July/August 2005

Features in this Issue

Unusual Imports

Oil, aluminum, precious metals and other natural resources are commonly-known U.S. imports from Russia. We went in search of lesser-known consumer imports and found some surprising items.

Saving the Desman

For 30 million years, the desman and its ancestors have lived in remote Russian lakes. But in the last few decades, its numbers have dwindled by half.

The Unhappiest Country

Some say that Moldova, part of the former Soviet Union, is the unhappiest place on Earth. Or is it?

Back in the USSR

Eastern Moldova - also known as the Transdniester Republic - remains wedded to its Soviet past.

Departments and More

  • 4
    Editorial

    Ski Story

    A few years ago, I went to buy a new pair of cross-country skis at a little shop in East Montpelier (pop. 2,600). When I learned that one pair (brand name “Maverick”) was made in Russia, that was all I needed to hear.

  • 5
    Feedback

    Letters to the Editor

    Readers comment and correct.

  • 14
    Travel Notes

    Travel Notes

    The latest from the travel front.

  • 8
    Note Book

    Notebook

    All the news that fits from all across Russia.

  • 18
    Russian Calendar

    False Dmitry I

    A look at the tsar with an unlikely past and a short but eventful reign during the Time of Troubles, crowned 400 years ago.

  • 20
    Russian Calendar

    The Defense of Sevastopol

    Russian soldiers held off the French at Malakhov Kurgan for 349 days, before it fell, 150 years ago this month. The end of this battle brought an end to the Crimean War.

  • 22
    Russian Calendar

    War with Japan

    The last thing Russians wanted after finishing the war with Hitler was another war. But three months later, in August 1945, they got one anyway, when Stalin joined the war against Japan, taking the Kuriles and Sakhalin as spoils.

  • 28
    Survival Russian

    When P.R. Sounds Like Samovar

    Many English words and phrases have wedged their way into the Russian vernacular, and not all with benign effect. Witness the effect of P.R...

  • 55
    Photo Feature

    Riding the TransSib

    Photographer Mike Buscher spent two months riding the Trans-Siberian railway and brings us this photo essay.

  • 61
    Cuisine

    Train Fare

    A short look at the history of fare aboard the Trans-Siberian railway, with a recipe for pelmeny you can prepare between stops...

  • 64
    Post Script

    What is in a Name?

    You might have thought that all of the names glorifying Communist "heroes" were eliminated in the wake of the Soviet collapse. If so, you'd be wrong.

About Us

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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