Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 09:18:47
16 November 2018


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


Society

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

Russian Political Prisoners Ignored by Everyone
Russian Political Prisoners Ignored by Everyone

Sergey Udaltsov, a leftist protest leader currently under house arrest pending investigation of his alleged planning of the May 6, 2012 Bolotnaya Square riots exemplifies the popular saying: “out of sight, out of mind.” Yet he is not alone in his plight...

Tags: politics, dissent, prison
Reset, Shmeeset
Reset, Shmeeset

It would be an understatement to say US-Russian relations have hit a low point. Not a Cuban Missile Crisis or even a 1980 Olympic Boycott sort of low point. More like a US bombing of Belgrade or Russian sleeper spies discovered in America sort of low point.

Tags: russia, united states, obama, putin, foreign relations
Watch out for that bear
Watch out for that bear!

Today I stumbled across an interesting article online. At first I thought it should be filed in the "someone is trying to stir the Cold War pot again" but then I read on...

Tags: putin, economy, metro, moscow, spies
Plagiarism, Perevody and Propaganda
Plagiarism, Perevody and Propaganda

Two stories out of Russia this weekend reinforced the stereotype that Russian entities (a) don't respect copyrights, yet (b) do value propaganda.

Tags: copyright, ketchum, kremlin
It Takes Guts
It Takes Guts

A recent letter that the editors of Russian Life received from one of its respected readers was directed at Mikhail Ivanov and one of his “Survival Russian” columns. We felt it deserved a longer response than space in the magazine allowed.

Tags: putin, dissent, opposition, sobchak, navalny
The Nature of Dissent
The Nature of Dissent

How should we understand current political dissent in Russia? Russian Life publisher Paul Richardson met with long-time Soviet/Russian political dissident Alexander Skobov to get his views on what is going on in Russia and where things are headed.

Tags: dissent, politics
The White Ring
The White Ring

Last Sunday morning I was ashamed of my children. We had sort of planned that we would all go together to take part in the Garden Ring demonstration, but one-by-one they deserted me...

Tags: demonstration, election
Becoming Observers
Becoming Observers

I have slept very little the past two weeks, and I have done very little to prepare for my classes. My students have tired of asking when I will correct their papers, and piles of their notebooks are gradually filling up my room. There is nothing to eat in the house; I have no had any time to get to the store. I am completely overcome by my work in “Citizen Observer"...

Tags: election, democracy
Poor Chulpan
Poor Chulpan

Putin is doing everything in his power to guarantee his victory in the first round. Everyone everywhere is mumbling “stability, stability, this is what Putin has given us.”

Tags: politics, putin, khamatova
Putin's Counterattack
Putin's Counterattack

It seems like those in power are starting to get very worried, and therefore have gone over onto the counterattack. All across the country, they are herding people to pro-Putin rallies, handing out stenciled posters, then declaring what huge support he has.

Tags: politics, putin, demonstrations
Moscow's White Ring
Election Journal: Moscow's White Ring

The first installment in History Editor Tamara Eidelman's Election Journal, which she is writing for us in the buildup to the March 4 presidential election.

Tags: demonstrations, election
1972 ABM Treaty
1972 ABM Treaty

English text of the 1972 Antilballistic Missile Treaty between the U.S. and Soviet Union.

Tags: abm treaty, 1972, cold war
At the Demonstration
At the Demonstration

"The crowds gathered from three different directions.  Every route to the square was controlled by police and troops.  I had never seen such numbers of armed forces before; it was like a movie about civil war." Victor is a 21-year-old student in Moscow. In this guest post, he gives us a participant's account of the December 10 demonstration.

Tags: Moscow, demonstrations, democracy, voting, fraud, youth
Moscow Spring?
Moscow Spring?

Quite often, Russian reality is best illuminated with a joke. 

A couple of journalists are quizzing a candidate: “Why do you want to get elected?”

“Just look what is going on in the corridors of power: officials are awash in debauchery, theft, corruption!”

Tags: Putin, elections, Moscow, Russia, democracy
Dima, Volodya and Alice

What exactly is a Russian liberal? Has this species ever been seen in the wild (by which I mean the Kremlin)? In her spot-on analysis of Russia's ruling tandem in today's Washington Post, Liliya Shevtsova highlights this question brilliantly...

Flying Free...

Too often the news we gather from the mainstream media about Russia is bad news, and the humor is rather acerbic and based on dark stereotypes. So it is refreshing when we receive a bit of unqualified good news, about average people doing the hard work it takes to keep a society, and our world, spinning on its axis. 

Etcetera

Russians are wearing less and will have to do with fewer mushrooms this year. President Medvedev is Russia's Internet President (while PM Putin apparently does not even have a cellphone)...

The Kremlinologist Catechism

There is a Catechism that dominates American discourse on Russia today. Just flip through The Washington Post’s editorials, peruse American political science journals or listen (cringe) to a Joe Biden interview. It goes something like this:

Keep Reading, Dima

President Dmitry Medvedev says he likes the classics, but that,just recently he made a request for buying about 50 books authored by contemporary Russian writers over the past 5-7 years. "I have read some of them and I cannot say I have been excited," he said. "By and large I have to read all sorts of dull papers the presidents normally read. Draft documents, draft decrees, draft instructions, laws, reports...

Tags: medvedev, reading, literature, fiction
Putin and Medvedev as Na'Vi

Avatar has become the largest grossing movie in Russian history. But, more interestingly, a spin-off photo morfing site (which seemed to be connected to McDonald's Finland) allowed visitors to turn pictures of famous people into the blue Na'Vi. A Russian newspaper tried it with Medvedev and Putin. Here are the tinted results. First Putin: