Interview with Paul E. Richardson, author of Resilience: Life Stories of Centenarians Born in the Year of Revolution

Interview with Paul E. Richardson, author of Resilience: Life Stories of Centenarians Born in the Year of Revolution

Paul E. Richardson, publisher and editor of Russian Life magazine, discusses his latest book spotlighting the stories of 22 Russian centenarians born in 1917, the year of the Russian Revolution. The stories of these elders are told with tenderness and sympathy, and rigorous research and meticulous planning went into their telling. Read More


Maritime Magnetism at Estonia’s Seaplane Harbor Museum

Maritime Magnetism at Estonia’s Seaplane Harbor Museum

Housed in a renovated concrete seaplane hangar from 1916 whose high domed walls give it a space-age appearance, the Seaplane Harbor Museum in Tallinn, Estonia, is a cutting-edge interactive place with floor-to-ceiling exhibits, including a 1937 submarine, a full-size replica of a WWI Short 184 seaplane, and the wreck of the 16th century wooden sailing ship, the Maasilinn.  Read More


The Riveting Story of the Trans-Siberian Railway

The Riveting Story of the Trans-Siberian Railway

The fabled Trans-Siberian Railway rolls briskly across seven time zones and 5,772 miles of taiga, steppe, and mountain, pausing along the way in places that bring travelers face to face with the fascinating cultures of Russia. As one of the longest rail lines on earth, it’s no surprise that this legendary railway has an equally legendary history. Our historical rundown features a free downloadable map showing the most significant highlights of the Trans-Siberian’s story. Read More



Hidden Hutongs: A Peek Into Old Beijing by Pedicab (VIDEO)

Hidden Hutongs: A Peek Into Old Beijing by Pedicab (VIDEO)

There’s far more to Beijing than the remnants of its grand imperial past or Chairman Mao’s legacy. Tucked away beneath the city’s most impressive attractions, one can still find a slice of real Chinese life in the hutongs, or narrow alleyways, that make up the heart of old Beijing. Here’s a glimpse of some of the sights and sounds you might find in Beijing’s vibrant hutong neighborhoods, seen from the backseat of a pedicab. Read More


Witnessing the Fall of the USSR: Katya’s Memories of St. Petersburg, August 1991

Witnessing the Fall of the USSR: Katya’s Memories of St. Petersburg, August 1991

It’s been 28 years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. We’re marking the anniversary (and the 30th anniversary of MIR) with eyewitness accounts from MIR colleagues and contacts. Katya Boyarskaya, Director of our affiliate office in St. Petersburg, was living there during the time of the 1991 August Coup. Here’s her story. Read More



Witnessing the Fall of the USSR: Doug’s Memories of August 1991

Witnessing the Fall of the USSR: Doug’s Memories of August 1991

It's been 28 years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. We're marking the anniversary with eyewitness accounts from MIR colleagues and contacts. In this installment, Doug shares his memories of the fateful days of the August coup in 1991, and his travels from Seattle to Moscow to Kamchatka in the Russian Far East. Read More


4 Must-See WWII Sites in St. Petersburg: The Siege of Leningrad

4 Must-See WWII Sites in St. Petersburg: The Siege of Leningrad

St. Petersburg: Russia’s capital of art and culture, with extravagant palaces, magnificent theaters, world-renowned museums and miles of canals. But during the Second World War, Leningrad (as St. Petersburg was known then) was an entirely different sight. Here are our recommendations for four must-see sights where you can pay tribute to the heroic deeds of this enduring city: Read More


Witnessing the Fall of the USSR: The August Coup, 1991

Witnessing the Fall of the USSR: The August Coup, 1991

It's been 28 years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. We're marking the anniversary with eyewitness accounts from MIR colleagues and contacts. This installment is from Annie Lucas, then tour manager and now MIR’s vice president. She was leading one of her first few MIR tours to Russia. In her early 20s, she had done this several times before, but it was still new to her. And on this trip, her own father (Bud Lucas, who kindly let us use his photos) had signed up to be one of the participants, making it even more important to her that the trip go smoothly. As Annie and her group of travelers packed for the coach ride into Russia, they heard the news on Finnish TV: Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the Soviet Union, was said to be ill and confined to his dacha. A State of Emergency had been declared and an Emergency Committee formed to take the reins of government while he was recovering. That was all anybody knew. Read More