Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 07:20:48
11 December 2018


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


Thursday, September 20, 2018

Ice Age Part 10, Coming Soon to a Russia Near You

by Irina Bukharin

Let your voice be heard! Russian Life’s documentary Resilience (Переживем) is a contestant in a competition being held by ArtDocFest, and we’d love it if you supported us and the film with your vote. Haven’t had a chance to watch the movie? No problem, watch it here. To vote, join the ArtDocFest Facebook group, go to their poll, and click on the option that reads “Переживем, реж. Михаил Мордасов.” Thank you to all of the documentary’s fans and supporters, and happy voting!

Ice, Ice, Wooly Mammoth Baby

You know the phrase “when wooly mammoths roamed the earth?” Well, it may actually be closer to the present than you think. That’s because Russian scientists are predicting that the cloning of wooly mammoths will be successful in the next 10 years. The wooly mammoths would be recreated from original wooly mammoth cells found in the Siberian permafrost, and they would be birthed by a surrogate elephant mother. Although we’re pretty excited about this, is anyone else getting Jurassic Park vibes?

2. Speaking of cold things, the icy Navalny-Zolotov conflict has been picked up by meme artists across the country. If you didn’t read last week’s newsletter(shame on you!), Russia’s Director of the National Guard, Viktor Zolotov (who also happens to be Putin’s former bodyguard), recently challenged opposition leader Alexei Navalny to a duel after Navalny’s negative video about the National Guard. And, as you may have guessed, the internet is loving it. Memes, such as the one below, are picking up on the humor in this tense situation and running with it. Who knows, maybe they’ll lead to a thaw.

choose your fighter

Photo: Lentach / VKontakte

3. If you’re looking for some warmth in this newsletter, here’s a relationship that appears to be getting less icy by the day. At an economic forum in Vladivostok, President Putin taught Chinese president Xi Jinping how to make blini, Russian pancakes, which they then ate with caviar and followed with vodka. The meeting came just as Russia launched massive war games that included Chinese troops. Really, the only thing that goes better with blini than caviar is a big old pretend fight.

Putin and Xi

Photo: kremlin.ru

In Odder News:
  • It’s finally official: Russia and Ukraine are no longer friends, at least according to a nullified treaty
  • Is it a genius sausage-making life hack, or is it drug paraphernalia? You decide.

  • And you thought there couldn’t be more marches to celebrate the Romanovs. Check out this procession held for Yelizaveta Fyodorovna

Quote of the Week:

“Thanks to cooperation with Korean and Japanese scientists, in my opinion, [cloning a mammoth] will happen in the next decade.”

— Russian scientist Aisen Nikolaev

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.

Icebergs and tigers and starships, oh my!
Icebergs and tigers and starships, oh my!

Which would you rather: be trapped in the Arctic or accused of treason? Okay, not a fun game. But a worthwhile read about the latest in Russian news. 

Prizes, spies, and kasha for all
Prizes, spies, and kasha for all

This week was full of wins for Russia: a famous photographer, everyone who watched Putin's call-in, and lawmakers making it harder to get foreign aid. So, a loss for Russians getting foreign aid. 

A Very Russki Cinco de Mayo
A Very Russki Cinco de Mayo

Or, whatever the Russian version of margaritas, mariachis, and misunderstood military history might involve.

Baby bears, cats in debt, and other fuzzy victories
Baby bears, cats in debt, and other fuzzy victories

Victory Day, marking the 71st anniversary of the end of WWII, was celebrated this Monday. Here are the ups, downs, and nonsequiturs of the occasion.

Catchy beats and milk-soaked scuffles
Catchy beats and milk-soaked scuffles

Russia's physics-defying display at Eurovision. Bullying via dairy products. Plus some saucy presidential pecking – on the lips. 

Dancing diplomats and dictators' cats
Dancing diplomats and dictators' cats

Politicians are people just like us. They get millions of Instagram responses for a lost pet and do folkdances in front of world leaders. Just a day in the life.

Elton John Crocodile Rocks the Kremlin
Elton John Crocodile Rocks the Kremlin

Sir Elton John's much-vaunted visit with Putin, Eurovision for kids, setting doors on fire, and other great performances – all in one little week.

Russians don't need principles. Just submarines
Russians don't need principles. Just submarines

The British are out to get Russian values and Russian naval vessels alike this week. Scroll down enough and there's also a cat pic.