Vladimir Lenin was born Vladimir Ulyanov. At 31, he changed his name to “Lenin,” most likely after the Lena River, a north-flowing river that crosses the Russian Far East and is used as a frozen highway in winter. The river’s most famous feature … Read on
If Yakutsk, Russia, ever gets a pro basketball team, can I suggest the name Yakutsk Cats?
Ian Frazier spent about 17 years researching and writing ‘Travels in Siberia,’ about the same time Axl Rose took for ‘Chinese Democracy’ — but with better results. Frazier’s fascination for the forlorn and mythic, plus his humor, has always appealed to me. When … Read on
A few years ago, on a flight from Magadan to Vladivostok, Russia, a couple thin, well-dressed Russians in suits looked across the aisle to me, one shook a vodka bottle and asked ‘you drink with us’ — no question mark intended. After a … Read on
SIBERIAN INTERVIEW, 2005During my first crossing of Siberia, in 2005, I was smitten by the kindness of Russians on trains, the beauty of Lake Baikal and Kamchatka and — even more so — the flood of ‘Dio’ posters plastered on street signs in … Read on
Did you hear you can ‘ride’ the Trans-Siberian Railway on Google? Last year a team spent 30 days on the six-day ride from Moscow to Vladivostok to roll a camera, during daylight, at a (sometimes maddening 25-degree angle) out the north-side window. Seven … Read on