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The Grinch Who Regretted
January 12, 2022

The Grinch Who Regretted

"Dear residents! My deepest apologies. I confess I went too far with the alcohol. I am ready to financially compensate for the damage for the toys."

– A note from an anonymous Christmas tree thief from Krasnoyarsk, published January 10.
Dead Morose: Never Too Late for the New Year
January 05, 2022

Dead Morose: Never Too Late for the New Year

"Thank God no one is writing any filth. Everything somehow really worked out very soulfully. This kind of thing is a sincere message from one to the other."

–  A representative of the Omsk ritual company “Heritage,” explaining the response to a New Year’s letter-writing campaign for the deceased, headed by a very punny Dead Morose.
Courting Father Christmas
December 29, 2021

Courting Father Christmas

"Since I am also a lawyer, I can act as an attorney for Father Christmas, and remind the plaintiff that Father Christmas fulfills wishes and gives gifts only to good girls and boys. Let him analyze his behavior and, perhaps, find something that has prevented Father Christmas from presenting him with gifts for the New Year holidays. This will be the main line of defense."

–  On December 23, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to defend Father Christmas after a St. Petersburg lawyer sued the gift-bringer.
A Sweet Treat
December 22, 2021

A Sweet Treat

"Ancient instincts work – I licked the thing."

–  Hermitage artist-restorer Galina Fedorova discovers a candy stuck to the ball gown of Grand Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna, sister of Tsar Nicholas II.
Barking Up the Right Tree
December 15, 2021

Barking Up the Right Tree

"Yes, we growl and bite. Yes, we have sharp teeth and strong grip. But we are the prerequisite for progress. We are the antidote against tyranny."

–  Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta Dmitriy Muratov, celebrating the work of journalists on December 10.
The Breadwinner
December 08, 2021

The Breadwinner

"Any region [of the Russian Federation], a Russian citizen, a Russian person – these are our people. We have never split. Can we help with something in agriculture – please. We will give the last grain, super-elite [grain], so all is well."

–  From the website of Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus, on December 2.
Of the Old School
December 01, 2021

Of the Old School

"Let's revive the Soviet school of education. It was the best in the world, everyone has always recognized this, and this is what our legislative proposals should be aimed at. After all, the Unified State Exam is just some kind of torture for young people."

–  Chairman of Russia’s Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin, reminiscing about how the Soviet system of education really made the grade.
Belarus, Bigwigs, and Boasting
November 17, 2021

Belarus, Bigwigs, and Boasting

"I knew Hafez Assad, I knew Saddam Hussein, I knew Muammar Gaddafi. We had very good and close relationships with them. We met with them. I'll tell you, the greatest thinkers!”

– President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko name drops on November 10.
Why Not International Relations?
November 10, 2021

Why Not International Relations?

"Sometimes there is a desire to remain silent about something, to not have a falling out, but this is the wrong strategy. Conversations, conversations, and more conversations. Find out from the get-go who cannot put up with what, for whom some moments are unacceptable, what responsibilities and rights you will have, and so on.”

– Russian Psychologist Kristina Yakubova, giving advice for couples in their first year of marriage that might do any (ahem) conflicted pair some good.
Make Not War Art
November 03, 2021

Make Not War Art

"In connection with the incident, the State Hermitage was forced to apply to the prosecutor's office of St. Petersburg with a statement to conduct a prosecutor's check and assess the actions of a citizen for possible violations of the legislation of the Russian Federation, including in terms of public insult to the memory of the Defenders of the Fatherland.”

– Press Service of the St. Petersburg Hermitage, announcing it would be reviewing an artist’s behavior for potentially insulting the veterans of the Patriotic War of 1812.
Don't Bungle Your Bowels, Eat Sauerkraut
October 27, 2021

Don't Bungle Your Bowels, Eat Sauerkraut

"Sauerkraut that can almost completely solve the problem with dysbiosis. This is because it contains a fairly large amount of dietary fiber, which is a good nourishment for your microflora, and immunity largely depends on the work of the intestines.”

– Nutritionist Andrey Solotarev on what might be good for the gut.

 

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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

The Art of Icon Painting
June 18, 2022 to July 16, 2022

The Art of Icon Painting

Christ Chirch | Kennebunk, Maine

Master icon maker and art historian, Marina Forbes, will offer "The Art of Icon Painting" workshop at the Christ Church in Kennebunk, ME.

Martin Roemers: Relics of the Cold War
April 10, 2022 to October 23, 2022

Martin Roemers: Relics of the Cold War

Wende Museum | Culver City, CA

On view in the Wende’s West Gallery and garden, this exhibition presents work by Dutch photographer Martin Roemers from 1998 through 2009, when he captured the structural and topographic remnants of the Cold War in both the East and West over an eleven-year period.

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

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 
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.
The Little Golden Calf

The Little Golden Calf

Our edition of The Little Golden Calf, one of the greatest Russian satires ever, is the first new translation of this classic novel in nearly fifty years. It is also the first unabridged, uncensored English translation ever, and is 100% true to the original 1931 serial publication in the Russian journal 30 Dnei. Anne O. Fisher’s translation is copiously annotated, and includes an introduction by Alexandra Ilf, the daughter of one of the book’s two co-authors.
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.

Popular Articles

Two Miracles of Russian Love Poetry
May 26, 2016

Two Miracles of Russian Love Poetry

On the occasion of Pushkin's birthday, we offer a post on the challenge of translating his most famous love lyrics, "Я вас любил," with a bonus look at Innokenty Annensky's "Среди миров."

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

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