March/April 2013

Features in this Issue

State of the Wards

Russia's ban on American adoptions focused attention on Putin and world politics, while the real issue is the plight of the children who live inside the vast orphan system.

Sausage in Exile

There is a common saying: "If you want to respect laws or sausages, don't watch them being made." Yet in this case (Alef Sausage, in Chicago IL), the more you watch, the hungrier you get.

The Scariest Year

Few know that, in 1983, the world came closer to the nuclear brink than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis, thanks to a combination of ideological entrenchment, fear, and computer glitches.

Koryak Cultural Loss

At the furthest edge of the Russian Far East, in a quiet bay near the very top of the Kamchatka Peninsula, a tiny community of Koryaks struggles with the loss of its traditional culture.

Russian Alaska

Meanwhile, just across the Bering Sea, pockets of Russian culture predating Alaska’s sale to the US are being captured in a new documentary.

Departments and More

  • 4

    Iron Curtain Anyone?

    The Cold War may have officially ended 21 years ago, yet lately it seems hotter than ever.

  • 7
    Note Book

    Bolshoi Acid Attack

    The January 2013 acid attack on Bolshoi Artistic Director Sergei Filin has cast a dark shadow over the workings of Russia's most esteemed cultural institution.

  • 8
    Note Book

    Note Book

    From politics and sports to stats and quotable quotes.

  • 16

    Countdown to Sochi

    One year from the opening of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, we look at some of the less conventional bits of news about the coming games.

  • 19
    Russian Calendar

    Death of a Tyrant

    Sixty years ago Stalin died and the Soviet Union was in collective shock. So much has been written about this event that we decided to take a different tack, offering a selection of first person accounts from that time.

  • 21
    Russian Calendar

    Osip Mandelstam

    A look back at the genius that was Mandelstam, on the 100th anniversary of the publication of his first book of poetry.

  • 23
    Russian Calendar

    Sophia Paleologue

    History offered Zoe Paleologue little hope. Her homeland overrun, her royal pedigree in tatters... And then the Tsar of all the Russias needed a new wife...

  • 25
    Russian Calendar

    Salty Literary Critique

    In March 1863, Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin offered a biting critique of contemporary literature that is as humorous as it is significant.

  • 26
    Survival Russian

    Sporting Portyanki

    A look at portyanki, telnyashki and other mysteries of military garb.

  • 27

    Kamchatka Tours

    In this issue's installment of Uchites, we look at the language of travel, examining a faux tour brochure for trips to Kamchatka. Regions
  • 60

    The Secret of Little Bites

    Zakuski have a well-deserved position of honor in the realm of Russian cuisine. In this issue we look at a tasty appetizer with connections to the Pacific: Canapes of Smoked Salmon.

  • 62
    Under Review

    Decline and Stalin

    Book reviews of "The Last Man in Russia," by Oliver Bullough; "Stalin's Barber," by Paul Levitt; "St. Petersburg City Pack," by Oxygen Books; "Happy Moscow," by Andrei Platonov (Robert Chandler, trans.); and "The Lying Year," by Andrei Gelasimov (Marian Schwartz, trans.).

  • 64
    Post Script

    One Adoption Story

    With American adoption of Russian children outlawed and the Duma hyping tragic stories of adoptees who have died in the US, we decided it was time to hear one of the "good" stories from the 60,000 American adoptees.

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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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