Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 00:35:47
19 November 2018


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


Thursday, August 09, 2018

Crime Doesn't Pay

by Irina Bukharin
A Pension-t for Trouble

1. A pension fund office in Kaluga was bombed early Friday morning. The bombing followed the government’s unpopular decision to raise the pension age for both men and women, an act that has sparked protests across the country. Preliminary reports suggest that the blast was caused by standard ammunition, not a homemade explosive device. In true Russian spirit, the Kaluga pension fund office was still open for business on Friday.

2. A cat in the clink! One intrepid feline was found attempting to carry drugs (hashish and amphetamines) into a prison in the Tula region. To be fair to our maligned cat, police believe that two recent inmates of the prison used the cat to smuggle the drugs into the prison, and that it was not actually the cat’s idea. The theory is that the inmates put the drugs into a collar on the cat, which had also formerly lived at the prison. The cat was then supposed to return home, delivering the drugs to the prisoners. We hope that the cat will get a “get out of jail free” card, but it seems the culprits may not: they face up to 10 years in prison for their less than purrrfect crime.

3. One man in St. Petersburg has gone off the rails. Or rather, the rails have gone off thanks to him. Police detained a man who reportedly stole 275 metric tons of train track rails over the past month. A local news website estimated that this much track is worth 5 million rubles ($79,000). So which will come first, this man’s life turning into a train wreck or an actual train wreck? Only time will tell.

In Odder News:

 

 
Quote of the Day:

“The woebegone mechanic dismantled more than 275 metric tons of metal products with a wrench and a crowbar”

— St. Petersburg transport police

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.

Victory Day and cheeky chess pieces
Victory Day and cheeky chess pieces

Victory Day meant full streets but empty skies. A hollow chess piece hides more than its next move. And a day in the life of an Arctic doctor. 

Pop music, Pythons, and Kindergarten on the Run
Pop music, Pythons, and Kindergarten on the Run

An anti-politics pop song, the drive against Hollywood, and education for deer herders. Plus, Putin, pianos, and pythons. 

Russian Youth, Then and Now
Russian Youth, Then and Now

We celebrate the anniversary of the Pioneers, explore Russia’s Generation Z, and for fun, admire a baby bear helping out in the garden. 

Bananas, Ballerinas, and Bubble Bath
Bananas, Ballerinas, and Bubble Bath

Blackface and bananas raise racist concerns ahead of soccer match, a linguist links Siberian Ket and Navajo languages, and video bloggers bring bubbles and pets to parliament. 

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

Celebrate the wealth of Russian culture with Pushkin's birthday, Russian Language Day, Sokurov's film award, Russian museums, and, um, Megyn Kelly's weird interview with Putin. Well, at least those first four. 

The Wooly Mammoth of the Past Is the Hotel of the Future
The Wooly Mammoth of the Past Is the Hotel of the Future

Mammoth skulls, ancient lizards, intangible money, train-jumping, and the great knights of Slavic history. Russia Day really does bring out the best.

Soccer, Sci-Fi, Snipers, and Tsoy
Soccer, Sci-Fi, Snipers, and Tsoy

Russia hosts the Confederations Cup, Strugatsky sci-fi gets a reboot (or just gets booted), and we honor the memories of WWII's female snipers and of the rock legend Viktor Tsoy. 

Baller Ballerinas, Flying Taxis, & Gardens in the Sky
Baller Ballerinas, Flying Taxis, & Gardens in the Sky

Celebrate soccer with metro-station ballet, explore the galaxy with Yandex, and take a stroll through Moscow's rooftop gardens. Plus the Beatles, Stephen Colbert, and 29 Russian writers.