Russian Potpourri

  • The NY Times has an insightful piece about what it means to be an opposition candidate in Russia today. The article chronicles the attempt of Olga V. Safronova to run a legitimate campaign for the regional assembly in Novosibirsk. Part of what makes the story so compelling is that Safronova was running under the banner of one of Russia’s officially sanctioned opposition parties, A Just Russia.
  • And finally, what Robert Mackey in the NY Times aptly described as something that sounds like “a bizarre dream: Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of Russia joining a Funkadelic saxophonist in an ice hockey arena to sing “Blueberry Hill” to Sharon Stone, Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner, Gerard Depardieu and Mickey Rourke.” You have to see it to believe it:

[h/t to Shanker Satyanath for the video.]

3 Responses to Russian Potpourri

  1. John December 14, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    It seems worth nothing that in the first line, which goes “I found my freedom…” he switches from English to Russian right before saying “freedom,” and it sounds like he says a different word entirely than what I understand is the Russian word for “freedom.” Does anyone know what word he used? I’m guessing it was a close synonym because the rest of the song lines up, but it sounds like he found something other than “freedom” on Blueberry Hill.

  2. Adam December 14, 2010 at 10:41 am #

    Sure sounds like English to me: “I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill.” Only he pronounced “thrill” with a thick Russian accent as “freel.”

    The word “freedom” doesn’t occur in the Fats Domino version.

  3. David Cowhig December 16, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    For Russia information, I have found David Johnson’s Russia List outstanding.