July/August 2018 Current Moscow Time: 15:44:14
16 July 2018


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Thursday, March 09, 2017

Say no to discrimination, ducks, and hugs

by Alice E.M. Underwood

Marching for women, quacking against corruption

1. On Wednesday, Russians marked International Women’s Day in a few distinct ways. On one end of the gender equality spectrum, feminist activists marched on the Kremlin, some getting arrested for their call for women’s rights. At the more traditional end, not only did millions of women get flowers as gifts; some even rented their own bouquets of 101 roses for Instagram-worthy snaps. Meanwhile, the Kremlin urged officials to “get creative,” spurring poetry, flash mobs, and virtual reality photo shoots.

2. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has declared that Russian-Chinese relations are at a “historic maximum.” But that doesn’t mean the nations are about to get cuddly with each other. Case in point: even with Chinese tourism to Russia booming, the Chinese Embassy in Moscow has released a video series informing tourists about Russian customs and behavior. It comes with warnings: don’t climb on monuments, don’t be noisy on the Metro, and for Pete’s sake, don’t hug children that don’t belong to you.

3. Of all the empowering protest slogans, “Quack, quack,” has not gone down in the history books. At least, not until now. With a new investigative report claiming that former President Dmitry Medvedev has enriched himself through corruption, protesters have taken to the streets in St. Petersburg. Based on the report that Medvedev’s luxury mansion is home to a duck pond, among other luxuries, demonstrators adopted the chant “Quack, quack! We’re against this tsar!” (In Russian, it rhymes.)

In Odder News

  • No, a statue of the Tsar Nicholas II didn’t weep on the centennial of his abdication. Or did it?
  • Fairy tales are no longer for kids: Beauty and the Beast will be released in Russia with an adults-only rating because it includes a gay character.
  • What does Russian jazz sound like? Read about the history, and take a listen for yourself.

Quote of the Week

"A woman for president"

"Our national idea: feminism"

"All power to the women"

"200 years of men in power. Out with them!"
—Just a few of the slogans on signs brandished by feminist activists who demonstrated at the Kremlin with calls for gender equality in government and beyond.

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.

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