Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 21:34:13
15 November 2018


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


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Icebergs and tigers and starships, oh my!

by Alice E.M. Underwood

Go With the Floe

1. One group of commandos is just the tip of the iceberg. Literally: a team of Chechen special forces and a Russian TV crew are stranded on an Arctic ice floe. The commandos were scheduled to lecture on survival at the North Pole, but looks like they’ll be giving a live demonstration instead.

2. Don’t drink and deride – especially when your target is a tiger. In a tragic accident, two drunk 13-year-old girls broke into Barnaul’s zoo and attempted to provoke the tiger. And succeeded too well, since it grabbed one of them and gnawed her leg. After a bout of surgeries, the girl will be back on her feet. Though she probably won’t stick them through a tiger cage again.

3. A Rossiya 1 report has accused opposition leader Alexei Navalny of cooperating with the CIA, and also the MI6. But critics have their doubts about the evidence: the audio doesn’t match Navalny’s voice, timestamps jump between years, and worst of all, there are grammar mistakes. Navalny says he’ll be filing a defamation suit, calling the report “pure fantasy.”

In Odder News

  • Russian billionaire Yuri Milner plans to spend $100 million to send tiny spaceships to another star system. Yuri Gagarin better watch his back.
  • The latest in Ukraine’s decommunization phenomenon: one village’s October Square is renamed for Andy Warhol. Who knew he had Ukrainian roots?
  • Parliament Deputy Speaker suggests creating a department for streamlining propaganda efforts. If you ask Navalny, there already is one.

Quote of the Week

    —A Twitter user suspicious of the documents claiming Alexei Navalny’s association with American and British intelligence, calling attention to the report's not-so-stellar grammar.

    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. 

    Image credit: "Gagarin's Breakfast," by Alexei Akindov (2006); Tweet via rferl.org

    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.