Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 03:32:52
18 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. 

Siberia's natural wonders meet the Duma elections
Siberia's natural wonders meet the Duma elections

This week brings you not just news, but also striking images of the latest discoveries in natural rock formations and mammoth hunting in Siberia. Also, election season. 

Bears, boycotts, and busting rhymes
Bears, boycotts, and busting rhymes

Election aftermath, polar bear attacks, why drivers are against Russia's version of Uber, and maybe even a state secret or two. 

Tanker, toddler, marketer, spy
Tanker, toddler, marketer, spy

Spy gadgets get culinary, Putin parks a tank, and a tyke takes on the wilderness. All that, and the spirit of adventure. 

Liquor machines and lullaby missiles
Liquor machines and lullaby missiles

Patriotic tectonic plates, the threat of airborne Internet, a possible return to the Gulag, and some problems without solutions.  

Solzhenitsyn, Alf, and raccoons all around
Solzhenitsyn, Alf, and raccoons all around

A disturbing attack on a renowned author, and a lighthearted nod to an unlikely TV hero. Plus Russian military expansion, raccoons' domestic expansion, and more unlikely art. 

Can a Martian invasion fix Russia-Europe relations?
Can a Martian invasion fix Russia-Europe relations?

It's a busy week for technology, what with a Mars lander, more secure Internet, electric cars (in unlikely places), and enough counterfeit money to fill an ATM.

How to name your baby (and not get arrested)
How to name your baby (and not get arrested)

Baby BOCh rVF 260602 may have to change his name. Plus, Russia's protest potential, the shrinking middle class, and dabbling with Shamanism. 

False history and forensic literature
False history and forensic literature

Fighting falsified Russian history, righting incorrect Bulgakovian history, and piecing together just what – and how unified – is the Russian nation.