The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
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.
Victory Day meant full streets but empty skies. A hollow chess piece hides more than its next move. And a day in the life of an Arctic doctor.
An anti-politics pop song, the drive against Hollywood, and education for deer herders. Plus, Putin, pianos, and pythons.
We celebrate the anniversary of the Pioneers, explore Russia’s Generation Z, and for fun, admire a baby bear helping out in the garden.
Blackface and bananas raise racist concerns ahead of soccer match, a linguist links Siberian Ket and Navajo languages, and video bloggers bring bubbles and pets to parliament.
Celebrate the wealth of Russian culture with Pushkin's birthday, Russian Language Day, Sokurov's film award, Russian museums, and, um, Megyn Kelly's weird interview with Putin. Well, at least those first four.
Mammoth skulls, ancient lizards, intangible money, train-jumping, and the great knights of Slavic history. Russia Day really does bring out the best.
Russia hosts the Confederations Cup, Strugatsky sci-fi gets a reboot (or just gets booted), and we honor the memories of WWII's female snipers and of the rock legend Viktor Tsoy.
Celebrate soccer with metro-station ballet, explore the galaxy with Yandex, and take a stroll through Moscow's rooftop gardens. Plus the Beatles, Stephen Colbert, and 29 Russian writers.