January 29, 2020

The Motherland Calls... Reenactors



The Motherland Calls... Reenactors
Historically accurate. VKontakte, Sergei Stepanov. Posted to @vproriv.

A quiet St. Petersburg suburb was recently transformed into a war zone worthy of an action film. 20 automobiles, 15 tanks, and 600 reenactors celebrated the 76th anniversary of the end of the Siege of Leningrad with a "war-historical festival" (the Siege was broken on January 27, 1944).

The event, dubbed "The Breakthrough Strip," pays homage to the over one million Soviet citizens who perished during the over-two-year blockade of the city by Nazi forces 1941-1944. Another half-million Red Army troops died attempting to relieve the city.

Even now, nearly 75 years after the war ended, World War II has not lost its power as important historical touchpoint in Russia. In fact, the government has been encouraging national unity around the "Great Patriotic War" through the invocation of war glory since Putin took power in 2000 (expect this May's 75th anniversary celebrations to get significant coverage). And, as any traveler can tell you, Russians love their monuments.

We think it looks pretty cool, if we're being honest. Check out their promotional video.

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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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22 Russian Crosswords

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The Moscow Eccentric

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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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Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

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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.

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