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20 April 2015


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

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

US News & World Report: Learn Russian!

This appeared in the Dec 18 issue of USN&WR:

"Why not get ahead of the geopolitical curve and study Russian? Though it has never been a top foreign language among American students, Russian did grow in popularity during the Cold War. And the wealth of Russian history and literature has always made learning the tongue rewarding enough for many. Now, a resurgent and more nationalistic (though post-communist) Russia is again doing some muscle flexing, albeit much more modestly than in the past. American students currently rank Russian eighth on a list of foreign languages that interest them. But with Russia widely pegged as a re-emerging great powerâ??and taking a tough line against a range of American policiesâ??mastering the tongue of the Kremlin could well come to regain some cachet. And, if not, you still could read Dostoevski in the original form, not to mention order a vodka in Moscow with a certain grace."
April 17, 2015
How Well Do You Know Russian Fairy Tale Characters?
How Well Do You Know Russian Fairy Tale Characters?
By Eugenia Sokolskaya

Sure, everyone knows the name Baba Yaga. But do you know where she lives? Do you know Koschey the Immortal, or Zmey Gorynych? How well do you know the spirits of the forest? Read up on these key characters of Russian fairy tales!

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Tags: fairy tales
March 28, 2015
Smoktunovsky: Portrait of an Actor
Smoktunovsky: Portrait of an Actor
By Eugenia Sokolskaya

A generation of Soviets grew up seeing the face of actor Innokenty Smoktunovsky in his varied roles, both on screen and on stage. But what was his actual life like? In this snippet, he gives a taste of the trials he underwent as a soldier fighting the Nazis.

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Tags: world war ii, smoktunovsky, memoir
March 8, 2015
International Women's Day: A Look Back
International Women's Day: A Look Back
By Eugenia Sokolskaya

Tired of having to do Valentine's Day and Mother's Day separately? Try it the Russian way and combine them into International Women's Day! A closer look at this convenient holiday's socialist origins and not-so-socialist present form.

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Tags: russia, holiday, women, socialism
March 2, 2015
Dizzy with "Success": The Horrors of Collectivization
Dizzy with "Success": The Horrors of Collectivization
By Eugenia Sokolskaya

Collectivization in the Soviet Union was a time of hunger, suffering, and massive death tolls – even as the papers proclaimed phenomenal success. One former peasant's memoirs give us a window on that terrible time.

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Tags: soviet union, collectivization, stalin, dekulakization
February 28, 2015
Boris Nemtsov
Boris Nemtsov
By Paul E. Richardson

On Friday night, just steps from St. Basil's Cathedral, one of the bravest and most vocal opponents of the Kremlin was gunned down by unknown assailants. How are Russians reacting?

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Tags: politics, Kremlin, Putin, murder
February 23, 2015
Decoding Leviathan
Decoding Leviathan
By Diana Bruk

Leviathan is not, as virtually every mainstream critic has presumed, “anti-Russian.” I watched the movie resolutely prepared to intensely dislike it. I fully believed it would shamelessly pander to an American public eager to see a film that demonized Putin and made the country seem like a hellish landscape of unsalvageable bleakness. But that was not at all the case. 

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Tags: leviathan, film, oscars, zvyagintsev