February 01, 1997

Don't Ask Me for Snow in Winter!

Don't Ask Me for Snow in Winter!

То ли дождь – то ли снег, то ли будет – то ли нет.
Maybe rain, maybe snow, maybe yes or maybe no.

There’s nothing like this good old Russian proverb to characterize this year’s winter, as well as Russia’s general political and economic situation. For, if you take this idiom in its figurative sense, it means “everything is up in the air, it’s hard to tell right now.”

This is an apt description for Russia in her current period of transition, when the Communists keep making apocalyptic prophesies, calling for the President’s and Prime Minister’s resignation every time they attend the Duma. Their political colors don’t vary much, so you could label them all with the answer to the wintery riddle: зимой и летом одним цветом – (“What is the same color be it winter or summer?” – if politics is not one of your passions, the usual answer to this riddle is a fir tree).

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