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Articles by Daria Litvinova
Going Down in Flames
Incompetence, neglect and rash reforms are undermining Moscow firefighters’ ability to tackle major fires.
Russia’s Big Brother Is Trying To Watch You (But Is Annoyed You Won't Let Him.)
Russian authorities want to wipe anonymity out of the Internet. But is it possible?
Russian Court Convicts 'Extremist' Ukraine Library Director
Compared to most librarians, the last 19 months have been unusually dramatic for Natalya Sharina.
The Protests That Aren't Going Away
City authorities struggle to contain growing resentment with their demolition program.
Panic Mode: Moscow Probe Into Anti-Gay Purge Has Chechen Leaders Rattled
Moscow sends a delegation to Chechnya to investigate anti-gay crimes, sending local officials into panic mode.
Unfriended: Ukraine Bans Russia's Biggest Social Networks
Ukraine has banned Russia’s largest social networks and online services. But it probably won’t further damage relations or IT markets
Why Does Russia Loathe Its ‘Old, Fat and Ugly’?
Russia’s intolerance for the overweight is under the spotlight after a flight attendant sued her employers.
Arts and life
The Great Leveler: Muscovites Unite Against Housing Demolitions
A government program to demolish residential buildings is bringing Muscovites together in protest
The Children Russia Can’t Let Go
American families hope to convince the Kremlin to lift its adoption ban by telling stories of success. But is anyone willing to listen?
Russia’s Phony Jehovah’s Witnesses
When Jehovah's Witnesses arrived at the Russian Supreme Court on Wednesday morning, crowds lined the streets — but it wasn't their people.
From Dust Till Dawn: Moscow Renovation Plan to Tear Up City Center
An ambitious renovation program in the center of Moscow steamrolls streets and promises utopian changes.
Are Russian Teens Really About to Storm the Kremlin?
Recent anti-corruption rallies will go down as Russia’s most youthful protests.
‘A Choice Between Prison and the Grave’
For most victims of domestic violence in Russia, self-defense remains the only option — and it often comes with a price.
Why Russia's New 'Thaw' Isn't Really a Thaw
Hopes for Russia’s regime softening its grip on political opponents and human rights are, at the very best, premature.
6 Signs There’s No Such Thing as Internet Freedom in Russia
International human rights group Agora says Russian authorities have declared war on the Internet
Russian Scientists Rally Against Rise of Homeopathic 'Pseudo-Medicine'
The Russian Academy of Sciences has declared homeopathy a “health hazard,” but Russians seem to be in no hurry to give it up.
The Epidemic That Was Forced to Wait in Line
You might think that combating a growing epidemic of a deadly and incurable disease would be any country’s top priority — but you would be mistaken...
Bargaining Chips: Why Russian Orphans Might Become Political Pawns Once Again
European Court ruling raises hope that Russia’s much-derided ban on adoption by U.S. citizens could soon be overturned.
‘We Pray Someone Will Become Their Parents’
American families share their stories, hoping Russia's controversial 2013 adoption ban might finally be overturned, and the orphans they were forced to...
They Fought the Law: Russia Edges Closer to Decriminalizing Domestic Violence
The story of a law protecting victims of familial abuse that only lasted seven months in Russia.
Damned Either Way
You might think officials in Kiev have no bone to pick with anyone in Russia’s anti-Kremlin opposition, but you’d be wrong.
Bill Decriminalizing Domestic Violence Passes First Reading in Russian Parliament
A bill decriminalizing domestic violence has passed its first reading in Russia's State Duma. Some 368 lawmakers voted in favor of the law, with just one...
Don’t Say It
They say “sex sells,” but don't go peddling it near dinner tables in Russia, where families in an ostensibly conservative society say the subject is...
The Time She Didn’t Come Back Alive
Russia mourns the loss of its most prominent humanitarian Elizaveta Glinka, known to millions of Russians more simply — Doctor Liza.
We, the People: The Green Shoots of Russia's Grassroots
Political protest might be dead in Russia, but grassroots activism was very much alive in 2016. The Moscow Times reviews the most memorable cases.
Live Blog: President Putin's 2016 End of Year Press Conference
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annual press conference kicked off at noon today. A record number of journalists – 1,437, both domestic and foreign...
Moscow Student Accused of Islamic State Ties to Hear Verdict Dec. 22
On Dec. 22, Moscow’s District Military Court will hand down a verdict to Varvara Karaulova, the Moscow student accused of attempting to join Islamic...
Catch Up, Kremlin!
You can expect a lot if Alexei Navalny manages to register his candidacy in Russia’s 2018 presidential race, but a boring campaign is out of the question...
First Anger, Then Denial: Russia Reacts to New WADA Accusations
This time around, there wasn’t even outrage. There were no emotional Instagram posts from Olympic sports stars, no apologetic columns from ministers...
Arts and life
A Bitter Pill: Moscow Closes Its Psychiatric Hospitals
Moscow health care “optimization” leaves city with just three psychiatric hospitals for more than 12 million residents.
Russians Want Better Ties With the West, Despite Fearing It
On face value, it was an unusually cheery poll: 71 percent of Russians now want to improve economic, political and cultural ties with the West.
Russia’s Holocaust-Themed Ice-Skating Performance Is Totally Lost on the West
“This is all very weird to me,” Tatiana Navka, an ice-skating celebrity, told The Moscow Times on Monday. “Our show, ‘Ice Age,’ has been on air...
From the Classroom to the Stars
Moscow State University has announced ambitious plans to open its own space faculty. They are unlikely to solve the industry’s longtime problems.
Eunuch, Failure, Puppet-Master: Russian Propaganda Sees Barack Obama Off
Donald Trump will soon be president of the United States, but outgoing President Barack Obama remains Russia's chief adversary. At least, that's what Russian...
Russia Wishes Away Its HIV Epidemic
Epidemiologists have developed the means to stop HIV in its tracks, but Russia is barely listening.
Russian Libraries Victimized in Extremism Witch Hunt
By the time of her trial, Natalya Sharina, the former director of Moscow’s State Library of Ukrainian Literature, had spent more than a year under house...
State and the Arts: Culture Leaders Stand Up to Censorship
Such open confrontation has broken an unwritten contract within the cultural world — a consensus whereby directors of big institutions and influential...
Returning the Names: Moscow to Mourn Victims of Stalin's Terror
On Oct. 29, the eve of the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repression, hundreds of people will gather on Lubyanskaya Ploshchad near the...
IS Fighter or Girl in Love: The Story of Varvara Karaulova
Varvara couldn’t hold back her tears as she listened to her father’s voice cracking as he described the day she disappeared. The defense maintains...
Russia's Refugees: They Picked the Wrong Country
Russia doesn't want refugees, and its asylum system is arranged accordingly, says Svetlana Gannushkina, veteran activist and contender for this year's...
Soviet Prisoner No. 7: The Mysterious Case of Raoul Wallenberg
Seventy years on, relatives are still trying to piece together the story of what happened to a Swedish diplomat abducted by the Soviets during World War...
Winner Takes All: United Russia Secures a Duma Super-Majority
The final result was overwhelming: United Russia took 343 out of the State Duma’s 450 seats, gaining a constitutional super-majority. Russia’s friendly...
Russia’s War Against Greenpeace: When Local Resistance Turns Violent
The attackers came at night. Eight strong men in masks scaled the fence surrounding the camp where a group of Greenpeace activists were staying. They started...
Russia's Cancer Patients: Dying for Pain Relief
In the space of a month, Russia was shocked by several violent suicides involving terminally ill patients. All were reported to have struggled with cancer...
Arts and life
Sexual Assault Scandal Hits Elite Moscow School, Rocks Russian Intelligentsia
“For more than 16 years, we’ve known that the history teacher was having affairs with his students. He was a handsome man: smart, ironic, charismatic...
Russian Paralympians' Last Call for Rio
Alexei Obydyonnov, a two-time world champion in cycle racing, is visibly annoyed when asked about his chances participating in the 2016 Paralympic Games...
Islam Karimov Rumored Dead, Uzbekistan Ponders Future
Reports of the alleged death of the President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, have been denied by officials in Tashkent, who say his condition is "serious...
Strong Women and Sexy Lenins: the Unforgettable Art of Russia’s Election Campaign
Three weeks ahead of the elections, the streets of Russian cities, towns and villages have become filled with political banners. Some of them are ordinary...
Girls Under the Knife: Is Russia Ready to Tackle FGM?
The stories these women tell send shivers down the spine. They were only children when their mothers took them to see the older women. These women cut...
The Weird Science and New Kremlin Chief of Staff
A bizarre article outlining “spacial scanners” and a means of “registering the unseen” has been linked to the newly appointed top bureaucrat Anton...
Incursion, Desertion, Skirmish: What Really Happened in Crimea?
Some time between Aug. 6 and 8, something was definitely up around the disputed Ukraine-Crimea border. There was some kind of incident — possibly gunfire...
The Fall Guys: Russian Paralympians Stuck on Road to Rio
Barred from Rio, Russia's Paralympic team still hope to make it to the Games by contesting the ban. In the meantime, athletes continue to train.
The Road to Rio: How Russia (Finally) Made It
Defying the majority of forecasts, Russia dodged the bullet. After nine months of scandal, haranguing and waiting, most of its national teams are going...
“If He Beats You, It Means He Loves You”
The issue of domestic violence is once again the agenda in Russia, as ultraconservative lawmakers and religious leaders call for the decriminalization...
Putin’s Game of Thrones: The Men in Epaulets Take Over
In a matter of hours, Putin replaced four governors, four envoys and an ambassador with men with security services backgrounds.
Office Politics, Kremlin-Style: Customs Chief Exposed During FSB Raid
Stacks of cash, security officers, confused victims, compromising photos — these are now the stock images of Russia’s new political season. The raids...
Moscow City Hall Denies Permit for Rally Against Anti-Terror Laws
Moscow City Hall has refused to give permission for a rally against the infamous anti-terror legislation “the Yarovaya package,” organizer Leonid Volkov...
Russia Nervous as Rio Olympics Ban Looms
The Court of Arbitration of Sport has rejected the appeal of Russian track and field athletes over their Olympic ban. All eyes are now on the International...
When Pokemon Virtual Reality Meets Russian Reality
“Pokemon Go,” the latest online game by Nintendo, went viral in a matter of days after it was released in the United States, Australia and New Zealand...
Fighting Back: How Angry Kiosk Owners Took Moscow To Court
With authorities expanding a controversial scheme bulldozing against allegedly illegal kiosks, some entrepreneurs have decided to fight for Russia's small-scale...
U.K. Government Warns of Russian Military Threat
The language was stark. No longer was Russia an ally or partner. Instead it was to be seen as a “strategic competitor” and military threat. Russia...
Navalny: Russian Deputy Prime Minister Owns 10 Elite Apartments
Russian oppositioner Alexei Navalny has accused Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov of buying 10 apartments, the total cost of which is estimated at 600...
Mad and Bad: A Look Back at Russia's Most Notorious Parliament
In the end, the State Duma went out with a bang, passing a dozen hard-line amendments on its last day.
'I Don't Want to Die': Harrowing Tales From Russia's Summer Camp
Of the 47 children and four young instructors that went boating on June 18, only 37 came back alive.
Why Kerch May Prove a Bridge Too Far for Russia
"Our grandfathers built the Baikalo-Amur Siberian Mainline. So we are going to build the bridge," says a videoclip on the website devoted to construction...
Russian Hooligans at Euro 2016 Threaten Kremlin’s Goals
In the closing minutes of the June 11 match in Marseilles, Vasily Berezutsky rose to head home the equalizing goal. What happened next made front-page...
Banned Russian Runners Struggle to Keep Their Careers Afloat
As his first international race, the Kanazawa marathon was a special occasion for Viktor Ugarov, 30.
German Ambassador to Russia Knows How to Break Through the Iron Curtain
It is hard to imagine Rüdiger von Fritsch, a distinguished ambassador in his seventh decade, ever having been a hitchhiker. But that is exactly where...
No, You Apologize: Russia and Turkey Struggle to Mend Fences
Eight months after the dramatic falling out with Russia, the Turkish elite is sending mixed messages.
Suicide Watch: Why Russian Teens Are Killing Themselves
Over the course of six months, 130 teenagers were reported to have killed themselves under the influence of suicide masterminds operating within the social...
Ready, Steady, Dope: Russian Elite Sport in Deep Trouble
The cocktail already has a name — the "Rodchenkov." Its standard base is three shots of different steroids; the variable part is the alcohol mixer...
'Absurd, Groundless, Defamatory': Russia Reacts to NYT Doping Allegations
Top Russian officials and athletes have denied the existence of a state-sponsored doping program at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
In the Flesh: Russian Scientists Work to Preserve Lenin's Corpse
He lies in a glass sarcophagus. Dressed in an austere black suit, Vladimir Lenin, the first Soviet leader, looks, on first impressions, to be sleeping...
Pulitzer Winner Warns News 'Losing to Kittens and Boobs'
Sergey Ponomarev, Russia’s Pulitzer-winning photojournalist, on competing with entertainment and people’s ignorance.
The Savchenko Endgame: Will Prisoner Exchange Happen in Time?
A long-anticipated prisoner exchange involving Nadiya Savchenko and Oleg Sentsov is in the works. The question is: will it happen in time?
Navalny to Sue Media Holding VGTRK Over Browder-Link Accusations
Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny is set to file a lawsuit against state-owned television and radio company VGTRK in connection with the film...
Why Panama Papers are Unlikely to Trouble Russian Officials
The Panama leaks exposed much about Russian officials' unsavory offshore lives, but is unlikely to cause any immediate trouble for them. At least for now...
Boxing In Unwanted Children: Controversial Scheme Divides Russia
Nina (not her real name) was desperate when she opened the box and placed her one-year-old son inside. Months earlier, her husband had left her, and now...
The People vs. Nadezhda Savchenko: Highlights of the Notorious Case
The Donetsk municipal court in southern Russia has begun the sentencing of Ukrainian military pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, who has been on trial on charges...
Kadyrov to Get Another Term, Say Kremlin Sources (Exclusive)
Barely a month has gone by without a controversy involving Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.
Happy to Be a Weapon: Russian Prank-Callers Target Kremlin Opponents
Pranksters Vovan and Lexus hit headlines with fake Poroshenko-Savchenko letter.
Poroshenko's Letter Urging Savchenko to End Hunger Strike Fake
Ukrainian military pilot Nadezhda Savchenko has stopped her hunger strike. However, the letter from Ukrainian President urging her to stop the hunger strike...
Like, Share, Convict: Russian Authorities Target Social Media Users
Since Putin's return to the Kremlin in 2012, dozens of websites have been blocked and branded "extremist," and the number of people prosecuted has ballooned...
Deadly Explosions Raise Questions over Russian Mining Safety
Sergei (not his real name) was more than 700 meters underground when the blast came. The next thing he knew, he was lying on the ground, dizzy and disorientated...
Russian Opposition Battles Fear, Disunity Following Nemtsov’s Death
Ilya Yashin was in the middle of a press conference presenting a special report on the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, when a police officer tried...
Standing Up for Reason: Russian Academia Fights Pseudoscience
A woman named Nikol looks to the camera, wiping away the tears of happiness. She has reason to be happy, having navigated through to the next round...
Putin’s Pre-emptive Strike: Kremlin Moves to Liquidate 'Foreign Agents'
Kremlin officials insisted the "foreign agent" label did not mean an organization should automatically close its doors, but the moves this month would...
Moscow's Overnight Demolition Blitz Sparks Legal Debate
You could hear a young woman yelling, but her voice was diluted in the sound of bulldozers, smashed glass and metal.
Moscow Hard Currency Mortgage Holders Take to the Streets
Negotiations between banks and defaulting mortgage holders were last week reduced to a series of emotional protests in bank offices and central Moscow...
Navalny Launches New Lawsuit Against Russian Prosecutor General
Russian opposition leader and head of the Anti-Corruption Foundation Alexei Navalny plans to file another lawsuit against Russia's Prosecutor General...
Russian Surfers Turn Remote Region into Year-Round Surfing Mecca
Khalaktyrsky beach in Russia's Kamchatka region is now home to local surfers who ride the waves in winter's freezing cold.
British Inquiry Finds Putin 'Probably' Approved Litvinenko Murder
A British inquiry into the high-profile case of Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian former FSB officer poisoned in London in 2006, concluded that he was murdered...
Kadyrov Set to Play Hardball With Russian Opposition
The Chechen elite's campaign against the Russian opposition elicits public outcry and receives silent nod from the Kremlin
Kadyrov's Aide Threatens Russian Opposition Activists With Dog
Magomed Daudov, aide to Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and a speaker in the republic's parliament, used Kadyrov's dog to threaten Russian opposition...
Russian Legal Activists Offer Advice for 'When They Come for You'
A team of St. Petersburg lawyers and journalists take on high treason cases and continue the crusade against the abuse of freedom of information...
Behind Bars, Out on Parole — Russia's Big 2015 Court Cases
In 2015 Russia was shaken by a series of high-profile trials, with authorities coming down hard on enemies of the regime and showing leniency to friends...
Russian Women: Obey Thy Father, Husband, Son
Russia remains a conservative country where traditional gender paradigms dominate. Rather than being admired for its progressive gender dynamics, Western...
Khodorkovsky Says 'Revolution Inevitable' in Russia
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the exiled former oil tycoon turned political opposition figure, gave a press conference Wednesday, prompted by another round...
Inoculated Against Russian Propaganda
Amid government tightening its grip over media, some Russian journalists have turned propaganda into their subject of exploration — and exposure.
New Yeltsin Center to Answer Questions About Russia's 'Wild '90s' Legacy
There is no univocal opinion about "the wild '90s" in Russia, with many issues yet to be addressed.