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.
Tractors for Putin, toxic waste for Kaliningrad, and Reagan and Gorbachev for their modern-day counterparts. Also sweet wine, state secrets, and salt.
The scandal around the Bolshoi's latest ballet, remembering an Internet icon, and pro-Putin pensioners, with a dash of PhotoShop of daredevilry.
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.
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.
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.
Beachgoers bathe in potable sludge, Russians weigh in on replacements for sanctioned food, and the Kremlin revamps funerals. Plus, Putin goes fishing.
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.
Elections are the new dinner and a movie. Plus, Moscow's heading east, rap battles get a bad rap, and pickles and melons galore.