Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 20:15:20
24 September 2018


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


Society

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

The Corpse of Lenin and the Rebirth of St. Petersburg
The Corpse of Lenin and the Rebirth of St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is now 25: citizens voted to rename Leningrad as St. Petersburg on June 12, 1991. Lenin’s legacy was at the center of the change, and remains a hot topic 25 years later.

Tags: st. petersburg, lenin, leningrad, glasnost, soviet union, 1917
Mariy El
Mariy El

Nikolai Gontar leads us on a trip to the Republic of Mariy El, home to layered pancakes and some very unusual architecture.

Chernobyl: The State Secret
Chernobyl: The State Secret

30 years ago today, the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant had a meltdown: "Flames, sparks, and chunks of burning material went flying... These were red-hot pieces of nuclear fuel and graphite..."

Tags: Chernobyl, nuclear, accident, Belarus, soviet
New Foreign Agent Bill Hits Close to Home
New Foreign Agent Bill Hits Close to Home

Russia’s law on foreign agents may be getting increasingly draconian. In its latest iteration, any charity could be deemed a political tool of international forces.

Tags: foreign agent, law, political activity, civil rights, human rights
Russia's Favorite Rebel and His Bloody Capture Turn 345
Russia's Favorite Rebel and His Bloody Capture Turn 345

On April 14, 1671, Cossacks captured rebel leader Stenka Razin and ended his rebellion against the tsar. Here’s some background on Razin’s uprising, and what it meant for the fate of Russia.

Tags: stenka razin, rebellion, uprising, tsar, peasants, cossacks, 1671, astrakhan, lobnoye mesto, autocracy, revolt
Gagarin Lives!
Gagarin Lives!

Yury Gagarin’s 108-minute space flight on April 12, 1961, propelled him to a level of celebrity never before known to any Soviet. His smiling face graced postal stamps, Palekh souvenir boxes, and fine porcelain, as he mingled with the beau monde of planet Earth.

Tags: gagarin, space, 1961
A kick in the face of public taste
A kick in the face of public taste

This week in Russia saw a whole lot of beatdowns: on international corruption, candy stores, and even Buddha. 

Tags: putin, chocolate, corruption, politics, twerf
What the Panama Papers Mean for Russia: The Basics
What the Panama Papers Mean for Russia

The Panama Papers shocked the world this week with tales of corruption among the cream of the world's political crop. Here's what the allegations mean for Russian politics, economics, and society.

Tags: panama papers, politics, economy, corruption, putin, offshore
Katya Everdeenova? No. YA Fiction Set in Russia? Yes.
Katya Everdeenova? No. YA Fiction Set in Russia? Yes.

We're seeing a growth spurt in literature for kids and teens set in Russia. That means magic, time travel, and Stalinism all rolled up in one.

Tags: literature, teen fiction, young adult fiction, magic, fantasy, stalin, Ivan the Terrible, baba yaga, faberge, romanovs, time travel
Chess, Traffic and Briefcases
Chess, Traffic and Briefcases

In The Weekly Russia File for March 31: some terrible chess puns, and how to stop traffic.

A Tour to Nowhere (in pictures)
A Tour to Nowhere (in pictures)

What does it look like when a whole town empties out and there’s nothing but a few decaying buildings to prove anyone lived there at all?

Tags: russian architecture, ghost towns, monogoroda, churches, ussr, economy, abkhazia, tvarkcheli, solikamsk, monotowns, photography
Architecture and unexquisite corpses
Architecture and unexquisite corpses

A church’s domes caving into the altar. A transgender couple finagles a wedding. A hospital patient shares a room with a corpse. Just another TWERF.

Tags: architecture, murmansk, marriage
Leningrad Region
Leningrad Region

Alexander Solo is documenting "monotowns" in Russia. He shows us a couple in Leningrad Region, where he lives.

Tags: factories, urban, Leningrad Region
Great Lent
Great Lent

The Great Lent is forty days when the Church is involved in repentance, fasting, prayer and almsgiving.

Tags: orthodox, lent, fast pasch, religion, easter, paskha
Let the Maslenitsa Begin!
Let the Maslenitsa Begin!

Russia's Maslenitsa week has begun! So what's it all about?

Tags: maslenitsa, blini, lent pascha, Orthodox
Gorbachev Turns 85
Gorbachev Turns 85

A look back at the heady Gorbachev era, a time of rationing and glasnost, perestroika and cooperatives, when everything seemed possible.

Tags: gorbachev, glasnost, perestroika, reform
Bridge of Contention
Bridge of Contention

It has been a year since Boris Nemtsov was shot as he walked along a bridge near the Kremlin, yet Russians continue to gather at his assassination site.

Tags: Nemtsov, politics, protest
Nikita S. Khrushchev
Nikita S. Khrushchev

On February 24, 1956, Khrushchev delivered his now infamous secret speech. It would change everything... sort of...

Tags: soviet era, khrushchev
When Peace Came to Earth
When Peace Came to Earth

Thirty years ago tomorrow, the Mir Space Station was launched. It was a technological wonder of its time.

Tags: russia, mir, space, science
Cold Hard Facts
Cold Hard Facts

I just returned from our village in Tver region, and have some sad news to share.

Tags: healthcare, village life, elderly