Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 11:50:45
19 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. 

A new direction for US-Russia relations?
A new direction for US-Russia relations?

The news in the U.S. is news for Russia, too. Here's how Russians are thinking about a Trump presidency – and it involves cats and burgers, as well as political ponderings. 

Clowns, corruption, and overdue library books
Clowns, corruption, and overdue library books

A group of humanitarian clowns is set to conquer sadness in Russia. Whether they can also combat corruption, questionable legal cases, and adorable baby foxes is another matter.

Giving thanks: Russian beauty, culture, and cats
Giving thanks: Russian beauty, culture, and cats

We thank our readers for another year of living, loving, and learning about Russian life. With some extra pictures and cultural exploration to keep you grateful.

Art and politics on thin ice
Art and politics on thin ice

Should ice dancing with a Holocaust theme be totally taboo, or can it be done with respect? That and Fidel Castro, Siberian cats, and a few fish puns. 

Cartoons, reality TV, and other art forms
Cartoons, reality TV, and other art forms

Masha and the Bear tops the charts, Ramzan Kadyrov picks Chechnya's next top admin, and the arts in general are a big bowl of kasha. 

Of mutts and men
Of mutts and men

With puppies and provinces on the line, Russia-Japan relations are a bit ruff. Plus bobsledding bedlam, diplomatic dirt, and more holiday dogs. 

We Fish You A Merry Christmas (and Hanukkah)
We Fish You A Merry Christmas (and Hanukkah)

Just in time for the holidays, Russians unearth (unsea?) some fish that look out of this world. Plus, anticipating the New Year, the U.S. view on Russia, and political jokes. 

Exercise! Frozen bikes, illegal yoga, and sturdy stolen statues
Exercise! Frozen bikes, illegal yoga, sturdy stolen statues

The year's coldest ride, hottest statue, most scandalous yoga teacher, and best way to learn the names of all of Russia's federal subjects. And it's just the first TWERF of the year.