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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
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Russia Weekly gets wacky with singing policemen, forbidden emojis, and flying plagues.
Climate change is destroying Russia and people still want to duel, but at least someone’s getting free pizza.
The weather in Russia this week was chilly with a hint of thaw, at least regarding science and political relations.
This week, depressing news about divisions and birth rates can only really be counteracted with a smile over the Orthodox church’s new take on sex.
To selfie or not to selfie? That is the question, or at least one of the questions, addressed this week.
What’s more surprising, fake feminists or fish with bad teeth?
Falling objects, family feuds, and friendly felines dominated our attention this week.
Russian law enforcement had a busy week, from taking on the ~high~ seas to putting rich jerks in their place.