Jan/Feb 2016 Current Moscow Time: 17:28:52
14 February 2016

  The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.

Russian Life: Jan/Feb 2016

Jan/Feb 2016
Cover: Álvaro Laiz

4: Two Minds Paul E. Richardson
Most Russophiles are of two minds on Russia these days, struggling to reconcile the Russia they love with the one they hate.

7: Blacked Out The Editors
On the continued relevance of Malevich's Black Square.
Note Book

16: Turkey Trot The Editors
On how a close enemy becomes a friend overnight.
International Relations

19: Pyrrhic Defeat Tamara Eidelman
The Congress of Paris in 1856 settled the outcome of the Crimean War, where Russia's loss set the stage for the next fifty years of history.
:: Translation by Nora Favorov


21: Osip Mandelstam Tamara Eidelman
On the anniversary of the birth of an extremely talented, headstrong poet who was taken from us too soon.
:: Translation by Nora Favorov


22: The Krasnodar Riot Tamara Eidelman
A little known riot in Soviet Krasnodar in 1961 was a sign of the times - inept reforms, and pent up resentments. It resonates to this day.
:: Translation by Nora Favorov


26: The Year in Words Michelle A. Berdy
A look back on the words and phrases that defined the Russian language in 2015.
:: Illustrations/Images by Victor Bogorad

Survival Russian

27: The Tale of a Fisherman and a Little Fish Natalia Gogolitsyna
This issue's language insert excerpts this famous Pushkin fairy tale in search of anachronistic words.

28: The Hunt Álvaro Laiz
According to an Udege proverb, “If you see a tiger for one second, he has been watching you for an hour.” And what happens if one unwittingly unleashes a tiger’s bad side? You must, the Udege believe, hunt down and kill the tiger – not an easy thing.
:: Illustrations/Images by Álvaro Laiz


36: Gogol on the Rocks Julie Masis
Nikolai Gogol was born in Ukraine and is revered in his homeland. So why is the house where he lived in Odessa in such disrepair, and will anything ever be done about it?

44: Russia's First Photojournalist Nadezhda Grebennikova
One hundred and fifty-eight years ago, Russia’s first photojournalist was born... ?as a serf. How he overcame his difficult youth is a great story. How he turned photography into a tool for social change is an even better one.
:: Illustrations/Images by Maxim Dmitriev


52: Dating Games Evan Haddad
How are busy, young Russians coping in the era of Tinder and online dating? Our reporter finds it to be largely a world of scammers and sketchy apps.
Social Issues

58: A Bear's Feast Darra Goldstein
Where we look back at a 1912 feast, scrutinizing the menu to learn how the upper crust of Russian society ate.

61: Fiction, Ukraine and Civil War Paul E. Richardson
Reviews of "The Big Green Tent," by Lyudmila Ulitskaya, "The Gates of Europe," by Serhii Plokhy, and a new translation of "Red Cavalry," by Isaac Babel.
Under Review

64: Ignoble Reactions Tamara Eidelman
A consideration of envy and how many are reacting to Svetlana Alexievich's winning the Nobel Prize in Literature.
:: Translation by Nora Favorov