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22 September 2018


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Thursday, November 03, 2016

False history and forensic literature

by Alice E.M. Underwood

Hist, lit, and fed leg

1. With next year as the centenary of the October Revolution (falling on November 7, in the current calendar), Russia’s security council is looking to prevent the falsification of history.One proposal is to create an agency to counter information attacks and distortions of the past by anti-Russian sources (namely, the West). Others say that history should remain in the hands of academics. As the debate goes on, the future of history looks uncertain.

2.You can learn a lot from a dirty piece of paper with a masterpiece written on it. Researchers examining Mikhail Bulgakov’s manuscript of Master and Margarita have found traces of both morphine and proteins linked to kidney disease. It was previously suspected that the morphine may have been planted by the NKVD (the precursor to the KGB). The new research is proof of the pain suffered by the author – and perhaps, the inspiration that accompanied his suffering.

3. Is the “Russian nation” a culture? A territory? A feeling? A profound depth of soul? All that, and maybe a law, too. President Putin has supported proposed federal legislation on the Russian nation and the management of inter-ethnic development." The announcement comes just before Unity Day on November 4, and the nationalists marching to observe the holiday may not share the value of ethnic unity.

In odder news

  • Ivan the Terrible has been sacked. Literally: someone put a sack over the head of Oryol's monument to the 16th-century Tsar.
  • An international team of astronauts – hailing from the U.S., Russia, and Japan – has safely returned after 115 days in space. Now that's putting aside national differences. 
  • There’s magic in the air. At least, 36% of Russians believe there is, according to a recent poll.

Quote of the week

"I note with satisfaction that nearly 80% of the country’s citizens think relations between people of different nationalities are kind and normal."
—President Vladimir Putin on Russia’s improved sense of national unity. He added that several years ago, the figure was only 55%.

Cover image: from the televised Master and Margarita. lenta.ru.

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