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Saturday, December 03, 2011

Chtenia 17 preview

by Nina Shevchuk-Murray
Chtenia 17

The next issue of Chtenia, #17, is being laid out this weekend, and as always, there's a deep satisfaction in seeing the whole team's work come to fruition. The theme of the issue is Sport, which at the moment strikes me as a great counterpoint to the winter season, when holidays and cold weather compromise one's fitness routine with such gleeful impunity.

One of the highlights of the new issue is The Tale of Vasilisa the Beautiful– an ancient bylina about a noble lady who, when crossed, puts the Kievan athletic elites to shame. Even though the lady has to compete in man's dress (she happens to be a persona non-grata at the court), the interesting thing is that no one disputes her winnings. In the tale, the contests in wrestling, archery and chess have enormous significance; the fate of the entire city of Kiev, at one point, hangs in the balance. 

In the world of Vasilisa the Beautiful, he (or she, as the case may be) who wins at sports, wins in life – a rather modern attitude, when you think about it. It is also unique to have a woman be a hero of a bylina, so when I was little, this was my favorite of all tales (which is saying something, given that the Ilya Muromets stories, for instance, have an awesome horse in them, and I love horses). So I'm delighted to find the animated version on YouTube:

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Late July and early August were busy times in 1914: not only was Russia's own heir apparent celebrating his 10th birthday, the world was devolving into the military chaos of World War I.
 

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Tags: romanov, romanovs, alexei, rasputin, world war i, russia, russian empire, tsarism
Rating: Zero stars
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Rating: Zero stars
July 14, 2014
The First Russian Automobile
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July 14, 1896, is celebrated as the birthday of the Russian automobile – on this day, the first Russian-built motorcar with an internal combustion engine was introduced to the public at the Arts Exhibition in Nizhni Novgorod. 
 

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Tags: automobile, cars, inventions
Rating: Zero stars
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In honor of the Day of Russian Mail (July 13 this year), we offer a crash course in the history of Russian mail delivery, from the yam stations of the Golden Horde to the Russian Post of modern Russia.

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Tags: mail, russia, russian post
Rating: Zero stars
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Sample Alexei Bayer's myster novel Murder at the Dacha with this gripping incident on board a Moscow commuter train.

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Rating: Zero stars

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