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All terms in this list:

babushka: A woman’s headscarf, tied under the chin.

balalaika: A Russian musical instrument, similar to a guitar, with a triangular body.

cosmonaut: An astronaut, especially a Russian or Soviet one.

gulag: A prison camp.

intelligentsia: The intellectual élite of a society (especially in nineteenth-century Poland, in Russia and later the Soviet Union).

knout: A leather scourge (multi-tail whip), in the severe version known as 'great knout' with metal weights on each tongue, notoriously used in imperial Russia.

kopek: A Russian monetary unit equal to one hundredth of a ruble.

kremlin: A Russian ‘castle’ or fortified, central complex, as found in various Russian cities.

mammoth: Something very large of its kind.

Russian doll: One of a set of hollow nesting dolls, usually wooden and decorated.

pogrom: A riot aimed at persecution of a particular group, usually on the basis of their religion or ethnic origin.

sable: A small carnivorous mammal of the Old World that resembles a weasel, Mustela zibellina, from cold regions in Eurasia and the North Pacific islands, valued for its dark brown fur.

samovar: a metal urn with a spigot, for boiling water for making tea. Traditionally, the water is heated by hot coals or charcoal in a chimney-like tube which runs through the center of the urn. Today, it is more likely that the water is heated by an electric coil

sputnik: Any of a series of Soviet unmanned space satellites, especially the first one in 1957.

steppe: The grasslands of Eastern Europe and Asia. Similar to (US) prairie and (African) savannah.

taiga: A subarctic zone of evergreen coniferous forests situated south of the tundras and north of the steppes in the Northern Hemisphere.

troika: A Russian carriage drawn by a team of three horses abreast

ushanka: Traditional Russian fur cap with earflaps.

vodka: A clear distilled alcoholic liquor made from grain mash.

tsar: A Slavic emperor (not necessarily a Russian emperor)

Bolshevik: A Russian communist revolutionary, member of the Bolshevik Party in the 1917 Communist Revolution of Russia.

shashlik: A form of skewered dish.

Molotov cocktail: A simple incendiary bomb made from a glass bottle, filled with an inflammable liquid such as petroleum, with a rag for a fuse that is lit just before being hurled.

blintz: A thin blini, filled and folded, then sautéed or baked

kvass: A type of traditional fermented Russian no- or low-alcohol beverage, made from bread, often flavored with fruit.

okroshka: A a cold raw vegetable soup, part of the national cuisines of Russia and Ukraine.

pelmeni: A kind of Russian dumpling, like ravioli.

pierogi: A square- or crescent-shaped dumpling of unleavened dough, stuffed with sauerkraut, cheese, mashed potatoes, cabbage, onion, meat, hard-boiled eggs, or any combination of these, or with a fruit filling.

pirozhki: Small Russian pastries filled with finely chopped meat, vegetables or fruit baked or fried.

sevruga: A type of sturgeon, Acipenser stellatus.

shchi: A type of soup from Russia made from cabbage.

smetana: A European form of soured cream or crème fraîche.

varenyky: Boiled dumplings stuffed with potato, cheese, or other filling.

apparatchik: A blindly loyal bureaucrat.

apparat: The Russian machinery of state bureaucratic administration

boyar: A rank of aristocracy (second only to princes) in Russia, Bulgaria and Romania.

commissar: An official of the Communist Party, often attached to a military unit, who was responsible for political education.

duma: A Russian national parliament.

FSB: Federal Savings Bank

glasnost: 1980s policy of the Soviet Union under Gorbachev to allow more government transparency

KGB: the former Soviet State Security Committee.

kolkhoz: A farming collective in the former Soviet Union.

kulak: A prosperous peasant in the Russian Empire or the Soviet Union, who owned land and could hire workers.

krai: A region or province in Russia (край).

Leninism: The political philosophy named after Vladimir Lenin that is characterized by the theory of imperialism and the theory of the revolutionary party.

Menshevik: A member of the gradualist wing of the Russian Social Democratic Party during the years preceding the Russian Revolution.

Mir: A Soviet space station.

nomenklatura: The system of bureaucratic patronage in the former Soviet Union

oblast: A region or province.

perestroika: Gorbachev's reforms in the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

politburo: The governing council of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and other Leninist political systems.

SMERSH: Counter-intellience organisation attached to Russian army units during World War II.

Soviet: Any of the governing workers' councils in the Soviet Union.

Stalinism: The Communist philosophy espoused by Soviet Leader Josef Stalin.

tsarina: An empress of several Eastern European countries, especially Russia.

tsarevna: the daughter of a tsar; a czarevna

tsarevich: a son of a tsar, a prince in Russia or Bulgaria

Kalashnikov: a particular model of Russian assault rifle.

marshrutka: A share taxi in the CIS countries, the Baltic states, and Bulgaria.

banya: A type of steam bath, popular in Russia.

dacha: a Russian villa, or summer house, in the countryside

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