Archive for October, 2021

Go East, Young Man: the Virgin Lands Campaign Posted by on Oct 29, 2021

From this side of the Iron Curtain, we remember Ники́та Серге́евич Хрущёв Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev, as the man who promised the West that мы вас похоро́ним! We will bury you (which is somewhat a mistranslation and a good subject for a future blog), for his 1959 Ку́хонные деба́ты Kitchen Debate in Moscow with then-vice president Richard…

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Koschei the Deathless, Part II Posted by on Oct 26, 2021

folktale characters

Before you continue reading, I highly insist that you catch up on what we covered about Koschei in Part I. Otherwise, you might be a bit lost. We left off discussing Koschei and his appearance in the American TV series Grimm, episode 9 of season 3 (warning: spoilers ahead). When transformed into his Koschei state, he…

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Koschei the Deathless, Part I Posted by on Oct 19, 2021


In honor of Halloween approaching, I was rewatching the Grimm TV series. It’s spooky, imaginative, and nostalgic for me, since it was one of the first shows I watched in English. Grimm is a police detective story that weaves in a whole universe of fantastical creatures (Wesen) from many different folktales, especially the Grimm brothers…

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The Russian Romance with the Guitar Posted by on Oct 15, 2021

It is difficult to imagine modern music without the guitar. It occupies an irreplaceable space in the modern ensemble. Its repertoire is vast, having been adapted to all genres of music. Each place it goes, it is adapted, and it was adapted for Russia as well. When the guitar first came to Russia, it had…

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More Macabre Sayings Posted by on Oct 11, 2021


While Halloween on October 31st might not be a widely recognized or endorsed holiday in Russia, there are plenty of macabre Russian sayings to use this spooky season. Some are very similar to English idiomatic expressions, for example: то́лько че́рез мой труп – over my dead body. Others are dark but humorous and colloquial. Спать как…

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The Mother of All Rivers Posted by on Oct 4, 2021

As the old song goes, Широка́ страна́ моя́ родна́я. Russia is the largest country in the world by far. Its borders stretch from its westernmost to easternmost points over 9,000 kilometers (over 5,000 miles), covering a total area of over seventeen million square kilometers (6.6 million square miles), which is one-eighth of the total land…

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