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Existing right here and right now. You're actually not!

Out of Time: 14 minutes with Andrei Skur'yat and friends. [more inside]
posted by armage on May 25, 2010 - 4 comments

Sayre's law, Amazon edition

The professor, his wife, and the secret, savage book reviews on Amazon 'An extraordinary literary "whodunnit" over the identity of a mystery reviewer who savaged works by some of Britain's leading academics on the Amazon website has culminated in a top historian admitting that the culprit was, in fact, his wife.'
posted by Abiezer on Apr 19, 2010 - 52 comments

Kafka's castle is collapsing

The saying "We have been put on Earth to make Kafka come true" has been well known since Soviet times.
posted by 31d1 on Apr 1, 2010 - 35 comments

Terror in Moscow

At least 35 dead in attacks on the Moscow subway. "Yuri Syomin, the head of the Moscow prosecutor's office, said the attacks had almost certainly been carried out by suicide bombers who boarded the metro at the height of the rush hour." Speculation is rampant as to the source of the attacks, with Ingushetia, Chechnya or Agastarn.
posted by rodgerd on Mar 29, 2010 - 77 comments

Russia's abandoned beauties

Russia's Wooden Churches - A century after celebrated Russian illustrator Ivan Bilibin called for preservation of Russia's decaying wooden churches, architectural photographer Richard Davies revisits the churches to document and raise awareness of these gorgeous historic architectural treasures. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Mar 14, 2010 - 29 comments

From Mountain View to Vladivostok

"The great Trans Siberian Railway, the pride of Russia, goes across two continents, 12 regions and 87 cities. The joint project of Google and the Russian Railways lets you take a trip along the famous route and see Baikal, Khekhtsirsky range, Barguzin mountains, Yenisei river and many other picturesque places of Russia without leaving your house." [more inside]
posted by dhammond on Feb 17, 2010 - 18 comments

Futurism in Russia

Tango With Cows is an exhibition by the Getty Museum of the book art of the Russian avant-garde from 1910 to 1917, which included a performance of sound poetry, all captured on video, both of Futurist poems, other historical sound poems, and contemporary works. Among performers are Christian Bök and Steve McCaffery. The exhibition takes its name from the book of ferro-concrete poems, one of 21 books can be downloaded as PDFs, most are by Alexei Kruchenykh but there are also works by Roman Jakobson, Vladimir Mayakovsky, David Burliuk, Andrei Kravtsov, Vasily Kamensky and Velimir Khlebnikov. These were all Futurists. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Feb 2, 2010 - 12 comments

In Soviet Mushroom Kingdom, Goomba Eats You!

The true story behind Comrade Mario.
posted by Effigy2000 on Jan 30, 2010 - 17 comments

The Russian anti-ship missile we have no defense against?

SS-N-22 Sunburn is the NATO designation for a Russian-made anti-ship missile that the US Navy (it seems) currently has no defense against. [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jan 23, 2010 - 82 comments

A Russian army recruit's scrap book

Selections from a handmade military discharge scrap book and comic made by a USSR army recruit, 1984-1986.
posted by Rumple on Jan 22, 2010 - 5 comments

it was then when the hurdy gurdy man came playing songs of влюбленность

Andrey Vinogradov has got the Russian hurdy gurdy you want. . 4,091 views. 2,635 views. 853 views. 5 views.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jan 21, 2010 - 16 comments

Moomin Valley

Moomin Valley - Interior design project, inspired by the works of Tove Jansson (via)
posted by Artw on Jan 11, 2010 - 27 comments

In Russia, corruption gets you

As a result of epic fraud, lawyer Sergey Magnitsky was falsely imprisoned and died in jail. An incredible story of doing business in a corrupt country.
posted by procrastination on Dec 18, 2009 - 13 comments

Photo essay: Women at risk in central Asia's heroin highway

House of Happiness - photos by Rena Effendi of women in the Ferghana Valley, part of central Asia's ancient Silk Route now known as "the heroin highway" - "a geographical and cultural mishmash where three countries and many ethnicities cluster." More about the photos. (Some photos NSFW) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Dec 17, 2009 - 14 comments

Picturing Climate Change

Ahead of the global climate talks, nine photographers from the photo agency NOOR photographed climate stories from around the world. Their goal: to document some of the causes and consequences, from deforestation to changing sea levels, as well as the people whose lives and jobs are part of that carbon culture. Warming threatens lifestyle of Russian herders | Refugees flee drought, war in East Africa | Greenland’s shrinking ice hurts natives [more inside]
posted by netbros on Dec 10, 2009 - 3 comments

The first glass goes down like a post...

Russian food porn. [more inside]
posted by TheWhiteSkull on Nov 18, 2009 - 59 comments

A Vivid Illustration of the Greatness of our Motherland

Do you know how many time zones there are in the Soviet Union? Eleven. That's Ridiculous. It's not even funny.
posted by jscott on Nov 13, 2009 - 59 comments

A Russian policeman speaks out

During the last week, a senior detective in Novorossiysk, Russia named Alexei Dymovsky had a viral hit on YouTube with a series of videos (in Russian: 1, 2. With English subtitles: 1) complaining about working conditions, accusing officers of corruption, and claiming that he and other police were ordered to stage crimes in order to put innocent people in jail. Dymovsky was promptly fired, but the Russian government has since admitted that parts of the police have been turned into criminal businesses. More here and here.
posted by twoleftfeet on Nov 12, 2009 - 11 comments

In Soviet Russia, equations solve you

The strength of post-Soviet math stems from decades of lonely productivity. Russian math.
posted by twoleftfeet on Nov 9, 2009 - 19 comments

Kalinin K-7: the giant plane that might have been

The Kalinin K-7 was a giant flying fortress that might have redefined aerial combat in the 1930s. The hugely expensive and trouble-prone prototype was scrapped by Stalin and its designer was later executed. Here are some renderings of the planes that might have been, with spacious lounges, battleship-sized cannons, and the ability to defend us from UFOs.
posted by Joe in Australia on Nov 8, 2009 - 68 comments

Comrade Draper, we have a new account from Acme Caviar.

Mad Men: Soviet Style. Beautiful advertising posters from the USSR.
posted by grumblebee on Nov 4, 2009 - 54 comments

After the Wall

After the Wall: Traces of the Soviet Empire
posted by vronsky on Nov 1, 2009 - 12 comments

1989, revolution in Eastern Europe

The BBC World Service has put together a special report on the 1989 revolutions in Eastern Europe (they also have a simpler portal). There is a wealth of material, including TV reports on key events from the BBC archives, interviews, a map timeline, a report on Catholicism's role in the 1989 revolutions, a first-hand report of what it was like to gather news in East Germany during that time and much more.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 27, 2009 - 20 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

Rocket Shots

Soyuz rocket rolls to launch pad. A fine photoset of an otherwise routine Russian rocket rollout. I can tell that photographer Bill Ingalls loves rockets. His favs.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Sep 29, 2009 - 34 comments

A parade in Brest, 1939.

September 22, 1939: In the Polish city of Brest-Litovsk (now Brest, in Belarus), "a monumental military parade took place.... What is unusual is that the parade was held not by the Polish army, but by the soviet Red Army and the Nazi German Wehrmacht – together." The excellent blog Poemas del río Wang (which usually features gorgeous illustrations from books) provides historical context, many photos, posters, and cartoons, even a five-minute official German newsreel (the parade takes up the first half). The event itself is a historical footnote, but in Russia, with the "cult of the victory of Soviet people and of the Soviet state in WWII," the very idea of it was anathema and it was denied until last year. [more inside]
posted by languagehat on Sep 27, 2009 - 26 comments

Are Peace Negotiations in the Cards?

Are Peace Negotiations hosted by Russia and France in the cards? Today, President Obama is meeting with Israeli PM Netanyahu and the Palestian Authority's Abbas and then hosting a three-way meeting with both leaders. Officially all parties claim they have "low expectations." [more inside]
posted by Ironmouth on Sep 22, 2009 - 38 comments

Keeping an eye on and old friend

Russian strategic nuclear forces - an online watchdog of the movements of Russia's nuclear forces. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Sep 20, 2009 - 8 comments

Viktor Suvorov on the beginnings of World War II

Suvorov’s argument is simple. Stalin cleverly lured Hitler into war by offering to divide Poland. This act, Stalin knew, would prompt Britain and France to declare war on Germany. Stalin expected to pick up the pieces. - Eric Margolis [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Sep 14, 2009 - 30 comments

Move over Suez Canal, there's a new route in town

For hundreds of years, mariners have dreamed of an Arctic shortcut that would allow them to speed trade between Asia and the West. Two German ships are poised to complete that transit for the first time, aided by the retreat of Arctic ice that scientists have linked to global warming. Arctic Shortcut Beckons Shippers as Ice Thaws.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Sep 11, 2009 - 24 comments

GQ bans Moscow blast article, bloggers catch up

It took spontaneously crowd-sourced translators less than 24 hrs to make an article on the FSB's (former KGB) alleged implication in the Moscow 1999 apartment blasts accessible in Russian. Before, distribution of the issue of GQ in Russia had been banned by the editor himself. The topic (although the allegations are anything else than new) became an instant top in the russian blogosphere today (dynamic listing, will change with time)
posted by megob on Sep 6, 2009 - 22 comments

Everyday life in the USSR

Real USSR is a blog containing commentaries on everyday life in the former Soviet Union. The liberal use of family and other amateur photos provides unusual insight into the daily experience of Soviet life. Topics range from 1940s homemade double-exposure photography to queueing to USSR - the birthplace of feminism. via
posted by Rumple on Aug 5, 2009 - 23 comments

Living communally in Russia

Kommunalka - communal apartments - were begun by the Bolsheviks in Russia at the end of the Russian Revolution to address overcrowding in cities - and also to punish the bourgeoisie who had previously lived in comfort. Kommunalka were an enduring social experiment, where multiple families were assigned by the state to live together in close quarters with no expectation of privacy. It was not uncommon for tenants to spy on each other. Though communism ended in Russia almost two decades ago, Kommunalka still exist today.
posted by contessa on Jul 18, 2009 - 18 comments

The Lithuanian Press Ban, 1864-1904

From 1864 to 1904, the Russian Empire tried to quelch the nationalism of Lithuanians by ordering all Lithuanian texts to be printed with Cyrillic characters instead of in the Latin-derived Lithuanian or Polish alphabets. But they didn't count on the Knygnešiai - the Booksmugglers. [more inside]
posted by mdonley on Jul 12, 2009 - 18 comments

... Do not look to the horizon of the eye drops.

Pictures from an epic Russian Fallout LARP. English translation via Google.
posted by permafrost on Jul 8, 2009 - 73 comments

WTF? Trippy music video from the USSR.

I'm not a fan of front-page posts that don't describe their link, but I seriously have no idea what this is. It's Russian. It's from the '60s. Now that I've watched it, I feel my life is complete, yet I somehow simultaneously want my eight minutes back (you've been warned). SLYT.
posted by grumblebee on Jun 28, 2009 - 66 comments

Hair Metalski

70s/80s Soviet album covers. Until today, I had no idea Soviet hair metal existed. Prepare for keytars, mall hair and proof that 80s cheese was not solely a product of degenerate kepitalist decadence.
posted by DecemberBoy on Jun 23, 2009 - 54 comments

Color photographs from early 1900s Russia

"Exactly one hundred years ago a Russian photographer, began a remarkable project. With the blessing - and funding - of the Tsar, Nicholas II, he embarked on an extraordinary journey to capture the essence of Russia in full color photographs." [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie on Jun 18, 2009 - 47 comments

He owns a mansion and a yacht

Roman Abramovich, the Russian billionaire owner of Chelsea Football Club, has launched his 557-foot yacht, Eclipse.
posted by Joe Beese on Jun 16, 2009 - 75 comments

Proletarians of All Lands, Unite!

Peasant! Free your pregnant wife from work, don't allow her to pick up heavy items since this will harm her and the child. An excellent collection of vintage soviet propaganda, public health, and infographics posters from 20s to 30s, many with full translations.
posted by madamjujujive on Jun 7, 2009 - 17 comments

Peter Carl Fabergé

Between 1885 and 1917, Peter Carl Fabergé and his assistants created 105 jeweled eggs, only 69 of which survive. They are regarded as masterpieces of the jeweler's art. The Rothschild egg is the most expensive timepiece ever sold at auction.
posted by Joe Beese on Jun 3, 2009 - 59 comments

Rewards of Motherhood

"You are setting an example for all society and you continue the tradition of parental service which has been customary in our country for centuries," so quoth Russian President Medvedev upon presenting the Order of Parental Glory to eight families. The medals are part of a campaign to encourage Russians to reproduce to offset the steep anticipated population decline in that country. [more inside]
posted by jeoc on Jun 1, 2009 - 20 comments

Anna Skladmann's Little Adults

Anna Skladmann's Little Adults. Photographs of the children of the ultra-rich in Russia.
posted by chunking express on Apr 29, 2009 - 51 comments

A New Thaw for Russia?

The global financial crisis has severely affected the Russian economy. The unstable situation in the country has contributed to a growing rift between Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev. As increasing numbers of Russians become disillusioned with Putin's promise of comfort and security in exchange for authoritarianism, Medvedev has shown some willingness to take the country in a more liberal direction. Some analysts, however, remain unconvinced.
posted by nasreddin on Apr 26, 2009 - 25 comments

The Forbidden Railway - a train trip to Pyongyang

In September of 2008, two Austrians traveled 13,000km by rail from Vienna to Pyongyang - without asking permission and going through the official Koran travel agency. [more inside]
posted by dunkadunc on Apr 5, 2009 - 36 comments

Science FTW

A German researcher accidentally jabbed her finger with a hypodermic loaded with the deadly Ebola virus. 48 hours later, she was injected with an untested, experimental vaccine, developed by an international team of virologists and biologists. Though she may never have been infected, she was certainly in danger; in 2004, a similar incident caused the death of a Russian scientist at a former Soviet biological weapons lab.
posted by permafrost on Mar 29, 2009 - 39 comments

Writing Off Autocracy (?)

Twilight Of The Autocrats: Will the global economic downturn usher in a new era of democracy, or will things only get worse? [first link via]
posted by Inspector.Gadget on Mar 24, 2009 - 16 comments

A whole movie in one image

Movie posters carry the movie in one still image. But they're also a great overview of trends, both artistic and popular. Modern major film posters are common enough, and if you're looking for some discussion of modern posters, Movie Poster Addict might be your scene. But dig deeper and you come across quality versions of foreign films, such as Mexican posters (deep link to a section of Pulp Morgue) or hand painted posters from Russia, India and Pakistan, even the US. MeFi's own flapjax at midnite shared a collection of recent finds from the 1960s and '70s on in this Flickr set. [flapjax at midnite's collection via mefi projects] Some-what pre-vious-ly on Me-ta-Filter. And not from MetaFilter, but from our favorite list site: 20 baffling foreign movie posters.
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 18, 2009 - 13 comments

So here's my trip to Chernobyl in pictures.

So here's my trip to Chernobyl in pictures.
posted by milquetoast on Mar 6, 2009 - 50 comments

The Axis of Upheaval

The Axis of Upheaval: A special report on the coming age of instability.
posted by homunculus on Feb 21, 2009 - 61 comments

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