Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 20:09:14
25 September 2018


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


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Baby bears, cats in debt, and other fuzzy victories

by Alice E.M. Underwood

A Victorious Week

1. And one day in particular: Monday was Victory Day, the 71st anniversary of Germany’s surrender and the end of WWII in Europe. The Immortal Regiment – participants carrying photos of relatives who fought in the war – headed up parades across Russia, with Putin leading the charge in Moscow before giving a speech on defending the fatherland against terrorism.

2. Even the biggest victories don’t come without controversy. This year, Moscow’s Victory Day parade cost the city a record-breaking 296 million rubles – in part thanks to the showcase of new weaponry. Meanwhile, in Novosibirsk, Stalin billboards popped up to commemorate the end of WWII – and debate popped up around the billboards. One thing everyone could agree on: fireworks to end the day with a bang.

gazetu.ru

3. Bear in a bathtub: dangerous, or adorable? For locals of the mountain town of Tashtagol, it was pure practicality after they saved the cub from drowning in the nearby river. Unfortunately for the bear, the tub was not full of honey. The cub is too small to survive alone, so they’ll find Misha a new home in the zoo.

Quote of the Week
"Today civilization is once again faced with cruelty and violence. We must defeat this evil, and Russia is open to joining forces with other states. We are ready to work on the creation of a contemporary non-aligned system for international security."

—President Vladimir Putin on the need for collaboration in his Victory Day speech.

In Odder News

  • State bailiffs arrest a cat to encourage her owner to cough up his debt. That’s one way to ensure a hissy fit.
  • Good news: the Duma won’t have to cut back on caviar, as lawmakers have voted against reducing the government’s supply. Goody?
  • Muhammad Ali meets Al Capone? That’s what Flatiron, Sledgehammer, and other gangster athletes looked like when they started bloodletting in the post-USSR 1990s.

Victory Day Spotlight

Live for your family, die for your homeland. Veterans of WWII and young Russians the age of those veterans when they went to war consider what one should live for, and what one should be willing to die for, in honor of this year's Victory Day. See their images and read their stories here

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. 

Medical tourism, space tourism, imaginary tourism
Medical tourism, space tourism, imaginary tourism

A Moon landing is on the horizon. Eurovision, with its typical set of scandals, is on an even closer horizon. And on your way, why not stop by Red Square for some dental work?

Grab a Guinness for Orthodoxy
Grab a Guinness for Orthodoxy

Does Russian St. Patrick's Day have leprechauns? After you ponder that, there's a reindeer herder fighting big oil, humans-turned-Twitter bots, and a mysterious murder.

#Russiagate, Demos & Alaska
#Russiagate, Demos & Alaska

Continuing scandal, new demonstrations, a sesquicentenial and a linguistic smackdown. Just another week here at TWERF.

Cosmonautics Day and Fruit in Disguise
Cosmonautics Day and Fruit in Disguise

Investigations: the state of Russian cosmonautics, what happens to prohibited fruit, and when mourners aren't really mourning. Plus, sneaking pickles into space. 

The bad, the sad, and the ice laser
The bad, the sad, and the ice laser

It's been a rough week in Russia, with the metro bombing in St. Petersburg, the disappearance of gay men, and the death of Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Luckily, lasers are kinda neat. 

Counterfeit TP and Commuting By Ball
Counterfeit TP and Commuting By Ball

Some folks form an Arctic military base or withdraw from mayoral elections. Others counterfeit toilet paper and roll through traffic in a giant ball. 

Floods of water, juice, and trendy ostrich photos
Floods of water, juice, and trendy ostrich photos

A juice flood. A mud flood. A human rights drought. And for good measure, portraits with wild animals and haircuts with an axe. 

Vegans, Frogs, and the Grandmas of Mortal Kombat
Vegans, Frogs, and the Grandmas of Mortal Kombat

Pop-star grandmas advertise action films, May Day doesn't go great for vegans, and a Russian frog smuggler's story gets even more unlikely.