Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 23:24:26
19 September 2018


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


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Catchy beats and milk-soaked scuffles

by Alice E.M. Underwood

Upside Down You're Turning Me

youtube.com

1. The last melodies have faded away, but debate rages on after Russia's Sergey Lazarev (above) took second place to Ukraine's Jamala at Eurovision Song Contest. The winning song focused on the deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944 – earning it accusations of being too political for Eurovision. But let gravity do the talking: how could the guy who hovered upside-down mid-air not win?

2. It’s a bad day for journalism. RBC has been known as a relatively independent news outlet in an increasingly strict climate. Then came the resignation of three of its top editors – right on the tail of a few stories the Kremlin may have found a bit too independent. Presidential pressure? Or maybe all three just wanted a vacay?

3. Nothing like two male politicians caught smooching to raise a scandal – even if the smooch is a mural on the side of a barbecue restaurant. Like Lithuania’s new painting of an embrace between President Vladimir Putin and Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump. For a viral mural, it seems to say a lot about the two political personas and the blend of flattery and mistrust between them. But will they recreate it in real life?

RosKultLit
Russian Cultural Literacy

The new mural of Putin and Trump locked in an embrace alludes to a Berlin Wall mural showing Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and East German leader Erich Honecker in a similarly smoochy state. Compare for yourself:

Brezhnev and Honecker, bbc.com
Putin and Trump, bbc.com

The real question: why are the first two wearing matching suits, and the current couple in matching track suits?

In Odder News 

  • The new beatdown: don’t just punch ‘em, throw milk at them. That’s what Cossacks did with anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny, at least.
  • Those zoo signs “do not feed the animals” are there for a reason. Rostov zoo’s bison has sadly died after munching too many human foods.
  • The selfie scourge strikes again: a statue of Russian military commander Mikhail Kutuzov was damaged by an overzealous selfie photographer.  

Quote of the Week
“We just wanted to show that Navalny, who lives off the Americans’ money, isn’t welcome here. That’s precisely why we threw milk at him. It wasn’t anything so bad. It wasn’t paint, or something that takes a long time to clean off.”

—Dmitry Slaboda, a member of the Cossack group that assaulted anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny, on their dairy deliberate decision to shower him with milk.

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. 

A new direction for US-Russia relations?
A new direction for US-Russia relations?

The news in the U.S. is news for Russia, too. Here's how Russians are thinking about a Trump presidency – and it involves cats and burgers, as well as political ponderings. 

Clowns, corruption, and overdue library books
Clowns, corruption, and overdue library books

A group of humanitarian clowns is set to conquer sadness in Russia. Whether they can also combat corruption, questionable legal cases, and adorable baby foxes is another matter.

Giving thanks: Russian beauty, culture, and cats
Giving thanks: Russian beauty, culture, and cats

We thank our readers for another year of living, loving, and learning about Russian life. With some extra pictures and cultural exploration to keep you grateful.

Art and politics on thin ice
Art and politics on thin ice

Should ice dancing with a Holocaust theme be totally taboo, or can it be done with respect? That and Fidel Castro, Siberian cats, and a few fish puns. 

Cartoons, reality TV, and other art forms
Cartoons, reality TV, and other art forms

Masha and the Bear tops the charts, Ramzan Kadyrov picks Chechnya's next top admin, and the arts in general are a big bowl of kasha. 

Of mutts and men
Of mutts and men

With puppies and provinces on the line, Russia-Japan relations are a bit ruff. Plus bobsledding bedlam, diplomatic dirt, and more holiday dogs. 

We Fish You A Merry Christmas (and Hanukkah)
We Fish You A Merry Christmas (and Hanukkah)

Just in time for the holidays, Russians unearth (unsea?) some fish that look out of this world. Plus, anticipating the New Year, the U.S. view on Russia, and political jokes. 

Exercise! Frozen bikes, illegal yoga, and sturdy stolen statues
Exercise! Frozen bikes, illegal yoga, sturdy stolen statues

The year's coldest ride, hottest statue, most scandalous yoga teacher, and best way to learn the names of all of Russia's federal subjects. And it's just the first TWERF of the year.