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Thursday, July 12, 2018
1. Team Russia is out of the World Cup, having suffered a loss to Croatia on Saturday. Although fans were disappointed that the miraculous streak of wins did not continue, Russians around the world are proud of their team’s historic performance. Remember, Russia was ranked as the 70th best team as the tournament begun, and only 17 percent of Russians believed the team could make it out of the group stage. So, you could say Russia scored big and exceeded any set goals at the 2018 World Cup! (For those of you hoping for a stop to our World Cup coverage, you’ll have to hold out one more week, as the final is Sunday in Moscow).
2. It was the opposite of a space odyssey: a Russian cargo ship made the trip to the International Space Station in three hours and 40 minutes, a record time. Russia’s Progress-MS-09 was carrying almost three tons of food, fuel, air and tools. The ship’s return trip will be less glamorous: it will be stuffed with trash and sent to burn up in the atmosphere. As exciting as all of this is, we have to wonder: why does it still take nine hours to fly to Moscow from New York? Oh, right, rocket fuel...
3. Samara is getting hot and steamy, at least if the local public utility company, Samara Communal Systems, gets its way. With Samara getting hit by July heat and an influx of foreigners streaming in for the World Cup, water is becoming an ever more precious resource. In light of this, the utility company offered up a solution: save water by showering with someone else! The response to this must have been bigger than they imagined, because Samara Communal Systems released a follow-up statement, letting the city know that everything was operating normally and that the first statement was a joke. Whether this was more a cause for relief or for consternation, we really couldn’t say.
Fake it till you make it: watch one trucker’s hilarious attempt to escape a fine by pretending to be a World Cup tourist
Paint the town red: World Cup-themed graffiti is taking Russian cities by storm
Russians did their part, too, and had a trash-cleaning flash mob
“Save water - take a shower together :)”
— Samara Communal Systems tells citizens how to survive through hard times
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.
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.
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Join Earth's first non-Earthbound nation, get an art lesson with a side of Molotov cocktail, and learn about lusty leopards.
Russians practice their rights: heated debate, voting in North Korea, and not getting any more survey calls.
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.
A Russian national tragedy is softened by stories of a skating grandmother and small children in the snow.
Traditional celebrations like Maslenitsa are accompanied by new ones, like Chinese New Year. The party never stops!