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


Discover provincial Russia – Ural enigma

Счастье на за горами - Perm, Provincial Russia

When it comes to cities in Russia, everyone has heard of Moscow and Saint Petersburg, but the truth is they only provide a small snapshot of the “real” Russia.  If you are brave enough to venture off the beaten track into the further Eastern part of Russia, you can see a side to the country… Continue reading


Russian winning Nobel Prize winners for Literature

Russian winning Nobel Prize

Ivan Bunin in 1933 “for the strict artistry with which he has carried on the classical Russian traditions in prose writing”. It was the first time a Nobel Prize had been awarded to someone in exile, in essence honouring the value of literature as a median distinct from politics. Bunin, like may other Russians at… Continue reading


Retracing Lenin’s footsteps

Of course, Saint Petersburg is bathed in history. As a city, it holds great significance regarding the Russian Revolution of 1917. So much so, that it is sometimes referred to as the cradle of the Russian Revolution. The Russian Revolution was a monumental event which took place in the earlier stages of the 20th century.… Continue reading


The Case of Anna Anderson and the Missing Romanov

You’ve probably heard about the missing Romanov children, the whole debacle as to whether they survived, leading to imposters and decades of speculation. The most infamous case is probably that of Anna Anderson. Anderson came into the picture about two years after the fate of the Romanovs when she jumped off a bridge in Berlin.… Continue reading


Spotlight on the Karelian Capital

If you have a bit of free travelling time at the end of your course, or simply want a weekend away from the big city, the Karelian capital Petrozavodsk is situated five hours away by train or by car from St. Petersburg and provides the perfect starting point to discovering the beauty of Northern Russia.… Continue reading


Ivan the Terrible

There’s a lot that’s been said about Ivan the Terrible. He was insane, tyrannical, a reformist, even humanitarian. His history is as turbulent as his reputation and is a fascinating case study in both a historical and psychological context. Prior to Ivan’s reign, Russia had been undergoing a unifying movement that threatened aristocracies, namely the… Continue reading


The Petrine Revolution in Russian Architecture

I was walking down Nevsky prospect with a hostel mate early one morning. He couldn’t get over the number of columns there were everywhere, remarking that is was like being in Rome or something. So how is it that a city in Russia came to be influenced by Italian design? It starts with the transition… Continue reading