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Opposition, not Operation Barbarossa
January 20, 2021

Opposition, not Operation Barbarossa

By Haley Bader

“Don’t feel sorry for us, we’re simply working. We adequately “met” the airplanes from Germany in 1941, and we will meet all aircraft in the year 2021. This year we will be 80 and we have already seen and survived a lot.”

– The Twitter account of Moscow's Vnukovo Airport, on the controversy surrounding the detention of opposition leader Alexei Navalny upon his arrival, drawing parallels to the Second World War.

January 01, 2021

"Не живёте, потому что нельзя это жизнью назвать."

By Yuliya Ballou

Тридцать лет назад, незадолго до своей смерти, Игорь Тальков (1956-1991) написал песню-крик души о своей многострадальной родине — СССР. Эта песня, к сожалению,  до сих пор очень актуальна в России и не только...

In Memoriam
January 01, 2021

In Memoriam

By Paul E. Richardson

In a year filled with death and mourning, we remember an individual who was, for this magazine, profoundly influential and truly remarkable.

600
January 01, 2021

600

By Paul E. Richardson

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.

Mikhail Romm
January 01, 2021

Mikhail Romm

By Tamara Eidelman

Mikhail Romm is remembered by everyone who ever worked with him with tenderness and affection. Yet it is hard not to wonder how differently his life and work might have turned out had it not been for the exigencies of Russian and Soviet history.

 

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A Few of Our Books

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. 
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.
Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

In this comprehensive, quixotic and addictive book, Edwin Trommelen explores all facets of the Russian obsession with vodka. Peering chiefly through the lenses of history and literature, Trommelen offers up an appropriately complex, rich and bittersweet portrait, based on great respect for Russian culture.
A Taste of Russia

A Taste of Russia

The definitive modern cookbook on Russian cuisine has been totally updated and redesigned in a 30th Anniversary Edition. Layering superbly researched recipes with informative essays on the dishes' rich historical and cultural context, A Taste of Russia includes over 200 recipes on everything from borshch to blini, from Salmon Coulibiac to Beef Stew with Rum, from Marinated Mushrooms to Walnut-honey Filled Pies. A Taste of Russia shows off the best that Russian cooking has to offer. Full of great quotes from Russian literature about Russian food and designed in a convenient wide format that stays open during use.
The Best of Russian Life

The Best of Russian Life

We culled through 15 years of Russian Life to select readers’ and editors’ favorite stories and biographies for inclusion in a special two-volume collection. Totalling over 1100 pages, these two volumes encompass some of the best writing we have published over the last two decades, and include the most timeless stories and biographies – those that can be read again and again.
Marooned in Moscow

Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.
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.
22 Russian Crosswords

22 Russian Crosswords

Test your knowledge of the Russian language, Russian history and society with these 22 challenging puzzles taken from the pages of Russian Life magazine. Most all the clues are in English, but you must fill in the answers in Russian. If you get stumped, of course all the puzzles have answers printed at the back of the book.
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.

Popular Articles

Peace, Land, Bread
April 23, 2014

Peace, Land, Bread

By Eugenia Sokolskaya

Peace! Land! Bread! This was the battle cry of the 1917 October Revolution (old calendar) that changed the history of Russia and indeed the entire world. Since the time of Ivan the Terrible, the tsars concentrated on centralization of their power and control. The most common way of doing this was to take power away from the nobility, appeasing them by giving them dominion over their land and workers. This soon developed into the oppressive, slave-style condition known as serfdom.

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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