Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 19:28:24
20 September 2018


  The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.


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.

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.

Toxic Waste, Putin Farms, & Crazy Seals
Toxic Waste, Putin Farms, & Crazy Seals

Tractors for Putin, toxic waste for Kaliningrad, and Reagan and Gorbachev for their modern-day counterparts. Also sweet wine, state secrets, and salt.

Risqué Ballet and Putin's Grannies
Risqué Ballet and Putin's Grannies

The scandal around the Bolshoi's latest ballet, remembering an Internet icon, and pro-Putin pensioners, with a dash of PhotoShop of daredevilry. 

 

 

Royal(ish) Weddings and Toys for the Opposition
Royal(ish) Weddings and Toys for the Opposition

Getting flak for getting hitched, how fidget spinners foster political dissidence, and a new set of wheels around Russia. Plus dandy pigeons and the best totalitarian tourism. 

Parties with Putin and the Ruins of Literature
Parties with Putin and the Ruins of Literature

President Putin visits human rights activists and curious kids, and a famous author falls to pieces. Plus Ivan the Terrible, a terrible auction purchase, and 10 fantastic bridges. 

Paratroopers, Pig Manure, & Plant Killers
Paratroopers, Pig Manure, & Plant Killers

Pranksters solve energy security with pig manure, paratroopers get rowdy, and presidential grants yield surprise winners. Plus, Russia's deadliest plants and getting stuck in an elevator. 

Eating, Drinking, and Putin's New Look
Eating, Drinking, and Putin's New Look

Beachgoers bathe in potable sludge, Russians weigh in on replacements for sanctioned food, and the Kremlin revamps funerals. Plus, Putin goes fishing. 

Zombies, a Swampy Lake, and a New Shirtless Challenge
Zombies, a Swampy Lake, and a New Shirtless Challenge

A not-quite lake makes a splash, zombies on public transit, and problems memorializing history's tragedies. But on the bright side, shirtless men and hippos.

Rap battles, Moscow's move, and mixing dating and politics
Rap battles, Moscow's move, and mixing dating and politics

Elections are the new dinner and a movie. Plus, Moscow's heading east, rap battles get a bad rap, and pickles and melons galore.