684 posts tagged with Russia.
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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 - 4 comments

Connecting the Dots

With all the upheaval in the skies and on the ground, here is one person's opinion on why the U.S. is fighting beside Iran in Iraq and against it in Yemen. Putin tells Iran that an immediate ceasefire is needed in Yemen. All the while...negotiators from six world powers (the P5+1) are attempting to strike a deal with Iran to restrict its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief. As Iran nuclear talks 'enter endgame' in Switzerland...China and Russia say they will show up tomorrow. Keeping things cloaked in intrigue: the US accuses Israel of spying on nuclear talks with Iran and Putin says Western spies plot against Russia before polls, blurs the picture further.
posted by Emor on Mar 28, 2015 - 41 comments

Shigir Idol

The oldest wooden statue in the world was found in a Russian bog in 1890. The Shigir Idol is believed to be about 9500 years old. It is 2.8 meters high; an additional 1.93 meters of statue were lost during the turmoil of the 20th century.
posted by Blue Jello Elf on Mar 26, 2015 - 22 comments

The glorious Russian troll army

It's a modern building, four floors. There's a LiveJournal department, a news department, a department where they create all sorts of images and demotivators (Editor's Note: Demotivators are satirical graphics that tend to undermine their subject matter), a department where they make videos.
posted by grobstein on Mar 26, 2015 - 34 comments

"This isn't funny anymore."

Putin Has Vanished, but Rumors Are Popping Up Everywhere.
“I have enough trouble keeping track of the whereabouts of one world leader,” said Eric Schultz, a White House spokesman. “I would refer you to the Russians for questions on theirs. I’m sure they’ll be very responsive.”
This is, in large part, a crisis of the Kremlin’s making. (Previously)
posted by Little Dawn on Mar 15, 2015 - 193 comments

A collection of short pieces on Russia's female creatives

International Women's Day was yesterday, but every day is a good day for reading about women cinematographers, photographers, fashion designers and chefs! The Calvert Journal presents here a number of past articles on contemporary Russian women in various creative professions, noting that, "someday, in an equal world, we wouldn’t need a special day to celebrate their achievements".
posted by averysmallcat on Mar 9, 2015 - 2 comments

СУВЕНИР №2 (and other Russian Jazz and Hip-Hop Sounds)

The author’s key creative task is to demonstrate the unique sound of soviet jazz school, where musicians complemented conventional musical tools with folk instruments and soviet electronics. "Souvenir" sets a goal of introducing as many listeners as it can to the legacy of the few jazz collectives there were in USSR. "Souvenir" is a bad mood remedy that will keep you warm throughout the long Russian winter.
Artem Ryazanov (Miracle Libido) is a DJ who likes the music of modern old Russia. And if you like what you hear above, you might also like the mix he just released for Nicolas Jaar's Other People label and the one he made for the Calvert Journal a few years ago.
And if you like those, you might also like the profile that Calvert published about RAD, the label/collective Ryazanov and Low Bob jointly lead.
posted by Going To Maine on Mar 8, 2015 - 6 comments

A short analysis of the cultural specificity of a Russian meme

It's often suggested that Russia and the West have fundamentally different worldviews. In this article, author Jim Kovpak attempts to illustrate why that is by analysing the vatnik internet meme.
posted by averysmallcat on Mar 6, 2015 - 23 comments

Showcasing The Dreams and Passions Of Russians Aged 1 to 100

Photographer Keen Heick-Abildhauge loves Russia and decided to ask various residents about their passions and ambitions. The result is Portraits And Dreams Of People From 1 To 100 Years Of Age.
posted by purplesludge on Mar 1, 2015 - 11 comments

The final days of Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva

On Tsvetaeva, tragedy and the end of the tsarist era. There's a whole series of these articles about Russian poets told through their last days. A bit morbid, but quite appropriate tributes to the artists, as well as a good starting-point for those interested in Russian poetry.
posted by averysmallcat on Feb 28, 2015 - 3 comments

While the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must

Putin's Russia: Like a gangster running a crime syndicate, Putin muscles opponents and assassinates critics. Nonetheless, his bid in Ukraine may be reactionary to NATO edging closer to Russia's borders. As Dan Carlin notes, it's as if Russia began training Mexican soldiers. Meanwhile, everyone needs a hero.
posted by four panels on Feb 27, 2015 - 155 comments

Red Star

A statement posted to the Russian space agency’s website said a meeting of the Roscosmos science and technical council considered Russia’s future human spaceflight plans, favoring the continued use of the International Space Station until 2024.

Then Russia plans to remove its modules from the International Space Station to form an all-Russian complex in orbit.

posted by Artw on Feb 24, 2015 - 54 comments

The best laid plans of Malofeyev and Moscow

Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta: The document we're publishing is interesting in that, in the early stages of the Ukrainian political crisis — that is, before Yanukovych's escape from Kyiv and the "Bandera junta" coming to power — it perscribes detailed, step-by-step justifications, as well as political and PR logistics, for the intervention by Russia in Ukrainian affairs and the tearing of Crimea and the eastern regions from Ukraine. [Google translated] Although the actual course of the Ukrainian drama made some adjustments, there is overall a strikingly high degree of coincidence between this project and the subsequent actions of the Russian authorities. [more inside]
posted by Kabanos on Feb 24, 2015 - 68 comments

“Torch-bearing parades are associated with Nazi Germany,” he declares.

When you watch the Putin Show, you live in a superpower. You are a rebel in Ukraine bravely leveling the once-state-of-the-art Donetsk airport with Russian-supplied weaponry. You are a Russian-speaking grandmother standing by her destroyed home in Luhansk shouting at the fascist Nazis, much as her mother probably did when the Germans invaded more than 70 years ago. You are a priest sprinkling blessings on a photogenic convoy of Russian humanitarian aid headed for the front line. To suffer and to survive: This must be the meaning of being Russian. It was in the past and will be forever.
Gary Shteyngart watches a week of Russian television.
posted by theodolite on Feb 19, 2015 - 26 comments

Russian Spring

Pussy Riot's new song 'I Can't Breathe', their first in English, is an ‘Industrial ballad’ inspired by Eric Garner. Q&A. Behind the scenes of the video shoot.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Feb 18, 2015 - 4 comments

Through a glass, darkly

The Atlantic has published a thoughtful piece on Vladimir Putin co-authored by a Director and a Senior Fellow of the Brookings Institution. Within they link Putin's Op-Ed in The New York Times from September 11, 2013, perhaps worth rumination now 18 months later.
posted by BurnMage on Feb 16, 2015 - 20 comments

A hundred eighty-six thousand miles!

It wasn’t easy to buy a car in the Soviet Union. Usually, the first thing to do was to sign up on a decade-long waiting list to register your interest in owning a vehicle. Secondly, you needed to save what was then a huge sum of money; a new Zaphorozhets cost the equivalent of about 30 times the average monthly salary. A few people found a different way, however – assembling cars with their own hands. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Feb 11, 2015 - 17 comments

Four minutes of magic on ice....

Four minutes of magic on ice....
posted by Lanark on Feb 11, 2015 - 18 comments

СтопХам: Young Russians defend pedestrian space from rogue drivers.

Russia has a problem: Driving on the sidewalk. The remarkably brave activist group СтопХам ('stop him') are responding with cameras, windshield stickers and by putting their bodies in the way.

Episodes:A Clash with Chechen MafiaNo Driving on SidewalksA Dude Shows Up with AK-47A Brawl with an MMA FighterCrazy Guy with a CrowbarGuy With a Gun and a Bat Confrontation with Nightclub Owner & BouncersWannabe Gangster & His MotherA Fight on CampusLadies' DayWoman Goes BerserkHit & RunBully Vs. WrestlerBully Vs. Wrestler 2Magic StickersPasserby Punches DriverSticker for the Lady [more inside]
posted by anemone of the state on Feb 7, 2015 - 44 comments

Found: The Oldest Known Maternal Death During Childbirth

Prehistoric Grave May Be Earliest Example of Death During Childbirth "It might be a bit circumstantial, but I think it's quite strong," Lieverse said of her interpretation. She added that there has been very little postmortem shifting of the bones found at Lokomotiv, and everything is in place on the mother, even her ribs and little bones in her hands. [more inside]
posted by Michele in California on Feb 6, 2015 - 8 comments

The Litvinenko Inquiry

Alexander Litvinenko died on 23 November 2006 (previously). The inquiry into his death is currently underway in London following a detailed investigation by the Metropolitan Police into his poisoning with polonium. The Guardian summarises six key things we have learned so far. These include some pretty casual applications of proper handling procedures for nuclear material, news of a previous assassination attempt and some forthright words from Marina Litvinenko's barrister concerning Vladimir Putin's character that may have led to two unauthorised Russian military planes flying up the English Channel two days ago. [more inside]
posted by biffa on Jan 30, 2015 - 84 comments

That was three years ago. No one knows when the film will be released.

The Never-Ending Film. Heaven's Gate, Cleopatra, Apocalypse Now. They all have one thing in common: Runaway film productions. Never-ending shoots, directors cracking under pressure. But none of them hold a candle to Dau.
posted by The Card Cheat on Dec 22, 2014 - 20 comments

We eat bacon and pastries and are happy. Oh, and the North Pole is ours.

In 2012, the UN said that Denmark was the happiest place on earth. This year, Denmark returned to the UN with some nice Danish pastries, and a territorial claim to the North Pole based on its relationship with Greenland, a Danish autonomous territory. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Dec 15, 2014 - 59 comments

It's as if he were the wind or weather itself.

Vyacheslav Korotki is a man of extreme solitude. He is a trained polyarnik, a specialist in the polar north, a meteorologist.
posted by ChuraChura on Dec 10, 2014 - 7 comments

Face Control - A Moscow Travelogue

Face Control - A Moscow Travelogue [via mefi projects] Krish Raghav wrote this beautiful minicomic about his observations on a trip to Moscow: the people, the city, the history. [more inside]
posted by daisyk on Dec 7, 2014 - 17 comments

NATO is a military alliance, not a social club.

Summit of Failure: How the EU Lost Russia over Ukraine which led to Four Thousand Deaths and an Eastern Ukraine Gripped By War.
The US and Europe are at odds over NATO expansion. Hate To Say We Told You So: NATO Expansion Edition.
The Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s – Not Putin’s – Fault and Reminds Americans Why NATO Should Not Expand: Not To Ukraine, Georgia, Or Anyone Else.
posted by adamvasco on Nov 30, 2014 - 105 comments

Winter War

Finland commemorates the 75 anniversary of the start of the Winter War today with services held across the country. Hostilities began on 30 November 1939 with an attack by the Soviet Union including bombing raids on the capital Helsinki. via
posted by infini on Nov 30, 2014 - 21 comments

The Donetsk People's Republic

A short documentary from VICE News provides an inside look into the birth Donetsk People's Republic earlier this year. [more inside]
posted by Behemoth on Nov 14, 2014 - 12 comments

Winter inside the Yamal crater

The Yamal Crater (previously) mysteriously appeared on the Yamal Peninsula in northern Siberia sometime in early 2014. Thought to be the result of methane accumulation in thawing permafrost, when first discovered the giant hole was too dangerous for people to enter. Now that the ground has frozen, scientists have explored the hole and released a a set of otherworldly photographs documenting their expedition.
posted by Rumple on Nov 13, 2014 - 27 comments

Lenin's Irish Accent

Did Vladimir Lenin speak English with an Irish accent? The blog of Dublin culture Come Here To Me has some fun digging into Lenin's supposed Rathmines accent. The Dublin Review of Books describes the now extinct "Rathmines accent" a bit more, but says the Lenin story is not "enormously well-vouched". (The Russian embassy in Ireland apparently thinks otherwise).
posted by rollick on Nov 6, 2014 - 10 comments

The Wall fell only for some

So, what is the balance-sheet of transition? Only three or at most five or six countries could be said to be on the road to becoming a part of the rich and (relatively) stable capitalist world. Many are falling behind, and some are so far behind that they cannot aspire to go back to the point where they were when the Wall fell for several decades. Despite philosophers of “universal harmonies” such as Francis Fukuyama, Timothy Garton Ash, Vaclav Havel, Bernard Henry Lévy, and scores of international “economic advisors” to Boris Yeltsin, who all phantasized about democracy and prosperity, neither really arrived for most people in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The Wall fell only for some.
On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall Branko Milanovic looks at how the transition to capitalism worked out for the ex-communist countries of the USSR and Eastern Europe.
posted by MartinWisse on Nov 4, 2014 - 51 comments

Putin on the ritz

Most people in the English-speaking parts of the world missed Putin's speech at the Valdai conference in Sochi a few days ago, and, chances are, those of you who have heard of the speech didn't get a chance to read it, and missed its importance. (For your convenience, I am pasting in the full transcript of his speech below.) Western media did their best to ignore it or to twist its meaning. Regardless of what you think or don't think of Putin (like the sun and the moon, he does not exist for you to cultivate an opinion) this is probably the most important political speech since Churchill's “Iron Curtain” speech of March 5, 1946.
Via includes tl;dr of top 10 points
posted by infini on Oct 29, 2014 - 160 comments

Russian empire changes clocks to Putin Time, expands to 11 time zones

BBC: Russia will turn back its clocks for the last time on Sunday to permanently adopt winter hours. It will also increase its time zones from nine to 11, from the Pacific to the borders of the European Union. For the last three years, Russia experimented with keeping permanent summer time, but it proved to be highly unpopular with many Russians. The Soviet Union introduced Daylight Saving Time in 1981. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Oct 26, 2014 - 102 comments

That's Бумбокс as in Boombox.

Бумбокс: a 'funky groove' trio from the Ukraine. Funky and mellifluous. Slick video production and 0.5 megapixel performances. Too many links? Try one of the following for a potential jumping-off point... [more inside]
posted by Theophrastus Johnson on Oct 10, 2014 - 1 comment

"Socialism Is Our Launching Pad!"

Russiatrek.org's blog has a nice collection of Soviet propaganda posters. Soviet space program 1958-1963 Part 1. Part 2. International Workers' Day. Soviet Patriotism. Soviet propaganda - the beginning 1917-1923. Stalin's Soviet Union tourism posters. Socialism vs. Capitalism. WWII Part 1. Part 2. Soviet posters of the 1970's. The blog's art category.
posted by cwest on Oct 7, 2014 - 10 comments

Rise like a phoenix

During the late 1970s, the Warsaw Pact states had the Intervision Song Contest, an ideologically-sound Communist alternative to Eurovision, held in the Polish seaside resort of Sopot and attended by mostly Soviet-aligned and non-aligned states. The contest as such last ran in 1980; 1981's was cancelled due to the rise of Solidarność and the protests in nearby Gdańsk and it never returned as an international spectacle. But now, Russia is reviving the Intervision contest, after a 34-year gap. [more inside]
posted by acb on Sep 3, 2014 - 31 comments

The Dying Russians

The Dying Russians In the seventeen years between 1992 and 2009, the Russian population declined by almost seven million people, or nearly 5 percent—a rate of loss unheard of in Europe since World War II. Moreover, much of this appears to be caused by rising mortality. By the mid-1990s, the average St. Petersburg man lived for seven fewer years than he did at the end of the Communist period; in Moscow, the dip was even greater, with death coming nearly eight years sooner.
posted by Nevin on Sep 2, 2014 - 48 comments

Down with autocracy in Russia

In honour of Labour day, enjoy a documentary on Jewish anarchism at the turn of the 20th century, and the story of The Free Voice of Labour, their Yiddish newspaper that ran from 1890-1977. [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea on Sep 1, 2014 - 3 comments

Let's be clear: Russia is invading Ukraine right now

Russia has invaded Ukraine opening a second front to the south to open a land-bridge between Russia and Crimea. The Southern Front Catastrophe – August 27, 2014 translated from Ukraine has military details. Map of Operations Aug 10-27 (detail Mariupol and detail Lugansk pink/red is separatists). So far it's been a stealth invasion and slow escalation, today Russian troops, armor columns and artillery have openly crossed the border (video). Thousands more Russian troops are amassed. Ukraine has announced a reinstatement of the draft to commence in the Fall, and is demanding EU military assistance. An emergency UN meeting is currently in session (the 24th). Russia claims "No Russian forces are crossing in any point the border of Ukraine."
posted by stbalbach on Aug 28, 2014 - 359 comments

Stirlitz had a thought. He liked it, so he had another one.

A Soviet take on Rambo (brief clip; Rutube) is "unique in its violence and anti-Americanism." A Russian point of view on James Bond remarks that "so widespread was the interest in Bond that an official Soviet spy serial ... was released." But the spy novel / miniseries Seventeen Moments of Spring (somewhat digestible in 17 highlights with commentary: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17) is for interesting reasons not a Soviet counterpart to James Bond or Rambo. See also Seventeen Moments fanfic, two pages of jokes about its hero, and how he figures in the present. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Aug 16, 2014 - 9 comments

dermokratiya

Watching The Eclipse - "Ambassador Michael McFaul was there when the promise of democracy came to Russia—and when it began to fade."
In the three months between McFaul’s appointment and his arrival in Moscow, a great deal changed. Putin, feeling betrayed by both the urban middle classes and the West, made it plain that he would go on the offensive against any sign of foreign interference, real or imagined. A raw and resentful anti-Americanism, unknown since the seventies, suffused Kremlin policy and the state-run airwaves. As a new Ambassador, McFaul was hardly ignorant of the chill, but he launched into his work with a characteristic earnestness. “Started with a bang,” he wrote in his official blog. During the next two years, McFaul would be America’s primary witness to the rise of an even harsher form of Putinism—and, often enough, he would be its unwitting target.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 11, 2014 - 44 comments

Snowden granted 3-year stay in Russia.

After several days in legal limbo, the world's most notorious whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has been granted a three-year stay in Russia. This is amid breaking news of Russia's issuing of a menu of its own sanctions against U.S./E.U. countries, et al. The former NSA employee has been stranded in Russia for more than a year. Recently, new leaks by other, as yet unknown whistle-blower(s) other than Snowden have surfaced, according to U.S. authorities. The leaks detail certain "rules" for targeting of people for surveillance (including merely searching for privacy software), as well as details on the kind of activity or relationships which may put innocent people on terrorist watch lists.
posted by fantodstic on Aug 7, 2014 - 54 comments

Fiction and reality intertwine in Russia and Ukraine.

The Sci-Fi Writers' War. "A pro-Western, NATO-backed Ukrainian government faces a stubborn insurgency in the pro-Russian East. Fighting rages around Donetsk, with civilians dying in artillery fire and airstrikes, while Russian troops mass on the Ukrainian border. The latest headlines? No, a two-novel series by Russian-Ukrainian science-fiction writer Fedor Berezin: War 2010: The Ukrainian Front and War 2011: Against NATO. In a startling plot twist, Berezin, a 54-year-old former Soviet Army officer and Donetsk native, is now living inside a real-life version of his own story: He is deputy defense minister of the embattled 'Donetsk People’s Republic.'"
posted by Sticherbeast on Aug 1, 2014 - 17 comments

Veto bunnies

Who uses their veto in the UN Security Council the most, and what for?
posted by tavegyl on Jul 31, 2014 - 16 comments

an apple a day keeps Putin away

Russia bans apples from Poland due to health regulation violations. Ukrainian cornmeal and McDonalds are also on the hit list. Russia has a pattern of banning the products of countries it has disputes with — under the guise of sanitary violations — in order to impose political pressure. [more inside]
posted by St. Peepsburg on Jul 31, 2014 - 56 comments

Theater Map of Ukraine

"...it's social media that has helped build the public case against Russia" in Ukraine. One example is liveuamap.com, who "gather information from open sources and put it on the [Google] map" using familiar Google Maps markers for a Reds (Pro-Russian) vs Blues (Pro-Ukraine) theater map. Shaded regions indicate the Donetsk People's Republic (DNR; Red), Lugansk People's Republic (LNR; Purple), the MH17 crash site (Yellow), and the MH17 ceasefire zone (green). The posts linked to by each marker include a link to the source via a chain icon at the bottom of the post.
posted by jwells on Jul 23, 2014 - 11 comments

MH17

According to Malaysia Airlines, they have lost contact with flight MH17, in Ukraine, near the Russian border. The plane is reported to have originated in Amsterdam, with 280 passengers and 15 crew members on board. Multiple news organizations are reporting that the plane was shot down in an area where "the Ukrainian government has been fighting pro-Russian rebels."
posted by helloknitty on Jul 17, 2014 - 1192 comments

The crater is large enough for several Mi-8 helicopters to fly into it.

An enormous hole has appeared (YouTube, 0:34) in Russia's Yamal Peninsula, near the Bovanenkovo natural-gas field. 'We can definitely say that it is not a meteorite. No details yet,' said a spokesman.
posted by theodolite on Jul 16, 2014 - 148 comments

Russian home movies... in Space!

Ирина Плещева: Russian cosmonaut Max Suraev (@Msuraev) youtubes day-to-day events from the International Space Station.
posted by loukasven on Jul 11, 2014 - 2 comments

The Gang Meets Putin

The City Paper looks at a Russian adaptation of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
posted by Lemurrhea on Jul 9, 2014 - 17 comments

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