The Art of Pâté

The Russian word “pashtet” (паштет) may not be Russian originally, but now it is firmly part of the language. But few people today know the origin of this term. The word “pâté” is related to the word “pasta.”  This isn’t just a fun fact of linguistics. Pâté was indeed related to dough. A few centuries ago,…

Get Ready for Seasons Greetings

Щедрая душа: a generous soul It’s that time of the year again: holidays, parties, merrymaking followed by more holidays, parties and merrymaking. If all goes well and we are lucky, we spend time with hospitable, good-natured, well-meaning folks. Naturally, this got me thinking about how to express this in Russian. The fun part is that…

Russian Official Quits After Son’s Bloody Videos Spark School Shooting Fears

An official in central Russia has resigned after her son’s disturbing social media posts triggered a high-profile scandal and police involvement, media reported Thursday. The republic of Chuvashia’s digital development minister Kristina Maynina was summoned for questioning after her son’s classmates noticed his social media posts and perceived them as a threat to shoot up the…

Russian Lawmakers Pass Expansion to ‘Gay Propaganda’ Ban

Russian lawmakers passed legislation Thursday imposing steep fines for LGBT “propaganda” among both minors and adults. The new bill bans the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” aimed at any age group — not just toward minors, as was banned under the country’s controversial 2013 law. The bill also codifies new offenses such as “propaganda of pedophilia”…

Russia’s Wagner Group Says Sending Blood-Stained Sledgehammer to EU Parliament

The Kremlin-linked leader of the notorious Wagner mercenary group said Wednesday that he sent a sledgehammer to be delivered to the European Parliament in a dark reminder of one fighter’s gruesome killing. Yevgeny Prigozhin’s threatening gesture came as the EU Parliament prepared to condemn Wagner in a non-binding resolution after branding Russia a “state sponsor…

EU Parliament Website Attacked After MEPs Slam Russian ‘Terrorism’

The European Parliament website was hit by a cyberattack claimed by pro-Russian hackers on Wednesday, shortly after lawmakers approved a resolution calling Moscow a “state sponsor of terrorism.” “The European Parliament is under a sophisticated cyberattack. A pro-Kremlin group has claimed responsibility,” the parliament’s president, Roberta Metsola, tweeted.  “Our IT experts are pushing back against…

Russian Activists, Armenian Nationalists Protest in Yerevan Ahead of Putin Visit

Members of Yerevan’s Russian population took to the streets of the Armenian capital Tuesday evening to protest against the war in Ukraine ahead of Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s arrival for Wednesday’s Collective Security Treaty Organization summit. The demonstration, which took place on Russia Square, attracted some 50 activists, who flew Russian flags with the red…

Armed Crime on the Rise in Russia

Crimes involving weapons have surged by nearly 30% in Russia this year, the RBC news website reported Wednesday, citing police data. Some 5,000 offenses involving firearms, ammunition and explosives were registered in January-October 2022, a 29.7% increase from the same time period last year. Authorities saw a more than 12% increase in the theft and…

Russia Unveils Nuclear Icebreaker in Push For Arctic Dominance                                    

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday oversaw the launch of a new nuclear-powered icebreaker as Russia pushes to develop the Arctic and seeks new energy markets amid sanctions over Ukraine.  Addressing a St. Petersburg ceremony for the launch of the Yakutia icebreaker by video link, Putin spoke of the vessel’s “strategic” importance to Russia. In addition…

Anti-Gay Law to Push Russia’s LGBT Community ‘Into the Shadows,’ Activists Warn

Anti-gay legislation under consideration by the Russian parliament could drive the country’s embattled LGBT+ community entirely underground, activists and experts told The Moscow Times, as the Kremlin doubles-down on what it calls “traditional values” amid the Ukraine war.  Russian lawmakers last month backed a bill to expand an existing ban on LGBT “propaganda” in its…

Russian Lawmakers Urge West to Condemn Ukraine Over Soldiers’ ‘Massacre’

Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, adopted a resolution Tuesday condemning the alleged killings of captive Russian troops by Ukrainian forces and urging Western counterparts to drop their support for Kyiv. Russian military and civilian authorities, as well as influential state media figures and bloggers, accused Kyiv of committing war crimes after videos…

Russian Media Watchdog Denies Censoring ‘War,’ ‘Peace’ Lyrics in TV Performances

Russia’s state media watchdog has denied ordering state television to censor war-related words after several entertainment channels censored the lyrics “war” and “peace” in recent broadcasts, state media reported Monday. Vadim Subbotin, deputy head of the Roskomnadzor regulator, maintained that the agency does not keep a list of banned words apart from explicit language, according…

Putin Congratulates Tokayev on ‘Convincing Mandate’ in Kazakh Poll

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday congratulated Kazakhstan’s incumbent president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, on his landslide victory in a snap presidential poll held months after deadly unrest in the oil-rich Central Asian country.   “You have received a convincing mandate of trust from fellow citizens, which opens up new opportunities for the implementation of the course…

Ukraine Denies its Forces Executed Russian Prisoners

The Ukrainian parliament’s commissioner for human rights on Sunday denied Kyiv’s forces had killed Russian prisoners of war, arguing that Ukraine’s soldiers were defending themselves against Russians who feigned surrender. Videos circulated on Russian social media this week purporting to show the bodies of Russian servicemen killed after surrendering to Ukrainian troops. Ukrainian Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets…

Building Ablaze Near Moscow Train Stations

A warehouse caught fire in the center of Moscow near three railway stations linking the Russian capital to several major cities, the Emergency Situations Ministry said Sunday.  Thick plumes of black smoke rose above the city’s skyline in contrast with the snow-covered pavements just next to the Yaroslavsky, Leningradsky and Kazansky train stations, Russian television footage showed. …

Poland Barring Russia’s Lavrov From Regional Security Talks ‘Provocative’ – Ministry

Russia Saturday blasted Warsaw’s refusal to allow Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to attend a meeting next month of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe as “unprecedented and provocative”. “The decision from Poland, which is the acting chairman of the OSCE, to refuse the participation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov in…