Economic Crisis Empties Moscow Central Streets

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anastasia Bazenkova – August 25, 2015) Even though Moscow retail property owners are increasingly willing to offer favorable lease terms to clients, Moscow’s central streets continue to lose their tenants who are forced to close their outlets due to the economic crisis. In the first half of the year, the vacancy rate in prime locations […]

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Nudists in Despair as Moscow Authorities Move to Close Naturist Beach

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – August 21, 2015) Moscow nudists may soon lose their best-known and most popular beach in the Serebryany Bor natural park, as city authorities plan to expel the naturists from their traditional hangout in western Moscow and turn it into a regular beach. “These people [nudists] are depraved. We can’t encourage vice. They’re […]

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A Newbie’s Guide to Taking the Moscow Metro

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Andreea Rujan – August 6, 2015) For tourists and residents alike, the metro is the simplest, cheapest and fastest way to get around the Russian capital. However, there are some basic things new arrivals should know before hopping on the subway in order to master the art of metro-riding like a true Muscovite. 1. Be […]

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Protesters Against Church Construction Gain Rare Victory

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – August 4, 2015) Long-lasting protests by residents against building a Russian Orthodox church in a park in northeastern Moscow appear to have resulted in a rare victory for public protests after religious officials said late last week they were ready to consider a different location for it. “The Moscow Eparchy is ready […]

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Muscovites Having More Children Amid Drive to Promote Family Values

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Elizaveta Vereykina – July 5, 2015) Residents of the Russian capital are having more children and having them closer together – a trend that may increase as the state continues to fight the country’s demographic crisis and promote traditional family values. “While in the beginning of 2014 there were 90,000 families with three or more […]

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Classes Aimed at Raising a New Generation of Russian Businessmen

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexandra Tyan – July 28, 2015) The newly renovated VDNKh park in northern Moscow is investing in the future with the Young Investor School, which will open at Pavilion 14 early next month. Starting on Aug. 6, every Thursday and Friday, children between the ages of 8-14 can learn about the career of investment banking […]

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Communists Storm Out of Moscow Duma Hearing on Monument to Feared Secret Police Chief

FSB Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – June 25, 2015) The Moscow City Duma courted controversy Wednesday with its determination that a proposed referendum question on the restoration of a monument to feared Soviet secret police chief Felix Dzerzhinsky was consistent with the law. But Dzerzhinsky – a Bolshevik revolutionary and founder of the dreaded Cheka secret police, which […]

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Moscow Edges Closer to First Referendum Since Soviet Collapse

FSB Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – June 23, 2015) Moscow looks set to get its first referendum in post-Soviet times – and one of the burning issues on the ballot will be the restoration of a monument to the founder of the secret police to central Moscow. On June 11, the Moscow election committee approved the Communist Party’s […]

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NEWSWATCH Time Magazine: Russia Just Opened a Theme Park for Warmongers; There are army rations for lunch, and tanks and missiles to play with

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

Time magazine reports on The Guardian reporting on Russia’s new “Patriot Park,” a military-focused theme park an hour outside Moscow. Want your child to learn how to use a grenade launcher? Now, they can at Putin’s ‘Patriot Park,’ a sort of Disneyland built to showcase Russian military prowess. Attractions include military rations for lunch and tanks and missiles to play […]

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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

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NEWSLINK The Guardian: Is the ‘Moscow experiment’ over?

Moscow Night Lights Satellite Image

The plan was to create a new type of city that answered the needs of Moscow’s creative middle classes. But did the exit of Sergei Kapkov, the culture minister who ushered in these changes, also signal the end of the city’s urban revival?

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NEWSLINK Bostinno: What Now for MIT and Moscow’s ‘Innovation City’? [Skolkovo]

Skolkovo File Photo

In 2011, MIT and Russian institutions including the Skolkovo Foundation launched a multi-year collaboration to facilitate the conception of the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology—dubbed Skoltech— a private graduate research university in a suburb of Moscow that was designed to stimulate the Russian entrepreneurial ecosystem and address a number of pressing global issues.   http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2015/05/16/mits-skolkovo-tech-incubator-skoltech-struggles-in-russia/  

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Moscow Government Approves Plans for Russian Disneyland

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 12, 2015) Moscow’s urban planning commission has approved plans for a children’s amusement park along the lines of Disneyland to be built in the Nagatinskaya Poima park in southeastern Moscow, City Hall said in a statement. The amusement park will include an indoor theme park operated by Hollywood animation studio DreamWorks, another park operated […]

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A Guide to Celebrating Victory Day in Moscow

File Photo of Parade in Red Square from 2005

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Gladkova – May 6, 2015) Victory Day is coming and the capital is scrambling to prepare for Saturday’s celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Allied defeat of Nazi Germany. The day will be bursting with activity, from a massive military parade replete with shiny new tanks and military vehicles of yore in the […]

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Muscovites Not Russians are the Problem, Shekhtman Says

Moscow Night Lights Satellite Image

(Paul Goble – Staunton, April 22, 2015) Four years ago, liberal Russians began to refer to the hurrah-patriots who opposed them as “vatniks,” a reference to the padded jackets such people often wore but used to designate their slavish support of the Kremlin and their hostility to the West and civilization. But now, Pavel Shekhtman suggests, that term should be […]

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Russian Investigators Have Difficulty Accessing Nemtsov Murder Suspects in Chechnya

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(Eurasia Daily Monitor – Volume 12, Issue 68 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Valery Dzutsev – April 13, 2015) Six weeks after the assassination of prominent Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov near the Kremlin in Moscow, authorities have failed to present a coherent explanation for the crime. As one observer has pointed out: “It looks like the Kremlin has […]

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Russian court says Nemtsov murder suspect’s guilt not established

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(Interfax – March 11, 2015) The Basmannyy Court has given Zaur Dadayev, accused in the case of murder of politician Boris Nemtsov, an opportunity to state his position regarding the investigators’ request for his arrest, the press-service of the court has said. “Dadayev was given the right to speak. But he thought that the criminal case was being heard, while […]

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Sherlock Holmes, Pavel Kogan and The Theory of Everything – What to Do in Moscow on Wednesday

Moscow Night Lights Satellite Image

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 4, 2015) Sherlock Holmes: Contemporary dance detective show set to Irish folk music, compositions by Handel and Schubert. Choreography by Yelena Bogdanovich. Natalya Sats Children’s Musical Theater. 5 Prospekt Vernadskogo. Metro Universitet. 495-930-5177. At 5 p.m. Golden Mask: Aida: Verdi’s opera about the forbidden love between an Ethiopian slave girl and an Egyptian army […]

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Nemtsov Feared Putin Would Kill Him and Now the Kremlin Leader Has

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(Window on Eurasia –  Paul Goble – Staunton, February 28, 2015) Almost three weeks ago, Boris Nemtsov said that he feared that Vladimir Putin would kill him for his opposition activities, and last night, the Kremlin leader did, either by direct order which some are convinced is the most likely or by creating the barbarous climate in Russia which has made such […]

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From our own correspondent in Moscow: There have been protests in the capital. Could Moscow really go the way of Kyiv – bring down the president and install a less authoritarian government?

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(opendemocracy.net – Anna Arutunyan – December 31, 2014) Anna Arutunyan is an independent journalist and author of ‘The Putin Mystique.’ She lives in Moscow. I joined the crowds of people protesting against the sentence handed down to opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his brother Oleg on 30 December. Surrounded by Muscovites preparing for the long New Year’s holiday, we were […]

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Russians in Biggest Cities Feel the Most Pain from Crisis, Gudkov Says

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, December 22, 2014) Russians living in the largest cities, the people who benefited the most from the oil-driven boom of the last decade, now feel the greatest concern about the impact on their lives of the economic crisis because they are better informed than those in smaller ones and rural areas, a […]

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Europe’s Biggest Mall Opens in Moscow Amid Economic Decline

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – December 1, 2014) Two days after Europe’s largest shopping mall opened its doors in northwest Moscow at the height of economic woes and the ruble’s free fall, there seemed to be more window-shopping than spending happening at Aviapark. The new shopping center built near the site of a historic field known as […]

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McDonald’s Moscow Restaurant Reopens After 3-Month Shutdown

File Photo of Russian McDbnald's Crew with U.S. Diplomat

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leslie Patton, Ilya Khrennikov – November 19, 2014) McDonald’s Corp.’s (MCD) largest restaurant in Russia reopened after local officials shuttered the location for three months, an optimistic sign for a company trying to return to business as usual in the country. The outlet, situated in Moscow’s Pushkin Square, resumed business today, said Svetlana Polyakova, a spokeswoman […]

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Take a Vacation to Crimea at Embattled Teatr.doc

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman – November 6, 2014) To be or not to be, that is the question these days for Teatr.doc. A move by city authorities to oust the famous little theater from its basement in the center of Moscow will probably be successful. The chances are better than good that Doc, as the theater is […]

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Moscow’s Deputy Mayor Attempts to Allay Panic Over Health Care Reforms

File Photo of Patient in Russian Hospital

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – October 30, 2014) When President Vladimir Putin made a law on health care reform one of his first acts after returning to the presidency in May 2012, medical professionals and members of the public alike nodded their heads in approval, all too aware of the flaws and chaos inherent in the existing […]

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Russia Denies Report Alleging Harassment of U.S. Embassy Staff

Artist's Rendition of U.S. Embassy, Moscow, with the Russian Foreign Ministry in the Background

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jennifer Monaghan – October 29, 2014) Russia’s Foreign Ministry has issued an angry denial following a report that U.S. Embassy staff are facing increased harassment and psychological pressure while working in Moscow, appealing to the U.S. to stop the “negativity.” In an article published Monday, U.S.-based broadcaster ABC News reported that a number of embassy […]

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Muscovites in for a Harsh Winter as Temperatures Set to Plunge

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 17, 2014) After several years of relatively mild winters, Russia is gearing up for what meteorologists say will be a truly “Russian winter,” with its traditional frosts and ample snowfall. “Our estimations show that this year’s winter will be closer to our long-term average,” Alexander Frolov, head of the Federal Agency for Hydrometeorology and […]

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Majority of Russia’s Urban Population Is Breathing Highly Polluted Air

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 4, 2014) The majority of Russia’s urban population is breathing highly polluted air, including at least 14 million people in 38 cities where pollutant concentrations are 10 times above acceptable levels, according to a recent report by the national weather and environment service. Moscow was among cities that rated high on air pollution, mostly […]

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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 […]

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Muscovites Turn Out for City Duma Primaries

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – June 9, 2014) More than 1,000 candidates participated in the Moscow City Duma’s first ever nonbinding primaries on Sunday. The results of Sunday’s poll will have no effect on the Moscow City Duma election, which will be held on Sept. 14. Muscovites were invited to cast their ballots in one of the […]

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Death Be Not Proud – Be Profitable: Moscow’s Funeral Business

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn- June 5, 2014) Your beloved mother has died, leaving you in a state of grief just short of catatonic. Who do you call? Many Muscovites will tell you it was not really who you call that matters – it was who the police, the dispatcher or the medics call: the funeral agents. Because […]

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Moscow Places Near Bottom in TripAdvisor Cities Survey

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Breffny Morgan – May 29, 2014) Sanctions may come and go, but bad reviews last a lifetime. TripAdvisor, the second most popular travel website, has recently blasted Russia on several counts of being the world’s worst travel destination in its yearly Cities Survey. This is not an overt move by a TripAdvisor editorial team to […]

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Americans in Moscow Feel Chill in US-Russia Relations

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated Before Russian and U.S. Flags

(Voice of America – James Brooke – May 28, 2014) The American confrontation with Russia over Ukraine has caused relations between Moscow and Washington to plummet to the lowest level in a generation. American school children singing the Star Spangled Banner in the ballroom of Spaso House, the neoclassical ambassador’s residence in the heart of Moscow, seemed to signal that […]

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Interfax: Moscow press review for May 15, 2014

Collage of Russian Newspapers

MOSCOW. May 15 (Interfax) – The following is a digest of Moscow newspapers published on May 15. Interfax does not accept liability for information in these stories. POLITICS & ECONOMICS Ukraine is preparing to place $1 billion in Eurobonds on the open market that will be guaranteed by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the country’s transition government announced Wednesday. […]

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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 […]

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New Moscow centers give parentless children a live-in mother

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Tatyana Sudakova, special to RBTH – April 9, 2014) A new breed of children’s home is springing up around Moscow to replace the city’s orphanages. Here parentless children have the chance to get used to a family environment by living in comfortable modern surroundings with a “mother” who spends five days a week […]

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Snowstorm Paralyzes Moscow on April Fool’s Day

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 2, 2014) A snowstorm buffeted Moscow for about 18 hours, snarling traffic and blanketing the city in a record 17 centimeters of white that many residents probably wished was an April Fool’s joke. “Winter has returned to Moscow, and this is no April Fool’s joke,” Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said at a City Hall meeting. […]

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Maslenitsa Weekend in Moscow

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Katerina Azarova – February 28, 2014) Sunshine and pancakes: If you ask me, it doesn’t get any better than that. That’s what Moscow is all about this week, because it’s Maslenitsa time! The delicious, gluttonous week of sweet and savory pancakes before Lent is finally upon us, and you should definitely take advantage of all […]

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Moscow Ready for Olympic Tourists. And Still Waiting

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – February 14, 2014) The Olympic Games seemed a golden opportunity for the Moscow tourism industry, with the majority of tourists bound to pause in the capital on their way to Sochi. But the city has not been deluged with Olympic visitors. Those few who have stopped in Moscow have been quick to […]

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Moscow Duma Says Dzerzhinsky Will Not Return to Lubyanka

fsb-building

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – D. Garrison Golubock – February 12, 2014)  A statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky or Iron Felix, a Bolshevik revolutionary and founder of the Cheka, the predecessor of the KGB, will not be restored to its erstwhile location on Lubyanskaya Ploshchad, the Moscow Duma’s committee on monuments announced Tuesday. “Restoration of the monument is impractical at the […]

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Interfax: Moscow commission rules not to reinstall monument to Dzerzhinsky on Lubyanskaya Square

File Photo of Partial FSB Headquarters Building Facade

MOSCOW. Feb 11 (Interfax) – The Moscow City Duma’s monumental art commission unanimously decided on Tuesday not to return a monument to Felix Dzerzhinsky, a prominent Soviet statesman and founder of the Soviet security services, to Lubyanskaya Square in central Moscow. “Taking into account the current circumstances in society, I propose refraining from returning the monument. This is more of […]

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Three-quarters of crimes in Moscow went unsolved last year

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(RIA Novosti – February 5, 2014) Three-quarters of the total number of crimes reported last year in Russia’s capital went unsolved, Moscow’s head prosecutor said in a statement Wednesday. “On the one hand, the situation with solving crimes improved a little, with a five percent increase as compared with 2012,” Sergei Kudeneyev said at a meeting of city officials. “On […]

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Transfer of Lenin’s body will improve situation in Russia – Human rights ombudsman

Lenin Mausoleum on Red Square, Kremlin Walls, Sentry

(Interfax – January 21, 2014) Russian human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin said a decision on the transfer of the body of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin from the mausoleum and the elimination of the necropolis on the Red Square may be made in the nearest future. “The Red Square is not a place for a cemetery. A decision on this matter […]

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RIA Novosti: 1 Million Foreigners Could Be Working Illegally in Moscow – Official

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

MOSCOW, January 9 (RIA Novosti) ­ About a million foreigners could be working illegally in the Russian capital, a top Moscow migration official suggested Thursday. Olga Kirillova, head of the Federal Migration Service’s Moscow branch, said in televised remarks to the state-run channel Moskva 24 that just over 415,000 foreigners work legally in the city. She said that the overall […]

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Taking precautions on Moscow’s metro

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Zoya Miloslavskaya, special to RBTH – January 2, 2014) The Moscow metro is relatively safe, but pickpockets, thieves and drunken travellers can darken an unwary passenger’s mood. However, you can avoid incidents like these by following some simple rules. According to statistics from the Directorate of Internal Affairs, 290 robberies took place on […]

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Five Stories From Put-Upon Small Business in Moscow

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – December 18, 2013) Before Mayor Sergei Sobyanin came to power in 2010, Guram Bolkvadze, a businessman from Georgia, owned 24 kiosks at bus stops across Moscow. Then one day, he was given just a few hours to get his goods out of the shops before the bulldozers came in and leveled 18 […]

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The cost of doing business in Moscow

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yulia Ponomareva, RBTH – December 6, 2013) Foreign entrepreneurs talk about the pros and cons of working in Moscow. In an effort to find more ways to attract foreign investors to Russia’s capital, Moscow authorities asked several current expat businessmen to give their assessment of the pros and cons of starting a business […]

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Suburbs Await Transformation Into Hubs in a New Polycentric Moscow

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Lena Smirnova – December 9, 2013) Moscow will get a new master plan by 2015 to reflect its forthcoming transformation into a polycentric city, in which peripheral areas become alternative hubs for work and cultural activities, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said at the third annual Moscow Urban Forum. Wrapping up on Saturday, the forum brought together […]

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The curious case of the Red Square suitcase

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – By Anna Arutunyan – December 4, 2013) The Louis Vuitton pavilion controversy highlighted lack of transparency in managing areas surrounding the Kremlin As workers dismantled a giant Louis Vuitton suitcase that went up suddenly on Red Square last week, just who authorized the project and who issued orders for it to be taken down remained […]

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