TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with CEO of Sberbank German Gref

File Photo of German Gref Shaking Hands with U.S. Official

(Kremlin.ru – February 23, 2017) Sberbank CEO and Chairman of the Board German Gref briefed Vladimir Putin on the bank’s 2016 performance results and its current activities, including the prospects for developing mortgage lending, and new financial support mechanisms for the defence industry and agricultural sector businesses. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Gref, concerning the bank’s performance, we know […]

» Read more

TRANSCRIPT: [Vladimir Putin, Mikhail Men, Alexander Novak, Nikolai Nikiforov, Vitaly Mutko at] Meeting with Government members

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(kremlin.ru – February 1, 2017) Vladimir Putin met with Government members to discuss possibilities for further developing treasury monitoring of budget spending, the situation with co-funded housing development, and a number of other current issues. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon colleagues. Today, we will discuss the results of work and further development for treasury monitoring of budget spending. […]

» Read more

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of the Commission for Monitoring Targeted Socioeconomic Development Indicators

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – May 16, 2016) The meeting discussed the state of progress in implementing the instructions set out in the presidential executive orders of May 2012. The agenda included, in particular, issues pertaining to staffing the healthcare system with qualified personnel, development of supplementary education for children, and raising the quality of public services, including in the housing and utilities […]

» Read more

NEWSWATCH BBC: Russian debtors despair as boom turns to bust

Cash, Calculator, Pen

The BBC covers the Russian economic crisis and the plight of Russians who took on debt during boom times only to face misery and potential disaster now. Millions of Russians took out loans during the economic boom years, but now they face crippling debts and the law is not on their side …. * * * … the Russian United Credit Bureau […]

» Read more

NEWSLINK The Guardian: Moscow’s suburbs may look monolithic, but the stories they tell are not

Moscow Night Lights Satellite Image

At the end of the 1950s, the Soviet Union began the largest experiment in industrialised housing in history. Owen Hatherley visits three of Moscow’s resulting mikrorayons, where the majority of Muscovites still live today

» Read more

In it together: How communal apartments shaped the outlook of generations

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – by Georgy Manaev- January 5, 2015) Communal apartments, where strangers lived as one big family, shaped many generations of Soviet and Russian citizens, and continue to exist even today. The lack of a private life, a striving to dole out rights and responsibilities equally, snitching, and a willingness to help one’s neighbors were […]

» Read more

Moscow Renews Demolition Crusade Against Khrushchev’s 1950s Apartment Blocks

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Mark Lammey – June 10, 2014) Demolition men have flattened 1,451 of Moscow’s Khrushchevki – cheaply built 1950’s apartment blocks that were never meant to make it into the 21st century – in the last 15 years, as part of a foundering plan by ex-Mayor Yury Luzhkov to freshen up residential areas, the head of […]

» Read more

Russians Paying Up to Turn Rubles Into Homes: Mortgages

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Lyubov Pronina – June 4, 2014) Denis Ichetkin’s decision to get a mortgage for a one-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of Moscow in late January couldn’t have been better timed, he said. The 30-year-old journalist and his wife Veronika secured a 15-year loan from VTB Group with a 12 percent interest rate before Russia’s March incursion […]

» Read more

Apparatchik Apartments: Behind the facades of the House on the Embankment

Back side of House on Embankment (central part), view from Patriarshy Bridge pedestrian walkway, from Wikimedia Commons, user NVO, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Moscow,_House_on_Embankment_back_side.jpg

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Dmitriy Romendik, RBTH – April 16, 2014) This huge apartment block across the river from the Kremlin is one of the enduring symbols of the Stalin era. In the 1930s the apartments inside were allocated only to senior officials and the Soviet elite, but when many of them fell from favor, a grim […]

» Read more

Banks Scramble for Clients as Mortgage Lending Takes Off

Sberbank File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – February 18, 2014) Mortgage lending is soaring as banks lower their rates, carrying with it both the benefits and potential drawbacks of a mortgage-greedy banking system. Until recently, Russian banks and consumers alike were skeptical of mortgages, and the rapidly escalating price of real estate did not help matters. Now, stable housing […]

» Read more

The lower depths in Russia today

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(opendemocracy.net – December 14, 2013 – Ekaterina Loushnikova) Ekaterina Loushnikova is radio and print journalist based in the city of Kirov Over a century after Maksim Gorky’s famous play about homeless people ­ ‘The Lower Depths’ ­ Ekaterina Loushnikova has been looking around her home city of Kirov to see if anything has changed. The church porch I stood in […]

» Read more

Housing Still the ‘Dream’ and Frequently Out of Reach

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 16, 2013) Affordable housing remains a dream for most Russian families, whose average monthly income is not enough for a mortgage to buy even a half of a two-bedroom apartment, according to research conducted by Finexpertiza consulting firm. A survey by the Public Opinion Foundation, showed that a two-bedroom apartment is the “Russian dream,” […]

» Read more

How former Soviet countrymen resettle in Russia

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Lyudmila Nazdracheva, special to RBTH – September 26, 2013) This year, thanks to a program that facilitates the return of nationals to Russia, around 15,000 people have moved back to the country. The plans for the program estimated the influx of returning émigrés to be in the hundreds of thousands per year, and […]

» Read more

Inflation, corruption catching up with public utilities on Russian top problems’ list – poll

Electrical Yard file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 11, 2013) Housing and public utilities remain the biggest concern for Russians (55%) although the problem’s acuteness has been alleviated in recent months, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) said. The second biggest problem is inflation (47%) and low living standards rank third (46%). Corruption and bureaucracy (44%) and healthcare problems (43%) follow. The other […]

» Read more

The New Moscow: Old Style Civilization

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Chloe Schmitt – June 3, 2013) New Moscow Population:  250,000 residents in the added territory Main industries: In the past, the city of Troitsk was well known for its textile industry. But today there are no major industries in new Moscow. One of the major businesses today is real estate, with the construction of many […]

» Read more

Knock, Knock: The Return of the Propiska?

Map of Russia

(opendemocracy.net – Mikhail Loginov – March 7, 2013) Mikhail Loginov is a journalist and novelist based in St. Petersburg. He is the author of the recently published bestselling political thriller “Battle for Kremlin”. Reports from Moscow of door-to-door passport checks and a proposed new bill criminalising registration infringements are rekindling uncomfortable memories of the Soviet past. Mikhail Loginov reflects on […]

» Read more

Winter in Russia: cold indoors as well as out

File Photo of Moscow In Snowy Winter Showing St. Basil's At Night in Snowfall, with People on the Ground in the Distance

(www.opendemocracy.net – Mikhail Loginov – January 16, 2013) Mikhail Loginov is a journalist and novelist based in St. Petersburg. He is the author of the recently published bestselling political thriller “Battle for Kremlin”. Most radiators in urban Russian homes are fed by hot water transported from heating plants miles away. Ageing pipes frequently burst, causing hardship and even fatalities. Could […]

» Read more

Housing Problems Bother Russians Most – Poll

Cash, Calculator, Pen

MOSCOW, January 9 (RIA Novosti) ­ Most Russians consider the critical situation in the housing and utilities sector, inflation and low living standards and corruption as the most pressing problems in the country, a new poll revealed on Wednesday. The majority of respondents, 58 percent, said housing and utilities problems were their main concerns, according to the VTsIOM state pollster. […]

» Read more