January/February 2009

Features in this Issue

Under My Chum

The assignment sounded simple enough: provide medical and cultural support to a small, indigenous population... But it was in the remote Kanin Peninsula, between the Arctic and Barents Seas. Nikolai Gernet nonetheless jumped at the opportunity and brought back this story of the nomadic Nenets reindeer herders.

Culture Wars

The Kremlin's reassertion of control over the mass media has gotten plenty of press. Much less has been written about its forays into the arts - specifically, how the Kremlin is seeking to influence film, literature and art. We decided to look into it.

Islands of Mystery

The Solovetsky Islands ("Solovki") have long been a part of the Russian landscape. First inhabited as an Orthodox refuge and monastery, the latter was transformed by the Soviets into the first camp for political prisoners. Today, it is a booming tourist mecca. Editor Maria Antonova went to investigate.

In Search of Bards

To paraphrase Pushkin, "In Russia, a bard is much more than a bard." We look back at the bardic tradition (singer-songwriters) in Russian culture and find that not all is what it seems. Or, to paraphrase Pushkin again, "In Russia, a bard is often less than a bard."

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