Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 06:51:34
21 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 Best of 2017
    The Best of 2017

    For our final TWERF of 2017, we look back and re-share some of our favorite stories from 2017. They may not be the most note-worthy or news-worthy stories, but we felt they were the most fun.

    A little vodka, a little puppies, a little Despacito
    A little vodka, a little puppies, a little Despacito

    Let's go to Nizhny Novgorod to hear a Russian rendition of the song of the year. And then, lets meet some puppies and a vodka thief.

    Aliens, help Russia!
    Aliens, help Russia!

    Darkness descends on Moscow, a cry for help ascends to the sky, and a foreign agent stays exactly where it is. Also huskies and ancient teeth.

    Moon Colonies and Molotov Modernism
    Moon Colonies and Molotov Modernism

    Join Earth's first non-Earthbound nation, get an art lesson with a side of Molotov cocktail, and learn about lusty leopards. 

    Fights, Oversight, and Voting Rights
    Fights, Oversight, and Voting Rights

    Russians practice their rights: heated debate, voting in North Korea, and not getting any more survey calls. 

    Groundhog Day, Russia Edition
    Groundhog Day, Russia Edition

    Punxsutawney Phil ordered six more weeks of winter for the States, but the weather is getting much weirder in Russia: record-breaking snow and locusts, to start with. 

    Stories of Sorrow and Uplift
    Stories of Sorrow and Uplift

    A Russian national tragedy is softened by stories of a skating grandmother and small children in the snow.

    A Holiday for Every Occasion
    A Holiday for Every Occasion

    Traditional celebrations like Maslenitsa are accompanied by new ones, like Chinese New Year. The party never stops!