Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 00:16:26
23 September 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

    The spy who stayed out in the cold
    The spy who stayed out in the cold

    Some people see spies everywhere. Other people just see dumpsters, birds, snow, dogs, boars, or artists seeking political asylum. (That's at least 4 separate stories).

    Bacon, comics, and fairy tales on ice
    Bacon, comics, and fairy tales on ice

    Adapting to life in Russia? Comic books. Craving cuteness? Piglets getting saved from a fire. Not Russian enough for you? Ice swimming. And for good measure, zombies. 

    Blogging Bears, Ivan the Terrible Rapper, and a Blob
    Blogging Bears, Ivan the Terrible Rapper, and a Blob

    A polar bear travels the world, a historian serves up the Rhyme of Troubles, the Kremlin gets a new alien, and Presidents Putin and Trump get along by the skin of their teeth. 

    Buddha in a blizzard, tsar in the tropics
    Buddha in a blizzard, tsar in the tropics

    A Buddhist monastery in the mountains fights one millionaire, and Kiribati's islands welcome another one. There's also exorcism, the Facebook of 1917, and general happiness. 

    The Kremlin on Ice
    The Kremlin on Ice

    Convicts carve up the Kremlin, an assassin wins a prize, and governors drop like flies. Actually, that all sounds a lot worse than what happened. Find out for yourself. 

    100 Years Ago, In a Monarchy Far, Far Away...
    100 Years Ago, In a Monarchy Far, Far Away

    Exactly 100 years ago, on February 23, 1917, the Russian Revolution began. And once you've learned about that, there's space, WWII reenactments, and a portal back to medieval times. 

    Cats, droids, and acrobatic rock & roll
    Cats, droids, and acrobatic rock & roll

    A friendly robot graces the metro and a politically charged (and financed) dance studio gets footloose thanks to the youngest Putin. Also, happy World Cat Day!

    Say no to discrimination, ducks, and hugs
    Say no to discrimination, ducks, and hugs

    International Women's Day was celebrated by marches, flowers, and flash mobs. In other news, Russia and China are BFFs, and Prime Minister Medvedev likes ducks.