The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
Thursday, August 10, 2017
1. If you’re craving a refreshing summer beverage, how about a nice, cool glass of black sludge from a broken drainage pipe? When an underground drain started pouring a stinky substance onto Sochi’s Chkalovsky Beach, most sunbathers didn’t automatically think “drinking water.” After a city spokesperson revealed that that’s exactly what it was (although in untreated form), some Internet tricksters offered city officials a sip. “Potable” is all relative, it turns out.
2. Turkish tomatoes and French cheese are all but a distant memory. A poll by the Romir research company shows that two-thirds of Russians have gotten used to the domestic substitutes for most foods that are no longer imported. Though a few have noted lower-quality meat and dairy products, most Russians polled haven’t observed significant changes in food quality in the past year – a shift from 2015, when the initial ban on some foreign food imports caused some upset stomachs.
3. Death is complicated enough. To ease the burden, the Kremlin is amending legislation to increase access to funeral services and simplify the paperwork for burials. Varying costs for the same services, and the presence of “gray agents” who charge 10-15 times higher rates, have led to the market being described as “chaos.” The goal is to extend the quality and accessibility of services offered in Moscow into the regions and to make the process “civilized and comfortable” – at least, as much as such an event can ever be.
“He couldn't catch it for some time...but got his own way in the end.”
—The President's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on Putin’s underwater hunt for a single pike, which allegedly lasted two hours.
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.
Some people see spies everywhere. Other people just see dumpsters, birds, snow, dogs, boars, or artists seeking political asylum. (That's at least 4 separate stories).
Adapting to life in Russia? Comic books. Craving cuteness? Piglets getting saved from a fire. Not Russian enough for you? Ice swimming. And for good measure, zombies.
A polar bear travels the world, a historian serves up the Rhyme of Troubles, the Kremlin gets a new alien, and Presidents Putin and Trump get along by the skin of their teeth.
A Buddhist monastery in the mountains fights one millionaire, and Kiribati's islands welcome another one. There's also exorcism, the Facebook of 1917, and general happiness.
Convicts carve up the Kremlin, an assassin wins a prize, and governors drop like flies. Actually, that all sounds a lot worse than what happened. Find out for yourself.
Exactly 100 years ago, on February 23, 1917, the Russian Revolution began. And once you've learned about that, there's space, WWII reenactments, and a portal back to medieval times.
A friendly robot graces the metro and a politically charged (and financed) dance studio gets footloose thanks to the youngest Putin. Also, happy World Cat Day!
International Women's Day was celebrated by marches, flowers, and flash mobs. In other news, Russia and China are BFFs, and Prime Minister Medvedev likes ducks.