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Sputnik V is Quite Alright
May 05, 2021

Sputnik V is Quite Alright

By Haley Bader

“The fact of the matter is, 80 or 85% of Serbians want the Russian vaccine Sputnik V."

– Down with the naysayers! On May 4, Russian news outlet Izvestiya published a written interview with the Serbian Ambassador Miroslav Lazanski where he explained that, while Serbians choose themselves which vaccine they will receive, the majority would prefer Sputnik V. Remember when The world poo-poo’d the Russian decision to vaccinate without full clinical trials? It looks like not everyone’s complaining these days…

Russia's Days Off
April 28, 2021

Russia's Days Off

By Haley Bader

“Russian means rested."

– Twitter user @zhenya_indigo appreciated a surprise long holiday for the first ten days of May in the Russian Federation. Earlier in the week, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the request of Anna Popova, the head of Rospotrebnadzor, when she proposed consecutive days of holiday for Russia’s citizens. In addition to Labor Day on May 1 and Victory Day on May 9, the population will have the fourth through the seventh to rest. “If you think that it is necessary, well, we will do so,” Putin said in response to the proposal.

Kosmonaughties
April 21, 2021

Kosmonaughties

By Haley Bader

“A**holes. Superpowers do not behave that way."

– On April 13, Roscosmos head Dmitriy Rogozin criticized the U.S. Department of State in a Tweet for failing to mention Yuri Gagarin in a Facebook post that commemorates 60 years since the first man flew in space. Such a pity to forget who got there first.

Hairy Hijinks
April 14, 2021

Hairy Hijinks

By Haley Bader

“Find someone who’s tall, get him to put on a suit, turn the fur inside out and run around in crowded places, shout so that the tourists will notice – but they won’t catch him. Of course, then you must mark him and let him be silent, so he won’t blurt out anything unnecessary somewhere."

– On April 10, former governor of Kemerovo Oblast Aman Tuleyev admitted to dalliances with a local legend. Ten years prior to his confession, Tuleyev arranged a rendezvous at Azasskaya Cave in the Shoria Mountains with none other than Bigfoot. While the furry darling shied away, Tuleyev was nevertheless charmed.

Trolling Horse People
April 07, 2021

Trolling Horse People

By Haley Bader

“For those not familiar with the lyrics of this song, I recommend it. It’s some horse people and absolute drivel. I simply don’t understand what it is. What is it about?... Somehow everything is very strange, mildly speaking.”

– On March 31, Russia’s Speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko commented on the lyrics of “Russian Woman,” a song that the Russian-Tajik artist Manizha, who is known for her feminist activism, will soon be performing at Eurovision.

Malfeasance!
March 31, 2021

Malfeasance!

By Haley Bader

“I want to note that corruption is an important component of our work. It is far from the only offense, but at the same time it is an evil that we are doing alongside the prosecutor's office, the Investigative Committee, and the FSB. The Rosgvardia is also providing support.”

– In November 2020, Vladislav Tolkunov, head of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Bryansk Region, speculated about corruption live on the Bryansk Governorate television channel. Apparently, he had muddled his words, and while attempting to decry corruption he admitted to malfeasance.

Schoolboy Spat
March 24, 2021

Schoolboy Spat

By Haley Bader

“During childhood, when we argued with each other in the yard, we’d say: It takes one to know one!”

– Vladimir Putin comments on Joe Biden’s belief that the President of the Russian Federation is a “killer.”

Sovereignty is a Luxury
March 10, 2021

Sovereignty is a Luxury

By Haley Bader

“Real development in a country can only come in a sovereign form. Sovereignty is very costly, and the overwhelming majority of countries in the world cannot afford such a luxury. We belong to this small circle of countries. We have already achieved this.”

– Press Secretary of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov tells reporters on March 4 that President Vladimir Putin’s decisions in the international arena have been made in service to the Russian people.

Skiing Buddies
February 24, 2021

Skiing Buddies

By Haley Bader

“I hope we will be able to spend a little time together, relax after today's working hours. I would like to invite you to go skiing.”

– Another productive meeting this week with Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko on February 22nd. The pair discussed their work together on the energy sector of Belarus, Putin particularly noting Lukashenko’s support for the country’s nuclear power plant. He followed up with an invite to ski.

 

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EVENTS FOR RUSSOPHILES

20th Annual Russian Arts and Culture Festival
May 01, 2021 to May 31, 2021

20th Annual Russian Arts and Culture Festival

Virtual | N/A, N/A

The City of West Hollywood administration invites everyone to join a virtual celebration of Russian Arts and Culture this May. An array of musical events, activities for kids, workshops, virtual tours, concerts, contests, interviews with interesting people, and much more will comprise a month-long celebration. The program of our events will be published on the website of the festival and in the Facebook group.

A Few of Our Books

Fish: A History of One Migration

Fish: A History of One Migration

This mesmerizing novel from one of Russia’s most important modern authors traces the life journey of a selfless Russian everywoman. In the wake of the Soviet breakup, inexorable forces drag Vera across the breadth of the Russian empire. Facing a relentless onslaught of human and social trials, she swims against the current of life, countering adversity and pain with compassion and hope, in many ways personifying Mother Russia’s torment and resilience amid the Soviet disintegration.
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.
Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

The Life Stories collection is a nice introduction to contemporary Russian fiction: many of the 19 authors featured here have won major Russian literary prizes and/or become bestsellers. These are life-affirming stories of love, family, hope, rebirth, mystery and imagination, masterfully translated by some of the best Russian-English translators working today. The selections reassert the power of Russian literature to affect readers of all cultures in profound and lasting ways. Best of all, 100% of the profits from the sale of this book are going to benefit Russian hospice—not-for-profit care for fellow human beings who are nearing the end of their own life stories.
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.
Murder and the Muse

Murder and the Muse

KGB Chief Andropov has tapped Matyushkin to solve a brazen jewel heist from Picasso’s wife at the posh Metropole Hotel. But when the case bleeds over into murder, machinations, and international intrigue, not everyone is eager to see where the clues might lead.
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.
Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
The Little Humpbacked Horse

The Little Humpbacked Horse

A beloved Russian classic about a resourceful Russian peasant, Vanya, and his miracle-working horse, who together undergo various trials, exploits and adventures at the whim of a laughable tsar, told in rich, narrative poetry.
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. 

Popular Articles

Why Don't Russians Smile?
January 10, 2014

Why Don't Russians Smile?

By The Editors

It is a common trope that Russians never smile. Which of course is interpreted to mean they are unfriendly, gloomy, sullen – positively Dostoyevskian. This, of course, is a complete misreading of body language and cultural norms.

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