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28 April 2017


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Culture

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

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 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
November 19, 2016
Famous People Who Studied Russian
Famous People Who Studied Russian

Studying Russian and finding it a bit challenging? You are not alone. Check out our list of famous people who have studied Russian, and find some fellow-sufferers...

By Letitia Rydjeski
Tags: immigration, Russians, us-russian relations
November 18, 2016
Famous Americans with Russian Roots
Famous Americans with Russian Roots

America is a land built by immigrants. We researched famous Americans with Russian roots and offer this compilation.

By Letitia Rydjeski
Tags: immigration, Russians, us-russian relations
November 11, 2016
Dostoyevsky's Birthday in 10 Dark Quotes
Dostoyevsky's Birthday in 10 Dark Quotes

In honor of the writer's 195th birthday, here are 10 quotes to celebrate the life and writings of Fyodor Dostoyevsky. They may not be cheerful, but they sure are profound.

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: Russia, Dostoevsky, literature, Crime and Punishment, Karamazov, suffering
October 14, 2016
Five Wild Facts about St. Basil's Cathedral
Five Wild Facts about St. Basil's Cathedral

On October 14, 1991, St. Basil’s Cathedral was reopened after six decades. Here are five fun facts in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Cathedral’s rebirth.

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: Russia, Moscow, Red Square, st. basil, St. Basil's Cathedral, Pokrovsky Sobor, religion, Ivan IV
October 12, 2016
Fall, Tolstoy, Mushrooms
Fall, Tolstoy, Mushrooms

In honor of fall, and Russians' favorite autumnal pastime – mushroom picking – we offer these two short stories by Lev Tolstoy – in both English and Russian!

By Lev Tolstoy
Tags: Tolstoy, fall, mushrooms
September 29, 2016
The Babi Yar Tragedy, Remembered in Poetry
The Babi Yar Tragedy, Remembered in Poetry

On September 29-30, 1941, Nazi troops shot over 33,000 Jews at the edge of the Babi Yar ravine near Kiev. Yevgeny Yevtushenko's poem memorializing the tragedy ensures it will never be forgotten. 

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: Russia, Babi Yar, Yevtushenko, Evtushenko, Holocaust, WWII, poetry
September 25, 2016
Listen and Learn: Shostakovich Turns 110
Listen and Learn: Shostakovich Turns 110

Dmitry Shostakovich created classical music that spoke to modern times. Read up on his life story and listen along to some of finest works along the way. 

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: russia, shostakovich, music, composer, soviet union, ussr, stalin, classical
September 7, 2016
No Calendar, No Life
No Calendar, No Life

Why are calendars so great? Give me a few minutes, and I will blow your mind.

By Paul E. Richardson
Tags: calendar, time, history