Soviet Union

The Whisperers

The Whisperers

by Orlando Figes

Penguin, HK$187

Sunday, 28 September, 2008, 12:00am

Red Moon Rising

Red Moon Rising

by Matthew Brzezinski

Times Books, HK$297

A desire for knowledge and exploration was the driving force behind the 20th century's space race, right? Not really, according to Matthew Brzezinski's meticulously researched and clearly written history of Sputnik, the world's first satellite.

11 Nov 2007 - 12:00am

Web users have soft spot for Soviet suffix

Russian internet users are feuding with an international body over a relic of the past - the .su domain name assigned to the country just before the Soviet Union collapsed.

21 Sep 2007 - 12:00am

Who is Dmitri Shostakovich?

Shostakovich (1906 - 1975) had his first music lessons with his mother at age 10. He entered the Leningrad Conservatory at 13.

He had a complex relationship with the Soviet government. He suffered two official denunciations of his music in 1936 and 1948 and the periodic banning of his work. The composer responded to the denunciations through his music.

13 Dec 2006 - 12:00am

Relics of a revolution

Moscow is the Kremlin and Red Square, St Basil's Cathedral and the Bolshoi Ballet. Yes, don't miss them. But for anyone with a penchant for the weird, the wonderful and the woeful, or a fascination with the unique mixture of appalling abuses and extraordinary achievements that was the Soviet Union, Moscow has many other treasures.

30 Jul 2006 - 12:00am

slice of life

Josef Stalin died at the age of 73 of a brain haemorrhage. The Russian public gathered in Red Square in the thousands for a pilgrimage past the open coffin of the dead premier as it lay in the great Hall of Columns in Moscow's Trade Union House.

7 Mar 2006 - 12:00am

Time warp

The steel man stands three metres tall, his chest sculpted in hard ridges, holding a pair of hoops above his head and looking sternly into the future.

14 Oct 2003 - 12:00am

Today in history

In Hong Kong

1961: A large gathering including personalities from stage and screen, prominent members of Chinese literary circles and businessmen, filled the Astor Theatre to pay tribute to Mei Lan-fang, the international stage actor who had died on August 8.

21 Aug 2001 - 12:00am

Where KGB victims fell silent

'IN SOVIET TIMES, a murder or discovery of an unlicensed gun was big news. We dealt with it rapidly and caught the murderer quickly.'

29 Jul 2001 - 12:00am

Malta sells Soviet-ordered ships

The Maltese Government said that Malta Drydocks had sold six cargo ships originally ordered by the former Soviet Union but never paid for or delivered. The sale was announced by Mimcol, the holding company for Malta government investments, which refused to disclose to whom the ships were sold, or for how much.

22 Dec 1997 - 12:00am

KGB files yield literary gems

In January 1988, the poet Vitaly Shentalinsky wrote an open letter to the newspaper of the Writers' Union, Moscow branch, asking for the opening of crucial files locked in the vaults of Lubyanka, the headquarters of the KGB.

20 Sep 1997 - 12:00am

No cause for alarm

President Boris Yeltsin's three-day visit to China will inspire much speculation about the birth of a new Sino-Russian common front towards the United States. In Hong Kong, Wen Wei Po sees the trip as proof of Washington's declining influence in the region.

25 Apr 1996 - 12:00am

Maximum mayhem

When horror writer Stephen King set out to write and direct Maximum Overdrive (Pearl, 9.30 pm), he said he simply wanted to make a junk movie.

He did, but he also made it stupid and boring. Anyone who has the patience to count the number of sensational action sequences, piled on top of one another without a thought for narrative or character, is a better man than I.

3 Apr 1996 - 12:00am

Yeltsin's Russian puzzle

BILL CLINTON'S other major bilateral meeting this week was with Boris Yeltsin, but it did little to clarify the future into which the Russian president is leading his country and what this means for the rest of the world.

26 Oct 1995 - 12:00am

Pondering Patten's future

HOW strange the similarities between Mr Mikhail Gorbachev and Mr Chris Patten. What a coincidence. Perestroika and glasnost, openness and accountability. Both had high ideals, both 'died' by the sword that they had themselves made. One from a communist society and one from a capitalist society, but how to tell the difference.

16 Oct 1995 - 12:00am