Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 17:51:12
13 November 2018


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


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Tanker, toddler, marketer, spy

by Alice E.M. Underwood

How to spy at the table and park a tank

1. If you’re in a tight spot, blame the tableware. Dmitry Zakharchenko, an official in the Russian Interior Ministry, accused a “spy plate” of eavesdropping on him at a restaurant. Zakharchenko was arrested earlier this month for taking bribes, but denies the charges, claiming that the conversation in question – recorded by that handy microphone-equipped plate – was bribe-free. Watch for the tactic in the next James Bond movie: The Spy Who Served Borshch to Me.

2. A controversial commercial for an Israeli parking app features a puppet Putin – shirtless, piloting a tank, and steamrolling cars around the Kremlin to smash out a parking place for his daughter. The company claims, “We can handle your needs just as well as Putin.” Hilarious? Offensive? The only true solution to parking problems? You decide.

themoscowtimes.com

3. It took three days and over 100 people to find a toddler who toddled into a Siberian forest. Armed with only a bar of chocolate, the three-year-old faced the threat of bears, wolves, and night frosts during his time alone in the wild. The whole village is planning a party to celebrate the survival of Siberia’s Mowgli, but the young explorer’s biggest concern after being rescued was the fate of his toy car. Toddlers have priorities, too.

In Odder News

  • One way to protest transportation corruption: spell out the word “Help” using buses.
lenta.ru
  • Icelandic officials claimed that Russian bombers engaged in risky business on the Norwegian Sea. Russia’s response: “It’s a figment of their imagination.”
  • Russian adventurer Fyodor Konyukhov has set the world record for the fastest hot-air balloon trip around the globe. His advice to all: keep exploring.

Quote of the Week

"I was 10 years old when Yury Gagarin flew [into space], and soon after that the first men walked on the moon….I was convinced that by the 21st century we would already have scientific stations on Mars and settlements on the Moon. But the 21st century came and all we do is wage war, make money, and stuff ourselves."

—Fyodor Konyukhov, who recently completed the fastest round-the-world hot-air balloon trip, on the lost sense of adventure characterizing the 21st century.

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.

The spy who stayed out in the cold
The spy who stayed out in the cold

Some people see spies everywhere. Other people just see dumpsters, birds, snow, dogs, boars, or artists seeking political asylum. (That's at least 4 separate stories).

Bacon, comics, and fairy tales on ice
Bacon, comics, and fairy tales on ice

Adapting to life in Russia? Comic books. Craving cuteness? Piglets getting saved from a fire. Not Russian enough for you? Ice swimming. And for good measure, zombies. 

Blogging Bears, Ivan the Terrible Rapper, and a Blob
Blogging Bears, Ivan the Terrible Rapper, and a Blob

A polar bear travels the world, a historian serves up the Rhyme of Troubles, the Kremlin gets a new alien, and Presidents Putin and Trump get along by the skin of their teeth. 

Buddha in a blizzard, tsar in the tropics
Buddha in a blizzard, tsar in the tropics

A Buddhist monastery in the mountains fights one millionaire, and Kiribati's islands welcome another one. There's also exorcism, the Facebook of 1917, and general happiness. 

The Kremlin on Ice
The Kremlin on Ice

Convicts carve up the Kremlin, an assassin wins a prize, and governors drop like flies. Actually, that all sounds a lot worse than what happened. Find out for yourself. 

100 Years Ago, In a Monarchy Far, Far Away...
100 Years Ago, In a Monarchy Far, Far Away

Exactly 100 years ago, on February 23, 1917, the Russian Revolution began. And once you've learned about that, there's space, WWII reenactments, and a portal back to medieval times. 

Cats, droids, and acrobatic rock & roll
Cats, droids, and acrobatic rock & roll

A friendly robot graces the metro and a politically charged (and financed) dance studio gets footloose thanks to the youngest Putin. Also, happy World Cat Day!

Say no to discrimination, ducks, and hugs
Say no to discrimination, ducks, and hugs

International Women's Day was celebrated by marches, flowers, and flash mobs. In other news, Russia and China are BFFs, and Prime Minister Medvedev likes ducks.