September 08, 2022

A Rain Check for Respect


A Rain Check for Respect
Gorbachev at his wife Raisa's funeral, 1999. Wikimedia Commons, RIA Novosti

On September 1, a few days after the passing of Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Union's final leader, Putin visited the hospital where Gorbachev lay in an open casket. Putin placed red roses next to the casket, gave a few moments of silence, crossed himself, bowed, and walked away.

Fifteen hours after Gorbachev had passed away, Putin released a statement expressing his condolences. He reminded the world that Gorbachev was a leader who had a "huge impact on the course of world history" and "deeply understood that reforms were necessary" when facing the Soviet Union's many problems. But even with these kind statements, it can not be forgotten that Putin believes the dissolution of the Soviet Union was the single greatest geopolitical disaster to take place in the 20th century, and that Gorbachev was the man that precipitated the USSR's downfall.

Mikhail Gorbachev's funeral was scheduled for September 3, and while many who loved him were in attendance and the state played a part in the proceedings, Russia's president was unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts.

You Might Also Like

Mikhail Gorbachev
  • March 01, 2021

Mikhail Gorbachev

The rises and falls of the esteem in which Russians have held Mikhail Gorbachev over the years have been dizzying.
Gorbachev Dead at 91
  • August 30, 2022

Gorbachev Dead at 91

Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, the Communist Party Leader who unleashed democracy, glasnost, and perestroika, has died.
My God, a Symbol of Separation
  • August 17, 2022

My God, a Symbol of Separation

“There was a certain girl here who was handing out some permission to paint to artists, complete nonsense. I gave her this work, and the first thing she said was that it was a very dangerous job, because if Gorbachev saw it, he would not allow the unification of Germany and that she will send it to the senate of West Berlin, which was a different country, for approval.”                                     –  Dmitry Vrubel, the artist behind the Berlin Wall's "The Fraternal Kiss"
Russia Turns Thirty
  • August 28, 2021

Russia Turns Thirty

Thirty years ago this week, Russia became an independent country... again.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod is a mid-sized provincial city that exists only in Russian metaphorical space. It has its roots in Gogol, and Ilf and Petrov, and is a place far from Moscow, but close to Russian hearts. It is a place of mystery and normality, of provincial innocence and Black Earth wisdom. Strange, inexplicable things happen in Stargorod. So do good things. And bad things. A lot like life everywhere, one might say. Only with a heavy dose of vodka, longing and mystery.
The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  
Fish: A History of One Migration

Fish: A History of One Migration

This mesmerizing novel from one of Russia’s most important modern authors traces the life journey of a selfless Russian everywoman. In the wake of the Soviet breakup, inexorable forces drag Vera across the breadth of the Russian empire. Facing a relentless onslaught of human and social trials, she swims against the current of life, countering adversity and pain with compassion and hope, in many ways personifying Mother Russia’s torment and resilience amid the Soviet disintegration.
Chekhov Bilingual

Chekhov Bilingual

Some of Chekhov's most beloved stories, with English and accented Russian on facing pages throughout. 
Turgenev Bilingual

Turgenev Bilingual

A sampling of Ivan Turgenev's masterful short stories, plays, novellas and novels. Bilingual, with English and accented Russian texts running side by side on adjoining pages.
93 Untranslatable Russian Words

93 Untranslatable Russian Words

Every language has concepts, ideas, words and idioms that are nearly impossible to translate into another language. This book looks at nearly 100 such Russian words and offers paths to their understanding and translation by way of examples from literature and everyday life. Difficult to translate words and concepts are introduced with dictionary definitions, then elucidated with citations from literature, speech and prose, helping the student of Russian comprehend the word/concept in context.
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.
Steppe / Степь (bilingual)

Steppe / Степь (bilingual)

This is the work that made Chekhov, launching his career as a writer and playwright of national and international renown. Retranslated and updated, this new bilingual edition is a super way to improve your Russian.
Russian Rules

Russian Rules

From the shores of the White Sea to Moscow and the Northern Caucasus, Russian Rules is a high-speed thriller based on actual events, terrifying possibilities, and some really stupid decisions.
Moscow and Muscovites

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 
Dostoyevsky Bilingual

Dostoyevsky Bilingual

Bilingual series of short, lesser known, but highly significant works that show the traditional view of Dostoyevsky as a dour, intense, philosophical writer to be unnecessarily one-sided. 
A Taste of Chekhov

A Taste of Chekhov

This compact volume is an introduction to the works of Chekhov the master storyteller, via nine stories spanning the last twenty years of his life.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955