Category Archives: History

Is Putin playing chess or checkers?

For the past 20 years, Ukraine has been a country in transition, emerging from the Soviet rubble with an unneeded nuclear arsenal, a linguistically heterogeneous population, a crumbling economy and a semi-authoritarian political system in place, party-boss plutocracy reimagined as … Continue reading

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Who won the Space Race?

With the success of Alfonso Cuaron’s latest film, Gravity, which features space debris from a Russian missile as a prominent plot device, I am reminded of the fierce 20th century competition between Russia and the US over the cosmos and … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Mayakovsky

(2 days late) СЕБЕ, ЛЮБИМОМУ, ПОСВЯЩАЕТ ЭТИ СТРОКИ АВТОР Четыре. Тяжелые, как удар. «Кесарево кесарю — богу богово». А такому, как я, ткнуться куда? Где для меня уготовано логово? Если б был я маленький, как Великий океан, — на цыпочки … Continue reading

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What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

The end of the marriage between Vladimir and Lyudmila Putin highlighted another more successful, much happier marriage: that between Russian society and social media. The Twittersphere blossomed with humorous takedowns of the Russian president’s personal life. Some favorites, Via RFE/RL: … Continue reading

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Moscow Metro Maps

Multiple readers sent around this Atlantic story on The Evolution of Moscow’s Metro Maps, with a link to Artemy Lebedev’s online collection of Moscow Metro memorabilia. http://www.theatlanticcities.com/design/2013/05/moscows-subway-maps-through-history/5679/ Below is the first image posted; the map’s heading reads СХЕМА ЛИНИЙ МОСКОВСКОГО … Continue reading

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Season 2 Finale

Not bad. I think Lenin takes it. Thanks to SB.

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‘All tucked in’

Full credit for this post goes to LP and SB: News that the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez (who was called an ‘outstanding leader and manager and a close friend of Russia’ by Vladimir Putin) will be embalmed and put … Continue reading

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Trashcanistan

Over the past few months, English Russia has published three separate albums with black-and-white photographs from the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Album 1, Album 2, Album 3 In my time working in this country, a couple of my own misconceptions … Continue reading

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Tourism in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

The ЖЖ “History and Modernity” recently posted a collection of Soviet-era travel posters, enticing foreigners to visit the land of Volga barges and Kirghiz peaks, not to mention Gulgas, purges and secret police. The images are – naturally – colorful, … Continue reading

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Позабуду лагерные муки

An older documentary on Russian prison tattoos was posted on youtube in June 2012 and contains a musical sequence that will easily bring a sentimentalist to tears. In the clip, the guitarist plays a version of a song that is … Continue reading

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