February 15, 2021

You Think You Know Russia? Perhaps Russia Knows You...



You Think You Know Russia? Perhaps Russia Knows You...
Who's reading who? The Soviets knew the real powers of the human mind. Ahmad Ossayli on Unsplash

The Soviet government has been known for investigating some strange things, from resuscitated heads and the manufacturing of double-headed dogs to human-ape hybrids and blood transfusions from dead corpses.

On January 25th, the online archive Black Vault published a declassified CIA document describing how Soviet scientists had also “perfected” methods of nontraditional medical treatment that included psychic practices.

These techniques involved the use of mirrors to amplify psychic abilities that could “transmit bioenergy to patients to enable them to control or cure asthma, sinusitis, allergies, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary inflammation, and heart disease.”

The medical specialists conducting the procedures allegedly could not only treat individuals but also “empathically experienc[e] the patient’s discomfort.”

Other experiments in Novosibirsk and Leningrad included attempts to psychically transmit “images of geometric shapes” from one research volunteer to another.

Now if only we could order drinks through our minds...

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Russia Rules

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Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

One of the most famous works of Russian literature, the four-act comedy in verse Woe from Wit skewers staid, nineteenth century Russian society, and it positively teems with “winged phrases” that are essential colloquialisms for students of Russian and Russian culture.
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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.
Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
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.
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.
Murder at the Dacha

Murder at the Dacha

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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.

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