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Why Russians rarely smile? This is one of the questions foreigners often ask about people living in Russia.

The following article about Russian smile and its features reveals this mystery.

Russian Smile - Not the Time to Smile

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In Russia, there is a phrase “Potemkin villages” which means fake things made to impress. It originates from a historical myth of fake villages built on the orders of Prince Potemkin along the route of the Russian Empress Catherine II during her visit in the northern Black Sea region in 1787.

In a remote region recently captured during the war with the Ottoman Empire, she saw numerous buildings, troops, prosperous population. These achievements surprised not only the Empress, but also foreigners, who were traveling with her.

Suzdal Russia - Potemkin Villages, photo 1

centuries later…




Endangered Barracks of Konigsberg

As a result of the Second World War, the northern part of the German province of East Prussia, with its capital Konigsberg, was given to the Soviet Union. The region received name Kaliningrad oblast, the city was renamed Kaliningrad.

The authorities didn’t pay any attention to the heritage of German culture. Old Town was not restored, the castle ruins were demolished in the late 1960s. To this day, the old German buildings are being demolished, such as those barracks 2 Ostpreussisches Grenadier-Regiment Konig Fridrich Wilhelm I №3. Photos by Mykolai Troniewski

Endangered Barracks of Konigsberg, Kaliningrad, Russia photo 1

lost heritage


A few days ago, in Perm, the festival of arts “White Nights” started. An exhibition of Krasnoyarsk artist Vasily Slonov “Welcome! Sochi 2014” was one of the participants of the festival. A couple of days later, it was closed by the local authorities.

Officials found the exhibition Russophobian and defaming the Olympics in Sochi, said the organizer of the festival Marat Gelman. However, he said, the exhibition will be reopened in the independent cultural center “Rechnik” today.

Exhibition "Welcome! Sochi 2014", Perm, Russia caricature 1

More caricatures of the Sochi 2014 Olympics

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According to the statistics of Russia’s traffic police, 99868 road accidents with victims happened in Russia in 2011. In comparison with 2010 the number of accidents increased by 0.2%.

The number of victims that died in car crashes in 2011 was 27953 people – 1386 people more than a year earlier (5.2%). 251848 people were injured in crashes – the number increased by 1213 (0.5%).

The most frequent cause of accidents on the roads is a violation of traffic rules by drivers. The total number of recorded traffic violations in 2011 increased by 4% and amounted to 57.2 million cases.

In 2011, in Moscow, 11827 road accidents were registered, 701 people died.




Soviet propaganda – the beginning

Soviet propaganda is propaganda of communist ideas and the Soviet way of life. It was carried out deliberately and centrally under the direction of the Communist Party and was officially called the ideological work, educating the masses, etc.

The propaganda combined the universal values (freedom, social justice), and patriotism. Propaganda was conducted through the media, books, movies, theater, and visual art. Today it is the part of Soviet cultural heritage.

Let’s take a look at how it all began during the Civil War and establishing of Soviet power in 1917-1923.

Soviet propaganda - the beginning poster 1

Death to world imperialism!


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The rally “For Fair Elections” was held on Sakharov Avenue in Moscow. The participants protested against ballot rigging in the elections to the State Duma on December 4.

The officials of Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that the meeting was attended by about 30 thousand people. According to the organizers of the rally about 120 thousand people came to protest. The symbols of protest were white chrysanthemums and white ribbons. Photos by Ilya Varlamov.

Sakharov Avenue, Moscow protest December 24, 2011 view 1



Kuban Cossacks (Kuban Cossack Army) is a part of Russian Cossacks of the North Caucasus, living on the territory of present Krasnodar krai, Stavropol krai, as well as the Republic of Adygeya and Karachay-Cherkessia. The military headquarters is located in Krasnodar (former Ekaterinodar).

Historically Kuban Cossacks were free militarized agricultural population. At the head of the Kuban Cossack Army was the chieftain (ataman), who was the military chief of the division and also the governor.



Vasya Lozhkin is Russian artist living in a small town of Solnechnogorsk located in Moskovskaya oblast. In his paintings he portrays parallel world – the world of psychosis, madness, extreme forms of mental states, visions and hallucinations.

If sometimes there are intersections with reality they are very little. This is not a reflection of our lives in a distorting mirror but a frightening fantasy world and the lives of the ghosts. He also likes to paint cats and bunnies.

Russian artist Vasya Lozhkin painting 1





Going to work on oil field in Russia

Priobskoye oil field is located near Khanty-Mansiysk city of Khanty-Mansi autonomous okrug. Is it really so hard to build a normal road?