July 30, 2021

The False Borises



The False Borises
Just imagine thousands of little Boris Vishnevskys crawling around this building. Wikimedia Commons, Godot13.

St. Petersburg voters in an upcoming election will have three Boris Vishnevskys to pick from: one "original" and two fakes.

Boris Lazarevich Vishnevsky, a civil servant and member of the liberal opposition Yabloko party, is running for a deputy position in the Northern Capital's legislative assembly. Alongside him are two new, inauthentic candidates sporting the same name.

Reportedly, the two other candidates deliberately and legally changed their names within the last year, while keeping their patronymics (the middle "son of" names): Viktor Ivanovich Bykov is now Boris Ivanovich Vishnevsky, and Alexei Gennadievich Shmelev is now Boris Gennadievich Vishnevksy. One of the spoilers is already registered as a self-nominated candidate with the electoral commission; the other is in the process of doing so.

As a response that nodded to the location of City Hall, the real Boris Vishnevsky tweeted, "How scary Smolny is!"

Fortunately, faking your identity for political gain is much less deadly today than it used to be.

You Might Also Like

Presidential Patty Cakes
  • May 01, 2021

Presidential Patty Cakes

This spring, a ruckus roiling US-Russian relations was one for the history books: It was the first spat that involved a children’s playground taunt.
No Lazy Elections
  • July 21, 2021

No Lazy Elections

“Video surveillance – it is not idle curiosity, for lying on the couch to watch some kind of movie. There are theaters and television for that, but this [observance of elections] is major work. If you want [to observe elections], if you are interested, an active citizen, then you’re going to need to work a bit for it.” – Ella Pamfilova, head of Russia’s Central Election Committee, on election monitoring.
The Family Panties
  • January 18, 2021

The Family Panties

Quarantine might have gotten many of us used to hanging around in our underwear, but Russian film director Vitaliy Mansky took his to the streets of Moscow.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Murder and the Muse

Murder and the Muse

KGB Chief Andropov has tapped Matyushkin to solve a brazen jewel heist from Picasso’s wife at the posh Metropole Hotel. But when the case bleeds over into murder, machinations, and international intrigue, not everyone is eager to see where the clues might lead.
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.
Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

In this comprehensive, quixotic and addictive book, Edwin Trommelen explores all facets of the Russian obsession with vodka. Peering chiefly through the lenses of history and literature, Trommelen offers up an appropriately complex, rich and bittersweet portrait, based on great respect for Russian culture.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  
Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

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.

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