Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 19:53:44
25 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

    Toxic Waste, Putin Farms, & Crazy Seals
    Toxic Waste, Putin Farms, & Crazy Seals

    Tractors for Putin, toxic waste for Kaliningrad, and Reagan and Gorbachev for their modern-day counterparts. Also sweet wine, state secrets, and salt.

    Risqué Ballet and Putin's Grannies
    Risqué Ballet and Putin's Grannies

    The scandal around the Bolshoi's latest ballet, remembering an Internet icon, and pro-Putin pensioners, with a dash of PhotoShop of daredevilry. 

     

     

    Royal(ish) Weddings and Toys for the Opposition
    Royal(ish) Weddings and Toys for the Opposition

    Getting flak for getting hitched, how fidget spinners foster political dissidence, and a new set of wheels around Russia. Plus dandy pigeons and the best totalitarian tourism. 

    Parties with Putin and the Ruins of Literature
    Parties with Putin and the Ruins of Literature

    President Putin visits human rights activists and curious kids, and a famous author falls to pieces. Plus Ivan the Terrible, a terrible auction purchase, and 10 fantastic bridges. 

    Paratroopers, Pig Manure, & Plant Killers
    Paratroopers, Pig Manure, & Plant Killers

    Pranksters solve energy security with pig manure, paratroopers get rowdy, and presidential grants yield surprise winners. Plus, Russia's deadliest plants and getting stuck in an elevator. 

    Eating, Drinking, and Putin's New Look
    Eating, Drinking, and Putin's New Look

    Beachgoers bathe in potable sludge, Russians weigh in on replacements for sanctioned food, and the Kremlin revamps funerals. Plus, Putin goes fishing. 

    Zombies, a Swampy Lake, and a New Shirtless Challenge
    Zombies, a Swampy Lake, and a New Shirtless Challenge

    A not-quite lake makes a splash, zombies on public transit, and problems memorializing history's tragedies. But on the bright side, shirtless men and hippos.

    Rap battles, Moscow's move, and mixing dating and politics
    Rap battles, Moscow's move, and mixing dating and politics

    Elections are the new dinner and a movie. Plus, Moscow's heading east, rap battles get a bad rap, and pickles and melons galore.