The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
Thursday, July 07, 2016
1. The Olympics aren’t just for athletes: Moscow’s Federation Council set out to break world records by considering 160 bills – ten times the average – in just one day. Most controversial among them: a package of tight anti-terrorism laws meant to target extremism, but likely to impact citizens on many levels. But with summer recess and State Duma elections just around the corner, it’s all in a day’s work.
2. Maybe not a record, but certainly a feat: as the world’s sportiest president, Vladimir Putin has co-authored a book on judo to be distributed to millions of kids across Russia. The leader’s prowess in the martial art has been proven in print before, but the new book includes history, theory, and training for how to be a fighter, but also live harmoniously. Steps on how to become president not included.
3. Leonardo diCaprio’s Russian doppelgänger is on his way to an Oscar, by way of a vodka commercial. The ad features an assortment of phony designer products – including, of course, the Leo lookalike himself – and culminates with a bottle of the not-phony vodka brand Five Lakes. And in his next role, the former security guard will wrestle a bear.
Quote of the Week
“Get undressed and work till you sweat.”
—Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in an inspirational speech turned enunciation disaster. Lukashenko allegedly mispronounced “razvyvat’sya” (to develop oneself) as “razdevat’sya” (to get undressed). And citizens happily complied.
In Odder News
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.
A Moon landing is on the horizon. Eurovision, with its typical set of scandals, is on an even closer horizon. And on your way, why not stop by Red Square for some dental work?
Does Russian St. Patrick's Day have leprechauns? After you ponder that, there's a reindeer herder fighting big oil, humans-turned-Twitter bots, and a mysterious murder.
Continuing scandal, new demonstrations, a sesquicentenial and a linguistic smackdown. Just another week here at TWERF.
Investigations: the state of Russian cosmonautics, what happens to prohibited fruit, and when mourners aren't really mourning. Plus, sneaking pickles into space.
It's been a rough week in Russia, with the metro bombing in St. Petersburg, the disappearance of gay men, and the death of Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Luckily, lasers are kinda neat.
Some folks form an Arctic military base or withdraw from mayoral elections. Others counterfeit toilet paper and roll through traffic in a giant ball.
A juice flood. A mud flood. A human rights drought. And for good measure, portraits with wild animals and haircuts with an axe.
Pop-star grandmas advertise action films, May Day doesn't go great for vegans, and a Russian frog smuggler's story gets even more unlikely.