Witnessing the Fall of the USSR: 25 Years Later – Katya’s Memories of St. Petersburg, August 1991

Witnessing the Fall of the USSR: 25 Years Later – Katya’s Memories of St. Petersburg, August 1991

It’s been 25 years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. We’re marking the anniversary (and the 30th anniversary of MIR) with eyewitness accounts from MIR colleagues and contacts. Katya Boyarskaya, Director of our affiliate office in St. Petersburg, was living there during the time of the 1991 August Coup. Here’s her story. Read More


Spotlight on St. Petersburg Theaters: Mariinsky II Theater

Spotlight on St. Petersburg Theaters: Mariinsky II Theater

It’s just a walk across a canal bridge from the Mariinsky Theater to St. Petersburg’s newest and most expensive theater, the Mariinsky II. Opening in 2013 and costing $700 million, this 2,000-seat Russian opera house is built to impress – especially with its acoustics. I recently visited the Mariinsky II Theater for the first time. It’s huge! Shaped like a horseshoe, this theater’s auditorium is among the largest in the world. Acoustics are awesome - considered among the world’s finest for a theater. But the lighting is a bit strange: To me they look like those rows of lights inside an airplane, so passengers can find their way in the aisle. Read More



Celebrating New Year’s in Russia: St Petersburg

Celebrating New Year’s in Russia: St Petersburg

The Director of MIR’s St. Petersburg affiliate office, Katya Boyarskaya, is a native of St.Petersburg, a city that – along with the entire country – loves to celebrate New Year’s. Katya does, too. We asked her to share some of her favorite holiday memories and tips. Read More