Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 19:24:21
14 November 2018


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Culture

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

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
Fevronia's Day
Fevronia's Day

On July 8, Russia celebrates the Day of Family, Love and Fidelity, a holiday aimed at promoting traditional family values, more commonly known as Fevronia's Day. What's it all about?

Tags: Fevronia, Orthodox Church, holidays
Rudolf Nureyev's Great Leap to Freedom
Rudolf Nureyev's Great Leap to Freedom

Ballet great Rudolf Nureyev leapt out of Soviet jurisdiction and into the wider world of Western ballet on June 16, 1961. His leap was as much a political move as a dance move.

Tags: nureyev, ballet, art, politics, russia, soviet union, defection
Quotable Pushkin for Six Everyday Occasions
Quotable Pushkin for Six Everyday Occasions

In honor of Alexander Pushkin's 217th birthday, here's a small sample of his poems to show that his writing isn't just pretty and witty – it can help you through almost any situation.

Tags: pushkin, poetry, russia, literature, history, eugene onegin, boris godunov, bronze horseman
The Most Beautiful Village in Russia
The Most Beautiful Village in Russia

Last week tiny Kinerma was named as this year's "most beautiful Russian village." As it turns out, Kinerma was a stop on The Spine of Russia project...

Tags: Karelia, village, history
Piter's Five Must-Stroll Streets (that are not Nevsky)
Piter's Five Must-Stroll Streets (that are not Nevsky)

After you finish strolling St. Petersburg's Nevsky Prospect, you'll want to visit these five must-stroll streets in the Northern Palmyra, to get a feel for the rest of the city. 

Tags: St. Petersburg, travel, tourism
A Photo Guide to Russia's Lesser-Known WWII Sites
A Photo Guide to Russia's Lesser-Known WWII Sites

2015 marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Revisit the history on this tour of St. Petersburg and Moscow's war sites – the ones you may not find in the guidebook.

Tags: WWII, war, moscow, st. petersburg, memorial
Russia's Favorite Rebel and His Bloody Capture Turn 345
Russia's Favorite Rebel and His Bloody Capture Turn 345

On April 14, 1671, Cossacks captured rebel leader Stenka Razin and ended his rebellion against the tsar. Here’s some background on Razin’s uprising, and what it meant for the fate of Russia.

Tags: stenka razin, rebellion, uprising, tsar, peasants, cossacks, 1671, astrakhan, lobnoye mesto, autocracy, revolt
Gagarin Lives!
Gagarin Lives!

Yury Gagarin’s 108-minute space flight on April 12, 1961, propelled him to a level of celebrity never before known to any Soviet. His smiling face graced postal stamps, Palekh souvenir boxes, and fine porcelain, as he mingled with the beau monde of planet Earth.

Tags: gagarin, space, 1961
8 Perfect Pitstops Along the Trans-Siberian Railway
8 Perfect Pitstops Along the Trans-Siberian Railway

In 1891, Russian Tsar Alexander III signed a document initiating the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway. And not only is it the longest railway in the world; it's got some interesting stops along the line, too.

Tags: trans-siberian railway, siberia, tour, travel, moscow, kazan, lake baikal, irkutsk, ulan ude, mongolia, mircorp
Katya Everdeenova? No. YA Fiction Set in Russia? Yes.
Katya Everdeenova? No. YA Fiction Set in Russia? Yes.

We're seeing a growth spurt in literature for kids and teens set in Russia. That means magic, time travel, and Stalinism all rolled up in one.

Tags: literature, teen fiction, young adult fiction, magic, fantasy, stalin, Ivan the Terrible, baba yaga, faberge, romanovs, time travel
Crimea Crisis Solved?
Crimea Crisis Solved?

In a surprising move that has shocked international pundits, Secretary of State John Kerry today announced he has arranged the de-annexation of Crimea by Russia. 

Tags: crimea, kerry, international relations
Chess, Traffic and Briefcases
Chess, Traffic and Briefcases

In The Weekly Russia File for March 31: some terrible chess puns, and how to stop traffic.

A Tour to Nowhere (in pictures)
A Tour to Nowhere (in pictures)

What does it look like when a whole town empties out and there’s nothing but a few decaying buildings to prove anyone lived there at all?

Tags: russian architecture, ghost towns, monogoroda, churches, ussr, economy, abkhazia, tvarkcheli, solikamsk, monotowns, photography
Architecture and unexquisite corpses
Architecture and unexquisite corpses

A church’s domes caving into the altar. A transgender couple finagles a wedding. A hospital patient shares a room with a corpse. Just another TWERF.

Tags: architecture, murmansk, marriage