History of the Russian Language

Understanding the origins of the Russian language is not only an important step in understanding the language itself, but can also offer a wealth of insight into the culture of the peoples who speak it. With a rich lexicon that is built around an intricate grammatical system, Russian is characterised by the same nuances of… Continue reading

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The Scarlet Sails in St. Petersburg (Алые Паруса)

The Scarlet Sails – or Алые Паруса (Alye Parusa) – is one of the main public events of the Russian Summer, and for any visitors who are lucky enough to be staying in St.Petersburg this year on the night of the 23rd June – when the famous White Nights are at their brightest – there… Continue reading

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Поехали! – Cosmonautics Day in Russia

Cosmonautics Day in Russia

Every year on April 12, Cosmonautics Day commemorates the first manned space flight by Yuri Gagarin in 1961. This day is considered a significant date in the history and pioneering spirit of space travel. With its first manned space flight, the former Soviet Union set a decisive milestone for the future of space travel –… Continue reading

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Ivan the Terrible: the story of Russia’s expansion

Ivan the Terrible

Today Russia is the largest country on Earth by area, and covers more than one-eighth of the planet’s inhabited land area. But how did it get to be so big? The answer to this question lies all the way back in the 16th century with the Russian ruler Ivan IV, known as Ivan the Terrible.… Continue reading

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Russian Emigre Literature – Nabokov and identity

Nabokov and emigre literature

A lesser known part of Russian history is the widespread emigration that happened during the Soviet Union. After the Communist revolution in 1917, a vast wave of 1-3 million Russian intellectuals, teachers and nobility were forced to flee the former Russian Empire. Among these emigrants were the famous literary figures Nabokov, Brodsky and Bunin, who… Continue reading

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Summer in Texas, Winter in Russia

I feel betrayed. Absolutely betrayed. It’s been three whole days in Moscow and I haven’t seen a single bear, a trace of snow or even a bottle of vodka. I flew all the way from Texas… for this?! To be fair, the first time I came to Russia was by accident. Well, as accidentally as… Continue reading

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Что такое бабье лето? – What does бабье лето mean?

Бабье лето - Moscow

The first three days I spent in Moscow were cold, windy and cloudy. It seemed autumn was already here. Then, on September 13th at 10am it stopped raining and the sun suddenly came out. The teacher in class told us бабье лето had just started. А что такое бабье лето (what does бабье лето mean)? It literally means “old women’s… Continue reading

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Lev Yashin: human story of a legend

Lev Yashin goalkeeper save

After saving two penalties in Russia’s match against Spain, Igor Akinfeev has become a Russian national hero. However, he is far from the greatest вратарь (goalkeeper) in football history. That honour goes to Lev Yashin, the Black Spider. His is a story of strength, courage and resilience.   Against the odds Yashin was born to… Continue reading

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