The Cold War ended 30 years ago today

Exactly 30 years ago today, on December 3rd 1989, the then Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, and the US President George Bush (father) made a truly historic joint news conference on board the Soviet cruise ship Maxim Gorky, during the Malta Summit and officially declared an end to the Cold War. The Malta summit has being... Continue Reading →

The cold(est) Russian Winter

Today, December 1st, is the first day of Winter in Russia. The Russian winter is known to be cold, very cold. So much so that the expressions General Winter, General Frost, or General Snow refer to the harsh winter climate as a contributing factor to the military failures of several invasions of Russia. This year, though, it could turn out... Continue Reading →

Old looking new, new looking new

In many cities with hundred or sometimes thousand years of history, modern skyscrapers have started mushrooming around historical buildings and monuments, often creating interesting and unexpected contrasts. In this case, though, Russia is once again a little "different" as looks can be very deceiving when trying to guess the age of what you are seeing.... Continue Reading →

How vodka helps achieve a great erection

I don't want to know what you were thinking about, but I am obviously referring to the erection (the action of erecting) of a monument, more specifically the The Alexander Column (Russian: Алекса́ндровская коло́нна) in Saint Petersburg, to erect which vodka played an indispensable role! The Alexsandrovskaya Kolonna (also the "Pillar of Alexandria" , according to Alexander Pushkin’s... Continue Reading →

The Red Moon that never was

Exactly 50 years ago today, at 02:56 UTC July 21, 1969, an American named Neil Armstrong took "one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind" and set his left boot on the lunar surface. Why was the first man on the moon an American and not a Russian, when the Soviet Union was the... Continue Reading →

Live not by lies!

Ah, the irony! I stumbled by chance in this (at least to my eyes) very typical Russian scene. On the background you can see a large mural on the side of a house depicting the writer and Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn with one of his famous quotes: “Live not by lies!” This is actually the... Continue Reading →

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