March/April 2010

Features in this Issue

Yaroslavl at 1000

It is not often a world city celebrates its millennial birthday, but this year that honor falls to one of Russia's most ancient and multi-faceted urban centers, Yaroslavl.

Russians Return

Twenty years after Soviet troops left Afghanistan in defeat, Russians have returned. What does this suggest for the future course of American intervention in the region?

Beneath Kremlin Walls

Hundreds of layers of history lie buried beneath the cobblestones and brick walls of Moscow's Kremlin. But accessing them requires negotiating with the current residents of the crenellated fortress.

Russian Riga

Russia and Latvia have a long and complicated history, one which is vividly reflected in the politics, society and architecture of Riga, a beautiful medieval city on the Baltic coast.

Departments and More

  • 20

  • 5

    Letters to the Editor

    Readers comment and correct.

  • 7
    Note Book

    Sochi's Gamble

    As the world watches the Vancouver Winter Olympics, we visit Sochi to consider how ready that southern capital is for the 2014 games.

  • 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


    This month marks the 25th anniversary of Mikhail Gorbachev's ascent to leadership of the Communist Party. It was a time of hope unbounded, with little hint of the difficult times to come.

  • 21
    Russian Calendar

    Karpov v. Fischer

    The face off between Fischer and Karpov was the greatest chess match that never was, and it signaled the end of the Golden Era of Soviet chess...

  • 24
    Russian Calendar

    Dizzy with Success

    How well did Stalin know history? ...Certainly he seemed to learn the lesson of "the Kind Tsar and the Evil Boyars"...

  • 27
    Survival Russian

    A Country of Poets

    The role of poets in Russia has always stretched beyond the realms of literature. We look at poetry in everyday speech...

  • 42

    The Captain Has Chosen His Course

    The fiercely independent Russian National Orchestra, the finest of Russian classical ensembles, turns 20 this year. We look at how they have flourished against the odds.

  • 64

    Lunch in Ages Past

    A consideration of the Russian notion of lunch, Zinaida Serebriakova's painting "At Lunch," and a recipe for Raisin Buns that will warm your winter day.

  • 66

    New Fiction and Lenin's History

    A review of Olga Grushin's new novel, The Line, and Olga Slavnikova's 2017, in addition to Helen Rappaport's history of Lenin in exile, Conspirator.

  • 67

    Online Language Study Resources

    A survey of various online language learning tools which mesh vocabulary and grammar study with social networking.

  • 68
    Post Script

    Memories of Perestroika

    Malcolm Gilbert, a longtime observer of things Russian and Soviet who has been leading academic trips to Russia for over three decades, casts his gaze back to consider the changes perestroika wrought...

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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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