Murmansk turns 101 years (and one day) old

So many things happened in Russia on October 4th in the course of the centuries! I chose to dedicate yesterday's post to the anniversary of Sputnik, Earth's first artificial satellite, but yesterday also marked the 101st birthday of the city of Murmansk. Murmansk was the very last city founded in the Russian Empire. In 1915, World War I needs... Continue Reading →

The Lady of the Korolenko

The town of Vyborg lies on the Karelian Isthmus near the head of the Vyborg Bay, 130 km (81 miles) to the northwest of St. Petersburg and 38 km (24 miles) south of Russia's border with Finland, where the Saimaa Canal enters the Gulf of Finland. The town has changed hands several times in history, most recently in 1944 when the Soviet Union captured it from Finland during World... Continue Reading →

Heroes without a single picture

Inside the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin you can see a display (like an open-air museum) of WWII military vehicles. Amongst them, the famous Katyusha rocket launcher, a series of guns, trucks, tanks and even a Lavochkin La-7 fighter plane and the sail of Soviet submarine S-13. What struck me most are not the vehicles themselves, but rather the "photo mosaics"... Continue Reading →

The Soul in the Shed

No trip to understand Russian culture would be complete without a visit to a country shed, or its urban equivalent: the garage. The shed and the garage are a heritage of Soviet culture, which has survived in modern-day Russia. An interesting social study and explanation of how the shed became such an important part of... Continue Reading →

Lenin’s mosaic

Just a couple of blocks away from one of Moscow's most modern (and "western looking") buildings, the Planeta KVN, you can still see a 1950s looking mosaic with so many symbols of Soviet culture. Resting on the side of a grey, anonymous office building on the city's third ring road, its colours are faded but... Continue Reading →

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