Russian Language Blog

Most Discussed Events of 2014 Posted by on Jan 12, 2015 in News

Now that 2014 is over many publications compile lists of the most significant, pivotal, or sensational events of last year. The Kommersant newspaper (Коммерсант) published several lists of most discussed events for various areas of life — Russia, the world, culture, economy, and so on. If you would like to read them in greater detail, here they are:

and many, many more.

While the events in Ukraine (события на Украине – the use of “на” is still the norm) and international sanctions (международные санкции) against several Russian officials and companies made many of these lists, I would like to concentrate on items that may be lesser-known to people abroad. Here are some of my picks from public events (общественные события). Let us look at the language used to talk about these events.

  1. Закрытие туркомпаний (Shutdown of travel agencies — we’ve covered this on this blog!):
    С начала 2014 года до середины декабря свою деятельность прекратили 20 туристических компаний России. В их числе такие туроператоры, как “Лабиринт”, “Идеал-тур” и фирма “Нева”. Причиной приостановки деятельности большинства операторов стало падение спроса на туристические услуги.
    падение спроса – decrease in demand
    туроператор – travel agency
  2. Вспышки лихорадки Эбола в Африке (Ebola fever outbreaks in Africa):В 2014 году вспышки лихорадки Эбола зафиксированы сразу в нескольких африканских странах. Наибольших масштабов эпидемии достигли в Гвинее, Либерии и Сьерра-Леоне. По данным ВОЗ, в этих странах болезнь стала причиной смерти более шести тысяч человек, около 18 тысяч жителей являются носителями опасного вируса.
    Вспышка is literally flash, including in photography. This word can also mean an outbreak of a disease. Лихорадка is a fever.
    Носитель is a carrier. Incidentally, a native speaker is носитель языка.
  3. Убийство чернокожего подростка и акции протеста в США (Murder of a black teenager and protests in the US):
    10 августа полицейский Даррен Уилсон застрелил в американском городе Фергюсон 18-летнего чернокожего подростка Майкла Брауна. Это убийство и последовавшее за ним решение суда не привлекать Уилсона к ответственности вызвали в США целую серию протестов. Акции против полицейского произвола прошли в 180 городах страны.
    чернокожий – black. This is an uncontroversial term, unlike other words in Russian.
    произвол – here, abuse. In a different context, it could also mean tyranny, like произвол властей.
  4. Массовая акция протеста врачей в Москве (mass protests of physicians in Moscow):
    В Москве на Суворовской площади прошел митинг медицинских работников против реформы системы здравоохранения, в рамках которой в столице планируется закрыть ряд медучреждений и сократить их работников.
    Медицинские работники refers to any medical providers, including врачи (doctors), медсёстры/медбратья (nurses), санитары (an approximate equivalent of a nurse’s assistant), etc.
    Здравоохранение – healthcare
    Медучреждение – medical facility; учреждение can refer to any sort of office or facility, like государственное учреждение – state facility
  5. Оппозиционный «Марш мира» в нескольких городах России (Opposition “Peace March” held in several Russian cities):
    Оппозиция провела «Марш мира» — акцию против военных действий на Украине.
    Провести is to hold. It can be followed by things like мероприятие (event).

What kind of big events of 2014 did you see covered in Russian media? Did anything not get as much coverage as it should have?

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About the Author: Maria

Maria is a Russian-born translator from Western New York. She is excited to share her fascination with all things Russian on this blog. Maria's professional updates are available in English on her website and Twitter and in Russian on Telegram.


  1. A. Catherine Noon:

    I don’t have anything of substance to add to your post, but I wanted to let you know that I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog. I’ve been a subscriber for a while now, and I mostly lurk; however, I wanted you to know that I really appreciate your work, thoughts, and enthusiasm.

    So, thanks!


  2. Jim:

    Hi, Maria
    I used to live on a farm in Fort Plain, NY, although I now share my time between Tacoma, WA and Silver Springs, FL, where, until last month, I was a volunteer Ranger, patrolling the Silver River in my kayak. Do you live anywhere near Fort Plain, NY? I’m retired now and my whole life has been languages. I love your Blog both for the Russian and the cultural information. My best language is French, but I also know the other Romance Languages as well as German and a few others. I took a spill off my bicycle a month ago and shattered my left hip! So now I have lots more time to do Russian! They did a full hip replacement and I now divide my time mostly, between rehab and languages. If you are interested in Skyping, we could do an exchange for French, Spanish, German or whatever… Or just talk… Let me know. Cheers!

    • Maria:

      @Jim Hi Jim,

      Thank you for your comment and compliment! I live in Rochester in the western part of the state. I loved the pictures on your blog, by the way.

  3. A. Catherine Noon:

    I just thought of a question after I hit “send.” Do you have any recommendations for sites that have stories in Russian and English side-by-side? Or books? I have a copy of a magazine from Stanford University called Montage, but it’s from back in 1990 or so. I’d love to find something like that, so I can practice reading more in Russian language. Do you have some suggestions?

    I’m in Chicago; do you know of any Russian clubs here? I haven’t been able to find any so far, but am willing to look around.

    • Maria:

      @A. Catherine Noon Hi Catherine,
      Thank you for your kind words. I would probably start with Meetup — I see there is a Russian group there for Chicago (

      For the books, I found a couple ‘parallel’ readers on Amazon — Your library/local bookstore may have them, too.

      I hope this helps and good luck with your Russian endeavors! Дерзайте!

  4. Moonyeen Albrecht:

    I realize that this is a late post. The Blog is from Jan. 12th and this is Jan. 26th, but I wondered if anyone else would mention this. I think a very important event in Russia is the crackdown on gays, lesbians etc. and how this has been “legalized” by the government. It greatly distresses me to see so much intolerance and persecution. I know may gay couples, some with great families and wonderful children, even the Rector-Pastor of my church who is the most wonderful, empathetic person and a pillar of our community. “They say” they are mentally ill because of so many suicides. Well, could it possibly be that suicides exist because of how they are treated, hunted down even, beaten, maimed and sometimes murdered with authorities calmly looking on? This attitude does not make Russia stronger.

    • Maria:

      @Moonyeen Albrecht Moonyeen, I was just reading the other day about the fine imposed on the founder of the Дети-404 website for LGBT teens — for the infamous “gay propaganda,” of course. Here is a link about it in Russian –
      Russia remains (in some of its parts/circles/strata) a very punitive society. I suspect it’s true about the neighboring countries, too, although I have no direct experience to back it up with.