‘Russia’ Category

  1. By the way, which one’s the Great One?

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    March 23, 2017 by AK

    Reviewing five recent books on the Russian Revolution of 1917 for the LRB, Sheila Fitzpatrick quotes S. A. [Stephen Anthony] Smith, professor of history at All Souls College, Oxford: The Soviet Union proved capable of generating extensive growth in industrial production and of building up a defence sector, but much less capable of competing with …
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  2. Lâstik and lastik

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    March 18, 2017 by AK

    In The Turkish Language Reform: A Catastrophic Success, Geoffrey Lewis mentions a certain late-Ottoman author and civil servant: …Kemalpaşazade Sait, alias Lâstik (‘Galoshes’) Sait, who held several senior posts in government service but was best known as a writer of articles on literature for the newspapers Tarik and Vakit, and as a minor poet. The …
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  3. Troubetzkoy’s Children

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    March 5, 2017 by AK

    The sculptor Paolo Troubetzkoy was born in 1866 in Intra, by Lago Maggiore in the north of Italy, to Ada Winans, an American pianist and singer, and Petr (Pyotr) Petrovich Trubetskoy, a Russian diplomat of aristocratic lineage. Paolo grew up in Italy and spoke little Russian but lived and worked in Russia for almost ten …
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  4. Lucilla in Lipetsk

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    March 3, 2017 by AK

    Good to hear about Russian entrepreneurs doing something cutting-edge and producing something immediately marketable: Amid the satellites, virtual reality headsets, 3D printers and other hi-tech products on show at Skolkovo’s recent Startup Bazaar, the stand housing a cage of buzzing flies and jar of writhing maggots stood out. Also on the table were jars of …
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  5. “Far right news sites entirely in Cyrillic script”

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    February 27, 2017 by AK

    About two weeks ago, Mark Townsend wrote in The Guardian: Another Briton said to have had an influential intervention in the US elections is 52-year-old Jim Dowson, a Scottish Calvinist who founded the far right, anti-Muslim party Britain First. Dowson, from a hub in Hungary, set up a network of US-focused websites and Facebook groups with …
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  6. Who should have the last word?

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    February 26, 2017 by AK

    The Economist‘s Erasmus wrote last Sunday about the “row” concerning Saint Isaac’s Cathedral in Saint Petersburg: After the Bolshevik revolution a century ago, [the building] became a museum, dedicated at various times to science, atheism or simply its own history. Services have been held there since the fall of communism, but it continued to be …
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  7. Zhukovsky’s note from February 1821

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    February 22, 2017 by AK

    I’ve come across an English translation of Zhukovsky’s comment on his 1821 poem, Lalla Rookh – not a Russian version of Thomas Moore’s long work but a lyrical essay on beauty and imagination. The brief prose note complements the poem. The book is Russian Romantic Criticism: An Anthology compiled by Lauren G. Leighton, who taught Russian literature …
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  8. The gifts of liberty?

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    February 15, 2017 by AK

    Alexander Pushkin wrote this poem in November 1823, shortly after news of Rafael del Riego’s execution reached Odessa. It was first published in Russia in 1866, almost 30 years after Puskin’s death. The translation below is by Nabokov: I copied it from his notes on Eugene Onegin. Of freedom solitary sower, early I went, before the …
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  9. This time it’s different, I promise

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    February 14, 2017 by AK

    This Russian official is, technically speaking, the third in the line of presidential succession: Vyacheslav Volodin, Putin’s former deputy chief of staff and current chairman of the state Duma, would support a law that protects the honor and dignity of the Russian president. During a speech at a university in Tatarstan, Volodin said the laws …
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  10. The ECHR on disjointed trials and res judicata

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    February 11, 2017 by AK

    Wednesday’s predictable but nevertheless bizarre re-conviction of Navalny and Ofitserov makes one wonder how the court managed the seemingly insurmountable barriers such as the absence of the corpus delicti and the ECHR’s ruling. It’s especially puzzling if, as Navalny has observed, at least some of the ruling was pasted straight from the 2013 original, complete with the …
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