The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
Friday, August 18, 2017
1. A sweet treat for Kazakhstan? Perhaps weary of finding the exact spot demarcating the country border in the middle of a lake, Russia has transferred the entire Lake Sladkoe (meaning sweet) to the government of Kazakhstan. But don’t go calling it a gift: Kazakh officials noted that the lake formerly belonged to Kazakhstan, while the Russian government said that the “half-lake, half-swamp” has no fish, and its transfer will not economically impact Russia.
2. Moscow’s Metro is not only pretty: it’s a great defense against a zombie apocalypse. A Russian illustrator has created detailed drawings to diagram what life (and death, and the undead) would be like in the Moscow subway system if zombies went on the loose. The artist’s careful mapping and survival advice shows that he’s thought a lot about the possibility; a Moscow subway expert even confirmed that it would be possible to survive a zombie attack underground. The biggest problem: the smell.
3. The “Last Address” project, which memorializes victims of Soviet repression by installing plaques at the homes where these people were arrested, is facing repression of its own. After installing a plaque on an old wooden house in Arkhangelsk, a Last Address activist was fined for damaging a historical site – even though the house was slated for demolition. It’s hard enough getting homeowners to agree to the installation, as many fear undue attention, and this event will likely cause new difficulties for the memorial project. Like dentists say, plaque can be dangerous.
“The smell would be monstrous, if the generators broke down and the ventilation failed. Sooner or later, the survivors would have to move to another location, after gathering their strength.”
—Max Degtaryev, an illustrator of the zombie apocalypse in Moscow’s metro system, reporting a subway expert’s assessment of the possibility of survival underground.
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.
The news in the U.S. is news for Russia, too. Here's how Russians are thinking about a Trump presidency – and it involves cats and burgers, as well as political ponderings.
A group of humanitarian clowns is set to conquer sadness in Russia. Whether they can also combat corruption, questionable legal cases, and adorable baby foxes is another matter.
We thank our readers for another year of living, loving, and learning about Russian life. With some extra pictures and cultural exploration to keep you grateful.
Should ice dancing with a Holocaust theme be totally taboo, or can it be done with respect? That and Fidel Castro, Siberian cats, and a few fish puns.
Masha and the Bear tops the charts, Ramzan Kadyrov picks Chechnya's next top admin, and the arts in general are a big bowl of kasha.
With puppies and provinces on the line, Russia-Japan relations are a bit ruff. Plus bobsledding bedlam, diplomatic dirt, and more holiday dogs.
Just in time for the holidays, Russians unearth (unsea?) some fish that look out of this world. Plus, anticipating the New Year, the U.S. view on Russia, and political jokes.
The year's coldest ride, hottest statue, most scandalous yoga teacher, and best way to learn the names of all of Russia's federal subjects. And it's just the first TWERF of the year.