Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 11:22:55
24 September 2018


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


History

The past is prologue.

Happy Russian Mail Day
Happy Russian Mail Day

In honor of the Day of Russian Mail (July 10 this year), we offer a crash course in the history of Russian mail delivery, from the yam stations of the Golden Horde to the Russian Post of modern Russia.

Tags: mail, russia, russian post
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
World War II in Russian Memory
WWII in Russian Cultural Memory

June 22nd, as any student of Soviet history knows, is the day remembered in the official histories as the beginning of the Great Patriotic War. Recent TV productions have sought to keep the state sanctioned view of the war alive in popular memory.

Tags: war, world war ii, stalin, film
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
The Corpse of Lenin and the Rebirth of St. Petersburg
The Corpse of Lenin and the Rebirth of St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is now 25: citizens voted to rename Leningrad as St. Petersburg on June 12, 1991. Lenin’s legacy was at the center of the change, and remains a hot topic 25 years later.

Tags: st. petersburg, lenin, leningrad, glasnost, soviet union, 1917
Questions of Life and Death
Questions of Life and Death

On Victory Day, Russian photographers Mikhail Mordasov and Ignat Kozlov captured images of World War II veterans and young Russians who are the same age as the veterans were when they went off to fight in the war. They asked each of their subjects two questions: "What should one live for?" and "What should one be willing to die for?"

Tags: world war ii, photography, veterans
Not to Be Forgotten
Not to Be Forgotten

For 45 years, the Cold War made it politically incorrect to recognize Soviet sacrifices and victories in defeating Hitler in World War II. This essay from 2010 is still relevant today.

Tags: war, world war ii, eastern front, soviet union
Chernobyl: The State Secret
Chernobyl: The State Secret

30 years ago today, the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant had a meltdown: "Flames, sparks, and chunks of burning material went flying... These were red-hot pieces of nuclear fuel and graphite..."

Tags: Chernobyl, nuclear, accident, Belarus, soviet
Alexander Nevsky: Russia's Hero
Alexander Nevsky: Russia's Hero

Who is Russia's greatest hero? According to Russians, it's Alexander Nevsky, a military commander and ruler from the thirteenth century. And what did Alexander do that made him worthy of that honor? He took part in Russians' favorite historical activity: repelling German invaders.
 

Tags: alexander nevsky, history, germans, war
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
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
Socialist Realism and Potatoes: The Dmitry Furmanov Story
Socialist Realism and Potatoes: The Dmitry Furmanov Story

Writer and commissar Dmitry Furmanov died 90 years ago. If you don’t recognize his name, it may be because he’s better known for his character Vasily Ivanovich Chapayev, a Red Army commander who achieved victory via potatoes. 

Tags: 1934, russia, civil war, russian civil war, film, movies, stalin, chapaev, furmanov, 1923, potatoes, history, military
Modigliani and Akhmatova in Paris
Modigliani and Akhmatova in Paris

We know comparatively little about the relationship between Akhmatova and Modigliani, but sometimes a few pictures can speak volumes. In honor of Anna Akhmatova's birthday (June 11, old style; June 23 new style), we reprint this essay, originally published in Russian Life, Jan/Feb 2011.

Gorbachev Turns 85
Gorbachev Turns 85

A look back at the heady Gorbachev era, a time of rationing and glasnost, perestroika and cooperatives, when everything seemed possible.

Tags: gorbachev, glasnost, perestroika, reform
Bridge of Contention
Bridge of Contention

It has been a year since Boris Nemtsov was shot as he walked along a bridge near the Kremlin, yet Russians continue to gather at his assassination site.

Tags: Nemtsov, politics, protest
Nikita S. Khrushchev
Nikita S. Khrushchev

On February 24, 1956, Khrushchev delivered his now infamous secret speech. It would change everything... sort of...

Tags: soviet era, khrushchev
When Peace Came to Earth
When Peace Came to Earth

Thirty years ago tomorrow, the Mir Space Station was launched. It was a technological wonder of its time.

Tags: russia, mir, space, science
Orthodox-Catholic Summit
Orthodox-Catholic Summit

This week, Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill met in Havana. Why was this such a big deal?

Tags: Orthodox, Catholic, orthodoxy, orthodox church
The Long Kiosk Goodbye
The Long Kiosk Goodbye

The destruction of 97 kiosks around Moscow opens up the controversies of architectural preservation, the plight of small businesses, and the rebuilding of history itself. 

Tags: moscow, metro, business, russian architecture, politics, economy, kiosks