The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Soldiers, Chessmen, Doctors, Geese
1. May 9th is Russia’s grandest national holiday: the celebration of the Nazi surrender to Soviet forces and the end of World War II, or as Russians call it, the Great Patriotic War. Victory Day is observed with massive military parades on land and in the air – though this year, Moscow’s air show was canceled due to weather. President Vladimir Putin spoke about the importance of unity in defeating the Nazis and the need to expand Russia’s military. The message highlighted Russia’s strength, but some say it could signal further distance between Russia and its neighbors.
2. Finally: a day for archaeology buffs, chess buffs, and numismatics alike to come together in celebration. A chess piece dated to Ivan the Terrible’s reign has been unearthed in Moscow, and it contains a stash of sixteenth-century silver coins. They add up to just a few pennies, but according to experts, that could have bought at least ten geese back in the sixteenth century. Discovered by road workers on Prechistenka Street, the chess piece is a second archaeological find in two months, with the discovery of a sixteenth-century “spy room” in late March.
3. The Russian military may be boosting its presence in the Arctic, what with new, shamrock-shaped military bases and the impressive display of Arctic missiles in this week’s Victory Day parade. But for many people who live in Russia’s Far North year-round, day-to-day concerns are often of higher importance than the shape of the country’s newest and northernmost military base. Here’s the story of the only doctor within many miles, who travels on a homemade vehicle to care for patients across the Arctic.
In Odder News
Quote of the Week
"The Russian Federation's armed forces are able to stand against any challenge — but to fight terrorism, the consolidation of the entire international community is needed."
—President Vladimir Putin in his Victory Day speech.
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.