November/December 2017 Current Moscow Time: 22:04:33
24 November 2017


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


Society

Politics and international relations, religion, economics, the environment and social issues.

August 9, 2017
Music Defeats War
Music Defeats War

When Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony was performed from besieged Leningrad on August 9, 1942, music suspended the horrors of war.

By Divya Ryan
Tags: shostakovich, world war ii, leningrad, music
June 22, 2017
Why Invading Russia was Hitler's Downfall
Why Invading Russia was Hitler's Downfall

June 22nd marks the 76th anniversary of Operation Barbarossa, the Nazi invasion of Russia that changed the course of WWII and, perhaps, history itself.

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: russia, soviet union, WWII, World War, Hitler, nazi germany, Barbarossa, napoleon, great patriotic war
June 12, 2017
"Tear Down This Wall!"
"Tear Down This Wall!"

Thirty years ago today, US President Ronald Reagan challenged Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. Two years later, the wall came down after a German bureaucrat misspoke.

By Divya Ryan
Tags: gorbachev, reagan, berlin wall
May 31, 2017
Final Diary Entries Before Arrest
Final Diary Entries Before Arrest

In cooperation with the “Lived” Project, Arzamas selected personal diary entries written immediately before their authors were arrested during the Great Terror. Almost all of these diaries were kept in the FSB Archive – the principal source of information for historians working on the events of 1937 – 1938.

By Ilya Venyavkin (Editor)
Tags: 1930s, purges, camps, diaries, gulag
May 24, 2017
Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius

A few words about two brothers who rejected their family's wealth and became known as the Apostles of the Slavs. They never visited Russia, but they translated the Gospel into Slavonic.

By Linda DeLaine
Tags: religion, cyril, methodius, orthodoxy
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
March 30, 2017
#Russiagate, Demos & Alaska
#Russiagate, Demos & Alaska

Continuing scandal, new demonstrations, a sesquicentenial and a linguistic smackdown. Just another week here at TWERF.

By The Editors
Tags: russia, twitter, navalny, politics, kamchatka, alaska
March 15, 2017
Who Invented the Ancient Slavic Gods, and Why?
Who Invented the Ancient Slavic Gods, and Why?

How it was that in the eighteenth century Russian mythology was trumped-up in the Western manner? Who wanted it? And where did we get Lel, Yarilo and Zimtserla? We explain everything you'd want to know about Russian fakelore.

By Kasya Denisevich
Tags: paganism, religion, history, slavs, mythology
March 6, 2017
Better Russia
Better Russia

Bob Blaisdell reviews Other Russias, an album of images and impressions of ordinary, unconnected Russian citizens who have unexpectedly found themselves activists. 

By Bob Blaisdell
Tags: art, illustration, dissent
February 23, 2017
Revolution!
Revolution!

On February 23, 1917 the Revolution came to Petrograd. The Tsar abdicated and a long year of turmoil and political upheaval lie ahead...

By Tamara Eidelman
Tags: revolution, February Revolution, 1917
February 15, 2017
Spies Like Them
Spies Like Them

As the FBI investigation deepens into Trump-Kremlin ties, we thought it would be useful – a public service, really – to provide some handy tips on spotting Russian spies.

By Research Department
Tags: spies, KGB
January 31, 2017
Happy Birthday, Vodka! 10 Shots of Trivia
Happy Birthday, Vodka! 10 Shots of Trivia

In 1865, vodka joined bears and matryoshkas as an eternal symbol of Russia. Here's how it happened, plus nine trivia tidbits on Russia's most beloved, harmful, and historical libation. 

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: russia, vodka, history, smirnoff
January 9, 2017
Most Popular Stories of 2016
Most Popular Stories of 2016

We mined our website's log to see which blog posts were most popular with visitors last year. Here's the list.

By The Editors
Tags: Best of, Russian Life
December 19, 2016
10 Things (And 5 Jokes) You Didn't Know About Brezhnev
10 Things (And 5 Jokes) You Didn't Know About Brezhnev

Soviet leader Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev would have been 110 on December 19. There are plenty of fun facts and surprising jokes behind the eyebrows.

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: Brezhnev, Soviet Union, USSR, Stagnation
November 19, 2016
Famous People Who Studied Russian
Famous People Who Studied Russian

Studying Russian and finding it a bit challenging? You are not alone. Check out our list of famous people who have studied Russian, and find some fellow-sufferers...

By Letitia Rydjeski
Tags: immigration, Russians, us-russian relations
November 18, 2016
Famous Americans with Russian Roots
Famous Americans with Russian Roots

America is a land built by immigrants. We researched famous Americans with Russian roots and offer this compilation.

By Letitia Rydjeski
Tags: immigration, Russians, us-russian relations
October 31, 2016
Why Stalin's Corpse Was Exhumed on Halloween
Why Stalin's Corpse Was Exhumed on Halloween

The body of Joseph Stalin was removed from the mausoleum on Red Square on October 31, 1961. It may not be as spooky as Halloween, but the former leader still haunts Russia today.

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: Russia, USSR, Soviet Union, Stalin, Lenin, mausoleum
October 14, 2016
Five Wild Facts about St. Basil's Cathedral
Five Wild Facts about St. Basil's Cathedral

On October 14, 1991, St. Basil’s Cathedral was reopened after six decades. Here are five fun facts in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Cathedral’s rebirth.

By Alice E.M. Underwood
Tags: Russia, Moscow, Red Square, st. basil, St. Basil's Cathedral, Pokrovsky Sobor, religion, Ivan IV
September 13, 2016
Kamchatka
Kamchatka

Alexander Gaivoron and his wife Anastasia took their pre-wedding honeymoon on Kamchatka, land of bears and volcanoes. And they invite us along!

By Alexander Gaivoron
Tags: Kamchatka, travel, photography, bears
September 1, 2016
Yes, We're a Sexagenarian
Yes, We're a Sexagenarian

Sixty years ago, bureaucrats and journalists on opposite sides of the Iron Curtain came to a remarkable agreement that led to the founding of Russian Life...

By Paul E. Richardson
Tags: history, Russian Life, Soviet Life, cultural exchange