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Thursday, April 21, 2016
Photos, Finances, and Your Friend Mr. Putin
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
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.
What’s out of this world? Russia’s performance in the World Cup, a Russian cargo ship, and showers in Samara!
Shed a tear for our last World Cup TWERF, in which we finally learn about the Romanovs and feel the wrath of nature.
It was a busy week in Russia: another round of pension protests, a pilgrimage for the Romanovs, and oh, the devil is working his magic.
Everybody receives a lift, from a stranded hiker, to the planet, to two boys who are actually doing just fine.
This is the crime-filled Russia you’ve always heard about, including a cat smuggling drugs and railroad theft.
This week gives us a plethora of emotions: shame in Samara, excitement in Tomsk, and a bit of both in Moscow.
Falling from a Russian sky near you: airplanes, bags of money, and well-timed lightning bolts!
Time got a little bit wibbly-wobbly and timey-wimey as Russia traveled to the future, to the past, and back to the present (and all in one week)!