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Sunday, August 01, 2010

A Russian Under Every Bed

by Paul E. Richardson

Ok, I might be biased, given that at Russian Life we're focused 24/7 on things Russian. But lately it seems like Russians are popping up everywhere, even in the most unlikely of places. It's like when I vacation in Maine and the girl scooping my ice cream in some tiny little town off the beaten path turns out to be here from Krasnoyarsk on a student work visa... So what am I talking about? Well, this for instance, among more recent and semi-recent news items:

  • Daniel Radcliffe, the guy who plays Harry Potter, just celebrated his 21st birthday... at a bar in St. Petersburg
  • I just finished Stieg Larsson's NY Times Bestseller The Girl Who Played With Fire (second in the series, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was the first one) and have started The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest. Spoiler alert: The books (which are great) may have been written by a Swede, but the main baddy is of course a Russian.
  • Speaking of baddies: no surprise that it was Russians behind the worst of everything in the final season of 24.
  • Ok, I guess I have to mention the Spy Scandal here. Which is kind of hard to call a scandal, since the spies were caught before they did any damage (so we are told) and ended up being swapped for more non-spies.
  • Chelsea Clinton just got married. She is now Chelsea Mezvinsky. Her new hubby, Marc, is son of convicted felon and former congressmen Edward Mezvinsky (aka "Fast Talking Eddy"). It is not clear that the family is of Russian extraction, but they are Jewish and that means they likely trace their lineage back to the Pale of Settlement, which was in the Russian empire. And there is this from one online source: "He [Marc] threw Chelsea a 30th birthday party for 70 friends and family at Russian eatery Mari Vanna, one of their favorite restaurants."  Guests dined on caviar, pierogies and vodka-infused cocktails."
  • Tony Hayward, the Golden Parachute clad, embattled ex-CEO of BP Oil has been exiled to Russia.
  • Daniel Pirog (his last name means "pie") of Russia just won the world middleweight boxing title.

And that is just a quick perusal. Seems like a rather heavy concentration of late, if you ask me. Maybe it is some kind of cosmic confluence with the Perseid Meteor Showers?