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Archive for 'History'

Is August a “Cursed” Month in Russia? Posted by on Aug 26, 2019

ocean

Did you know August is seen as the month of trouble in Russia? Over the last 20 years, several accidents have happened in August (а́вгуст), which led people to regard August as a dangerous month (“чёрный а́вгуст,” literally “black August”). This post will look at some of these events and the reasons why August may—or…

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Talking About Chernobyl in Russian Posted by on Jun 17, 2019

Pripyat entrance sign

The Internet has been abuzz lately with discussions of the HBO Chernobyl miniseries. The show is based on the real story of an explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Powerplant (Черно́быльская А́томная Электроста́нция, ЧАЭС), and its release has reignited interest in the catastrophe, its causes, and how its been covered by witnesses, survivors, first responders, writers…

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Kolyma: Russian Documentary About Arctic Siberia and Stalin’s Repressions Posted by on May 28, 2019

Sergey Korolev's mugshot

Something that’s been widely discussed on the Russian Internet (руне́т) is a recent documentary (документа́льный фильм) by Yuri Dud’ called Kolyma — Birthplace of Our Fear (“Колыма́ — ро́дина на́шего стра́ха“). This film features footage from Northeastern Siberia and interviews with people whose families were affected by Stalinist repressions. The film was created by Yuri…

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3 March Political Anniversaries in Russia Posted by on Mar 7, 2019

calendar

I follow several Russian news outlets and commentators on social media, and this past week has been filled with anniversaries having to do with politics. As much as I love Russian party games or quirky memes, I realize that many “Russia aficionados,” especially abroad, are more interested in and familiar with Russian history and politics…

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Царь, царевич, or Royal Titles in Russian Posted by on Jan 17, 2019

crown

Are King Arthur and King Solomon both “коро́ль” in Russian? Why are both принц and князь used to say “prince,” and what’s the difference? This post will look at some royal titles in Russian and give examples of famous bearers of these titles. Коро́ль/Короле́ва The term “коро́ль” (king) is believed to come into Slavic languages…

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Who Gets Called “Russian”? Posted by on Feb 5, 2018

Buryat wrestling

How often have you heard the phrase “So-and-so is Russian”? What was meant by “Russian” in that case? Was the person a citizen of the Russian Federation? Did they live in any of the neighbo(u)ring countries? Did they speak Russian? This post will examine the many ways “Russian” (русский and other related words) is used…

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Do Russians Really Adore Putin? Posted by on Jan 24, 2018

Painting of Putin

Because politics is often the only aspect of Russian life that gets covered in the media abroad, I have made it a point to share other stories about Russia on this blog — from recent Russian films you can stream to renting an apartment/flat in Russia. At the same time, as Vladimir Putin (Владимир Путин)…

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