Cheery and careworn, izbas epitomize Russians' pastoral soul

PODOLSK, Russia (AP) During the World Cup, Russia is keen to show itself off as a modern power, full of the latest designs for stadiums and hotels that gleam, with sun reflecting from their glass walls. But visitors who venture a little off the fan-trodden track can find centuries-old buildings that are one of Russia’s greatest charms – the log-and-clapboard houses called izbas.

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