Politics

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Sovereignty is a Luxury
March 10, 2021

Sovereignty is a Luxury

“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.

Road Repair
March 03, 2021

Road Repair

“Our city is famous now, maybe they’ll make some roads.”

– A resident of Pokrov, the village near the penal colony where Navalny has been transferred to serve the two years and eight months of his sentence.

Mikhail Gorbachev
March 01, 2021

Mikhail Gorbachev

The rises and falls of the esteem in which Russians have held Mikhail Gorbachev over the years have been dizzying.

Tipping Point?
March 01, 2021

Tipping Point?

Just over a decade ago in Moscow, I interviewed Alexey Navalny, who was then only beginning to carve out his profile as a blogger, activist, and politician. It was May of 2008.

Skiing Buddies
February 24, 2021

Skiing Buddies

“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.

Love in the Time of Protests
February 17, 2021

Love in the Time of Protests

“…there was no direct violation of the law. Yes, individual people went out with flashlights. Fine. Maybe someone was in love. There was someone, maybe, who was protesting something. Someone was there just for company, not understanding the need to light a flashlight. But most importantly, they didn’t break the law. And so everything was calm.”

– Dmitriy Peskov spreading the love to Moscow activists on Valentine’s Day 2021.

War of the Potties
February 10, 2021

War of the Potties

“Shocking! You don’t say – a toilet, right in the home! And a double-sized bed. Even Putin sleeps more modestly, and has to go out into the yard of Gelendzhik [to do his business].”

– On February 7th, Twitter user Kön de Labre, Inostrannyj Agent, Jr. (@KStatator) bled concern for Putin’s modest living.

 

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EVENTS FOR RUSSOPHILES

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

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

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.
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.
At the Circus

At the Circus

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
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.
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.
Murder at the Dacha

Murder at the Dacha

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin has a problem. Several, actually. Not the least of them is the fact that a powerful Soviet boss has been murdered, and Matyushkin's surly commander has given him an unreasonably short time frame to close the case.
93 Untranslatable Russian Words

93 Untranslatable Russian Words

Every language has concepts, ideas, words and idioms that are nearly impossible to translate into another language. This book looks at nearly 100 such Russian words and offers paths to their understanding and translation by way of examples from literature and everyday life. Difficult to translate words and concepts are introduced with dictionary definitions, then elucidated with citations from literature, speech and prose, helping the student of Russian comprehend the word/concept in context.
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.
Steppe / Степь

Steppe / Степь

This is the work that made Chekhov, launching his career as a writer and playwright of national and international renown. Retranslated and updated, this new bilingual edition is a super way to improve your Russian.
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

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."

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.

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