July/August 2010

Features in this Issue

Kayaking in Karelia

Where we tag along with a group of 40 intrepid Russian explorers on a week-long trip through the rivers and lakes of northern Karelia, far from the lights and comforts of civilization.

Art in Utero

St. Petersburg’s Russian Museum has inaugurated a program to acquaint pregnant women with the arts, on specially guided tours. Those who participate swear it is making them, and their children, better off.

The Spy Who Was Abel

Rudolph Abel was one of the most accomplished Soviet intelligence agents of the post-war period - an "illegal" who was legendary, not slipshod and sloppy, like the 11 "illegals" detained in the US in June 2010. Nikolai Dolgopolov peels back the mask to give us a look at Abel’s life and profession through the eyes of his daughter.

Involuntary Parenthood

During the recent controversy about American adoption of Russian orphans, we learned of a small Russian village that is using adoption as a way to save its school, and perhaps even its way of life. This is their story.

Departments and More

  • Editorial

    Russia's Children

    Readers of a publication called Russian Life may wonder why there is a picture of Kyrgyzstan on the magazine’s cover.

  • 5

    Letters to the Editor

    Readers comment and correct.

  • 7
    Note Book

    Tragedy in Mezhdurechensk

    A tragic mine explosion at Russia's largest mine in May put a damper on celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, and it has many wondering just what has been achieved in worker and mine safety over the past decade.

  • 8
    Note Book


    All the news that fits from all across Russia.

  • 14
    Travel Notes

    Travel Notes

    The latest from the travel front.

  • 19
    Russian Calendar

    Moscow Olympics

    A look back at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, marred by an international boycott and the sudden death of the bard Vladimir Vysotsky.

  • 21
    Russian Calendar

    Alexander Grin

    Alexander Grin (1880-1932) had a short life filled with misfortune. His literary output has never been thought to be "classic" but it is entertaining and has enjoyed a recent resurgence of popularity.

  • 23
    Russian Calendar

    Ruler of the East

    Vladivostok, founded 150 years ago, is a rather unusual city, a city of surprises.

  • 26
    Survival Russian

    Lemme Tell Ya!

    The fine art of linguistic shortcuts and slang.

  • 60

    The Tractor Drivers' Supper

    Arkady Plastov's painting "The Tractor Drivers' Supper" exemplifies the Socialist Realist style, and is full of important cultural references, which lead inevitably to this issue's recipe, for Cabbage with Noodles and Poppy Seeds.

  • 62

    Dreams of Possession and Tolstoy

    Reviews of "A Dream in Polar Fog," by Yuri Rytkheu; "The Possessed" by Elif Batuman; "Moscow Noir" edited by Natalia Smirnova and Julia Goumen; "Brief Lives: Tolstoy," by Anthony Briggs; and "The Russia Reader," edited by Adele Barker and Bruce Grant.

  • 64
    Post Script

    A Poet Departs

    A short note on the life and work of poet Andrei Voznesensky, who passed away on June 2, 2010.

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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