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Category: Edutainment

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Future Moscow 🤖⭐️

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🔔 Russia Beyond

As part of its anti-religious campaign, the Bolsheviks closed, destroyed and dismantled thousands of churches.

The surviving ones were closed. Many were repurposed as houses of culture and pioneers, while others were converted into warehouses, sanatoriums and planetariums; some even became morgues and prisons.

So, what happened to the country's most famous Russian Orthodox churches?

🔔 Russia Beyond


Today’s lesson is dedicated to those who are visiting Russia for the first time (or have just made a Russian friend) and don’t really understand what the language!

Phrases from the video:
🇷🇺Можно помедленнее, пожалуйста?
🇬🇧Can you go slower please?

🇷🇺Простите, я не расслышала.
🇬🇧Sorry, I didn't quite get that.

🇷🇺Извините, можете повторить?
🇬🇧Sorry, can you repeat?

🇷🇺Я вас не понимаю, можете говорить не так быстро?
🇬🇧I don't understand, could you speak a little slower?

🇷🇺Вы говорите по-английски?
🇬🇧Do you speak English?

🍀Good luck with talking to Russians!


Watch more interesting videos on my instagram channel!

🔔 Russia Beyond

Did you know there was a Leo Tolstoy Jr.? 😱

The great Russian writer had 13 children, one of which he named after himself.
All his life, Leo Jr. strived to become a writer, and even tried to challenge his father through his own literary experiments. However, he never managed to get out of the shadow of his famous namesake. Indeed, what culture would be able to handle two Leo Tolstoys?!

💬 "My son Leo had a distinctive feature in common with his father. It consisted of a permanent quest and permanent dissatisfaction. It is difficult to find satisfaction on such a path, as any perfection is unattainable and permanent strife and struggle are tiring in the end," wrote his mother, Sofia Andreyevna, who understood the dramatic tension in her son's life.

Leo Jr. had nine children from his first marriage, and he also named one of them Leo (sadly, the boy died at the age of only two).
In 1909, Leo Jr. left his pregnant wife. After the Bolshevik Revolution, she emigrated to Europe together with the children, where Leo himself later moved. He remarried and had a son, but the marriage soon broke up. Leo Tolstoy Jr spent the rest of his days living either with his adult sons or his sister Tatyana.

📷 State Literary Museum of L.N.Tolstoy

🔔 Russia Beyond

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Waterfalls, icy rivers, arctic lakes - these unbelievable around the Far Northern city of Norilsk await anyone who dares venture there!

Video by: Anna Sorokina / Russia Beyond

🔔 Russia Beyond

‘GDR’, of course, cannot be called an exercise in the genre of alternative history – the scriptwriters still preserved the basic events of the era, but they did take a very creative approach to their explanation and interpretation.

According to the authors of the series, the flight of German amateur pilot Matthias Rust, who landed on a bridge next to the Red Square in May 1987, was a CIA special operation.

🔔 Russia Beyond

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Immerse yourself in an icy world and feel the magic that surrounds you on the shores of Baikal! ❄️🐉🧜‍♀️

Video by: Ruptly

🔔 Russia Beyond

A Gothic-style Russian Orthodox church? Easy.

Photo on the left depicts the Chesme Church in St. Petersburg. In 1770, Catherine the Great ordered the building of this church in honor of the victory of the Russian fleet in the ‘Battle of Chesme’.

By the way, the church also has a “twin”.
In photo on the right, an exact copy of the temple is pictured. In 1790, court singer Mark Poltoratsky built it in his estate Krasnoye, Tver Region.

📷 A. Savin, WikiCommons; Shadow-cat93 (CC BY-SA 4.0)

🔔 Russia Beyond

Where did the blue & pink baby ribbons come from?

When leaving the hospital, babies are swaddled in a blanket, which is often decorated with colored ribbons. For boys, it is blue or light blue, while, for girls, it is red or pink. So, why these particular colors?

The tradition is rooted in royal times. In the Russian Empire, the highest state awards were the ‘Order of St. Andrew’ — for men; and the ‘Order of St. Catherine’ — for women. Order insignia was worn on the ribbons: in the first case, on blue, in the second, on red. Emperor Paul I ordered that each newborn member of the imperial house be awarded them at baptism.

So, a new tradition appeared, which eventually spread to all newborns — not only high-born.

🔔 Russia Beyond

Why was it believed that February 29 brings bad luck?

Slavs considered February 29 as the day of the patron of death, ‘Koschei the Immortal’. With the advent of Orthodoxy, this date became a holiday of St. John Cassian the Theologian, commonly referred to as ‘Kasyan’. It was generally believed that he brings a lot of misfortune. Kasyan the Unforgiving, Kasyan the Envious, Kasyan the Crooked, Kasyan the Malmemorable - folk tales endowed him with the most unpleasant characteristics.

People believed that Kasyan could set a man on fire just by looking at him, and strike people and livestock with diseases. Some legends said that Kasyan went over to Satan's side and became a guardian of the Gates of Hell. For this, the Lord allegedly ordered to beat him on the forehead with a hammer for three years in a row and, only on the fourth year, let Kasyan return to Earth.

Therefore, on Kasyan's day people did not wed and, generally, stayed indoors doing nothing, not letting strangers into the house and placing amulets around the stables. Some were afraid to do household chores before sunrise - this time was considered the most dangerous - and tried to sleep until dinner. It was believed that those born on February 29 would be haunted by misfortune. One couldn’t share one’s plans on that day - they were bound to get upset. Do you believe in such omens?

Credit: mbbirdy/Getty Images; Public Domain; Public Domain

🔔 Russia Beyond

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In an exhilarating final match of the 2nd All-Russian Women's Hockey Spartakiad, Krasnoyarsk Region scored a 2:1 victory over the Republic of Bashkortostan 🎉

Video by: Ruptly

🔔 Russia Beyond

Luzhin House is the main attraction of the small town of Kimry in Tver Region. A unique wooden mansion in Art Nouveau style was built in 1906 by a bread merchant named Alexey Luzhin.

It turns out that the ‘terem’ has a twin or, better to say, a “forefather”! Luzhin was inspired by a photo he saw in a magazine. It depicted a bathhouse in the Peschanka Estate, not far from the St. Petersburg suburbs of Gatchina.

The house from the archive photo was built in 1902 by architect Alexander Vladovsky for the owner of the estate, the sworn attorney F.M. von Kruse. Unfortunately, the house in Peschanka has not survived to this day.

📷 Maria Savina/Eksmo, 2024; Poslednie Izvestia newspaper

🔔 Russia Beyond

Forward from: Docuplanet x Artel.doc
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One of the world’s most recognizable buildings sits in the very heart of Moscow. Do you know what it is?

St. Basil's Cathedral was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible to commemorate his victory over the Kazan Khanate, and is veiled in enigma. There’s an old legend that Ivan blinded the architects so they could never again build anything so beautiful, others say its dazzling domes were brought from Kazan. With architectural echoes of Gothic churches and even the Taj Mahal, its officially name is ‘the Cathedral of the Intercession on the Moat’ but it’s much more widely known as St. Basil's in honor of Basil the Blessed. This revered holy figure, who it’s said performed miracles, even scared the fearless Ivan. What other secrets lie within its walls?

St. Basil’s: an Icon of Russia / 2021

🌍 Join Documentary Planet for more!

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If you haven't visited Altai in the fall yet, it's definitely worth adding to your travel list! 🍁🏔️

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🔔 Russia Beyond

St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow and the Church of the Savior on the Blood in St. Petersburg. Can you tell which one is which? Are they actually doppelgangers?

At a quick glance at the photo, one could easily confuse the St. Petersburg temple and its "big brother" in Moscow.
According to popular legend, in the 16th century, Ivan the Terrible commissioned the Moscow church to be built and ordered to gouge out the eyes of the architects after, so that they would not build anything as beautiful as St. Basil's Cathedral.

Nevertheless, a lookalike was built in Russia in the 19th century. How come?
And it was St. Basil's Cathedral that determined the trend for the late 19th century ‘Russian style’ in architecture. The abundance of red brick, ornamental elements, ‘kokoshniks’, carved decor, etc…
Emperor Alexander III personally approved the project of the Church on the Blood built on the site where his father was killed. And it was him to green light the ‘Russian style’ for the church. And the Savior on the Blood, opened in 1907, stands out from the general baroque-classical appearance of St. Petersburg.

📷 Legion media

🔔 Russia Beyond

Do you know how the nickname "the Russian Bear" came about?

Trained bears performing a variety of tricks appeared in Europe back in the 16th century and, even on the maps of that time, the territory of Muscovy was designated with the figure of a giant bear. But, where did they come from?

In 1571, Ivan the Terrible decided to marry for a third time and out of a list of 2,000 eligible women, he chose Marfa Sobakina, the daughter of a Kolomna noble. The wedding was celebrated at Alexandrova Sloboda and wandering minstrels and trained bears where on hand to entertain the newly-weds and their guests.

The locals had long pursued a particular trade - they taught bear cubs various tricks and performed with them at fairs, to the delight of spectators. They even got as far as Europe, wowing audiences there by showing off what their ursine charges could do.

The trained bears from Sergach could perform up to 50 tricks. They walked on their hind legs, portrayed a woman smartening herself up in front of a mirror and pretended to shoot with a bow and arrow. Then, cap in hand, they would go round the assembled spectators collecting money for their performance.

However, it was one thing to see the amazing animals entertaining people at a market and quite another to witness a march-past of serried ranks of hundreds of bears. French prisoners in Sergach during the War of 1812 were left with ambivalent feelings. They had been trying to convince locals that Napoleon was about to send in French reserves against which the Russians would be unable to defend themselves. But they got the reply: "If necessary, we'll send in the bears." And a very particular parade took place in Sergach the next day. More than a thousand bears came marching on their hind legs, pressing a stick against their shoulder as if wielding a weapon. The French were left speechless.

Credit: Public domain, Legion Media, State Historical Museum,, François Nicholas Riss

🔔 Russia Beyond

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