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26 September 2018


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May 21, 2017
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. 

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: Bolshevik, Satire, Literature, Teffi, Russia
May 18, 2017
Pop music, Pythons, and Kindergarten on the Run
Pop music, Pythons, and Kindergarten on the Run

An anti-politics pop song, the drive against Hollywood, and education for deer herders. Plus, Putin, pianos, and pythons. 

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: medinsky, putin, vox, politics, russia
May 17, 2017
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.

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: imperial russia, petrine russia, peter the great, Catherine I, Russia
May 11, 2017
Victory Day and cheeky chess pieces
Victory Day and cheeky chess pieces

Victory Day meant full streets but empty skies. A hollow chess piece hides more than its next move. And a day in the life of an Arctic doctor. 

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: arctic, ivan the terrible, victory day, russia
May 4, 2017
Vegans, Frogs, and the Grandmas of Mortal Kombat
Vegans, Frogs, and the Grandmas of Mortal Kombat

Pop-star grandmas advertise action films, May Day doesn't go great for vegans, and a Russian frog smuggler's story gets even more unlikely. 

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: vegans, may day, mortal kombat, buranovskiye babushki, russia
April 27, 2017
Floods of water, juice, and trendy ostrich photos
Floods of water, juice, and trendy ostrich photos

A juice flood. A mud flood. A human rights drought. And for good measure, portraits with wild animals and haircuts with an axe. 

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: ostrich, human rights, pepsi, flood, russia
April 20, 2017
Counterfeit TP and Commuting By Ball
Counterfeit TP and Commuting By Ball

Some folks form an Arctic military base or withdraw from mayoral elections. Others counterfeit toilet paper and roll through traffic in a giant ball. 

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: russia, arctic, military, omsk, counterfeit, zorb
April 13, 2017
Cosmonautics Day and Fruit in Disguise
Cosmonautics Day and Fruit in Disguise

Investigations: the state of Russian cosmonautics, what happens to prohibited fruit, and when mourners aren't really mourning. Plus, sneaking pickles into space. 

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: russia, space, sanctions, kremlin, cosmonaut
April 10, 2017
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.

By Evgeny Lukyanov
Tags: revolution, children, 1917
April 6, 2017
The bad, the sad, and the ice laser
The bad, the sad, and the ice laser

It's been a rough week in Russia, with the metro bombing in St. Petersburg, the disappearance of gay men, and the death of Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Luckily, lasers are kinda neat. 

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: russia, petersburg, metro, chechnya, yevtushenko, arctic
April 2, 2017
Russia's Greatest Crime Novel
Russia's Greatest Crime Novel

When you set out to write a murder mystery in Russian – or even in another language, but set in Russia – you should be mindful that you are following in the footsteps the greatest Russian crime fiction writer of all times, Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

By Alexei Bayer
Tags: dostoyevsky, fiction, novel
March 30, 2017
1741: The Year Russia Discovered America
1741: The Year Russia Discovered America

You probably know that Alaska was bought from Russia well over 100 years ago. But do you know why Russia claimed the territory in the first place? Hint: who doesn't love a fur coat?

By Eugenia Sokolskaya
Tags: russia, united states, alaska, colonization