Thursday 24 January 2013
January 24, 2013
Soviet Tourism Posters Of The 1930s
Intourist, the Soviet travel agency, was established in 1929 to attract foreign visitors to the U.S.S.R. Using the classic elements of early communist graphic design, Intourist managed to entice tens of thousands of foreigners to special tourist sites set up for them in the Soviet Union.
January 24, 2013
The Baikonur Cosmodrome
Baikonur Cosmodrome in the remote desert steppes of Kazakhstan is one of the most important sites in the history of space travel. During the Soviet era, the first man-made satellite, "Sputnik 1," took off from there in 1957, and it was also the place where the first man in space, Yury Gagarin, blasted into orbit in 1961. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Baikonur has been used to launch missions to the International Space Station. Russia has also continued to operate space missions from Baikonur under the terms of an agreement with Astana, even though this cooperation is now under threat due to a dispute between Kazakhstan and Russia over the rent paid for the use of the facility. (12 PHOTOS)
January 21, 2013
Fascinating Photographs Of Russian Revolution Revealed
Russian-born photography aficionado Anton Orlov couldn't believe his luck when he was allowed to rummage through old storage chests in the basement of a house in California in 2005. Inside, he found a treasure trove of hand-colored glass slides taken during the Russian Revolution in 1917.
January 19, 2013
Orthodox Epiphany Gets Chilly Reception
Orthodox worshipers in Russia, Belarus, and elsewhere celebrated Epiphany -- marking the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist and the beginning of his ministry -- with ritual plunges in subfreezing temperatures around midnight on January 18-19. Honoring an old Russian tradition, in many places bathers dip themselves in cross-shaped holes cut in ice over lakes and rivers. (11 PHOTOS)
January 16, 2013
What It's Like To Be Young In Kazakhstan
RFE/RL's Kazakh Service has launched a photo competition asking its readers to send in photos that capture the spirit of Kazakh youth. From wedding parties to souped-up cars to snake dances, the photos are a compelling portrait of a post-Soviet generation.
January 15, 2013
Paganism, Humor Rule In Vevcani Carnival
Every Orthodox New Year, Vevcani, a tiny town of around 2,500 people in western Macedonia, holds an annual carnival that allows the heavily Orthodox locals to indulge in unbridled paganism and show off their creativity. Dedicated to St. Basil the Great (Vasilij), the event turns the sleepy little hillside municipality into a "theater without borders in which every house is part of a street scene with masked actors performing their games." Here are some photos from Vevcani festivals of the past. (20 PHOTOS)
January 14, 2013
Russian Volcano Reawakens
The eruption of Russia's Plosky Tolbachik volcano began in November after it was dormant for almost 40 years. Tolbachik is a volcanic complex on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's Far East. It consists of two volcanoes -- Plosky Tolbachik (3,085 meters) and Ostry Tolbachik (3,682 meters).
January 14, 2013
This Photographer Will Blow You Away
Skin flapping. Lips twisted. Teeth bared. Hair askew. No, it's not the Zombie Apocalypse, just one of the latest projects by 29-year-old Lithuanian photographer Tadao Cern. He's also getting a lot of attention for re-creating Vincent Van Gogh's famous self-portrait.
January 11, 2013
Czechs Elect President Directly For The First Time
Polls have opened in the first direct presidential election in the Czech Republic. More than 8 million voters are eligible to chose a new head of state to replace outgoing President Vaclav Klaus. Euro-skeptic Klaus, 71, has completed the maximum two five-year terms allowed by the constitution. Opinion polls ahead of the Friday-Saturday vote show former prime ministers Jan Fischer and Milos Zeman in front, followed by Vladimir Franz, a composer who has tattoos covering most of his body. A total of nine candidates are standing. The top two finishers will compete in a runoff in two weeks. The position is mostly ceremonial, but can be influential through appointments to offices, amnesties, and veto powers.
January 10, 2013
St. Petersburg Latest City To Honor Apple's Steve Jobs
A giant 3-meter-tall black iPhone, with a working touch screen, was unveiled outside the St. Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics, and Optics on January 9. It's a memorial honoring the contributions of Apple founder Steve Jobs. The screen displays video, photos and text documenting Jobs' remarkable life. It joins monuments to Jobs in Budapest and Odesa. (7 PHOTOS)