September 08, 2022

A Rain Check for Respect


A Rain Check for Respect
Gorbachev at his wife Raisa's funeral, 1999. Wikimedia Commons, RIA Novosti

On September 1, a few days after the passing of Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Union's final leader, Putin visited the hospital where Gorbachev lay in an open casket. Putin placed red roses next to the casket, gave a few moments of silence, crossed himself, bowed, and walked away.

Fifteen hours after Gorbachev had passed away, Putin released a statement expressing his condolences. He reminded the world that Gorbachev was a leader who had a "huge impact on the course of world history" and "deeply understood that reforms were necessary" when facing the Soviet Union's many problems. But even with these kind statements, it can not be forgotten that Putin believes the dissolution of the Soviet Union was the single greatest geopolitical disaster to take place in the 20th century, and that Gorbachev was the man that precipitated the USSR's downfall.

Mikhail Gorbachev's funeral was scheduled for September 3, and while many who loved him were in attendance and the state played a part in the proceedings, Russia's president was unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts.

You Might Also Like

Mikhail Gorbachev
  • March 01, 2021

Mikhail Gorbachev

The rises and falls of the esteem in which Russians have held Mikhail Gorbachev over the years have been dizzying.
Gorbachev Dead at 91
  • August 30, 2022

Gorbachev Dead at 91

Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, the Communist Party Leader who unleashed democracy, glasnost, and perestroika, has died.
My God, a Symbol of Separation
  • August 17, 2022

My God, a Symbol of Separation

“There was a certain girl here who was handing out some permission to paint to artists, complete nonsense. I gave her this work, and the first thing she said was that it was a very dangerous job, because if Gorbachev saw it, he would not allow the unification of Germany and that she will send it to the senate of West Berlin, which was a different country, for approval.”                                     –  Dmitry Vrubel, the artist behind the Berlin Wall's "The Fraternal Kiss"
Russia Turns Thirty
  • August 28, 2021

Russia Turns Thirty

Thirty years ago this week, Russia became an independent country... again.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

The Samovar Murders

The Samovar Murders

The murder of a poet is always more than a murder. When a famous writer is brutally stabbed on the campus of Moscow’s Lumumba University, the son of a recently deposed African president confesses, and the case assumes political implications that no one wants any part of.
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.
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.
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.
Turgenev Bilingual

Turgenev Bilingual

A sampling of Ivan Turgenev's masterful short stories, plays, novellas and novels. Bilingual, with English and accented Russian texts running side by side on adjoining pages.
The Little Humpbacked Horse (bilingual)

The Little Humpbacked Horse (bilingual)

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.
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.
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.
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.

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
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955