January 01, 2021



If you take a look to the right, in the masthead of the magazine, you will notice that this issue of Russian Life is number 600. Published since October 1956, Russian Life turns 65 this fall, and we have been at the helm for nearly a third of its issues: this is our 170th. Whew.

Given this milestone, I would like to give a shout out to some of our unsung heroes. They rarely appear on the Contributors page, yet their contributions are crucial to this publication’s life and fate.

First, there is our managing editor, Maria Antonova, who has been with us for 14 years – nearly half our tenure. Her job is to find ideas and writers, to vet the work we publish, and to keep us tuned into the pulse of what is going on in Russia. She does an amazing job.

Translations Editor Nora Seligman Favorov keeps us linguistically honest. Not only has she been translating the history section (and more) of the magazine for nearly 16 years, but for the past several years she has been meticulously checking the translations of all other contributors (myself included), to make sure we get things right.

Speaking of the history section, Tamara Eidelman has been penning that since January 2005, meaning this issue marks her 16th anniversary! She brings an astonishing depth and breadth of historical knowledge to our magazine, and combines it with superb storytelling abilities. Late last year, Tamara began a Youtube channel (with her son, the media wunderkind Mitya Aleshkovsky) where she offers a fascinating weekly talk on history. The topics vary widely and are not limited to Russia. And her channel (bit.ly/TamaraHistory) has been hugely successful, with over 103,000 worldwide subscribers!

Michele Berdy has been writing our Survival Russian column for over six years, bringing a humor and relevance to the study of colloquial Russian that rightly makes it a reader favorite. Meanwhile, Victor Bogorad, of St. Petersburg, has been supplying the cartoon for this column since the summer of 2003!

Over in the Food & Drink department, Marina Pustilnik has been supplying us with delicious recipes and fascinating stories since September 2017. And Yuliya Ballou has been helming the Uchites language section for nearly three years.

Finally, Eileen Shine has been with our company in Vermont for five years, and has recently taken over most all of the design and layout work for the magazine, despite knowing only three words of Russian. Apparently, da and nyet can get you quite far.

It is a great honor for me to collaborate with this international team of highly talented professionals. I cannot thank them enough for their commitment and contributions – we got to issue 600 thanks to them.

Last week I took a call from a reader who was telling me how much she liked the magazine (for some reason I really like those calls). She said she really loves the wide variety of our content, and reads the magazine in bed every night. Whether you, like her, are reading this magazine in bed, or on a couch, or in a metro car, you have all the amazing and talented members of our treasured team to thank for making that reading possible.

Meanwhile, thank you. And enjoy their issue.

The End. Or just the beginning?

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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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