Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 19:04:49
21 November 2018


  The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.


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.
themoscowtimes.com

Cover image: theguardian.com

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. 

Olympians, Titans, and cats dressed up as sailors
Olympians, Titans, and cats dressed up as sailors

The Olympics are under way! With them, new moves in Turkish-Russian relations, a Putin-voiced documentary, and the dangerous force of Russiaphobia. Also cats. 

A kick in the face of public taste
A kick in the face of public taste

This week in Russia saw a whole lot of beatdowns: on international corruption, candy stores, and even Buddha. 

Architecture and unexquisite corpses
Architecture and unexquisite corpses

A church’s domes caving into the altar. A transgender couple finagles a wedding. A hospital patient shares a room with a corpse. Just another TWERF.

Chess, Traffic and Briefcases
Chess, Traffic and Briefcases

In The Weekly Russia File for March 31: some terrible chess puns, and how to stop traffic.

Michael Phelps, Russia's swimming champ
Michael Phelps, Russia's swimming champ

The opening of the Kremlin, the mysterious ways of the nooscope, Hare Krishnas, and why Michael Phelps decided to defect to the Russian Olympic team. 

Tractors, smugglers, and the matryoshka from hell
Tractors, smugglers, and the matryoshka from hell

It's a tough week for transport in Russia, with a tractor parade, a smugglers' road, a bear on the loose, and an unwieldy matryoshka to top it all off.

Corruption, Kalashnikovs, and cultured meats
Corruption, Kalashnikovs, and cultured meats

Performance art turned into meaty meals and politicians turned criminals or corpses. Oh, and Vladimir Putin gets arrested. 

Nomads, salad stampedes, and serious swamp business
Nomads, salad stampedes, and serious swamp business

Olympics featuring dead goats, world records with feta cheese, blood-red rivers, and how to set up your business in a pit of slime.