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[28 Aug 2009]

Moscow’s Red Square will play host to the Heads of State and military bands from 9 countries during their International Military Music Festival from September 5th – 10th.  Military bands from Russia, Britain, China, Israel, India, Italy, Kazakhstan, Finland and France are scheduled to perform, as well as a charity concert held on September 6th featuring several international stars, including the famous Russian opera soprano Anna Netrebko.   Not only will the festival be an exhibition of the finest military bands in the world, individually as well as a performance by a joint band formed by all participating countries; there will also be several unexpected surprises, such as the unique combination of Russian folk songs and tunes by the Beatles, a video presentation projected upon the wall of the Kremlin, historic presentations, fireworks, dance exhibitions and more!     The program is dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the victory of Russian troops in the Battle of Poltava.  Not only will the festival be an entertaining and educational display of music and Russian history, but also promises to be a hub of cultural exchange and understanding between all participating countries.          

Culture and History »

[28 Aug 2009]

In Slavic folklore, the Firebird was a magical glowing bird, often said to be from far away and mysterious lands that was the center of many quests and tales. Shaped like a small peacock, each of the bird’s many feathers would glow along with its eyes and its crest making it a prize that many heroes would be said to attain for their Kings. Much like the Albatross was in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner; the Firebird was, upon capture, a magnet for trouble and bad luck. The hero in the tales (normally, but not always Ivan Tsarevich) would blame the caged Firebird for every obstacle he would come across on his way home. The Firebird would often be depicted as a scavenger that develops a taste for the golden apples that grow only in the orchard of a King. The Prince would be sent, sometimes along with two other “false heroes” to capture the bird. Sometimes they would succeed, and in other stories they would not, merely catching a single feather that they would take home and use to illuminate dark rooms.  

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[28 Aug 2009]

A collection of jewels worth 2 million euros ($2.9 million), most of which belonged to the last Russian tsar's family, have surfaced in the Swedish Foreign Ministry's storage rooms, Swedish radio reported on Friday. [More]

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[27 Aug 2009]

Snoop Dogg, the internationally famous American hip hop star, played Moscow, Russia’s famous B1 Maximum Club yesterday. [More]

Culture and History »

[27 Aug 2009]

Sergei Mikhalkov, who wrote the lyrics to the Soviet and Russian national anthems, persecuted dissident writers and fathered two noted film directors, has died at age 96. [More]

Best Places in Ukraine »

[26 Aug 2009]

Kamianets-Podilskyi is a city based in the western part of Ukraine. It is the product of the many different cultures that have lived there over the years, and features a populace and architecture derived mainly from the Polish, Ukrainian and Armenian peoples. [More]

Culture and History »

[21 Aug 2009]

Are you curious about Slavic cooking but not sure where to start?  Whether it's to celebrate Ukraine's Independence Day or to impress your Russian Bride-to-be, we have a few easy, classic recipes that are sure to please your palate.  Be sure to start your meal with pickled cucumbers, salted herring, salad and caviar, and don't forget to invite your guests to each offer a toast with vodka during the meal!   Borsch 1 cup chopped fresh beets 1 cup chopped fresh carrots 2 cups green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces 3 or 4 medium potatoes, cubed 1 quart chopped or shredded cabbage 1 pint fresh or canned tomatoes, chopped 1/2 cup chopped onion 1/2 cup fresh dill weed, chopped salt to taste 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion 2 tablespoons oil 2 tablespoons flour cream minced garlic, to your taste   Put the chopped beets, carrots, and green beans into a 6-quart kettle with about 2 quarts of water and cook a little while. Then add the rest of the vegetables, dill, and salt and cook until vegetables are tender, adding more water for the desired consistency. Saute the finely chopped onion in oil in a small frying pan and add flour. Stir until smooth. This is used as a thickener; add this to borsch when vegetables are cooked. Add some cream and the freshly chopped garlic and cook for about 5 minutes more. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Serve.     Cabbage Leaf Holubtsi 1/2 to 3/4 cup onions, chopped and sauteed oil or meat drippings 1 cup meat, ground  4 cups cooked rice 1 teaspoon salt 1 large head cabbage 1-1/2 cups tomato juice 1/2 cup cream or sour cream   Saute chopped onions in meat drippings and add to cooked ground pork and rice. Sprinkle with salt. Roll this mixture up into a wilted cabbage leaf and place into pan. Cover this with tomato juice and cream or sour cream and meat drippings. Cook until done. Serve.     Berry Compote 1 pound fresh berries (strawberries or raspberries) 3/4 cup sugar 1 cup water   Wash and drain the fruit. Bring the sugar and water to a boil. Pour the boiling syrup over the fruit, and let it stand for several hours before eating.     Cherry Crepes   1 cup flour1/4 teaspoon salt1-1/4 cups milk2 eggs2 tablespoons butteroil  Mix together the flour, salt, milk and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and mix well. Add the melted butter and mix again. Let this batter stand for a while. Brush the bottom of a frying pan with oil and put over medium heat until it is just hot but not smoking. Pour about 2 tablespoons crepe batter into pan and quickly tilt the pan in all directions so that the batter covers the pan with a thin film. Fry for about 1 minute. Lift the edge of the crepe to test it for doneness. The crepe is ready to be flipped when it can be shaken loose from the pan. Flip the crepe and cook for about 30 seconds on the other side. (This side of the crepe is usually a little spotted brown and is the side the filling is put on.) As each crepe is done, spread the filling over the inside and fold the first two sides over each other and then the other two sides over each other. Place the finished crepe carefully on a plate. Keep doing this until all the crepes are made. It is easier to make with two people working. One makes the crepes, one fills the crepes. Use home canned pie cherries that have been drained of liquid for the filling.

Best Places in Ukraine »

[21 Aug 2009]

Kiev Pechersk Lavra, or “Monastery of the Caves” was founded in 1015 by St. Anthony of Kiev, one of the first Russian monks who had established the Monastic practice in Kiev after the area had first started its conversion to Christianity. [More]

Best Places in Ukraine »

[19 Aug 2009]

Built to protect the borders near the South West part of his Empire, Prince Vladimir’s Fortress has gone through many changes over the centuries. This would include being expanded from a fort to a fortress... [More]

Culture and History »

[18 Aug 2009]

A lesser known villain in Russian and Ukrainian mythology is Nightingale the Robber. Usually portrayed as a monster with half bird features and half human features, Nightingale is a master thief and highway brigand. Aiding his attacks and getaways was his uncanny ability to fly and a deafening whistle that would cause the nearby grass to tangle, the trees to bend over and all people nearby to die. [More]

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[12 Aug 2009]

Kseniya Simonova recently won to televised talent competition, "Ukraine's Got Talent", by showing her amazing ability to create sand art. Simonova seemlessly moves from scene to scene sculpting and drizzling sand over a light table. This emotional performance is about World War II and the Germany invasion of the Soviet Union. [More]