Cover: Artur Demchenko
It gave birth to the greatest novel ever written, brought down Napoleon, reshaped Europe, led to the end of serfdom, the invention of terrorism, and, eventually, the end of tsarism. It was tremendous folly, horrific hubris and astounding heroism. And it happened 200 years ago this fall. We turn to people who lived through the War of 1812 for their first person accounts.
For 40 years, Boris Grebenshchikov and Aquarium have made music like no other band in Russia, combining poetry and beautiful, often quizzical instrumentals into a charming sound that is at once entirely unique and entirely Russian.
Fifty years ago this October, the world walked to the brink of nuclear holocaust, looked over the edge, and stepped back. This is the account of one actor in that frightful drama, someone who dared to take a stand and may just have ended up saving the planet.
Russia is one of just three countries that has a land border with North Korea. It is not a large frontier, but the Russian-Korean nexus is nonetheless significant, beginning with the placement of North Korea’s puppet dictator after World War II and stretching up to guest workers in the present day.
How we avoided the dark cloud hanging over this issue.
Readers comment and correct.
On the recent spate of screw-tightening measures by the Russian government.
All the news that fits from all across Russia.
The latest from the travel front.
On rising and falling television stars, the TV ban on activist Ksenia Sobchak, and international support for Pussy Riot.
On the world's worst nuclear disaster prior to Chernobyl, when, in 1957, nuclear waste exploded at the Mayak plant in Ozyorsk. The damage has yet to be fully recognized or accepted.
The assassination attempt on Lenin on August 30, 1918, was used as the pretext for the launching of the Red Terror, a wave of repression and killing aimed at wiping out the Bolsheviks' opponents, real and imagined.
On the founding of the first Russian railroad, between St. Petersburg and Tsarskoye Selo. Service began October 30, 1837.
A recent trip to Greece got columnist Mikhail Ivanov thinking about that country's language and its incursions into Russia's mother tongue.
This issue of Uchites takes a brief look at the history of Russia's longest-serving rock band, plus an excerpt from one of their songs.
A rumination on Fyodor Tolstoy's painting "Red and White Currants" and the role of this powerful fruit in Russian life and culture. And a recipe for jam!
Reviews of "Former People" by Douglas Smith, "Nevsky" by Ben McCool and Mario Guevara, "St. Petersburg Noir," edited by Julia Goumen and Natalia Smirnova, "Wooden Churches," by Richard Davies and Matilda Moreton, and "Russian Film Posters," by Vivays Publishing.
Over 100 people died in flash floods in the southern city of Krymsk. The disaster was both preventable and criminal. But it still needed to be cleaned up. Russian Life's history editor Tamara Eidelman was there and provides this first hand account of the aftermath of the disaster.
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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