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Thursday, June 30, 2016
It Means Those 3 Stories in 1 Newsletter
1. By now it's old news that Britain has voted to leave the European Union – but what does that mean for Russia? Some pundits say Brexit will be great for finance-savvy Russians in the UK and Europe; to others, it’s the personal failure of United States president Barack Obama. Just how much it'll weaken the EU and set the scene for a new role for Russia in Europe remains to be seen
2. Sorting out territorial claims is child's play. Literally: a school in the South Ural Mountains put on a play featuring a kid in a Putin mask claiming that Alaska would soon again be Russian territory. That puts it next in line after Crimea, but beating out the Kuril Islands, currently disputed territory between Russia and Japan. The theatrical explanation: “We take only our own lands.” To cede or not to cede, that is the question.
3. It’s a bridge! It’s a rocket! It’s Mother Russia herself! Nope: it's the latest image to grace Russian banknotes. That may sound anticlimactic, but Russia’s Central Bank has launched a contest for citizens to submit design ideas for the new 200 and 2000 ruble notes. The actual prints may not show up for a few years yet, but it only takes a dream to boost the economy, right?
Russian Cultural Literacy
The Russian ruble's had a rocky road. And that’s not a jibe at the economy – that’s the norm when you go through a few dozen currency designs in a century. Whether the imperial coat of arms, a locomotive, an Olympic snowboarder, or a monument from any number of Russian towns and cities, there’s an art to creating currency – and to keeping it afloat. Okay, that one was a jibe at the economy.
Quote of the Week
"Rural, provincial, working Britain said ‘no’ to the union created by the financial mafia, globalists, and the rest of them."
—Russian ultranationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky on the “great feat” accomplished by British folks who voted for Britain’s exit from the European Union.
In Odder News
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.