Plagiarism detection app vs Russia's elites: 1-2 fake PhDs discovered every day

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Dissernet, a leaderless collective of Russian scientists and journalists scrapes the doctoral dissertations of Russian elites -- who have been attaining advanced degrees at an unprecedented rate -- runs them through plagiarism detection software to flag probable frauds for human review, and publishes the names of officials who've been caught cheating, one or two every day. Read the rest

Russian Embassy in London tweets game screengrab, thinks it's real

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The Russian Embassy in London retweeted a screengrab from Command And Conquer Generals: Zero Hour along with the comment, "Extremists near Aleppo received several truckloads of chemical ammo." People replied with funny tweets.

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Russian Embassy illustrates terrorist bomb truck tweet with bomb truck from "Command and Conquer"

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"Extremists near Aleppo," tweeted the Russian Embassy in London, "received several truckloads of chemical ammo."

And just to make sure the news was sufficiently clear, they attached an image of three trucks loaded with weapons: that is, from the cartoon video game world of Command & Conquer.

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CCCP Cook Book – recipes from the days of Soviet food planners

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Fuel Publishing, based in London, has carved a niche in the book world by creating books that document the small dark corners of Soviet history. You may be familiar with the series of books, Russian Criminal Tattoos, that revealed the language of body ink and the hierarchies of gulags. CCCP Cook Book uses the same obsessive attention to detail to great effect. When your country is wholly dependent on what the obshchina (collective farm) produces, what you eat is a political act. CCCP Cook Book delves deep into the history of dishes beloved by generations of Russians evolved from both the ideal of equal for all and the realities of planned food production in a country of nearly 170 million.

Visually, CCCP Cook Book adheres to Fuel’s high-minded design aesthetic. The full-page photos that illustrate the recipes are faithfully reproduced in the faded colors and garish contrasts that plagued cookbooks (regardless of origin) throughout the mid-century period.

Knowing that “Soviet” in Russian means "assembly" helps understand that Soviet cuisine isn’t necessarily Russian food. Central planners developed recipes based on projected harvests and preserved foods. Fresh herring wasn’t available in Taskent, but tinned (preserved) fish could be distributed throughout the country. Workers were fed meals at their workplaces that helped standardize recipes, as commissary cooks were required to follow the famed manual, “Book of Tasty and Healthy Food.”

That guide purposefully adapted regional dishes into new, improved Soviet recipes. Vorschmack has its roots in Jewish cuisine, but is easily recognized today as our own deviled eggs. Read the rest

Russia bans Polish "Communist Monopoly" board-game

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Kolejka ("Queue") is a popular satirical Polish board game that lampoons life under Stalinist rule; the Russian consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor has banned publisher IPN, the Polish "Institute of National Remembrance," from distributing its Russian version of the game unless they remove "anti-Russian" elements that are "excessively critical" of the USSR. Read the rest

Russia moots ban on discussions about VPNs, reverse proxies, and other anti-censorship techniques

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Russian law provides for a national censorwall that entertainment companies can populate with the URLs of websites they dislike, without much oversight or review (it's similar the system used in the UK in that regard). Read the rest

Russia's military uses gigantic wooden comedy props for punishment

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Russian soldiers who screw up are made to carry gigantic wooden props that illustrate their sins: for example, if you're caught looking at your phone, you have to run around with a massive fake wooden cellphone strapped to your back until you've learned your lesson.

Other punishments include carrying massive guns made out of logs (showing up without your weapon), carrying huge logs painted to look like cigarettes (caught smoking on duty), and carrying massive log-swords (forgetting your bayonet).

Russian Army Punishments [Semper Annoying]

(via Super Punch)

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Europe and Russia just launched a Mars space mission to sniff out signs of life

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A European-Russian spacecraft headed out from our humble little planet to space today, in search for life on Mars.

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Putin orders most Russian troops out of Syria, citing “overall completion” of military goals

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 14, 2016.  REUTERS

Vladimir Putin says Russian troops will begin withdrawing from Syria starting Tuesday, the day which marks 5 years since the start of Syria's bloody civil war. Putin's pledge is a move to help advance U.N.-brokered peace talks that resumed today.

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Rich Russian Kids Instagram feed

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The spawn of Russia's 0.0001% are alive and well, enjoying police escorts, helicopters, ski resorts, private jets, gold-plated Bentleys, megayachts, luxury wristwatches, pet lion cubs, photo opps with Vladimir Putin, and their own Instagram account.

Кто там сказал понедельник день тяжёлый?😂💸🇺🇸🍾👯 - by @alexander_dgr8 #RRK #RichRussianKids #audi #r8 #armanddebrignac #domperignon #villa #la

A photo posted by 🇷🇺 Rich Russian Kids (@richrussiankids) on Feb 15, 2016 at 12:05am PST

Баршаңызға сәлем #RRK из Майами, летим тусить😎 У кого какая погодка сейчас?😉🚁☀️🇺🇸 - by @maks_rr_ w/ @muratx01 #RichRussianKids #helicopter #miami

A photo posted by 🇷🇺 Rich Russian Kids (@richrussiankids) on Feb 20, 2016 at 8:14am PST

Московское время 120🍋₽, получше твоих паленых g шоков😂💸⌚️🔝 - by @invisible #RRK #RichRussianKids #hublot #ulyssenardin #rogerdubius #louismoinet #urwerk #greubelforsey

A photo posted by 🇷🇺 Rich Russian Kids (@richrussiankids) on Feb 20, 2016 at 3:24am PST

Чего там на #RRK нового, ищу компанию на лето😂💸🏎🇮🇹 - by @ml_max #RichRussianKids #mclaren #650s #italy

A photo posted by 🇷🇺 Rich Russian Kids (@richrussiankids) on Feb 18, 2016 at 1:12am PST

Кто там сказал понедельник день тяжёлый?😂💸🇺🇸🍾👯 - by @alexander_dgr8 #RRK #RichRussianKids #audi #r8 #armanddebrignac #domperignon #villa #la

A photo posted by 🇷🇺 Rich Russian Kids (@richrussiankids) on Feb 15, 2016 at 12:05am PST

Summer '15 #tb ☀️🛥🍺 - by @papa__doma #rrk #RichRussianKids #yacht #corona

A photo posted by 🇷🇺 Rich Russian Kids (@richrussiankids) on Dec 23, 2015 at 6:56am PST

GM Miami🇺🇸 - by @polinaaam #rrk #RichRussianKids #miami

A photo posted by 🇷🇺 Rich Russian Kids (@richrussiankids) on Dec 23, 2015 at 2:11am PST

Yacht day☀️🛥 - @anastasiyakot #rrk #RichRussianKids #yacht #mauritius #girls

A photo posted by 🇷🇺 Rich Russian Kids (@richrussiankids) on Dec 13, 2015 at 1:23am PST

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Skulls carved from vegetable matter

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Dimitri Tsykalov, a Russian-born sculptor living in Paris, sculpted a series of gorgeous, haunting skulls out of fruits and vegetables in the mid-2000s (previously), documenting his work with photographic prints. Read the rest

Wolf-themed Russian biker gang is exactly as you expect

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It's like something out of Mad Max: a Russian biker gang-cum-militia wearing wolfy helmets, operating in the ruins of Eastern Ukraine. They are "fiercely loyal" to Vladimir Putin and to Christ, but not to families they left behind. Read the rest

Just a giant bear and his human friend, getting snuggly

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Folks, don't try this with the gigantic bear you have at home.

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Putin: Give Sepp Blatter the Nobel; Trump should be president

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Ole Vlad's figured out how to troll the west: celebrate corrupt, populist strongmen who brazenly lie while fronting for the rich and powerful. Read the rest

Drummer, 3, leads orchestra in the most badass way possible

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Lyonya Shilovsky, a 3-year-old drummer from Russia, leads an orchestra of grown-ups in this cute 2014 video re-making the viral rounds.

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Wikipedia Russia suspends editor who tried to cut deal with Russian authorities

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A Wikipedia editors has been suspended after he organized a meeting with the Russian Federal Drug Control Service (as well as Rospotrebnadzor, a consumer rights watchdog, and Roskomnadzor, a media watchdog) to set terms under which "the expert opinion of authorized government bodies" would be inserted into Wikipedia entires on “socially sensitive” topics. Read the rest

US officials totally cool with classified surveillance leaks, long as it fits their story

Russian Military investigators stand near  debris of a Russian airliner at its crash site in north Egypt, Nov. 1, 2015. REUTERS

In the past few days there have been a flurry of stories about the Russian plane that crashed in the Sinai peninsula, which investigators reportedly think may have been caused by a bomb. Notably, anonymous US officials have been leaking to journalists that they believe ISIS is involved, and it’s a perfect illustration of the US government’s rank hypocrisy when it comes to the Edward Snowden disclosures.

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