Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 02:18:33
14 November 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.
Olympians, Titans, and cats dressed up as sailors
Olympians, Titans, and cats dressed up as sailors

The Olympics are under way! With them, new moves in Turkish-Russian relations, a Putin-voiced documentary, and the dangerous force of Russiaphobia. Also cats. 

A kick in the face of public taste
A kick in the face of public taste

This week in Russia saw a whole lot of beatdowns: on international corruption, candy stores, and even Buddha. 

Architecture and unexquisite corpses
Architecture and unexquisite corpses

A church’s domes caving into the altar. A transgender couple finagles a wedding. A hospital patient shares a room with a corpse. Just another TWERF.

Chess, Traffic and Briefcases
Chess, Traffic and Briefcases

In The Weekly Russia File for March 31: some terrible chess puns, and how to stop traffic.

Michael Phelps, Russia's swimming champ
Michael Phelps, Russia's swimming champ

The opening of the Kremlin, the mysterious ways of the nooscope, Hare Krishnas, and why Michael Phelps decided to defect to the Russian Olympic team. 

Tractors, smugglers, and the matryoshka from hell
Tractors, smugglers, and the matryoshka from hell

It's a tough week for transport in Russia, with a tractor parade, a smugglers' road, a bear on the loose, and an unwieldy matryoshka to top it all off.

Corruption, Kalashnikovs, and cultured meats
Corruption, Kalashnikovs, and cultured meats

Performance art turned into meaty meals and politicians turned criminals or corpses. Oh, and Vladimir Putin gets arrested. 

Nomads, salad stampedes, and serious swamp business
Nomads, salad stampedes, and serious swamp business

Olympics featuring dead goats, world records with feta cheese, blood-red rivers, and how to set up your business in a pit of slime.