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Thursday, April 05, 2018
The world is reeling from diplomatic expulsions and counter-expulsions. But we figure the big media outlets have that topic covered. So, as usual, we aim our focus at the real news everyone else is missing…
1. The (Russian) Empire Strikes Back! Russia’s Foreign Ministry took part in April Fool’s Day shenanigans by proposing a new politically-pointed voicemail message (this was last year, but, sadly, it still applies this year). In both Russian and English (skip to 0:28 for English), the message asks you to select a number to be directed to a particular Russian service. What services do they provide? A Russian diplomat calling your political opponent, hacking, or election interference: take your pick! And don’t forget, this call may be recorded.
2. Some like it cold, some like it hot, and some like it both at the same time. About 15 people cut off a large chunk of ice and sailed it down the River Don for a day, using the sheet to have a picnic, heat a bath, gather round a fire, and even wakeboard. Eventually the ice breaks apart, but the partiers simply move all their things to one side and continue with fireside music. Talk about going with the floe.
3. If at first you don’t succeed, try to fly, fly again. This week the Russian Postal Service tested a drone as part of its effort to integrate drones into its vast distribution network. The drone, which was supposed to travel nine miles, made it less than 100 meters before abruptly veering and crashing into a house. The postal service has vowed to continue with this project, but it’s fair to say: this drone didn’t pass with flying colors.
A giant inflatable matryoshka doll bounced across a parking lot, almost knocking someone out (thankfully, the smaller ones didn’t get out!)
UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson displayed an impressive knowledge of Dostoyevsky (and Star Wars!) while dissing Russia
Post-apocalyptic prank: Russians “invent” a police dream car, replete with zombie-proof technology
“To request election interference, press three and wait until the next election campaign.”
—The Russian Foreign Ministry’s prank voicemail message
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.
Some people see spies everywhere. Other people just see dumpsters, birds, snow, dogs, boars, or artists seeking political asylum. (That's at least 4 separate stories).
Adapting to life in Russia? Comic books. Craving cuteness? Piglets getting saved from a fire. Not Russian enough for you? Ice swimming. And for good measure, zombies.
A polar bear travels the world, a historian serves up the Rhyme of Troubles, the Kremlin gets a new alien, and Presidents Putin and Trump get along by the skin of their teeth.
A Buddhist monastery in the mountains fights one millionaire, and Kiribati's islands welcome another one. There's also exorcism, the Facebook of 1917, and general happiness.
Convicts carve up the Kremlin, an assassin wins a prize, and governors drop like flies. Actually, that all sounds a lot worse than what happened. Find out for yourself.
Exactly 100 years ago, on February 23, 1917, the Russian Revolution began. And once you've learned about that, there's space, WWII reenactments, and a portal back to medieval times.
A friendly robot graces the metro and a politically charged (and financed) dance studio gets footloose thanks to the youngest Putin. Also, happy World Cat Day!
International Women's Day was celebrated by marches, flowers, and flash mobs. In other news, Russia and China are BFFs, and Prime Minister Medvedev likes ducks.