July 16, 2021

Not Cu-Cumbersome for Prisoners



Not Cu-Cumbersome for Prisoners
Cool as two cucumbers. Photo by Kelly Neil on Unsplash

On July 8, the Russian online news outlet “Orlegrad” reported that a penal colony in the Kromskoy district of the Oryol region has taken an approach to convict rehabilitation that requires its prisoners to develop a green thumb.

Since April, prisoners have been tasked with tending to different types of cucumber. The colony has a greenhouse with an area of 500 square meters where residents plant seedlings, engage in microclimate regulation, air, water, feed, process, shape, and harvest their vegetables.

The gardening not only helps diversify the diets of prisoners and create additional jobs and earnings, but the labor is also thought to help them “embark on the path of correction.” The first harvest came in mid-June, and prisoners have since gathered 575 kilograms (about 1270 pounds) of four cucumber varieties.

While it is yet to be seen how successful this activity will be in nudging inmates back to the high road, we can hope this cucumber solution will take no prisoners.

 

You Might Also Like

New GULAG?
  • July 01, 2021

New GULAG?

Russian authorities have found a new way to boost the country’s sluggish economic growth while also solving the shortage of construction workers: prison labor.
Cool as Cucumber Noodles
  • July 01, 2016

Cool as Cucumber Noodles

Cucumbers are practically their own food group in Russia. We offer a cooling recipe...
Prison, Alexis and Siberia
  • March 01, 2015

Prison, Alexis and Siberia

Reviews of a book by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, "My Fellow Prisoners," "Alexis in America, by Lee Farrow, "Midnight in Siberia," by by NPR host David Greene, "Trepanation of the Skull," by Sergei Gandlevsky, and "An American Diplomat in Bolshevik Russia," by DeWitt Clinton Poole.
Crime Doesn't Pay
  • August 09, 2018

Crime Doesn't Pay

This is the crime-filled Russia you’ve always heard about, including a cat smuggling drugs and railroad theft.
Russian Political Prisoners Ignored by Everyone
  • September 03, 2013

Russian Political Prisoners Ignored by Everyone

Sergey Udaltsov, a leftist protest leader currently under house arrest pending investigation of his alleged planning of the May 6, 2012 Bolotnaya Square riots exemplifies the popular saying: “out of sight, out of mind.” Yet he is not alone in his plight...
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

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 Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The fables of Ivan Krylov are rich fonts of Russian cultural wisdom and experience – reading and understanding them is vital to grasping the Russian worldview. This new edition of 62 of Krylov’s tales presents them side-by-side in English and Russian. The wonderfully lyrical translations by Lydia Razran Stone are accompanied by original, whimsical color illustrations by Katya Korobkina.
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.
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. 
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.
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.
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.
Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

The Life Stories collection is a nice introduction to contemporary Russian fiction: many of the 19 authors featured here have won major Russian literary prizes and/or become bestsellers. These are life-affirming stories of love, family, hope, rebirth, mystery and imagination, masterfully translated by some of the best Russian-English translators working today. The selections reassert the power of Russian literature to affect readers of all cultures in profound and lasting ways. Best of all, 100% of the profits from the sale of this book are going to benefit Russian hospice—not-for-profit care for fellow human beings who are nearing the end of their own life stories.
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.
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.

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.

Latest Posts


Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567

800-639-4301
802-223-4955