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Sochi +5
March 01, 2019

Sochi +5

Views of Sochi, five years after the close of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in that southern city.

17 Petersburg Places
September 01, 2017

17 Petersburg Places

Revolutions, including that Great October one, are not a popular topic in Russia today. Nonetheless, we take a photo feature look at how 1917 shaped Russia’s northern capital.

From War to Peace
September 01, 2017

From War to Peace

It wasn’t easy being a photojournalist in the Soviet era. Here are five gifted artists you should know, with samples of their work and tales from their lives.

Exploring Borders
November 01, 2016

Exploring Borders

Maria Gruzdeva traveled for several years in Russia’s borderlands, gathering photos and stories. She has now compiled it all in a book, and gives us a taste.

Aunties: The Seven Summers of Aleutian and Ludmila
November 01, 2015

Aunties: The Seven Summers of Aleutian and Ludmila

In a small village in northwest Russia, Nadia Sablin spent seven summers capturing evocative photos of her dear Russian aunts. It is a stunning portrait of their generation and the countryside.

Crimean Sojourn
January 01, 2015

Crimean Sojourn

Mikhail Mordasov has been traveling all over Crimea since the annexation last spring. He shares this moving photo feature.

On the Street
September 01, 2014

On the Street

Photographer Dmitry Ryzhkov captures extraordinary moments of ordinary Russians on the streets of Moscow. Sometimes it gets him into trouble.

One Hundred Years Ago
July 01, 2013

One Hundred Years Ago

A short look at three very different yet fascinating photos, all taken 100 years ago, in 1913. One is from Torzhok, one from Moscow, one from the Altai.
Colonial Russia
September 01, 2007

Colonial Russia

Perched on the rocky cliffs of California's Pacific coast is Fort Ross, a National Park commemorating the southernmost point of Russian colonial settlement in the Americas. Each July, thousands flock to the Fort for an annual celebration.

Riding the TransSib
July 01, 2005

Riding the TransSib

Photographer Mike Buscher spent two months riding the Trans-Siberian railway and brings us this photo essay.

Routine Beauty
May 01, 2003

Routine Beauty

It takes a trained eye to see the uncommon beauty of common things in any city, particularly one beseiged by tourists and dusty with the detritus of a failed empire. A photo feature with some literary interludes.

 

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EVENTS FOR RUSSOPHILES

A Few of Our Books

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.
The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  
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.
Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod is a mid-sized provincial city that exists only in Russian metaphorical space. It has its roots in Gogol, and Ilf and Petrov, and is a place far from Moscow, but close to Russian hearts. It is a place of mystery and normality, of provincial innocence and Black Earth wisdom. Strange, inexplicable things happen in Stargorod. So do good things. And bad things. A lot like life everywhere, one might say. Only with a heavy dose of vodka, longing and mystery.
Murder at the Dacha

Murder at the Dacha

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin has a problem. Several, actually. Not the least of them is the fact that a powerful Soviet boss has been murdered, and Matyushkin's surly commander has given him an unreasonably short time frame to close the case.
Jews in Service to the Tsar

Jews in Service to the Tsar

Benjamin Disraeli advised, “Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.” With Jews in Service to the Tsar, Lev Berdnikov offers us 28 biographies spanning five centuries of Russian Jewish history, and each portrait opens a new window onto the history of Eastern Europe’s Jews, illuminating dark corners and challenging widely-held conceptions about the role of Jews in Russian history.
Steppe / Степь

Steppe / Степь

This is the work that made Chekhov, launching his career as a writer and playwright of national and international renown. Retranslated and updated, this new bilingual edition is a super way to improve your Russian.
Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

This astonishingly gripping autobiography by the founder of the Russian Women’s Death Battallion in World War I is an eye-opening documentary of life before, during and after the Bolshevik Revolution.
Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

In this comprehensive, quixotic and addictive book, Edwin Trommelen explores all facets of the Russian obsession with vodka. Peering chiefly through the lenses of history and literature, Trommelen offers up an appropriately complex, rich and bittersweet portrait, based on great respect for Russian culture.

Popular Articles

Why Don't Russians Smile?
January 10, 2014

Why Don't Russians Smile?

It is a common trope that Russians never smile. Which of course is interpreted to mean they are unfriendly, gloomy, sullen – positively Dostoyevskian. This, of course, is a complete misreading of body language and cultural norms.

Peace, Land, Bread
April 23, 2014

Peace, Land, Bread

Peace! Land! Bread! This was the battle cry of the 1917 October Revolution (old calendar) that changed the history of Russia and indeed the entire world. Since the time of Ivan the Terrible, the tsars concentrated on centralization of their power and control. The most common way of doing this was to take power away from the nobility, appeasing them by giving them dominion over their land and workers. This soon developed into the oppressive, slave-style condition known as serfdom.

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