733 posts tagged with Russia.
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Maybe we need to find more non-edible uses for it

Consumerist: The U.S. has a giant cheese surplus and unfortunately, this is a bad thing. Bloomberg graph: Welcome to Cheese Mountain. (n.b. not a real, visitable, place) nymag: "Our great nation apparently had an inventory of 1.2 billion pounds at the end of March, the highest in 30 years." FoodDive: "Startups may see an opportunity to create marketable products out of inexpensive ingredients, and more cheese-based product startups could pop up and generate interest from investors and major manufacturers." Mashable: "Do your part. Eat more cheese."
posted by Wordshore on May 2, 2016 - 140 comments

On thin ice

Every winter in Russia's east, the rivers that vein the enormous open spaces of siberia freeze solid. Photographer Amos Chappel joins one group of men who make a living on these frozen highways.
posted by smoke on May 1, 2016 - 38 comments

We don't see the fairy tale from this side of the stage.

Dance of the Little Swans - auditions and the first years at the Vaganova Ballet Academy. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura on May 1, 2016 - 11 comments

2016's best video (foreign language, with monkey)

Turn off the "Upload videos" link, Google, because the best video of the year has already been uploaded! Its summary reads like a penmanship exercise: Russian farmer monkey in a snowsuit & mittens visits his pet goats and hens. [SLYT] [more inside]
posted by wenestvedt on Apr 7, 2016 - 36 comments

Now I am Become

In Search of Johns' Kingdom A short documentary commissioned by The Calvert Journal, about a shadowy Russian music collective. For fans of Grimes, Aphex Twin, Dirty Beaches, Prince Rama. [more inside]
posted by special agent conrad uno on Mar 26, 2016 - 5 comments

Breaking up is easy...if you have the right vessel

And it’s even easier with a bit of international cooperation: Time lapse video of USCGC Bristol Bay and CCGS Samuel Risley working together to break ice from Sarnia to Windsor, Ontario, in one day. Further inland, Amphibex icebreaking machines are used to break ice on the Red River in Manitoba to prevent flooding from ice jamming ahead of spring. That's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to icebreaking... [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Mar 20, 2016 - 19 comments

100 years ago today, the beginning of the end on WWI's eastern front

"It was an affair that summed up all that was most wrong with the [Russian] army." Largely forgotten by the west, the Battle of Lake Naroch (March-April 1916; Wikipedia) broke the Russian army's will to fight Germans. Eager to help their western allies being slaughtered at Verdun, the tsar's forces attacked a weak spot in the German lines in Belarus. Although the Russian army began with massively greater troop superiority, the offense was a spectacular failure, due to gross strategic and tactical incompetence. The results: awful casualties and no terrain gained. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo on Mar 18, 2016 - 15 comments

Mission accomplished

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria, describing Russia's objectives as "generally accomplished". [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Mar 14, 2016 - 22 comments

Mikhail Lesin was bludgeoned to death.

Four months after Lesin's death, a US coroner reports that former Russian media oligarch Mikhail Lesin died of blunt trauma to the head, neck, torso, arms, and legs--not a heart attack. At the time of his death in a Washington, D.C. hotel, it was reported that there was "no evidence of foul play". [more inside]
posted by Sleeper on Mar 11, 2016 - 70 comments

Scott Kelly wasn't up there alone, you know

Meet Mikhail Kornienko, the other guy who just spent a year in space.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Mar 5, 2016 - 3 comments

“...publishing in the Soviet Union was the art of the impossible.”

Russian Purge Part 1: Putin Doesn't Need to Censor Books. Publishers Do It For Him. by Masha Gessen [The Intercept_] [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Feb 22, 2016 - 7 comments

Siberian farmyard rap goes viral! And the crowd goes wild!

Do you listen to a lot of hip-hop in in the Yakut language? Me either. But that changed when I happened upon the story of Ayal Adamov, Monty Python fan and student at Northeast Federal University, Yakutsk, Sakha Republic, Russia. One day, he heard a song that celebrated bling and money and conspicuous consumption. He felt a profound sense of disgust and, in response, composed a song that celebrated his own, humbler, rural roots. The accompanying video has to be seen to be believed; it is embedded in this article in the Siberian Times.
posted by jason's_planet on Jan 17, 2016 - 33 comments

Agafia Lykova, 70 year old hermit, hospitalized

According to the Guardian,
"Agafia Lykova is the last remaining member of a deeply religious family that fled civilisation in 1936 and did not know about the second world war until geologists stumbled upon them in 1978. After she contacted the “mainland” with an emergency satellite telephone to ask for medical help, the governor, Aman Tuleyev, ordered her evacuation from her homestead near the Abakan river to a hospital in Tashtagol, according to the Kemerovo region website."
[more inside] posted by chainsofreedom on Jan 16, 2016 - 19 comments

The dark shadow of Mordor creeping into the Ukraine

The occupiers from Mordor and their sad little horse - I mean Russians from the Russian Federation and their Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov - such is Google translate. Probably not an intentional Google bomb, but just how the Ukrainians have actually been describing their occupiers in online documents which feed Google's translation algorithm.
posted by caddis on Jan 7, 2016 - 2 comments

battle fatigue

Why has Russian culture become saturated with war?
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 29, 2015 - 64 comments

“The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.”

Four-day marathon public reading of War and Peace begins in Russia. [The Guardian]
A marathon four-day Russian public reading of Leo Tolstoy’s vast classic novel War and Peace kicked off on Tuesday morning, with more than 1,300 people in more than 30 cities preparing to make their contributions to the record-breaking project. Coordinated by Tolstoy’s great-great-granddaughter Fekla Tolstaya, and featuring a number of cultural luminaries including the Polish film director Andrzej Wajda, the readings are being streamed by Russian state television channel Kultura. One volume of Tolstoy’s fictionalised history of Russia during the Napoleonic campaign will be read each day.
posted by Fizz on Dec 8, 2015 - 17 comments

"Like the Galapagos, Baikal is a closed ecosystem"

The Blue Pearl Of Siberia, Peter Matthiessen, 1991
Past eight in the evening on the last day of August, after a ten-hour climb, we haul ourselves to the high rim of the Baikal Canyon. From where we stand, high plateaus, in hard, clear light, seem to stretch forever westward to the Urals. Facing east, my companion, the huge Siberian woodsman Semyon Ustinov, spreads his long arms. Far below, his beloved Baikal, the most ancient lake on earth, is shrouded in mist that drifts up the steep talus slope as if in search of us. The canyon rim on which we stand is a mile or more above the surface of the lake, whose greatest depth is 6,300 feet, or 1.2 miles, with an additional four miles of sediment above the bedrock. The great Baikal rift is seven times as deep as the Grand Canyon, by far the deepest land depression on the planet.
[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 3, 2015 - 14 comments

Сказал себе я: брось писать, - но руки сами просятся.

I told myself:-- you mustn't write! But stubborn hands will not comply
Vladimir Vysotsky was a Russian Actor, Poet, and Musician. He wrote over 600 songs before his death in 1980.
posted by TheCoug on Dec 2, 2015 - 10 comments

“....if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!”

NATO-Russia Tensions Rise After Turkey Downs Jet [The New York Times]
Two big powers supporting different factions in the Syrian civil war clashed with each other on Tuesday when Turkish fighter jets shot down a Russian warplane that Turkey said had strayed into its airspace. The tensions immediately took on Cold War overtones when Russia rejected Turkey’s claim and Ankara responded by asking for an emergency NATO meeting, eliciting more Russian anger and ridicule. After the meeting, the NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, called for “calm and de-escalation” and said the allies “stand in solidarity with Turkey.”
[more inside] posted by Fizz on Nov 25, 2015 - 136 comments

A Deeply Rooted Culture of Cheating

The World Anti-Doping Agency, which monitors the fight against performance-enhancing drugs in sports, has released its 323-page report detailing the endemic use of PEDs in Russia, enabled and encouraged by the Russian government via the Ministry of Sport and the Federal Security Service. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan on Nov 10, 2015 - 29 comments

What kind of a question is that?

An all-female Russian crew is currently undergoing a simulation of an eight-day trip to lunar orbit and subsequent return to Earth. The highly-qualified volunteers were chosen through a series of rigorous selection processes based on the real cosmonaut selection regime. In the press conference that was held prior to the start of the mission, the team had to face questions of how they would cope without men or makeup for eight days. [more inside]
posted by cynical pinnacle on Nov 1, 2015 - 53 comments

Sepp Blatter has suggested an agreement was in place for Russian WC

Suspended Fifa president Sepp Blatter has suggested there was an agreement in place for Russia to host the 2018 World Cup - before the vote took place. The 79-year-old told Russian news agency Tass of a "discussion" in 2010 about future World Cups.
posted by marienbad on Oct 28, 2015 - 50 comments

love in the regime of choice

By analysing the language of popular magazines, TV shows and self-help books and by conducting interviews with men and women in different countries, scholars including Eva Illouz, Laura Kipnis and Frank Furedi have demonstrated clearly that our ideas about love are dominated by powerful political, economic and social forces. Together, these forces lead to the establishment of what we can call romantic regimes: systems of emotional conduct that affect how we speak about how we feel, determine 'normal' behaviours, and establish who is eligible for love – and who is not.
posted by divined by radio on Oct 28, 2015 - 23 comments

One of the greatest nautical painters in history

Ivan Aivazovsky (18171900) - "In 1840, Aivazovsky traveled to Rome, where he became friendly with Nikolai Gogol. He also received high praise from the Roman critics, newspapers, and even Pope Gregory XVI. The pope purchased Aivazovsky's 'Chaos' and hung it in the Vatican... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Oct 24, 2015 - 10 comments

Potato Toys

Published in 1931, Игрушки Картошки is a Russian book of toys you can make out of potatoes (and matches, and the occasional stick). [more inside]
posted by benito.strauss on Oct 18, 2015 - 14 comments

"an abyss of hedonistic pleasure"

"The room was upholstered in crimson and oatmeal and decorated with Socialist Realist frescoes of industrious maidens. A hefty multipointed star descended from the ceiling like a satellite returning from space. Above the tables a pair of identical life-size plaster statues of Soviet schoolgirls faced each other in the manner of temple guardians. They drummed on drums with a look of patriotic ecstasy; crimson blindfolds bound their eyes. Taking a swig of kvas, a fermented bread beverage that's slightly reminiscent of root beer, I wondered whether the statues were intended to be a political statement, nostalgic kitsch, or just a really ambitious exercise in color coordination." - The Surreal Thrill Of Moscow Dining by Alex Halberstadt
posted by The Whelk on Oct 12, 2015 - 13 comments

Promise that you will live up to this, it said.

The Fort of Young Saplings: Vanessa Veselka writes about family, the ownership of stories, and the meaning of military victory (or its absence) in the context of her father's adoption by the Kiks.ádi. (Veselka previously and previously, caution on the latter for sexual violence.)
posted by brennen on Sep 30, 2015 - 4 comments

We've all seen the Mentos in Coke, now propane…

Coca Cola + propane = Mega ROCKET [more inside]
posted by unliteral on Sep 10, 2015 - 25 comments

Russian five-year-olds dig their way out of nursery...

to buy sports car. they had come from their kindergarten to buy a Jaguar but did not have any money. [more inside]
posted by pos on Sep 9, 2015 - 12 comments

Next Step: Cheese Subs... No, real homebrew submarines. In the Baltic.

Russian police have smashed an international smuggling ring moving product with an estimated street value of 3 billion rubles into the country. The product? Cheese. Officers recovered some 1,000 pounds of cheese and cheese paraphernalia (rennet and printing equipment for making counterfeit labels). The ring was supplying a growing underground black market for cheese in Russia. [more inside]
posted by Naberius on Aug 19, 2015 - 35 comments

"You're so sadly neglected And often ignored A poor second to Belgium"

"Welcome to the nerve-wracking reality of being Finland. To a casual visitor, it seems like yet another Western European country, a placid paradise with its abundance of bicycles, its obsession with its own mid-twentieth-century design, and stores that close punctually at six in the evening. The Finns feel otherwise. When they go to neighboring Sweden, they say they are “going to Europe.” As it happens, neither country is a member of NATO, but only Finland has a long land border with Russia—and a living memory of having been invaded by the Soviet Union." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 9, 2015 - 29 comments

100 Years of ...

[more inside]
posted by jillithd on Aug 6, 2015 - 11 comments

The wine that came in from the cold

How Moldova's wine industry became a new battlefront in the new cold war between Russia and the EU.
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 4, 2015 - 7 comments

Tarkovsky on Tarkovsky

Shot between 1962 and 1986, Tarkovsky’s seven feature films often grapple with metaphysical and spiritual themes, using a distinctive cinematic style. Long takes, slow pacing and metaphorical imagery – they all figure into the archetypical Tarkovsky film (Note: free versions of these films have been here before, links have sadly died in the old posts). [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Aug 1, 2015 - 18 comments

“The Germans were not there; the Lithuanians did it themselves.”

Double Genocide: Lithuania wants to erase its ugly history of Nazi collaboration - by accusing Jewish partisans who fought the Germans of war crimes.
"After Lithuanians got independence,” he told me, “we hoped that Lithuania would give us help.” But it was not to be. In one of its very first independent actions, before even fully breaking free of Moscow, Lithuania’s parliament formally exonerated several Lithuanian nationalists who had collaborated in the Holocaust and had been convicted by Soviet military courts after the war. The right-wing paramilitaries who had carried out the mass murder of Lithuania’s Jews were now hailed as national heroes on account of their anti-Soviet bona fides.
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Jul 30, 2015 - 52 comments

Men died in the pursuit of better maps.

"Inside the crates were maps, thousands of them. In the top right corner of each one, printed in red, was the Russian word секрет. Secret" -- Inside the Secret World of Russia’s Cold War Mapmakers by Greg Miller, WIRED
posted by The Whelk on Jul 18, 2015 - 21 comments

Let me hear your balalaika's ringing out...

Life in USSR showcases in photos the daily life of the Soviet people.
posted by griphus on Jun 30, 2015 - 14 comments

Gee, I wish we had one of them doomsday machines.

How World War III became possible: A nuclear conflict with Russia is likelier than you think (SLVox).
posted by Cash4Lead on Jun 29, 2015 - 107 comments

OBYaVLENIYA KOMANDA 135 [Command 135 initiated]

The radio signal that occupies 4625 kHz has reportedly been broadcasting since the late 1970s. The earliest known recording of it is dated 1982. Ever since curious owners of shortwave radios first discovered the signal, it has broadcast a repeating buzzing noise. Every few years, the buzzer stops, and a Russian voice reads a mixture of numbers and Russian names.
posted by standardasparagus on Jun 15, 2015 - 67 comments

What's going on in Putin's Russia?

A conversation with Ilya Ponomarev, an exiled dissident Russian State Duma Deputy living in San Jose - "When the Russian government voted to annex Crimea last year, only one member of parliament stood in opposition—Ilya Ponomarev. The final tally was 445 to 1, with Ponomarev wanting the world to know that the annexation did not have unanimous support. He is now barred from returning home to Russia. First elected to Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, in 2007, Ponomarev became a leader of political protests that shook Moscow before Putin's return to the presidency in 2012. Now, the Russian parliament has voted overwhelming to strip Ponomarev of the immunity from prosecution granted to lawmakers by the Russian Constitution. How long can this government maintain control by silencing these voices of opposition? With elections scheduled for next year, what is the future of Putin's government and Russia's relationship with the United States?" [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 4, 2015 - 13 comments

The Russian Troll Factory

The Agency is every online community member's worst fears come to life: a real honest-to-goodness troll/noise factory where dozens of employees using hundreds of accounts post thousands of highly targeted and coordinated attacks as awful comments on Twitter, Facebook, and forums in order to sway public opinion about geopolitics. From a nondescript office building in St. Petersburg, Russia, an army of well-paid “trolls” has tried to wreak havoc all around the Internet — and in real-life American communities...
posted by mathowie on Jun 2, 2015 - 79 comments

Filming everyday life near the end of the Soviet Union

Former TV cameraman Rick Suddeth has posted numerous videos of everyday life in the former Soviet Union in the 1980s and early 1990s. These are mostly raw footage or lightly edited, some are silent. Moscow traffic ca. 1986. Moscow grocery store ca. 1990. Universam Department Store, Moscow, 1990. Queuing for wine at a state liquor store. In the Cosmos Night Club. [more inside]
posted by Rumple on May 29, 2015 - 18 comments

"And we still lost the Cold War. Go figure."

A discussion of physical education in the former Soviet Union. Courtesy of Startingstrength.com.
posted by the hot hot side of randy on May 16, 2015 - 26 comments

One hundred years ago on the Eastern Front, doom in a forgotten battle

"She was outclassed in everything except bravery" In April 1915 the Russian empire was on the verge of entering Hungary, having taken the great fortress of Przemyśl. But in May a German-led surprise offensive cracked Russian lines, shattering entire armies and causing a 300-mile retreat in what was probably "the greatest victory of World War I by the Central Powers". Nearly one million prisoners were taken. Moscow lost the ruins of Przemyśl and all of Poland. For the next two years Russia will struggle but ultimately lose, tsardom falling to revolutions and the rise of the Soviet state. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo on May 16, 2015 - 12 comments

WELCOME TO SWEDEN

The Singing Sailor Underwater Defense System - the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society sends out a message of peace, love, understanding and respect to Russian submariners cruising through the Stockholm archepelago
posted by a lungful of dragon on May 12, 2015 - 8 comments

African-American migrants to the Soviet Union

"My father felt that the U.S.S.R. treated him better than America. He was happy here."
posted by the hot hot side of randy on May 3, 2015 - 24 comments

A Strangely Funny Russian Genius

Russia is the funniest country in the world. Some countries, like America and England, are funny mostly on purpose, while others, like Germany and France, can be funny only unintentionally. (But that counts! Being funny is tricky, so any way you do it counts.) Russia, however, is funny both intentionally (Gogol, Zoshchenko, Bulgakov) and unintentionally (Vladimir Putin singing, as he did at a televised event a few years ago, “I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill”). Given the disaster Russian history has been more or less continuously for the last five centuries, its humor is of the darkest, most extreme kind. Russian humor is to ordinary humor what backwoods fundamentalist poisonous snake handling is to a petting zoo. Russian humor is slapstick, only you actually die.
[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns on May 2, 2015 - 30 comments

John Denver, America's unofficial musical diplomat

As John Denver's US prominence waned into the 1980s, opposite the rise of new wave and harder rock, he kept touring internationally for some notable firsts. In 1979, Denver was one of the performers to welcome Chinese Vice-Premier Deng Xiaoping to the US, and six years later, Denver was the first western artist to tour in the USSR, where he performed alongside Kermit the Frog. In 1992, he had another first for a western peformer, when Denver toured mainland China, to find that many of his audiences already knew his songs. Two years later, he was the first US act in Vietnam since the Vietnam War. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 18, 2015 - 44 comments

Social Reality

What Russians really think - "Many in the west see Russia as aggressive and brainwashed. But its citizens have a different view." Meanwhile,[1,2] in Moscow and Lviv...
posted by kliuless on Apr 11, 2015 - 52 comments

For days, the only thing on state TV was a continuous loop of Swan Lake.

Amelia Schonbek considers Swan Lake's place in Soviet politics for Hazlitt. [more inside]
posted by mynameisluka on Mar 30, 2015 - 6 comments

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