September 16, 2023

One Country, Two Wars


One Country, Two Wars
Looking out over the White Sea at Kandalaksha. Paul Richardson

 The world watches in horror as the Kremlin continues to find newer, more heinous ways to carry out its illegal, unjustified, unprovoked War on Ukraine. As we predicted the day Russia invaded, the war is wreaking untold suffering and death upon both Ukrainians and Russians. These are crimes for which the Kremlin bears full responsibility, and one day there will be a reckoning.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin is conducting a second war, one that gets far less coverage (primarily due to the lack of foreign journalists in Russia), but which history will also judge as heinous and unconscionable. And that is the war upon its own people – imprisoning dissenters, criminalizing entire groups of citizens for being born different, forcing young men to choose between fighting in a war or fleeing their home, trampling the hard-won rights of free speech, assembly, voting, travel, and so much more that Russians gained after the passing of the Soviet Leviathan.

It is this second war that has increasingly become our focus here at Russian Life. Because (a) so many news outlets and local journalists are already doing incredible work covering the first war, the one taking place in Ukraine, and (b) the lack of a free press inside Russia and the departure of all but a brave few foreign journalists means that there is little independent, honest, direct reporting going on from inside Russia today.

We are developing partnerships with independent Russian media and journalists (both inside and outside of the country), searching out the best work being produced, and then translating it so that these stories can spread beyond the Russian-speaking world. The world needs to know that we can love Russians while loathing the regime, that there are many honest, thoughtful, brave souls inside Russia. People who are – at the risk of their safety, their families, their very lives – resisting the Kremlin, evading security forces, and keeping their eyes on the future, believing that one day Russia will be free, peaceful, and prosperous.

We stand with them.

If you would like to join us in this fight, just click the button below to show your support.

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Some of Our Books

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 Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The fables of Ivan Krylov are rich fonts of Russian cultural wisdom and experience – reading and understanding them is vital to grasping the Russian worldview. This new edition of 62 of Krylov’s tales presents them side-by-side in English and Russian. The wonderfully lyrical translations by Lydia Razran Stone are accompanied by original, whimsical color illustrations by Katya Korobkina.
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. 
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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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.
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.
Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

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Woe From Wit (bilingual)

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