December 29, 2019

The Year's Most Popular on Russian Life

The Year's Most Popular on Russian Life
Looking back on the best of 2019 Elena Bobrova

This year, Russian Life expanded online to include the full archive of all 25 years of the magazine, all while continuing to add lots of new and fresh online-only content. A few days ago, we highlighted our favorite Weekly Russia File stories from this year. And here, in case you missed them, are the online articles we published in 2019 that readers liked best.

In 2019, readers salivated over articles about food. Life is short, eat dessert first: our third most popular article of the year was all about Russian sweets. (A couple of them you might literally eat first, for breakfast!) Getting back to the basics, also on our Top 10 list were articles about soup and porridge, with all the information you could ever need to understand your “first course” or learn about the illustrious history of kasha. Of course, all three articles are linked up to dozens of our recipes, so you can taste Russia at home. But wait, there’s more than Russia: ever wondered why Georgian food is nearly as common in Russia as Chipotle in America? We have answers to all your burning questions about foods that start with kh: khachapuri and khinkali

Readers also loved articles about history gone wrong – from someone’s perspective, at least. Invading Russia, it seems, was a bad idea for Hitler. A “docuseries” about the unfortunate last Czars (Plural? Did Netflix think there was more than one of them?) was history gone wrong on television. Chernobyl, on the other hand, was a historical incident that went very, very wrong – but at least they got it right this time on the silver screen. 

In articles about Russian historical memorials, we also learned where history had gone big and where it had gone... weird. We know at least our readers weren’t planning on going home: they were reading up on tips for travelling the Russian rails, and stories about what they might encounter on their journeys. (Those who did stay a little closer to home made the trip to New York City’s Russian enclave, Brighton Beach). 

We also highlighted some wonderful individuals. Our birthday message to Dostoyevsky was suitably dark, and we reported on a “с днëм рождения” to cosmonaut Alexei Leonov that was literally out of this world. For those who prefer their blog subjects to be modern and female, we also had some popular articles in the Piter’s People series: food journalist Natalia Kapiturova and artist Ekaterina Khozatskaya

We celebrated Maslenitsa with proverbs and wondered whether we should celebrate Russia’s birthday at all. We rocked out to Russian music, and learned what grammatical choices are music to a persnickety language teacher’s ears. 

And… we opened our digital archives to so, so much more life in Russia. This was the year our print magazine came online, and, if you have a subscription, you can read the articles that revealed the hidden lives of women at the top of the world and the hidden contents of women’s purses; that explored the holy labyrinths of Altai and the spread of distinctly not-holy hogweed; that turned Russia’s most well-known poet into a meme and a poet you didn’t know that you know into, well, a poet you now know. And that just scratches the surface.

Thank you, dear readers, for a fun, far-out, tasty, critical, celebratory 2019. We look forward to finding you in your inboxes, Facebook feeds, and phone screens in 2020. 

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