March 08, 2022

International Women's Day


International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day, which traces its roots to 1917, when Russian women demanded "bread and peace." Four days later, the tsar was forced to abdicate and the provisional government granted women the right to vote.

Of course, it was not a single demonstration that led to the tsar's ouster, yet could we hope for a similar sort of demonstration and eventual effect in Russia today?

There are reports that all across Russia, women are placing flowers on war memorials, calling for an end to the war, for peace.

Meanwhile, read more about the history of the holiday here. And then read some linked articles (below) on the power and resilience of women throughout Russian history.

You Might Also Like

Loyal Wives, Virtuous Mothers
  • March 01, 1996

Loyal Wives, Virtuous Mothers

Once embraced by Soviet authorities as a celebration of women's liberation under communism, International Women's Day (March 8) stands stripped of ideology, but not consequence. Our author takes the occasion to ask women about their role in the new Russia.
Common Strength: Eight Russian Women
  • March 01, 2000

Common Strength: Eight Russian Women

In commemoration of International Women's Day, celebrated widely in Russia, we offer portraits of the daily lives of eight remarkable Russian women. Those profiled include: a ballet dancer, a bakery shop assistant, a television anchor, a train conductor, an artist, an athlete, a travel agent, and a cab driver.
Dishes to Wow the Women
  • March 01, 1998

Dishes to Wow the Women

Two dishes that are great for celebrating women's day (with the men cooking!): Beef with prunes and Pork with prune sauce.
An Army Gift for Women's Day
  • March 08, 2021

An Army Gift for Women's Day

Leningrad Oblast's military commissioner has a solution to those pesky exes: send them to the army.
International Women's Day: A Look Back
  • March 08, 2021

International Women's Day: A Look Back

Tired of having to do Valentine's Day and Mother's Day separately? Try it the Russian way and combine them into International Women's Day! A closer look at this convenient holiday's socialist origins and not-so-socialist present form.
Role of Women in Russian Cooking
  • June 13, 2000

Role of Women in Russian Cooking

Today, the wonderful, hearty and traditional recipes and meals of the Russian table can be attributed to the efforts of Russian women to provide sustenance and nurturing to their families.
Women Combat Aviators of the Patriotic War
  • August 08, 2000

Women Combat Aviators of the Patriotic War

Told that the Rodina was not in so bad a shape that she needed girls to protect her, these future heroes were sent home to their mothers.  Soon, they were called back and became a crucial element in the protection of their homeland and victory over Nazi Germany.
Russian Ladies in Space
  • January 17, 2001

Russian Ladies in Space

Soviet cosmonauts Valentina Tereshkova and Svetlana Svitskaya made history when they were the first woman in space and first woman to walk in space, respectfully. Elena V. Kondakova represents the new age of Russian Federation cosmonauts as a member of the US/Russian STS-84 crew.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

In this comprehensive, quixotic and addictive book, Edwin Trommelen explores all facets of the Russian obsession with vodka. Peering chiefly through the lenses of history and literature, Trommelen offers up an appropriately complex, rich and bittersweet portrait, based on great respect for Russian culture.
Jews in Service to the Tsar

Jews in Service to the Tsar

Benjamin Disraeli advised, “Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.” With Jews in Service to the Tsar, Lev Berdnikov offers us 28 biographies spanning five centuries of Russian Jewish history, and each portrait opens a new window onto the history of Eastern Europe’s Jews, illuminating dark corners and challenging widely-held conceptions about the role of Jews in Russian history.
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.
Russia Rules

Russia Rules

From the shores of the White Sea to Moscow and the Northern Caucasus, Russian Rules is a high-speed thriller based on actual events, terrifying possibilities, and some really stupid decisions.
Marooned in Moscow

Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.
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.
Fish: A History of One Migration

Fish: A History of One Migration

This mesmerizing novel from one of Russia’s most important modern authors traces the life journey of a selfless Russian everywoman. In the wake of the Soviet breakup, inexorable forces drag Vera across the breadth of the Russian empire. Facing a relentless onslaught of human and social trials, she swims against the current of life, countering adversity and pain with compassion and hope, in many ways personifying Mother Russia’s torment and resilience amid the Soviet disintegration.
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.
Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod is a mid-sized provincial city that exists only in Russian metaphorical space. It has its roots in Gogol, and Ilf and Petrov, and is a place far from Moscow, but close to Russian hearts. It is a place of mystery and normality, of provincial innocence and Black Earth wisdom. Strange, inexplicable things happen in Stargorod. So do good things. And bad things. A lot like life everywhere, one might say. Only with a heavy dose of vodka, longing and mystery.
A Taste of Russia

A Taste of Russia

The definitive modern cookbook on Russian cuisine has been totally updated and redesigned in a 30th Anniversary Edition. Layering superbly researched recipes with informative essays on the dishes' rich historical and cultural context, A Taste of Russia includes over 200 recipes on everything from borshch to blini, from Salmon Coulibiac to Beef Stew with Rum, from Marinated Mushrooms to Walnut-honey Filled Pies. A Taste of Russia shows off the best that Russian cooking has to offer. Full of great quotes from Russian literature about Russian food and designed in a convenient wide format that stays open during use.
Murder and the Muse

Murder and the Muse

KGB Chief Andropov has tapped Matyushkin to solve a brazen jewel heist from Picasso’s wife at the posh Metropole Hotel. But when the case bleeds over into murder, machinations, and international intrigue, not everyone is eager to see where the clues might lead.
93 Untranslatable Russian Words

93 Untranslatable Russian Words

Every language has concepts, ideas, words and idioms that are nearly impossible to translate into another language. This book looks at nearly 100 such Russian words and offers paths to their understanding and translation by way of examples from literature and everyday life. Difficult to translate words and concepts are introduced with dictionary definitions, then elucidated with citations from literature, speech and prose, helping the student of Russian comprehend the word/concept in context.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts


Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567

802-223-4955