Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 04:49:14
19 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. 

Rocks, Raps, and Cats in Charge
Rocks, Raps, and Cats in Charge

Trouble in the tombstone industry, booming blockchain, and mercenary music hits. Plus, cats at work and a use of paper you've never seen.  

Slavic-Style Spooks
Slavic-Style Spooks

Halloween or Hallowon't? The holiday is more trick than treat in Russia, so dive into the details and creep yourself out with some frightful tales while you're at it. 

The Big 100
The Big 100

This year marks the centennial of the Bolshevik Revolution. Here's what that looks like, plus gas, cats, and seals (state seals, that is).

Lions and Lawyers and Baba Yaga, Oh My!
Lions and Lawyers and Baba Yaga, Oh My!

Ice Age lions thaw out, fairytale heroes meet social media, and foreign news needs a new passport. Plus, all about Russian art in less than 30 minutes. 

Santa Claus, Space Aliens, & Robot Cars
Santa Claus, Space Aliens, & Robot Cars

Father Frost gets iced, a space shuttle gets wet, and cars get driven driverlessly. Plus, famous Russian buildings go on vacation, the Romanovs take TV, and Russian smilies)

Presidents, Olympians, and Feathered Friends
Presidents, Olympians, and Feathered Friends

Putin announces he'll run for president, the Olympic Committee announces Russia can't compete, and some swans announce that they want a new house. 

Superputin, Sly Wolves, & Censorship Stalkers
Superputin, Sly Wolves, & Censorship Stalkers

An art exhibit proves once and for all that Putin is a superhero. Plus, World Cup counterfeits, how Russian media monitoring works, and a leopard cub.

Romanov Holiday and Russia's Best Cat
Romanov Holiday and Russia's Best Cat

What a Russian holiday looks like, the Romanovs go to The Gambia, and why secret police are extra special around the holidays. All that, and Russia's most popular cats.