January 22, 2021

A Model Problem-Solver



A Model Problem-Solver
Ufa janitor Yuri, working it for the camera. Roman Philippov

Photography, it seems, has a very practical use. In the case of Ufa janitor "Yura," a modeling session helped him get rid of his 500,000-ruble debt (about $6800).

Yura, a local "dvornik" with a mild mental disability, recently fell on hard times when he accepted cash from a group of swindlers trying to take his apartment. They offered 500,000 rubles as a "loan" to disabled persons, placing Yura in debt that would be impossible to pay off.

Fortunately, a friend of his organized a professional-style photo-shoot to help him out. With the help of the images, not only did he get comments that he looks like Matthew McConaughey; he also received 657,000 rubles (about $8900) to help get him back on his feet.

Such a story is great for warming the heart even in the midst of a Russian winter.

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The Best of Russian Life

We culled through 15 years of Russian Life to select readers’ and editors’ favorite stories and biographies for inclusion in a special two-volume collection. Totalling over 1100 pages, these two volumes encompass some of the best writing we have published over the last two decades, and include the most timeless stories and biographies – those that can be read again and again.
Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
The Spine of Russia

The Spine of Russia

This coffee table book is the photographic journal of an epic 6000-kilometer road trip. The book includes over 200 compelling images of Russians and Russian places met along the way, plus a dozen texts (in both English and Russian) on everything from business to education, from roads to fools.
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.
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Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

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Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

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