August 09, 2020

Criminal Camels



Criminal Camels
When one hump isn't enough. Alexandr Frolov, Wikimedia Commons

A plague is haunting a group of villages in a rural part of the steppe Astrakhan region. It's called camels.

A herd of some eighty two-humped Bactrian camels has been terrorizing towns and caused residents of the area to seek shelter indoors, not permitting their children to play outside. Besides trampling gardens, damaging utilities, and even defacing gravestones, the animals are reportedly very aggressive: "If you look one directly in the eye… the animal chases you, and you have to run away," said one villager.

The cause of the sudden ungulate uprising is an 83-year-old local retiree, who determined that he no longer had the time or resources to care for the animals, so he released them. As he has refused to take responsibility for the actions of his animals, he is effectively holding the towns hostage until he is paid for the camels. "I won't just give them away," he said.

The camel chaos has gotten so bad that it was even featured on the national news.

May we suggest transporting them by train?
 

The Magical Land of Tuva
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In this, the fourth in our series of articles on Gary and Monika Westcott's drive across Russia, the couple visits the Republic of Tuva, best known for its postage stamps and throat-singing. But the "usual" tourist attractions are not what the Westcotts were after...
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Kalmykia: Reviving the Dusty Plain

A huge expanse of desert and grassy plains, this southern Russian republic has an austere beauty all its own. Of course there is also Chess City and the horse races...
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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.
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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.
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Murder and the Muse

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The Little Humpbacked Horse

The Little Humpbacked Horse

A beloved Russian classic about a resourceful Russian peasant, Vanya, and his miracle-working horse, who together undergo various trials, exploits and adventures at the whim of a laughable tsar, told in rich, narrative poetry.
The Samovar Murders

The Samovar Murders

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Jews in Service to the Tsar

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Moscow and Muscovites

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 
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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.
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.
93 Untranslatable Russian Words

93 Untranslatable Russian Words

Every language has concepts, ideas, words and idioms that are nearly impossible to translate into another language. This book looks at nearly 100 such Russian words and offers paths to their understanding and translation by way of examples from literature and everyday life. Difficult to translate words and concepts are introduced with dictionary definitions, then elucidated with citations from literature, speech and prose, helping the student of Russian comprehend the word/concept in context.

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