752 posts tagged with Russia.
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The Mammoth Pirates

In Russia's Arctic north, a new kind of gold rush is under way: With the sale of elephant tusks under close scrutiny, “ethical ivory” from the extinct woolly mammoth is now feeding an insatiable market in China. This rush on mammoth ivory is luring a fresh breed of miner – the tusker – into the Russian wilderness and creating dollar millionaires in some of the poorest villages of Siberia. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Aug 25, 2016 - 14 comments

NSA malware released by "The Shadow Brokers"

Was the N.S.A. Hacked? A group calling itself The Shadow Brokers [Google cache], widely supposed to actually be Russian state-backed hackers, released an archive of purported NSA Tailored Access Operations/'Equation Group' malware, including zero-day exploits on commercial routers. NSA insiders confirm likely legitimacy. The archive dates to mid-2013, shortly after the Snowden revelations, leading him and others to ponder whether the resulting cleanup operation shut out the hackers. Schneier guesses the timing was meant to signal the Obama administration against sanctions for the DNC hack.
posted by p3on on Aug 17, 2016 - 51 comments

"Buckle up."

With his campaign chair Paul Manafort mired in scandal and polls showing Arizona and Georgia on the brink of going blue, an increasingly agitated Donald Trump has launched a major shake-up of his political staff. Reportedly infuriated by talk of being "tamed," the Republican nominee has rejected Manafort's moderating sway in favor of Breitbart News CEO Steve* Bannon, an alt-right firebrand who Bloomberg has called "the most dangerous political operative in America." Washington Post reporter Robert Costa foresees a vicious campaign in the making, a prospect further suggested by rumors that disgraced Fox News founder Roger Ailes will be advising Trump ahead of next months' debates with Hillary Clinton (whose odds of a landslide are currently on par with that of any Trump victory). [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 17, 2016 - 2464 comments

Madam you have got to be joking. You cannot contain the Boris.

NO BS, JUST SHOOTING - DOOM overview is a heartfelt game review from Life of Boris. Boris will inform you about many aspects of Slav life, including How to squat like slav and Why Slavs wear Adidas. Also Russian language. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Aug 10, 2016 - 11 comments

Trolls for Hire

“The point is to spoil it, to create the atmosphere of hate, to make it so stinky that normal people won’t want to touch it” [SLNewYorker]
posted by alrightokay on Jul 28, 2016 - 54 comments

How to buy a car in the U.S.S.R.

It was a bit harder than you might think....
Ronald Reagan told the joke:
a guy in a Soviet country is told he has a 10 year wait for a car.
This man laid down the money, and the fellow in charge said to him:
Come back in 10 years and get your car.
The man answered: Morning or afternoon?
And the fellow behind the counter said: Ten years from now, what difference does it make?
And he said: Well, the plumber is coming in the morning. [more inside]
posted by shockingbluamp on Jul 22, 2016 - 21 comments

"Unfortunately, nobody knows where the solid double line is."

RBC recently became the latest of many independent news organization in Russia to face resignations, restrictions and closures due to mounting pressure from authorities. In May, the editor-in-chief was dismissed, reportedly due to political pressure resulting from stories about Putin's inner circle. Two other chief editors and numerous editorial staff left in protest. The replacement chief editors, brought in from state-controlled media outlet TASS, wanted to introduce themselves to the remaining RBC staff. The Q&A with the new bosses started with a simple request: Everything we discuss here … doesn't go beyond this room and doesn't end up on social media. Naturally, the whole thing was recorded, and the transcript was posted online. [more inside]
posted by Kabanos on Jul 12, 2016 - 16 comments

Soviet ingenuity at its finest!

Did you know that the Russians ignite Soyuz rockets with giant wooden matches?
posted by Small Dollar on Jun 28, 2016 - 20 comments

Some days....

The Bears Who Came to Town and Would Not Go Away. "This is the story of a place at the edge of the world, where a black bear ventured into a Russian hamlet and attacked a human. One bear became two, two became dozens, and before long no one would leave their home, and no one had any idea what to do."
posted by zarq on Jun 21, 2016 - 45 comments

"Russia has not yet reached the zenith of her power."

One hundred years ago today, an enormous Russian offensive begins. The attack surprised nearly everyone, including enemies and the rest of the Russian command.

The massive assault on Austro-Hungarian forces was intended to aid already or soon-to-be hard-pressed Russian allies France, Italy, and Britain, while also hoping to knock an enemy empire out of the war.

[more inside]
posted by doctornemo on Jun 4, 2016 - 14 comments

Reagan tells Soviet jokes

Everything makes him think of a story.
posted by Foci for Analysis on May 28, 2016 - 37 comments

Sink Capitalism

If you can't make it to the Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines (previously, previouslier), don't fret, you can experience it in the comfort of your own browser! [more inside]
posted by ckape on May 20, 2016 - 11 comments

Revenge for Eurovision: Will Russia invade the Baltics?

As Putin continues to probe, and another commentator predicts Russia will invade Estonia, Latvia and/or Lithuania within a year (also, Independent), it's useful to revisit Article 5 of Nato. Recently, the BBC simulation ended in a result of nuclear weapon use, which did not go down well, while another study also indicated results of either a Russian victory or nuclear war. Earlier in the year, Newsweek analysed this scenario; the Chicago Tribune blames NATO, as does The Nation, while The Master Plan considers ongoing Russian shenanigans.
posted by Wordshore on May 18, 2016 - 107 comments

how could you have not seen this coming?

As new revelations come to light that claim that not only was there widespread and elaborate cheating at the Sochi Olympics, but that Olympic officials may have been involved as well, Russia's Sports Minister says that they are very sorry "that athletes who tried to deceive us, and the world, were not caught sooner", and hoped that they would be cleared of wrongdoing in time for this summer's Games in Rio. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on May 16, 2016 - 82 comments

Can you hold Kamchatka?

Free land in Russia's Far Eastern Federal District [more inside]
posted by zinon on May 14, 2016 - 24 comments

When you've got to mail a letter from Leningrad to Stalingrad

Want to send a letter, but also want to express your admiration for the glorious heroes of the revolution? Stamp Russia has got you covered. [more inside]
posted by Krom Tatman on May 12, 2016 - 1 comment

Russian breakdancer tracks down participants from 1986 festival

30 years later - they've still got it! Proving again that once you are badass, you are always badass.
posted by youdontmakefriendswithsalad on May 8, 2016 - 13 comments

The day we discovered our parents were Russian spies

For years Donald Heathfield, Tracey Foley and their two children lived the American dream. "Then an FBI raid revealed the truth: they were agents of Putin’s Russia. Their sons tell their story."
posted by missmerrymack on May 7, 2016 - 57 comments

Boris Godunov, Bolshoy Theatre. 1954.

Part 1. Part 2. Two hours and forty minutes of classic Russian opera, in over-the-top Soviet style, produced in the unsettled years between Stalin's death and Krushchev's Secret Speech. If you don't have the time, you can watch the eleven minute death scene (part 1 and part 2 - a truly operatic death), performed by Boris Christoff a couple of years later in London. [more inside]
posted by clawsoon on May 6, 2016 - 3 comments

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

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