June 09, 2016

Russians don't need principles. Just submarines


Russians don't need principles. Just submarines

Matters of Principle

1. Progress and principles are things “a Russian doesn’t need” according to a line from Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons featured in a London poster campaign advertising Penguin books. The line is unattributed and uncontextualized on the poster, leading some to accuse Penguin of anti-Russian sentiment. Where to draw the line between promoting books and promoting ethnic hatred?

2. Sneaky, sneaky: a Russian submarine was intercepted by the British Royal Navy while making a beeline for the English Channel, and a British anti-submarine ship joined the submarine as a kind of big-sea babysitter. But the Brits may be a bit overbearing, this time: the Russian Defense Ministry claims the real surprise would have been if the sub had not been detected, but resents the babysitting all the same.

3. When a high-ranking official gets injured, you may well suspect foul play. And it was foul play in the case of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s hand injury: specifically, from playing soccer. He joined a gala match with the over-45s Russian National Football League in late May, and this week showed up to talks with Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini in a sling. Here’s hoping the talks finish better than the game.

Quote of the Week

“This is not a work injury caused by dozens of telephone conversations with colleagues. It is slight injury caused by football.”

—Caption on an Instagram picture showing Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with his arm in a sling.

In Odder News

  • Russia has a brisket bias, but one cattle ranch is trying to sell meat that makes the cut.
  • A new jet is set to rival Boeing and Airbus. At least, that’s the hope as Russia’s new model prepares for takeoff.
  • Believe it or not, the top-ranking Russia-related web search is not President Putin. First up is cats, followed by the matryoshka doll and the ushanka hat.
themoscowtimes.com

Cover image: theguardian.com

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. 

Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

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...
A Taste of Russia

A Taste of Russia

The definitive modern cookbook on Russian cuisine has been totally updated and redesigned in a 30th Anniversary Edition. Layering superbly researched recipes with informative essays on the dishes' rich historical and cultural context, A Taste of Russia includes over 200 recipes on everything from borshch to blini, from Salmon Coulibiac to Beef Stew with Rum, from Marinated Mushrooms to Walnut-honey Filled Pies. A Taste of Russia shows off the best that Russian cooking has to offer. Full of great quotes from Russian literature about Russian food and designed in a convenient wide format that stays open during use.
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.
Marooned in Moscow

Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.
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.
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.
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.
The Little Humpbacked Horse (bilingual)

The Little Humpbacked Horse (bilingual)

A beloved Russian classic about a resourceful Russian peasant, Vanya, and his miracle-working horse, who together undergo various trials, exploits and adventures at the whim of a laughable tsar, told in rich, narrative poetry.

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