Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 02:08:27
25 September 2018


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


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Against Some Odds, Still in the Game!

by Irina Bukharin
A Loss Does Not Mean All Is Lost

1. Russia’s glorious football winning streak ended this week with a three-point loss to Uruguay. But with Russia’s assured participation in the Round of 16, most Russians are pretty content. Some were even relieved by the performance against Uruguay, as they finally recognized the Russian team, which allowed two goals in the first 25 minutes, as their own. In terms of both optimism and accuracy, one Team Russia fan outdid the rest, however, in correctly predicting the scores of Russia’s first two games before the start of the tournament. Upon learning of this, Twitter users quickly set to asking this mystical figure for more predictions: namely, how many kids would they have, what does the future of bitcoin look like, and of course, what will happen after Putin retires?

2. Sometimes all you need to fix a problem is a couple of Croatians in a hole. Two Croatian fans, spying a particularly deep pothole in Nizhny Novgorod, decided to jump in and have a photoshoot. Wanting in on the fun, four Argentinian fans jumped in next. And then, the next day, the pothole was magically filled. This is one of many good deeds that tourists have bestowed on Russia: among other acts, foreigners rescued a man from drowning and saved another man with CPR after a moped accident. Perhaps most notably, fan contingents from Japan, Senegal, and Saudi Arabia took out trash bags and started cleaning the stands after the games they attended. So how do Russians feel about all of these tourists? Well, we think they should be big fans.

Croatians in pothole

Photo: Vkontakte

3. The world somehow still exists outside of the World Cup madness, and in Barnaul nature put on a violent show. Barnaul, a city in Siberia, was hit with a tropical storm last Saturday. The tempest, which led to some stunning images, generated temperatures over 100° Fahrenheit and stripped the city of power. One heroic crane operator remained at his post to move a heavy load away from drivers and pedestrians, an act that led to his own death but saved many lives. Not to be outdone, several Russian cities were treated to the sight of a fiery meteor.

Storm

Photo: Vyacheslav Postnikov

In Odder News:
  • A Rostov-on-Don by any other name… World Cup tourists make some pretty major cartographical errors

  • Spirits are high, but we’re low on drinks: World Cup fans are running cities’ beer stocks dry

  • Football philosophers: the best Russian commentators engage in high-level conversation, even if they do miss a goal here or there

Quote of the Week:

“Ah, that's the Russian team we know.”

— One Twitter user expressed relief during Russia’s match against Uruguay

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.

Olympians, Titans, and cats dressed up as sailors
Olympians, Titans, and cats dressed up as sailors

The Olympics are under way! With them, new moves in Turkish-Russian relations, a Putin-voiced documentary, and the dangerous force of Russiaphobia. Also cats. 

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. 

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.

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.

Michael Phelps, Russia's swimming champ
Michael Phelps, Russia's swimming champ

The opening of the Kremlin, the mysterious ways of the nooscope, Hare Krishnas, and why Michael Phelps decided to defect to the Russian Olympic team. 

Tractors, smugglers, and the matryoshka from hell
Tractors, smugglers, and the matryoshka from hell

It's a tough week for transport in Russia, with a tractor parade, a smugglers' road, a bear on the loose, and an unwieldy matryoshka to top it all off.

Corruption, Kalashnikovs, and cultured meats
Corruption, Kalashnikovs, and cultured meats

Performance art turned into meaty meals and politicians turned criminals or corpses. Oh, and Vladimir Putin gets arrested. 

Nomads, salad stampedes, and serious swamp business
Nomads, salad stampedes, and serious swamp business

Olympics featuring dead goats, world records with feta cheese, blood-red rivers, and how to set up your business in a pit of slime.