Russians Adapt to Food Ban
Down on the Farm
FROM PERSONAL ARCHIVES
New regulations force chefs to look for new suppliers.
Community-supported agriculture project finds a niche in the Russian capital. P.08
The New York Times Wednesday, September 17, 2014
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Foreign Policy The roots of the conflict that erupted in eastern Ukraine remain even after ceasefire
NEWS IN BRIEF
Russia, Ukraine and the West Struggle to Move Forward
New U.S. Ambassador Arrives in Moscow U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Tefft presented his credentials to Foreign Ministry officials on Sept. 8. Tefft replaces Michael McFaul, who resigned in February. In a statement released by the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Tefft said: “As Ambassador, I have two main responsibilities. First and foremost, I am here to promote, defend and explain the interests of the United States. Secondly, I am here to help my own government understand Russia’s goals and perspectives.”
Even assuming the fighting in eastern Ukraine has stopped, the relationship between Russia and the West has likely changed forever.
Russian Documentary Film Festival Opens Oct. 10
NIKOLAI LITOVKIN, OLEG YEGOROV RBTH
From Oct. 10–12, twenty documentaries will have their American debuts during the seventh Russian Documentary Film Festival in NewYork. The festival is organized by The New Review, the oldest intellectual literary journal of the New York Russian-speaking diaspora. The films focus on a wide variety of subjects, including Russia’s history, contemporary Russian society, the life of ethnic minorities in Russia and famous cultural figures. All documentaries will be screened with English subtitles. For more information and a complete festival program, visit rusdocfilmfest.org
Children pose in front of a destroyed tank in the city of Lugansk on Sept. 13, a week after the ceasefire went into effect. Unrest began in Lugansk on April 6, when pro-autonomy supporters seized a government building.
the conflict there would inevitably be direct confrontation with NATO. The main political goal of the Kremlin today is to avoid this, as more and more attention is being demanded by new global security issues.” Not all Russian analysts agree. Andrei Kortunov, director general of the Russian Council on International Affairs, is skeptical about the long-term prospects for the ceasefire. “Poroshenko’s balanced position has generated a lot of criticism, and many Ukrainian politicians are building their
election campaigns as opponents of the President’s stance. In eastern Ukraine, not everyone is ready to support the compromise either. There are radicals who believe that they need full independence,” Kortunov said. Even if it becomes clear that the fighting is over, Russia and NATO may have both gone too far to prevent a long-term estrangement. Fyodor Lukyakov, a member of Russia’s Foreign and Defense Policy Council, said that the conflict in Ukraine showed the ex-
tent to which Russia and the West had diverged. “Russia and the West have failed to find a common language. The West wanted Russia to follow its model, which Russian leaders could not agree to,”Lukyanov said in an address at the third International Conference of Literary Translators.“The behavior of the external forces — both Russia and Europe — was not constructive, to put it mildly. Each stuck to the position: ‘No, I won’t let go’; and in the end we’ve got what we’ve got.”
© RIA NOVOSTI
Dovlatov Way Made Official
On Sept. 5, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin, representatives of pro-autonomy groups operating in Donetsk and Lugansk, and representatives from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (O.S.C.E.) reached an agreement on a ceasefire that brought to an end months of conflict in eastern Ukraine that left more than 3,000 people dead. As part of the agreement, the parties pledged to end hostilities, ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid, exchange prisoners of war and remove “illegal, armed formations, military equipment, fighters and mercenaries” from the territory of Ukraine. Despite reports of scattered fighting, the ceasefire seems to be holding, leaving observers wondering how geopolitical relationships will move forward after six months of escalating sanctions and new agreements that will bring NATO troops closer to Russia. Alexei Arbatov, director of the Center for International Security at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (Imemo) in Moscow considers the ceasefire as a sign that parties are ready for de-escalation across the board. “This is a respectable agreement, in which the guarantors are Russia, representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Kiev and the O.S.C.E.,”Arbatov said.“There is a feeling in the air that everything is leading to the end of the bloodshed. The time has come to say: ‘Enough! Let’s end this mess already!’ For Moscow to go further down the path of escalating
New York has honored the memory of RussianAmerican writer and journalist Sergei Dovlatov by naming a Queens street after him. Officials from the mayor’s office and Dovlatov’s widow, Elena, unveiled the first sign with the street’s new name at the intersection of 108th Street and 63rd Drive in Forest Hills at a ceremony on Sept. 8. It is the second New York street honoring a Russian: in 1984, the corner of 67th Street and Third Avenue in Manhattan was named for Russian scientist and activist Andrei Sakharov and his wife.
ONLY AT RBTH.COM
ANASTASIA VITYAZEVA SPECIAL TO RBTH
A new law that went into effect on Aug. 4 requires any Russian citizen who holds citizenship in another country to declare it to their local branch of the Federal Migration Service (F.M.S.). Russian citizens holding dual citizenship at the time the law went into effect must inform the F.M.S. by
Oct. 4. Those who acquire it in the future must tell the F.M.S. within 60 days of receiving the second citizenship. Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to 200,000 rubles ($5,530) or 400 hours of community service. Russians who live abroad and hold a second citizenship are subject to the law if they maintain a Russian residency permit, however they are not required to inform the F.M.S. before Oct. 4; the information can be given during their next trip to Russia, according to Nikolai Smorodin of the F.M.S., who discussed the issue
New legislation requires Russians with multiple passports, including some of those who live abroad, to inform the Federal Migration Service or face a hefty fine.
Brooklyn Nets player Andrey Kirilenko will have to register his U.S. citizenship, received in 2011.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
Rebel With a Cause: Political Messages in Pushkin’s Tales RBTH.COM/39567
© RIA NOVOSTI
Russians Must Declare Dual Citizenship
as part of an open Facebook chat on Aug. 19. F.M.S. officials have said that the agency is already aware of 74,500 Russians who hold a second passport, althoughVyacheslav Postavnin, a former deputy director of the F.M.S., considers this number a gross underestimate of the number of Russians with dual citizenship. According to the Migration XXI Century fund, which monitors migration flows and which Postavnin heads, there are 30 to 37 million Russians living abroad, although this includes Russians who have given up Russian citizenship. Russia’s constitution permits Russian citizens to have dual citizenship, but Russia recognizes only Russian citizenship except in cases that are provided for by international agreements, such as with Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Mikhail Fedotov, head of the Presidential Human Rights Council, said that this fact makes the law redundant.
Legislation New law requires Russians who hold citizenship in more than one country to register
Russians Take on the Ice Bucket Challenge RBTH.COM/39601
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Politics & Society
RUSSIA BEYOND THE HEADLINES Section sponsored by Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Russia www.rbth.com
Organizations State human rights body attributes its success to perserverance
Slow and Steady Works for Council
Russia’s Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights has taken up the issue of journalists’ safety.
Often underrated, Russia’s official human rights watchdog can point to a number of successful actions over the course of its 21 year history. ANNA VEKLICH SPECIAL TO RBTH
The Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights has submitted a new wave of bills to the Russian State Duma as a result of the conflict in Ukraine. One of the bills is related to the protection of journalists working in hot spots. According to members of the council, unimpeded work by the media, both in peacetime and in war, is the starting point for the development of a civil society. The issue became a priority for the council following the death of Andrey Stenin, a photographer for state news agency Rossiya Segodnya. The bill would obligate editors to provide equipment such as flak jackets and helmets for journalists in conflict zones along with life insurance. This is not the first time the council has taken up the issue of freedom of the press. The council already counts among its achievements an article in the Russian Criminal Code that im-
Council Chairman Mikhail Fedotov, who is also an advisor to President Vladimir Putin, said that any success the council has comes mostly through perseverance. The council is tasked with monitoring systemic problems in legislation and keeping track of individual human rights cases,
son in each case,” Fedotov said. The council, which was originally called the Commission on Human Rights, was established on September 26, 1993. It was born during Russia’s constitutional crisis of 1993, during which then-President Boris Yeltsin dissolved the legislature and ordered an attack on lawmakers who were opposed to his policies and had barricaded themselves inside the building known as the Russian White House.
The council was born during Russia’s constitutional crisis of 1993, when Boris Yeltsin dissolved the legislature.
Some critics suggest that the council has a tendency to spend its time on high-profile cases.
developing proposals to submit to the president and relevant government departments, and monitoring their implementation. “All problems need to be addressed very carefully, and our legislators often do not understand this. Therefore, laws adopted in a hurry are not exact. And laws that are not exact are weapons of mass destruction. We have many such laws. The council’s job is to introduce an element of rea-
“When the ‘great sit-in’ began in the White House, we created a task force that met in the Kremlin. We gathered there every day and developed proposals for the president regarding what needed to be done. Part of this task force became the new Commission, which was headed by prominent human rights activist Sergei Kovalev,” Fedotov said. The council, which has 61 members, includes experts from fields
poses penalties on those who forcible attempting to interfere with the work of journalists.
What is the council?
Read at RBTH.COM
“In the case of an absence of an agreement between Russia and the other country, we do not recognize this country’s citizenship,” said Fedotov. “That is why it is absurd to require the communication of a citizenship that we do not recognize.”
What’s behind the law
Congestion growing as Moscow struggles to keep pace with traffic jams rbth.com/39637
Reaction to marriage of ‘two brides’ in Moscow shows challenges ahead rbth.com/39565
ranging from domestic violence prevention to fighting forest fires. According to Fedotov, the atmosphere in the council can be very tense given the range of political views. He added, however, that this diversity works to the council’s advantage, as members have to learn to respect, if not appreciate, opposing viewpoints.
A Long Road Ahead for Eastern Ukraine
he ceasefire in the east of Ukraine is a long-awaited step that has put an end to brutal and pointless bloodshed. However, it has not brought the sides closer to an agreed solution, and the political process ahead is likely to be very difficult. The first stage after exchanging prisoners would be to determine who controls what and delineate areas of responsibility. Any conflict of this type is a war without a clear frontline, so a “border” has to be agreed after the truce. The establishment of any such border would require significant goodwill on the part of Kiev, since it implies the recognition that real control over part of Ukraine has been lost.
Some critics of the council suggest that the body has a tendency to spend its time working on high-profile cases rather than more mundane, ongoing problems. Fedotov denies this, noting that the council cannot simply ignore single flagrant violations. “We need to understand them and draw conclusions, to understand what the problem is: whether it’s corruption or bias in the courts, or a lack of legal regulation. Then we develop proposals, as, for example, was done following the Magnitsky case,”Fedotov said, referring to lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who died in 2009 while in police custody. At a recent press conference, Fedotov highlighted two amendments to Russia’s Criminal Procedure Code, both initiated and adopted following Magnitsky’s death, as one of the council’s three most notable achievements. The first amendment states that all individuals under investigation may demand an independent medical examination. The second states that the court cannot apply preventive measures such as detention to individuals accused of crimes in the area of entrepreneurship. According to Fedotov, following the amendment, prosecutions in this category dropped by 70 percent. The council’s other two major achievements are the enactment of a law on public control over state agencies and the 2013 creation of Russian public television. The council was also active in the December 2013 decision by the State Duma to grant amnesty to Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina of Pussy Riot, the 13 defendants in arrested in the 2012 Bolotnaya Square protests against election fraud, and the 30 Greenpeace activist arrested near the Prirazlomnaya oil platform in the Arctic Sea. Nevertheless, according to Vladislav Grib, deputy secretary of the Russian Public Chamber, an organization that monitors the work of government bodies, it is impossible to objectively evaluate the effectiveness of the council, as it largely depends on the decisions of government agencies. “The work is done on a voluntary basis. Of course, one can note problems with the implementation of council initiatives,”he said.
Fedor Lukyanov SPECIAL TO RBTH
In order to secure Ukraine’s territorial integrity, extra efforts and a very creative approach are needed. Assuming that such a step can be taken, after the demarcation, there comes the question of control over the line of contact. It would be logical for the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (O.S.C.E.) to assuming this monitoring function, but this will require a mandate. Asking for such a mandate will likely cause heated debate at O.S.C.E. headquarters in Vienna, where decisions such as the powers of such a mission and the nationality of its participants must be made. Once these issues are solved, a discussion about the status of the territory must begin. In order to secure Ukraine’s territorial integrity, extra efforts and a very creative approach to autonomy rights are needed. Then, the authorities of the self-proclaimed republics would face the task of establishing administrative structures that should be grounded in some legitimacy. Therefore, there must be elections and, consequently, political parties taking part in them. In other frozen conflict zones on Russia’s borders, declared autonomy or independence was followed by the emergence of strong leaders, like Igor
Smirnov in Transnistria (between Russia and Moldova) orVladislav Ardzinba in Abkhazia (between Russia and Georgia). However, in eastern Ukraine there are no leaders who would enjoy this kind of authority. A separate strand is the interests of outside parties, which have significantly raised the stakes and the degree of tension in the conflict. Russia faces a difficult choice because the moral and financial responsibility for the territories that have de facto separated from Ukraine lies on Moscow. An ideal scenario for Russia, it seems, would be a united Ukraine with considerable autonomy for Donetsk and Lugansk. Then, assistance to those regions could be rendered as part of international efforts to restore Ukraine, which will inevitably follow. However, the likelihood of such an agreement does not look high. Thus, Moscow will have to assist in the establishment of governing institutions in Donetsk and Lugansk without having clear prospects for the future. As regards the European Union, its priority task will probably be to search for partners in the task of rebuilding Ukraine — in other words, someone to share the financial burden. Europe has realized that without Russia’s assistance, the task of restoring Ukraine will be unmanageable, so once the truce is signed, the Europeans will be searching for ways of interacting with Moscow in order to reduce the economic pressure on Kiev. The most destructive position will belong to the United States, which views the Ukrainian crisis largely through the prism of its own strategic interests in Europe and the goal of containing Russia. The events of 2014 have clearly shown that there are fundamental processes still continuing in the former Soviet Union. They will affect the borders and the national consciousness of different peoples as well as the geopolitical balance of powers. The fate of eastern Ukraine is an element in a big and complicated picture of the future, which we can so far only guess at. Fyodor Lukyanov is chairman of the board of the Foreign and Defense Policy Council of the Russian Federation, an independent body that contributes to the development of Russian foreign policy.
Russians Declare Dual Citizenship CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
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Andrei Lugovoi, the State Duma Deputy who backed the law and proposed the criminal penalties, said that such legislation was necessary in order to support patriotism. “Having dual citizenship diminishes the importance of Russian citizenship,” Lugovoi said. “In this case, the Russian citizen is connected to another government and is forced to carry out his constitutional obligations to that other government.” Leonid Klishas, who supported the law in the Federation Council, Russia’s equivalent of the Senate, added that in some countries, to obtain citizenship a person must swear an oath of loyalty to the new country, which would denigrate the person’s ties to Russia. A source in the State Duma told Russian newspaper RBC Daily that one of the motivations behind the law was that people who hold dual citizenship are officially forbidden from holding elect-
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
Vyacheslav Postavnin PRESIDENT OF THE MIGRATION XXI CENTURY FUND, A FORMER DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE F.M.S.
Earlier, among federal and regional officials there was a fashion for having real estate and assets abroad. If you didn’t have them, you were considered a loser. But the political situation changed; now you are a traitor if you have interests in other countries. Russia has to be the center of economic interests of officials now.”
Andrei Lugovoi STATE DUMA DEPUTY, LIBERAL-DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF RUSSIA
Having dual citizenship diminishes the importance of Russian citizenship. In this case, the Russian citizen is connected to another government and is to carry out his constitutional obligations to that other government. Russia is in an aggressive world, therefore the government must know about dual citizenship.”
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ed positions or being part of the civil service, but that this law was not being sufficiently enforced. Postavnin of Migration XXI Century agreed with the assessment of the source. “Earlier, among federal and regional officials there was a fashion for having real estate and assets abroad. If you didn’t have them, you were considered a loser. But the political situation changed; now you are a traitor if you have interests in other countries. Russia has to be the center of economic interests of officials now,” Postavnin said, adding that this law could be considered the next stage in the nationalization of the elite, following previous laws requiring government officials to declare foreign assests including property and bank accounts. Svetlana Gannushkina, president of the N.G.O. Civic Assistance Committee said that with the law, the government was only creating a culture of suspicion and dishonesty.“These people will prefer to hide their possession of a second citizenship in order to avoid contact with officials,”says Gannushkina.
Reactions The experience of Olga, a Russian living outside Washington, D.C., indicates otherwise, however. She took a break from a recent business trip to Moscow to register her U.S. passport at the
local F.M.S. and found a number of law-abiding Russians.“It’s been a long time since I stood in a line with such intelligent people as the one at the F.M.S.,” she said. “There was a pediatric surgeon, a professor at the conservatory, a guy who works in I.T. and me,” she said. New York–based model Kira Dikhtyar also recently registered her U.S. passport at a Moscow F.M.S. Since the law was first proposed last March, the issue has provoked significant discussion in online forums. Some commentors have argued that if those who have two passports enter and leave Russia using their Russian passport, there would be no way for the authorities to find out about the second citizenship. Russian expats have complained about a lack of information on how to register, and some of them have expressed an indignance at having to register at all. “Why does Russia have to know about it, if I spend most of the time in Germany anyway?” asked Natalya Savyolova, a Russian expat in Germany who is concerned how the new law will affect her ability to visit her parents, who live in Russia. Anna, a Russian living in New York, said that many of her friends were concerned that the law was really intended as a way to get Russian expats to pay taxes on their property and income earned abroad.
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MOST READ Sanctions Hit U.S.-Russia Poultry Trade rbth.com/39501
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Property Interest among Russians in the U.S. market has seemed to decrease, but the premium segment continues to attract buyers
Realpolitik Hits Real Estate ALEXEY LOSSAN RBTH
In the last six months, demand among Russians for residential real estate in the United States has seen a serious decline, with requests plummeting by nearly 50 percent, according to international real estate company Knight Frank, which has 335 offices worldwide and two in Russia. “Some buyers have put their demand for American real estate on hold, while others have reduced their budget for a purchase, and still others have changed the country in which they want to buy real estate,” said Lyudmila Aksenenko, director of the international real estate department at Knight Frank Moscow. According to her, Russians spent over $12 billion on real estate abroad in 2013, over $1 billion of which was invested in the U.S. Data from the National Association of Realtors in the U.S. also show that the interest of Russians in American properties has fallen in recent years. According to their statistics, the share of Russians in real estate transactions with foreign capital fell from 3 percent in 2010 to 2 percent in 2012–2013, then further to 1 percent in the first half of 2014.
General trend? Other Russian real estate companies that sell properties abroad confirm the trend. The portal Tranio.ru, which specializes in selling foreign real estate, reported that it received 35.7 percent fewer applications for U.S. real estate from Russian clients in August 2014 than in August 2013. “According to our data, on the backdrop of deteriorating relations between these two great world powers and the imposition of anti-Russian sanctions, the American real estate market has demonstrated a 43 percent drop in demand from Russians,” said Igor Indriksons, who manages real estate investment for Tranio. ru. His colleagueYulia Kozhevnikova blamed the media for the decrease in interest. “Buyers are being cautious. This mood is connected with the negative information and tensions being pumped out in the media,” Kozhevnikova said. According to her, whereas last year buyers tended to ask questions about price dynamics and the prospects for market development, this year they have primarily been asking about sanctions and possible restrictions on travel to the U.S. Sellers of U.S. real estate who work directly with Russian clients on the ground however, say that their experience has been somewhat different. “As of this
In it for the long term
Statistics show that Russians are losing interest in U.S. real estate, but those in the market say that their experience shows that the situation is more complex.
According to him, Russians purchasing and investing in the U.S. generally have strong bonds with the country and, while the propaganda war and tit-for-tat sanctions have certainly made buyers very concerned, it has not been cause for these individuals to radically change their plans. Anna Levitova, a managing partner at Evans Real Estate, which has branches in NewYork and Moscow concurs with Cohen. “We generally aren’t seeing a decline in interest from Russian investors. People who feel threatened by Russia’s current politics are interested in real estate,”Levitova said.
time, we have not observed any changes in demand for real estate from Russian investors,”said David Cohen, C.E.O. of NewYork– based Etage Real Estate. “Deals which were inked previously are closing without issues, buyers are getting financing for their purchases, and those who are now in the market in a serious way have not been deterred,” Cohen said.
is how much Russian buyers spent on U.S. real estate in 2013 — 2 percent of all U.S. real estate transactions with foreign capital.
is how many fewer applications Tranio.ru received for U.S. real estate from Russian clients this August compared with last August.
of Russian realtors working with foreign real estate purchases believe that Russians buy U.S. real estate as an investment.
For the most part, those Russian buyers still interested in the American market view it strictly as an investment. According to research by Tranio.ru, 58.8 percent of realtors believe that Russians buy real estate in the U.S. primarily as an investment. Aksenenko of Knight Frank said that Russians who buy real estate in the U.S. are fairly particularly about their criteria. “Russian buyers are primarily interested in New York and Miami. Although Russians are interested in objects in various price categories, our compatriots were most active in the elite real estate segment,” Aksenenko said, adding that a recent analysis by the firm of their latest queries on U.S. real estate shows that Russians are interested in property worth an average of around $5.5 million. In New York, the most in-demand apartments are located in Manhattan with a view of Central Park, Aksenenko said.
Future of Fusion to Be Discussed at Conference MARK COOPER SPECIAL TO RBTH
For the first time, St. Petersburg will host the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Fusion Energy Conference, which will be held on Oct. 13-18. This biannual conference serves as a key platform for international experts to meet and discuss new developments and possibilities for fusion energy. The first such conference was held in Salzburg, Austria, in 1961. Topics on the agenda for the 2014 conference include current prospects for further research in fusion energy. One subject at the top of the agenda is new innovative technological possibilities for using nuclear fusion as a source of energy. This year’s conference is expected to be attended by 1,000 delegates from 59 countries. Attendees will include scientists, officials and representatives of major energy corporations.
In terms of radiation, a thermonuclear reactor is a far safer option than a nuclear reactor. To begin with, there are relatively few radioactive materials inside it. The energy that may be discharged as a result of an accident or a technical fault is also small and cannot destroy the reactor. Furthermore, the designers of the reactor envisage several natural barriers that would prevent the spread of radioactive materials. A test reactor is being built in France, about 35 miles from Marseille. Originally, the construction was set to be completed in 2016. However, gradually the the start of experiments was pushed back to 2020. The purpose of the experimental reactor is to demonstrate the scientific and technical possibility of producing fusion energy for peaceful purposes. The project is being implemented by China, the E.U., Japan, India, Russia, South Korea, the United States and Japan. Delegates to the St. Petersburg conference will have an opportunity to visit the institutes that conduct controlled nuclear fusion research and manufacture equipment for ITER as part of Russia’s obligations under the project. The conference is also expected to feature an exhibition of the ITER International Organization, with input from all the participating countries. Enterprises of Russia’s Rosatom state
The history of fusion In the mid-20th century, the world’s leading physicists began looking for new sources of energy in the process of nuclear fusion. They were inspired in their search by the sun. At the sun’s core, fusion reactions take place at temperatures of nearly 20 million degrees. These reactions release tremendous amounts of energy. Scientists in the Soviet Union were among the first to use this example to produce a controlled nuclear fusion reaction. Their work creating a reactor known as a tokamak later became the foundation of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), which is currently under construction in Cadarache, France. The creation of ITER was a long time in the making. In 1985, theoretical physicist Evgeny Velikhov, on behalf of the Soviet Union, invited scientists from Europe, the United States and Japan to jointly build a thermonuclear reactor. In 1986, an agreement was reached in Geneva on designing the facility, which later became known as ITER. In 1992, the partners
In October, atomic scientists from around the world will gather in St. Petersburg for the I.A.E.A.’s annual conference on the use of fusion for energy.
Benefits of a fusion reactor
Construction on the ITER project is scheduled for completion in 2018.
One subject at the top of the agenda is new innovative technological possibilities for using nuclear fusion as energy.
signed a quadripartite agreement on developing an engineering project for the reactor. Construction began in 2011. The first phase of the construction is scheduled to be completed by 2018, with the first plasma expected to be produced in late 2019.
nuclear corporation will present information on their participation in the project. Russia’s contribution consists of the production and delivery of high-tech equipment, including key units of the reactor. In late July 2014, one of these key reactor components underwent successful testing in Switzerland. The unit is a poloidal field conductor, an essential element of the reactor since it will create a magnetic field for hold-
ITER is a joint project of the European Union, India, China, South Korea, Russia, the United States and Japan. ing the plasma together. The conductor was made jointly by Russian and European experts. The Russian side made the cable, while the Europeans put it in a steel casing. Under current agreements, Russia will continue to supply the conductors till 2017. In addition, in early June it was announced that Russia will produce and supply diagnostic systems for ITER, which will allow scientists to monitor plasma behavior inside the reactor. Overall, as part of its contribution to the ITER project, Russia is expected to produce nine of the 45 systems necessary to monitor the operation of the thermonuclear reactor.
Innovation Business is booming for delivery drones as laws and law enforcement agencies struggle to catch up with the trend
Russian companies delivering goods using unmanned aerial vehicles currently face legal obstacles, but users hope the laws will catch up with the trend. DZERASSA GAGULOVA, ANNA GOLBERG KOMMERSANT
This summer, the transport prosecutor’s office of Syktyvkar, the capital of Russia’s Komi Republic, 620 miles northeast of Moscow, spent two months investigating a case of a pizza delivery.
A pizza attached to a drone was delivered to a customer in a park, but an alarmed eyewitness complained to the police about a possible violation of airspace. “We are doing everything to prove that a copter only formally falls under the definition of an unmanned aerial vehicle (U.A.V.) but in fact is not one, on the strength of a number of characteristics, like its weight, size and radio frequency,” said Fyodor Ovchinnikov, the founder of the
Dodo Pizza company, whose product was carried by the drone. The transport prosecutor’s office eventually closed the case, but Dodo Pizza still does not have permission to use U.A.V.s as couriers. “The law in this country is not based on precedent, so even if that case had reached court and had been won by Dodo Pizza, it would not have legalized drones,” said Maria Vanina, a lawyer with the Ask & Win law firm.“On the con-
trary, the danger that such seemingly harmless incidents may end up in court should become food for thought to those who are considering using quadcopters in their operations.” Under the Russian Air Transport Code, owners of unmanned aerial vehicles should obtain permission for flying them from their local branch of the Federal Air Transport Agency and provide a detailed flight plan for each delivery. Otherwise, the company
FOR EACH OF YOU, THERE IS A RUSSIA OF YOUR CHOICE
Drones Get Entangled in Russia’s Red Tape will be subjected to a fine ranging from 3,000 rubles ($83) for an individual to 500,000 rubles ($13,800) for a legal entity. Having said that, legal technicalities are unlikely to impede the growing popularity of drones.“We are actively taking pre-orders and already have over 500 bookings for delivering various cargoes with the help of copters,” said Oleg Ponfilenok, 27, whose company, CopterExpress, designed and built the Dodo Pizza drone.
For each frantic metropolis, there is a peaceful village For each Siberian winter, there is a Black Sea summer
RUSSIA BEYOND THE HEADLINES
MOST READ Vulnerable Kaliningrad Finds Its Way Past Food
Section sponsored by Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Russia
Sanctions Consumers in Russia start seeing a deficit of products on the shelves
Get Ready to Go on the Soviet Diet hat’s the latest diet craze? For Russians, where many imported foods have been banned, learning to cook like a Soviet may be more of a necessity than a choice. For the next year, I will be cooking my way through “The Book of Healthy and Tasty Food” — an iconic Soviet cookbook that was the ‘go-to’ book for just about every Soviet family. The book features more than 1,000 recipes and includes not only classic Russian dishes, but also Uzbek, Georgian and Ukrainian meals. It was published for the first time in 1939, and an updated version appeared in 1952. “The Book of Healthy and Tasty Food” is not just a cookbook; it’s a guide to understanding nutritional values of food, working out a meal plan, cooking and setting a table. It’s a book that every Soviet kid grew up leaving sticky fingerprints on while studying the pictures. The goal of the book was to explain to every Soviet woman everything she needed to know about food. According to the introduction, it was created after homemakers asked for a book to help them understand how to cook the newly available premade ingredients to make healthy and tasty dishes for their families. All my life I heard about“The Book of Healthy and Tasty Food” from my mother and grand-
KIRA TVERSKAYA SPECIAL TO RBTH
Moscow’s restaurateurs have spent the past month scrambling to find new sources for the ingredients in some of their most popular dishes. On Aug. 7, Russia banned imports of a number of fresh food products from the United States, the European Union, Australia and Norway.The embargoed products include meat (and sausages), fish and shellfish, milk and milk products, vegetables, fruits and nuts. The list was later amended to allow lactosefree milk, young salmon, trout, seed potatoes, onions, hybrid sweet corn and nutritional supplements. Douglas Steele, the director of operations for the American Diner Company in Moscow, which has nine restaurants focusing on American diner-style food and has been working in the market for 16 years, said that while shortages are not an issue yet, the company is preparing for them.“Imported products account for 20 percent of our menu listings,” Steele said. “We are re-working our menu at the moment to reflect the import sanctions. We are particularly affected by menu items that include various cheeses and quality bacon for our burgers. We have not seen a deficit yet, however, we have seen a dramatic price increase — some as high as 50 percent — for some items from our suppliers.” Last year Russia imported about $1.3 billion in food and agricultural products. More than 60 percent of fresh and frozen beef sold in Russia is imported along
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
Alexander Poroshenkov CHEF AT SAXON+PAROLE, WHICH OPENED IN MOSCOW LAST YEAR
We’ll have to correct the menu. Hopefully we won’t experience any losses, since everyone is in the same situation, but its obvious that the prices will grow and the profit marginality will go down. We’ll have to remove some items from the menu since it’s unrealistic to replace them.
Ivan Shishkin CHEF AND CO-OWNER OF FOUR MOSCOW RESTAURANTS
I haven’t bought any foreign meat for a long time. It’s got nothing to do with the political situation. I just started looking for good quality domestic producers. However, I rely heavily on nuts, fruits, vegetables and dairy products. I don’t know what I’ll do without Parmesan.
Oleg Bucklemishev DIRECTOR OF THE ECONOMIC POLICY RESEARCH CENTER, MOSCOW STATE UNIVERSITY
It’s going to bring the unavoidable growth in prices while the quality goes down. Less supply, same demand. We won’t punish anyone and we won’t achieve anything. Competition is the best environment for the development of our manufacturing. Eliminating the competition never brought positive results.
MOSCOW BY NIGHT
AFTER SUNSET, THE RUSSIAN CAPITAL IS A DIFFERENT PLACE. COOL BREEZES DRIFT IN FROM THE RIVER AND THOUSANDS OF LIGHTS ILLUMINATE THE CITY’S MANY PARKS. TAKE ONE OF THESE NIGHTTIME TOURS TO SEE MOSCOW FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE.
with 50 percent of fish and seafood, 48 percent of cheese and 45 percent of nuts and fruit, according to reporting from local business daily Vedomosti. Alexander Proshenkov, chef of the high-end American import Saxon+Parole, which opened its first branch outside of New York last year, said that his restaurant imports between 70 and 75 percent of the food it sells. “Almost all greens, vegetables, some seafood and fish, and all oysters come from Europe.We get scallops from the U.S. We’ll have to correct the menu”Proshekov said.“Hopefully we won’t experience any losses as everyone is in the same situation, but it’s obvious that the prices will grow and the profit marginality will go down. We’ll have to remove some items from the menu since it’s unrealistic to replace them.” Other restaurant owners were taking the sanctions in stride — or even with a sense of national pride:“Restaurateurs will have it even better because imported products are unfortunately all filled with pesticides and antibiotics,” said Sergei Osintsev, who owns several restaurants.“We try not to buy imported products; that’s why we’ve been around for 20 years. Everyone knows that our products come from Russian farmers. Also, domestic producers will also benefit from the sanctions. So I welcome them.” Pavel Kosterenko, the cofounder of the Friends Forever Co., which has seven restaurants in Moscow, said that coping with previous bans prepared him for making the adjustments that are necessary now.“We used American meat, until it was banned [in February 2013] and when we switched, actually no one noticed.” Although Kosterenko’s restaurants specialize in what he calls
VISIT RUSSIA The Visit Russia tour company offers night tours of Moscow by car or minivan with a personal guide. The three-hour tours are $84 and cover sites outside the city center, such as the Moscow City business district, as well as the capital’s best-known monuments. The tour includes a visit to Sparrow Hills and the main building of Moscow State University, where visitors can get an unforgettable look at the city from a special a viewing platform. visitrussia.com
“American comfort food,”very few of his suppliers work with American goods, and his experience is not unusual. Russia makes up less than 1 percent of all U.S. agricultural exports. Ivan Shishkin, the chef and coowner of four upscale restaurants in Moscow, said that he prefers to use quality local producers when he can, but that this option is not always available. “I haven’t bought any foreign meat for a long time. It’s got nothing to do with the political situation. I just started looking for good quality domestic producers a long time ago,” Shishkin said. “However, I heavily rely on nuts, fruits, vegetables and dairy products. I don’t know what I’ll do without Parmesan.” Russian consumers will likely be the one most affected by the sanctions. Oleg Bucklemishev, director of Economic Policy Research Center at Moscow State University, called the government’s approach “very Soviet,” adding that ordinary people will suffer the most from the sanctions. “It’s going to bring the unavoidable growth in prices while the quality goes down; less supply, same demand. We’re at loss again. Think of importers and restaurant businesses, as well; switching to new markets and products isn’t that easy — some niches may be impossible to fill. Besides, our Western partners from any sector, not only sanctioned ones, would definitely be more demanding towards Russian clients. We won’t punish anyone and won’t achieve anything. Competition is the best environment for the development of our manufacturing. Eliminating the competition never brought positive results.” Chef Shishkin agrees:“The cost of products will rise. Consequently some will have to sell them at higher prices and others will have to buy them at those prices, if they can afford them. And obviously this has nothing to do with the products’ quality. Russia doesn’t really have high-quality agricultural products. The belief that our agricultural production will improve as a result of the sanctions is sheer nonsense.”
MOSGUIDES Night Tours in Moscow from Mosguides offer a variety of routes and schedules. The participants themselves determine the duration of the tour and the company’s guides can book a table at a special restaurant or club in advance. Tours can be taken on foot, by car or by boat. Price and schedule of tours available upon request. en.mosguides.ru/moscow/night
The goal of “The Book of Healthy and Tasty Food” was to explain to every Soviet woman everything about food. mother, but never looked into it with the attention it deserves. My grandmother, however, paid a lot of attention to this book. It was the foundation for her cooking. Her table always involved a lot of soups, porridges, baked pies and vegetables, with the occasional serving of fried potatoes and sour cream. And there was always dill and parsley on the table. Dessert was sponge cake with apples or cherries. Although I grew up eating my grandmother’s food, as I got older I wanted to explore different kinds of cuisine. For a long time, I was so struck by the exotic beauty of these cuisines that I had no interest in Russian food. But eventually I came back to my roots, and rediscovered Russian
As the impact of Russia’s food ban begins to be felt, restauranteurs start looking for new sources of everything from cheddar to scallops.
Chefs Make Adjustments As Sanctions Hit
TOURS BY LOCALS The Moscow branch of Tours by Locals offers a variety of night tours of the capital, for groups (up to $240 for up to 8 people) or individuals. The average length of a trip is three hours, but the route is entirely dependent on the wishes of the participants. Every Tours by Locals guide is ready to offer a unique route through the city. toursbylocals.com/night-moscow
cuisine. In this process, I realized that the Russian food I ate at my grandmother’s table was different than the Russian food I had elsewhere — it was lighter, fresher, not greasy. I now think this is probably because she actually followed the recommendations in “The Book of Healthy and Tasty Food” very closely and made her dishes in a diet-conscious way. This is also the approach I will take as I cook my way through this book. Each week of the month, I’ll plan and cook a Soviet-approved meal — one week, breakfast, then lunch, then dinner. The fourth
The purpose of food was to provide Soviet citizens with the nutrition they needed to build a better future. week of each month, I’ll try something more time consuming, like making jam or pickles. After I make each meal, I’ll get my grandmother to comment — not just on my cooking skills, but about how she cooked these dishes 50 years ago when she was my age. It’s clear that the authors of the book saw food primarily as a source of nutrition — they explain how food is key to good health, increasing work productivity and a longer life. The authors also say that the aim of the new socialist assembly lines, which produced many of these new ingredients, was to liberate women from the“hard and thankless”work of preparing meals. In the Soviet Union, the purpose of food was to provide Soviet citizens with the nutrition they needed to build a better future, and preferably take as little time as possible to prepare. The enjoyment of food or its preparation was not a priority. My attitude towards cooking and food, and that of many other Russians today, is quite different. I often choose to spend hours in the kitchen, doing the “hard and thankless” work of preparing a few meals for my family and friends. I do sometimes use canned products, but when I do, I try to hide the empty cans by the time my guests arrive, since I think it is slightly embarrassing. I’ll see if my feelings change as I learn to cook the Soviet way! I invite you to come with me on this culinary journey. Look for updates every Friday on the rbth. com website and find them on social media with the hashtag #sovietdiet. Anna Kharzeeva
Desserts in “The Book of Tasty and Healthy Food”
CITY DISCOVERY For more adventurous travelers and lovers of urban legends, City Discovery offers a night walking tour through the secret tunnels of Metro-2, the K.G.B. prison, and the infamous “middle of nowhere.” Participants will ride on a night tram, see Moscow’s “zero kilometer” and visit Khitrovka, the center of crime in early 20th-century Moscow. Adult tickets are $33. city-discovery.com/moscow
CITY SIGHTSEEING MOSCOW Moscow’s traffic jams are not severe after dark, making it easier to drive through the city streets on City Sightseeing Moscow’s “Moscow Never Sleeps” double-decker bus tour. Buses depart from Red Square every day between 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. The hour-long sightseeing trip is an excellent way to see the major sights of Moscow’s historic center. Adult tickets for the hop-on-hop-off tour are $23 and are valid for 24 hours. city-sightseeing.com
All of these tours are conducted in English, but guided tours in other languages are available upon request
T R AV E L 2 M O S C O W. C O M
RUSSIA BEYOND THE HEADLINES
MOST READ Happiness Is Sharing Dacha Memories rbth.com/37061
Section sponsored by Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Russia www.rbth.com
INTERVIEW JAY ROBERT CLOSE
American Finds His Calling Making Russian Cheese GROWING UP, JAY CLOSE MAY NOT HAVE DREAMED OF MOVING TO RUSSIA AND BECOMING A SELF-DESCRIBED “CHEESE TSAR,” BUT TODAY HIS PRODUCTS ARE FLYING OFF THE SHELVES AND, THANKS TO SANCTIONS, BUSINESS IS SET TO BOOM When did you first time come to Russia? What were your first impressions? I came to Russia in 1993 for 10 days. It was run down, a lot of things weren’t painted, things crumbling and roads really bad. There was a sadness in people, they went to work and weren’t sure if they were getting paid or not. It was a strange time, but still people were able to keep a smile and their sense of humor and make a feast out of nothing.
FIVE FARMS TO VISIT IN CENTRAL RUSSIA
© RIA NOVOSTI
Nikola Lenivets, Kaluga Region
Why did you decide to stay? I didn’t decide to stay; I wanted to know more! My friends asked me: “How did you like it?” I said I didn’t like it and didn’t dislike it. So I came back within about six months.
Seventeen miles west of the city of Tver on the banks of its eponymous river, cheesemaker and Italian native Pietro Mazza has created his own “little Italy” on a 40-acre farm. Visitors’ first stop will likely be the tasting room, where they can learn about and taste the soft and hard cheeses produced on the farm paired with a glass of Italian wine, which can be followed by lasagna, an Italian crepe or a tiramisu. Guests can also spend time with Mazza’s 100 cows — but keep in mind that work begins at 4:00 a.m.
NATIONALITY: AMERICAN AGE: 51 PROFESSION: CHEESEMAKER
A native of Venice, Calif., Jay Close never stayed in one place very long. He has lived in Papua New Guinea; the Isle of Wight, Britain; Pampanga, Mexico; Brisbane, Australia; and
Do you think there is a market for agritourism in Russia? Yes, I do, because people are giving more attention to what they are eating and where it’s from. What are the most challenging and unexpected things about doing business in Russia? Corruption, language, markets, laws, regular bureaucracy. Get-
Miami, Florida. Although he has worked primarily as a chef, Close has also trained in ceramics, stained glass, auto mechanics and contracting. He moved to Russia in 1993 after spending more than six years in Paris, where he worked in restaurants. After spending a few years in Moscow, he moved to the village of Solnechnogorsk.
ting the rules of the business scene takes time. It’s another world here, but it’s changing; it’s more like Europe or America day by day — in terms of advertising, food choice. If it’s not a secret, how profitable is your business? Look around; I’m doing fantastic. I work a lot, I like what I’m
What do you think about the recent food sanctions? Is your business getting more attention since they started? I personally don’t like the sanctions. I could be wrong, but I think just a lot of innocent people suffer. But they are good for my business. People are more interested and I’m getting more orders.
doing, I like meeting new people who like cheese and come here. It’s not easy to grow stuff without chemicals. But Russia is famous for babushka’s recipes and advice. They inspired me! Living in Moscow for so many years, I saw how grandmothers were coming back from the country with all these products and food they grew. This is how they fed their families and the whole country in Perestroika times.
Bogdarnya, Vladimir Region
What types of cheese do you produce now? Better to ask how many different types; we counted yesterday 34 types, not including yogurt. People are expanding their taste habits in Russia. I’m sure there are some kinds of my cheeses they wouldn’t even have tried 10 years ago. I worked as a chef in many restaurants and noticed that. Since I came to Russia, I have been educating Russians about foreign food, about great things we have, like burritos, quesadillas, pumpkin pie, carrot cake, maple syrup — stuff they’ve never heard of before.
The owners of this farm located in the village of Krutovo near the town of Petushki consider themselves ad-
Interview prepared by Elena Bobrova
One consequence of Russia’s ban on food imports from the United States and the E.U. could be a renewed interest among Russians in growing their own food. While most Russians live in cities — 74 percent, according to the 2010 census — many of these urban dwellers have a small country house called a dacha. During the Soviet era, when the availability of a wide range of food items was sporadic,
How Russians Spend Time at the Dacha
found interest in dacha gardens in recent years as organic food and healthy lifestyles have become trendy among Russians. “Whereas in the mid-2000s many people started growing flowers instead of fruits and vegetables, now we are seeing a return to produce,”Osipova said.“And, of course, when we ask about food products, Russians tend to prefer domestic [goods], considering them to be more environmentally friendly and healthy.” Researcher Akindinova said that while the trend is positive, there are downsides. “From a social point of view, the fact that people can provide for themselves is certainly a good thing.” Akindinova said. “But, of course, productivity drops as a result of this trend, and it might have a negative effect on the overall economy. In and of itself, the desire to have a private garden and travel outside the city for rest is quite normal, but to rely on the garden for produce is a strange practice for residents of a normal country.”
To get in touch with your inner moose, come to this experimental farm founded during the Soviet era on the outskirts of Kostroma. While there have been moose domes-
tication advocates since the 19th century, Sumarokovo was founded only in 1963. Today, there are several moose farms around Russia, although this is the Taj Mahal of them. The moose freely roam the grounds and produce milk and antler velvet. Some of the lessons that can be learned during an excursion to the farm include how to keep and tame a moose, and a sip of fresh moose’s milk can be found at the farm’s bar after the tour. Camping on the grounds is possible with permission, although there are no formal accommodations. › moosefarm.newmail.ru
Olgino Farm, Moscow Region
Overall, the figures are impressive. According to a recent survey by the Public Opinion Foundation (FOM), 59 percent of Russians own dachas. For 54 percent of these dacha owners, the produce they grow constitutes a“substantial addition to purchased food products.” This number increased from 49 percent in a similar survey in 2011. However, FOM analyst Irina Osipova said that it is difficult to say if this increase is due to the sanctions.“The season is already over, so the only thing we can do is continue research next year,” Osipova said.“After all, nobody is going to be making parmesan at their dacha.” Researchers have noticed a new-
© RIA NOVOSTI
Going Back to the Land people used their dacha plots to supplement what they could buy in stores. Experts suggest that changes in food supplies caused by the sanctions could again encourage Russians to look to their own land as a source of fresh food. Natalia Akindinova, head of the Center of Development Institute at the Higher School of Economics, said that the restrictions on imports have caused inflation to increase more rapidly than previously anticipated. “Under these conditions, lowincome citizens, whose main household expense is groceries, would be better off relying on their own hard work, especially in their dacha gardens,”Akindinova said.
vocates for healthy living as well as for the best traditions of Russian rural life. Run by British native John Kopiski and his wife, Nina, Bogdarnya also employs an American farm manager and cheesemaker and offers a wide range of activities including farm tours, food tastings, food processing workshops and trainings on restorative agriculture. A visit here is a good option for those interested in learning more about selfsustaining lifestyles.
Sumarokovo, Kostroma Region
Produce Russia’s ban on food imports has contributed to a home gardening trend
Dacha gardens have traditionally provided urban Russians extra food in times of deficit. Recent sanctions may encourage more of them to take up gardening.
La Fattoria Little Italy, Tver Region PAVEL INZHELEVSKY
When did you buy your first cow? Probably about five-and-a-half years ago. I bought the land because I wanted to live close to nature. I built a house myself with the help of some friends. (I also used to work as a carpenter.) Before the house was even finished, I had a cow, bull and their little babies, about 50 kilos (110 lbs) each. The cow eventually produced milk. So I was thinking, what I’m gonna do with 28 liters (9 gallons) of milk a day? I visited Holland on a regular trip, which I used to do a lot because of visa issues, and decided to learn how to make cheese.
Nikola Lenivets is an art park and functioning organic farm located about 50 miles from the city of
Kaluga. It regularly features architecture festivals, new media conferences, science events, electronic music parties and ecological workshops. Cosmopolitan, but not exclusive, it’s open to the public and features cottages and a hostel on site. Guests can also camp and volunteer at the farm, but without having to leave showers and Wi-Fi behind. There is a bar at the hostel, a restaurant, and a salad bar at the farm on weekends.
Less than two hours from Moscow, this is a great weekend getaway destination. The main activity
is horseback riding, but the list of possibilities is long. There is a farm on site that supplies the food for its café, which specializes in hearty peasant fare. However, the intrepid griller can find everything necessary for a barbecue, including lamb, goose, duck and rabbit. Guests can also learn about collecting honey from a beehive. The property boasts a sauna, bicycle rentals, swimming and fishing in the summer and skiing and horse-drawn sleigh riding options in the winter months. › olgino-tur.ru
Read the full version at rbth.com/39711
RBTH presents a brand new section on Russian cuisine
Check our website now for recipes!>>rbth.com/russian_kitchen
Prepared by Joe Crescente
RUSSIA BEYOND THE HEADLINES Section sponsored by Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Russia
MOST READ The War in Ukraine Is No Time for Proving a Point rbth.ru/38743
A CONVENIENT BOGEYMAN Eduard Ponarin RBC DAILY
he United States of America has for many decades occupied a unique place in the Russian national psyche. For Russians, the U.S. is an ideal composite image of an enemy and at the same time an object of desire. In recent months, there has been a hike in antiAmerican sentiments in Russia: Opinion polls by the Levada Center polling agency showed that in May, Russians’ dislike of America reached a historic high. Currently, 71 percent of Russians say that they do not like the U.S., whereas in the early 1990s, the figure was under 10 percent. This is not surprising: In the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the Soviet Union was just entering a period of liberal revolution, first under Mikhail Gorbachev and then under BorisYeltsin, the U.S. was an ideal for Russia. It was a model country and an example to follow. Our country was making generous gestures, including disarmament, withdrawing troops from Europe and declassifying military facilities and technologies. In general, Russia was showing signs of being in love. Russia wanted to“return to the family of civilized nations,” in the words of the press — to become part of the Western world, led by the U.S. However, by 1995, a considerable section of the Russian elite began to perceive the U.S. as a threat to security and order in Russia. This coincided with the first phase of NATO’s eastward expansion and Russian G.D.P. hitting rock bottom. The liberal reforms that were aimed not only at bringing Russia closer to Western countries but also at transforming the country’s political and business life were accompanied by a socio-economic disaster. Inflation reached 200 percent
Any national ideology is based on confrontation: There must always be someone different and alien on the other side.
Any new crisis in international relations serves to draw Russians into the conventional rut of anti-Americanism.
a year and the country went into a technical default. Since it was the U.S. itself that was the embodiment of liberal ideals, disappointment with the reforms inevitably brought a disillusionment with America, too. Still, at the time, that feeling was not yet being translated into politics. Moreover, since the people who were in power depended on the ideology that had brought them to power in the first place, the media continued to speak of Russia’s “return to the family of civilized nations.” As a result, anti-American sentiments among the general public, who were busy trying to survive and depended on information as presented in the media, lagged considerably behind similar sentiments among the elite. This ambiguous situation had
STUDYING RUSSIAN IS NOT ALL POLITICS Ivan Savvine SPECIAL TO RBTH
here is a popular belief that in the United States, interest in all things Russian and in particular Russian language peaks at times of crisis between the Kremlin and the White House. As someone who has taught Russian in the United States for some time, I can say that my experience has shown that the reasons people study Russian are not so simplistic. These days, I am teaching Russian at New York’s Fluent City – a fun, hip language school with campuses in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and Midtown Manhattan. Our Russian program is still a baby, but in a year and a half of existence, it has evolved into a steady schedule of after-work evening classes for adults from elementary to advanced levels. Each class I’ve taught at Fluent City is a living epitome of NewYork: my students’ backgrounds, their experiences and their objectives are as diverse as the city we all call home. What unites them is a staunch determination to conquer the mazes of Russian declensions and conjugations, to unlock the sundry moves behind the verbs of motion, and get those numerals in order despite the rules that follow no known logic. Teaching Russian at a time when major media outlets are happily predicting a new Cold War, if not World War III, is both a curious and an enlightening endeavor. Why are my students studying Russian, right here, in NewYork, and right now, in 2014, in the context of heated animosity between the governments of
the Russian Federation and the United States? I asked them. Here are some of their responses: • “As a Foreign Language teacher [of Spanish and French], I always wanted to speak a nonRomance language. Of course, work always got in the way. Once I retired, one of the first things I did was to enroll in a Russian class. Now I can communicate with my neighbors and shop in the local stores!” • “I’m learning Russian to better understand and connect with the Russian novels I love, and to one day read them in the original language. My favorite has always been ‘The Brothers Karamazov,’ but the subtlety of ‘Anna Karenina’ is slowly revealing itself to me — and I think that book might have even more to offer. I have a whole list of others I have yet to read, they are such a challenge!” • “I have Russian relatives on my father’s side, but I never learned to speak Russian with
them. Then three years ago, I met an extraordinary Russian woman. I started to learn Russian, and then one of my jobs decided also to cater to Russian people, and asked more staff to learn Russian. Other business opportuni-
Teaching Russian at a time when media outlets are predicting a new Cold War is curious and enlightening. ties began opening up, and I moved into my friend’s apartment building in a Russian neighborhood, just as our friendship began to become more romantic ...” • “Last year I was thinking over what new journalism skills to pick up, what would be interesting to me and also potentially open doors to new kinds of assignments. At the same time, I was researching some story ideas
changed by the late 1990s, when two crises took place one after the other, undermining the foundations of the liberal revolution and preparing ground for a counterrevolution. The financial crisis of August 1998 shook the belief that liberal reforms would make people more prosperous; the Kosovo crisis and the NATO bombing of Belgrade in 1999 clearly showed that Russia’s international standing had not at all improved since the fall of the Soviet Union. In fact, the opposite had happened — our country had lost the status of a superpower, that of a state to be reckoned with. This was when the conservative turn began. The frustration of the elites had finally reached such a degree that it spilled over onto the TV screens. As a result,
involving the Arctic, climate change and resource development. I realized there was next to no coverage of contemporary Russian science and environmental issues in the American press — and here I was with seven or eight years of Russian language study floating around somewhere in my brain. My hope is that having some skills in a second language will give me a professional edge.” To put these motivations into perspective, I spoke to Kevin Moss of Middlebury College inVermont who has taught Russian language there since 1983: “Enrollments were very high in the 1980s and early 1990s, and then dropped when Russia was no longer the Evil Empire. Another drop came after 9/11, when attention and the Federal money shifted to Arabic. Historically, things like the 1991 coup and the war with Georgia have helped, especially if they come in August, right before the students arrive. I suspect Sochi and the Ukraine/Crimea crisis will give us another spike this fall, as it’s clear the U.S. defunding of Russian expertise was premature.” Congress eliminated funding for the State Department’s Title VIII program, which provided grants for the study of Russia and the former Soviet bloc, last October. Nevertheless, the Russian language remains a key player on the world’s linguistic map: an estimated 255 to 285 million people speak it and it is one of the official tongues of the United Nations. Russian is absolutely ubiquitous in New York these days. While it is true that today’s geopolitical scene will keep the demand for certain linguistic skills fluctuating, I have come to believe from my own experience that certain aspects of the Russian culture, and in particular the language that continues to form it, will remain in constant demand among the truly open-minded and intellectually astute. Ivan Savvine is an art historian and writer as well as a teacher. He was raised in St. Petersburg.
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the message being broadcast by the media changed dramatically, and as a result, the anti-American sentiments of the general public began to approach those of the elite. Any national ideology is based on confrontation: There must always be someone the other side, someone different and alien. For Russia, the United States is an ideal alien. It is far away, and fostering dislike toward it presents no threat to Russia’s domestic politicians. In addition, the U.S. is an ideal rival in the eyes of several generations of Russians who, like it or not, carry imperial ambitions. There are several generations of people born during the Soviet era who still remember the rivalry between the two superpowers. Additionally, there is a genera-
tion of younger Russians who became adults in the past decade and were already subjected to the new ideology proposed by President Vladimir Putin that promotes pride in Russian history, including the history of the Soviet period. This has proven enough to turn the U.S. into an adversary in the Russian collective consciousness. This new generation of Russian citizens also has a strong sense of patriotism, and anti-Americanism has become a part of that feeling. This is because, like those of their Soviet predecessors, the attitudes of these younger Russians towards their homeland were being formed at a time when the U.S. was being presented by the media and the political establishment as the alien, the other. This younger generations of Russians who grew up in the relatively prosperous 2000s were at first quite positive about the U.S., but any new crisis in international relations, one of which we are witnessing now over Ukraine, serves to draw young Russians into the conventional rut of antiAmericanism. As for the authorities, it is very convenient for them to have such an enemy as the U.S. When the country is going through any difficulty, the authorities have to tell the public something that is easy to digest and that will consolidate society. In many cases, relying on this already fostered antiAmericanism is a very convenient option. If necessary, a real antiAmerican hysteria can be easily whipped up, drawing in the wider masses. The benefits of this strategy can easily be seen in the record-high degree of anti-American sentiments in recent public opinion polls. Eduard Ponarin is head of the laboratory of comparative sociological studies at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow.
Russians react to sanctions A RECENT SURVEY BY THE LEVADA CENTER POLLING AGENCY REVEALED THAT RUSSIANS THINK U.S. AND E.U. SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA WILL MOSTLY HIT THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC ELITES, ALTHOUGH ORDINARY PEOPLE WILL ALSO BE AFFECTED. NATALIA MIKHAYLENKO
In a separate question in the same survey, the polling agency found that more Russians feel the effects of sanctions now than
they did in a similar poll taken in May. last month. The poll was taken Aug. 22-24 among 1,600 people across Russia.
CO N V E RT I N G M O N O LO G U E S I N TO D I A LO G U E
Russia Direct is a forum for experts and senior decision-makers from Russia and abroad to discuss, debate and understand issues in geopolitical relations from a sophisticated vantage point.
The Future of Russia’s Innovation Economy SEPTEMBER 2014 QUARTERLY REPORT Encouraging innovation was identified as a priority by the Russian government in the mid-2000s. Now the idea is gaining new momentum thanks to economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and the European Union. This new need to develop domestic technology could end up catalyzing innovation in Russia.
This Quarterly report on the Future of Russia`s Innovation Economy is now available online!
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MOST READ Mariinsky Theater: From Legend to Powerhouse rbth.com/39297
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BEHIND THE RUSSIAN LANGUAGE
DANCE Diana Vishneva feels at home on stages from New York to St. Petersburg
Don’t Confuse a Girl With a Braid for the Grim Reaper Alexey Mikheev SPECIAL TO RBTH
very language has words that look and sound the same but mean different things. Russian is no exception: Many Russian words have two or even more different meanings. The most frequently cited homonyms in the Russian language are the words kosa (коса) and klyuch (ключ). Kosa means a braid and also a scythe — hence the comic play on words in the expression devushka s kosoi (девушка с косой), which can mean both a young woman with braided hair and the Grim Reaper. In addition, kosa also means a spit of land sticking out into the sea. Klyuch means a key that you use to open and close a door but also a key to a problem (klyuch ot shifra, ключ от шифра), a clue, and a clef (e.g., a skripichny klyuch (скрипичный ключ), a treble clef). It also forms part of the Russian word for a spanner, gayechny klyuch (гаечный ключ). The adjective klyuchevoi (ключевой) is used in the same sense as the English ‘key’ in key element, key player, key moment, etc. In a separate meaning, a klyuch is also a spring — a source of clean, fresh, cool water. The word mat (мат) has three completely different meanings. First, it is the chess term checkmate. Second, it’s a mat, especially a gym mat (gimnastichesky mat, гимнастический мат). Third, and most commonly these days, it is foul language, swear words. Under a new Rus-
ALWAYS MOVE FORWARD Despite her commitments to the American Ballet Theater and the Mariinsky Ballet, ballerina Diana Vishneva finds time to pursue her passion for modern dance. XENIA GRUBSTEIN SPECIAL TO RBTH
PRESS PHOTO (4)
When the contemporary dance festival “Context. Diana Vishneva” opened at Moscow’s Gogol Center last December, it was the realization of a long-standing dream for Diana Vishneva, principal dancer with the Mariinsky Theater and the American Ballet Theater (A.B.T.) and one of the true international stars of ballet today. “There has always been a lack of choreographers in Russia,” Vishneva said, curled up on a small ottoman in her dressing room at NewYork’s Metropolitan Opera House, her home when she is dancing with the A.B.T.“Well, not a lack, but very little opportunity for them to learn, to grow, to show themselves, to get support from more experienced colleagues. That’s where I come in.” Vishneva had been considering the idea of a festival for several years as a way to use her name to attract dynamic choreographers to Russia and offer young Russian dancers a chance to learn from the best. And althoughVishneva’s name is intimately associated with ballet,“Context”is described as a celebration of contemporary choreography. “I don’t divide dance into classic choreography, contemporary dance; I just see dance, in all its diversity. I wanted to show the breadth of the Russian choreographic scene, to present new names, to get new prospects not only for the dancers but also for the audience,”Vishneva said. It is perhaps a surprising statement from a ballerina who is known for her lyrical performanc-
From L-R: Vishneva in a promo photo, as Giselle at the Mariinsky and with partner Marcelo Gomes.
es in such classic works as“Sleeping Beauty,”“Swan Lake” and “Giselle.” Vishneva, however, said that she finds contemporary choreography a respite from the rigors of traditional dance.“New work inspires me a lot, as well as the great choreographers I get to work with,”she said.“In ballet, you have to work hard every day. It’s exhausting. Our work is very physical. But this kind of inspiration gives you just the right impulses. You begin to perceive this process differently.” Vishneva’s constant quest for new and inspirational experiences may be one of the things that helps her maintain her focus as she balances commitments to the Mariinsky and the A.B.T.; solo engagements with other dance companies around the world; and administering the Diana Vishneva Foundation for the Coordinated Development of Ballet.Vishneva admits that transitioning between different ballet companies can be difficult. Every company has its own face, traditions and concept of movement.“Accents, details —
everything is different.They might seem petty but they mean a lot, and the longer you are working at the company, the more you convey its spirit,”Vishneva said. She has been dancing with the Mariinsky nearly 20 years, and she celebrated her 10th anniversary with the A.B.T. by dancing the ballet“Manon”at the Met on June 7. According to Vishneva, in every new work she tries to incorporate both her own vision of the role with that of the venue and the company. In the United States and Europe, companies go through very intensive eight-week rehearsal periods well in advance of the season to prepare the whole repertoire. In Russia, dancers prepare each dance one to two weeks in advance and almost never rehearse for a full eight hours. “Every troupe in Russia now has two stages, a lot of shows. At times it’s even hard to learn and rehearse because of too many performances scheduled,” she said. Vishneva’s current partner at the A.B.T., Brazilian Marcelo Gomes, helps her better under-
stand cross-cultural challenges. “I have been very lucky with partners,”Vishneva said. Her first partner at the Mariinsky was Farukh Ruzimatov. She later danced with Vladimir Malakhov, who went on to become the artistic director of Staatsballett Berlin. “I always knew the right partner is very important. It’s a real gift in a dancer’s career, when your diverse nature has a chance to come out.” Now, after nearly 20 years as a professional dancer,Vishneva sees her role as an advocate of dance off the stage increasing in importance.“I like the idea of steadily moving forward, growing as you go. The more is behind you, the harder is to keep moving. I’m trying my best,” she said. Although she now lives quite the jet-set life, she hopes to use her popularity in service of her art. “With the Internet I can both distract myself and attract the public. Social networks can get people to the theater. My recent attendance at the [Brooklyn] Nets game with Beyoncé and Jay Z went viral. If that will make someone interested in ballet, I will be happy.”
Gulag Survivors Tell Their Stories The brainchild of a Stanford historian and a Russian-American film director is nearing completion, with the help of Kickstarter. YAN SHENKMAN RBTH
Two years after completing a Kickstarter campaign to fund their documentary,“Women of the Gulag,”director MariannaYarovskaya and historian Paul Gregory are finishing the shooting of the film. The project grew out of Gregory’s seminar on totalitarian regimes at Stanford University, where he is a fellow at the Hoover Institution. Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation, which conducts interview with the last Ho-
locaust survivors, was discussed as part of the seminar, which gave Yarovskaya, an American of Russian descent, the idea of filming Gulag survivors. “For Russia,” said Yarovskaya, “massive repressions are a more vital part of history than the Holocaust. And yet, in the center of Moscow there is still no major museum or monument in honor of the victims.” Gregory, Yarovskaya’s partner in the project, played an important role in focusing the subject matter of the film on female victims of the Gulag. A professor of economics at the University of Houston as well the director of the Hoover Archives Workshop on Totalitarian Regimes, Gregory is the author of the book“Women
of the Gulag,”which tells the stories of some of the same women as the film. There are five main stories in the film. One of the featured
“People were broken,” said Yarovskaya. “These women’s lives were broken, and no one has apologized to them yet.” women is Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s former secretary Nadezhda Levitskaya, who spent a total of nine years in prisons and camps. Another is a peasant from the Urals, Fekla Andreeva. In the fall of 1931 her family was moved into the Gulag forced settlement sys-
tem. In 1938, Andreeva’s father was arrested and executed. At their last meeting, he told her: “I just want you to do one thing: get an education. Because it’s more difficult to quash an educated person.” Fekla took his words to heart. After receiving her doctorate, she devoted her life to rehabilitating victims of the repression through the judicial system. Another of the heroines, the pianist Vera Hecker, was arrested simply because she had a German surname. “People were broken,” said Yarovskaya. “The will to resist was eliminated in them, as well as in the generations to come. These women’s lives were broken, and no one has apologized to them yet.”
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Dining With Nobility in the Last Days of the Empire notes, ably supplemented by Goldstein, add recipes, costumes and the hot topics of the day, from SPECIAL TO RBTH Emperor Alexander II’s trip to Berlin to President James BuTITLE: HIGH SOCIETY DINNERS: chanan’s views on territorial exDINING IN TSARIST RUSSIA pansion, as seen by Russian newspapers like the “Northern Bee”. AUTHOR: YURI LOTMAN, Lotman follows each menu with JELENA POGOSJAN extracts from newspapers, letters PUBLISHER: PROSPECT BOOKS and diaries to form a patchwork he delicious main cours- quilt of linked texts that is more es in “High Society Din- than the sum of its parts.” Marian Schwartz describes ners: Dining in Tsarist Russia”are based on a se- translating “High Society Dinries of handwritten menus for ners” as “a crash-course in food dinners with nobleman Petr Pav- studies.” If the book is challenglovich Durnovo in 1850s St. Pe- ing, it is because Lotman’s own tersburg. Translator Marian writing is digressive and analytSchwartz points out that these ical. His discursive style “works are the years of “Anna Kareni- better in Russian than in the nona”and“Oblomov”andYuri Lot- nonsense English language,” man’s introductory essays are Goldstein writes in her introducliberally garnished with literary tion. She urges patience, insistallusions, from“Eugene Onegin” ing that the digressions “add social texture to the narrative.” to “War and Peace.” The internationalism of the Literary cookbooks are currently in fashion, with recipes 19th century Russian aristocracy in the style of Charles Dickens, is reflected in the menus. WindJane Austen or Edith Wharton sor soup (a Victorian concoction filling the shelves of bookstores. of beef, root vegetables, cream and This book, first published in macaroni) could be followed by Russian in 1996, predates the Russian-style sturgeon, Frenchtrend and goes beyond it into style peas andVienna torte (a conan immersive exploration of so- fection of sponge cake, jam, jelly and champagne). In contrast, for cial history. NewYork–based Darra Gold- the far less well-traveled Soviet stein, who has written several reader, Lotman glosses words like books about Russia, including meringue and gâteau, but assumes four cookbooks, edited this their readers are familiar with newly translated tome. “High Coulibiac (fish pie). Even as these glory days of fine Society Dinners” was the work of the late Yuri Lotman, a cel- dining were in full swing, with ebrated cultural historian, and foreign affairs supplying a drahis one-time student Jelena matic backdrop, the shadow of Pogosjan, now a professor at the cataclysmic, future domestic events falls across the table. LotUniversity of Alberta. To read that the Durnovos, man closes the book with a quote Prince Volkonsky and other from Pavel Durnovo’s diary about guests ate turtle soup, stuffed Estonian riots in June 1958:“They pike-perch, meatballs in sour say … the peasants wanted to take cream, goose with apples or over the land,” he writes.“This is roast hazel grouse already a step towards the people’s libbrings the past to life. Lotman’s eration and the nobility’s ruin.” Phoebe Taplin
Flim New documentary records women who lived through Soviet forced labor camps
sian law that came into effect on July 1, the use of foul language is banned on television, in films, in books, in the media, as well as in the theater and other public performances. The boundaries of what constitutes foul language are quite blurred. (Some words are considered more acceptable than others.) The debate over what should fall under the heading of banned foul language has been going on for a long time. At present, experts have concluded that the ban should cover four basic roots — rude names for male and female genitals, words for sexual intercourse and names for prostitutes, and all of their derivatives. Another word that has acquired an additional meaning as a result of borrowing from English is luk (лук). Traditionally, luk had two distinct meanings in Russian: an onion and a bow (as in a bow and arrows). Recently, in youth slang it has begun to be used in the sense of a person’s looks. The word val (вал) has even more meanings. It can mean an earthen wall, hence the names of some old streets in Moscow, e.g., ZemlyanoiVal (Земляной вал) or Koroviy Val (Коровий вал). At sea, a val is a big wave (e.g., a famous painting by great Russian seascape artist Ivan Aivazovsky called“Devyatiy Val”(“Девятый вал”)). It also means a shaft, as in a drive shaft. Finally, in economics, it means the gross output of a company, an industry or a country as whole — something Russians might be concerned with these days.
RUSSIA BEYOND THE HEADLINES
MOST READ Farmer Finds New Calling as Hay Sculptor rbth.com/38837
Section sponsored by Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Russia www.rbth.com
Farming Moscow’s first C.S.A. fulfills a social mission while producing a bumper crop of locally grown vegetables
Farm Project Sows Seeds of Hope Moscow residents who don’t have garden space but want locally grown vegetables now have a new option — a communitysupported agriculture program.
LARA MCCOY ROSLOF RBTH
is the number of Seeds of Hope shareholders. The majority of shareholders come from the expat community and 70 percent from the Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy.
is how many radishes made up the first shares distributed by Seeds of Hope. By the middle of the season, shareholders received an average of 10 pounds of vegetables a week.
FROM PERSONAL ARCHIVES
Andrew Grenfell didn’t expect to spend much of the spring looking for a tractor. Grenfell and his colleague Andy Millman thought they had a pretty clear understanding of the challenges they would face in starting Russia’s first community-supported agriculture (C.S.A.) project, but finding someone to actually till the land wasn’t one they had anticipated.“Of course we didn’t know how the seed varieties would do; we didn’t know the yield, the weather,” said Grenfell, but the answers to all those questions depended on getting the seeds in the ground in the first place. “We rang people renting tractors, selling plows, and we couldn’t find anyone! If they had a tractor, they didn’t have a plow. If they had a tractor and a plow, they were working their own land,” Grenfell said. Eventually the former director of the collective farm that used to control the land the C.S.A. rents agreed to do the tilling. Grenfell and Millman both work for Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy (M.P.C.), an interdenominational church supported by five major American denominations, and they were responsible for putting into action an idea that had been floating around the church for at least two years — a farm that could provide work for some members of their congregation and produce food for its food bank. “Originally the idea was, ‘let’s start a farm. Let’s get a bunch of corn and grow it and bring it in because they don’t have corn here,’” said Millman. The idea of using a C.S.A. model as a basis for the farm, which is called Seeds of
acres is the size of the farm plot rented by Seeds of Hope. This year the C.S.A. organizers cultivated approximately half of the available land.
Shareholders and supporters of Seeds of Hope pose on the land after a Saturday harvest. Organizer Andy Millman is second from the left.
“Originally the idea was ‘let’s get a bunch of corn because they don’t have corn here,” said organizer Andy Millman. To get the growing crops weeded, watered and harvested, the C.S.A. turned to its shareholders.
Hope, came with the arrival of Millman, 26, a Global Mission Fellow with the United Methodist Church, who had experience working with a C.S.A. in the U.S. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.), a C.S.A. is a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm. C.S.A. members buy a share of produce at the beginning of a growing season and receive produce in the late spring or summer as it becomes available. Additionally, in the words of the U.S.D.A., C.S.A.s“have at their center a shared commitment to building a more local and equitable agricultural system.These ideas dovetailed well with the so-
DISCOVER RUSSIA TOGETHER
cial mission developed for the project by M.P.C. After some of the refugees who worked on the farm were questioned by the police, the idea of a shared commitment became more important. To get the growing crops weeded, watered and harvested, the C.S.A. turned to its shareholders. Throughout the summer, groups of 10–20 people made the 5-hour round-trip from Moscow on Saturdays to care for the farm’s 370 cultivated acres. “Most of the farm members have been understanding of the situation,” said Grenfell. “Their feeling is, ‘I signed up for this to support the mission of what you’re doing, not because I expected a certain level of service.’”
gograd contributed seeds because he was interested in the social aspects of the project. The only Russians who are C.S.A. members are friends of Grenfell and Millman. Many Russians have weekend houses, known as dachas, where they grow their own produce, so the demand isn’t as great. Will a reliable source of organic produce become more appealing as the effects of Russia’s ban on fresh food from the U.S. and the E.U. become more evident? “Some people have mentioned [the sanctions], have said ‘this is great news for you.’”Grenfell said. “But I think it’s going to be more great news for large agribusiness in Russia than it is for us.”
The organic produce, however, is an important side benefit. At the height of the season, the farm was producing nearly 400 pounds of vegetables a week. Grenfell and Millman said that reaction to the C.S.A. concept among the Russians with whom they have worked has been positive, but they were careful to note that the people they approached about the project were already invested in the locally grown, small-scale farming movement. The C.S.A. bought some seeds from the Moscow organic food cooperative LavkaLavka; farmers at the Nikola-Lenivits organic farm south of Moscow also contributed advice, and a farmer in the southern Russian city of Vol-
Dairy farming is among the most popular type of livestock farming in Russia. The Irmen farm in the Siberian cty of Novosibirsk is Russia’s third-largest dairy farm. The farm even has its own special breed of cow, the Irmen. The farm also plants acres and acres of corn to provide food for the nearly 2,500 cows who live there!
Have you ever been to a farm? This month we are looking at Russian farms and the growing interest in farming among Russians. On Page 5, you can find a list of farms in Russia to visit — here is the vocabulary you’ll need!
While few Russians live on farms, most families have a small house in the countryside where they grow their own fruits and vegetables. They grow things like tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes and beets that can be eaten fresh and also can be stored for eating during the long winter months. Potatoes and beets made good additions to soups while cucumbers are often made into pickles.
Learn Russian! Farm - ферма (fehr-ma) Vegetables - овощи (o-voh-shee) Pig – поросёнок (poh-roh-syoh-nohkh) Chicken – курица (koo-reet-sah) Cow – корова (koh-roh-vah) Hay – сено (seh-noh) Tractor – трактор (trakh-tohr) Grass – трава (trah-vah)
Because much of Russia is covered with snow for a lot of the year, most big Russian farms are located in the southwestern part of the country. The primary crop on Russian farms is wheat as well as other grasses that animals eat.
Person of the Month During the Soviet era, the plots of land given out for dachas were only 6,500 square feet in size. Welcome to our little tour of the dacha! View the infographics at rbth.com/38569
FROM PERSONAL ARCHIVES
Acre, Agriculture, Animal, Barn, Bull, Business, Chicken, Coop, Corn, Country, Cow, Cultivate, Dairy, Eggs, Family, Farmer, Fence, Fertilizer, Field, Food, Fruit, Goat, Growing, Harvest, Hay, Hen, Hog, Horse, Lamb, Land, Livestock, Market, Milk, Mule, Orchard, Outdoor, Pig, Plant, Pony, Poultry, Produce, Rooster, Rural, Saddle, Sheep, Silo, Stable, Tractor, Truck, Vegetable, Work
Can you find the following words? Words are hidden backwards, forwards and diagonally.
Russian scientist Nikolai Vavilov (1887–1943) wanted to find a way for his country to produce enough food to feed its people. He visited 64 countries on five continents studying different kinds of plants, He brought their seeds back to his research institute in Leningrad (now called St. Petersburg). He collected more seeds than anyone else in the world. His collection became Russia’s seed bank, a place where seeds are preserved so that the plant can be regrown if it ever becomes extinct. Today the institute where he worked and the seed bank are named for him.
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Published on Sep 17, 2014