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.
A Moon landing is on the horizon. Eurovision, with its typical set of scandals, is on an even closer horizon. And on your way, why not stop by Red Square for some dental work?
Does Russian St. Patrick's Day have leprechauns? After you ponder that, there's a reindeer herder fighting big oil, humans-turned-Twitter bots, and a mysterious murder.
Continuing scandal, new demonstrations, a sesquicentenial and a linguistic smackdown. Just another week here at TWERF.
Investigations: the state of Russian cosmonautics, what happens to prohibited fruit, and when mourners aren't really mourning. Plus, sneaking pickles into space.
It's been a rough week in Russia, with the metro bombing in St. Petersburg, the disappearance of gay men, and the death of Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Luckily, lasers are kinda neat.
Some folks form an Arctic military base or withdraw from mayoral elections. Others counterfeit toilet paper and roll through traffic in a giant ball.
A juice flood. A mud flood. A human rights drought. And for good measure, portraits with wild animals and haircuts with an axe.
Pop-star grandmas advertise action films, May Day doesn't go great for vegans, and a Russian frog smuggler's story gets even more unlikely.