December 8, 2009 |
In the snow-hushed woods on Moscow's northern edge, scientists are decades deep into research on bending the weather to their will. They've been at it since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin paused long enough in the throes of World War II to found an observatory dedicated to tampering with climatic inconveniences. Since then, they've melted away fog, dissipated the radioactive fallout from Chernobyl and called down rains fierce enough to drown unborn locusts threatening the distant northeastern grasslands.
February 10, 2008 |
Moscow's $4-billion Crystal Island development won preliminary planning approval during the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, just as Russians were beginning to need a glittering distraction from short, bleak winter days. Eye-popping images of the hugely ambitious project, designed for a site on the Moscow River by the British architect Norman Foster, more than fit the bill.
June 10, 2001 |
What's white, falls from the sky and marks the change of seasons in the Russian capital? In winter--snow. In summer--"pookh." Pookh is the fluff released by the blossoms of the poplar tree. As soon as the temperature changes in Moscow, waves of white come floating out of the sky, blowing past windows, drifting along sidewalks and piling up in doorways. It's as if Mother Nature had a vicious sense of humor. Around here, snow lingers through the spring and can fall in May.
June 24, 2007 |
Deep underground in a Cold War-era nuclear bomb shelter, guide Alexei Alexandrov did his best to set a spooky mood, starting with his 1960s Soviet army uniform. "Please don't split away from the group," he somberly warned visitors to the labyrinth of tunnels shaped into cavernous rooms and lengthy hallways, "or you may get lost in the dark and end up shot by a guard by mistake."
October 28, 2006 |
Movie producer Rauf Atamalibekov had just finished a late-night dinner with a scriptwriter for a film about American and Soviet atomic weapons scientists in the late 1940s, and some fresh ideas had come up that needed further research. It was well past midnight, but Atamalibekov, 42, dropped into an all-night bookstore, hoping to find information about the history of Russian spies in the United States. He ended up buying a book about Nazi Germany's atomic bomb effort.
April 18, 2004 |
Tens of thousands of Muscovites turned out to scrub, paint or sweep Russia's capital in the annual subbotnik, or spring cleaning. The custom of giving up time one spring weekend to spruce up parks, streets and courtyards began in 1919. Like many aspects of Soviet life, it now has nostalgic appeal. This year's participants appeared to enjoy scrubbing Moscow, which is left covered with litter and mud when the snow melts after five months of fierce winter.