March/April 2008

Features in this Issue

Ryazan: Gateway to the Russian Heartland

If you want to understand Russia, you have to leave Moscow and St. Petersburg behind and visit the towns and villages of the heartland. And it would be hard to find a better place to start than Ryazan. An added plus: it is just 200 km from Moscow.

Nostalgia in the Internet Age

Online social networking is booming in Russia today. Former classmates, army buddies and summer flames are seeking each other out, reconnecting after years apart. These are a few of their stories.

Optina Pustyn: The Forest Retreat

It began as a simple monastic retreat in the forests of Kaluga region. By the mid-19th century, Optina Pustyn had become one of the most important religious sites in all of Russia. Today, the monastery and hermitage are struggling to rebuild after decades of neglect.

Between Glinka & Silvestrov

A prolific composer and masterful performer, Sergei Rachmaninov bridged musical eras and national cultures. Indeed, his name is synonymous with 20th century classical music in the U.S., Russia and?Europe. Yet the irony is that Rachmaninov might have felt more at home in the 19th century –?as long as there were cars.

Preserving 1000 Years of Russian Art

This revered museum is the world’s largest repository of Russian art. Often overshadowed by the Hermitage, this 110-year-old institution may be one of St. Petersburg’s best kept secrets. But it is not to be missed. In fact, if you visit St. Petersburg and miss the Russian Museum, it is like going to Moscow and skipping Red Square.

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