The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
Thursday, October 06, 2016
Geology, technology, and prison
1. Even geology is on Russia’s side. Scientists have determined that the tectonic plate upon which Crimea sits is drifting slowly in the direction of Russia. Working at the Institute for Applied Astronomy at the Russian Academy of Sciences, the scientists began studying the movement pattern of the Crimean peninsula after its annexation by Russia in 2014. The referendum may be contested, but where Crimea’s future is concerned, giant telescopes don’t lie.
2. Don’t kill the messenger – unless it’s a messenger bearing free Internet access: then, shoot it down. Flying drones that can beam Internet to land-dwellers without web access are not welcome in Russian airspace. If they show up, the drones (owned by Facebook and other foreign companies) will be shot down as a national security threat. Whether the threat is the drones or the ideas that come with the Internet, they didn’t say.
3. Russia is bringing back forced labor in 2017, but that doesn’t mean a new Gulag archipelago. Valery Maximenko, Deputy Director of Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service, says that forced labor is better than jail (citing the more social atmosphere and relative lack of restrictions). And maybe he’s right, given today’s prisons: Russia’s Justice Ministry is aiming to implement measures to prepare for prison riots, fearing that uprisings are becoming increasingly likely.
In odder news
Quote of the week
“This actually isn’t a joke, although it seems like one. Crimea is moving approximately to the northeast.”
—Alexander Ipatov, Director of the Institute for Applied Astronomy at the Russian Academy of Sciences, on the Crimean peninsula’s tectonic movement toward Russia.
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 news in the U.S. is news for Russia, too. Here's how Russians are thinking about a Trump presidency – and it involves cats and burgers, as well as political ponderings.
A group of humanitarian clowns is set to conquer sadness in Russia. Whether they can also combat corruption, questionable legal cases, and adorable baby foxes is another matter.
We thank our readers for another year of living, loving, and learning about Russian life. With some extra pictures and cultural exploration to keep you grateful.
Should ice dancing with a Holocaust theme be totally taboo, or can it be done with respect? That and Fidel Castro, Siberian cats, and a few fish puns.
Masha and the Bear tops the charts, Ramzan Kadyrov picks Chechnya's next top admin, and the arts in general are a big bowl of kasha.
With puppies and provinces on the line, Russia-Japan relations are a bit ruff. Plus bobsledding bedlam, diplomatic dirt, and more holiday dogs.
Just in time for the holidays, Russians unearth (unsea?) some fish that look out of this world. Plus, anticipating the New Year, the U.S. view on Russia, and political jokes.
The year's coldest ride, hottest statue, most scandalous yoga teacher, and best way to learn the names of all of Russia's federal subjects. And it's just the first TWERF of the year.