February 15, 2020

St. Petersburg Hold-'em, or Russian Roulette?



St. Petersburg Hold-'em, or Russian Roulette?
We've only ever seen this in movies. We think it's a roulette wheel? Wikimedia Commons, Tori Lozano

A leader of a city precinct of St. Petersburg has resigned after authorities discovered an illegal casino in his apartment

Oleg Kalyadin, of Putin's "United Russia" party, had his apartment burst into by police officers. Inside, they discovered a dozen slot machines, roulette wheels, and poker tables, comprising a delightfully oxymoronic high-rise underground casino.

In response, Kalyadin asserted that he was renting out the property and had no knowledge of the seedy underbelly of his apartment. According to United Russia, he has resigned and his position was taken by another party member.

It's amazing what you can do with small spaces these days. No word if Ikea is planning on launching a new SPELA line (that's Swedish for "gamble," in case you were wondering).

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Test your knowledge of the Russian language, Russian history and society with these 22 challenging puzzles taken from the pages of Russian Life magazine. Most all the clues are in English, but you must fill in the answers in Russian. If you get stumped, of course all the puzzles have answers printed at the back of the book.
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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.  
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.
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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.
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Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

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Murder at the Dacha

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