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Dancers perform with inflated objects during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Dancers perform with inflated objects during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

In the week leading up to the Sochi Olympics, we explore Russian music and pop culture of the past and present. 

Recently in From Russia With Soundcheck

From Russia With Soundcheck: A Guide To Siberian Punk

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Record collector, music producer, and authority on Soviet punk rock Bryan Swirsky joins host John Schaefer for another look at Russian culture and music during the winter Olympic games.

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Brighton Beach: A Little Bit Of Russia In Our Backyard

Friday, February 07, 2014

Capping a week-long look at Russian music and culture, Soundcheck explores Brighton Beach -- an enclave on the ocean where several generations of Russian immigrants and descendants live and work. Alexander Rudoy is a choreographer and entertainment programmer active in the Brighton Beach scene, and he takes host John Schaefer on a guided tour of sorts.

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How to Get Your Mind Around Pussy Riot

Thursday, February 06, 2014

First of all, they're not a band, they're an art collective. Masha Gessen, author of Words Will Break Cement: The Passion Of Pussy Riot, talks about the group's creation, agitation, incarceration and newfound freedom.

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Hear The Sounds Of Russia's Soviet-Era Counterculture

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Samizdat is the name given to an underground, DIY counterculture that was a huge part of life in the old Soviet Union. There's an exhibit of Samizdat artifacts consisting of pamphlets, books, cheap cassettes and more collected at George Washington University's Gelman Library. The exhibit's curator, Mark Yoffe, explains the movement.

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From Regina, With Love

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

This week, Soundcheck has been celebrating Russian music in the lead up to the Olympics in Sochi. Listen to Moscow-born pop star Regina Spektor talk about one of her musical heroes, the Soviet-era singer Vladimir Vysotsky, the “the Bob Dylan of Russia.”

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Pick Three: Gary Shteyngart

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Author Gary Shteyngart shares a playlist inspired by his comic memoir, Little Failure

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Russia: Where No Pop Star Is Ever 'Washed Up'

Monday, February 03, 2014

We talk pop culture with the editor-in-chief of GQ magazine's Russian edition, in a conversation that meanders from hipster foodies in Moscow... to the shocking revelation that Russia is where pop stars go when their careers have died. 

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