Discover Nikolai Meshcherin

The private Museum of Russian Impressionism was founded less than five years ago, but it has already become an important part of the Moscow art and museum scene. Its significance is not only thanks to its architecturally stunning venue — a reconstructed sugar silo at what was once a confectionary factory — and its central…

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On This Day: Mikhail Bulgakov

On this day in 1891, Mikhail Bulgakov was born in Kiev – then part of the Russian empire, now the capital of Ukraine. Today a household name in Russian literature, Bulgakov’s best and most known work was published after his death in 1940. One of seven children, Bulgakov’s father was a prominent professor and a…

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Sergei Dorenko Dead at 59

Sergei Dorenko died on May 9 in Moscow. According to multiple media reports, he was riding his motorcycle not far from the city center when he had a heart attack, drove into the oncoming traffic lane and then slid to a stop. No other vehicles were involved in the accident, and he apparently died on the…

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St. Petersburg’s Scars of War

May 9 represents one of the biggest celebrations in Russia, but also the commemoration of the end of one of the darkest chapters in the history of the country. Although victorious in what Russians call the Great Patriotic War (their part of World War II), the Soviet Union lost over 27 million people. Leningrad paid…

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Moscow Kicks Off Fountain Season

More than 500 working fountains are located across Moscow. Once used as sources of drinking water, they can be found anywhere from the city’s most photographed sightseeing spots to its quiet courtyards. Moscow city authorities traditionally open these fountains right before the start of warm weather in May. As a result, Muscovites see the launch…

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On This Day: Catherine the Great

On May 2, 1729, the woman who would become Catherine the Great was born as Princess Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst in Stettin, Prussia (now known as  Szczecin, Poland) to a German family. After a largely uneventful childhood, at the age of 16 she married Karl Ulrich. Karl Ulrich was the only son of Charles Frederick, Duke…

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Moscow Residents Celebrating the Easter Vigil at Sretensky Monastery

On Saturday night Orthodox churches and cathedrals around the world ushered in Easter with solemn ceremonies. Easter celebrations culminated in a grand midnight procession with crosses and icons, and worshipers chanting “Christ is risen indeed!” Easter is Christianity’s most important holiday which symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Orthodox world marks Easter this year a week later than the Catholic and…

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Pushkin House Book Prize Short List

In Moscow on Thursday, the short list for the 2019 Pushkin House Book Prize was announced by Alexander Drozdov, executive director of the Yeltsin Presidential Center and a member of this year’s jury. The Prize has been awarded annually since 2013 to the best book of non-fiction about Russia or the Russian-speaking world written for…

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On This Day: April 22, 1899

On this day in 1899, the writer Vladimir Nabokov was born in St. Petersburg. His father was a liberal politician; his mother a well-educated and cultured member of a prominent business family. He was the oldest of five children. He received his early education at home with governesses and tutors and then at a liberal…

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Into the Frying Pan: 9 Top Russian Cookbooks

Writing about cookbooks should not be a minefield, but in trying to nail down exactly what constitutes a “Russian” cookbook, I often feel the need of a sturdy flak jacket.  When you focus on a region whose physical and political borders have ebbed and flowed as often as Russia’s has, culinary history can well become controversial if not positively incendiary.…

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Moscow’s Monuments Get a Spring Shower

When you’re serious about your city’s statues, it isn’t just your home that needs spring cleaning. Muscovites headed outside to give the capital’s famous monuments a solid scrubbing and clean off the winter dirt.

Here’s a look at Moscow’s statues getting spruced up for the new season:

Russian Photographer Shoots Moscow With Blade Runner Aesthetics

With his work, Russian photographer Konstantin Vikhrov (@begushiy_po_ebenyam) attempts what he calls an “aesthetic-semantic” game, contrasting neon colors against dark shadows. The results are gloomy cyberpunk scenes reminiscent of film classic Blade Runner, capturing the bright but bleak sides of the capital.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Celebrate Theater in Peremilovo

This year is the Year of Theater in Russia, and to celebrate, the Theater Gallery on Malaya Ordynka is running an exhibition of works by the delightfully zany artist Vladimir Lyubarov entitled “The Year of Theater in the Village of Peremilovo.” In 1991, Lyubarov left his hometown of Moscow in favor of a simple life…

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On This Day: April 13, 1990

On this day, on April 13, 1943, the German army under Adolf Hitler announced the discovery of mass graves near the village of Katyn not far from Smolensk. The Nazis accused the Soviet Union of the mass murder of Polish officers. For almost five decades, the Soviet Union denied all responsibility, insisting that the murders…

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‘Stalingrad’ by Vasily Grossman

In June a new translation of a new version of Vasily Grossman’s “Stalingrad” is being released. Edited by Robert Chandler and Yury Bit-Yunan and translated from the Russian by Robert and Elizabeth Chandler, it promises to, if not revolutionize readers’ understanding of Vasily Grossman, then at least expand and augment it. We couldn’t wait to…

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Where Chinese Diners Eat in Moscow

Despite the decades-old Moscow-Beijing Friendship, authentic Chinese food has been really hard to find in the Russian capital. But as thousands of Chinese students and tourists flock to Moscow each year, they have been hankering for a taste of home — and now they found it. Assuming that your Mandarin isn’t up to reading the…

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All Too Human

Humans are embodied like all other animals, but according to Plato we are distinguished from the beasts through our possession of a sacred attribute: reason. This attribute is manifest in our ability to contemplate the nature of reality and reflect on how we ought to act. Thinkers from Plato to Steven Pinker have placed great…

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Run Out Winter’s Kinks

The passion to run has hit Russians hard. RunRepeat, a group that tracks marathon participation and times all around the world, reports that more Russians are running and more of them are running faster. In six years from 2009 to 2014, the number of Russian marathoners increased 300 percent. From 2008 to 2018, the average…

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Director Georgy Daneliya Has Died

The film director Georgy Daneliya died in a Moscow hospital on Thursday. The cause of death was a heart attack, but he had been hospitalized since February with an acute respiratory ailment. He was 88 years old. Daneliya was one of the Soviet Union’s most popular screenwriters and directors, whose gently satirical films managed to…

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Chikhirtma

Seriously, though, how do the Georgians do it?  The simplest dish on their stoves becomes a culinary tour de force.  Take, for example, chikhirtma, Georgia’s spicy, tangy, velvety version of Greek avgolemono or egg and lemon soup.    Like most Georgian recipes, the seemingly simple list of ingredients belies the complexity of the finished product.  The secret…

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On This Day: Andrei Tarkovsky

On this day in 1932, Andrei Tarkovsky was born in a village northeast of Moscow. His father was the poet and translator Arseny Tarkovsky, and his mother was a literary editor. He spent much of his childhood in the village before moving to Moscow after the war. At university Tarkovsky studied Arabic and then tried…

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On This Day: Nikolai Gogol

Nikolai Gogol was born in the Ukrainian town of Sorochintsy in 1809. His father, Vasily Gogol-Yanovsky, was himself a poet and a playwright, writing in both Ukrainian and Russian. Both languages were spoken in their home, and this would go on to have a significant influence on Gogol’s writing. In 1828 Gogol moved to St.…

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Rock Opera to the Rescue

How do you save a church? Call in a heavenly choir. That’s what St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Moscow decided to do. To raise funds for desperately needed repairs to their historic 135-year-old church, the church invited the Stas Namin Theater to perform their production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” on April 2.  And Stas Namin…

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On This Day: Maxim Gorky

On March 28 in 1868, the writer Maxim Gorky was born as Alexei Peshkov in Nizhny Novgorod. Later he took the penname of “Gorky” as he told the “bitter truth” of life in Russia. During the Soviet period he was celebrated as an anti-tsarist, working-class supporter of the Soviet regime, and his books, short stories…

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Lining Up for the Repin Retrospective

The Tretyakov Gallery continues its series of retrospectives of prominent turn-of-the-century painters with an enormous exhibition of works by Ilya Repin. Devoted to the 175th anniversary of the artist’s birth, the retrospective at the Tretyakov Gallery is only the first of three shows. After Moscow it will travel to the State Russian Museum in St.…

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Catch the Russian Muse

March is not a good month in Moscow. The skiing and skating seasons are over, but the running and biking seasons are but a dream of the distant future. You’ve explored every mall and binge-watched every television series produced within the last decade. You’ve mastered several complex, day-long French recipes and gotten loopy trying to…

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A New Look at the Last Tsar

Last year, the 100th anniversary of the execution of the last members of the Romanov dynasty passed in Russia without much official attention. The exception was in Yekaterinburg, where the family was killed and where thousands of pilgrims gathered to mark the day of their murder. But in Moscow the State Historical Museum has been…

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Director Marlen Khutsiev Has Died

Marlen Khutsiev, one of the Soviet Union and Russia’s most innovative and beloved film directors, died on Tuesday morning at the age of 93. Khutsiev was born in Tiflis (now Tbilisi, Georgia) in 1925. His father (ne Khutishvili) was a communist with a pre-Revolutionary socialist pedigree, who, after serving in high positions within the Soviet…

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