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Like many things in Russia, our site is being renovated (na remont), but don’t go away! Here you can read opinions and discover facts about Russia and Russian life, explore Russia’s most popular cities in our destination guides and share your thoughts in our forum. If you decide to come to Russia, or even if you are already here, you can also use our partner sites to get a Russian visa, book accommodation and buy train tickets.


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Up for a challenge, or simply a holiday to remember? Name of author introduces us to the wonders of the Trans-Siberian railway. Read about its main route, history, and be astonished by accounts of Trans-Siberian 'survivors'. ► Continue reading

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Interested in Russian rock music? Want to find out more about ALISA, AKVARIUM, KINO, NAUTILUS POMPILIUS, DDT, AUKTCION, AGATA KRISTY and other Russian rock bands? You’ve come to the right place. Here is an extract from our enormous collection of articles on Russian rock and underground music.

“When it first appeared on Russian soil in the 1960s, rock music went through a long journey of self-identification, it eventually matured and became the leitmotif for many people's lives. At least three generations of St. Petersburg's citizens, which include famous painters, poets, scientists, journalists, etc., have been touched by rock music in one way or another.

In all the cities of the former Soviet Union, rock music had an uneasy beginning. But it was in Leningrad/ St. Petersburg that fueled Russian's rock's birth and growth and the city itself became the royal soil, where the assimilation and evolution of rock-culture flourished. It was exactly here that the process of blind copying Western music was eliminated and instead original and creative work began being developed..”

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What’s in the news in Russia

By Jennifer Butler

Despite wide-spread government ownership of the media in Russia, it can still be illuminating – and often entertaining – to survey the headlines of Russia-based newspapers Each week we will bring you a small selection of articles – some serious, some simply ridiculous – from these publications to give you a taste of the Russian media and, hopefully, of Russian life in general. We will try to provide both English- and Russian-language articles, with the latter, eventually, being accompanied with an English translation.

First edition:
Shostakovich Hits 100

While we will aim to observe only the most recent stories, our first edition is something of an anachronism, but for good reason, as you will discover. In the week beginning September 25 both English and Russian-language newspapers in Russia were busy celebrating the 100th birthday of the Soviet Union’s favourite musical son, Dmitry Shostakovich – as they should have been. For many, Shostakovich’s music depicted the hardships of the Soviet period, and for many others his output also represented one of the greatest in twentieth-century music. You can read about Shostakovich’s life on our site. Thomas Rhymer gives a balanced account of the main events of Shostakovich’s life In the following St. Petersburg Times opinion piece, the first of our selected articles.

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