The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
Thursday, December 01, 2016
Controversy, Castro, Cat Videos
1. Two Russian figure skaters are getting heat for a Holocaust-themed ice performance. Their act is based on Life is Beautiful, a movie about surviving a concentration camp by making it a game, but many saw the ice dance as a bit too gamey. It’d be nice to divorce art from politics, but the fact that one of the skaters is married to Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov didn’t curtail the critiques. Is their dance a mockery of tragedy, or a call to remember the horrors of the past so that they can never happen again? Watch now to decide for yourself:
2. Cuban Leader Fidel Castro is as controversial dead as he was alive. Most Kremlin officials expressed praise, recognition, or sympathy, President Putin calling Castro “a symbol of a whole era.” Opposition figures, on the other hand, focused on the struggling Cuba he left behind. A communist to the end, Castro had his ups and downs with the Soviet Union in its time, but remains a symbol of revolution in Russia and elsewhere.
3. Streaming cat videos could have been a thing of the past. But Russia’s much-rumored lawsuit against YouTube has turned out to be a no-go. The last few days saw a frenzy over a proposed law to limit foreign ownership of companies providing audio-visual services to a daily audience of over 100,000 (a.k.a., what YouTube does). But government officials have confirmed that the restrictions will not apply to YouTube. Celebration is in order: cue up the baby animal videos.
In Odder News
Quote of the Week
“We should be thankful for anything being made about resistance during the Holocaust and about spirit, whether it’s a book, a film, a dance, or whatever.”
—Alla Gerber, the founder of Moscow’s Holocaust Center Foundation, on the backlash to a Holocaust-themed ice-skating routine.
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.