Russian Revolutionary Rassolnik

Today in Russian restaurant menus you might come across “Leningrad style” preceding the word rassolnik. But this St. Petersburg soup is just the Soviet version of a Moscow dish. It was created after the 1917 Revolution and reflected food shortages. It was made with pickled cucumbers, potatoes and pearl barley. What’s to be proud of?…

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Annoying Russian Questions

Как дела?: How’s it going? Years ago whenever I would ask an acquaintance “Как дела?” (How are things?), he’d answer: “В Кремле дела, у нас делишки”. Since дела can mean matters, affairs, or work and делишки can mean minor tasks or errands, I understood it as a joke that meant something like “The Kremlin is…

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Russia to Build NW’s ‘Largest’ Military-Patriotic Youth Education Center

Russian authorities are building the “largest” military-patriotic youth education center in the country’s northwest amid a wider militarization of young Russians that has accelerated since Russia invaded Ukraine, pro-Kremlin media has reported. The Avangard teaching center in the Vologda region is expected to hold its first training camp in 2023, with 5,000 children and teens expected…

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Erdogan Warns of ‘Another Chernobyl’ After Talks in Ukraine

Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Thursday of a nuclear disaster in Ukraine during his first face-to-face talks with President Volodymyr Zelensky since Russia’s invasion began, echoing pleas from the UN’s chief. A flare-up in fighting around Europe’s largest nuclear facility in Russian-controlled southern Ukraine has sparked urgent warnings from world leaders, and UN chief Antonio…

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Ukrainian Southern Counteroffensive ‘Unlikely’ as Russia Bolsters Forces

A significant Ukrainian offensive to recapture Russian-occupied territories in its southern regions is seen as increasingly unlikely by experts as Moscow moves reinforcements to the area and Kyiv re-focuses on targeting Russian military capacity in the rear.   Ukrainian officials have repeatedly threatened an imminent attempt to recapture the city of Kherson, which was seized by…

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European Military Aid Commitments to Ukraine ‘Dry Up’ After 5 Months of War – Research

Major European governments promised no new military aid to Ukraine in July, the first month this has happened since Russia invaded its pro-Western neighbor, according to research published Thursday. Ukraine, which relies heavily on Europe’s military and economic aid, received only around 1.5 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in new pledges of support in July, bringing the total…

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U.S. Seeking to Brand Russia a ‘Blood Diamonds’ Exporter

The United States and its Western allies are seeking to label Russian diamonds “conflict diamonds” over the world’s largest supplier’s nearly six-month invasion of Ukraine. Russia produces about one-third of the world’s diamonds. The U.S., the largest importer of Russian diamonds, estimates that Russia exported more than $4.5 billion worth of diamonds in 2021. “Proceeds…

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Half of Russia’s Air Traffic Control Staff Furloughed or Fired – Vedomosti

Up to half of Russia’s country’s air traffic control staff are currently on temporary leave or have been dismissed as the country’s aviation industry contracts amid the war in Ukraine and international sanctions, Vedomosti newspaper reported Wednesday.  The State Air Traffic Management Corporation has laid off 2,000 employees including 600 air traffic controllers since the…

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Russian RPG-Armed Robot Dog Revealed to Be Chinese Home Bot

A robotic dog equipped with an anti-tank rocket launcher mounted on its back quickly went viral after it was unveiled at Russia’s annual Army-2022 international arms expo Monday.  Just as quickly, investigative outlets found the futuristic device to bear a striking resemblance to a consumer-grade robotic dog available on Chinese online marketplaces.  Dubbed “M-81 complex,”…

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Russia Says Blasts at Military Site in Crimea ‘Sabotage’

Russia said Tuesday that massive explosions at a military facility on the Kremlin-controlled Crimean peninsula in Ukraine that also damaged electrical power infrastructure were the result of “sabotage.” Russian President Vladimir Putin meanwhile said the United States was trying to drag out the conflict, accusing Washington of putting Ukrainians in the firing line and supplying…

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Investigative Outlet Obtains Russian Soldier’s Ukraine War Crimes Confession

Russian investigative news outlet iStories has published an apparent war crimes confession from a soldier stationed on the outskirts of Kyiv during the early weeks of the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine. iStories’ reporters identified four Russian servicemen suspected of robberies, looting and murder of civilians in the village of Andriivka by using photos the soldiers…

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Explainer: What’s the Risk of Disaster at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant?

Military activity near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine has caused increasing concern in recent days as cases of shelling rise and experts warn that the risks of a serious nuclear incident are very real. “Any attack to nuclear plants is… suicidal,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said last week, as he called…

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Russian Tycoon Deripaska Sues Ex-Banker Tinkov for Defamation

Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska has sued bank founder Oleg Tinkov, seeking 2 billion rubles in damages ($32.5 million) for alleged defamation, media reported Monday.  Both Deripaska and Tinkov are among the few influential Russian business owners to have spoken candidly about the negative impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  Deripaska filed civil lawsuits against…

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Putin, Kim Vow Stronger Russia-North Korea Ties — State Agency

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un exchanged letters indicating stronger bilateral relations amid Moscow’s international isolation over its war in Ukraine, North Korean state media reported Monday. The letters follow Pyongyang’s recognition of two Moscow-backed separatist regions in eastern Ukraine and the country’s reported readiness to send workers to the…

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All the World in One Russian Word

Лихач: reckless person; skilled person Friday pop quiz: Name a Russian word that is a noun, an adverb and a short-form adjective all in one and means evil, clever, wicked, smart, rakish, daring, reckless, cool, or wild. I think it could even mean swashbuckling, if anyone is buckling their swashes these days. Any guesses? Лихо.…

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Ex-President Medvedev Warns of ‘Possible’ Incidents at EU Nuclear Facilities

European leaders should be wary of “possible incidents” at nuclear power plants in their countries, Russia’s former President Dmitry Medvedev said Friday.   Russia’s ex-leader, who has become increasingly hawkish since the invasion of Ukraine, made the threat in a post on messaging app Telegram about the shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Russian-controlled southern…

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Leaked Archive Indicates Large-Scale Election Fraud – Meduza

An analysis of archive footage from polling stations in Russia recorded during parliamentary elections last year suggests over 17 million ballots were cast fraudulently, independent media outlet Meduza reported Friday. At the time of the September elections, Russia’s Central Elections Commission said it lacked money to provide online video streaming from all polling stations. But…

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