Travel from Warsaw to Auschwitz-Birkenau

Travel from Warsaw to Auschwitz-Birkenau An Eye-opening Experience ~$80 for a day trip While in Poland, I decided to take in one of its most famous tourist sites – which also happens to be the...

Controversial Theater in Warsaw: Curse

Curse Teatr Powszechny Powszechny.com Throughout my stay in Poland, I have found that one of the most pressing concerns in society is the role the Catholic Church plays in state and public affairs. A Croatian...

International Women’s Day Eve in Kyiv

Pre Women’s Day Festivities in Kyiv, Ukraine Every March 8th, but really March 7th, too.  Perhaps no one in the world takes the celebration of the 8th of March, International Women’s Day, as seriously as...

Heavenly Hundred Mourners In Kyiv

Anniversary of the Shooting of 100 Protesters in Kyiv Remembrance Event Independence Square, Kyiv February 18, 2017 Photojournalism by Rebekah Welch Hundreds of people came to Kyiv’s Independence Square, or, in Ukrainian, Maidan Nazeleznosti for...

Remembrance of WWII in St. Petersburg

Throughout my program in Russia these past few months, the toll of the Second World War, has often been present and palpable. During World War II and the Great Fatherland War, the name Russians give...

Victory Day in Vladivostok

Behind New Year’s, May 9th is the largest holiday in Russia. Victory Day celebrates the Soviet victory in World War II over the German Reich. This year marked 71 years since hostilities ceased in that...

Irkutsk’s Old Houses: Windows to Siberia

The following was contributed by Renee Stillings, Program Director following her recent visit to Irkutsk to check up on SRAS programs there. Those programs include Russian as a Second Language, Siberian Studies, and more. My...

Russian Greetings Through the Ages

The following information originally appeared as part of a larger article on Russkaya Semyorka, a Russian-language history and culture site. The information has been translated and adapted here by SRAS. According to one legend, the...

History of Vegetarianism in Russia

The following article originally appeared in Russian on Vegetarianskij.ru. It has been translated and adapted by SRAS for presentation here. History of Vegetarianism in Russia The official coming of vegetarianism to Russia was inaugurated with...

A History of Sayings and Expressions about Moscow

Russian has many sayings and expressions that revolve around Moscow and places within or near Moscow. The most famous for foreigners is probably “Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears,” but there are many others such...

Exploring Russian Traditions in Vladivostok

The international department at VGUES has, throughout the semester, taken us on various excursions around Vladivostok. This week, we ventured back into time to explore some of the old Russian traditions. At a rather nondescript...

‘Beatnik Market’: Russian Beat in St. Petersburg

Универмаг «Битник» Итальянская улица 17 find them on Facebook Interested in some retro fashion or events while in Piter?  Between Nevsky and the Russian Museum, the Beatnik project boasts a bar and a gallery/event space. ...

Vladivostok Fortress Museum

Scattered across Vladivostok’s coastal slopes in quite a few places one can see the metal and concrete remains of the old coastal batteries built to defend the city in years past. Most of the emplacements are...

Urban “Decay” on Display: Street Art in Poland

What does street art have to do with the Warsaw Rising? Street art is a controversial issue. Legally, it can be considered vandalism and, to some, creates the impression that the area is unloved and...

The Allies in Siberia During the Russian Revolution

Despite its distance from the hotbed of Russian revolutionary violence, the city of Vladivostok and the Russian Far East experienced their own challenges and intrigue in the seldom recalled Allied intervention in Siberia, spanning from...

Bishkek Irrigation Canals

There is a lot going on in Bishkek and there are a lot of pleasant parks and a few wide, shaded boulevards. While walking along them looking around, in the quieter areas, you will notice...

The Moscow We’ve Lost

The following was originally written in Russian by the popular Russian blogger and photographer Zyalt. It can be seen in the original in his blog. It is presented here for the edification of English speakers...

Milk Bars: How to Survive in Warsaw

This is a quick introduction to both Warsaw’s milk bars, which are important cultural institutions as well as great places to eat, and to the Polish language needed to order in them. While English-speaking eating...

Warsaw Uprising Mound

Warsaw Uprising Mound / Kopiec Powstania Warszawskiego Located in Park Akcji „Burza” in Czerniaków (Mokotów district) Open to the public 24/7 This week the weather was finally nice enough that I decided to walk to...

Jewish Cemetery in Warsaw

Jewish Cemetery in Warsaw / Cmentarz żydowski w Warszawie ul. Okopowa 49/51, Warszawa tel. 22 838 26 22 Beisolam.jewish.org.pl Mon-Thurs: 10am-5pm (or dark) Fri: 9am-1pm ; Sun 11am-4pm Saturday closed There are actually a number...

Łazienki Park and the Palace on the Isle in Warsaw

Łazienki Park and the Palace on the Isle in Warsaw / Łazienki Królewskie i Pałac na Wyspie w Warszawie ul. Agrykoli 1, 00-460 Warszawa, Polska Lazienki-krolewskie.pl The Gardens are open daily, from dawn until dusk...

History Meeting House in Warsaw

History Meeting House (Dom Spotkań z Historią) Karowa 20 Opening Hours: Tues-Fri from 10am to 8pm Sat-Sun from 11am to 8pm, Mondays closed Admission free DSH.waw.pl After attending a lecture at Collegium Civitas (CC) on...

A History of The Union of Lublin Square

The Union of Lublin Square (Plac Unii Lubelskiej) is not actually square as the English translation would lead you to think, but a circular traffic roundabout located where the downtown district (Śródmieście) meets the district...

Spielberg Auschwitz Documentary Now Online

A brand new 15-minute documentary on the history of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp, produced by Steven Spielberg and narrated by Meryl Streep is now available for free, in its entirety, on YouTube. It premiered...

Piłsudski Square in Warsaw as Microcosm of Polish History

Pilsudski Square “plac marsz. Józefa Piłsudskiego” Śródmieście Północne 00-078 Warszawa Take bus 175 or 128 from Centrum Open to the public 24/7 Piłsudski Square is Warsaw’s largest open square. It is named for Jozef Piłsudski, a...

Jewish Bishkek: A Brief History and Guide

My experience with the Jewish community in Bishkek began on a weekday evening in September. I did not really expect to find a synagogue on Suyumbayev Street. I had been following the gradually narrowing road...

7 Secrets of the Russian Alphabet

The history of the Russian language and its alphabet is long and fascinating. Here are a few anecdotes from that history. The following is taken from a list that has been published in many places...

Tokarevski Lighthouse in Vladivostok

Tokarevski Lighthouse/Токаревский марк Мыс Токаревского Cost: $5-10 (includes roundtrip transportation and food; destination itself is free) “All I know about Russia is that it’s very cold.” This frequently encountered profession of ignorance, will wear anyone...