Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 14:52:50
22 September 2018


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


History

The past is prologue.

Peace, Land, Bread
Peace, Land, Bread

Peace! Land! Bread! This was the battle cry of the 1917 October Revolution (old calendar) that changed the history of Russia and indeed the entire world. Since the time of Ivan the Terrible, the tsars concentrated on centralization of their power and control. The most common way of doing this was to take power away from the nobility, appeasing them by giving them dominion over their land and workers. This soon developed into the oppressive, slave-style condition known as serfdom.

Tags: russia, history, russian revolution
Subbotniks: Soviet "Days of Service"
Subbotniks: Soviet "Days of Service"

Once, a group of factory workers decided to work without pay for the war effort. Somehow their voluntary sacrifice became the entire Soviet Union's mandatory labor - all "for the greater good."

Tags: ussr, russian history, subbotnik, lenin
Kremlin Words Versus Deeds, A Gaping Chasm?
Kremlin Words Versus Deeds, A Gaping Chasm?

Russia's occupation of Crimea, part of the sovereign nation of Ukraine, is wrong. It is wrong under international law, it is in violation of several treaties Russia has with Ukraine and the West, and it is even wrong according to Russia's own foreign policy "principles." So why did it happen?

Tags: Ukraine, Putin, Crimea, Russia, foreign policy
Russian Genealogy
Russian Genealogy

A comprehensive listing of resources, online and off, for researching your Russian roots, courtesy of Ginny Audet.

Tags: genealogy, research
1980 Olympics: Songs and Cartoons
1980 Olympics: Songs and Cartoons

With the Winter Olympics set to kick off in Sochi tomorrow, we take a look back at the rich cultural legacy of the last Games Russia hosted.

Tags: russia, soviet union, 1980, olympics, music, cartoons
U.S.-Soviet Grain Trade: 5 Stages of Grief
U.S.-Soviet Grain Trade: 5 Stages of Grief

As the United States struggled with the trauma of seeing a fellow state succumb to Communism, a pattern of familiar stages started to emerge in - of all places - its agricultural exports.

Tags: united states, soviet union, trade, imports, international relations
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!

The New Year is Russia’s biggest holiday. But where does it come from – and why does it look so suspiciously like Western Christmas?

Tags: russia, holiday, holidays, peter the great, communists, bolsheviks, new year's eve
Constructing a Constitution
Constructing a Constitution

Happy birthday, Russian Constitution! Let's take a quick look at where you came from: the political struggles, reform efforts, and occasional street fighting of a newborn country.

Tags: 1993, yeltsin, duma, russia, constitution, russian, referendum
Boris Grebenshikov, a Founding Father of Soviet Rock
Boris Grebenshikov, a Founding Father of Soviet Rock

When the music you sing is banned, when the entire genre is identified with the enemy, how do you find the courage to keep singing? Just ask Boris Grebenshikov!

Tags: boris grebenshikov, music, russian music, russia, russian, ussr, soviet union, rock music
Perks and Perils of Being the Tsar's Favorite
Perks and Perils of Being the Tsar's Favorite

How do you get from pie-seller to tsar’s favorite? Mostly by being a brilliant strategist – but having a tsar willing to turn a blind eye to your corruption helps, too.

Tags: russia, st. petersburg, peter the great, menshikov, russian architecture, russian history, history
Dmitry Pozharsky: Russian Hero
Dmitry Pozharsky: Russian Hero

It's 1612. There's no tsar on the throne and the Poles have entered Moscow. Some may have despaired – but one man took the opportunity to save the country and earn his place in history books.

Tags: minin, pozharsky, russia, moscow, 1612, tsar, patriotism
Reds, Whites, Greens, and... Blacks?
Reds, Whites, Greens, and... Blacks?

The Russian Civil War was a messy affair, as civil wars so often are. Think you can identify all the colors? (Hint: Black is the color of anarchism.)

Tags: russia, civil war, russian civil war, bolsheviks, russian history, anarchism, revolution
Spelling Reform: Who Gets the Credit?
Spelling Reform: Who Gets the Credit?

Soviet sources praise the Bolsheviks for simplifying Russian spelling in 1918. Who was the real author of the spelling reform, and what was the Bolsheviks' actual role in making it work?

Tags: russia, 1917, 1918, russian language, spelling, reform, lunacharsky, provisional government
Who “Discovered” Sakhalin?
Who “Discovered” Sakhalin?

You think planting a flag on a piece of land makes you own it? Think again! With Sakhalin, it was just one step in the long back-and-forth between Russia and Japan.

Tags: russia, russian history, japan, foreign relations, sakhalin
The Middle East Crisis and Our New Novel
The Middle East Crisis and Our New Novel

This editorial, by author (of The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas) Dmitry Chen, appeared last month on Bloomberg.com, and considers how the current crisis in Syria has its roots 13 centuries ago.

Tags: Books, Dmitry Chen
Bukharin: Rise and Fall
Bukharin: Rise and Fall

Nikolai Bukharin, the Moscow revolutionary, was on the rise throughout the early twentieth century – but as we all know, what goes up must come down. Turns out you come down especially fast if you meet Stalin at the top.

Tags: 1917, 1938, bukharin, stalin, russia, soviet union, soviet era, communism, lenin
The Dangers of Cold War Air Travel
The Dangers of Cold War Air Travel

Remember the days when a superpower could shoot down a plane full of civilians just for wandering into its airspace? We called those days the Cold War – and the plane was KAL Flight 007, shot down by a Soviet fighter pilot on September 1st, 1983.

Tags: 1983, soviet union, cold war, espionage
Patriotism: A USSR Story
Patriotism: A USSR Story

Being patriotic in the Soviet Union was a duty, a challenge, and a potential pitfall, all rolled into one. The story of one Soviet singer, Joseph Kobzon, shows how one cultural idol walked that dangerous line.

Tags: russia, russian music, patriotism, ussr, soviet union, kobzon, politics, music, culture, lenin, brezhnev
Why Did Soviet Houses All Look the Same?
Why Did Soviet Houses All Look the Same?

Ever wonder why Soviet houses looked so drab, colorless, and interchangeable? It all started with Nikita Khrushchev's battle against architectural excess, and continues to plague Russia to this day.

Tags: khrushchev, russia, russian architecture, russian history, moscow, politics
Watch out for that bear
Watch out for that bear!

Today I stumbled across an interesting article online. At first I thought it should be filed in the "someone is trying to stir the Cold War pot again" but then I read on...

Tags: putin, economy, metro, moscow, spies