News from the Post-Soviet Sphere Archive

Gays in Russia Find No Haven, Despite Support From the West
The New York Times
For all the efforts of the liberal West is gay life in Russia any different on the ground today?

Communism in Colour: Vivid photographs portray life in the Soviet Union in the final year of the Stalin era
Daily Mail
Experience communist nostalgia in technicolor with these recently-republished pictures from the late-Stalinist Russian popular press.

Russian police seize painting of Vladimir Putin in women’s underwear
The Star
In another troubling sign of increasing government intervention in the arts, Russian police recently confiscated paintings on display in St. Petersburg that depict Vladimir Putin and his second-in-command, Dmitry Medvedev, scantily clad and intimately posed together. This story also raised questions about why gender norms have become such a deeply politicized issue in contemporary Russia.

Flood covers thousands of miles of Russian Far East
Russia Beyond the Headlines
Russia's Far East is experiencing its most severe flooding in recorded history.

The Drive to Blame Russia
The New York Times
This op-ed takes  up the controversial question: why is Russia always to blame in US political rhetoric?

Boycotting Vodka Won’t Help Russia’s Gays
The New York Times
This article examines whether the international boycott of Russian vodka will impact on the treatment of sexual Russia.

Russian Athletes Kiss on Winners Podium to Protest Anti-Gay Law
The following pair of articles describe and evaluate how two to interpret the spectacular kiss shared by two female Russian athletes on in light of the anti-gay legislation. The first interprets it as a positive act of protest.

Russian Runners Say Kiss Was Not A Protest Of Anti-Gay Laws; Call Publicity 'A Sick Fantasy'
The second asserts that it wasn't a protest but a "normal," nonromantic display of affection, claiming that the foreign press is too quick to interpret the scene according to Western cultural norms and political agendas.

Moscow investigates 'pigeon apocalypse'
The Guardian
This piece is on a dark  "green" theme--the pigeon apocalypse--and concerns the curious incidence of "zombie" birds falling from the Moscow sky.

Wild Applause, Secretly Choreographed
The New York Times
This article is a light piece about the unique phenomenon of designated clappers in the audience at the Bolshoi Theater

Why young Russians are leaving the country
Russia Beyond the Headlines
This article investigates the reasons why young Russians are more willing to emigrate than other generations.

Obama cancels meeting with Putin over Snowlen asylum tensions
The Guardian
Barack Obama has canceled a bilateral summit meeting with Vladimir Putin, a dramatic gesture by a U.S. head of state the likes of which has not been seen for decades, in response to Russia's granting a one-year asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden as well as to conflicts over other issues, from Syria to human rights, on which the two leaders cannot see eye to eye.

Kremlin critic goes from jail to trail
New York Times
Three weeks after being convicted of embezzlement on what many say are trumped-up charged, Alexei Navalny, Russia's leading opposition figure, uses a brief window of freedom to run for mayor of Moscow. His campaign slogan, "Change Russia. Start with Moscow," is one more challenge to Vladimir Putin's apparently iron grip over Russia's political system.

Snowden reads Russian literature
The Guardian
As Edward Snowden contemplates staying in Russia, his lawyer advises him to read Dostoevsky and Chekhov.

Pussy Riot Video
New York Times
The women of punk collective Pussy Riot rage against the machine--literally. The lyrics of their new song call Russia's oil industry a 'red prison.' In the video, the women clamber atop drilling equipment to unfurl a banner and shout their words of dissent.

Navalny Convicted
New York Times
Russian blogger and lawyer Aleksei Navalny, a charismatic and influential leader of the political opposition to President Vladimir Putin, has just been sentenced to five years in prison on what many say are fabricated charges.

Women in Soviet Art
Sixty paintings depict the myriad roles of Soviet-era women.nd nonsense.

Syria Talks
New York Times
Kerry Says U.S. and Russia were still working toward holding an international peace conference on Syria and agreed that it should take place “sooner rather than later.”

Edward Snowden in Moscow
The Guardian
Russian President Vladimir Putin has confirmed that fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden is hiding out in Moscow's biggest airport, and has characterized U.S. accusations against Russia as "ravings and nonsense."

Museum to Take Out-of-Towners
Star Tribune
"The Museum of Russian Art has just been selected by the Star Tribune as the best “Museum to Take Out-of-Towners”. Find out about current exhibitions at the museum, including photographs that show Jewish life in the Russian empire and paintings that explore women's experience during the Soviet period.

From Russia to Space
New York Times
Did you know that NASA now requires all its astronauts to learn Russian? In a small town in Russian, Baikonur, astronauts are launched into the sky.