November/December 2017 Current Moscow Time: 06:56:30
15 December 2017


  The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.


Culture

Covering the broader realm of culture, plus humor, food and drink.

December 9, 2017
Why We Love to Hate Russians
Why We Love to Hate Russians

Why are Russians are such enduring villains, and what was the real intent of the election meddling campaign?

By Paul E. Richardson
Tags: hollywood, stereotypes
November 25, 2017
Photography, Kachka & Spies
Photography, Kachka & Spies

Photography, food and spies comprise this week's Three Best Reads. We travel to Vilnius, Brooklyn, and Washington, DC, to consider wagging tongues, boiled tongues, and an overlooked photographer.

By Paul E. Richardson
Tags: khrushchev, espionage, photography, russian cuisine
July 28, 2017
Old Fears
Old Fears

It was with mixed feelings of bitter guilt and disgust, overcome with shameful and cowardly thoughts, that I joined the Children of 1917 project.

By Nadya Grebennikova
Tags: children of 1917
June 6, 2017
7 Banned Films from the 1960s
7 Banned Films from the 1960s

Where we discuss seven outstanding Soviet movies from the 1960s dealing with rural Russia, humaneness, and the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution that, instead of contributing to the revolution’s legacy, gathered dust for decades.

By Oleg Koronny and Leonid Marantidi
Tags: cinematography, 1960s, film
May 28, 2017
How to Properly Accept Bribes
How to Properly Accept Bribes

This is a short extract from a satirical book published in 1837, from which we learn: what sorts of bribes there are; why it is better to take a bribe during lunch; why gaudy is better than a bullfinch; the language in which one should speak of bribes; and how to avoid punishment for receiving bribes.

By Yulia Bogatko
Tags: history, corruption, business, bribes
May 21, 2017
Teffi: The Best Russian Writer You May Not Have Heard Of
Teffi: The Best Russian Writer You May Not Have Heard Of

Known as a female Chekhov and skilled at painting the human condition as hilarious and hideous in one stroke, Teffi is a little-known author you should get to know. 

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: Bolshevik, Satire, Literature, Teffi, Russia
May 17, 2017
The Other Catherine: 7 Facts About Russia's First Empress
The Other Catherine: 7 Facts About Russia's First Empress

Catherine I held the title of Empress 40 years before her more famous, “Great” namesake. As the first woman to rule Russia, she had great qualities of her own.

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: imperial russia, petrine russia, peter the great, Catherine I, Russia
April 10, 2017
Revolution for Tiny Tots
Revolution for Tiny Tots

“It was a lot of fun during the Rivolushun. And I won’t never forget the Russian Rivolushun.” In which we look at the 1917 revolution through the eyes of schoolchildren at the time.

By Evgeny Lukyanov
Tags: revolution, children, 1917
March 30, 2017
#Russiagate, Demos & Alaska
#Russiagate, Demos & Alaska

Continuing scandal, new demonstrations, a sesquicentenial and a linguistic smackdown. Just another week here at TWERF.

By The Editors
Tags: russia, twitter, navalny, politics, kamchatka, alaska
March 27, 2017
March {Translation} Madness
March {Translation} Madness

A random query led us down a rabbit hole to see how online translation engines are humming these days. Won't you join us?

By Paul E. Richardson & Olga Kuzmina
Tags: translation
March 15, 2017
Who Invented the Ancient Slavic Gods, and Why?
Who Invented the Ancient Slavic Gods, and Why?

How it was that in the eighteenth century Russian mythology was trumped-up in the Western manner? Who wanted it? And where did we get Lel, Yarilo and Zimtserla? We explain everything you'd want to know about Russian fakelore.

By Kasya Denisevich
Tags: paganism, religion, history, slavs, mythology
March 10, 2017
Six Great Songs About St. Petersburg
Six Great Songs About St. Petersburg

Many Russian cities have songs about about them. Here are six of the best ones about Russia's Northern Capital – three by American artists, three by Russians.

By Elena Bobrova
Tags: music, St. Petersburg
March 8, 2017
International Women's Day: A Look Back
International Women's Day: A Look Back

Tired of having to do Valentine's Day and Mother's Day separately? Try it the Russian way and combine them into International Women's Day! A closer look at this convenient holiday's socialist origins and not-so-socialist present form.

By Eugenia Sokolskaya
Tags: russia, holiday, women, socialism
March 6, 2017
Better Russia
Better Russia

Bob Blaisdell reviews Other Russias, an album of images and impressions of ordinary, unconnected Russian citizens who have unexpectedly found themselves activists. 

By Bob Blaisdell
Tags: art, illustration, dissent
February 15, 2017
Spies Like Them
Spies Like Them

As the FBI investigation deepens into Trump-Kremlin ties, we thought it would be useful – a public service, really – to provide some handy tips on spotting Russian spies.

By Research Department
Tags: spies, KGB
January 31, 2017
Happy Birthday, Vodka! 10 Shots of Trivia
Happy Birthday, Vodka! 10 Shots of Trivia

In 1865, vodka joined bears and matryoshkas as an eternal symbol of Russia. Here's how it happened, plus nine trivia tidbits on Russia's most beloved, harmful, and historical libation. 

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: russia, vodka, history, smirnoff
January 25, 2017
Titan of the Russian Forest: An Ivan Shishkin Art Gallery
Titan of the Russian Forest: An Ivan Shishkin Art Gallery

Today marks the 185th birthday of the artist Ivan Shishkin, whose paintings evoke Russia's beauty and vastness. With a nickname like "Forest Tsar," his trees must be good.

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: Russia, Shishkin, painting, art, Peredvizhniki, realism
December 19, 2016
10 Things (And 5 Jokes) You Didn't Know About Brezhnev
10 Things (And 5 Jokes) You Didn't Know About Brezhnev

Soviet leader Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev would have been 110 on December 19. There are plenty of fun facts and surprising jokes behind the eyebrows.

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: Brezhnev, Soviet Union, USSR, Stagnation
December 5, 2016
"We invented and changed the world": A Rodchenko Art Gallery
"We invented and changed the world": A Rodchenko Art Gallery

Photographer, painter, designer, and more, Alexander Rodchenko (born December 5, 1891) worked at the intersection of innovative art and radical politics. Here are 14 of his works. 

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: Rodchenko, Russia, art, modernism, photography, Soviet Union
December 4, 2016
Abstraction Turns 150: A Vasily Kandinsky Art Gallery
Abstraction Turns 150: A Vasily Kandinsky Art Gallery

Vasily Kandinsky was a renowned abstract artist whose shapes and colors revolutionized twentieth-century modernist art. Here are 11 of his paintings in honor of his 150th.

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: Kandinsky, Russia, art, modernism, abstract, abstraction