Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 00:29:00
21 November 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. 

Toxic Waste, Putin Farms, & Crazy Seals
Toxic Waste, Putin Farms, & Crazy Seals

Tractors for Putin, toxic waste for Kaliningrad, and Reagan and Gorbachev for their modern-day counterparts. Also sweet wine, state secrets, and salt.

Risqué Ballet and Putin's Grannies
Risqué Ballet and Putin's Grannies

The scandal around the Bolshoi's latest ballet, remembering an Internet icon, and pro-Putin pensioners, with a dash of PhotoShop of daredevilry. 

 

 

Royal(ish) Weddings and Toys for the Opposition
Royal(ish) Weddings and Toys for the Opposition

Getting flak for getting hitched, how fidget spinners foster political dissidence, and a new set of wheels around Russia. Plus dandy pigeons and the best totalitarian tourism. 

Parties with Putin and the Ruins of Literature
Parties with Putin and the Ruins of Literature

President Putin visits human rights activists and curious kids, and a famous author falls to pieces. Plus Ivan the Terrible, a terrible auction purchase, and 10 fantastic bridges. 

Paratroopers, Pig Manure, & Plant Killers
Paratroopers, Pig Manure, & Plant Killers

Pranksters solve energy security with pig manure, paratroopers get rowdy, and presidential grants yield surprise winners. Plus, Russia's deadliest plants and getting stuck in an elevator. 

Eating, Drinking, and Putin's New Look
Eating, Drinking, and Putin's New Look

Beachgoers bathe in potable sludge, Russians weigh in on replacements for sanctioned food, and the Kremlin revamps funerals. Plus, Putin goes fishing. 

Zombies, a Swampy Lake, and a New Shirtless Challenge
Zombies, a Swampy Lake, and a New Shirtless Challenge

A not-quite lake makes a splash, zombies on public transit, and problems memorializing history's tragedies. But on the bright side, shirtless men and hippos.

Rap battles, Moscow's move, and mixing dating and politics
Rap battles, Moscow's move, and mixing dating and politics

Elections are the new dinner and a movie. Plus, Moscow's heading east, rap battles get a bad rap, and pickles and melons galore.