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Useful Notes / Russian Reading

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What Russians and those who lived in the former Soviet Union have to read. See also Russian Relaxing.


  • Pravda - several papers have been referred to this way, we'll be focusing on the best known one, the paper of the CPSU. Pravda is Russian for "truth". ''Da, pravda''.
  • In Soviet times the other main newspaper was called Izvestiya, literally meaning News (In Russian there is no distinction between definite and indefinite forms of nouns, so the title could also be translated as The News.) This inspired the following joke: "There are no news in Truth, and no truth in News".
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  • Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) - newspaper of the Soviet and now Russian military. Gave Margaret Thatcher her "Iron Lady" nickname.
  • Komsomolskaya Pravda - in Soviet times, this was a youth counterpart to Pravda. In post-soviet times, it became a yellowish, quite pro-government tabloid.
  • Novaya Gazeta - a supposedly independent newspaper with liberal (as in, old-school liberal, what Americans call conservative, not quasi-socialist) and pro-Western leanings.
  • Rossiyskaya Gazeta - the official newspaper of the Federal government.



  • Ogonyok - A weekly magazine running since 1899.
  • Krokodil - Satirical magazine (1922-1991).
  • Murzilka - Illustrated magazine for children printed from 1924 to this day.
  • Vesyolie kartinki - Another illustrated magazine for children (1956-2012). Notable for having comic book stories featuring characters pulled from folklore, cartoons and books popular at the time (a crossover if you will).

Notable literature

See also Russian Literature.



  • Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin (1799-1837), considered to be the greatest Russian poet and founder of Russian literature. His most famous work is a novel-in-verse Eugene Onegin.
  • Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov (1711-1765)
  • Mikhail Yurievich Lermontov (1814-1841), also author of the novel A Hero of Our Time
  • Alexander Blok (1880–1921)
  • Anna Akhmatova (1889–1966)
  • Boris Pasternak (1890–1960), also author of the novel Doctor Zhivago
  • Osip Mandelstam (1891–1938)
  • Marina Tsvetaeva (1892–1941)
  • Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky (1893-1930)
  • Robert Rozhdestvensky (1932–1994)
  • Andrey Voznesensky (1933–2010)
  • Bella Akhmadulina (1937–2010)

The classics: The "Golden Age" et seq.

20th century: The "Silver Age" and the Soviet period

Contemporary literature: Post-Soviet period to Present Day


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