Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 04:15:26
22 September 2018

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


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

A Metaphorical Net Game

Russia has truly regained its prowess as a sports superpower, and it may rise further yet. It will surely be giving the U.S. a run for its money in the overall medals race at the Beijing Olympics in August... this rise in sports achievement takes place against the backdrop of a Russia that, without putting too fine a point on it, has bumbled from failure to failure in foreign policy in recent months

Tags: sports, politics, georgia
Afghanistan Country Facts
Afghanistan Country Facts
Tags: russia, afghanistan
Statistics and Damn Lies

Robert Coalson (RFE/RL) has just published a superb summary of some of the brazen election abuses during last December's Duma elections in Russia. It would be funny if it were not so sad. 

Tags: statistics, elections
Dima's recruitment

This hilarious YouTube satire video by the Perm KVN group gives a bit of background on the recent Russian election, and how Medevedev was recruited for his role. The dubbing is superbly done. (All in Russian)...

Tags: politics, medvedev, putin
Medvedev Emerges from His Den

In the 2002 film Oligarch, by Russian director Pavel Lungin, the main character predicts his own downfall, saying, "Russia is a bear. You think you are playing with it and it devours you."

Tags: putin, medvedev

Hilary Clinton stumbles over the name of the next president of Russia, and a Ukrainian TV host offers a pronunciation lesson.

Tags: hilary, medvedev
Dima Talks

On February 18, Dmitry Medvedev gave an extended interview with Itogi magazine. Here are some of the highlights,

Tags: medvedev, politics
We're Just Crazy about Dima

So what exactly do we know about Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev, other than that he is a loyal Putinista going back nearly two decades?

Tags: medvedev
The Yeltsin Legacy
The Yeltsin Legacy

As Russia readies for its first, post-Yeltsin presidential election, Yeltsin biographer Leon Aron offers thoughts on the Russian leader's legacy.

Tags: yeltsin, president, politics, elections
1972 ABM Treaty
1972 ABM Treaty

Notes on the 1972 ABM Treaty.

Tags: abm treaty, antiballistic missiles
Putin Selected as Person of the Year
Putin Selected as Person of the Year

In a previous post and VPR commentary, I related how my friend Boris in Moscow speculated that, after the December Duma election, Russia would hold a national referendum and appoint Putin Tsar. Apparently TIME magazine beat Russia to the punch.

Tags: putin
Russian Orthodox Christmas
Russian Orthodox Christmas

The Church's celebration of the Nativity is on January 7th; information about the Feasts of Christ's coming into the world and Scripture readings for the services and Liturgies.

Tags: orthodoxy, holidays, christmas
Yeltsin's Death
Yeltsin's Death

A review of the life and work of Boris Yeltsin.

Tags: yeltsin, death, president, russia
Kamchatka Disaster
Kamchatka Disaster

A massive landslide destroys the Valley of the Geysers on June 4, 2007.

Tags: disaster, kamchatka
Zero in Russia

In the May/June 2007 issue of Russian Life, Mikhail Ivanov's column on the use of "zero," "null," etc. in Russian slang got us wondering: just when and how was the concept and notation of zero introduced into Russian. We could find nothing in our printed references or anywhere online. So we polled some experts. Below we reprint two excellent replies we received.

Tags: math
Supersonic Flight
Supersonic Flight

Meet the TU-144, Russia's achievement, albeit short lived, in supersonic flight. On Dec. 31, 1968, Russia's TU-144 supersonic airliner made its first flight, several months ahead of the Anglo-French Concorde.

Tags: tu-144, supersonic flight, aviation
St. Basil the Blessed

St. Basil the Blessed is both a well known Moscow landmark and cherished saint. Learn about the ten pillars of the cathedral and what it means to be a 'fool for Christ.'

Tags: moscow, st. basil
Sex and the Future of Russian Society

Abortion, HIV/AIDS and Russia's infant mortality rates are on the increase. At the same time, the nation's birthrate and population growth are dramatically decreasing with many children being adopted abroad.

Tags: sex, abortion
Demographic Woes
Demographic Woes

Russia's population is in steady decline. So you would think it natural that the country would welcome immigrant workers. You'd think...

Tags: immigration, workers, economy, demographic
Russian Spas

Russia's history of taking to the spas, in the shadow of military conflict.

Tags: spas, kislovodsk, pyatigorsk, stavropol, essentuki