Tag Archives: Russia


I can’t let December pass without recalling fondly the seventeen inches of snow that suddenly showed up. The snowfall of Saturday, December 19 (and a bit on Sunday), broke a bunch of records, the most easily remembered one being “the most snowfall in Washington in a single day in December,” something like that. For me it […]

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Not many notes have been emanating from the basement recently. A lot has been happening upstairs, but the excitement generated there is unlikely to be of particular interest to you. And of course something big is afoot in the world outside, yet whenever I’m on the verge of writing about an especially funny or shocking […]

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A day in the life … Today it was announced that the legendary British band Deep Purple will perform in the Kremlin this month as part of the 25th anniversary celebration for Gazprom, the biggest extractor of natural gas in the world. Attendance will be by invitation only. Possible attendees include Russian President Vladimir Putin […]

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Старые привычки … I don’t know if there’s a Russian equivalent for the English phrase: “Old habits die hard.” It would certainly apply to recent events in the Russian hinterland, where workers were ordered to attend pro-Putin rallies in a number of cities. The Guardian reports: A telegram from Sergey Lemikhov, a railways boss in […]

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A website I don’t visit often enough is Подслушано в России [Overheard in Russia]. A number of such “Overheard in …” sites exist, actually. They remind me of the Metropolitan Diary in the New York Times, where readers share conversations, exclamations, exhortations, or other utterances they happened to experience by chance in New York City […]

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Well, we made it through the doldrums of August. In an apparent attempt to inject some drama into this perennially languid month, a Russian journalist, Roman Trunov, tried to paint August in Russia as fraught with history-altering events. Four of his five examples occurred in the 1990s—admittedly a tumultuous time in that country. Two of […]

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The devoted reader of this blog will know why its proprietor won’t be concocting his own April Fools’ Day joke. (Besides, his team just got slaughtered in softball, so cut him some slack.) He did manage to find a nifty site that lists 100 classic AFD hoaxes. So enjoy that, and the rest of April, […]

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I’ve been holding off commenting on the Litvinenko case, because … well, because I can’t make heads or tails of it. As international mysteries go, this one is particularly murky. But that doesn’t keep the preternaturally astute Charles Krauthammer from sharing his indisputable conclusion that Vladimir Putin did it. Fresh from his astounding success at […]

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It’s hard to imagine a more cowardly act than the cold-blooded murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. “The pen is mightier than the sword”—and, presumably, mightier than the bullet. Whistling in the dark. Bullets and bombs continue to make the weaker argument prevail, just as in the days of swords and battering rams; continue to […]

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I was exploring the hotels of Saint Petersburg on the web and found one called Brothers Karamazov. It opened in 2004 and has 28 rooms with all the modern amenities, including internet access. The hotel boasts four special rooms with 19th-century decor, each named after a female character in a Dostoevsky novel. (I don’t imagine they have […]

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  • Proverbs for Paranoids, 3: If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.
    Gravity’s Rainbow

    ‘Is it about a bicycle?’ he asked.
    The Third Policeman