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.
Russia Day marks the birth of the post-Soviet Russian nation. This week saw some other births too, from literal leopard cubs to figurative names and games.
Fictional sportscasters, the all-too-real Olympic ban, and the possible reality of teleportation in Russia's future. And don't forget about mind control.
Britain has voted to leave the European Union. Does that mean a boom for Russia? Or is that title a ploy to get you to read about how Russians go about sunbathing?
Presidential speeches urge disrobing, but it's not what you think. All while laws get passed, politicians play judo, and – wait, is that Leonardo diCaprio?
Adventure takes many forms. There's regular travel, round-the-world travel, and navigating the Russian legal system. Also beards.
Pokémon goes to Russia – and so do memories of fallen tsars, athletes, street cleaners, and of course, a kitty cat.
A joke-telling Pushkin robot, an unimpressed Putin, and cheese that's as virtual a reality as Pokémon.
Why some Russians would rather vote for a fictional candidate, the importance of a Cossack education, and some artsy graffiti along the way.