Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 14:41:21
16 December 2018


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


Thursday, December 06, 2018

Jedi Masters, Moon Colonies, and More

by Irina Bukharin
Fly Me to the Moon

1. That’s one small step for man, one giant sleep for mankind. Those are the words we expect to hear from the first astronaut to sleep on the moon in Russia’s forthcoming moon colony. This week Russia’s Roscosmos announced plans to establish a moon colony by the year 2040. Construction is slated to begin in 2025. It seems the colony won’t lack inhabitants, as hundreds of would-be cosmonauts have already submitted applications to become the first Russian to touch the moon.

2. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. The chief executive of Russia’s state-owned bank, VTB, took this to heart and wore an Obi-Wan Kenobi jedi costume to Russia’s largest financial conference. Jedi Master Andrei Kostin compared the US to the Death Star and Russia to the Republic, and he was joined by Luke Skywalker (the bank’s corporate and investment business manager). While we quibble with the analogy (the Enemy should be the Empire, not the Death Star!), we do find this year’s costume more universally friendly: last year Kostin showed up to the conference as Stalin.

Bank Jedi Master

The Moscow Times

3. More Muscovites may be taking the metro to get around, as some Moscow taxi drivers have launched a strike. The strike is aimed against poor working conditions and low wages, as well as the taxi aggregators that the drivers claim exacerbate them. The strike began with one taxi driver announcing a hunger strike, but has since grown. Drivers note the danger they pose to themselves, their passengers, and others when driving for excessive amounts of time in a day.

In Odder News:
  • A tsarist who fights for civil rights? Only in Russia.

  • No meeting, no problem: Putin shrugs off a meeting cancellation from Trump

  • J.K. Rowling knows Russian?! Or something magical appears to have happened on her Twitter account

Quote of the Week:

“If that’s so, then President [Putin] will have a couple of extra hours on his agenda for useful meetings on the sidelines of the summit.”

— Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, reacting to Trump cancelling his meeting with Putin over events in the Kerch Strait

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.

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.