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The "Great Game" goes on.

Kyrgyzstan is to close a key US military airbase which is a key staging post for coalition troops into Afghanistan. This is probably a question of money, as Kyrgyzstan is facing a looming energy crisis.
As predicted the "great game" continues, with Russia playing a tricky game.
First soften up your 'mark' with a cyber attack.
As a result Afghan supply routes now face setbacks.
posted by adamvasco on Feb 4, 2009 - 18 comments

In Soviet Russia, Cats LOL You

Nyet comrade, you can not has cheeseburger.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Feb 2, 2009 - 144 comments

We don't care, we don't care, we'll get braver, and more courageous than the lion

"I am Russian so, obviously, I like this film. It has typical Russian humor, it is a farce, so do not look for higher meanings in the jokes, it makes fun of the social standards of the Soviet regime as well as the people who served it so well. It features some of the best Russian actors that we love seeing and acting; they sing in the movie and it is lovely as well. If you are a tough judge of movies, then please make sure you know Soviet history a bit and understand that the humor differs from what you see in American movies before you call it crap." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 1, 2009 - 18 comments

65 years ago, was to lift the blockade of Leningrad

Every day we go on to the streets, dying at his defenders who thought about us. About us, that they were not destined to see. But we can remember!

And imagine that the horror that the people was to survive.

WWII era Photographs, I assume, of Leningrad combined with current photographs. This era has also recently been portrayed effectively by David Benioff in his novel City of Thieves. Found the pictures via Warren Ellis who thinks the photographer may be Sergei Larenkov.
posted by zzazazz on Jan 29, 2009 - 16 comments

Russia stops all gas supply to Europe via Ukraine

Newsfilter: It's that time of the year again, though now it seems to be more serious. Russia stopped all gas supply to Europe via Ukraine on Wednesday, January 7, 2009. The EU depends on Russia for about a quarter of its total gas supplies, some 80% of which is pumped through Ukraine. At least seventeen countries are affected, many of them severely as Russia is their primary or only source of gas. [more inside]
posted by b. on Jan 7, 2009 - 51 comments

How to screw up a war story

What was so shameful and embarrassing to me, an American journalist whose own Moscow-based newspaper, The eXile, had just been driven out of existence [previously] by these same Kremlin bastards, is that Sasha was rightly frustrated. A Kremlin minder right and the Western journalists wrong? What has this world come to when the Kremlin has a better grasp of the truth than the free Western media?
How to screw up a war story: The New York Times at work
posted by Anything on Jan 5, 2009 - 32 comments

Russian people may soon canonize Joseph Stalin

The Russian people may vote Joseph Stalin as the greatest Russian to ever live. Despite the atrocities and cleansings committed by Stalin and his regime over his 30 year reign, 397,000 people have voted in a poll to recognize him as Russia's greatest countryman. Even more disturbing, the Russian government recently raided an organization and seized archives detailing Soviet repression under Stalin. A new history book for Russian teachers also describes Stalin's actions as "rational." Stalin is praised by many Russians for his defeat of the Nazi invasion forces during WWII. Even if he does not win the contest, it is amazing that such a tyrannical figure could be adored by nearly 400,000 Russians who voted for him.
posted by NationalWreck on Dec 28, 2008 - 68 comments

Do you know these children?

Do you, or an older relative of yours, recognize any of these children? More than 70 children separated from their families during WWII, now all elderly men and women, are using the Internet to try to find some answers about their pasts, their families, and sometimes even their own names. They are soliciting help and suggestions in the comments sections on each story. [more inside]
posted by Asparagirl on Dec 19, 2008 - 21 comments

The Northwest Passage

Scientists are now revising earlier projections about the speed at which global warming will impact the arctic ice sheet. By 2013 it could very well disappear in the summer months, opening up new sea lanes for commerce and, potentially, "a quarter of the earths oil and natural gas resources". Several arctic countries are thinking ahead, while it appears others have been for quite some time.
posted by Glibpaxman on Nov 23, 2008 - 47 comments

Georgia and Russia: the aftermath

Georgia and Russia: This is the most balanced and informative discussion I've seen since the invasion over three months ago (MeFi thread). If you've been wanting to catch up, this essay and its many useful links are the way to go. The author, Donald Rayfield, is professor of Russian and Georgian and knows both countries well. (Via wood s lot.)
posted by languagehat on Nov 18, 2008 - 12 comments

Another Russian animation post?!

Animatsiya in English is weblog (warning: livejournal) with a narrow focus: tracking the production of Russian animated feature films. Russian animation has a long history with output both abstract and obstructed; from the early influence of the Russian avant-garde and the work of small groups of enthusiasts, through Stalin-era Socialist realism and a style known as Éclair that was marked by the use of extensive rotoscoping, to the 1960's and beyond when surreal and politically charged (and unfortunately, in this case, anti-Semitic) as well as unconventionally structured, emotionally fueled films found release. Fortunately, when Pilot Studio—the Soviet Union's first private animation studio—decided to relegate parts of that history to the dumpsters out back, the people were ready to sift through the mess. [more inside]
posted by defenestration on Nov 16, 2008 - 6 comments

The Art of Onfim: Medieval Novgorod Through the Eyes of a Child

Amazing collection of sketches and doodles, drawn on birch bark, created by a child in Medieval Novgorod.
posted by sidartha on Nov 12, 2008 - 26 comments

олигáрх

Moscow is home to the largest number of billionaires and in Russia, there are nearly 100 billionaires. Due to recent economic developments and the drop in oil prices, the oligarchs, who rose to prominence under Gorbachev, have lost a combined total of $200 billion. Help is here.
posted by gman on Oct 30, 2008 - 21 comments

Russian sausage culture

Six Russian artists have created reproductions of world-famous paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Van Gogh and Picasso entirely out of sausage, earning a Guiness record certificate . This exhibition of perfectly edible art pieces took place a few weeks ago in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don to celebrate the centennary of a local meat-processing factory. Close-up photos of the pieces at English Russia. [more inside]
posted by wretched_rhapsody on Oct 22, 2008 - 24 comments

looking through old photographs

People sleeping, gently vulnerable and evocative, vintage photographs. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Oct 11, 2008 - 50 comments

Well there goes Reykjavik

More subprime collateral damage. Iceland's now getting a $5B bailout from Russia. What does Russia want in return? Access to shipping lanes? The old US base? via
posted by blahblah on Oct 7, 2008 - 48 comments

ferroequinology, the study of iron horses

Trains of Russia, photos from Pavoroz.com, a site about the railways of Russia, the Baltics and the C.I.S. (Commonwealth of Independent States). More than 50 000 pictures of steam, diesel, and electric locomotives, EMU and DMU trains, draisines, stations, tracks, etc. The collection is updated daily. The Turkestan-Siberian railway. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Oct 6, 2008 - 26 comments

Time zones

Do you know how many time zones there are in the Soviet Union?
posted by finite on Sep 28, 2008 - 78 comments

DEAR COMRADE!

Soviet Music "You are browsing a resource which is devoted first of all to the history and culture of the Soviet Union, the country which the West for a long time usually named as "The Empire of Evil", the country to which some people in the West perceive as "something big and snowy". I offer you to try to look outside the frames of usual stereotypes, to try to understand life of a unique country, with its interesting history, beautiful culture and miraculous relations between people. The music submitted on this site - is an evident sample of a totally new culture, which completely differs from all that, with what Hollywood and MTV supply us so much. This culture, being free from the cult of money, platitude, violence and sex, was urged to not indulge low bents of a human soul but to help the person to become culturally enriched and to grow above himself." [more inside]
posted by tellurian on Sep 23, 2008 - 16 comments

An extraordinary work of art

Eufrosinia Antonovna Kersnovskaya was a Russian woman who spent 12 years in Gulag camps and wrote her memoirs in 12 notebooks, 2,200,000 characters, accompanied with 680 pictures. How Much Is a Person Worth? has all 12 notebooks online, in Russian, some images NSFW and disturbing. (Just click on no 1 to 12 to see thumbnails of notebooks.)
posted by pyramid termite on Sep 19, 2008 - 8 comments

When Prague Spring Gave Way to Winter

When Prague Spring Gave Way to Winter. [more inside]
posted by chunking express on Sep 17, 2008 - 12 comments

oil tied economies - the gift that keeps giving

As many peoples eyes will be elsewhere the readers of the blue may not have seen the red flowing in the streets of Mother Russia. Russia’s two main bourses, RTS and MICEX, said on Wednesday they were suspending trade until further notice. How bad? Russian shares suffered their steepest one-day fall in more than a decade on Tuesday, losing up to 20 per cent, as a sharp slide in oil prices and difficult money market conditions triggered a rush to sell. [more inside]
posted by rough ashlar on Sep 17, 2008 - 67 comments

Georgia: "They Started It!"

Georgia offers evidence that Russia made the first move. (login NYT ; Bugmenot) [more inside]
posted by LMGM on Sep 16, 2008 - 87 comments

Human Rights Blogger Killed by Russian Police

Magomed Yevloyev, who blogged human rights abuses committed by police in Russia's volatile Ingushetia region, was shot in the temple while in police custody today. The site, ingushetiya.ru (English version), reported the brutal anti-insurgent "Dirty War" tacticts committed by police against Ingushetia's civilian population.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Aug 31, 2008 - 17 comments

Better red than dead

With the potential 'crisis' with Russia, Georgia, Europe et al, the BBC tries to imagine what a new Cold War would be like starting with a tour of the budding Moscow tourist attraction called the Confrontation Cold War Museum. Sold off in an auction last year, the underground bunker now belongs to a private company that plans to turn it into an entertainment complex with a museum about the Cold War, a restaurant and even a spa. But it is already possible to hold fashion shows around the 600-meter-long network of bare, cavernous tunnels.
posted by infini on Aug 31, 2008 - 6 comments

Are you there, God? It's me, Medvedev

Why I had to recognise Georgia’s breakaway regions, by Dmitry Medvedev.
posted by stammer on Aug 27, 2008 - 138 comments

Who Watches the Watchmen?

In February President Bush issued an Executive Order changing the role & reporting structure of the PFIAB, the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. At the time the order was criticized & analyzed as a move to consolidate power within an organization that was already full of Bush cronies. But it now looks like all the pundits were wrong. The real reason? There was a spy in the PFIAB.
posted by scalefree on Aug 21, 2008 - 33 comments

On the Ground in Gori

"Magnum photographer Thomas Dworzak is in Georgia for The Wall Street Journal. His photographic essays from the region span two decades and tell a moving story of the people and now war there." [more inside]
posted by chunking express on Aug 18, 2008 - 29 comments

Walk Like a Russian (oh whey oh)

This year alone, over 20,000 Russian Orthodox pilgrims followed an icon of St. Nicholas from Kirov to Velikoretskoye on foot. The 180km-long pilgrimage through the Russian countryside dates back to the 14th century. Sergey Kozmin's photos. Some extra info here.
posted by ersatz on Aug 15, 2008 - 6 comments

War by Miscalculation?

The Russo-Georgian War and the Balance of Power- the Russian invasion of Georgia has not changed the balance of power in Eurasia. It simply announced that the balance of power had already shifted. [more inside]
posted by notsnot on Aug 14, 2008 - 75 comments

Pink foam walls reveal national character.

Tunnels no Minasan no Okage Desu is a Japanese game show where contestants strike poses to fit through cutouts in pink foam walls. International reproductions of this game show reveal much about national character; reproductions exist in Italy, Russia, France, Denmark, Hong Kong, Korea, and Australia. [more inside]
posted by Alison on Aug 13, 2008 - 20 comments

Domestic Violence and Russian Women

Every hour a woman in the Russian Federation dies at the hand of a relative, her partner or former partner. Russian judge rules sexual harassment okay as it ensures humans breed. Domestic violence: Russian women speak out. NPR: Domestic Violence A Silent Crisis In Russia.
posted by agregoli on Aug 11, 2008 - 32 comments

Has the US peaked and is in decline?

Some books you might want to read about the US and recent political developments in the world. [more inside]
posted by yoyo_nyc on Aug 8, 2008 - 18 comments

Russian tanks and jets roll into Georgia

Reports are coming in of up to 150 armoured vehicles entering South Ossetia. [more inside]
posted by Happy Dave on Aug 8, 2008 - 372 comments

A Tale of Two Airplanes

"Once Upon A Time... there were two very special airplanes that lived.... far.... far.... away on a tiny island in the Bering Sea. One was named Rivet Ball and the other was named Rivet Amber. Very few people knew anything about these two planes or the men that flew them. Even family members knew very little. That's because their mission was... TOP SECRET." (some photos and language within are NSFW) [more inside]
posted by kurmbox on Aug 7, 2008 - 18 comments

Solzhenitsyn dead at 89

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has died. ( BBC ) The great author and opponent of totalitarianism lived to see the end of Communism in the Soviet Union and almost everywhere else. He survived WWII as a commander in the Soviet army before being put into gulags where he spent 20 years. He went on to write the Gulag Archipelago and win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970.
posted by sien on Aug 3, 2008 - 75 comments

Russian poetry and drama

Early Twentieth Century Russian Drama and From the Ends to the Beginning: A Bilingual Anthology of Russian Poetry are both products of Northwestern University Slavic Department. The former is devoted to Russian theater from the 1890s through the 1930s and focuses on the visual aspect of theater, with images of costumes, set designs and photographs of stagings. The latter is a collection of 250 poems, both in Russian and English translations ranging from the 18th Century to the modern day. There are some amazing images from the history of Russian drama, such as Kazimir Malevich's designs for Victory over the Sun and a quicktime video of actors doing Meyerhold's biomechanical exercises. The Listening Gallery of russianpoetry.net has over 75 recitals of poems, including Vladmir Mayakovsky reading his own And Could You? and a reading of Velimir Khlebnikov's famous Invocation of Laughter.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 19, 2008 - 8 comments

Exiled

The Exile is back. Iconoclastic Moscow-based web-rag The Exile, having recently been shut down by the Russian authorities for its often less-than-complimentary views on all things to do with the motherland, is back, having relocated to Panama. A victory for the spirit of Gonzo.
posted by muggsy1079 on Jul 15, 2008 - 18 comments

KA-BOOM!!!!

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

There's no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you'll enjoy the rest of your flight. By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?

Russian car magazine "Autoreview" has posted photos of a 1978 Korean Air Lines (KAL) forced landing to accompany an article about the Land Rover Defender pickup that was used to haul equipment at that time. Apparently, Korean Air Lines is not amused (Korean) by this effort to dig up the past. More photos. Via the always awesome Marmot's Hole. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Jun 5, 2008 - 13 comments

Heart of a dog

As Moscow changes, so does its population of stray dogs. During Soviet times, Moscow's stray dogs foraged for food and avoided humans, since there wasn't much to be gained from begging. As the city became increasingly affluent, the dogs' behavior changed radically. Some recent adaptations include passive subway begging, observing stoplights, and a food scam called the "come-from-behind ambush." The stray dogs, whose population is estimated at 26,000, have even ceased some of their interpack warfare. Observe the Moscow subway dog here. [more inside]
posted by Afroblanco on May 29, 2008 - 26 comments

Griefing comes to First Life

BREAKING NEWS: Kasparov assailed by flying dong. Possible inspiration
posted by thirteenkiller on May 19, 2008 - 83 comments

Canada's Russian Revolution

It stands as one of the more unusual turning points of the Cold War, thanks mostly to the surprise appearance of several naked middle-aged women. Taking The Cure: How a group of British Columbian anarchists inspired democracy in Russia. [more inside]
posted by amyms on May 13, 2008 - 7 comments

Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия

Comrades! Glory once again in the display of Soviet Russian military might at the revitalized May Day Victory Day Parade!
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 11, 2008 - 52 comments

Medvedev Sworn in as new Russian President, names Putin as Prime Minister

Meet the new boss... Same as the old boss.
posted by psmealey on May 7, 2008 - 42 comments

Space, to lick the very fuzzy navel of the heavens

Ever wondered what life is like on the International Space Station? Wonder no more. [more inside]
posted by oxford blue on Apr 25, 2008 - 25 comments

Retro Russia

Soviet Museum has some great retro photography, industrial, postcards, propaganda, "Soviet Union" magazine, aspects of moscow, red army, etc [did I mention erotic too?]. It even has 'Vladimir Putin Favourite Places' (which as far as I can tell, is one place). Set aside some time if this sort of thing interests you.
posted by tellurian on Apr 21, 2008 - 20 comments

Lemon Ades You?

Soviet Lemonade Labels
posted by interrobang on Apr 17, 2008 - 15 comments

Screw it!

In soviet russia... screw drives you! (via)
posted by phrontist on Apr 15, 2008 - 46 comments

Intelligence is Sexy

Hot For Words - a youtube classroom series on etymology taught by Marina, a... hot Russian philologist. Mildly NSFW. [more inside]
posted by Navelgazer on Apr 1, 2008 - 34 comments

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