Copycat IKEA Meatballs

In 1703, Tsar Peter I captured in the Swedish fortress of Nyen, which guarded access to the River Neva. It was one of the ambitious Russian tsar’s early successes in the Great Northern War (1702 – 1721) in which Russia ultimately smashed Swedish hegemony. On the banks of the Neva, Peter began construction of a…

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‘Journeys Through the Russian Empire’

A Tale of Two Photographers Photography, since its inception, has provided an invaluable window into Russia’s turbulent past. The revolutions of 1917 irrevocably altered the course of Russia’s history with seismic political change, but also rendered an entire way of life not only obsolete but also taboo. Historians were left to pour over sepia-toned photos…

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In Photos: Moscow Gears Up for the New Year

As the New Year quickly approaches, Russians around the country are getting ready for their most festive holiday of the year. Nowhere is this more evident than in Moscow, where the city is already gleaming with endless lights and decorations.

Here’s a closer look at how Russia’s capital transforms for the holidays:

Russian Film Highlights of 2020

2020 was a difficult year for the Russian film industry. Many long-anticipated premieres were postponed when in-theater showings were halted. Other filmы skipped the theater and went straight to online platforms. Another problem, which will have a longer effect on the industry, was filming — or not filming — under various Covid-19 restrictions. Most of…

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Russian Film ‘Beanpole’ Awarded Top Prize by U.S. Film Critics

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) has named the Russian movie “Beanpole” as the best foreign language film. “Beanpole,” which was directed by Kantemir Balagov, also won second place for best production design.  The film is set in the Soviet city of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) right after WWII. The narration focuses on the tragic relationship between two young women veterans, Iya…

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Moscow Holiday Feasts

As the year 2020 comes to an end, many expats are staying in Moscow, some for the first time, as the coronavirus makes travel abroad impossible or impractical.  Without the usual holiday fairs, parties and activities — and without widespread celebrations on Dec. 25 — it’s easy to put off planning. And now Christmas is…

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Kaliningrad Named Top Emerging Tourist Destination – Tripadvisor

Tripadvisor has ranked Russia’s Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad as the No. 1 emerging tourism destination in the world for 2020.  Sandwiched between Lithuania and Poland, the Kaliningrad region’s German heritage and influence make it unique from Russia’s mainland and its Baltic coastline draws surfers, swimmers and sunbathers in the summer.  The region’s capital, also named…

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Cecil Beaton Comes ‘Home’ to Russia

‘Cecil Beaton: Celebrating Celebrity,’ the first major show of one the greatest photographers of the 20th century in the Hermitage’s General Staff building brings together about 100 photographs and sketches by, highlighting his role as a herald of celebrity culture and its dedicated advocate. The display is a collaboration with Cecil Beaton’s Studio Archive and…

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Russian Schoolgirl’s Art Picked for J.K. Rowling’s ‘The Ickabog’

A young Russian artist has won the illustration contest for J.K. Rowling’s first post-Harry Potter children’s book, “The Ickabog.” Artwork by Yevdokiya “Dunya” Obolenskaya, 11, is among 34 original illustrations chosen out of 42,000 submissions from around the world for Rowling’s latest book published earlier in November. “Mama had received a text message close to…

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Skyscrapers Dance to Protect Yekaterinburg’s Architectural Heritage

The Kinoproba international festival-workshop for film-school students opened its doors in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg on Tuesday. The annual fest, which has hosted works from the world’s best film schools since 2004, was kicked off by an eye-catchiing short animated film called “Dance A Trois.” The film shows constructivist landmark buildings in Yekaterinburg coming to life and…

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Russia Sends 3 Films to the Golden Globe Awards

HOLLYWOOD—Russian-made films led the pack with three entries in the 78th annual Golden Globes competition. Qualifying motion pictures include director Andrei Konchalovsky’s “Dear Comrades,” Klim Shipenko’s “Text” and Yegor Abramenko’s “Sputnik.”  Russia is also represented as a co-producer in two other films: Ivan Tverdovsky’s “Conference” (Russia, Estonia, United Kingdom and Italy); and director Vadim Perelman’s…

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Russian New Music Gets a Reboot

A man dressed in all black mimes scrambled Brodsky verses while a cellist rakes her instrument with plastic wedges…thundering drum beats are inspired by the latest protests in Belarus… musicians in virtual reality goggles clatter on mechanical typewriters. These are just some of the images and sounds that the audience at “Russian Music 2.0” was…

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Moscow Prepares for Pandemic New Year’s

Muscovites are bracing for an unconventional holiday season after the cancellation of the city’s annual Christmas and New Year’s festivities, the closure of late-night entertainment and new restrictions on cinemas and theaters. Despite the restrictions, Moscow is already putting up extravagant lighting displays across the city, inviting residents to enjoy a festive stroll through the…

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A Persimmon Primer

Has this ever happened to you?  You see something unusual at the market—you may have no clue what it is — but you pounce on it anyway, only to get it home and wonder, “now what?” These are the inciting incidents of my culinary life in Russia. I fill my pantry with oddities that intrigue…

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Muscovites Send a Message of Peace and Tolerance on National Unity Day

On Wednesday, Russians celebrated the country’s newest holiday, National Unity Day. Originally established to commemorate Moscow’s liberation from the Polish-Lithuanian occupation in 1612, it now also aims to promote ethnic and religious tolerance among the country’s diverse population. Though 15 years have passed since Nov. 4 was first marked as a public holiday, the date…

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