Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 03:58:00
16 November 2018


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


Thursday, August 23, 2018

Skyfalls, Sinking Feelings, and Smitings

by Irina Bukharin
Superheroes Save the Day (or ruin it)

1. A plane in Russia made an emergency landing after one of its engines caught on fire. The Red Wings plane had just taken off from Ufa on its way to Sochi when the engine caught fire, and the plane landed shortly thereafter. All of the 202 passengers were evacuated by means of an emergency slide, and no injuries have been reported. Although this incident ended well, it recalls more lethal plane crashes, such as the deadly crash in Moscow this February, which led to broader questions about the safety of Russian aviation. If this incident in particular tells us anything though, it’s that we should pay a bit more attention when the flight attendants review safety procedures: who knows when we’ll get to go down one of those slides!

Airplane on fire

Photo: Dmitriy Antonov

2. Everyone knows what it feels like to lose a their phone, their keys, or a few bills. One unlucky Russian pensioner felt this shattered feeling a million times over this week when he left one million rubles ($14,718) on a trolleybus. Luckily for him, the pain didn’t last too long. The trolleybus conductor notified the police, who identified the now distraught man and returned all of his money to him. Even more luckily for him, these police officers had some financial sense and helped him deposit his money into a bank in order to prevent further mishap.

3. If all the governors of Russia were secretly superheroes, Viktor Tomenko, governor of the Altai region, would be Thor. Or maybe he actually is Thor? In a meeting this week Tomenko chewed out Dmitry Feldman, mayor of Rubtsovsk, for misspending funding meant for flood relief. However, Thor’s hammer only really came down when the mayor was driving home and a bolt of lightning hit his car. The mayor and his driver were unscathed, though the car needs repair (because of course Thor—ahem, the governor—was just trying to give him a scare, not hurt him). How’s that for a good smiting?

In Odder News:
  • A mysterious hairy creature (item? carcass?) washed up on the beach in eastern Russia
  • Russia made the biggest jump of any team in the FIFA world rankings, thanks to its surprisingly good World Cup performance

  • A Russian Church blessed cats and the photos are priceless

Quote of the Day:

“Suddenly, I’m not that keen about flying”

— One passenger aboard the Russian Red Wings plane, speaking as the plane circled with one of its engines on fire

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 Proliferation of Playful (and Political) Pranks
A Proliferation of Playful (and Political) Pranks

Featuring “poisonous” cooking oil, the finest pothole you’ve ever seen, and paper planes of protest.

Monstrous Protests, Mobile Plants, and Too Much Paper
Monstrous Protests, Mobile Plants, and Too Much Paper

This week Russians hit the streets, waterways, and air for all sorts of occasions.

Pretty (and Pierced) Pictures, a Brutal Bridge, and a New Hope for Han Solo
Pretty (and Pierced) Pictures, a Brutal Bridge, and a New Hope for Han Solo

In a galaxy far, far away, the Millennium Falcon circled over a vicious battle with art and a dangerous passageway. That far-off galaxy being Russia, of course.

From Their Smile to Their Heartbeat, Everybody's Hiding Something
From Their Smile to Their Heartbeat, Everybody's Hiding Something

This week gives everybody a new lease on life, whether in the form of a photo touch up, another platform for Putin, or an actual new life for a “dead” journalist.

The World Cup Whirlwind Begins
The World Cup Whirlwind Begins

Is it football or soccer? Either way, TWERF prepares for the start of the World Cup by examining Russia’s chances (not great), while still paying attention to a few other stories before the madness begins.

Russia Makes Hay in Moscow and Surmounts in St. Petersburg
Russia Makes Hay in Moscow and Surmounts in St. Petersburg

Russia wins its first two World Cup games and Jeff Monson is running for CIty Council in Krasnogorsk. Does life get better than this?

Against Some Odds, Still in the Game!
Against Some Odds, Still in the Game!

This week Russia lost but isn’t out yet; football fans, amazingly, spread cheer across Russia; and a storm reminds us of the world outside.

That Other Red, White, and Blue
That Other Red, White, and Blue

As Americans celebrate their Independence Day, Russia may have gained a new national holiday as well: the day they beat Spain in the World Cup.