Voices from Russia

Monday, 12 March 2018

12 March 2018. Only in Russia… What is Nearest to the Russian Heart?


“Drink is the joy of the Rus… we couldn’t live without it!”

Thus it was in the time of St Vladimir… thus it is today. As it was, as it is, as it ever shall be… now, pass the bottle, it’s my turn…



Tuesday, 1 September 2015

1 September 2015. Animal Funnies… Three on a Bottle…

00 three squirrels 290815


“Three on a bottle” is an old Russian custom. In the Sov time, three guys would get together, each one would pony up a rouble, that’d be enough to buy a bottle of vodka and a package of processed cheese… for everybody knows that only drunks drink without eating something to go along with it. Yup… this was another “insider” “tribal” joke… but now you know too…

Who IS gonna go and get the cheese? We’re not a bunch of drunks, y’know…


Saturday, 17 January 2015

How to Drink Vodka with Russians… and Not Get Drunk


This is a poster for the famous Sov 1961 comedy Самогонщики (Samogonshchiki: The Moonshiners)… click here and watch it (along with another short that comes first)… there’s no dialogue… just fun. Have a drink (or two) and smile!


With the New Year just around the corner, the chance of visitors to Russia not being asked to join the locals for a few celebratory drinks is extremely slim. However, what steps should you take to make sure a traditional vodka session doesn’t leave your head spinning by midnight? RBTH offers useful tips on how best to prepare for a New Year’s feast and avoid its less welcome side effects. When it comes to stereotypes about Russia, there are few more potent than the natives’ supposed attachment to drinking vodka. Foreigners often wonder, “Why do Russians love vodka so much?” Still, with New Year celebrations upon us, another question becomes more topical, “How should you drink vodka with Russians?”

Some attribute Russians’ supposed extraordinary ability to drink a lot of vodka to genetics. However, Russians themselves say that this ability has nothing to do with biology; in fact, it’s rooted in Russian traditions. Often, Russian businessman Artyom Minayev invites foreigners to Moscow restaurants to discuss business; he’s concluded that foreigners don’t know how to drink vodka, saying, “The biggest problem with Europeans, Americans, and the Chinese is that they drink and don’t take any food immediately after. So, after a second or third shot it’s no longer possible to talk to them about work! Russians love vodka because it really does warm you up and because it goes so well with Russian cuisine. When you drink vodka, you should do it with some fatty foods, even if it’s just sour cream! You can have boiled or fried potatoes with it, bread, sausage, cheese, or oily fish. There are numerous snacks that are not at all expensive and that’ll prevent you from getting drunk”.

There are Other Secrets, Too

Many Russians, before sitting down to their New Year feast, consume a raw egg. They say that it’s the best way of making sure that one will last the whole evening and leave the table sober. However, doctors are categorically opposed to this method because raw eggs are the easiest way of contracting salmonella. If you have concerns on that score too, you can just drink a tablespoonful of sunflower oil. On his first visit to Moscow, Santiago Fonseca from Mexico made some thorough preparations for the New Year party he was going to have with his girlfriend’s friends, fearing that otherwise he wouldn’t be able to make it through the night. He said, “I’d read that fat prevents alcohol absorption, so, I drank several spoons of oil and ate two potatoes. It’s hard to believe it, but I remained sober… even having drunk a whole bottle of rather dubious vodka!” Having said that, it’s also very important not to overeat and not to eat too many starchy and sweet foods, despite the fact that fat helps you to stay sober, as they generate more work for the liver and pancreas, making it more difficult for them to process alcohol.

Vodka Etiquette and How to Avoid a Hangover

Anastasiya Knezhevich sells numerous varieties of vodka at her shop and spends a lot of time explaining to foreigners how people consume vodka in Siberia, where she’s originally from, saying, “I think the problem with foreigners is that they mix vodka in cocktails and sip vodka slowly. I keep telling them that you have to drink vodka in one go and exhale through the nose and not the mouth. That’s why Russians are capable of drinking a lot of vodka and remaining alive afterwards”.

According to Minayev, at a Russian dinner party it’s important for a foreigner to show that they’re a friendly person. To that end, it’s necessary to drink the first two or three shots, after which it’s possible to take a break to save energy for more to come. He observed, “When a foreigner is ready to have another shot of vodka, they need to take the bottle and fill the glasses of all those present. Once, I was at one dinner where a Japanese guest kept pouring vodka only into his own glass. It was so tactless that nobody wanted to invite him ever again. Incidentally, he never managed to sign the important contracts that he had come to Moscow to sign”.

If none of the recommendations above proves useful in your case, here is another piece of advice from RBTH… first thing the next morning, drink a glass of salty water or pickle brine. This is the most effective ancient remedy against hangovers and headaches… many Russians swear by it.

31 December 2014

Mariya Grigoryan

Russia Behind the Headlines



The basics of the best Russian drinking toasts

Russian hangover remedies: Cucumbers, caviar, and a bath

The top 10 requirements for a stereotypical Russian New Year

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

23 October 2013. Have a RUSSIAN Smile… How the Russians (Along with Help from Will Smith and Gérard Depardieu) Foiled the Space Aliens

00 Russia Day. The alien invasion. Part 1. 23.10.13


00 Russia Day. The alien invasion. Part 2. 23.10.13


Who woulda thunk it? The Earth’s secret weapon is… VODKA! Its most expert practitioners, the Russians, wield it… gee, the aliens won’t have a chance trying to outdrink a bunch of Russkie topers (with a little help from the Polacks and Serbs, who’re just as wild n’ wooly partiers as we are)! Get a load of the penultimate frame… Medvedev in a telnyashka waving about a bottle of hooch… that’s priceless…



On 12 June, Russia gets ready to celebrate Russia Day. All is set when a giant alien spaceship enters the Earth’s orbit and prepares to attack Russia. President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, and French actor Gérard Depardieu are in charge of saving the country and the entire world from an alien invasion. Luckily, for them, Independence Day veteran Will Smith happens to be in Russia for the promotional tour of his latest movie… all is set for yet another inter-space battle of epic proportions. Will our heroes succeed?

In the middle of the Russia Day celebrations on 12 June, a giant alien spaceship threatened the country. Hollywood actor Will Smith, in Moscow on a promotional tour, tries to fight back (Independence Day-style, of course!), but he’s taken as a prisoner. It’s now up to French actor Gérard Depardieu, who recently acquired Russian citizenship, to save Will Smith and the entire country from an alien invasion. He hides inside a matryoshka Trojan horse with a stash of party supplies… will his ingenious plan work?

11/12 June 2013

Russia Behind the Headlines



Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.