Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry
Set during the Polish-Soviet War of 1919–1920, Babel’s novel captured the indiscriminate violence and injustice of warfare.
Ukraine, Russia, and the West: A Background Reading List
Research reports and scholarly articles on the history of the Ukraine-Russia conflicts of the past and possible paths for peace.
Alpha. Bravo. Cyrillic.
Free from Russian dictates over language usage and education, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan prepare to embrace Latin lettering. It’s the latest chapter in the region’s fraught history of alphabet reform.
The Symbolic Survival of The Master and Margarita
Neither supernatural forces nor Soviet censors were able to suppress individual creativity and determination.
Empire: The Russian Way
Russia's rise as an imperial power was built on intercontinental expansion, and a mission of "civilizing, protecting and educating" the conquered.
Memorializing Life Under Soviet Terror
A Russian court has ruled the country's oldest human rights organization must be dissolved. The work they do required trust from those who had lived under Stalin.
Peter the Great’s Beard Tax
Why did the Russian tsar seek to ban beards?
The Weed Scientist Who Brought Down the Wrath of Stalin
Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov's hypothesis on the evolution of rye is now accepted. But in the 1930s, his research got him arrested.
Was Russia Destined to Be an Autocracy?
The most important factors that steered Russia away from democracy, says one scholar, weren't inevitable.
How Saint George’s Dragon Got Its Wings
As time went on, the dragons in Russian iconography slowly became more Western in style—just like Russia itself.