Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 22:57:00
18 November 2018


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


Culture

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

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.

Tags: cinematography, 1960s, film
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.

Tags: history, corruption, business, bribes
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. 

Tags: Bolshevik, Satire, Literature, Teffi, Russia
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.

Tags: imperial russia, petrine russia, peter the great, Catherine I, Russia
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.

Tags: revolution, children, 1917
#Russiagate, Demos & Alaska
#Russiagate, Demos & Alaska

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

Tags: russia, twitter, navalny, politics, kamchatka, alaska
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?

Tags: translation
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