23 posts tagged with Russia and Siberia.
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In the autumn they issued a sack of potatoes per person

Frozen Dreams: Russia's Arctic obsession (16 min.) is a Financial Times video feature about Russian Federation preparations to take advantage of the Northern Sea Route opening up along its Arctic coast, which may at some point offer a preferable path for global shipping between the Atlantic region and East Asia, in comparison with the conventional route through the Mediterranean, Suez Canal, and Indian Ocean. [more inside]
posted by XMLicious on Oct 21, 2016 - 2 comments

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 - 16 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

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

"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

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

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

The Ket had seven souls, unlike animals, who had only one.

The Ket from the Lake Munduiskoye (2008, 30 min.) The Ket people are an indigenous group in central Siberia whose population has numbered less than two thousand during the past century. Although mostly assimilated into the dominant Russian culture at this point, a couple hundred of them are still able to speak the Ket language, the last remaining member of the Yeniseian language group. Recent scholarship has proposed a link between Ket and some Native American language groups.
posted by XMLicious on Apr 16, 2014 - 7 comments

The Somalis have cheekily declared themselves African champions for 2013

Bandy is a game similar to ice hockey, but played with a ball instead of a puck. Somalia is set to enter its first ever team into the World Bandy Championships, comprised entirely of Somali refugees living in Borlaenge, Sweden where almost 10% of the population hails from war-torn Somalia. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Jan 8, 2014 - 11 comments

The Old Believers

Alaska is home to two small villages of Russian Orthodox "Old Believers," whose ancestors left the church and their home in Siberia in 1666 in the face of state-issued church reforms. They have traveled more than 20,000 miles over five centuries in the search for the perfect place to protect their traditions from outside influences. Now, assimilation into American culture is slowly overtaking them. (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 5, 2013 - 49 comments

The Taiga Life

Featured previously, Vice does a 35 minute video chronicling a rare visit to the sole surviving member of the Lykov family, Agafia. [more inside]
posted by 2N2222 on May 2, 2013 - 7 comments

Old Believers in the wilderness

In 1978, geological explorers in a remote region of southern Siberia made an unexpected discovery: a family living alone, more than 150 miles from the nearest settlement. They had lived in isolation since 1936 and were unaware that World War II had happened.
posted by the duck by the oboe on Jan 28, 2013 - 65 comments

Chuckchi Jokes

Anyone familiar with the contemporary Russian humorous folklore (jokelore, or in Russian anekdoty) knows that one of the most popular series of such jokes revolves around the Chukchis, the native people of Chukotka, the most remote northeast corner of Russia. These jokes, especially popular in 1990s and 2000s, fit the international genre of ethnic stupidity jokes . . .
posted by jason's_planet on Nov 10, 2012 - 17 comments

Ancient Siberian Tattoos

In Siberia, several frozen human burials dating to 2,500 years ago have intact skin with elaborate tattoos. Warning: link contains graphic pictures of dead people.
posted by Rumple on Aug 23, 2012 - 36 comments

Are you Bazhenov?

Exxon mobil has signed a development agreement with the Kremlin-majority-owned Rosneft to develop the Bazhenov oil shale reserves in Siberia (PDF), which are estimated to hold 2 million million barrels of oil equivalent -- that's about 64 years of current consumption.
posted by seanmpuckett on Jun 11, 2012 - 39 comments

Jesus Jehovavich

Welcome to the charming world of Vissarion: the Siberian, vegan, reincarnation of Christ, who also happens to be a Polygamist. When he lost his job as a traffic cop in 1991, Sergei Torop changed his name to Vissarion and began spreading his message about how to attain moral perfection, drive out negative energy, and survive the coming Apocalypse. Today the Community of Vassarion in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia numbers around 10,000, while a further 50,000 follow his teachings in the world beyond. [more inside]
posted by Secret Life of Gravy on Oct 16, 2009 - 28 comments


The Tunguska Event. A century ago, something exploded over Russia... [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jul 1, 2008 - 22 comments

Can I say, "I know, but if I tell you I'll have to kill you"?

Mayor of Siberian town orders his bureaucrats to stop using expressions such as "I don't know", "I can't", "I'm having lunch", and "It's impossible". Not sure if "You have got to be fucking kidding me." or "What the fuck, man? are on his list.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium on Sep 4, 2007 - 16 comments

Railway of Bones

Dead Road - Museum of Communism in the Open. "It was one of the most ambitious projects of the Stalin era, known as the 'railway of bones'. At least 10 people a day died during the four years of its construction [actually 1947-1953], but unlike most of Uncle Joe's grand designs it was never completed and now sits unfinished in the tundra, an icy road to nowhere." The transpolar railway was built by labour camps^ 501 and 503 and construction was stopped after the amnesty following Stalin's death in 1953; 800km, about half, was built. Some sections are currently in operation, but much is abandoned: depot and locomotives in Dolgoe, Dolgoe itself, labour camps, more spectacular decay. (Previously: Norilsk, which was supposed to see an extension of the line.)
posted by parudox on Aug 27, 2007 - 13 comments

Gigantic hole

The giant spiraling hole in the ground near Mirny, Russia in Siberia is perhaps the world's largest open pit diamond mine. More giant holes.
posted by Burhanistan on Mar 12, 2007 - 48 comments

In Soviet Russia, Snow Pees On You.

Don't Eat (or Drink) The Yellow Snow!

note: it is our surmise that that this snow is probably not toxic. trust us. we're russia.
posted by Hat Maui on Feb 2, 2007 - 13 comments

What Would Vissarion Do?

What Would Vissarion Do? A former Russian traffic cop realizes that he is the reborn Son of God. Several devoted disciples agree, yea and verily. Insert own 'water into vodka' joke here. On second thought, please don't.
posted by Dirjy on May 24, 2002 - 2 comments

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