The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
1. Weddings are happy occasions for celebrating love, bringing together family, and, in the case of a judge’s daughter’s wedding last week in Krasnodar, getting mired in controversy involving pop star performances, Bentleys, and shady money. Responding to accusations that the family blew $2 million of possibly ill-gotten gains on the wedding, Judge Elena Khakhaleva, the mother of the bride, called the allegations “barefaced pressure” on her family based on her rulings against powerful people. Others allege that the judge has snatched farming land for herself and reached unjust verdicts. Who knew tying the knot could get so tangled?
2. Those fidget spinners everyone’s playing with aren’t just the latest fad in toys. According to Russian consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, they’re hazardous to children’s health. And beyond that, the spinner toys are the opposition’s devilish plan to win the hearts and minds of Russian youth. According to a Rossiya 24 news segment on the dastardly links between the popular toy and the opposition, YouTube channels that include videos about fidget spinners as well as politics may be using the toys to seduce a “potential protest audience.” Well, that’s one way to spin it.
3. In a win for Russian ride-sharing, Yandex.Taxi and Uber have merged services in Russia and surrounding countries. The deal looks a lot better for Yandex, whose shares rose 25% after the news broke that Yandex will invest $100 million to Uber’s $225 million in the new company and control 59.3% of it. Customers can order rides through either app, but drivers will be moved onto a new platform filtering orders from both Uber and Yandex.Taxi. Looks like a lot of people are getting taken for a ride, but luckily, they want to.
“This is not just a feast at a time of plague. This is a spit in the face. In all our faces!”
—Lawyer Sergei Zhorin, who attended Khakhaleva’s daughter’s wedding and subsequently posted footage of the wedding to draw attention to the expense.
“These toys are popular not only among high school and college students. More than once, they’ve been spotted in the hands of representatives of the non-systemic opposition.”
—Alexey Kazakov, the host of the news program “Vesti,” on the report that fidget spinner toys are a new tactic by members of the opposition.
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.
Adults want kids to vote, kids want Leonardo DiCaprio to soak himself, and Leo wants fewer video games on TV.
Nukes get names, a truck becomes a camera, and an old church gets a fresh look.
World Cup picks, elections, and fraudulent activity all point to the same lesson this week: make your choices wisely.
TWERF takes on the political this week, bringing you news of the election and the weird things that accompanied it.
Grudinin shaves the ‘stache, the other election results are in, and New Zealand struggles to offend Russia.
In honor of April Fool’s Day, we present you with jokes, mishaps, and fun times all around.
Stories about chocolate and fish: not an appetizing pairing, but a good selection for this week’s TWERF.
Learn about the animal spies among us, get tips on how to survive nuclear war, and watch a world record get broken.