Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 23:40:44
14 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 Walk on the Wild Side (of Russia)
A Walk on the Wild Side (of Russia)

Russia Weekly gets wacky with singing policemen, forbidden emojis, and flying plagues.

Life, Death, and Pizza
Life, Death, and Pizza

Climate change is destroying Russia and people still want to duel, but at least someone’s getting free pizza.

Ice Age Part 10, Coming Soon to a Russia Near You
Ice Age Part 10, Coming Soon to a Russia Near You

The weather in Russia this week was chilly with a hint of thaw, at least regarding science and political relations.

Butina, Babies, and Baby-making
Butina, Babies, and Baby-making

This week, depressing news about divisions and birth rates can only really be counteracted with a smile over the Orthodox church’s new take on sex.

Politics and Technology: And never the twain should meet
Politics and Technology: And never the twain should meet

To selfie or not to selfie? That is the question, or at least one of the questions, addressed this week.

Things Look Different Below the Surface
Things Look Different Below the Surface

What’s more surprising, fake feminists or fish with bad teeth?

Of Rockets and Ruptures
Of Rockets and Ruptures

Falling objects, family feuds, and friendly felines dominated our attention this week.

Lawmakers versus Troublemakers
Lawmakers versus Troublemakers

Russian law enforcement had a busy week, from taking on the ~high~ seas to putting rich jerks in their place.