Editorial

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Undesirable Outcome
January 01, 2022

Undesirable Outcome

The history of Russia since 2008 has been to repeatedly lop off appendages – nose, ears, digits – to spite itself. Obsessed by erroneous threats, it has invaded its neighbors, quashed all democratic activity, rigged votes, interfered in foreign elections, harbored and/or enabled international cybercrime… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

All Good Things
November 01, 2021

All Good Things

In which we say goodbye to a longtime editor and look toward the future by looking back.

Profiles in Courage
September 01, 2021

Profiles in Courage

It takes something special in a human being to create a thing from scratch, to see a slab of stone and carve it into a sculpture, to see an empty storefront and turn it into a store, to sketch out a multistory building on paper and then shepherd it into existence in the real world.

Spring at Last
May 01, 2021

Spring at Last

The maple sap has finished running, the peepers are filling the hours about dusk with their chorus, and the daffodils and crocuses have taken center stage.

On Creativity
March 01, 2021

On Creativity

The thematic arc that unites our features in this issue is that of creativity in the face of neglect, persistence in the face of oppression, resilience in the face of difficulty.

600
January 01, 2021

600

This issue of Russian Life is issue number 600. Given this milestone, I would like to give a shout out to some of our unsung heroes.

Revolutionary Acts
November 01, 2020

Revolutionary Acts

As the stories for this issue coalesced, I realized that all of our long feature stories were actually about the same thing: the power of language and the elusiveness of truth.

Where in the World?
September 01, 2020

Where in the World?

At a time when international travel has come to a screeching halt, I can think of little better service our magazine can provide than to take readers to far-flung places.

Destiny's Child?
July 01, 2020

Destiny's Child?

“Geography is destiny,” Napoleon is said to have uttered. Shortly afterward he invaded Russia, proving both his maxim and that of one of his imperialistic predecessors, Julius Caesar: “It’s only hubris if I fail.”

 

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EVENTS FOR RUSSOPHILES

Russian-Language Gallery Tour
February 22, 2022 to February 22, 2032

Russian-Language Gallery Tour

Brooklyn Museum | Brooklyn, NY

Russian-language tour exploring our collection in depth, second Sunday of each month at 1 pm. Free, reservations required

Pysanka: Symbol of Renewal
May 26, 2022 to July 24, 2022

Pysanka: Symbol of Renewal

Museum of Russian Icons | Clinton, MA

Maine-based contemporary artist Lesia Sochor's exhibition inspired by the beautiful tradition of intricately decorated Ukrainian Easter egg painting.

Tea Is For Tradition
February 03, 2022 to October 02, 2022

Tea Is For Tradition

Museum of Russian Icons | Clinton, MA

The objects associated with Russian tea are tactile reminders of this important tradition and evoke warmth, home, and family.

A Few of Our Books

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The fables of Ivan Krylov are rich fonts of Russian cultural wisdom and experience – reading and understanding them is vital to grasping the Russian worldview. This new edition of 62 of Krylov’s tales presents them side-by-side in English and Russian. The wonderfully lyrical translations by Lydia Razran Stone are accompanied by original, whimsical color illustrations by Katya Korobkina.
Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

This astonishingly gripping autobiography by the founder of the Russian Women’s Death Battallion in World War I is an eye-opening documentary of life before, during and after the Bolshevik Revolution.
Jews in Service to the Tsar

Jews in Service to the Tsar

Benjamin Disraeli advised, “Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.” With Jews in Service to the Tsar, Lev Berdnikov offers us 28 biographies spanning five centuries of Russian Jewish history, and each portrait opens a new window onto the history of Eastern Europe’s Jews, illuminating dark corners and challenging widely-held conceptions about the role of Jews in Russian history.
Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

One of the most famous works of Russian literature, the four-act comedy in verse Woe from Wit skewers staid, nineteenth century Russian society, and it positively teems with “winged phrases” that are essential colloquialisms for students of Russian and Russian culture.
White Magic

White Magic

The thirteen tales in this volume – all written by Russian émigrés, writers who fled their native country in the early twentieth century – contain a fair dose of magic and mysticism, of terror and the supernatural. There are Petersburg revenants, grief-stricken avengers, Lithuanian vampires, flying skeletons, murders and duels, and even a ghostly Edgar Allen Poe.
Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  
Driving Down Russia's Spine

Driving Down Russia's Spine

The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. 
Moscow and Muscovites

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 

Popular Articles

Russian Life Takes a Pause
March 07, 2022

Russian Life Takes a Pause

As the world reels from the horrific, criminal events being perpetrated in Ukraine by Vladimir Putin, the Russian state, and the Russian military, all of us who nurture a love for Russian people, their culture and history, have been heartbroken. It is not easy to remain a Russophile when suddenly, all across the globe, the adjective “Russian” has become toxic.

Magical Kefir
August 22, 2016

Magical Kefir

Kefir is the most popular fermented milk in Russia. But it did not get there overnight. Kefir and Russia have a long history...

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