Jan/Feb 2017 Current Moscow Time: 14:53:07
23 February 2017


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Culture

Covering the broader realm of culture, plus humor, food and drink.

February 15, 2017
Spies Like Them
By Research Department

Spies Like Them

As the FBI investigation deepens into Trump-Kremlin ties, we thought it would be useful – a public service, really – to provide some handy tips on spotting Russian spies.

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Tags: spies, KGB
January 31, 2017
Happy Birthday, Vodka! 10 Shots of Trivia
By Alice E.M. Underwood

Happy Birthday, Vodka! 10 Shots of Trivia

In 1865, vodka joined bears and matryoshkas as an eternal symbol of Russia. Here's how it happened, plus nine trivia tidbits on Russia's most beloved, harmful, and historical libation. 

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Tags: russia, vodka, history, smirnoff
January 25, 2017
Titan of the Russian Forest: An Ivan Shishkin Art Gallery
By Alice E.M. Underwood

Titan of the Russian Forest: An Ivan Shishkin Art Gallery

Today marks the 185th birthday of the artist Ivan Shishkin, whose paintings evoke Russia's beauty and vastness. With a nickname like "Forest Tsar," his trees must be good.

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Tags: Russia, Shishkin, painting, art, Peredvizhniki, realism
December 19, 2016
10 Things (And 5 Jokes) You Didn't Know About Brezhnev
By Alice E.M. Underwood

10 Things (And 5 Jokes) You Didn't Know About Brezhnev

Soviet leader Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev would have been 110 on December 19. There are plenty of fun facts and surprising jokes behind the eyebrows.

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Tags: Brezhnev, Soviet Union, USSR, Stagnation
December 5, 2016
"We invented and changed the world": A Rodchenko Art Gallery
By Alice E.M. Underwood

"We invented and changed the world": A Rodchenko Art Gallery

Photographer, painter, designer, and more, Alexander Rodchenko (born December 5, 1891) worked at the intersection of innovative art and radical politics. Here are 14 of his works. 

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Tags: Rodchenko, Russia, art, modernism, photography, Soviet Union
December 4, 2016
Abstraction Turns 150: A Vasily Kandinsky Art Gallery
By Alice E.M. Underwood

Abstraction Turns 150: A Vasily Kandinsky Art Gallery

Vasily Kandinsky was a renowned abstract artist whose shapes and colors revolutionized twentieth-century modernist art. Here are 11 of his paintings in honor of his 150th.

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Tags: Kandinsky, Russia, art, modernism, abstract, abstraction
November 19, 2016
Famous People Who Studied Russian
By Letitia Rydjeski

Famous People Who Studied Russian

Studying Russian and finding it a bit challenging? You are not alone. Check out our list of famous people who have studied Russian, and find some fellow-sufferers...

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Tags: immigration, Russians, us-russian relations
November 18, 2016
Famous Americans with Russian Roots
By Letitia Rydjeski

Famous Americans with Russian Roots

America is a land built by immigrants. We researched famous Americans with Russian roots and offer this compilation.

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Tags: immigration, Russians, us-russian relations
November 11, 2016
Dostoyevsky's Birthday in 10 Dark Quotes
By Alice E.M. Underwood

Dostoyevsky's Birthday in 10 Dark Quotes

In honor of the writer's 195th birthday, here are 10 quotes to celebrate the life and writings of Fyodor Dostoyevsky. They may not be cheerful, but they sure are profound.

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Tags: Russia, Dostoevsky, literature, Crime and Punishment, Karamazov, suffering
October 14, 2016
Five Wild Facts about St. Basil's Cathedral
By Alice E.M. Underwood

Five Wild Facts about St. Basil's Cathedral

On October 14, 1991, St. Basil’s Cathedral was reopened after six decades. Here are five fun facts in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Cathedral’s rebirth.

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Tags: Russia, Moscow, Red Square, st. basil, St. Basil's Cathedral, Pokrovsky Sobor, religion, Ivan IV
October 12, 2016
Fall, Tolstoy, Mushrooms
By Lev Tolstoy

Fall, Tolstoy, Mushrooms

In honor of fall, and Russians' favorite autumnal pastime – mushroom picking – we offer these two short stories by Lev Tolstoy – in both English and Russian!

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Tags: Tolstoy, fall, mushrooms
September 29, 2016
The Babi Yar Tragedy, Remembered in Poetry
By Alice E.M. Underwood

The Babi Yar Tragedy, Remembered in Poetry

On September 29-30, 1941, Nazi troops shot over 33,000 Jews at the edge of the Babi Yar ravine near Kiev. Yevgeny Yevtushenko's poem memorializing the tragedy ensures it will never be forgotten. 

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Tags: Russia, Babi Yar, Yevtushenko, Evtushenko, Holocaust, WWII, poetry
September 25, 2016
Listen and Learn: Shostakovich Turns 110
By Alice E.M. Underwood

Listen and Learn: Shostakovich Turns 110

Dmitry Shostakovich created classical music that spoke to modern times. Read up on his life story and listen along to some of finest works along the way. 

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Tags: russia, shostakovich, music, composer, soviet union, ussr, stalin, classical
September 7, 2016
No Calendar, No Life
By Paul E. Richardson

No Calendar, No Life

Why are calendars so great? Give me a few minutes, and I will blow your mind.

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Tags: calendar, time, history
August 22, 2016
Magical Kefir
By Philip Seifi

Magical Kefir

Kefir is the most popular fermented milk in Russia. But it did not get there overnight. Kefir and Russia have a long history...

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Tags: food, health, Caucasus
August 3, 2016
5 Pearls of Wisdom from Fazil Iskander
By Alice E.M. Underwood

5 Pearls of Wisdom from Fazil Iskander

Fazil Iskander, a missile in the world of Soviet literature, passed away on July 31. Here are five of his pearls of wisdom on humor, science, politics, Stalin, and the Russian soul.

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Tags: iskander, author, literature, russia, soviet union, politics, satire
July 25, 2016
Vasnetsov, Painter and Planet: An Art Gallery
By Alice E.M. Underwood

Vasnetsov, Painter and Planet: An Art Gallery

July 25 is the 155th birthday of Apollinary Vasnetsov, who is both a renowned painter of medieval Russia and a fixture in the night sky.

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Tags: vasnetsov, painter, painting, art, artist, russia, history
July 8, 2016
Fevronia's Day
By Elizaveta Shkurina

Fevronia's Day

On July 8, Russia celebrates the Day of Family, Love and Fidelity, a holiday aimed at promoting traditional family values, more commonly known as Fevronia's Day. What's it all about?

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Tags: Fevronia, Orthodox Church, holidays
July 7, 2016
Celebrating Summer in Russia's Pagan Tradition
By Alice E.M. Underwood

Celebrating Summer in Russia's Pagan Tradition

Ivan Kupala is technically St. John the Baptist Day. But the bonfires and skinny-dipping that celebrate the Summer Solstice have deep roots in Russia's pagan past.

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Tags: ivan kupala, solstice, pagan, russia, maslenitsa, john the baptist
June 16, 2016
Rudolf Nureyev's Great Leap to Freedom
By Alice E.M. Underwood

Rudolf Nureyev's Great Leap to Freedom

Ballet great Rudolf Nureyev leapt out of Soviet jurisdiction and into the wider world of Western ballet on June 16, 1961. His leap was as much a political move as a dance move.

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Tags: nureyev, ballet, art, politics, russia, soviet union, defection