758 posts tagged with russia.
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Immortal soul prisoned in a house of clay

The Por-Bazhyn Fortress (meaning “clay house” in Tuvan) is believed to have been built in the 8th century CE at the behest of the Uighur kagan Mo-yen-çur. Its remains occupy a 3.5 ha location on a spectacular island location in Lake Tere-Khol in the south west part of the Republic of Tuva. This summer a project to excavate and ultimately preserve the site began [Embedded video] (attracting some notable visitors). Via
posted by Abiezer on Sep 20, 2007 - 9 comments

And *I* thought that it was cool that I got Columbus Day off...

Last Wednesday, residents of the Ulyanovsk province of Russia took the day off work in celebration of their newest holiday, Sex Day.
posted by Afroblanco on Sep 18, 2007 - 42 comments

Space: 1989

Some photo galleries (and youtube video) of Buran, the USSR's space shuttle program (previously) from the 1980's, long since abandoned. Bonus: A comparison between Buran and the US space shuttle. Double Bonus: More on Buran from russianspaceweb.com, which is awesome. Combo breaker: An official page with NASA's take on Buran, (and their photos), frozen in time a decade ago.
posted by dersins on Sep 13, 2007 - 25 comments

Suburban Moscow only seems like outer space

Russians are planning a trip to Mars, but first they want to better understand the psychological and practical issues involved with long, isolated human travel. So the Russian Institute for Biomedical Problems will be locking volunteers into a small, closed system for ~500 days. The ESA is collaborating on the so-called Mars500 project. There is a current call out for volunteers which is open until the end of this month. [more inside]
posted by dkg on Sep 6, 2007 - 33 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

"...as a Russian and Chinese-led alliance created to counter US hegemony"

The Shanhai Cooperative Organization. [wiki] When Moscow and Beijing engineered the creation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) six years ago, I am not sure if they foresaw its emergence as an important actor in the international order. Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia, currently observers, are lobbying hard to get accepted into this club. The US request for membership was rejected two years ago.
posted by delmoi on Aug 23, 2007 - 14 comments

"The most unpardonable sin in society is the independence of thought."

My Disillusionment In Russia. Deported American anarchist Emma Goldman's narrative of her time in 1920s Russia. Omitted chapters were published as My Further Disillusionment With Russia. Emma was not only an anarchist, she was also an advocate for free speech, women's equality, sexual freedom, birth control and more. For more of her writings, see Anarchism: What It Really Stands For, Patriotism: A Menace To Liberty, and Minorities Versus Majorities. [Previously 1, 2]
posted by amyms on Aug 21, 2007 - 53 comments

Bush the Dissident

Bush the Dissident. (WaPo) Background (and previously) here here here here and here.
posted by Avenger on Aug 19, 2007 - 45 comments

Союз нерушимый...

Newsfilter: Someone is clearly nostalgic for the good old days of the Iron Curtain.
posted by Krrrlson on Aug 18, 2007 - 22 comments

Impeachment Day

Clinton White House Spokesman Joe Lockhart does stand-up. Text, or if you prefer there is some audio at the 51min mark from This American Life.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Aug 17, 2007 - 7 comments

Hitler's record collection

Know who else liked tunes by "subhuman" Jewish and Russian musicians? That's right.
posted by mr_crash_davis on Aug 7, 2007 - 36 comments

Musica Excentrica

Musica Excentrica.
posted by hama7 on Aug 7, 2007 - 10 comments

Portraits of rural Russians by Pavel Bezrukov

Portraits of rural Russians by the photojournalist Pavel Bezrukov. He is born in 1962, and started with photography as a hobby. Currently freelancing as a photo correspondent for the Moscow-based Orthodox magazine Foma. Some more samples of his work can be found at Orthodoxy Photo.
posted by Harald74 on Aug 7, 2007 - 22 comments

Bizarre geopolitical posturing filter

Russians plant flag on North Pole Sea bed. Russia has attempted to assert it's sovereignty over the North Pole by planting a Russian flag 4,200 metres under the ice. Norwegians, Danes react with amusement.
posted by ClanvidHorse on Aug 2, 2007 - 67 comments

Interpreting Vertov

Interpreting Vertov - an open invitation to reimagine the early Russian filmmaker Dziga Vertov's 1929 'Man with a Movie Camera".
posted by Burhanistan on Jul 18, 2007 - 30 comments


Motherland - a photo essay of Russia by Simon Roberts. (via conscientious)
posted by sgt.serenity on Jul 17, 2007 - 5 comments

Wow, Russia!

Wow Russia! A cutesy guide to the world's largest country. [via Siberian Light]
posted by Ljubljana on Jul 6, 2007 - 13 comments

Danger, Danger High Voltage

Creepy High Voltage Installations The Russian countryside yields sometimes most improbable sights - abandoned artifacts and installations from bizarre military/scientific research, strangely futuristic forms left to rust and decay - to be found by a curious photographer. "Master" stumbled upon this installation close to Russian city of Istra (50 km from Moscow) quite by chance, and these mysterious shots were percolating for a while around the web, until the answer was found. According to this little, cryptic, and quite secretive website [in Russian], the weird alien-like towers are the Experimental Grounds for High-Voltage Generation, the only open-air kind in the world. Amazingly, it's still in use... as the powerful lightnings rip through the night and the darkened forest - much like in "The Prestige" movie.
posted by psmealey on Jul 4, 2007 - 38 comments

Soviet era arcade games resurrected

Uptick in Cold War-like rhetoric making you a little nostalgic for the era of parachute pants and Members Only jackets?
A cabal of Russki comrades at some pinko university have been going around collecting and resurrecting disused Soviet-era arcade games, which became instantly obsolete with the collapse of communism. Sea Wolf, Duck Hunt, Pole Position, Dogfight!
We begin bombing in five minutes.
posted by planetkyoto on Jun 7, 2007 - 28 comments

Cold War back on.

Cold War back on.
posted by reklaw on Jun 3, 2007 - 159 comments

Policing Putin's Russia

"OMON knows no mercy and forgives none. This is the way it is, was, and always will be." The Russian OMON (Otryad Militsii Osobovo Naznacheniya), or Special Purpose Police Squad, is one of the most elite police units in the world. Formed in the mid-1980s to combat urban riots, the 20,000-strong OMON now tackles terrorists, protesters, and soccer fans. What drives former soldiers to join the beefy brigade? "Risk," says Major Viktor Kommissarov, "Working in the OMON always involves the risk of death." (in Russian)
posted by nasreddin on Jun 1, 2007 - 22 comments

return of the soviet union - the empire strikes back

Russia on Tuesday test-launched a new intercontinental ballistic missile The points to note are:- It could penetrate any defense system, the statement did not specify how many warheads the missile can carry, it's either a decoy or something that has been developed in complete secrecy.
posted by chrisranjana.com on May 29, 2007 - 54 comments

Putins spy war on the West

Putins spy war on the West White House intelligence advisers believe no other country is as aggressive as Russia in trying to obtain US secrets, with the possible exception of China. In particular the SVR, as the former KGB’s foreign intelligence arm is now known, is using a network of undercover agents in America to gather classified information about sensitive technologies, including military projects under development and high-tech research.
posted by jouke on May 20, 2007 - 30 comments

Investigating Russia's NGO Crackdown

Russia's attack on independent voices. In 2005, Alexandra Poolos interviewed Russian journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya. Two years later, Politkovskaya is one of fourteen journalists murdered since Vladimir Putin came to power, and Frontline sent Poolos to Russia to investigate the Kremlin's crackdown on independent voices. She reports on voices struggling to survive -- the last independent newspaper, a persecuted Chechen activist -- amidst a booming economy and resurgent authoritarianism.
posted by Coherence Panda on May 18, 2007 - 5 comments

Great Russian Voices

Giants of Soviet opera are little known in the West. But Victor Han has taken it upon himself to keep their memory alive....my personal favorite is Mark Reizen, a deeply nuanced bass, who was powerful enough to carry on singing into his ninth decade. If you'd care to follow along with some of the songs, you can use Emily Ezust's massive archive of lyrics, to which Victor contributes. Or, try listening in English first. Too much music? Here's some reading.
posted by StrikeTheViol on May 13, 2007 - 9 comments

Russia in photos: 1941-1945

Russia in photos: 1941-1945.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on May 11, 2007 - 32 comments

Worsening relations between Russia and the US

Vladimir Putin: You know who else wanted to dominate the world? Also: Russia suspends compliance with treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe. A 2002 analysis of Putin's foreign policy by Clifford Gaddy and Fiona Hill discusses Russia's fear of US unilateralism; a more recent article by Hill notes that high oil prices have made Russia an energy superpower. A 1951 article by George F. Kennan on US policy towards Russia. Previously.
posted by russilwvong on May 9, 2007 - 28 comments

Soviet Era Art

Metafilter's own Fake, Dan Reetz, recently spent several months in the former Soviet Union; while there he managed to round up this great selection of Soviet Movie posters from 1921-1973, as well as this interesting 1952 set of food drawings from the government produced book "Tasty & Healthy Eating." Finally, bonus content for anyone jonesing for more soviet content, this Russian Winnie the Pooh cartoon from the 1970s is fantastic. (via)
posted by jonson on May 2, 2007 - 29 comments

Rostropovich is dead.

Mstislav Rostropovich (1927-2007). Master cellist and renowned conductor, Rostropovich was one of the great artistic dissidents of the Soviet Union. He started his career as a star of the Moscow Conservatory and lived long enough to play his cello in the rubble of the Berlin Wall. More from the Associated Press and Wikipedia.
posted by ardgedee on Apr 27, 2007 - 38 comments

Tunnels of Love

Massive tunnels for peace. Russia is considering building a tunnel under the Bering Strait that would include pipelines, high-speed rails, and a highway, though earlier plans have not gotten far, at least for the last ten millennia. Another large tunnel project under consideration that hopes to encourage mutual understanding is the Red-Dead Canal, which would irrigate the deserts of Jordan and Israel, generate electricity, and refill the Dead Sea using water flowing from the Red Sea to the lowest point on Earth.
posted by blahblahblah on Apr 19, 2007 - 29 comments

All aboard for thermonuclear war

Russian Missile Train !
posted by Burhanistan on Apr 18, 2007 - 22 comments

at the crossroads - a photographic journey through central Asia

Canadian photographer Christopher Herwig provides a fascinating glimpse of the people and places of 5 of the "-stan" countries of Central Asia. You can see more work and current projects on his flickr page. Noteworthy photo essays: Arsan Baths in Almatry, Soviet Roadside Bus Stops (seen here before), and his recent The Wheelbarrow Operators of Monrovia.
posted by madamjujujive on Apr 11, 2007 - 16 comments

The Death of a Nation

The death of Russia [google video]. A very interesting documentary made for Channel 4 in the UK on the state of modern Russia from Marcel Theroux. Marcel is older brother of Louis Theroux and son of the travel writer Paul. Marcel's documentary style is more sober than that of his brother and he deals with a tragic subject delicately and with a sympathetic tone. A very depressing but nonetheless very watchable documentary told by a literate, compassionate journalist. [48 minutes running time]
posted by ClanvidHorse on Apr 9, 2007 - 18 comments

Printed Ephemera

Civil War Posters, Soviet Children's Books, 19th Century Shipping Posters, and much, much more are all part of this Flickr user's amazing collection of printed ephemera.
posted by jonson on Mar 31, 2007 - 13 comments

Economic Principals and Some Pop Culture—David Warsh

Each week, David Warsh publishes a new essay about the principals of economics. Previous topics have included rock 'n' roll economics, print journalism, and game theory. He sets his task and carries it out, and he's been at it for more than five years now.
posted by cgc373 on Mar 29, 2007 - 9 comments

100 Years After Empire

Revisiting Imperial Russia A Century Later MeFi veterans will undoubtedly remember how amazed we all were in 2001 by the color photographs of rural Imperial Russia by Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii. Or maybe some of you newer members remember when we revisited that site in 2004. Last year, photographers returned to a number of the original locations photographed by Prokudin-Gorkii to re-photograph the same locations as they are now. For the most part, little has changed.
posted by briank on Mar 22, 2007 - 20 comments


I understand The Elder Ones are quite tasty on saltines with a dash of Tabasco.
posted by sourwookie on Mar 21, 2007 - 89 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

Who's killing Putin's enemies?

A dozen of Putin's critics have been assassinated and Russia's vast natural resources are in the pockets of a chosen few. A 2 part article in The Guardian.
posted by jouke on Feb 24, 2007 - 33 comments

The punk from Novobrisk

Yanka (Янка) Dyagileva (1966-1991) was one of the foremost members of the former USSR's magnitizdat circuit. Albeit overshadowed in time by the likes of Vysotsky, she (along with longtime collaborators Grazhdanskaya Oborona [Civil Defence]) played a mixture of folk and punk: raw, unrelenting and angry. Sadly, the greatest memorial to her on the web is entirely in Russian, but offers interest to even those that do not speak the language: her complete discography is available for download, a bevy of photographs providing an inside look into the late 80's underground music scene in the USSR (...and the penalties for participating in it), and some tablatures if you ever just want to play along. She's even got a Myspace profile.
posted by griphus on Feb 22, 2007 - 23 comments

Hey, I can see my... wait, what's Waldo doing on my sofa!?

Everyone loves pixel art.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Feb 15, 2007 - 26 comments

One of the men said that it was the most delicious dish he had ever eaten.

Russian fisherman catch squeaking alien and eat it. Footage of the 100kg monster was also caught on camera phone (possibly nsfw page).
posted by premiumpolar on Feb 13, 2007 - 46 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

tolls the bells and hampers work

posted by tellurian on Jan 24, 2007 - 37 comments

dwarfing historic St. Petersburg

There are already some strange Soviet buildings. Gazprom intends to build these unusual skyscrapers in St. Petersburg. Maybe they will include caviar vending machines?
posted by nickyskye on Jan 18, 2007 - 25 comments

Russian Bus Stop Architecture

The (previously mentioned) excellent webzine Polar Inertia has a great photo essay on Soviet Roadside Bus Stops. The crazy architecture & diversity are really interesting, as is the abject sparseness of territory around the stops. Via.
posted by jonson on Jan 11, 2007 - 18 comments

Russia's discomfort with its Muslim minority

Russia's discomfort with its Muslim minority stems from a fear that the higher-than-average fertility of the Muslim population (6-10 children children per woman among Muslims vs 1.5 per woman among non-Muslims) will make the ethnic Russians of eastern-orthodox persuasion a minority within the state. [More Inside]
posted by gregb1007 on Jan 8, 2007 - 43 comments

Zvukovye Pis'ma

Zvukovye Pis'ma: Musical letters from the Soviet Union during the 1950s, with images and audio. More information for those that can decipher it.
posted by monju_bosatsu on Dec 31, 2006 - 4 comments

Samantha Smith

In 1982, ten-year old Samantha Smith from Maine wrote a letter to Yuri Andropov asking whether there was going to be a nuclear war. Andropov responded, and Samantha accepted his invitation to stay at a Russian pioneer camp with Soviet children. Tragically, within the following two years both the young Samantha and Secretary Andropov passed away. (wmv)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Dec 23, 2006 - 23 comments

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