Frozen lake Baikal near Olkhon island

Exploring Lake Baikal

The world's largest, deepest freshwater lake is home to hundreds of species that don't live anywhere else on Earth. But it's threatened by climate change.
Profile portrait of Catherine II by Fedor Rokotov (1763)

The Memoirs of Catherine The Great

Catherine II ruled Russia for many years. She also wrote her own memoirs, in a time when such writing was considered inappropriate for a monarch.
Composite image of Dmitri Mendeleev, a periodic table, and the Milky Way galaxy

How Far Does the Periodic Table Go?

Efforts to fill the periodic table raise questions of special relativity that “strike at the very heart of chemistry as a discipline.”
Maxim Gorky

Revolutionary Writer Maxim Gorky’s NYC Sex Scandal

In 1906, Russian Bolshevik writer Maxim Gorky was given a warm welcome in the United States. Then the American media manufactured a scandal about his girlfriend.
Cuckoo chick

Russian Cuckoos are Invading Alaska. Songbirds, Beware!

Songbirds may loose their entire broods to cuckoos’ parasitic tricks.
Moscow subway

The Soaring Symbolism of Moscow’s Subways

Lofty ceilings, massive slabs of marble, and colorful mosaics celebrated Soviets in all their incarnations, from military leaders to collective farmers.
Stalin poster

What Do We Really Know about Joseph Stalin?

It took three more decades of Soviet rule before the archives dealing with Stalin and his times could be explored. And then the doors were shut again.
Serfdom in Russia

How American Slavery Echoed Russian Serfdom

Russian serfdom and American slavery ended within two years of each other; the defenders of these systems of bondage surprisingly shared many of the same arguments.
Alexander Pushkin

How Alexander Pushkin Was Inspired By His African Heritage

Alexander Pushkin is known as the quintessential Russian writer, but he took particular inspiration from his African great-grandfather, General Abraham Petrovitch Gannibal.
Russian Olympians

What Counts as Natural Athleticism?

Regulations banning performance-enhancing drugs raise as many questions as they answer.