The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
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.
Tractors for Putin, toxic waste for Kaliningrad, and Reagan and Gorbachev for their modern-day counterparts. Also sweet wine, state secrets, and salt.
The scandal around the Bolshoi's latest ballet, remembering an Internet icon, and pro-Putin pensioners, with a dash of PhotoShop of daredevilry.
Getting flak for getting hitched, how fidget spinners foster political dissidence, and a new set of wheels around Russia. Plus dandy pigeons and the best totalitarian tourism.
President Putin visits human rights activists and curious kids, and a famous author falls to pieces. Plus Ivan the Terrible, a terrible auction purchase, and 10 fantastic bridges.
Pranksters solve energy security with pig manure, paratroopers get rowdy, and presidential grants yield surprise winners. Plus, Russia's deadliest plants and getting stuck in an elevator.
Beachgoers bathe in potable sludge, Russians weigh in on replacements for sanctioned food, and the Kremlin revamps funerals. Plus, Putin goes fishing.
A not-quite lake makes a splash, zombies on public transit, and problems memorializing history's tragedies. But on the bright side, shirtless men and hippos.
Elections are the new dinner and a movie. Plus, Moscow's heading east, rap battles get a bad rap, and pickles and melons galore.