May 25, 2021

Bling Defiantly!


Bling Defiantly!
"Foreign Agent." / Photograph by Haley Bader

There is a not-so-fresh trend in Russia: labeling nonprofits, individuals, and unregistered organizations as “foreign agents." But the trend has already begotten the next one, as a fashion innovator has come up with a swankier way to “report” one's newly minted status.

On April 23, Russian authorities designated Meduza, the leading Russian-language independent news website, a “foreign agent.” The term hearkens back to a 2012 law that has since been expanded to require certain organizations and politically active individuals to disclose whether they receive foreign funding. If applicable, these entities must include the “foreign agent” declaration in any promotional materials.

Shortly after Meduza leveled up to “foreign agent,” Putin enacted fines that could reach the equivalent of $650 US if a media agent neglected to self-report.

As any self-respecting defiant might ask herself: if you must comply with slapping an ugly label on something, why not do it with style?

The company Avgvst Jewelry jumped on the opportunity to show support for Meduza, along with the nasiliu.net Center for Assistance to Victims of Domestic Violence, which was also designated a foreign agent. The company has released a series of sexy bling that any proud foreign agent can wear. 

On May 13, Avgvst opened pre-orders for the decorations. It is now possible to purchase a delicately dangling chain necklace that proclaims “И Н О А Г Е Н Т” (“Foreign Agent”), or a simpler pendant stamped with the same. Avgvst jewelry founder Natalia Bryantseva hopes that the jewelry will take the designation from shameful to fashionable.

 

You Might Also Like

Aiming for RuNet
  • May 01, 2021

Aiming for RuNet

Russia’s crackdown on internet freedoms reached a fever pitch this spring as the government attempted to slow Twitter traffic in response to the microblogging platform’s alleged refusal to delete banned content.
Freedoms Found and Lost
  • January 01, 2007

Freedoms Found and Lost

Fifteen years ago, Russia had the makings of a free press for the first time in its history. Nine years later, the winds began to change.
Defenders of the Pen
  • September 01, 2017

Defenders of the Pen

Not many organizations defend the press in modern Russia. In fact, just one seems to be doing it vigorously. This one.
The Magazine Boom
  • May 01, 2002

The Magazine Boom

Want proof Russia's economy is on the mend? Look no further than the newsstands. New national magazine brands are being introduced every week. So we sent Editor Mikhail Ivanov to look at what is behind the boom in publishing and where it is going.
Aliens, help Russia!
  • January 18, 2018

Aliens, help Russia!

Darkness descends on Moscow, a cry for help ascends to the sky, and a foreign agent stays exactly where it is. Also huskies and ancient teeth.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

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.  
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.
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.
Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

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.
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. 
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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