Myths and facts about Russia II

Welcome back to "Myths and facts about Russia" series! Got lost? Page one is right here.

There are countless facts about Russia I'd like to tell about, but I guess I won't live long enough. Oh well. At least I can deal with the "nastiest" of the myths!

So which one gets to be destroyed next?

AK-47 "Kalashnikov"

No movie ever does without them. Yep, these assault rifles are the pride of Soviet army, and probably the best-known brand our country has managed to create. Many people consider it a "super weapon" that has no peers. Well, that's not quite true.

"Kalashnikov" was originally created in 1947, and has since been in use. In fact, there are more copies made of this rifle than of all other assault rifles in the world COMBINED!

Myths and facts about Russia. Kalashnikov AK-47 by markk2 at Flickr.com

Wouldn't you kill to have one?

No wonder it's so popular with Hollywood!

This weapon is reliable and cheap, but it's crude and frankly - outdated. These days, it's being replaced with more reliable guns like "Nikonov" and "PP-2000". The only reason Russia still uses it is the price of retrofitting.

Valenki

Thought everyone in Russia wears those? Well, think again!

You can't really wear them in the city - too dirty, too wet. Winters have been nasty recently - probably due to global warming, and valenki are of no big help in Moscow.

Facts about Russia. Valenki by akk_rus at Flickr.com

Choose your size!

On the other hand, they make great winter boots! Valenki is the first thing you need in any Russian village when it's cold. Made of pressed wool, they are warm, soft and comfortable.

When the snow lies around in piles, it can easily get into your shoes. Well, valenki take care of that! Nasty snow will stay where it was thanks to the fact that valenki are completely seamless. Unless you dive into a snow bank - you'll be fine...

...although you should try it once!

Perestroika

"Gorbachev","Glasnost","Perestroika"... rings the bell? I'm sure it does!

These words are veeery popular in the West - and they surely became the symbol of new country.A symbol of hope.

In the West, these words became one of the best-known facts about Russia!

Never before had we heard them. Never before were we allowed to criticize the government. Never before could we trade freely without being prosecuted for "speculation".

"Perestroika" means rebuilding,changing the established order for the better one.

...and boy was Russia rebuilt!

"Kalinka Malinka"

"Kalinka, kalinka, kalinka moya..."

I have no idea why this song became so popular. Maybe because it was the only thing we allowed the world to see?

Then again, there may be another reason for that - it's really, really Russian. Some people don't like it, they say it's a total kitsch.

That may be, but when you hear "Kalinka"- you won't mistake it for Ukrainian, no sir! You'll immediately know it's Russian.

Now that's what I call a brand!

KGB

Oh, yes, the almighty Russian KGB. It's called "FSB" these days, which stands for "Federal Security Bureau".

The KGB was very powerful in the past. It controlled almost everything, and people were really scared of it.

This little team of enthusiasts could come at night, grab you by the neck and make the world never see you again.

Facts about Russia. KGB building by Acid Zebra at Flickr.com

This place still gives me the chills!

Nice, huh? Well, it's not like that anymore!

It's true that Russia's prime minister Vladimir Putin comes from KGB. I don't like that and I don't think people like him should be allowed in government. We do feel a decline in freedoms these days, but you still can't compare it to how it was.

The KGB is gone for good - I doubt it will ever return. We have some political problems these days, but nothing we couldn't fix.

Russia has changed!




Related posts: