The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
Thursday, August 24, 2017
1. Flowers, dinner, a movie, and the democratic process – now that’s romance. In a bid to boost turnout for September’s gubernatorial elections, the dating site Mamba has launched a special version of the app called “Together at the Elections.” Mamba is Russia’s most popular dating site, and the Kremlin is said to have enlisted it specifically to encourage voter turnout this fall – and if it’s successful, possibly for next year’s presidential elections, too. You know what they say: from the ballot box straight to the altar.
2. Moscow’s had its day in the sun. And now, go east, young folks, go east! That’s the idea of politician Yuri Krupnov, who has proposed relocating Russia’s capital to the other side of the Urals. The goal is to make the capital more accessible, help the government maintain sovereignty over distant regions, and halt “hypercentralization,” which has led to a fifth of the Russian population dwelling in Moscow. Still, the likelihood of the move is slim, with most officials either ridiculing the proposal or suggesting economic reform rather than redrawing the map.
3. Next time you join (or re-post) a rap battle, make sure it’s rated PG. The state supervisory service Roskomnadzor fined six media networks and warned 26 more for posting a video of a rap battle that included obscene language. The rappers involved in the battle were Oxxxymiron and Gnoynoy, whose performance gathered 7 million hits within hours after being posted. Here’s a bit about the history of rap battles and why they’re appealing to Russian youth culture.
"With all due respect to Yuri Vasilievich, there’s no point in wasting time debating fake ideas...We could debate the question ‘is there life on Mars’ with the same degree of success.”
—Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin responding to Yuri Krupnov’s “de-Moscowization” proposal. He also compared the idea to Soviet-era deportations. In other words, the move is a no-go.
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.
Some people see spies everywhere. Other people just see dumpsters, birds, snow, dogs, boars, or artists seeking political asylum. (That's at least 4 separate stories).
Adapting to life in Russia? Comic books. Craving cuteness? Piglets getting saved from a fire. Not Russian enough for you? Ice swimming. And for good measure, zombies.
A polar bear travels the world, a historian serves up the Rhyme of Troubles, the Kremlin gets a new alien, and Presidents Putin and Trump get along by the skin of their teeth.
A Buddhist monastery in the mountains fights one millionaire, and Kiribati's islands welcome another one. There's also exorcism, the Facebook of 1917, and general happiness.
Convicts carve up the Kremlin, an assassin wins a prize, and governors drop like flies. Actually, that all sounds a lot worse than what happened. Find out for yourself.
Exactly 100 years ago, on February 23, 1917, the Russian Revolution began. And once you've learned about that, there's space, WWII reenactments, and a portal back to medieval times.
A friendly robot graces the metro and a politically charged (and financed) dance studio gets footloose thanks to the youngest Putin. Also, happy World Cat Day!
International Women's Day was celebrated by marches, flowers, and flash mobs. In other news, Russia and China are BFFs, and Prime Minister Medvedev likes ducks.