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.
Trouble in the tombstone industry, booming blockchain, and mercenary music hits. Plus, cats at work and a use of paper you've never seen.
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.
This year marks the centennial of the Bolshevik Revolution. Here's what that looks like, plus gas, cats, and seals (state seals, that is).
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.