November 03, 2021

Make Not War Art



Make Not War Art

“In connection with the incident, the State Hermitage was forced to apply to the prosecutor's office of St. Petersburg with a statement to conduct a prosecutor's check and assess the actions of a citizen for possible violations of the legislation of the Russian Federation, including in terms of public insult to the memory of the Defenders of the Fatherland.”

– The Press Service of the St. Petersburg Hermitage

Artist Kirill Smorodin may have violated one of Russia’s laws this month banning insults to veterans. On October 27, the Press Service announced that Smorodin had hung his portrait, where he was depicted in the uniform of a soldier of the Patriotic War of 1812, in the Military Gallery of 1812. Smorodin documented the stunt on his Instagram page, although the painting has since been removed both from social media and the wall of the Hermitage.

In May 2021, Russia passed legislation that punishes individuals who insult the veterans of WWII, also known as the Great Patriotic War. A conviction can carry a sentence of up to five years in jail. While the Patriotic War of 1812 (Russia's part of the Napoleonic Wars) isn't technically covered, as its veterans are much older than WWII participants, this decision could change that.

Let's hope, for Smorodin's sake, that he does not end up in the slammer. It's not like he caricatured Alexander Lukashenko as Medusa or anything...

 

You Might Also Like

The Girl from the Hermitage
  • July 01, 2021

The Girl from the Hermitage

Molly Gartland’s The Girl from the Hermitage follows the turns of fate over nearly a century of a single family in St. Petersburg, whose lives are forever altered by a portrait assignment.
A Mustachioed Medusa
  • October 27, 2021

A Mustachioed Medusa

What could be more sinister than a Medusa with a mustache? A hint: a Medusa with a mustache and a reputation for being Europe’s last dictator.
Defending a Mural to the Death
  • October 23, 2021

Defending a Mural to the Death

If you don't know short-lived Soviet rock musician Igor Talkov, you should. His St. Petersburg mural is under threat.
A Bare Cat-art-strophe in Kazan
  • October 19, 2021

A Bare Cat-art-strophe in Kazan

An indignant social media user called out an artist for her choice of subject in the heart of Kazan, but there’s another side to the story – a backside, if you will.
5-Hour Phone Film
  • March 15, 2020

5-Hour Phone Film

Do you have an extra five hours? Why not watch this unique film!
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

A Taste of Russia

A Taste of Russia

The definitive modern cookbook on Russian cuisine has been totally updated and redesigned in a 30th Anniversary Edition. Layering superbly researched recipes with informative essays on the dishes' rich historical and cultural context, A Taste of Russia includes over 200 recipes on everything from borshch to blini, from Salmon Coulibiac to Beef Stew with Rum, from Marinated Mushrooms to Walnut-honey Filled Pies. A Taste of Russia shows off the best that Russian cooking has to offer. Full of great quotes from Russian literature about Russian food and designed in a convenient wide format that stays open during use.
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.
Driving Down Russia's Spine

Driving Down Russia's Spine

The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. 
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.
White Magic

White Magic

The thirteen tales in this volume – all written by Russian émigrés, writers who fled their native country in the early twentieth century – contain a fair dose of magic and mysticism, of terror and the supernatural. There are Petersburg revenants, grief-stricken avengers, Lithuanian vampires, flying skeletons, murders and duels, and even a ghostly Edgar Allen Poe.
The Little Golden Calf

The Little Golden Calf

Our edition of The Little Golden Calf, one of the greatest Russian satires ever, is the first new translation of this classic novel in nearly fifty years. It is also the first unabridged, uncensored English translation ever, and is 100% true to the original 1931 serial publication in the Russian journal 30 Dnei. Anne O. Fisher’s translation is copiously annotated, and includes an introduction by Alexandra Ilf, the daughter of one of the book’s two co-authors.
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.
22 Russian Crosswords

22 Russian Crosswords

Test your knowledge of the Russian language, Russian history and society with these 22 challenging puzzles taken from the pages of Russian Life magazine. Most all the clues are in English, but you must fill in the answers in Russian. If you get stumped, of course all the puzzles have answers printed at the back of the book.
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.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567

800-639-4301
802-223-4955