The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
Thursday, August 25, 2016
A special section during the Rio Olympics
The Games are over, and as predicted, Russia kept fourth place in the medal count, rounding out with a total of 56 medals: 19 gold, 18 silver, and 19 bronze. Though the Russian team shrunk by about one-third after the doping accusations, the Games were attended by 280 Russian athletes – 107 of whom became medalists – and one matryoshka from hell. Yes, you read that right.
1. The only thing worse than getting stuck in a giant matryoshka: getting stuck in an airport because of a giant matryoshka. Russia’s Olympic team was delayed in Rio for hours due to “congestion”: specifically, the team’s gigantic nesting doll – re-named “the matryoshka from hell” – getting caught in the door of the plane. Couldn’t they just un-nest the dolls to get all the pieces on board?
2. Illegal smugglers will do anything to make a buck. Including – invest in improving local infrastructure? In this case, gangs of smugglers repaired a gravel road along the Belarussian border to ease their transport of sanctioned goods across the border. The “expertly repaired” road now has officials on the lookout for the repair workers – but whether it’s to punish them or give them a new job remains uncertain.
3. A convoy of tractors was on a roll toward Moscow until a police blockade stopped them in their tracks. Farmers from Kuban’ had started the roll to get national officials to address local corruption and attacks on their land. The tractor march, a rare example of public dissent outside of major cities, was stalled many times before being suspended altogether. Maybe next time they’ll hire the smugglers’ roadbuilders to pave them a new path.
In Odder News
Quote of the Week
A matryoshka doll from the Russian House got stuck in the airport doors :))) nobody understands what to do with it)))."
—Dmitry Simonov, who is deputy editor of the Sport-Express newspaper, tweeting on the Russian Olympic team’s ill-fated nesting doll.
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.
This week brings you not just news, but also striking images of the latest discoveries in natural rock formations and mammoth hunting in Siberia. Also, election season.
Election aftermath, polar bear attacks, why drivers are against Russia's version of Uber, and maybe even a state secret or two.
Spy gadgets get culinary, Putin parks a tank, and a tyke takes on the wilderness. All that, and the spirit of adventure.
Patriotic tectonic plates, the threat of airborne Internet, a possible return to the Gulag, and some problems without solutions.
A disturbing attack on a renowned author, and a lighthearted nod to an unlikely TV hero. Plus Russian military expansion, raccoons' domestic expansion, and more unlikely art.
It's a busy week for technology, what with a Mars lander, more secure Internet, electric cars (in unlikely places), and enough counterfeit money to fill an ATM.
Baby BOCh rVF 260602 may have to change his name. Plus, Russia's protest potential, the shrinking middle class, and dabbling with Shamanism.
Fighting falsified Russian history, righting incorrect Bulgakovian history, and piecing together just what – and how unified – is the Russian nation.