September 16, 2023

One Country, Two Wars


One Country, Two Wars
Looking out over the White Sea at Kandalaksha. Paul Richardson

 The world watches in horror as the Kremlin continues to find newer, more heinous ways to carry out its illegal, unjustified, unprovoked War on Ukraine. As we predicted the day Russia invaded, the war is wreaking untold suffering and death upon both Ukrainians and Russians. These are crimes for which the Kremlin bears full responsibility, and one day there will be a reckoning.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin is conducting a second war, one that gets far less coverage (primarily due to the lack of foreign journalists in Russia), but which history will also judge as heinous and unconscionable. And that is the war upon its own people – imprisoning dissenters, criminalizing entire groups of citizens for being born different, forcing young men to choose between fighting in a war or fleeing their home, trampling the hard-won rights of free speech, assembly, voting, travel, and so much more that Russians gained after the passing of the Soviet Leviathan.

It is this second war that has increasingly become our focus here at Russian Life. Because (a) so many news outlets and local journalists are already doing incredible work covering the first war, the one taking place in Ukraine, and (b) the lack of a free press inside Russia and the departure of all but a brave few foreign journalists means that there is little independent, honest, direct reporting going on from inside Russia today.

We are developing partnerships with independent Russian media and journalists (both inside and outside of the country), searching out the best work being produced, and then translating it so that these stories can spread beyond the Russian-speaking world. The world needs to know that we can love Russians while loathing the regime, that there are many honest, thoughtful, brave souls inside Russia. People who are – at the risk of their safety, their families, their very lives – resisting the Kremlin, evading security forces, and keeping their eyes on the future, believing that one day Russia will be free, peaceful, and prosperous.

We stand with them.

If you would like to join us in this fight, just click the button below to show your support.

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Some of Our Books

Driving Down Russia's Spine

Driving Down Russia's Spine

The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. 
Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

The Life Stories collection is a nice introduction to contemporary Russian fiction: many of the 19 authors featured here have won major Russian literary prizes and/or become bestsellers. These are life-affirming stories of love, family, hope, rebirth, mystery and imagination, masterfully translated by some of the best Russian-English translators working today. The selections reassert the power of Russian literature to affect readers of all cultures in profound and lasting ways. Best of all, 100% of the profits from the sale of this book are going to benefit Russian hospice—not-for-profit care for fellow human beings who are nearing the end of their own life stories.
Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

One of the most famous works of Russian literature, the four-act comedy in verse Woe from Wit skewers staid, nineteenth century Russian society, and it positively teems with “winged phrases” that are essential colloquialisms for students of Russian and Russian culture.
Jews in Service to the Tsar

Jews in Service to the Tsar

Benjamin Disraeli advised, “Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.” With Jews in Service to the Tsar, Lev Berdnikov offers us 28 biographies spanning five centuries of Russian Jewish history, and each portrait opens a new window onto the history of Eastern Europe’s Jews, illuminating dark corners and challenging widely-held conceptions about the role of Jews in Russian history.
The Latchkey Murders

The Latchkey Murders

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin is back on the case in this prequel to the popular mystery Murder at the Dacha, in which a serial killer is on the loose in Khrushchev’s Moscow...
The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar (bilingual)

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar (bilingual)

The fables of Ivan Krylov are rich fonts of Russian cultural wisdom and experience – reading and understanding them is vital to grasping the Russian worldview. This new edition of 62 of Krylov’s tales presents them side-by-side in English and Russian. The wonderfully lyrical translations by Lydia Razran Stone are accompanied by original, whimsical color illustrations by Katya Korobkina.
Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
The Little Golden Calf

The Little Golden Calf

Our edition of The Little Golden Calf, one of the greatest Russian satires ever, is the first new translation of this classic novel in nearly fifty years. It is also the first unabridged, uncensored English translation ever, and is 100% true to the original 1931 serial publication in the Russian journal 30 Dnei. Anne O. Fisher’s translation is copiously annotated, and includes an introduction by Alexandra Ilf, the daughter of one of the book’s two co-authors.
Chekhov Bilingual

Chekhov Bilingual

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

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