March/April 2018 Current Moscow Time: 09:39:27
24 April 2018


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


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Chess, Traffic and Briefcases

by Alice E.M. Underwood

Once upawn a time

1. The movement “StopKham” (“Stop Rude Folks,” more or less) has been liquidated by the Moscow City Court. The movement acted up against drivers who broke road laws – for example, putting a snarky sticker on the car of Olympic gymnast Alexei Nemov for a bad parking job in February. Group organizers say they’ll fight the ruling for their right to pester parkers and drivers who bend the rules.
  
2. Forget little green men: knights and bishops will wage the real battle over Crimea. Chess grandmaster Sergei Karjakin is on the rookout for the world chess champion title, which he’ll face off for against Norway’s Magnus Carlsen. Pawnder this: Karjakin was born in Crimea, but now plays for Russia, and in case you wanted to check (mate), he supports the annexation of Crimea and thinks Putin is king. Or rather queen, to keep up the metaphor.
 
3. US Secretary of State John Kerry visits President Putin, and everyone is disappointed. That briefcase looked like it at least had some matryoshki in it (like he bought on his last trip), or money for diplomatic bargaining (is that a joke or a request, Mr. P?). As much as everyone wants better US-Russia relations, boring old peace documents were a bit of a letdown.

 


Quote of the Week

"Today, when I saw you coming down from the plane and carrying your effects, I got a little upset. On the one hand, it is very democratic; on the other, I think: things are really bad in the U.S., there is no one even to help the secretary of state carry his briefcase.”
—President Vladimir Putin quipping about
the contents of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s mysterious briefcase.

 


In Odder News

  • This TV host has fashion fixes for every need. This week: how to dress for a plane crash. But will it pass muster in Milan?

  • What if Russia’s national symbol weren’t a bear, but a shaggy rhino? New Siberian rhino research evokes images of a bear crossed with a unicorn.
  • Ukraine bans all Russian films made after 2013 because they “threaten national security.” Good thing Star Wars isn’t Russian.
Icebergs and tigers and starships, oh my!
Icebergs and tigers and starships, oh my!

Which would you rather: be trapped in the Arctic or accused of treason? Okay, not a fun game. But a worthwhile read about the latest in Russian news. 

Prizes, spies, and kasha for all
Prizes, spies, and kasha for all

This week was full of wins for Russia: a famous photographer, everyone who watched Putin's call-in, and lawmakers making it harder to get foreign aid. So, a loss for Russians getting foreign aid. 

A Very Russki Cinco de Mayo
A Very Russki Cinco de Mayo

Or, whatever the Russian version of margaritas, mariachis, and misunderstood military history might involve.

Baby bears, cats in debt, and other fuzzy victories
Baby bears, cats in debt, and other fuzzy victories

Victory Day, marking the 71st anniversary of the end of WWII, was celebrated this Monday. Here are the ups, downs, and nonsequiturs of the occasion.

Catchy beats and milk-soaked scuffles
Catchy beats and milk-soaked scuffles

Russia's physics-defying display at Eurovision. Bullying via dairy products. Plus some saucy presidential pecking – on the lips. 

Dancing diplomats and dictators' cats
Dancing diplomats and dictators' cats

Politicians are people just like us. They get millions of Instagram responses for a lost pet and do folkdances in front of world leaders. Just a day in the life.

Elton John Crocodile Rocks the Kremlin
Elton John Crocodile Rocks the Kremlin

Sir Elton John's much-vaunted visit with Putin, Eurovision for kids, setting doors on fire, and other great performances – all in one little week.

Russians don't need principles. Just submarines
Russians don't need principles. Just submarines

The British are out to get Russian values and Russian naval vessels alike this week. Scroll down enough and there's also a cat pic.