February 09, 2021

A Pixelated Palace for Putin



A Pixelated Palace for Putin
Your best chance of exploring Putin's palace without a confrontation with the FSB. User bte_teamcis, PlanetMinecraft.com

We've been wowed by Russian creativity in the video game Minecraft as a response to coronavirus (both in light of crushing boredom and the closure of public spaces). We've already covered an acting troupe that's been doing shows in a recreated version of their theater and an online high school that's providing all the joys of education with none of the swirlies, both of which impressed our inner gamers.

The next logical step, of course, was Putin's (alleged; he denies it's his) gaudily lavish and corruption-funded Black Sea palace, the focus of opposition leader Alexei Navalny's recent tell-all YouTube video and the catalyst for widespread protests across the country.

A group of Russian users has faithfully recreated the highlights of Navalny's video at 1:1 scale, including the performance hall, hookah bar (complete with pole, which Navalny sarcastically speculates is used for massive shawarma), "mud storeroom" adorned with pigs' heads, and the mysterious (and meme-worthy) "aquadiskoteka."

Unfortunately, some outbuildings seem to be missing, such as the amphitheater, tea house, vinyard, cave-balcony, and underground hockey rink/helipad. But we're happy to overlook those, even if Putin isn't.

Your Minecraft avatar can sip wine and watch the sunset (all while plotting the poisoning of your rivals) by downloading the world here.

If flight simulators are more your thing, you don't need to feel left out: you can also say hi to Russia's most lavish abode in your virtual plane.

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Some of Our Books

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Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

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The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The fables of Ivan Krylov are rich fonts of Russian cultural wisdom and experience – reading and understanding them is vital to grasping the Russian worldview. This new edition of 62 of Krylov’s tales presents them side-by-side in English and Russian. The wonderfully lyrical translations by Lydia Razran Stone are accompanied by original, whimsical color illustrations by Katya Korobkina.
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

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Driving Down Russia's Spine

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Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

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The Moscow Eccentric

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Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

The Life Stories collection is a nice introduction to contemporary Russian fiction: many of the 19 authors featured here have won major Russian literary prizes and/or become bestsellers. These are life-affirming stories of love, family, hope, rebirth, mystery and imagination, masterfully translated by some of the best Russian-English translators working today. The selections reassert the power of Russian literature to affect readers of all cultures in profound and lasting ways. Best of all, 100% of the profits from the sale of this book are going to benefit Russian hospice—not-for-profit care for fellow human beings who are nearing the end of their own life stories.
The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  
Jews in Service to the Tsar

Jews in Service to the Tsar

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Fish: A History of One Migration

Fish: A History of One Migration

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