‘Russia’ Category

  1. The Thunderstorm

    2

    December 29, 2017 by AK

    I’ve seen a dozen and a half theater performances in Moscow and St. Petersburg this year. Some turned out first-rate, as I expected from their creators – Yuri Butusov, Mikhail Bychkov, Dmitry Krymov, Evgeny Marcelli, Andrey Moguchy, Rimas Tuminas. Andriy Zholdak’s production of The Three Sisters was a disappointment: so much talent and imagination gone …
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  2. “Help me, sister”

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    December 28, 2017 by AK

    The BBC’s Russian service has run the story of a young man from Kostroma, an old Russian city 185 miles northeast of Moscow, who was charged with insulting a government official for calling Putin a “thief” and a “miserable crook” at a public rally in 2012. He fled to the Netherlands and was granted political …
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  3. Pataphysica Borealis

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    December 27, 2017 by AK

    What’s the principal connection between this song, which Juliette Gréco recorded in 1952 and sang at concerts for decades afterwards, and this 1984 number by the semi-underground Soviet-Russian band called Strange Games (Strannye Igry; here’s the same song performed live at a brief reunion in the mid-1990s)? (Musical groups that failed to get or didn’t …
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  4. Mmes. de L. and R.

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    December 17, 2017 by AK

    On a slightly lighter note, Dmitry Bykov, “one of Russia’s most colorful, versatile, and recognizable public intellectuals” and currently a visiting professor at UCLA, occasionally suffers from a condition typical of preternaturally productive speakers and writers: getting facts wrong in an entertaining way. Last month, Bykov gave a short talk on Maximilian Voloshin on the …
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  5. Another trial in Moscow

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    December 17, 2017 by AK

    Shaun Walker reports from Moscow for The Guardian: A Moscow court has sentenced a former Russian economy minister to eight years in a high-security prison for corruption, in a verdict that is likely to send chills through the Russian elite… The trial was a rare case of the vicious infighting between government clans spilling out …
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  6. Navalny as Saakashvili

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    December 15, 2017 by AK

    At the annual presidential Q&A session yesterday, a pseudo-opposition quasi-politician asked the Russian president why genuine opposition politicians, including the de-facto opposition leader, had been effectively barred from running in the upcoming 2018 election: Ksenia Sobchak, a socialite-turned-journalist who wants to run for president… asked Putin why Navalny was not allowed to run. “Are the …
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  7. The sleeper-waker

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    December 9, 2017 by AK

    “If one uncouples the last car from a train, the train will have no last car.” This pseudo-paradox is supposed to illustrate a certain property of natural languages. “Russia’s next president will be Vladimir Putin” is based on a similar, if inverted, logic, but few Russians experience it as a paradox. A case of bad …
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  8. Through a fen to the pit

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    December 3, 2017 by AK

    I’ve never listened to AC/DC, but let’s say I grew up with it. At school and at college, every other desk bore a semblance of their logo – carved, scratched, inked, penciled. (I’m talking about late-Soviet Moscow, to be clear.) Everybody pronounced the name IS-sy DIS-sy or EES-sy DEES-sy – I still don’t know why. …
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  9. Tchaikovsky’s civil service career: an early advantage

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    November 26, 2017 by AK

    I’ve spotted this little detail in Wikipedia’s article on Tchaikovsky; On 10 June 1859, the 19-year-old Tchaikovsky graduated as a titular counselor, a low rung on the civil service ladder. Appointed to the Ministry of Justice, he became a junior assistant within six months and a senior assistant two months after that. The rank of …
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  10. It didn’t start in 1917

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    November 23, 2017 by AK

    The organizers of Revolution: Russian Art 1917–1932 – the London show mentioned in this post – seem to believe that Russian arts burst into dazzling blossom in 1917 as the revolutionary spring ushered in a kingdom of liberty: …we will mark the historic centenary by focusing on the 15-year period between 1917 and 1932 when possibilities initially seemed limitless and …
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