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Russian MiniLessons
for intermediate and advanced students
2012 Archives
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Click the Russian keyboard for recommended resources for language learners! Click the Russian
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other resources for students of Russian!

Below is an archive of the Russian MiniLessons featured in the SRAS newsletter over the 2012 school year. Please see our FULL TABLE OF CONTENTS for a list of all lessons, arranged by subject. To subscribe to the newsletter, and receive a free Mini-Lesson each month, simply sign up

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Зимняя одежда – Winter clothes

In the Soviet era, Russians had more limited choice of winter clothes than nowadays. Both men and women used to commonly wear a type of драповое пальто с подкладкой из ватина и меховым воротником (woolen cloth overcoat with a cotton-padding lining and a fur collar). If a person wanted to look more fashionable, he/she wore дубленка (sheepskin coat) rather than the драповое пальто.

Nowadays, of course, people still wear a зимнее пальто of some sort, but the most popular kind is кашемировое пальто (cashmere coat). Дубленка is popular as a more expensive option, but the most common and cheapest winter coat is пуховик (down-padded coat). These are usually made of a synthetic outer layer, but stuffed with natural down. A thick layer of natural down is a very good insulator and can keep one warm a long time in sub-zero temperatures.

The warmest winter coat, though, is the шуба из натурального меха (a coat of natural fur). These are still very common and very popular in Russia, where the anti-fur movement has made little headway in dissuading Russians from what they consider a very practical and comfortable choice of clothing. The second warmest option is the качественный пуховик (high quality down-padded coat). The дубленка is rated third. The куртка на синтетическом утеплителе (jacket with synthetic heat insulation material), while popular in the west, is one of the least practical options for living through a harsh winter.

As for the шуба, when choosing a material, самый тёплый мех (the warmest fur) is that of бобер (beaver), норка (mink), соболь (sable), каракуль (astrakhan fur), куница (marten) and олень (deer). The fur of male animals is considered warmer than the fur of female animals.

Качество меха (fur quality) can be assessed by встряхивать шубу (rustling the fur coat). You should be able to hear the шуршание (rustling), distinctly, the fur is considered to be of good quality.

Another way is легонько дёрнуть за шерстинку (plucking lightly on a strand), если волоски не отрываются (if no hair comes out), it means that the fur is of good quality.

As for пуховик, the warmest пух is that of the гага (eider duck), then гусь (goose), лебедь (swan) and утка (duck). Пух из европейских стран (down made in European countries) is considered to have наилучшие свойства (the best properties). The best ткань (fabric) for пуховик is a смесь (blend) of натуральные и искусственные волокна (natural and artificial fibers).  

  SI_NEW-SEASON-INTEGRATION_9 Designer валенки are gaining popularity in Russian cities.

In cities, Russians often wear зимние ботинки (winter boots) as winter footwear. These are often leather with a lining of insulation. In smaller towns, villages, and regions of the North, валенки (traditional Russian felt boots) and унты (high fur boots) can be seen. Валенки are often fitted with галоши, a protective rubber or plastic outer portion. Designer валенки are also gaining popularity in cities as well. Russian soldiers are outfitted with валенки as part of their standard issue winter uniforms. They are best suited for a сухая морозная зима (dry frosty winter) and are generally not worn after the spring thaw begins.

Russians generally favor зимние сапоги (winter high boots) made of кожа с внутренней подкладкой из натурального меха (leather with an inner lining of natural fur).

An important principle is that одежда должна быть многослойной (clothes should have many layers). It is better to have два свитера потоньше и одну водолазку (two thinner sweaters and one thin turtleneck) rather than one very thick sweater. This creates more layers of airs between you and the elements – which is what, in the end, will keep you warm.  

Врачи не советуют выходить на улицу голодным (doctors don’t advise to go outside hungry). In winter, one should повысить калорийность рациона (increase calorie content of diet) by adding more meat, fish, and fat.

There are some rules to keep to avoid обморожение (frostbite). Голова (особенно уши), шея и лицо (head (especially ears), neck and face) should be защищены шарфом, шапкой, высоким воротом, шерстяной маской, особенно в ветреную погоду (protected with a scarf, cap, high collar, woolen mask, especially in windy weather).

От отморожения нужно беречь конечности, а также нос и уши. (To avoid frostbite, one should protect one’s extremities, as well as the nose and ears). In frosty weather, more blood is removed from limbs to heart and brain, making the limbs more vulnerable to frostbite. 

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Электричка - Commuter Train

 Study Abroad
in Russia!


Commuter trains have several names in Russian. The most common name for one is электричка (elektrichka), but there are also a few slang names, such as элька and собака because электричка, подобно собаке, останавливается у каждого столба (an elektrichka, like a dog, stops at every post).

Russians living near big cities often use the elektrichka to commute to work, to go shopping, or to reach wider entertainment or cultural opportunities. In the Moscow area, some people commute as far as 100-150 kilometers, spending up to six hours on the train in total every day. For these people, поездка в электричке (an electric train ride) is an integral part of their lives: they often have breakfast and supper during the trip, and even sometimes drink beer or vodka and chat with fellow travellers.

The elektrichka is different from a regular long-distance passenger train. While обычный пассажирский поезд (a regular passenger train) приводит в движение электровоз (is powered by an electric locomotive), электричку приводят в движение вагоны (the elektrichka is powered by the carriages), которые оборудованы электромоторами (which are equipped with electric motors). В электричках есть автоматические двери (the elektrichka has automatic doors), управляемые с пульта машиниста (which are managed from the driver's control panel). Meanwhile, у поездов двери открываются проводниками (regular passenger train doors are opened by conductors). An elektrichka has 5-8 or, at most, 12 carriages, while a скорый поезд (fast train) typically has at least 20 carriages. Also, электричка разгоняется и тормозит значительно быстрее, чем скорый поезд (an elektrichka gains speed and stops much faster than a fast train).

Tickets for the elektrichka are sold at пригородные кассы (suburban ticket windows), while tickets for long-distance trains are sold at кассы дальнего следования (long-distance ticket windows). Most Russian train stations have both – often in different places in the station, and usually clearly labeled with these names. Цены на билет зависят от расстояния (ticket prices depend on the distance to be traveled). You must tell the ticket vendor exactly where you plan to go and often on what train you plan to go on.

In Moscow, area passengers have to проходить через турникет (go through a turnstile) to сесть в поезд и выйти из поезда (get on and off the train (platform)). However, some people find ways to проехать без билета (ride without a ticket) by пролезать через дыру в заборе (squeezing through a hole in the fence) or перепрыгивать через турникет (jumping over the turnstile). You must use your ticket when entering and when leaving to operate the turnstile.

A passenger can frequently see толпы «зайцев» бегут по вагону от контролеров (crowds of stowaways running away from ticket collectors along the carriage). Ticket collectors, mainly женщины предпенсионного возраста (women of pre-retirement age), enter the train, requesting, “Ваш билет (your ticket)” or “Предъявите билет (show your ticket),” and then компостировать билеты (punch the tickets). They can also обилечивать (sell tickets) to those who do not have a ticket and are ready to pay. If someone says to a ticket collector, “У меня нет билета (I don't have a ticket)," that person will either have to buy a ticket or conductors can высаживать зайцев (kick stowaways off the train). However, it also happens that many conductors will accept some small payment in return for not making a заяц buy a ticket or leave the train. For this reason, the work of a ticket collector is considered to be денежная (profitable).

It is hard to rest on the elektrichka, because the seats are not so comfortable, the trains are often crowded, and торговцы (vendors) громко рекламируют свой товар (loudly advertise their goods): “Пиво, сухарики, фисташки!” (beer, crackers, pistachios). They sell many different items, from toys to food to books, and enter the carriage every few minutes. Also, попрошайки (beggars) bother passengers by asking for money, saying, for example “меня обокрали/ ограбили” (I was robbed), and “помогите собрать деньги на билет на Украину” (help me collect money for a ticket to Ukraine).

There are many types of people who use the elektrichka- студенты (students), работяги (workmen), дачники (people going to their country cottages in summer), работники офиса (office employees), and even гопники (small-time criminals).

There are many jokes about the elektrichka, such as: “Прежде чем ехать на электричке, необходимо убедиться в том, что конечного пункта нельзя достичь на каком-либо другом виде транспорта. Только осознание этого факта может являться достаточным основанием для поездки в пригородных электропоездах.” (Before travelling by elektrichka, one has to make sure that no other method of transport can be used to reach the final destination. The only reason to make a trip by electric train is if there is no other method available.)

Another joke is related to the fact that the elektricka is often very crowded: “Если вам удалось сесть, то необходимо заранее настроиться на то, что стоячие пассажиры будут смотреть на вас, как на личного врага. Людям с чувствительной нервной системой или обостренным чувством социальной справедливости ехать в электричке сидя не рекомендуется. ПОМНИТЕ: сидячих мест в вагоне значительно меньше чем стоячих, поэтому кому-то все равно стоять придется!” (If you manage to get a seat, you had better be prepared for other passengers, who are standing, to look at you like their personal enemy. People who are sensitive or stand for justice are not recommended to sit on the elektrichka. Remember: There are always fewer seats than standing room, so somebody will have to stand anyway.)

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Маршрутка - Shared Taxi

 Study Abroad
in Russia!

Russian Studies

The word маршрутка is a shortened form of маршрутное такси (literally – “route taxi,” but the term “shared taxi” is often easier for native English speakers to instinctively understand). These are minivans or minibuses that usually duplicate routes used by public buses – and usually display the same numbers.

In smaller towns, a маршрутка is often самый распространенный общественный транспорт (the most common form of public transport) because buses run until 9 or 10 pm, while  маршрутки usually run later. Everywhere in Russia, маршрутки are popular because they can маневрировать (maneuver) better in traffic and are thus faster than busses, trams, or trolleys.

Some маршрутки are very convenient for travelers, allowing them to выйти там, где удобно пассажиру (exit where it is convenient for the passenger). A passenger should заранее предупредить водителя о необходимости выйти (let the driver know before they need to exit), by saying, for example, “В конце дома остановите” (“Stop at the end of the building”), or “После перекрестка остановите” (“Stop after the intersection”). A passenger should state his/her остановка по требованию (request for a stop) громким голосом (in a loud voice), but не кричать (not shout); you must make sure that the driver can hear you but try not to disturb (or frighten!) the other passengers as that is considered rude. A more vernacular way to request a stop is to say, “Тормозни у конца дома” (“Stop at the end of the building”) or, one can also use shortened forms such as simply “на остановке” (at the bus stop) and the driver will understand.

If one is unsure what маршрутка to take, one can try asking other people waiting at the bus stop a question like "Как добраться до Волгоградского проспекта дом 168?" (How do I get to 168 Volgogradsky Prospect?) and the answer will usually be a маршрутка number and a bus stop to ask for.  Or, one can ask the driver of the маршрутка a question like "До Волгоградского проспекта дом 168, проедет?" (Will you go past 168 Volgogradsky Prospect?) If one is unsure where that is, if the driver answers that question in the affirmative, one can ask in advance, "Там остановитепожалуйста" (Stop there please).

Самое важное место (the most important seat) in a маршрутка is right behind the driver; the passenger sitting there will have to передавать деньги за проезд (to pass the fare money). Other passengers pass money to him/her, asking their neighbors, “Передайте, пожалуйста” (“Pass [the fare], please”). If one does not have the exact amount, he/she clarifies, “Передайте за один/два” (Pass for one/two (people)). If a passenger has a large bill, such as a 1,000 ruble-note, he/she can ask the driver first, “Сдача будет?” (“Do you have change?”).

Sometimes the маршрутка is crowded, and to make sure that there is a seat left, one can ask the passengers or the driver before entering, “Места еще есть?” (“Are there any seats?”). If all the seats are taken, one can ask the driver, “Можно стоя?” (“May I [travel] standing?”). A маршрутка should be equipped with handrails to accommodate standing passengers. If there are no handrails, the driver may ask you to step out and wait for the next маршрутка.

One should be aware that some маршрутка now have автоматические двери (automatic doors). These occur, as a rule, in foreign-made vehicles. In Russian minibuses, people close and open the doors by hand. The person sitting nearest the door should make an effort to open it for departing passengers.

There are many jokes about водители маршруток (shared taxi drivers) who must have a unique ability to multitask – водят, собирают плату за проезд, и дают сдачу (drive, collect the fare, and give change). Also, there are many Russian jokes on the Internet about people making phone calls in маршрутка and revealing intimate details of their lives. Long or loud phone calls are also against common etiquette in a маршрутка – although many Russians will still have them.

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Dorm Rules - Правила общежития

 Study Abroad
in Russia!


After a long flight from America, the first thing many arriving study abroad students will do after leaving the airport is to head to the dorms and take care of their заселение в общежитие (check in at the dormitory). The lady who заселяет студента (checks students in) is often known as a комендант (dorm director). She will explain general rules – which can vary widely from dorm to dorm and from university to university. For instance, at some dorms the following may apply: постельное белье выдается раз в две недели (clean bed linen is issued once every two weeks); гости могут приходить до 10 часов вечера (guests are allowed until 10 pm); общежитие закрывается в 12 часов ночи (the dorm closes [locks down] at midnight); and электроприборами в комнатах пользоваться запрещено (electric appliances [such as hotplates and tea kettles] are prohibited in rooms).

Дежурная по этажу (the woman who is responsible for a specific dorm floor) will often then give the newcomer more details, such as нужно по очереди выносить мусор с кухни (students will take turns taking out the kitchen trash); не шуметь по ночам (don’t be noisy at night); or в случае проблем обращаться к дежурной (if there are any problems, tell the дежурная).

Students can request services with the дежурная, at any time during their stay, such as: Можно заменить лампочку? Она перегорела. (May I have this light bulb replaced? It burned out); Можно заменить постельное белье? (May I exchange my bed sheets?); or В туалете засорился унитаз. Можете вызвать сантехника? (The toilet in the bathroom is clogged. Could you call a plumber?).

Speaking of other dorm rules, students would definitely be told that they должен/должна всегда брать пропуск в общежитие, если уходит (must always have a pass to the dormitory when leaving the dorm). Otherwise, охранник (the security guard) may not let the student back in. In some dormitories, there are no security guards, but there is an older lady sitting at the entrance. She is often known as a "вахтёрша," a position that often combines administration, janitorial, and security duties. She checks the пропуск, and requests that any visitors оставить документ (leave their ID as a deposit). She also may say "скажите, в какую комнату идете" (which room are you going to?).

Some dorms have общий душ (communal shower), общий туалет (communal bathroom), and/or an общая кухня (communal kitchen). These tend to be in not the greatest condition, but are generally в нормальном состоянии (in "normal" condition), a statement that generally means that they still work and can still be used. Many dorms also offer a quite decent буфет (cafeteria), where students can get tasty and inexpensive food.

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Olympic Games - Олимпийские игры

 Study Abroad
in Eurasia!


Олимпийские игры or Олимпиада (The Olympic Games) проходят раз в четыре года (occur every four years), and are held in various cities around the world. The games come in two sessions, staggered by two years. Летняя Олимпиада (the Summer Olympics) are being held this year in London, and Зимняя Олимпиада (the Winter Olympics) will be in Sochi, Russia, in 2014.

The Olympics start with the церемония открытия (Opening Ceremonies). This is usually a chance for the страна-организатор Олимпиады (the host country of the Olympics) to show off its national pride, as the церемония основана на темах национальной истории или культуры (ceremonies are based on the themes of country’s history or culture). After performances, such as традиционные танцы (traditional dances) and музыка (music), the олимпийский факел (Olympic torch) is brought into the стадион (stadium/arena), and is used to light the симвлоический олимпийский огонь (symbolic Olympic flame).

Церемония открытия also includes the Парад стран (March of Nations). This is a chance for each country’s entire команда (team) to parade through the arena. All спортсмены (athletes) and тренеры (coaches) walk around the беговая дорожка (track) as their country’s name is called. Some athletes are в форме (in uniforms); some prefer to wear традиционные национальные костюмы (traditional cultural outfits).

At the end of the Opening Ceremonies, an important cultural figure from the host nation объявляет игры официально открытыми (declare the games officially open); this year Королева Англии (the Queen of England) made the declaration. This is the официальное начало (official start) of the games.

There are many popular sports in the summer Olympics. In order to участвовать в Олимпийских играх (participate in the Olympics), athletes must first compete in отборочные соревнования (qualifying tournaments) in their home country.

Соревнования по плаванию (swimming competitions) have become especially popular to watch in the US, due in part to the prominence and celebrity of Michael Phelps. There are many видов (types) and категорий (categories) of swimming competitions, such as соревнования по прыжкам в воду (diving competitions).

Соревнования по легкой атлетике (track and field athletics) also have many different types of competitions. In terms of running, there are бег на длинные и короткие дистанции (long distance and short distance races), бег с препятствиями (hurdles), эстафеты (relay races), and спринт (sprints). Field events include the прыжок в длину (long jump), прыжок в высоту (high jump), метание диска (discus throw), прыжок с шестом (pole vaulting), and толкание ядра (shot put).

Гимнастика (gymnastics), a sport in which both Russia and the US are often top contenders, likewise has lots of categories, such as the опорный прыжок (vault), упражнения (exercises) на бревне (balance beam), на брусьях (uneven bars), параллельные брусья (parallel bars) and художественная гимнастика (rythmic gymnastics). Some athletes compete исключительно (exclusively) in one type of event, while others соревнуются в ряде мероприятий (compete in several events).

Throughout the games, комментаторы (commentators) describe events and give backgrounds on the athletes for viewers watching on TV. They often give статистические данные (statistics) and рейтинг (rankings) from previous competitions, whether from previous Olympic Games or other qualifying tournaments.

Sometimes, athletes perform so well that they устанавливают новый мировой рекорд (set a new world record).

The athlete who performs the best in each competition is awarded a золотая медаль (gold medal). Second place receives a серебряная медаль (silver medal), and third place a бронзовая медаль (bronze medal). At each церемония награждения (award ceremony), the gold medal winner’s государственный гимн (national anthem) is played while all three медалисты (medalists) stand on a подиум призеров (medals platform).

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Russian Star Wars - Звездные войны по-русски

The film Star Wars is well-known in Russia and if you look online, there are actually discussions of whether or not a Russian should ever name a daughter Лея (Lea ). Most argue against it because of the fact that a Russian уменьшительное имя (diminutive of the name ) would actually be Лейка (Leika ), which means "watering can / pot" in Russian.

The Russian word "лейка" is related to the Russian verb "лить," or "to pour." Princess-Lea-Russian-Connec  

Perhaps even more striking is the appropriateness of Jabba’s name, given the fact that he looks so similar to a creature that, in Russian, has almost exactly the same name! See below.

For more Russian Nano-Lessons, see SRAS’s photograllery on its Facebook page!


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Старение - Aging

 Study Abroad
in Russia!


Most Russians feel uneasy talking about aging. There are many Russians proverbs that express a negative attitude towards old age, such as "Старостьне радость" (Getting old is no fun; literally: old age is no fun), or "Жизнь протянется - всего достанется" (If one’s life is long, one will have to endure all kinds of things), or "Молодость - не грех, старость - не смех" (Youth is no sin, old age is no fun). The general Russian outlook to old age, whether positive or negative, is usually fatalistic.

In certain cases, there is a tradition of уважение к старости (respect towards old age). Younger people often уступать места старикам (give up their seats to old people) in public transportation. They may also переводить старикa через дорогу (help an old person cross the street). There are some Russian expressions that convey respect to the physical signs of old age, such as "благородная седина" (noble grey hair), as well as some expressions that associate older people with wisdom: "мудрый старик" (wise old man) or "мудрая старая женщина" (wise old woman).

However, many Russians say, "Так не хочется стареть!" (I so don’t want to get old!). Some people say, "Жизнь клонится к закату" (Life is coming to twilight). This attitude is partly caused by a feeling of insecurity, since for many people in Russia, в старости становятся острее финансовые проблемы (in old age, financial problems become more pressing). This is mainly due to the fact that пожилые люди (elderly people) retire and have no substantial savings, unless they are successful businessmen or executives who состоялся в жизни (established themselves in life).

While in many countries, уходить на пенсию (to retire), is often viewed as something pleasant, in Russia state pensions were decimated by the финансовые кризисы (financial crises) and гиперинфляция (hyperinflation) of the 90s. While they are now beginning to recover, most still say that it is "невозможно жить на пенсии" (impossible to live on one's pension). To make matters worse, the кризисы also destroyed any savings that people had and Russia had not yet developed corporate or personal pension funds (which are still, for the most part, underdeveloped). In part because of this, the elderly are the main support for the Communist Party, because they remember a USSR slogan , “пенсионерам - достойная жизнь” (the elderly [must be given] adequate lives).

Also, some expressions in Russian reveal a sarcastic attitude towards old people, such as pejorative collocations like "старый хрыч" (old grumbler), "старикашка" (little old man), or "песок сыпется из него" (someone on his last legs; literally: the sand is running out of him), which refers to men’s loss of strength. Another common conception of old age in Russian is "Седина в бородубес в ребро" (a grey beard but a lusty heart; literally: when grey [comes] into the beard—evil spirits [come] into the rib). This describes older men who начинают бегать по молоденьким девочкам (start chasing after young girls) to prove their manliness. In dating younger girls, some men want to get rid of their страх дряхлости (fear of senile infirmity). Other men just гонят от себя мысли (drive away their thoughts) when thinking about the effects of старость (old age).

At the same time, some older people have a wise and calm outlook on their age. A старушка/бабушка (old lady/grandmother) may talk about her plans for the future with the remark, “Если доживу (If I live till then). A very old lady can say, “Пора на покой” (It’s time to rest), meaning she has accepted the fact that she will die soon and will rest after she dies. Many modern Russians have a special respect for старушки (old ladies), because many people were brought up by their grandmothers while their parents were busy working; for this reason, some people feel closer ties with their grandmothers than with their parents.

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Ортодонтия - Orthodontics

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In Russia, ортодонтия (orthodontics) получила широкое распространение (has become widespread) относительно недавно (relatively recently), and only in bigger cities. During the Soviet era, most orthodontics were performed преимущественно по медицинским показаниям (predominantly for medical reasons), while after the collapse of the USSR, a growing number of operations have been performed с эстетической целью (for aesthetic purposes).

At a forum for orthodontists, a Russian doctor stated that ортодонтия стала развиваться в России примерно около 20-ти лет назад (orthodontics began to develop in Russia about 20 years ago), and currently, the американская школа ортодонтии (American-style orthodontics) is practiced most often in Russia; that is, техники прямой дуги (straight arc techniques) or брекеты (braces) are used.

There is also the европейская школа ортодонтии (European-style orthodontics), which uses функциональные аппараты в лечении (functional devices for treatment), but почти не практикуется (is hardly practiced) in Russia, the doctor says. He calls today’s orthodontic practices in Russia ортодонтический МакДоналдс (orthodontic McDonalds), meaning that doctors would rather provide faster service to a larger number of patients, than more in-depth and longer treatment.

If a patient has кривые зубы (crooked teeth) or a глубокий прикус (overbite) or дистальный прикус (underbite), then пластины (orthodontic trainers) and брекет-системы (braces) are applied to fix the problem.

Пластины съемные (The trainers are removable). Children most often use them and they can носиться только ночью или круглые сутки (be worn either only at night or all day long).

A брекет-система (braces) consist of a набор из множества пластин (set of many brackets), связанных воедино металлической дугой (joined together by a metal arc). Брекет-система укреплённая на зубах (braces are affixed to the teeth), which allows them to оказывать равномерное давление на зубы (put uniform pressure on teeth) and возвращать их к идеальному положению (return them to an ideal position).

As a rule, the курс лечения (course of treatment) for braces lasts 1.5-2 years, sometimes up to 3 years. Ортодонт (the orthodontist) наблюдает за процессом работы системы (monitors the system’s process) and вносит соответствующие коррективы (makes relevant adjustments).

Ортодонтическое лечение (orthodontic treatment) is возможно в любом возрасте (possible at any age).

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Стоматология - Dentistry

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To prevent cavities, both Russian and Western dentists recommend that you come in for regulars гигиеническая чистка зубов (regular cleaning; sometimes called Профессиональная чистка зубов). Some foreign visitors to Russian стоматологическая клинка (dentist offices) may be surprised that the медсестра надевает маску пациенту (nurse puts a mask on the patient) before обдувка песком (sandblasting), the most common method to clean teeth in Russia. Before this process, the area will undergo обезболивание/ анестезия с помощью геля (anaesthetization by means of a gel) as it can be uncomfortable for the patient. Some bleeding after the procedure is normal.

If you have зубная боль (a toothache), you will need to get лечение зубов (dental treatment). There are a variety of стоматологическая клиника (dental clinics) in Russia, from a государственная клиника (state clinic) with низкое качество лечения (low quality treatment), but бесплатные услуги (free services), to a частная клиника (private clinic) with лечение по мировым стандартам (treatment according to international standards) без очередей (without waiting) and usually for высокие цены (high prices).

Prior to лечение (treatment), стоматолог (a dentist) обследует зубы (examines (your) teeth) to find the дупло (cavity), or any other problems, such as налет (plaque) or зубной камень (tartar). A больной зуб (painful tooth) will undergo обезболивание/ анестезия с помощью укола (anaesthetization by means of injection). Once the участок зуба (tooth area) замораживаться (is anaesthetized), the стоматолог (dentist) can удалять нерв (extract the nerve) and очищать кариозную полость (clean out the decaying cavity) безболезненно для пациента (with no pain for the patient).

While the стоматолог очищает зубную полость (dentist cleans out the tooth cavity), a медсестра (nurse) applies a вакуумная воздуходувка (suction; literally a "vacuum blast engine") to откачивание слюны (pump out saliva).

As a rule, especially at state clinics, a временная пломба (temporary filling) is put into the cavity for a day or two, then она заменяется постоянной пломбой (it is replaced with a permanent filling). After установка пломбы (installing a filling), it is шлифовка (polished).

When a зуб (tooth) is невозможно вылечить (impossible to cure), it is удаляют (extracted) or вырывают (pulled out), using зубные щипцы (dental forceps). 

Russians know a few ways to save money on dental services. For example, some Moscow residents go to Belarus and лечить зубы (undergo teeth treatment) there, since prices are at least three times lower. Others go to smaller Russian towns or стоять в очереди (stand in line) at a государственная клиника (state clinic).

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Акции протеста в России - Protests in Russia

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Article 31 of The Russian Constitution states that граждане Российской Федерации (citizens of the Russian Federation) имеют право (have the right) собираться мирно (to meet peaceably) без оружия (without weapons), проводить собрания, (hold meetings) митинги и демонстрации (rallies and demonstrations), шествия и пикетирование (processions and pickets).

While many of the articles of Russia's constitution state specifically that условия и порядок (conditions and rules) определяются (will be determined) на основе федерального закона (on the basis of federal law), there is a basic understanding in practice that all constitutional rights may be regulated.

Indeed, Russians’ constitutional right to public meetings is regulated by Федеральный закон Российской Федерации от 19 июня 2004 г. N 54-ФЗ «О собраниях, митингах, демонстрациях, шествиях и пикетированиях» (Federal Law No. 54-FZ of the Russian Federation of June 19, 2004, “On Meetings, Rallies, Demonstrations, Processions, and Picketing”). According to the law, one person or a group can act as the организатор публичного мероприятия (organizer of a public event), and anyone who is at least 16 years old имеет право (has the right) организовывать (to organize) демонстрации (demonstrations), шествия (processions) and пикетирование (picketing).

Also, the организатор публичного мероприятия (organizer of a public event) can be a политическая партия (political party), or другие общественные объединения и религиозные объединения (other public associations and religious associations), and их региональные отделения (their regional branches).

These people or groups are authorized to проводить митинги, демонстрации (conduct rallies and demonstrations) в местах и во время (in locations and at times), которые указаны в уведомлении (as specified in the notification) о проведении публичного мероприятия (about conducting public events). Such уведомление (notification) should be в письменной форме (in writing), and should be submitted to the local authorities no later than 10 days before the event, or, in case of picketing, 3 days.

The law does not state that the authorities must be notified about protests or rallies. Neither does the law state that a несанкционированный митинг (unauthorized rally) can or must be прекращен (stopped) by the police. According to the law, a rally or a demonstration must be postponed if any нарушение правопорядка (violation of the law) occurs; if such a violation poses a threat to the life and health of citizens or to their property, the rally or demonstration must be ceased.

However, in practice, all the forms of public meetings are often прекращены and organizers are often told that they must meet at a different location or time – or, in the case of gay pride parades, for instance, are simply told that they cannot meet at all. The authorities have often used the excuse that the event would pose a threat to protestors’ health and lives because of the likelihood that such an event would be broken up forcibly by violent nationalists as a counter-demonstration. 

After подача уведомления (submitting notification), protest organizers have the right to агитация через СМИ (advertise through mass media) for the event and cause. They can also размещать объявления в блоге (place ads in a blog) or раздавать листовки (hand out leaflets). 

At the protest, participants can be engaged in a variety of activities: произносить речи (give speeches), скандировать (chant), or держать лозунги (hold signs). Протестующие (protesters) are entitled to организовывать сбор добровольных пожертвований (organize collections of donations). They can also use звукоусиливающие технические средства (sound amplifying devices), such as a мегафон (megaphone), which is colloquially called a матюгальник (cursing device) in Russian.

Sometimes, protests have элементы театрализованного шоу (elements of theatrical show). At the protest on Sakharova Prospect in Moscow on December 24, some participants свистели (whistled) with whistles issued to them by organizers, some came dressed in various costumes and masks, and some attendees привязывали свои лозунги к воздушному шару и запускали его в воздух (tied their signs to balloons and released them into the air).

At the protests of the so-called несистемная оппозиция (non-system opposition), such as their rallies at Triumfalnaya Square in Moscow, participants били в барабаны (beat drums). Several years ago, hundreds of participants of the youth movement Nashi dressed as Santa Clauses and Snowmaidens for their pro-government rally. Communists frequently играть советские песни (play Soviet era songs) at their demonstrations.

At the end of a rally or a demonstration, participants зачитывать резолюцию (read out a resolution). For example, at the protest for fair elections at Bolotnaya Square in Moscow on December 10, the organizers worked out the following resolutions: “1.) немедленное освобождение всех политзаключённых (the immediate release of all political prisoners); 2.) отмена итогов сфальсифицированных выборов (nullifying the results of the forged election); 3.) отставка Чурова и расследование его деятельности (the resignation of Churov as Chairman of the Central Election Committee and an investigation of his activities); 4.) регистрация оппозиционных партий (registering opposition parties); and 5.) проведение новых и честных выборов (conducting new and fair elections).

The resolution is then accepted by a largely nominal voice vote.

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