Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 18:18:49
22 September 2018


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


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Hot and Cold: Spies, Armageddon, and Skiing Half-Naked

by Irina Bukharin
Bovines, Bikinis, and Bomb Shelters

1. There’s a new secret weapon in the world of espionage: cows. At least, the Russian government thought there was. One Russian farmer was accused of espionage for ordering GPS tracking devices. This turned out to be a cock and bull story, so to speak, as he actually needed the GPS devices for keeping track of cows that strayed from the herd. The Russian government has apologized for the mistake, and the farmer has accepted the apology. Good thing the Russian government is sticking to some measure of a-cow-ntability.

2. The end is nigh, and it’s time to stock up on water. That’s the message from some Russian journalists, who are urging viewers to prepare for a nuclear apocalypse in reaction to new tensions between the United States and Russia. What’s on the grocery list? Fewer sweets and more water, advises one journalist. Say what you will about nuclear war, but it sounds like it will help enforce a healthy diet.

Photo: Россия 24

3. The world has seen a new record broken and is experiencing a new dawn of human accomplishment. What record? This week, Russians set the new record for the most people skiing downhill while wearing a bathing suit: 1,525. The record-breaking event was part of an annual Siberian snow festival, Grelka Fest. Grelka Fest also hosted a concert, skijumping into a pool, and a festival of colors celebration. The Russian aptitude for fun in the very cold sun seems to know no bounds.

Photo: KrekLife

In Odder News:
  • Russia’s turning up the heat: Moscow experienced its hottest April 16th in 70 years when temperatures reached 20°C (68° F)

  • Everyone deserves a fresh start for spring! Check out these great photos of monuments getting a good spring cleaning.

  • A pretty kopek: the most expensive single room in Moscow is a whopping $225,000

Quote of the Week:

“Sweet tooths will have a hard time: Chocolate, candy, and condensed milk will have to be left in your past life.”

—A dire warning from a Vesti-24 news anchor

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 new direction for US-Russia relations?
A new direction for US-Russia relations?

The news in the U.S. is news for Russia, too. Here's how Russians are thinking about a Trump presidency – and it involves cats and burgers, as well as political ponderings. 

Clowns, corruption, and overdue library books
Clowns, corruption, and overdue library books

A group of humanitarian clowns is set to conquer sadness in Russia. Whether they can also combat corruption, questionable legal cases, and adorable baby foxes is another matter.

Giving thanks: Russian beauty, culture, and cats
Giving thanks: Russian beauty, culture, and cats

We thank our readers for another year of living, loving, and learning about Russian life. With some extra pictures and cultural exploration to keep you grateful.

Art and politics on thin ice
Art and politics on thin ice

Should ice dancing with a Holocaust theme be totally taboo, or can it be done with respect? That and Fidel Castro, Siberian cats, and a few fish puns. 

Cartoons, reality TV, and other art forms
Cartoons, reality TV, and other art forms

Masha and the Bear tops the charts, Ramzan Kadyrov picks Chechnya's next top admin, and the arts in general are a big bowl of kasha. 

Of mutts and men
Of mutts and men

With puppies and provinces on the line, Russia-Japan relations are a bit ruff. Plus bobsledding bedlam, diplomatic dirt, and more holiday dogs. 

We Fish You A Merry Christmas (and Hanukkah)
We Fish You A Merry Christmas (and Hanukkah)

Just in time for the holidays, Russians unearth (unsea?) some fish that look out of this world. Plus, anticipating the New Year, the U.S. view on Russia, and political jokes. 

Exercise! Frozen bikes, illegal yoga, and sturdy stolen statues
Exercise! Frozen bikes, illegal yoga, sturdy stolen statues

The year's coldest ride, hottest statue, most scandalous yoga teacher, and best way to learn the names of all of Russia's federal subjects. And it's just the first TWERF of the year.