Russian Language Blog

Tag Archives: Soviet history

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


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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19-20-21 Soviet Pop Culture Memories From 1991 Posted by on Aug 18, 2011

This Friday, August 19th, marks the 20th anniversary of the Soviet coup d’etat attempt. I’m not going to do a history post because there are lots of sites online that do a much better job of it, complete with detailed timeline and analysis.  Besides, I was just 13 at the time and politics was the…

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How to Be A Cosmonaut for a Day Posted by on Apr 11, 2011

Are you ready for tomorrow? You might be asking «а что будет завтра?» [just what will be happening tomorrow?]. A quick look at the calendar will tell you that tomorrow is «двенадцатое апреля» [April 12th]. If you enter this date into Google search you will see that, in addition to it being a «сто второй…

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Reading “Мастер и Маргарита”: Chapter 15 Posted by on Oct 1, 2010

Remember Nikanor Ivanovich Bosoi (literal translation of his last name is “Shoeless”) who briefly appears in Chapter 9? In the beginning of that chapter he strikes a not-very-clear-cut deal with «коварный» [treacherous] Koroviev and at the end is led away by two nameless, but sinister «товарищи» [comrades]. And that was, seemingly, the end of…

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