The Fall 2011 issue of the Virginia Quarterly Review is dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the disintegration of the USSR and is wonderful. In the opening letter from the editors, Ted Genoways and Dimiter Kenarov aptly remark that if there is a mood that hangs over all the essays in this issue, it's the specter of [that] disenchantment. Order the whole issue or read excerpts online for fantastically atmospheric essays by Dimiter Kenarov, Maria Vassileva, Nadia Shira Cohen, Jason Motlagh and excellent, just superb photography. The photograph below is Maisie Crow's. This little dude is playing with an old Soviet era gas-mask.
I have also been enchanted by Katharine Holt's blog. Katharine is currently living in Russia and doing dissertation research in Russian literature. She started posting in order to be able to share things she considers delightfully absurd or in some broad sense hip but, as you can imagine, her travelogue has partially morphed into a visual diary of political unrest. I love the immediacy of her updates! Her dispatches are a terrific companion to whatever other more straight-forward reporting you happen to be reading.
Katharine is the sister of author Elliott Holt who, in a recent Twitter exchange, told me that half of her just-finished novel is set in Moscow. As you can see, we've got ourselves a Holt Family fan-girl and she is keeping her fingers crossed.
Last but not least, just this past December David Greene, NPR's Moscow correspondent rode the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Moscow to Vladivostok and posted stories about the people he met and the Russia he saw on this VERY long trip. Greene is funny and really charming. You can read the complete series HERE.
Hope this helps.