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.
Burger King makes money (its own), broke taxi passengers turn green, and summertime snow. Plus, a ballerina with a backup plan, Borodino, and the Museum of Death.
How to be patriotic to a nonexistent country, get a proper education, and deal with a highway through your house. Plus buildings, bridges, and bratwursts to die for.
Clown horror is horrid for clowns, a ballet scandal on the silver screen, and a pack of protesting porkers.
Heroes who caused deaths, heroes who saved lives, questionable movie heroes, and the heroes who make art and cheese. Which is your favorite?
A record-breaking cake, a robot breaking (conceptions of) art, and a space station breaking international boundaries. Plus, flying cars and how to live on Mars.
The glorious deeds of a famous spy, the smaller deeds of everyday spies, and a whole new horizon for female fighter pilots.
For Putin's birthday, a fake burger, a real burger, and a puppy. Plus, St. Petersburg rooftops, frogmen, and how to bathe in crude oil.
Arcade cars, patriotic circuses, and administrative festivities. Also, some crazy murals, Moscow's transformation, and the secrets of Peter the Great.