Summer preparations for winter: firewood

When you have very cold winter temperatures, unless your home is in a city with central steam heat boilers every few blocks to pipe in some warmth, one needs a very large firewood supply.

Firewood stacks.

Scenes like these are common in the countryside as farms and villagers stock up wood which will be needed in the coming winter months for heating and cooking.

Orthodox nuns stacking firewood.

Monasteries and Convents often provide their own winter heat fuel by gathering and cutting wood from nearby forests.


Customs Union agenda, 18 November

The heads of the Customs Union member states will meet in Moscow this Friday 18 November to discuss current issues of integration in the Eurasian region in preparation for full integration of the Common Economic Space between the nations in January of 2012. The meeting will include Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The meeting agenda includes operation of the Customs Union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, forming a common customs territory as of 1 July 2011. Cooperation within the Customs Union has already begun and state control has been moved to the external borders of the Customs Union countries with uniform customs rules and regulations in place.

The next phase of integration includes the Eurasian Economic Union.