July/August 2016

Departments and More

  • 4

    Mr. Smith Comes to Montpelier

    On meeting heroes where you are.

  • 7

    Picking Brains

    Grappling with Russia's ongoing brain drain.

  • 16

    Crimea River

    On Prime Minister Medvedev's gaffe and ensuing viral internet video... and on unconventional protest methods.

    Social Issues
  • 19

    Reliving August 1991

    Visiting the new Yeltsin Museum in Yekaterinburg on before the 25th anniversary of the 1991 coup.

  • 21

    Ilya's Day

    What is Ilya's Day and what does Thor have to do with it?

  • 23

    August Days

    Wy Russians so fear the month of August.

    Social Issues
  • 26
    Survival Russian

    Birds and Bees

    Coming to grips with Russian's language of love and sex.

  • 27
    Language Learning


    This issue's language insert focuses on a poem by Daniil Kharms.

  • 28

    One Karelian Village

    Recently tapped as Russia’s most beautiful village, the tiny Karelian settlement of Kinerma (population 5) was also an unforgettable stop on The Spine of Russia journey.

  • 34

    In My Grandfather's Footsteps

    Seventy years after his grandfather’s escape from a military labor camp, photographer Michal Iwanowski retraces his steps, discovering both Russia and himself along the way.

  • 42

    When a Book is More Than a Book

    2016 is the fortieth anniversary of the release of Hedrick Smith’s pathbreaking book, The Russians, the first book to truly take readers behind the Iron Curtain and into the everyday lives of Russians.

  • 50

    Russian and Not Russian

    Ukraine’s bustling Black Sea port is one of that country’s most Russian of cities. And while there seems to be some dispute about how old the city is, there is no disputing that Odessa is distinctly Odessan.

  • 58

    Cool as Cucumber Noodles

    Cucumbers are practically their own food group in Russia. We offer a cooling recipe...

  • 61
    Under Review

    Wither Russia?

    In which we review four books: I’m Going to Ruin Their Lives, by Marc Bennetts; Black Wind, White Snow, by Charles Clover; The Less You Know, the Better You Sleep, by David Satter; and The Invention of Russia by Arkady Ostrovsky. All reviews are posted in our Book Reviews section.

  • 64
    Post Script

    Stateless Soccer

    A football (soccer) tourney was held in Abkhazia among unrecognized and semi-autonomous states. Russian Life was there.

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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