Dva myacha sneakers

The Soviet Union was better known for manufacturing shoddy knock-offs than producing premium goods but one product more than any other found a firm footing: Chinese-made canvas and rubber shoes called Dva myacha (Two balls), a Communist response to the success of Converse sneakers in the West. I meet a Moscow entrepreneur who has given them a new lease of life. 

Yerevan's Cascade

The Armenian capital of Yerevan has many a fine structure to its name, all made of that characteristic reddish tuff that is indigenous to this tiny landlocked country in the South Caucasus. But there is one structure that draws attention like no other, the Cascade, the brainchild of a group of pioneering modernist architects from the 1960s. 


Austria took in around 90,000 asylum seekers last year, the second-highest number in the EU on a per capita basis. The government has since introduced a cap on the number of people crossing its borders but the question remains: how to best help the new arrivals integrate? I visit the team behind Habibi&Hawara, a restaurant in central Vienna that makes a point of hiring displaced persons.