Life in Russia looks weird, maybe lonely


I don’t know what it is about Russia but it seems to elude the average North American. Many were raised to hate the Soviets because of the Cold War. Now everything is kosher although we probably hate the fact that their hockey players are undeniably talented, especially come December during the World Juniors. And if you think otherwise, you’re probably Don Cherry’s #1 fan. To the left, please.

My knowledge of Russia is minimal, I’ll be the first to admit it. As a kid I thought everyone in Russia was poor and had to line up for toilet paper. As an adult I realize it’s a vibrant place, yes, yet still a relatively poor nation. And the wealthy are really fucking wealthy.

Now that NHLers are playing in the KHL I’m getting my first glimpse into life in the biggest country in the world. Sure, Evgeni Malkin’s Twitter is chalk full of insight, but he’s just one guy. Now, thanks to social networking we’re hearing tons of stories and seeing some really weird shit.

Things started off normalish with the press clamouring to cover all the big NHL stars signing with their leagues.

And everyone was so excited (!!) about the instant boost of star power they celebrated with cake.

But poor boys like Nail Yakupov, who hasn’t played an NHL game, has to carry his own baggage onto the tiny planes. Our heart bleeds.

Meanwhile, to kill time, guys apparently play a lot of soccer. It’s a shame Geno’s not the popular kid that Alex Semin is.

And with all the attention Semin received after notching a few points with the VHL and potentially heading to the KHL, he’s straight up hanging tough.

Leafs Centre Mikhail Grabovski is all pensive as he looks at his new helmet. But nevermind that, WHO THE FUCK IS THAT GUY?

semin's mascot sema
Russian league mascots are angry as fuck.

stalin bobblehead at khl game
You can peruse the gift shops in their arenas and pick up some Stalin bobbleheads because why the hell not?

Because obviously!

And then back in North America, local players are left slumming it real hard. Poor guys!

Pictures from the Twitter accounts of Nail Yakupov and Pavel Lysenkov, a great Russian sports writer and editor at Sovietsky Sport.


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