The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Pokémon, Go Away
1. Russia is a fascinating place, full of beauty and history. Would it be even better if you could snag a Jigglypuff on your tour of the Kremlin? According to the government, keep your eyes on the tour guide. Hunt for Pokémons in the wrong places and you could even land in jail. Still, maybe that’s not the worst that could happen, given that Pokémon “reeks of Satanism.”
2. Is a statue honoring Ivan IV a terrible plan? The tsar, better known as Ivan the Terrible, founded Oryol as a fortress to defend Russia’s southern border in 1566. As the city celebrates its 450th birthday, there’s plenty of debate about whether the founding father should be celebrated, too – specifically, in bronze. Residents are campaigning against the monument to one of history’s cruelest leaders, but the governor says the statue’s going up, picketers be darned.
3. Feeling dopey? Investigations have revealed exactly how Russia’s positive doping samples performed disappearing acts in past Olympics. Here’s a hint: it involved swapping out dope-laced urine, cutting holes in walls, tampering with tamper-proof bottles, adding a pinch of salt, and other super-spy tactics. Performance-enhancing drugs don’t exactly fit the Olympics model, but the Games won’t feel quite complete if the International Olympic Committee rules to ban Russia from competing.
In Odder News
Quote of the Week
"People should be dragged out of this virtual world, it reeks of Satanism. There are so many interesting things to do and people are just wasting their lives."
—Cossack Leader Andrei Polyakov on Pokémon Go. Polyakov has plenty more to say – about Pokémon and otherwise – in The Spine of Russia, an epic journey down Russia's backbone in which Polyakov is one of 43 people Russian Life correspondents met, interviewed, and photographed. Get your book today.
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.
Burger King makes money (its own), broke taxi passengers turn green, and summertime snow. Plus, a ballerina with a backup plan, Borodino, and the Museum of Death.
How to be patriotic to a nonexistent country, get a proper education, and deal with a highway through your house. Plus buildings, bridges, and bratwursts to die for.
Clown horror is horrid for clowns, a ballet scandal on the silver screen, and a pack of protesting porkers.
Heroes who caused deaths, heroes who saved lives, questionable movie heroes, and the heroes who make art and cheese. Which is your favorite?
A record-breaking cake, a robot breaking (conceptions of) art, and a space station breaking international boundaries. Plus, flying cars and how to live on Mars.
The glorious deeds of a famous spy, the smaller deeds of everyday spies, and a whole new horizon for female fighter pilots.
For Putin's birthday, a fake burger, a real burger, and a puppy. Plus, St. Petersburg rooftops, frogmen, and how to bathe in crude oil.
Arcade cars, patriotic circuses, and administrative festivities. Also, some crazy murals, Moscow's transformation, and the secrets of Peter the Great.