Articles by Genine Babakian



From the Archive: Thousands Mourn Murder of Russian Reporter Kholodov

Twenty years after investigative reporter Dmitry Kholodov was killed by a booby trap bomb — the first high-profile assassination of a journalist after the fall of the Soviet Union — we look back at his funeral.

In 'K-19,' The Chilling Truth of the Soviet Subs

Peter Huchthausen's K-19: The Widowmaker isn't so much the thrill ride promised by the film adaptation of the novel, but is rather an examination of the Soviet Union's efforts to become a naval power in the nuclear age.

In 'K-19,' The Chilling Truth of the Soviet Subs

Peter Huchthausen's K-19: The Widowmaker isn't so much the thrill ride promised by the film adaptation of the novel, but is rather an examination of the Soviet Union's efforts to become a naval power in the nuclear age.

Go for the Goulash, Stay for the Spas

A former Moscow banya buddy called to recommend we make a rendezvous in Budapest for a spa weekend in one of Europe's most beautiful capitals. Who could say no?

Go for the Goulash, Stay for the Spas

A former Moscow banya buddy called to recommend we make a rendezvous in Budapest for a spa weekend in one of Europe's most beautiful capitals. Who could say no?

A Cold War Legacy in Black & White

Judging from the serene half-smile on Hamzana Salikhanova's face, you would never know that she had witnessed one of the worst disasters of the nuclear age.

A Cold War Legacy in Black & White

Judging from the serene half-smile on Hamzana Salikhanova's face, you would never know that she had witnessed one of the worst disasters of the nuclear age.

Good Eating That Goes Beyond Goulash

Sadly, when it comes time to choose a restaurant, ""Let's eat Hungarian"" isn't a suggestion that typically pops up.

Good Eating That Goes Beyond Goulash

Sadly, when it comes time to choose a restaurant, ""Let's eat Hungarian"" isn't a suggestion that typically pops up.

Scrumptious Seafood Sans the Sea

Moscow's Porto Maltesewill shatter any preconceived notion that it is impossible to find good seafood so far from the sea.

Scrumptious Seafood Sans the Sea

Moscow's Porto Maltesewill shatter any preconceived notion that it is impossible to find good seafood so far from the sea.

Using the Art of Bluff To Verbal Advantage

Indeed, with the right attitude, a man of few words may be able to pass himself off as a native speaker.

Avoiding Undue Stress Can Save Your Nerves

Russian is a stressful language enough without having to think about the udareniye.

There Is More to Sitting Than Sitting Around

There is a whole lot more to ""sitting"" in Russian than just parking yourself on the sofa to watch TV.

Word Order Can Make A World of Difference

There are certain vocabulary words that are, it would seem, above and beyond explanation.

Getting the Midwest Off of One's Tongue

It can be interesting to watch a native speaker trying to readapt to his or her own language.

Everything Is Relative For Relatives in Russia

A friend of mine recently told me about a large family of distant relatives she visits every year.

We'll Say: 'Look Who Has Verbal Diarrhea!'

What should a parents or child answer when presented with the broad question, ""What can you do?""

Words That Fit When 'Spaghetti' Just Won't

The only way to really learn a foreign language, most say, is to fully immerse yourself in it.

Hey, Pal! How'd You Like a Knuckle Cutlet?

In Moscow one sees black eyes and funky looking face scars all the time. And one hears plenty of expressions in Russian dedicated to the fine art of beating.

What to Say to a Bride Who Trips on the Aisle

Have you ever noticed when you, or someone around you, is about to slip and fall down that a concerned babushka witnessing the imminent fall helpfully yells out ""Tikho""?

I've Finally Come Clean After 10 Years of Fear

It took me nearly a decade of living in Russia before I got up the nerve to visit my local dry cleaner. My fear of the khimchistka was not completely unfounded.

The Misfortune of Being On the Road With Fools

U Rossii dve bedy Ц duraki i dorogi is a homegrown expression attributed to writer Nikolai Gogol Ц and not one generally repeated by foreigners.

Chasing After Russian's Most Fashionable Words

Language is just as flexible as the swish of a hemline Ч especially among the young.

The Trough - The Hive

Stepping off the snowy streets of Moscow into The Hive (Uli) is like slipping into another world.

The Trough - The Hive

Stepping off the snowy streets of Moscow into The Hive (Uli) is like slipping into another world.

Stick Out Your Tongue And Let Boris Have It

Let's face it. One hears an awful lot of repitition when it comes to names in Russia.

Some Research Gets to The Bottom of Things

A friend of mine with exotic vacation plans was sent to Moscow's Center for Tropical Medicine.

Do French People Know What French Toast Is?

The other day, in honor of the arrival of an old friend from Germany, I bought some Berlinskoye pirozhnoye. I thought his native Berlin cakes would make him feel at home.

'Small Child' Is the Key To Unlock Every Heart

In all of my years of bickering with hotel clerks, train station officials, shop attendants and nosy babushkas,I have never mastered one phrase: U menya malenky rebyonok.