June 29, 2017

Baller Ballerinas, Flying Taxis, & Gardens in the Sky


Baller Ballerinas, Flying Taxis, & Gardens in the Sky
Metro, Millenium Falcon, and Moss-cow

1. Ballet and soccer aren’t the most obvious combination. It gets even weirder when a subway station gets involved. But during the Confederations Cup, the Kremlin Ballet company performed scenes from several famous ballets in the Novoslobodskaya metro station. 200 football fans and metro riders crowded onto the platform for the event, which was meant to showcase the beauty of Russian culture. As a side event during a football tournament, the contrast seems stark, but it’s proof that sports fans and ballet fans can find common ground in people with powerful feet. Check out the performance photo gallery.



2. Yandex Taxi can pick you up when you’re in a tight spot. But can it make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs? In the ride app’s latest marketing campaign, special ads are aired during the broadcast of certain films. Whether it’s Star Wars’ Rey and Finn running from imperial fire or minions nabbing a car in Despicable Me, the gist is that there’s no better means of escape than a Yandex taxi. Yandex may claim to be the best search engine out there, but whether their taxis can actually outrun a TIE fighter has yet to be tested.

3. Moscow’s next architectural coup: planting grass and trees on city rooftops. These “green roofs” and the process of “vertical gardening” are being touted as awesome environmental advances that will improve air quality, prevent rain damage, and look cool. But the announcement comes in the midst of the controversial decision to level thousands of Khrushchev-era apartment buildings, potentially displacing 1.6 million Muscovites – and destroying 3 hectares of greenery. Are the green roofs a solution, or a distraction?  

In Odder News
  • A new residential area in Tambov will have 29 streets named for Russian writers. If you read Platonov on Tsvetaeva Lane, will you be punished?
  • Comedian Stephen Colbert paid a visit to Russia, and it was full of pickles, vodka, presidential campaign announcements, and intelligence officers.
  • Real rockstars don’t play hooky. A new sculpture of the Beatles crossing Abbey Road, installed at Tomsk State University, makes it look like the Fab Four think freshmen year is the fabbest of all.

Quote of the Week

"I don’t know if you knew I was in Russia last week. You know who did know I was in Russia? Russian intelligence. Hardcore fans, evidently. Followed me everywhere."
—Stephen Colbert on his trip to Russia and the attention he got from Russian intelligence. Later, American intelligence joined the fun, too.  

Want more where this comes from? Give your inbox the gift of TWERF, our Thursday newsletter on the quirkiest, obscurest, and Russianest of Russian happenings of the week

Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

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.
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.
Driving Down Russia's Spine

Driving Down Russia's Spine

The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. 
The Latchkey Murders

The Latchkey Murders

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin is back on the case in this prequel to the popular mystery Murder at the Dacha, in which a serial killer is on the loose in Khrushchev’s Moscow...
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.
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.  
Russia Rules

Russia Rules

From the shores of the White Sea to Moscow and the Northern Caucasus, Russian Rules is a high-speed thriller based on actual events, terrifying possibilities, and some really stupid decisions.
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.
At the Circus

At the Circus

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
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.

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