30 Most Notable Launches of 2007



If someone told you that there was a great magazine that focused on the country of Russia, would you be skeptical? Well, allow me to remove all skepticism.

Russia, a quarterly magazine, exhorts the diverse culture and key issues that make the country of Russia so interesting.

Articles on free speech, homosexuality, female labor and time travel, yes time travel, provide an eclectic mix of topics that the editor’s hope will strike a chord with American consumers.

They even go so far as to suggest which Youtube playlist have the best Russian music. Yes, that is a little quirky, but that is the beauty of this magazine: the ability to go from serious topics to lighter topics.

That, the editors hope, will allow a magazine about a country viewed as cold and emotionless, to become warm, diverse and inviting in the minds of fickle American consumers.

Russia attempts to shatter old perceptions by making little use of tired, old clichés. The result is a refreshing look at a country and culture that is quickly evolving.


Ilya Merenzon
Editor & Publisher

1. What do you consider the single most important achievement your magazine has accomplished in today’s marketplace?
Russia! became popular among journalists and media people alike. Gawker, a popular media gossip site, called us “super-hip”. Also, we brought attention to modern Russian art, design, photography – all what Russia was famous for in the 1920s

2. Looking back, what was the most important hurdle you were able to overcome?
Two hurdles, actually – we had to prove that Russia! magazine is not part of the Kremlin propaganda effort (this seemed very important for most of our contributors, readers and partners!) and setting up our first advertising sales meeting.

3. What was the most pleasant surprise?
It turns out that huge number of people in the US and Europe are passionate about Russia. The amount of feedback we get is overwhelming.

4. What is the biggest challenge you are facing today?
We are producing a solid print product, but our business model assumes extensions, such as book publishing, internet, Russia-related products. It’s a separate business requiring a lot of time and effort.

5. Imagine you have a magic wand and you can strike the magazine and make it human? Describe that human being.
David Remnick, the EIN of The New Yorker, who decides to move to Russia forever.

6. The number of new magazine launches has been on a steady increase. What advice do you offer to someone wanting to start a new magazine?
The publisher or editor should be the star

7. Finish this sentence: in 2011 your magazine will be…still profitable.