99 Years / 99 лет

The tsar with his family / Царь с семьей

Dear readers! 99 years ago today, Nicholas II, Emperor of all the Russias, along with his family and faithful servants, was cruelly murdered by the Bolsheviks. Let us take a moment to remember the last tsar.

Дорогие читатели! В этот день 99 лет назад, жестко убили императора Всероссийского Николая II с семьей и верными слугами большевиками. Давайте запомним последнего царя.

Вечная память.


Putin the Patriot

Since I can’t embed the video, here’s a picture of Putin from his English Wikipedia page.

My mom sent me this video over the weekend. It’s an unedited (which I assume means unaired?) clip from Megyn Kelly’s recent interview with Russian president Vladimir Putin. For some reason, the embed code will not work properly, so unfortunately you’re going to have to click through to the link above to see it. The video does have subtitles, so don’t worry if you don’t speak Russian. You’ll still be able to know what Putin says. (Though no doubt Putin himself would say that you ought to have started learning Russian yesterday, comrade!)

Leaving aside whether the interview was good or bad, whether Kelly’s questions were good or bad, and whether she should have conducted the interview in the first place, I want to focus on Putin’s answer to her question. I was really impressed at the depth of feeling in it. That, my dear readers, is what a true patriot looks like. That is a man who loves his country.

This isn’t meant to be a pro-Putin post. Unlike many people in the West, I don’t mind admitting that I like some of the things Putin has done over the years and sometimes agree with him. Other times, of course, I don’t see eye to eye with him, to put it lightly. But I cannot help but respect his patriotism evident in that interview. I find it quite… inspiring.

The U.S. Through the Eyes of a Foreigner

As you may know, I read a bunch of Russian craft blogs. I might even be addicted to them. I love crafts (specifically knitting and crocheting) and I love Russian, so they’re great fun for me to read.

Last week, Nastenka at Creative Living wrote a lovely post, all in Russian, about a recent trip she took to California. (She lives in Moscow.) It’s so interesting to see what someone who wasn’t born and raised here thinks about my country. It’s even more fascinating to see what a non-native English speaker thinks. I’m not sure how much English Nastenka speaks, but she definitely knows some since her blog is peppered with it. (Настенька, если вы хотите говорить по-русски со мной, я могу помочь вам!) Anyway, it looks like it was a good trip. Getting the visa was annoying because the government website is stupid and makes the connection time out before you can finish filling out the application, she says. She ended up getting a three-year visa, though, which is more time than I’ve ever had on a Russian visa!

She landed in San Francisco and rented a cute red car. She visited Stanford, downtown San Francisco, the piers with the sea lions, and rode a cable car. (I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I had to look that up in English. I couldn’t think of the English word for трамвай for the life of me!) All in all, it looks like a nice trip, if a bit short. The flight here and back to Russia is so ridiculously long that it eats entire days of the trip, unfortunately.

Check out Nastenka’s photos of her trip here! Yes, the entire post is in Russian, but just keep scrolling and you’ll see photos.

[Bilingual Post] Thoughts On Finishing Another Russian Book

By popular request (okay, one person asked, but he’s part of the populace, right?), this post is bilingual! One paragraph in Russian, followed by that same paragraph in English. Corrections from Russian speakers are welcome!

Мысли о заканчивании по окончанию русской книги

Thoughts on finishing another Russian book

The Argentine by Elvira Baryakina
The Argentine by Elvira Baryakina

Вчера вечером я дочитала еще одну книгу на русском. Она называется «Аргентинец». Автор — Эльвира Барякина. Мне очень понравилась эта книга, потому что она очень историческая.

Yesterday evening I finished another book in Russian. It’s called The Argentine by Elvira Baryakina. I really liked this book because it is very historical.

Краткое описание сюжета: молодой человек Клим Рогов уехал из России десять лет назад и теперь живет и работает в Аргентине. Он говорит по-испански, работает в газете и очень любит свою новую страну. В начале романа, он получает новости о смерти отца. Ему нужно вернуть в Россию. Проблема в том, что он возвращается в 1917 г., когда происходит гражданская война в России когда в России идет гражданская война.

A brief description of the plot: young man Klim Rogov left Russia ten years ago and now lives and works in Argentina. He speaks Spanish, works at a newspaper, and loves his new country. In the beginning of the novel, he receives news of his father’s death. He has to return to Russia. The problem is that he returns in 1917, when there’s a civil war going on in Russia.

Эта книга очень длинная и я очень люблю. Я люблю читать об истории, особенно об истории России. Автор очень колоритно описывает Россию и Аргентину в этой эпохе той эпохи.

This book was very long and I love it. I love reading about history, especially Russian history. The author very vividly describes Russia and Argentina in the era.

Если вы занимаетесь иностранным языком изучаете иностранный язык, я вам советую: читать книги советую читать книги. Читая книги, вы можете узнавать новые слова.

If you are studying a foreign language, I advise you to read books. While reading books, you can learn new words.

Russian-speaking readers, please correct my mistakes! I’m really trying to get better at writing in Russian. I’ll keep the original post and cross out any mistakes I make and then insert corrections. Спасибо большое!

Христос воскресе! [In Russian]


Ой, я чуть не забыла: сегодня – праздник Пасха в России и других православных странах. Я надеюсь, что у вас есть очень хороший праздник!

Христос воскресе! Воистину воскресе!

Ex-KGB Officer Admits That 1917 Bolshevik Revolution Was Kind Of Bad

I never thought I’d read the following from a former KGB officer. Leonid Reshetnikov, a former member of the SVR (Sluzhba vnezhnei razvedki, or Foreign Intelligence Service, which is the successor to the KGB arm that conducted foreign operations) and current director of a pro-Kremlin think tank called the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, gave a long interview to the website Svobodnaya Pressa. A lot of people focused on him calling Obama an “American Gorbachev” (and for the record, it was not meant in a flattering way–though people in the West seem to like Gorbachev, Russians hold the exact opposite view). However, if you listen to the entire interview, all the really good stuff comes at the end. For example:*

I’m a supporter of the idea that Russia’s mission is to go along its own civilizational path. It was on such a journey until 1917. This was our path. We only knew it from textbooks that were written under the control of the Central Committee of the Communist Party or the Bolsheviks. This is the most falsified history in the world. We had problems that would have been difficult to solve, but we also had great achievements. People don’t think about how such an ignorant, poor, crushed country could have given birth to so many writers, poets, artists, engineers, scholars… how it [Russia] could have expanded from the Grand Duchy of Muscovy to an empire that stretched from Warsaw to Kamchatka. Our rivals’ goal was to crush this civilization. But they successfully accomplished this, in considerable part through our own hands. Basically, we cooked our own goose.

Pretty amazing, right? I never thought I’d see someone who was part of the Communist state apparatus criticizing the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Remember, for decades people celebrated this revolution in the Soviet Union. To have someone speak negatively of it is nothing short of fascinating.

*Note: the original Russian is as follows:

Я сторонник того, что миссия России – это идти своим цивилизационным путем. Она шла таким путем до 1917 года. Это был наш путь. Мы его знаем только из учебников, написанных под контролем ЦК КПСС или ВКП(б). Это самая оболганная история в мире. У нас были проблемы, которые трудно решались, но у нас были и огромные успехи. Люди не задумываются, как такая дремучая, бедная, задавленная страна могла родить столько писателей, поэтов, художников, инженеров, ученых… Как она могла расшириться от Московского Княжества, от Варшавы до Камчатки. Задача конкурентов была уничтожить эту цивилизацию. Но успешно они ее выполнили, в значительной части, нашими же руками. Сами мы ее и угробили.

I’m also not sure if I translated the last sentence correctly.

By Heart

Inspired by today’s prompt at The Daily Post

When I saw today’s writing prompt—what’s the first poem that comes to mind if you’re asked to recite a poem from memory—my mind immediately jumped to Russian poetry. (No surprises there.) For my oral exam in second-year Russian, I had to memorize a poem and I’ve never forgotten it. It’s a Pushkin poem called “It’s time, my friend.” Here’s an English translation. (I am uninspired to translate, due to an exhausting day at work!)

It’s time, my friend, it’s time! The peace is craved by hearts…
Days flow after days — each hour departs
A bit of life — and both, you and I,
Plan a long life, but could abruptly die.

The world hasn’t happiness, but there is freedom, peace.
And long have I daydreamed the life of bliss —
And long have planned, a tired slave, the flight
To the removed abode of labor and delight.

Of course, it is so much better in Russian, so here’s the original for those who read the great and mighty Russian language.

Пора, мой друг, пора! покоя сердце просит —
Летят за днями дни, и каждый час уносит
Частичку бытия, а мы с тобой вдвоём
Предполагаем жить, и глядь — как раз — умрём.

На свете счастья нет, но есть покой и воля.
Давно завидная мечтается мне доля —
Давно, усталый раб, замыслил я побег
В обитель дальную трудов и чистых нег.

First Week

[wptab name = ‘English’]Well, I survived my first week at work. It was a bit strange, because I feel like I got paid to do nothing. We are in the training phase of our program, so the only actual thing we did was a presentation. That was fun, but was internal so we could show off our knowledge of the company.

A few other observations:

  • My company is massive! It’s a subsidiary of a multinational conglomerate and we have a ton of employees all around the world.
  • The management really want us to like the company. Almost every day, we had people come in to talk to us and extol the virtues of the company. I think we’re all very proud to be there after hearing so much about how great it is…
  • I don’t want to reveal too many details about this company, so I’ve dubbed it The Bank for the time being. Unless I come up with a different nickname, I’m going with this. My manager is all about people expressing themselves on social media, but I still don’t feel comfortable doing that under my own name or naming the company itself on this blog.

One nice thing about an actual job (as opposed to school) is not being expected to work after hours. In other words: no homework! This weekend, I don’t have to think about anything work-related if I don’t want to. And, of course, there’s the whole getting paid thing. I haven’t been paid yet, but I’m looking forward to my first paycheck in a couple of weeks.

Note: this is my first multilingual blog post ever. I think the Russian version is very, very bad. I have almost no experience writing longish pieces in Russian and my vocabulary and expression are unfortunately lacking. Please, correct my many mistakes. And if you’re learning Russian, don’t use my post as an example of actual good writing, because it isn’t.[/wptab]

[wptab name = ‘Русский’]Ну, я выжила первую неделю на работе. Это чуть-чуть странно—мне кажется, что мне заплатили за то, что ничего не делала! В программе мы тренируем, и мы только сделали презентацию. Она мне понравилась, но она была внутренной, чтобы мы показали знание о компании.

Несколько другие соображения:

  • Компания очень крупная! Она—дочернее общество транснационального конгломерата и у нас есть работники во всем мире.
  • Менеджменту очень хочется, чтобы мы любим компанию. Почти каждого дня, к нам приходят людей, чтобы говорить с нами и похвалить компанию. Я думаю, что мы все очень гордимся работать туда после того, как мы слушали о величии компании…
  • Я не хочу рассказать много деталях об этой компании, так как я давала ей прозвище «Банк». Если не я даю другое прозвище, у компании есть такое прозвище. Мой менеджер очень любит социальные сети, но мне не удобно писать в каких сети под ФИО или назвать компанию в этом блоге.

Хороший факт о настоящей работе (в отличие от университета)—мне не надо работать после того, как рабочий день закончился. Другим словами: нет домашнего задания! На этой неделе, мне не нужно думать о работе, если не хочу. И конечно, есть зарплата. Я все еще не получила зарплату, но я жду ее с нетерпением через пару недели.[/wptab]


С Днем победы! [Happy Victory Day!]

yeremenkoLast year, I wrote about this iconic World War II photo (at left). At the risk of sounding pretentious, allow me to quote myself:

The soldier in the photo at the beginning of this post died right after the photo was taken. His name was Aleksei Yeremenko and he was a political officer in the 220th Rifle Regiment, 4th Rifle Division. He never knew that he would become famous due to a serendipitous picture taken a moment before he died. That just said, and what’s even more sad are the millions of soldiers who died like Yeremenko, but who are not remembered because they didn’t have a famous photo taken of them fighting.

The text says "9 of May. Victory Day."
The text says “9 of May. Victory Day.”

In light of recent events, remembering Victory Day is more important than ever. The fact is, the Soviet Union and the United States were both allies on the same side of the struggle against Nazi Germany. We worked together once; I hope that there will be future cooperation between my country and the so-called post-Soviet countries. I know things between our governments are very tense right now, but I do hope everything can and will be resolved soon.

I also have a special message in Russian for my friends over in Russia. Please forgive any errors; my spoken Russian is much better than my written Russian.

Обращение к русским

день победы 2

Дорогие русские! Я знаю, что отношения между нашими странами ухудшились. В Америке, политики думают, что ваш президент Владимир Путин хочет захватить Украину. В России, политики думают, что НАТО хочет Украину. По-моему, мы должны вспоминать, что мы вместе победили в Великой Отечественной Войне. Мы не враги. Когда я была в России, я узнала, что американцы и русские очень похожи друг на друга.

Спасибо за то, что вы читали. С великой победой! УРА!!!