World’s Strangest

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The Soviet Union’s Bizarre Version of The Hobbit

The above image, I gather, shows Gandalf (right) recruiting Bilbo (left) for a perilous adventure. It’s from a 1985 Soviet production of The Hobbit. This children’s film featured Zinovy ​​Gerdt as “The Professor” (a narrator stand-in for Tolkien), Mikhail Danilov as Bilbo, Anatoly Ravikovich as Thorin, Ivan Krasko as Gandalf and Igor Dmitriev as Gollum. Smaug [...]

Club of a Hundred Years Old Ladies

Russian women who are 100 years old now lived under the Czar, through the Revolution, endured World Wars I and II, suffered under Stalin, remember the Cold War, experienced glasnost, and now tell us what they think. English Russia has a translation of an article from Russian Esquire, with portraits and stories of seven centenarians, [...]

R.I.P. Eduard Khil, Mr. Trololo

Eduard Khil, a longtime pop star in the Soviet Union, became famous in the west only a couple of years ago when his rendition of the wordless song “I Am So Happy to Finally Be Back Home” became an internet hit. Khil’s performance on a ’60s TV show spawned a meme called Trololo. Khil embraced [...]

Operation Barbarossa: The Biggest Military Adventure in History

June 22nd marks the 70th anniversary of Operation Barbarossa, Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union — the biggest military adventure in history, which led directly to the downfall of Adolf Hitler’s murderous regime. Together with the Holocaust that followed it, Operation Barbarossa was the ultimate expression of Hitler’s twisted vision, reflecting both the vaulting [...]

7 Super-Sized (And Somewhat Insane) Soviet Projects

The Soviet Union decided the best way to show up the West was to build the biggest version of any given object. The following are just seven of the largest examples. 1. A Palace for the People In 1931, Joseph Stalin ordered that the largest Orthodox Christian cathedral in the world— 335 feet high, the product of [...]

Berlin Tower Lift-Off

LinkScroll down for today’s pictures & links. Berlin Tower Lift-Off! This countdown happened recently in Berlin, where they decided to further rid themselves of the architectural reminders from the communist past, and thus sent Berlin TV tower into space on a clandestine mission: watch it in higher-res here (made by Fabian Tischer). url Today’s pictures & links: The Reconstructed Glory [...]