November 21, 2019

Ice, Ice, Baby Tigers


Ice, Ice, Baby Tigers
Baby tigers are the cutest image to come out of Russia this week, despite the unsettling circumstances. Amurtigercenter | Instagram

Quote of the Week

“This is a centuries-long dream of our people.” 

– The mayor of Yakutsk, the largest world city located in permafrost, about a new bridge over the Lena River. 

 

Father Frost, Mother tiger, and the freezing wrath of Mother Nature

1. A tigress did not earn her stripes as a mother. From a video published on Instagram by a conservation center, three tiger cubs appeared with no mother in sight. Specialists have been dispatched to the area to go around asking “Are You My Mother?” on behalf of the baby tigers. If they find mom’s tracks, the little ones are unthreatened, but if they don’t, the tigers are young enough to be very vulnerable without help. The entire species, actually, is vulnerable; there are only 500-600 Siberian Tigers in the wild, so the survival of these cubs could make a difference. Here’s hoping they catch the tiger mom by the trail. 

2. It’s Father Frost (Ded Moroz, aka Russian Santa) season in Russia. Here’s something to warm your heart: in their letters to Father Frost, Russian children most often ask for the health and happiness of their loved ones, according to his press service (yes, that exists). Ironically, though, the second most common request, a smartphone, could undermine the institution of writing letters in the first place… perhaps the future of Father Frost requests is cold calling? Meanwhile, Ded Moroz celebrated his birthday not only with his trusty sidekick Snegorochka, but also a hero from folk epics, Baba Yaga, and other fairytale figures. 

Ded Moroz birthday
Announcing the latest addition to the Russian Christmas (well, more like New Year’s) canon… a snow rabbit? / The Press Service of the Russian Father Frost | TASS

3. In February, 1959, ten young and experienced Soviet hikers died during a winter expedition, surrounded by very mysterious circumstances, like missing eyeballs and radiation on their clothes, leading to a variety of awkward explanations, from American spies to Yedi. The Russian government broke the 60-year-old ice and reopened this cold case, known as the Dyatlov Pass Incident, earlier this year. They were supposed to provide results in August, but the New York Times got there first, with groundbreaking new research on avalanches. Previously thought impossible, or at least unlikely, due to the relatively gentle slope of the mountain, creating the campsite might have triggered a delayed avalanche. Eyeballs and radiation can likely be explained by hungry critters and lanterns. If you still prefer Yedi-type explanations, though, the Times also published an original short story by Colin Dodds that was inspired by the incident.

 

In Odder News

  • A faucet factory in Tatarstan wants to make Russians thirsty. They recently released a video preview of their much-anticipated annual sexy calendar, with the goal of “not leaving a single viewer indifferent.” 
Russian factory sexy calendar
What does fishnet-factory erotica says about post-Soviet Russian aesthetics? / Youtube channel of the Naberezhnochelensky Faucet Factory | Rambler Novosti
  • The Night Wolves motorcycle club and All Worlds organization unfurled the globe-travelling world’s largest Russian flag in Antarctica. 
Russian flag in Antarctica
This achievement is sure to make Russia feel on top – erm, bottom – of the world. / All World Organization | RIA Novosti
  • One Moscovite’s message to the heavens – “Lord, help Russia” written in enormous letters in a field, – is visible not only from space, but also from your computer screen.
Lord Help Russia message visible from satellite on Yandex Maps
Two ways to achieve immortality: salvation, and being archived on Yandex Maps / Yandex Maps | Teleprogramma.pro

 

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

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 Little Golden Calf

The Little Golden Calf

Our edition of The Little Golden Calf, one of the greatest Russian satires ever, is the first new translation of this classic novel in nearly fifty years. It is also the first unabridged, uncensored English translation ever, and is 100% true to the original 1931 serial publication in the Russian journal 30 Dnei. Anne O. Fisher’s translation is copiously annotated, and includes an introduction by Alexandra Ilf, the daughter of one of the book’s two co-authors.
A Taste of Chekhov

A Taste of Chekhov

This compact volume is an introduction to the works of Chekhov the master storyteller, via nine stories spanning the last twenty years of his life.
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.
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.
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.
Steppe / Степь

Steppe / Степь

This is the work that made Chekhov, launching his career as a writer and playwright of national and international renown. Retranslated and updated, this new bilingual edition is a super way to improve your Russian.
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.
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.
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.

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