Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 09:33:53
14 December 2018

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

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Join Us. Get a Book.

A wave crashes over a boy in Crimea, by Mikhail Mordasov.

Monday, July 13, 2015

by Paul E. Richardson

In 1776 and again in 1812, England was America's mortal enemy. Now we are bosom buddies.

In 1846, the US hated Mexico. In 1914 and 1941 it was Germany. And Austria too. We have also warred with Spain, Panama, Vietnam, Japan, Finland and China, among many others. And yet with most of these former enemies we have found a way to make up and live together more or less peaceably.

Not Russia.

Why is that?

Why can’t we get along with Russia long term?

Interestingly, for most of the nineteenth century, Russia and the US were on very good terms, despite being at polar opposites on the democracy < > autocracy continuum. And we ended up on the same side in World Wars I and II.

Yet for most of the past 100 years – excepting alliance during World War II (1941-1945); detente (1972-80); and our most recent post-Cold War Thaw (1991-2008) – the US and Russia have been at odds.

Now, for a variety of reasons, relations are again on ice.

We want to understand why, to explore if there is something innate to the Russian-American relationship that keeps our two nations from working things out.

The first stage of our project is called The Spine of Russia, and we – two photojournalists, one American, one Russian – will spend a month side-by-side, driving across Russia from North to South, gathering stories of “average Russians,” creating an in-depth portrait of modern Russia to share with the world, online and in a beautiful coffee-table book.

We have chosen this path because we believe that stories matter, that stories can change the world.

Delivering the quality of coverage you have come to expect from Russian Life magazine, we will seek out these stories, bring them to you, and share them with the world.

You can join us by supporting this project. You will get a copy of the book, be able to interact with us along the route, and be able to help us spread the stories that we discover.

Every journey begins with a single step. Won't you join us?