Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 16:50:20
21 November 2018


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


Thursday, July 05, 2018

That Other Red, White, and Blue

by Irina Bukharin
No Spain, No Gain

1. All hail Saint Akinfeyev and his holy foot! On Sunday, Russia narrowly beat out the football heavyweight Spain during a penalty shootout, launching them to the World Cup’s Round of Eight. Who do Russians have to thank for this surprising victory? Goalie and captain Igor Akinfeyev, who blocked a Spanish shot with the tip of his cleated foot. As Russians partied like they’d never partied before (and that’s saying something), Akinfeyev took on a special status in Russian society. Amid the celebration there were many who came to terms with the last-ditch promises they had made on the condition of Russia beating Spain, and Twitter is littered with evidence of them running through the streets nude, getting tattoos, and even searching for spouses. Thankfully this is all a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, unless, of course, Russia beats Croatia on Saturday.

Photo: innubis

2. Even if cleanliness is next to Godliness, it’s not clear that the deal offered in Volgograd’s train station is worth it. A sign in the station’s restroom reads in English, “The cost of the service is the soul, price 200 rubles.” Above it, the sign more comfortingly reads in Russian, “The price of a shower, 200 rubles.” This difference appears to have originated in the similarity between the words shower (душ ~ dush) and soul (душа ~ dusha) in Russian, compounded by the ever-tricky genitive case. But to be safe, English-speakers in Volgograd should keep their eyes out for either a horned beast in a cloak or a humorous Russian spirit by the name of Gogol.

Photo: @VladlenLos

3. It’s a new type of heavy metal. Alexandra Ivleva is an artist, but not the kind you just thought of. Ivleva, nicknamed the “Weld Queen,” makes beautiful metal structures through the art of welding. Attired in overalls and a welding helmet, the young artist makes beautiful and fanciful structures: a meditating bear, rocking chairs that look like people, and giant angels. With all this striking while the iron is hot, we wonder why she isn’t called the Iron Lady… oh yes, that one’s already been taken.

Photo: http://weldqueen.com/?lang=en

In Odder News:

Photo: https://vk.com/photo-149744624_456241803?rev=1

Quote of the Week:

“I'm looking for a wife... I promised Mom that I'd get married, if Team Russia won the game…”

Maxim Omarov will have Team Russia to thank for his new relationship status

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.

Rocks, Raps, and Cats in Charge
Rocks, Raps, and Cats in Charge

Trouble in the tombstone industry, booming blockchain, and mercenary music hits. Plus, cats at work and a use of paper you've never seen.  

Slavic-Style Spooks
Slavic-Style Spooks

Halloween or Hallowon't? The holiday is more trick than treat in Russia, so dive into the details and creep yourself out with some frightful tales while you're at it. 

The Big 100
The Big 100

This year marks the centennial of the Bolshevik Revolution. Here's what that looks like, plus gas, cats, and seals (state seals, that is).

Lions and Lawyers and Baba Yaga, Oh My!
Lions and Lawyers and Baba Yaga, Oh My!

Ice Age lions thaw out, fairytale heroes meet social media, and foreign news needs a new passport. Plus, all about Russian art in less than 30 minutes. 

Santa Claus, Space Aliens, & Robot Cars
Santa Claus, Space Aliens, & Robot Cars

Father Frost gets iced, a space shuttle gets wet, and cars get driven driverlessly. Plus, famous Russian buildings go on vacation, the Romanovs take TV, and Russian smilies)

Presidents, Olympians, and Feathered Friends
Presidents, Olympians, and Feathered Friends

Putin announces he'll run for president, the Olympic Committee announces Russia can't compete, and some swans announce that they want a new house. 

Superputin, Sly Wolves, & Censorship Stalkers
Superputin, Sly Wolves, & Censorship Stalkers

An art exhibit proves once and for all that Putin is a superhero. Plus, World Cup counterfeits, how Russian media monitoring works, and a leopard cub.

Romanov Holiday and Russia's Best Cat
Romanov Holiday and Russia's Best Cat

What a Russian holiday looks like, the Romanovs go to The Gambia, and why secret police are extra special around the holidays. All that, and Russia's most popular cats.