Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 08:17:17
15 November 2018

  The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.

Nov/Dec 2012

Nov/Dec 2012
Cover: Andrey Brukhno

7: Bracing for Isolation
Maria Antonova
Times have gotten tough for Russian NGOs lately. New laws, the expulsion of USAID and now some troubling signs of high-level internal spying is making the work of non-profits and rights watchdogs downright perilous.

13: Profile of Russian Chinovniki
Where we bring some interesting statistics and graphics to bear on the overwhelming influence of bureaucrats in modern Russia.

19: Pavel Fedotov
Tamara Eidelman
A consideration of the wonderful story-telling paintings of the classic nineteenth century artist Pavel Fedotov.
:: Translation by Nora Seligman Favorov


22: The Thaw Snaps
Tamara Eidelman
In December 1962, Nikita Khrushchev's Thaw was drawing to a close, only no one quite knew this yet. It would take a contrived showdown at a Moscow art exhibition to bring things to a head.
:: Translation by Nora Seligman Favorov


24: Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker
Tamara Eidelman
Tchaikovsky's now classic holiday ballet debuted in December 1892, but it was far from as popular in its debut as it is today. And it has gone through some interesting changes over the past 120 years.
:: Translation by Nora Seligman Favorov


26: Friend or Foe?
Mikhail Ivanov
A consideration of the language of enemies and whether Russia is, as Mitt Romney has averred, the US's chief geopolitical foe.
:: Illustrations/Images by Victor Bogorad


27: Baikonur
Susanna Nazarova and Evgeny Dengub
This issue's Uchites insert launches off from our feature article on Baikonur.

34: Where We First Touched Outer Space
Anastasia Osipova
The world's largest and most active space port is situated in the middle of the Kazakh desert. Largely off-limits to outsiders, it is an unusual mix of hi-tech and low-key. And it was from here, just over 50 years ago, that humankind first reached out to touch the stars.
:: Translation by Paul E. Richardson


42: Publishing for Kids
Lada Bakal
Vadim Meshcheryakov was halfway through a successful career as a banker when he gave it all up to publish children's books. But not just any children's books.

46: The Tiny Oasis
Natalya Beskhlebnaya
Not far from the middle of Moscow, there is a diminutive church with a distinctive legend at the heart of its history. We went for a visit.
:: Translation by Paul E. Richardson
:: Illustrations/Images by Natalya Beskhlebnaya

Religion & Spirituality

50: Lev Gumilev
Mikhail Ivanov
By any measure, the son of Anna Akhmatova and Nikolai Gumilev lived a life that was very full. Born 100 years ago this fall, this is his amazing story.

52: Spirits of the Home and Forest
Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby
Russian place spirits - including the domovoy, bannik, fleshy, rusalka and others - have a history that stretches back to Rus' pagan past. And despite the crush and frenzy of modern life, these spirits impact Russians to this day.
Religion & Spirituality

60: A Vessel of Significance
Darra Goldstein
The distinctive form of the Russian drinking vessel known as the kovsh dates back thousands of years. We consider its form and function, and offer a related recipe for Cranberry Kvass.

62: Spies and Cats
Paul E. Richardson
A review of two new works of fiction, Matthew Dunn's Sentinel and Ilya Boyashov's The Way of Muri. Both offer entertaining reading, for entirely different reasons.
Under Review

63: The Museum of Abandoned Secrets
Paul E. Richardson
Where we interview Nina Shevchuk-Murray, translator of this new book by Oksana Zabuzhko, which is an expansive piece of historical fiction that encompasses much of Ukrainian history, particularly during WWII.
Under Review

64: Elephants in the Amur
When we saw these pictures of elephants bathing in the Amur river in Vladivostok, we just had to make then our closing item for 2012.