Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 20:19:01
24 September 2018

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


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

Twin Christmases

In February 1582, the Catholic Church, in the person of Pope Gregory the thirteenth, decreed a new, more accurate calendar to replace the Julian calendar, which had been in use since 45 BC. The revision meant dropping 10 days off the year...

Tags: holidays, christmas, russia
Russian Orthodox Christmas
Russian Orthodox Christmas

The Church's celebration of the Nativity is on January 7th; information about the Feasts of Christ's coming into the world and Scripture readings for the services and Liturgies.

Tags: orthodoxy, holidays, christmas
Holiday Gift Ideas
Holiday Gift Ideas

Where we reveal where to buy everything from Russian cologne to Russian videos.

Tags: gifts, buying guide, christmas, holidays
Prianiki for the Holidays

Brief history of Russian prianiki (gingerbread) and a traditional recipe to enjoy during the holidays or anytime throughout the year; especially with a nice hot pot of tea!

Tags: Food, christmas
Women's Day?

A look at the origins of International Womens Day (March 8), how it was celebrated in Soviet times, and how it is changing today.

Tags: holidays
Avast, there be pirates!

To quote Dave Barry, I am not making this up...

Visit this top level site for a very proud and propagandistic video of Putin accepting the nomination to head the Unified Russia party in the upcoming Duma elections. Very nicely and professionally done, even if a bit, well, over the top.

But the fun part is this. Listen very closely to the soundtrack (much easier if you don't understand Russian). The music which is playing just a

Ded Moroz

Ded Moroz; Grandfather Frost; is the Russian counterpart to the Western Santa Claus and other Gift Givers worldwide. He and his assistant, Snegurochka, continue to delight children and adults alike. In 2000, Santa Claus traveled to Russia to meet Ded Moroz for the first time!

Tags: Christmas, culture

Traditions of the so-called Russian pancake and several authentic recipes.

Tags: Recipes, russian food
Drinking in Russia

Russian customs and traditions regarding the consumption of water, tea and vodka.

Tags: vodka, tea
Russian Spas

Russia's history of taking to the spas, in the shadow of military conflict.

Tags: spas, kislovodsk, pyatigorsk, stavropol, essentuki
The Saami's Story
The Saami's Story

The Saami people (Russian population: 1,800) struggle to survive as a small national group in Russia.

Tags: reindeer, saami, kola, native culture
Wine Embargo
Wine Embargo

Russia puts a cork in wine imports from Georgia and Moldova. Are the reasons political or otherwise?

Tags: wine, imports, georgia, moldova
Hermitage Cats

A look at the cats that guard one of the world's great museums.

Tags: hermitage
Cell Phone Mania

A look at the astonishing rise in cell phone use in Russia. One report indicates that over 60% of Russians now have cell phones, versus just 25% two years ago.

Byzantine Catholic Church in Russia

Examination of the history of this Christian tradition, which is in full communion with the Church of Rome.

Tags: religion, byzantine catholic
Russian Email Habits

Why is it that Russians don't answer email? We explore this conundrum, and whether it has some roots in Russian business or personal culture.

Tags: communication, etiquette
Where the Russians Are
Where the Russians Are

A color-coded map of the US, showing which states have the highest percentage of Russian immigrants.

Who Are the Russians?

A look at the notion of "ethnic" Russians.

Tags: russian nationality, race
Does Russia Matter?
Does Russia Matter?

Just how important is Russia in the world?

Tags: Environment
Photo Favorites
Photo Favorites

A gallery of my favorite photographs from St. Petersburg Times photographers Alexander Belenky and Sergey Grachev.  These gentlemen have not published a picture I did not like.  My favorites are those that I feel best showcase their talents and portray Russian life and culture.

Tags: russia, photographs