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25 September 2018

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Thursday, June 09, 2016

Russians don't need principles. Just submarines

by Alice E.M. Underwood

Matters of Principle

1. Progress and principles are things “a Russian doesn’t need” according to a line from Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons featured in a London poster campaign advertising Penguin books. The line is unattributed and uncontextualized on the poster, leading some to accuse Penguin of anti-Russian sentiment. Where to draw the line between promoting books and promoting ethnic hatred?

2. Sneaky, sneaky: a Russian submarine was intercepted by the British Royal Navy while making a beeline for the English Channel, and a British anti-submarine ship joined the submarine as a kind of big-sea babysitter. But the Brits may be a bit overbearing, this time: the Russian Defense Ministry claims the real surprise would have been if the sub had not been detected, but resents the babysitting all the same.

3. When a high-ranking official gets injured, you may well suspect foul play. And it was foul play in the case of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s hand injury: specifically, from playing soccer. He joined a gala match with the over-45s Russian National Football League in late May, and this week showed up to talks with Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini in a sling. Here’s hoping the talks finish better than the game.

Quote of the Week

“This is not a work injury caused by dozens of telephone conversations with colleagues. It is slight injury caused by football.”

—Caption on an Instagram picture showing Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with his arm in a sling.

In Odder News

  • Russia has a brisket bias, but one cattle ranch is trying to sell meat that makes the cut.
  • A new jet is set to rival Boeing and Airbus. At least, that’s the hope as Russia’s new model prepares for takeoff.
  • Believe it or not, the top-ranking Russia-related web search is not President Putin. First up is cats, followed by the matryoshka doll and the ushanka hat.

Cover image:

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