How to address a Russian if you don't know their name

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Even if you are an introverted kind of person and don’t really like to talk to strangers, you may still have to approach someone you don’t know in Russia.
Just imagine yourself standing confused in the Moscow metro, not sure where to go and what to do in this giant network of complex Russian names and crowds of people - desperately needing someone to help. You see an unsmiling tough Russian guy standing nearby - how would you address him or any other Russian for that matter?

Sharlotka: Russian apple pie +video

receipe russia pie
Looking for an effortless apple cake? Try Russia’s most popular dessert and you’ll always have your go-to recipe.
This simple dessert is known to everyone in Russia, but it actually originated in Britain in the 18th century and was known as “Charlotte”. This apple bread pudding was first invented by peasants, but the Russian version of “Charlotte” was invented in London at the beginning of the 19th century by French chef Marie-Antoine Carême, who was in the service of Russian Czar Alexander I. Later, this recipe became so popular that it was simplified from having Bavarian cream and savoiardi cookies to being an easy-to-prepare pie with biscuit and apples. Even the name was modified to “Sharlotka”.

Why is Moskva called Moscow in English?

moscow name

Ironically, it’s because the rest of the world uses versions that are closer and more faithful to the city’s original name than Russians themselves.
First things first: In case you didn’t know, Russians never call their capital city Moscow. For us, it is not the French Moscou or the German Moskau and none of the other European variations either. It’s Moskva (Москва), with an emphasis on the second syllable. If you want to hear what it sounds like, there is an audio recording on Wikipedia.
English speakers are actually aware of this word on some level already. For example, they use it in the name for the Moskva River, which runs through Moscow. But why is the city and river’s name one word in Russian and two words in English?

6 dishes that you must try while in St. Petersburg

Press Photo
Find out where to try fried smelt, delicious meat pies and the most doughnutty doughnuts in the city.
"When does smelt spawning season start?" - you might hear residents of St. Petersburg ask each other every spring. This tasty fish can also be found in the Russian Far East, but it is only in St. Petersburg that its appearance marks the arrival of spring.

3 dishes that Russian Orthodox Christians make for Easter

russian easter pastry

The principal dishes on the Easter table are blessed in church: painted eggs; paskha made with curd cheese; and kulich, the Orthodox Easter cake.

Few people today remember that well-to-do believers in Old Russia once served 48 dishes - to match the number of days of the Lenten fast.

7 Russian wonders that you absolutely must see

7 Russian wonders that you absolutely must see
Alexey Filippov/Sputnik
Russia is a country unlike any other and its unique lanscapes and buildings bear testament to the country’s fascinating history. Many of these sites are hard to reach, but after arriving you won’t have any regrets.

‘The northernmost African' blogs from Russia’s Far East

Svetlana Pavlova/TASS
He raises three children, teaches Chinese, and blogs – all in record-breaking low temperatures.
Mark Babatunde from Nigeria never thought he would one day be living in a Russian town of fewer than 10,000 people. He dreaded how the locals eat raw meat, and temperatures falling to -50C. Yet, he settled there, found a teaching job, and launched his YouTube channel about life in Yakutia.