the world and leading scientists who existed in absolute isolation until recently. For example, the President of Japan’s elite Josai University Akihisa Inoue recently headed a laboratory at MISIS. He was the first to discover materials based on bulk metallic glass. His Hirsch index (which quantifies a scientist’s research output) is 116, which is a very high figure for any country.

Q: We know that in Russia the highest Hirsch index belongs to physicist Ruslan Valiyev (h-86) who also works with you. How did you manage to create conditions that draw in such people?

Mikhail Filonov: We have built modern infrastructure. We managed to make it comfortable for them: location in downtown Moscow, a good campus, the equipment with which they are used to working in their universities and an English-speaking environment. For instance, Akihisa Inoue works with metallic glass and magnetically soft materials (which can be magnetized without much energy) with a view to substantially reducing electricity consumption. We have created conditions that allow him to work here for more than four months per year.

Q: How did you manage to provide a competitive salary?

Mikhail Filonov:  By using the 5-100 breakthrough federal program. It opened the door to the future for us. You could say it provides for development rather than the consumption of reserves. Unlike other federal programs, it allows us to buy equipment, invite any leading scientist and build new laboratories. In addition, this program allows us to make our own research agenda and tailor it to the global one. It gives us 70 percent of top publications, which makes MISIS look much better against the general background, and our new laboratories are the driving force of all Russian science. We are already included in the top 100 [globally] in metallurgy and mining, and the top 200 in materials science.

Q: Is MISIS developing digital technology?

Mikhail Filonov: We want to become a competence center for state companies and government agencies on introducing blockchain technology in public administration. This is a new project at our university, in cooperation with Vnesheconombank. Our new center has brought together leading world and Russian experts to implement pilot projects on the basis of blockchain technology in different areas of public administration: from the registration of real estate deals to monitoring medicine supply chains. Such international companies as Ethereum, Bitfury, Waves, E&Y, and PwC were our first partners and are currently residents of the center. Now we are developing a number of new projects that will hopefully guarantee Russia an independent and safe future in digital technology.

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Constantinople: Ukrainian Church leader is now uncanonical

October 12 letter proclaims Metropolitan Onuphry as uncanonical and tries to strong-arm him into acquiescing through bribery and force.

Seraphim Hanisch



The pressure in Ukraine kept ratcheting up over the last few days, with a big revelation today that Patriarch Bartholomew now considers Metropolitan Onuphy “uncanonical.” This news was published on 6 December by a hierarch of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (running under the Moscow Patriarchate).

This assessment marks a complete 180-degree turn by the leader of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople, and it further embitters the split that has developed to quite a major row between this church’s leadership and the Moscow Patriarchate.

OrthoChristian reported this today (we have added emphasis):

A letter of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine was published yesterday by a hierarch of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in which the Patriarch informed the Metropolitan that his title and position is, in fact, uncanonical.

This assertion represents a negation of the position held by Pat. Bartholomew himself until April of this year, when the latest stage in the Ukrainian crisis began…

The same letter was independently published by the Greek news agency Romfea today as well.

It is dated October 12, meaning it was written just one day after Constantinople made its historic decision to rehabilitate the Ukrainian schismatics and rescind the 1686 document whereby the Kiev Metropolitanate was transferred to the Russian Orthodox Church, thereby, in Constantinople’s view, taking full control of Ukraine.

In the letter, Pat. Bartholomew informs Met. Onuphry that after the council, currently scheduled for December 15, he will no longer be able to carry his current title of “Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine.”

The Patriarch immediately opens his letter with Constantinople’s newly-developed historical claim about the jurisdictional alignment of Kiev: “You know from history and from indisputable archival documents that the holy Metropolitanate of Kiev has always belonged to the jurisdiction of the Mother Church of Constantinople…”

Constantinople has done an about-face on its position regarding Ukraine in recent months, given that it had previously always recognized the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate as the sole canonical primate in Ukraine.

…The bulk of the Patriarch’s letter is a rehash of Constantinople’s historical and canonical arguments, which have already been laid out and discussed elsewhere. (See also here and here). Pat. Bartholomew also writes that Constantinople stepped into the Ukrainian ecclesiastical sphere as the Russian Church had not managed to overcome the schisms that have persisted for 30 years.

It should be noted that the schisms began and have persisted precisely as anti-Russian movements and thus the relevant groups refused to accept union with the Russian Church.

Continuing, Pat. Bartholomew informs Met. Onuphry that his position and title are uncanonical:

Addressing you as ‘Your Eminence the Metropolitan of Kiev’ as a form of economia [indulgence/condescension—OC] and mercy, we inform you that after the elections for the primate of the Ukrainian Church by a body that will consist of clergy and laity, you will not be able ecclesiologically and canonically to bear the title of Metropolitan of Kiev, which, in any case, you now bear in violation of the described conditions of the official documents of 1686.

He also entreats Met. Onuphry to “promptly and in a spirit of harmony and unity” participate, with the other hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in the founding council of the new Ukrainian church that Constantinople is planning to create, and in the election of its primate.

The Constantinople head also writes that he “allows” Met. Onuphry to be a candidate for the position of primate.

He further implores Met. Onuphry and the UOC hierarchy to communicate with Philaret Denisenko, the former Metropolitan of Kiev, and Makary Maletich, the heads of the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate” and the schismatic “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church” respectively—both of which have been subsumed into Constantinople—but whose canonical condemnations remain in force for the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The hierarchs of the Serbian and Polish Churches have also officially rejected the rehabilitation of the Ukrainian schismatics.

Pat. Bartholomew concludes expressing his confidence that Met. Onuphry will decide to heal the schism through the creation of a new church in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church under Metropolitan Onuphry’s leadership is recognized as the sole canonical Orthodox jurisdiction in Ukraine by just about every other canonical Orthodox Jurisdiction besides Constantinople. Even NATO member Albania, whose expressed reaction was “both sides are wrong for recent actions” still does not accept the canonicity of the “restored hierarchs.”

In fact, about the only people in this dispute that seem to be in support of the “restored” hierarchs, Filaret and Makary, are President Poroshenko, Patriarch Bartholomew, Filaret and Makary… and NATO.

While this letter was released to the public eye yesterday, the nearly two months that Metropolitan Onuphry has had to comply with it have not been helped in any way by the actions of both the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Ukrainian government.

Priests of the Canonical Church in Ukraine awaiting interrogation by the State authorities

For example, in parallel reports released on December 6th, the government is reportedly accusing canonical priests in Ukraine of treason because they are carrying and distributing a brochure entitled (in English): The Ukrainian Orthodox Church: Relations with the State. The Attitude Towards the Conflict in Donbass and to the Church Schism. Questions and Answers.

In a manner that would do any American liberal proud, these priests are being accused of inciting religious hatred, though really all they are doing is offering an explanation for the situation in Ukraine as it exists.

A further piece also released yesterday notes that the Ukrainian government rehabilitated an old Soviet-style technique of performing “inspections of church artifacts” at the Pochaev Lavra. This move appears to be both intended to intimidate the monastics who are living there now, who are members of the canonical Church, as well as preparation for an expected forcible takeover by the new “united Church” that is under creation. The brotherhood characterized the inspections in this way:

The brotherhood of the Pochaev Lavra previously characterized the state’s actions as communist methods of putting pressure on the monastery and aimed at destroying monasticism.

Commenting on the situation with the Pochaev Lavra, His Eminence Archbishop Clement of Nizhyn and Prilusk, the head of the Ukrainian Church’s Information-Education Department, noted:

This is a formal raiding, because no reserve ever built the Pochaev Lavra, and no Ministry of Culture ever invested a single penny to restoring the Lavra, and the state has done nothing to preserve the Lavra in its modern form. The state destroyed the Lavra, turned it into a psychiatric hospital, a hospital for infectious diseases, and so on—the state has done nothing more. And now it just declares that it all belongs to the state. No one asked the Church, the people that built it. When did the Lavra and the land become state property? They belonged to the Church from time immemorial.

With the massive pressure both geopolitically and ecclesiastically building in Ukraine almost by the day, it is anyone’s guess what will happen next.

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Ukrainian leadership is a party of war, and it will continue as long as they’re in power – Putin

“We care about Ukraine because Ukraine is our neighbor,” Putin said.





Via RT…

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has branded the Ukrainian leadership a “party of war” which would continue fueling conflicts while they stay in power, giving the recent Kerch Strait incident as an example.

“When I look at this latest incident in the Black Sea, all what’s happening in Donbass – everything indicates that the current Ukrainian leadership is not interested in resolving this situation at all, especially in a peaceful way,” Putin told reporters during a media conference in the aftermath of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

This is a party of war and as long as they stay in power, all such tragedies, all this war will go on.

The Kiev authorities are craving war primarily for two reasons – to rip profits from it, and to blame all their own domestic failures on it and actions of some sort of “aggressors.”

“As they say, for one it’s war, for other – it’s mother. That’s reason number one why the Ukrainian government is not interested in a peaceful resolution of the conflict,” Putin stated.

Second, you can always use war to justify your failures in economy, social policy. You can always blame things on an aggressor.

This approach to statecraft by the Ukrainian authorities deeply concerns Russia’s President. “We care about Ukraine because Ukraine is our neighbor,” Putin said.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have been soaring after the incident in the Kerch Strait. Last weekend three Ukrainian Navy ships tried to break through the strait without seeking the proper permission from Russia. Following a tense stand-off and altercation with Russia’s border guard, the vessels were seized and their crews detained over their violation of the country’s border.

While Kiev branded the incident an act of “aggression” on Moscow’s part, Russia believes the whole Kerch affair to be a deliberate “provocation” which allowed Kiev to declare a so-called “partial” martial law ahead of Ukraine’s presidential election.

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When Putin Met Bin Sally

Another G20 handshake for the history books.



Via Zerohedge

In the annals of handshake photo-ops, we just may have a new winner (much to the delight of oil bulls who are looking at oil treading $50 and contemplating jumping out of the window).

Nothing but sheer joy, delight and friendship…

…but something is missing…

Meanwhile, earlier…

Zoomed in…

And again.

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