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.
Victory Day meant full streets but empty skies. A hollow chess piece hides more than its next move. And a day in the life of an Arctic doctor.
An anti-politics pop song, the drive against Hollywood, and education for deer herders. Plus, Putin, pianos, and pythons.
We celebrate the anniversary of the Pioneers, explore Russia’s Generation Z, and for fun, admire a baby bear helping out in the garden.
Blackface and bananas raise racist concerns ahead of soccer match, a linguist links Siberian Ket and Navajo languages, and video bloggers bring bubbles and pets to parliament.
Celebrate the wealth of Russian culture with Pushkin's birthday, Russian Language Day, Sokurov's film award, Russian museums, and, um, Megyn Kelly's weird interview with Putin. Well, at least those first four.
Mammoth skulls, ancient lizards, intangible money, train-jumping, and the great knights of Slavic history. Russia Day really does bring out the best.
Russia hosts the Confederations Cup, Strugatsky sci-fi gets a reboot (or just gets booted), and we honor the memories of WWII's female snipers and of the rock legend Viktor Tsoy.
Celebrate soccer with metro-station ballet, explore the galaxy with Yandex, and take a stroll through Moscow's rooftop gardens. Plus the Beatles, Stephen Colbert, and 29 Russian writers.