Survival Russian

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Yanukovich Takes a Banya
January 01, 2014

Yanukovich Takes a Banya

The Ukraine-Russia-EU fracas had this columnist thinking about banyas and banya language...

Verbs Take a Holiday
November 01, 2013

Verbs Take a Holiday

A look at a four verbs that have had their meanings warped in recent years. Useful stuff to know so that you don't inadvertently order a hit when at the restaurant...

Oba-na, Snowden!
September 01, 2013

Oba-na, Snowden!

Edward Snowden's arrival in Russia was a cause of discomfort for its leaders, but it is a great pretext for considering all sorts of linguistic pearls related to spying and whistleblowing.

Prime Diminutives
July 01, 2013

Prime Diminutives

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said he doesn't mind being called "Dimon." Not very leader-like, says Survival Russian columnist Mikhail Ivanov.

Have Tongue Will Travel
May 01, 2013

Have Tongue Will Travel

Not surprisingly, there is a lot one can say about the tongue with, well, the Russian tongue...

Sporting Portyanki
March 01, 2013

Sporting Portyanki

A look at portyanki, telnyashki and other mysteries of military garb.

Goats, Ribs and Suitcases
January 01, 2013

Goats, Ribs and Suitcases

The head of the CIA and the Russian Defense Minister both fell from grace within weeks of one another, and both because of infidelity scandals. Sounds like a good pretext for a column...

Friend or Foe?
November 01, 2012

Friend or Foe?

A consideration of the language of enemies and whether Russia is, as Mitt Romney has averred, the US's chief geopolitical foe.

Just Between Us
May 01, 2012

Just Between Us

A consideration of less than politesse descriptions of the other sex - what men say about women and what women say about men, when they are each speaking to those of their own gender...

Out of the Blue
March 01, 2012

Out of the Blue

Navigating the two different words for "blue" and their many hues in meaning.

Fending off Demyan
January 01, 2012

Fending off Demyan

How to handle that common situation in Russian: too much hospitality...

 

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EVENTS FOR RUSSOPHILES

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.

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.

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.

A Few of Our Books

The Latchkey Murders

The Latchkey Murders

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin is back on the case in this prequel to the popular mystery Murder at the Dacha, in which a serial killer is on the loose in Khrushchev’s Moscow...
The Samovar Murders

The Samovar Murders

The murder of a poet is always more than a murder. When a famous writer is brutally stabbed on the campus of Moscow’s Lumumba University, the son of a recently deposed African president confesses, and the case assumes political implications that no one wants any part of.
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.
Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod is a mid-sized provincial city that exists only in Russian metaphorical space. It has its roots in Gogol, and Ilf and Petrov, and is a place far from Moscow, but close to Russian hearts. It is a place of mystery and normality, of provincial innocence and Black Earth wisdom. Strange, inexplicable things happen in Stargorod. So do good things. And bad things. A lot like life everywhere, one might say. Only with a heavy dose of vodka, longing and mystery.
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.
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.
Russia Rules

Russia Rules

From the shores of the White Sea to Moscow and the Northern Caucasus, Russian Rules is a high-speed thriller based on actual events, terrifying possibilities, and some really stupid decisions.
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 Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.

Popular Articles

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...

Why Don't Russians Smile?
January 10, 2014

Why Don't Russians Smile?

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.

Using Laughter to Cope
September 07, 2021

Using Laughter to Cope

These eight outstanding Soviet comedies show ​​some of what has made Russians laugh over the past century. Most are still watched today. (First in our new series on learning about Russia through its films.)

About Us

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