Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 19:57:06
19 September 2018


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Culture

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

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.

Tags: paganism, religion, history, slavs, mythology
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.

Tags: music, St. Petersburg
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. 

Tags: art, illustration, dissent
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.

Tags: spies, KGB
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. 

Tags: russia, vodka, history, smirnoff
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.

Tags: Russia, Shishkin, painting, art, Peredvizhniki, realism
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.

Tags: Brezhnev, Soviet Union, USSR, Stagnation
"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. 

Tags: Rodchenko, Russia, art, modernism, photography, Soviet Union
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.

Tags: Kandinsky, Russia, art, modernism, abstract, abstraction
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...

Tags: immigration, Russians, us-russian relations
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.

Tags: immigration, Russians, us-russian relations
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.

Tags: Russia, Dostoevsky, literature, Crime and Punishment, Karamazov, suffering
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.

Tags: Russia, Moscow, Red Square, st. basil, St. Basil's Cathedral, Pokrovsky Sobor, religion, Ivan IV
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!

Tags: Tolstoy, fall, mushrooms
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. 

Tags: Russia, Babi Yar, Yevtushenko, Evtushenko, Holocaust, WWII, poetry
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. 

Tags: russia, shostakovich, music, composer, soviet union, ussr, stalin, classical
No Calendar, No Life
No Calendar, No Life

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

Tags: calendar, time, history
Magical Kefir
Magical Kefir

Kefir is the most popular fermented milk in Russia. But it did not get there overnight. Kefir and Russia have a long history...

Tags: food, health, Caucasus
5 Pearls of Wisdom from Fazil Iskander
5 Pearls of Wisdom from Fazil Iskander

Fazil Iskander, a missile in the world of Soviet literature, passed away on July 31. Here are five of his pearls of wisdom on humor, science, politics, Stalin, and the Russian soul.

Tags: iskander, author, literature, russia, soviet union, politics, satire
Vasnetsov, Painter and Planet: An Art Gallery
Vasnetsov, Painter and Planet: An Art Gallery

July 25 is the 155th birthday of Apollinary Vasnetsov, who is both a renowned painter of medieval Russia and a fixture in the night sky.

Tags: vasnetsov, painter, painting, art, artist, russia, history