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Articles by Howard Amos


Howard Amos joined The Moscow Times' business desk as a reporter in November 2010 and writes on a variety of topics, including macroeconomics, finance and banking, and energy. He lived in Russia for a year before joining the paper. You can contact him at h.amos@imedia.ru or follow him on Twitter at @howardamos.


Odessa Club Cancels Concert by Patriotic Russian Rapper

A club in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa called off an upcoming performance by Russian rapper Timati after local governor and ex-Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili called for the singer to be banned for his allegedly anti-Ukraine stance.

Karzai Hails Deepening Russian-Afghan Ties

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai praised "blossoming" relations between Kabul and Moscow on Thursday as the standoff between Russia and the West over the Ukraine crisis continues.

Russian Officials See 'Color Revolution' in Armenia

Russian lawmakers said Wednesday that rolling protests on the streets of the Armenian capital of Yerevan could be the first stage of a "color revolution."

Russia Tops 2014 World Asylum Claims

With hundreds of thousands of people having been displaced by fighting in eastern Ukraine, Russia recorded the world's highest number of asylum applications last year.

German Drugmaker Merck Flaunts Russian Expansion as Others Flee

The Russian head of pharmaceutical and chemical giant Merck dreams of one day supplying golden pigment to gild the onion domes of Orthodox churches.

Majority See FIFA Scandal as Attack on Russia

Most Russians think that corruption allegations against officials at FIFA leveled by U.S. investigators last month are an attempt to prevent Russia from hosting the 2018 World Cup.

20 Years On, Russia Remembers Budyonnovsk Attack

Russia marked Sunday the 20th anniversary of an attack on the southern town of Budyonnovsk that left more than 100 people dead and some 500 injured.

Men's Magazine Maxim Fined, Threatened With Closure in Russia

A Russian court ordered prominent men's magazine Maxim to pay a 25,000-ruble ($456) fine Thursday for printing bad language, the second such punishment the publication has had in less than a year, paving the way for the country's media watchdog to request the magazine's closure.

Investigators Turn on Moscow's Domodedovo Airport

Privately owned Domodedovo Airport faced the latest in a series of legal battles Monday as Russian investigators opened several criminal cases against former senior executives.

FIFA Scandal Casts Shadow on Russia's World Cup

Doubts were cast Wednesday over Russia's legitimacy as the host nation for next World Cup as Swiss authorities launched an investigation into criminal mismanagement linked to the 2010 decision by FIFA.

Q&A: Ruben Vardanyan, Russia's Armenian Financier Turned Philanthropist

On one side of Ruben Vardanyan's open-plan office hangs a wall-size photograph of an Armenian mountain panorama. If you look closer you can see Ч in the center of the photo Ч a tiny figure of a man in a yellow sweater, with his back to the photographer, staring toward the distant peaks.

Chechen Leader Kadyrov Becomes Russia's Newest Film Star

Kadyrov has scored starring roles in two films: an epic action film featuring a camouflage-clad Kadyrov firing a machine gun into the sky, and a documentary depicting him as a cruel dictator.

Driver in Deadly Siberian Crash Amnestied Without Serving Day in Prison

A driver who caused a high-profile fatal crash in the Siberian city of Irkutsk has been amnestied without serving a single day in prison, local news website irk.ru cited prosecutors as saying Monday.

Court Rules Songs by Russian Metal Bands Are 'Extremist'

A court in Russia's Far East said Monday that it had found signs of "violence and intolerance" in songs by two Russian metal bands and that it has asked the Justice Ministry to include the tracks on a federal list of extremist materials.

Crimean Lawmaker Refuses to Duel With Night Wolves' Chief Over Land Dispute

A top Crimean official declined a proposed duel over a land dispute with the head of Russia's nationalist Night Wolves biker group Monday, according to a Russian media report.

Russian Parliament Speaker Backs Early Elections

The speaker of the State Duma Ч Russia's lower house of parliament Ч Sergei Naryshkin said Thursday he supports an initiative to bring forward by three months Duma elections scheduled for December 2016.

Foreign Anti-Torture Experts Expelled From Russia

A German expert who was taking part in a seminar organized by a Russian anti-torture NGO has been ordered to leave Russia for violating migration rules, the Interfax news agency reported Thursday.

Russian Prosecutors Visit Zoo, Leave Trail of Death and Destruction

A group of prosecutors and veterinary service officials arrived at closing time at a Crimean zoo called Fairytale and quickly set about firing tranquilizer darts at animals.

Prominent Economist to Leave Russia, Cites Politics

Prominent liberal economist and commentator Konstantin Sonin, who was reportedly squeezed out of a top job at a Russian public university earlier this year, said Wednesday that he will leave the country to take up a teaching post in the United States because of recent political developments.

Polonsky Deported Amid Warming Russia-Cambodian Ties

Colorful Russian businessman Sergei Polonsky was formally charged with fraud by Russian investigators Monday after being deported in flip-flops and shorts from Cambodia.

Russia Steps Up War on Nazi Imagery

On a Saturday evening in February, journalist Polina Petruseva was detained by police at her apartment in the western Russian city of Smolensk, accused of publicly flaunting Nazi imagery.

Boris Nemtsov's Report Counts Hundreds of Russian Dead in Ukraine

Russian opposition leaders published Tuesday a report initiated by slain Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov that details alleged Kremlin military involvement in Ukraine.

Catholic Priest to Appeal Closure of Kirov Baby Box

A Catholic priest in the city of Kirov will file a court appeal against the closure of a baby box by prosecutors, local news website Devyatka reported Tuesday.

Chinese Leader Tops Meager Victory Day Guest List

While Russia's Victory Day celebrations will be some of the most extravagant since the end of the Soviet Union, tensions over Ukraine have left the international guest list significantly shorter than usual.

Moscow Court Finds Glamorous Ex-Defense Ministry Official Guilty in Corruption Case

A Moscow court ruled Wednesday that former Defense Ministry official turned celebrity Evgeniya Vasilyeva was guilty of fraud as one of Russia's most high profile corruption trials entered its final stage.

Putin Raises 'Extremism' Fines for Russian Media Tenfold

President Putin signed legislation Saturday that will increase tenfold the maximum fine that can be levied on Russian news organizations accused of inciting extremism.

Hate Seethes as Russia Marks One Year Since Deadly Odessa Inferno

When protestors gathered Saturday in Moscow to mark one year since 48 people were killed in Odessa during street battles between pro-Russia and pro-Ukraine activists, there was little sadness on display.

Preservationists Warn Over New Status for Soviet Ensemble VDNKh

A Stalinist complex built in the 1930s on a swamp on the outskirts of Moscow to champion the achievements of communism will soon receive a new heritage designation.

Russian Cabbage Prices Triple as Much-Loved Staple Falls Victim to Inflation

The cost of a cabbage in Russia has almost tripled in less than six months.

Russia Steps Back From Brink of Major Pensions Overhaul

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced Thursday that Russia would not scrap pension fund contributions, preserving a key pool of investment capital.