Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 16:47:09
15 November 2018


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Thursday, June 08, 2017

Celebrating Russian Language Day with Poets, Filmmakers, Journalists, & Robots

by Alice E.M. Underwood
Masterpieces of Russian Culture

1. June 6th is Pushkin’s birthday, which is also celebrated in Russia as Russian Language Day. On the Russian language, Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev marveled at its being alive and ever-changing, but also stressed the need to preserve its beauty and purity. If you’re more interested in the Pushkin side of the holiday, check out this photo gallery or take this quiz to test your knowledge of Russia’s favorite poet. Want to test your Pushkin smarts in Russian? There’s a quiz for that, too.

2. Renowned Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov has been recognized by the European Film Academy with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Some of the most celebrated works in his lifetime of achievements include Russian Ark, which explores Russian history in a one-take journey through the Hermitage Museum, and his trilogy of films about power focusing on Hitler, Lenin, and Emperor Hirohito. The “European Oscar” he has received celebrates his unique contributions to directing, dramaturgy and cinematography.

3. In a feat not so likely to win any awards, NBC journalist Megyn Kelly had a tough time with Russian interviewees this past week. First there was the state-run news executive criticizing allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election – Kelly referred to him a “broadcaster,” perhaps accidentally implying that he had no stake in that particular party line. In her subsequent powwows with Putin, the president deflected, denied, and accused her of hysteria to derail the conversation about hacking. For a first assignment on a new network, Kelly didn’t get a walk in the park. 

In Robotter News
  • For sale: Facebook likes and Instagram followers. All thanks to another robot, also known as a kiosk in a central Moscow mall.
  • If you’ve ever been to a museum in Russia, you’ve likely been hushed, glared at, or told not to take photos by lady in a chair. No, there’s not a robot version yet. But their stories poignantly speak to the power of Russian culture and the museums that display it.
Quote of the Week

"Of course, language is a living organism and it changes, but it is important to preserve its beauty and purity. We have paid serious attention to these issues."
—Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's remarks on the Russian language to mark Russian Language Day.

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.

 

The spy who stayed out in the cold
The spy who stayed out in the cold

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).

Bacon, comics, and fairy tales on ice
Bacon, comics, and fairy tales on ice

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. 

Blogging Bears, Ivan the Terrible Rapper, and a Blob
Blogging Bears, Ivan the Terrible Rapper, and a Blob

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. 

Buddha in a blizzard, tsar in the tropics
Buddha in a blizzard, tsar in the tropics

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. 

The Kremlin on Ice
The Kremlin on Ice

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. 

100 Years Ago, In a Monarchy Far, Far Away...
100 Years Ago, In a Monarchy Far, Far Away

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. 

Cats, droids, and acrobatic rock & roll
Cats, droids, and acrobatic rock & roll

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!

Say no to discrimination, ducks, and hugs
Say no to discrimination, ducks, and hugs

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.