I'm all of ready to answer any of them.

nitin1 commented: why are you doing this ? ;) +0

Playing to the stereotypes: What's the best brand of vodka?

commented: excellent question!! ;) +0

Here there is no such a notion as "brand of vodka".
People choose it judging and relying on which local distillery it was produced.
If my pal sends me to the shop to buy a bottle he says: don't buy our (from our town) vodka, buy either from Minsk or Brest's.

But actually it's not the vodka (in historical sense of this word). It's a solution of ethanol (C2H5OH, made from wheat or rye or from oil or even wood - we can't know its origin for sure) in more or less pure water.

The true vodka it's so called "samogon" ("homebrewage") which is really made/distilled from wheat. What we buy in shops is rectified product.

People choose it judging and relying on which local distillery it was produced.
If my pal sends me to the shop to buy a bottle he says: don't buy our (from our town) vodka, buy either from Minsk or Brest's.

That's very much like beer in Germany. I lived there for a year and when my friends want to know what the best german beer is, it's hard to tell, cause, in Germany, you rarely drink a beer that wasn't brewed somewhere in a 20km radius from the bar you're in. Every town's got its local beer(s) and it's almost blasphemous to drink anything else.

I was just asking about vodka cause people always associate Russia with vodka, and I never found a russian / old-eastern-bloc vodka that I liked, compared to swedish, finnish or balt vodkas. But I remember trying some Minskaya Krystall at one time, and it was pretty decent.

I'm all of ready to answer any of them.

A friend of mine from Romania told me a bit about growing up in the Soviet era school system. Did you grow up in that too? And what was that like?

Yes, I was growing up at those times (my DOB is June 1 (Monday), 1964).
And you know, mike_2000_17, I can't say anything special about it, apart from that the Soviet educational system was just a superb one and the share of "communistic" propaganda in it was not too annoying for us, schoolgirls & schoolboys. In general, we simply ignored it.

I don't miss much the USSR but I must admit: the USSR had many advantages for ordinary people. E.g., absolutely free high education for any able girls/guys etc.

in which field, russians are best ? ;-)

in which field, russians are best ? ;-)

In the boozing around.
In the cosmic technologies & aviation.
In general, the Russian character is the character of a dreamer.
Wrap your troubles in dreams and ... dream on ... =)
Russian soul requires an endless jubilation, while neglecting its tedious daily chores.

Are the Russians boozing so much to keep their blood from freezing?

No, it's not the main reason (not a reason at all).
The aim of their boozing is to forget abt the Earthy Life and to merge with
Celestial Spheres. A kind of escapism. Russians get bored very quickly from anything.
They could easily send an expedition even to Pluto, but alas they are bored by Cosmos.
Also they are inclined to drop their undertakings on half-way.

Actually & formally I'm not a Russian but a Bielorussian (i.e., White Russian). But it's all the same; no difference. Here, in Belarus, nobody speaks our Bielorussian language (much more old one than current Russian). And the both langs are (in)direct descendants of Sanscrit.

About 10-15 years ago I came across a book by Valentin Zorin (he was a complete Kremlin's journalist and talented one). The book's title was "Americans" (published in 1967 by "State Publishing House for Children" ("Detghiz")).

I was amazed how warmly he depicts Americans and America itself and esp. Kennedy brothers.
Zorin considers billionair Harold Hunt as who killed John Kennedy. Btw, Zorin met H. Hunt in a house of the latter, for an interview.

Later on Zorin asked his american colleages: what the hell is with Hunt's hair?
They explained it to him: Mr. Hunt cut his own hair... hehe...

As a chaser for vodka I like hot & very strong black tea: one draught of vodka, then 2 or 3 draughts of tea (no any sugar!!! by no means!!!). As a snack for it: smth very light & salty; e.g., caviar, fish, meat (and again, by no means any fruits, vegs, bread etc).

It's the Russians too ... (translated by Google)
Btw, till 2009 I knew nothing about this "Tzar H-Bomb".
More precisely, I was never interested to know anything about it.

The most powerful bomb explosion

16.12.2008 #191-192 - "Narodnaya Volya" (a bielorussian newspaper)
Author: Nikolai Grechanik, a former Soviet military pilot, Brest

Day 30 October 1961 was not included in the calendar of the USSR as a day of
national pride Soviet people, but was proud of what. About the Record -
sinister, of course, but in many displaced - then we have not learned.
October 30, 1961 in a clear sky over New Earth lit up a second sun! It
burned 70 seconds, illuminating huge snowy archipelago piercing glare. It
was the most powerful in the world thermonuclear explosion of air power more
than 50 megatons of TNT.

To explode "Tsar Bomb" began to prepare for the five years ahead of the day.
However, the in the language of the military was called the Atomic Bomb
quite prosaic - "Article 202".

Eight-meter diameter of two meters of product weighed 26 tons! To pick up in
the air such a machine, required special modifications, long-range strategic
Bomber "Tu-95". Choose the best type of suspension - "polunaruzhny"

In this case, the language of the documents, "bomb bay doors were modified
to hull form products with drowning them inside the fuselage. "According to
the plan test bomb had exploded in the air above the ground. For this had to
develop a unique parachute system.

By late September, the plane "TU-95-202" was transferred to the Kola
Peninsula. The place to start testing in the New Earth he would be from the
air "deer".

And day of the explosion came... October 30 at 9 hours 27 minutes-in-command
Major Andrew Durnovtsev ship lifted superheavy car into the air. After him
took off and the plane-laboratory "Tu-16". At the same ranks, they moved to
a strictly secrecy route - Deer - Cape Kanin Nos - Rogachevo - Pankov land -
district reset. Making sure that all systems are working normally,
aircraft-laboratory soon left for 15 kilometers ahead to retire from
the epicenter of the explosion. Major Durnovtsev and his entire crew of
eight people have had to make unprecedented in the history of the planet
explosion in the air, and no one could ensure their safe return.

How to tell the head of the Office of the test Zemlya test site
Seraphim M. Kulikov, with altitude 10,500 meters in 11 hours. 30 minutes.
Bomb thrown at a target in Matochkina Bowl. Tension culminated crew -
separation from the aircraft cargo weighing 26 tons was very noticeable: the
plane responded to vibration. The pilot of this effect is extinguished, and
all the attention of the crew focused on separate these items. It began
operation stage pilot parachute that pulls the main parachute 1600 square
meters. The bomb was to go down smoothly.

Then, to the crew of the carrier and trial participants in the land came
tedious wait explosion. By calculation, the product prior to the explosion
should decrease 3-3.5 minutes. Cockpit are covered with protective opaque
curtains, crew members wearing sun glasses.

Finally, it has happened - to 188-second mark after the separation of the
island of New superbomb Land rush of prolonged radiation of unprecedented
brightness. The flash was observed in for 65-70 seconds, and the brightest
part of it - for 25-30 seconds. Explosion products occurred at the height of
4000 meters. At the time of the outbreak aircraft carrier located at a
distance of 40 kilometers from the explosion, and the plane-laboratory -
away 55 kilometers. After the end of the light exposure pilots pending
arrival shock switched to manual control. The shock wave worked on aircraft
repeatedly. The strength of it was quite apparent, however, difficulties in
piloting have arisen.

However pilots experienced many unpleasant moments. During an outbreak in
the cockpit was hot, there was a smell of burning, from the workplace
navigator-bombardier pulled smoke. Fortunately, the fire did not happen. The
hardest hit was in the aft cabin facing the explosion. There's even a pilot
burned face and hands.

When shooting a cloud explosion was observed approaching the shock wave in
the form of an expanding sphere blue. The first wave was the most tangible -
a powerful explosion rocked plane! The second wave was weaker, and the third
was seen as a weak push.

With the passage of shock waves through the aircraft barometric devices
began to give inflated readings, hands them a few times turned in different

The development of cloud explosion lasted 8-9 minutes, and the height of the
upper edge reached 15-16 kilometers in diameter of 30-40 kilometers. Color
was purple clouds, and the base - blue-gray. After 10-12 minutes after the
explosion cloud dome was dissolve in the wind, and after 15 minutes the
cloud took elongated.

Aircraft-laboratory "Tu-16" under the command of Major K.Lyasnikova got
truly suicidal mission: to head for the fireball and explore "how the
nuclear explosion on the plane with the front hemisphere, "- and went to do
the job! Lyasnikov recalled: "After the explosion, we saw a bright light.
But one thing - immediately deploy plane back, and another - to go straight
to flash! Look, the fungus is not only fireball rages, swells. Then it was
the size of a kilometer and more dirty. Black column lifts and throws it up!
Urgent need unfold - or death. A ball-cloud for almost near. When one's eyes
close - pandemonium is bigger than in the horror film ... Until you comply
instruction at a time? Do under seventy degrees tilt - unbelievable turn
laid at the height of eleven thousand miles! And it makes..."

Not all his nerve. One of the pilots, who went to the nuclear "storm",
honestly admitted the chief probation Office Seraphim Mikhailovich Kulikov:
"Seraphim, do not swear, do not disgrace me - the task could not fully
implement. Ahead we have established a wall of fire, swirling, ominous,
eerie. It has broken down, and we turned around cloud explosion in the
distance, far from the target."

The most powerful explosion on the planet - the main developer and his
ideologist was Andrei Sakharov - bore the serial number 130. It was the
single biggest military propaganda action century, and perhaps in all of

After the Super explosion was timed to the next - XXII - Party Congress!
Delegates to were unaware of the gift, which prepared them to own "defense"...

One thing is certain - "The Great October explosion" Khrushchev gave
confidence in superiority of Soviet nuclear weapons, with which he was held
in a year heady days of the Cuban missile crisis.

As a chaser for vodka I like hot & very strong black tea: one draught of vodka, then 2 or 3 draughts of tea (no any sugar!!! by no means!!!). As a snack for it: smth very light & salty; e.g., caviar, fish, meat (and again, by no means any fruits, vegs, bread etc).

This couldn't sound any more Russian, black tea + vodka + caviar.

What's the best russian dish? In your opinion.

I like "stchi" (from fresh (not sour!) cabbage and with fatty pork).
Also, I like "rassol'nik" and "stchi" from leaves of fresh-cut kettle.
What else... I don't know what to say =) I don't like "borstch".
The generation, which could cook our national dishes, went away.

Mathematician Grisha Perelman is not a pure Russian (he's a Jew), but actually he's more a Russian than many "pure" Russians, when he rejected awards and the prize's money. He was fired from Institute of Mathematics because he was constantly refusing to write monthly (or weekly?) reports on what has been done by him during last month/week.

"X" There are a couple of things I would like to ask:

  • Do Russians drink vodka similar to the way the Polish drink vodka? (a 6 ounce glass straight in one gulp, followed by chaser)
  • Sitting alone at a table with a bottle of vodka; if you run 2 fingers down your lapel, you are asking for 2 people to come help - 3 fingers, 3 people?
  • Has the Russian Orthodox church become a political power again?

I have more but I will have to organize my thoughts a little more. Years ago, a Polish fishing crew and ship stopped in Seattle; I helped them find a licquer store and we ended up on their boat drinking vodka with orange juice chaser and eating sausages. I knew no Polish and they knew no English but 'No Problem' - it was fun and funny.


Say, 1 fl oz = 30 ml.
Means: 6 ounces = 180 ml.
Then answer is "yes". There are many russian men who can drink it (and even more) in one gulp.
But usual dose of the gulp is ~2-3 ounces. It depends on the social status of the drinkers. Personally I'm able to drink in one gulp ~0.7 ounce only. Note: true alcoholics strongly prefer cheap plonk over vodka (and not because the plonk is cheaper).
These our local plonks are real poison, much worse than any H-bomb. And nobody here knows how & from what it is made of.
(to be continued)

I've never met namely this habit, but, of course, there is smth similar to it (but without "secret signalling by fingers").

Russian Orthodox Church (ROC).

Has the Russian Orthodox church become a political power again?

Definitely not. Its train had gone for good and long time ago. Now ROC is a kind of some historical decorations. If it'd vanish into thin air the event pass unnoticed for 99.99% of Russia's population. What I think is: Kremlin doesn't simply know how to solve real problems of the society & the country, so they invent soap-bubble "problems" ("Pussy Riot", "salvation of rare cranes by Putin alone" etc). For abt 15 last years each January I hear from TV set abs the same words: "war on corruption", "this time and this year the corruption will be defeated finally" etc etc etc.