May 12, 2016

Baby bears, cats in debt, and other fuzzy victories


Baby bears, cats in debt, and other fuzzy victories

A Victorious Week

1. And one day in particular: Monday was Victory Day, the 71st anniversary of Germany’s surrender and the end of WWII in Europe. The Immortal Regiment – participants carrying photos of relatives who fought in the war – headed up parades across Russia, with Putin leading the charge in Moscow before giving a speech on defending the fatherland against terrorism.

2. Even the biggest victories don’t come without controversy. This year, Moscow’s Victory Day parade cost the city a record-breaking 296 million rubles – in part thanks to the showcase of new weaponry. Meanwhile, in Novosibirsk, Stalin billboards popped up to commemorate the end of WWII – and debate popped up around the billboards. One thing everyone could agree on: fireworks to end the day with a bang.

gazetu.ru

3. Bear in a bathtub: dangerous, or adorable? For locals of the mountain town of Tashtagol, it was pure practicality after they saved the cub from drowning in the nearby river. Unfortunately for the bear, the tub was not full of honey. The cub is too small to survive alone, so they’ll find Misha a new home in the zoo.

Quote of the Week
"Today civilization is once again faced with cruelty and violence. We must defeat this evil, and Russia is open to joining forces with other states. We are ready to work on the creation of a contemporary non-aligned system for international security."

—President Vladimir Putin on the need for collaboration in his Victory Day speech.

In Odder News

  • State bailiffs arrest a cat to encourage her owner to cough up his debt. That’s one way to ensure a hissy fit.
  • Good news: the Duma won’t have to cut back on caviar, as lawmakers have voted against reducing the government’s supply. Goody?
  • Muhammad Ali meets Al Capone? That’s what Flatiron, Sledgehammer, and other gangster athletes looked like when they started bloodletting in the post-USSR 1990s.

Victory Day Spotlight

Live for your family, die for your homeland. Veterans of WWII and young Russians the age of those veterans when they went to war consider what one should live for, and what one should be willing to die for, in honor of this year's Victory Day. See their images and read their stories here

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Some of Our Books

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.
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.
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.
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.
The Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.
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 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.
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.
Moscow and Muscovites

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. 
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.

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