January 01, 2023

Why No 2023 Calendar?


Why No 2023 Calendar?
Resistance is not futile. Eugene Sergeev

We have fielded plenty of calls in the past month from customers asking if we were publishing a Russian Life calendar for 2023.

We are not.

We suspect many were calling to confirm their suspicions, since they had not seen any ads. But the interesting thing is that so few have asked why.

Our answer is simple: “because of the war.”

Because, as with our magazine, this is no time to be celebrating Russian culture, landscapes, historical buildings, or beauty.

It is a time to be celebrating those who battle oppression, who stand against the war, the Kremlin, the horrendous laws against free speech, assembly, and a free press. Those who, against the odds, resist.

Resistance comes in many guises. As a friend wrote from Moscow, "while there are many heroes who openly resist Evil, there are also plenty who just stubbornly do their jobs. Not as if nothing was happening, but in spite of what is happening."

To work “professionally, with quality, without lies and exaggerations, and stretching oneself to complete a task – that too is resisting,” they wrote. It is “much easier for those who have stayed behind to do their job because of those who left and are able to speak openly and without censorship. Both are for the same thing.

“Each person does what they can, but they resist… no, not tanks (this we cannot do), but devastation, despondency, entropy, and lies… And it is not in two or three places, but all around us. Look closely, it's everywhere. Kindness, mercy to loved ones, and even courage are often quiet, they do not yell.

“Not everyone is ready to go to prison, but very, very many are ready to defend their dignity, to live without putting their conscience up for sale. Everyone who loves and does not hate, everyone who does not lie, everyone who has not confused white and black, everyone who simply remains human, is practicing this simple thing: resistance to violence and evil.

“And they are growing, growing underground. They are an invisible green grass, a yellow-breasted flower. And one day they break through the asphalt.”

So that is why we did not publish a calendar for 2023. And that is also why we continue to publish Russian Life, to search for and tell the stories of the green grass, of the flowers that will one day break through the asphalt.

It is our hope and prayer that 2023 will be an awakening from the nightmare that was 2022, that Russians will begin to claw back their freedoms and their country (as Ukraine did nearly a decade ago), to once again give us a reason to celebrate Russian culture.


Here, by the way, is a nice calendar of Ukraine, in which all the profits are being sent to Ukrainian relief. And be sure to check out our page with links to support meaningful aid to Ukrainians.

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Some of Our Books

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.
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.
Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
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. 
Russian Rules

Russian 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.

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.

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