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.
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.