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20 September 2014


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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:

September 17, 2014
Returning to Putorana
Returning to Putorana
By Ivan Kobilyakov

We asked Ivan Kobilyakov, whose story on filming wild wolves in Putorana appeared in the Sep/Oct 2014 issue of Russian Life, to give us an update on the project and how filming has gone this summer. He also supplied new photos.

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Tags: nature, siberia
September 15, 2014
A Soviet Leader in the US? Preposterous!
A Soviet Leader in the US? Preposterous!
By Eugenia Sokolskaya

When you're a Soviet dictator, it's rare that you get the chance to tour the US, visiting movie sets, meat freezers, and steel mills, being featured on TV, and laughing at angry farmers. Nikita Khrushchev got that chance 55 years ago. And he made the most of it.

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Tags: eisenhower, khrushchev, united states
September 1, 2014
For Better or Worse
For Better or Worse
By Paul E. Richardson

What with downed passenger airlines, war in Ukraine, trade embargos and rapidly worsening US-Russian relations, why in the world is there a picture of a giraffe on the cover of Russian Life magazine? 

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Tags: war, Ukraine, animals
September 1, 2014
The Many Days of September 1
The Many Days of September 1
By Eugenia Sokolskaya

Did you know September 1 is more than just Labor Day? Read on to find out how Russians celebrate September 1, the Day of Knowledge, the first day of school.

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Tags: education, school, russia, holidays
August 14, 2014
1741: The Year Russia Discovered America
1741: The Year Russia Discovered America
By Eugenia Sokolskaya

You probably know that Alaska was bought from Russia well over 100 years ago. But do you know how Russia came to lay claim to the territory in the first place? Hint: they were after furs.

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Tags: russia, united states, alaska, colonization