Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 20:43:17
25 September 2018


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


Thursday, September 06, 2018

A Walk on the Wild Side (of Russia)

by Irina Bukharin
Of bugs, lip synching police and a very cute kitten

1. As it turns out, Siberian transport police have got some fire moves to encourage you to get moving, too. They released a hot new track called “Three Lines of Fate” (how could it not be good?), a song that lauds the work of these policemen and encourages people to travel. In it, transport police of all types lip sync and dance to the music, albeit in a rather limited way. Still, even if Billboard doesn’t place this jam on its Top 100 list, “Three Lines of Fate” has won a place in our hearts.

 

2. When you’ve had one of those days (you know which ones we’re talking about), only a poop emoji will do. Well, maybe that’s only true if you’re a millennial. Anyway, Yandex Maps is conspiring to take this privilege away from users! Yandex Maps has a new feature in which users can label map locations using three emojis (and you can take this quiz to guess cities based on their emojis!). Given this power, internet trolls have quickly covered the map with poop emojis and other coded emojis that Yandex Maps finds offensive. What Yandex Maps giveth, Yandex Maps taketh away, and so the company is limiting which emojis one can use on its maps.

3. In a certain Russian city, people are slipping, cars are skidding out, and it’s getting hard to breathe. No, this isn’t due to a very early snow storm, or to a late one, or to toxic waste in the streets. In fact, the plague that’s been bugging Taganrog is exactly that: a plague of bugs. To be more specific, Chironomidae, a mosquito-like bug that, very thankfully, does not bite. These creatures are absolutely covering the city’s every available surface. The streets are slick with them, the air is heavy with them, and the people are covered in them. This mysterious swarm may be due to the unusually warm and sticky summer the area was subject to. Regardless, we think we’ll let Taganrog sort out this fly in their ointment before we schedule our next visit.

In Odder News:

Dasha the Cat

Photo: Vadim Kirilyuk

  • Cute as a wild kitten: scientists rescued a wild kitten and prepare her for life outside
  • A true fail: everyone has a life when a school’s ceremonial balloon, shaped like a 5, turns over into a two (in American parlance, hopes for an A get turned into an F)

  • Leaf through the amazing photos from a reenactment of the Battle of Borodino, the biggest military reenactment in Europe

Quote of the Week:

“In the middle of June she went outside for the first time, and immediately ran back inside, to her humans, because she got too scared.”

— Vadim Kirilyuk, one of the Dasha’s caretakers, offering up a very sweet and sad moment of the wild kitten’s life.

Want more where this comes from? Give your inbox the gift of TWERF, our Thursday newsletter on the quirkiest, obscurest, and Russianest of Russian happenings of the week.

Births: Modern Russia, baby LSDUZ, and lots of leopards
Births: Modern Russia, baby LSDUZ, and lots of leopards

Russia Day marks the birth of the post-Soviet Russian nation. This week saw some other births too, from literal leopard cubs to figurative names and games. 

Scandals, lies, sci-fi, and other sporting events
Scandals, lies, sci-fi, and other sporting events

Fictional sportscasters, the all-too-real Olympic ban, and the possible reality of teleportation in Russia's future. And don't forget about mind control.

What Brexit means for Russian economic and territorial expansion
What Brexit means for Russian economic and territorial expansion

Britain has voted to leave the European Union. Does that mean a boom for Russia? Or is that title a ploy to get you to read about how Russians go about sunbathing?

Get undressed and read the news till you sweat
Get undressed and read the news till you sweat

Presidential speeches urge disrobing, but it's not what you think. All while laws get passed, politicians play judo, and – wait, is that Leonardo diCaprio?

Ballooning of strict laws, and ballooning of a hot air balloon
Ballooning of strict laws, and ballooning of a hot air balloon

Adventure takes many forms. There's regular travel, round-the-world travel, and navigating the Russian legal system. Also beards. 

Ivan the Terrible and Pokémon the Great
Ivan the Terrible and Pokémon the Great

Pokémon goes to Russia – and so do memories of fallen tsars, athletes, street cleaners, and of course, a kitty cat.

That's not cheese. It's a cyborg.
That's not cheese. It's a cyborg.

A joke-telling Pushkin robot, an unimpressed Putin, and cheese that's as virtual a reality as Pokémon. 

Fake elections, real Cossacks, and how to do yoga in prison
Fake elections, real Cossacks, and how to do yoga in prison

Why some Russians would rather vote for a fictional candidate, the importance of a Cossack education, and some artsy graffiti along the way.