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

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.
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.
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...
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.
Okudzhava Bilingual

Okudzhava Bilingual

Poems, songs and autobiographical sketches by Bulat Okudzhava, the king of the Russian bards. 
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.
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 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.  
93 Untranslatable Russian Words

93 Untranslatable Russian Words

Every language has concepts, ideas, words and idioms that are nearly impossible to translate into another language. This book looks at nearly 100 such Russian words and offers paths to their understanding and translation by way of examples from literature and everyday life. Difficult to translate words and concepts are introduced with dictionary definitions, then elucidated with citations from literature, speech and prose, helping the student of Russian comprehend the word/concept in context.
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.
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.

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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.

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