The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
Thursday, May 26, 2016
In the Mews
1. A missing cat usually means fliers on telephone polls and a modest reward. But when Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s prize pet went missing, the powers of Instagram were unleashed after comedian John Oliver encouraged the world to help #FindKadyrovsCat. Kadyrov isn’t pussyfooting around, and responded to Oliver’s disdain of pets and Putin alike. This is one catfight where the claws come out (even if they’re social media claws).
2. The rock group Leningrad's latest song is earning them mixed reviews – with legal repercussions. “In Petersburg, Drink” (which is punnier in Russian: “V Pitere – Pit’”) has the St. Petersburg prosecutor’s office suspecting the song ofpromoting drunkenness. But the Head of the Committee for Tourism thought it wasn’t so bad. One official’s profanity and alcoholism is another official’s influx of tourist money.
3. International diplomacy summits: political posturing, conflicting agendas, and... busting a move? Last weekend’s ASEAN Summit in Sochi covered ongoing partnerships between Southeast Asian leaders as well as expanding economic cooperation with Russia. But that all faded into the background when Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova performed the Kalinka, a traditional Russian folk dance. Tip to diplomats: Why cut a deal when you can cut a rug?
RosKultLit (Russian Cultural Literacy)
The music for the Kalinka was written by composer and folklorist Ivan Larionov in 1860. The hopping, squatting, and high-kicking were already part and parcel of Russian dance, and the two together – well, take a look for yourself.
In Odder News
Quote of the Week
"For the good of the Chechen people and stability in the whole region, we have to find this ******'s cat."
—Comedian John Oliver in a segment on Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s missing cat.
Cover image: Huffington Post
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.
This week brings you not just news, but also striking images of the latest discoveries in natural rock formations and mammoth hunting in Siberia. Also, election season.
Election aftermath, polar bear attacks, why drivers are against Russia's version of Uber, and maybe even a state secret or two.
Spy gadgets get culinary, Putin parks a tank, and a tyke takes on the wilderness. All that, and the spirit of adventure.
Patriotic tectonic plates, the threat of airborne Internet, a possible return to the Gulag, and some problems without solutions.
A disturbing attack on a renowned author, and a lighthearted nod to an unlikely TV hero. Plus Russian military expansion, raccoons' domestic expansion, and more unlikely art.
It's a busy week for technology, what with a Mars lander, more secure Internet, electric cars (in unlikely places), and enough counterfeit money to fill an ATM.
Baby BOCh rVF 260602 may have to change his name. Plus, Russia's protest potential, the shrinking middle class, and dabbling with Shamanism.
Fighting falsified Russian history, righting incorrect Bulgakovian history, and piecing together just what – and how unified – is the Russian nation.