Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 04:34:33
24 September 2018


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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Prizes, spies, and kasha for all

by Alice E.M. Underwood

Photos, Finances, and Your Friend Mr. Putin

A boat of Syrian refugees, and one of the photos that clinched this year's Pulitzer Prize.

1. Russian photographer Sergei Ponomarev has snapped his way to the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for news photography. Along with his New York Times colleagues, Ponomarev is celebrated “for photographs that captured the resolve of refugees, the perils of their journeys, and the struggle of host countries to take them in.”

2. Russia’s law on foreign agents may be getting increasingly draconian. The latest: any money donated from abroad may fall under that sinister “international funding” umbrella. That could mean farewell to funding for orphans, the disabled, hospitals, victims of natural disasters, Russian refugees, and a whole slew of charities – not just the NGOs engaging in “political” activity originally covered in the law.

3. Russians wait all year for President Vladimir Putin’s “Direct Line” call-in show, when he answers questions from the public. Of the 2.5 million questions submitted, Putin addressed issues such as street potholes, Turkey, breakfast cereal, the Panama Papers, and more. His gentler tone with citizens was apparent – perhaps an attempt to keep his party invulnerable with elections on the horizon.

Quote of the Week 
“The more teeth you have, the more you like kasha.”

—President Vladimir Putin responding to a nine-year-old girl’s question about his breakfast habits. According to the president, kasha tastes better the older you get: he has a bowl every morning.

In Odder News 

  • Photo album bonus: a tiny factory town is an unusual breeding spot for street art. Be like the guy in the painting, and take a peek.
proof.nationalgeographic.com
  • Save the killers! Killer whales, that is. After an eight-hour rescue mission, four orcas escaped an ice trap in the Sea of Okhotsk. Free Willy is finally free.
  • Moscow’s subway will install cameras to scan all passengers’ faces in the next year. We love you, Big Brother. (Oh, and thanks for scouting out possible wrongdoers.)

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. 

A Proliferation of Playful (and Political) Pranks
A Proliferation of Playful (and Political) Pranks

Featuring “poisonous” cooking oil, the finest pothole you’ve ever seen, and paper planes of protest.

Monstrous Protests, Mobile Plants, and Too Much Paper
Monstrous Protests, Mobile Plants, and Too Much Paper

This week Russians hit the streets, waterways, and air for all sorts of occasions.

Pretty (and Pierced) Pictures, a Brutal Bridge, and a New Hope for Han Solo
Pretty (and Pierced) Pictures, a Brutal Bridge, and a New Hope for Han Solo

In a galaxy far, far away, the Millennium Falcon circled over a vicious battle with art and a dangerous passageway. That far-off galaxy being Russia, of course.

From Their Smile to Their Heartbeat, Everybody's Hiding Something
From Their Smile to Their Heartbeat, Everybody's Hiding Something

This week gives everybody a new lease on life, whether in the form of a photo touch up, another platform for Putin, or an actual new life for a “dead” journalist.

The World Cup Whirlwind Begins
The World Cup Whirlwind Begins

Is it football or soccer? Either way, TWERF prepares for the start of the World Cup by examining Russia’s chances (not great), while still paying attention to a few other stories before the madness begins.

Russia Makes Hay in Moscow and Surmounts in St. Petersburg
Russia Makes Hay in Moscow and Surmounts in St. Petersburg

Russia wins its first two World Cup games and Jeff Monson is running for CIty Council in Krasnogorsk. Does life get better than this?

Against Some Odds, Still in the Game!
Against Some Odds, Still in the Game!

This week Russia lost but isn’t out yet; football fans, amazingly, spread cheer across Russia; and a storm reminds us of the world outside.

That Other Red, White, and Blue
That Other Red, White, and Blue

As Americans celebrate their Independence Day, Russia may have gained a new national holiday as well: the day they beat Spain in the World Cup.