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Articles by Evan Gershkovich
Meet the Activist-Doctor Who Has Become the Kremlin’s Loudest Coronavirus Critic
Anastasiya Vasilyeva says she is trying to protect Russia’s first line of defense against the pandemic.
‘Leaning on War-Time History’: Russian Factories Have Switched to Sewing Masks to Combat Coronavirus
As the coronavirus pandemic has descended on Russia, factories have set aside their usual work.
KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON
In First Address to Nation on the Coronavirus, Putin Holds Back From Stringent Measures
The Russian leader also delayed a vote on constitutional changes that could see him remain in power until 2036.
STUCK IN LIMBO
Coronavirus Border Closures Leave Migrant Workers Stranded in Moscow’s Airports
Dozens of citizens of Central Asian countries have been living in departure halls for over a week.
CORONAVIRUS CLASS DIVIDE
Exclusive: Rich Russians Are Hoarding Ventilators to Protect Themselves Against the Coronavirus
Meanwhile, doctors worry that Russia’s regions don’t have enough.
‘We Don’t Have Enough Intensive Care Beds’: Coronavirus Will Test Russia’s Creaking Healthcare System
Doctors are worried that the coronavirus pandemic will expose equipment shortages and old facilities.
Russia Says It Has Very Few Coronavirus Cases. The Numbers Don’t Tell the Full Story.
Experts say Russia’s testing procedures have been hampered by bureaucracy.
BRACING FOR IMPACT
How Russia Is Responding to the Coronavirus: Cameras, Deportations and Skepticism
From enforcing quarantine with facial-recognition cameras to deporting Chinese students, Russia is bracing for the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
‘President for Life’: Putin Opens Door to Extending Rule until 2036
The Russian leader said Tuesday that he is open to a proposal that would allow him to run for president in 2024 and 2030.
CORONAVIRUS IN RUSSIA
Litany of Blunders: Treatment of Coronavirus Patient Highlights Russia’s Shortcomings
David Berov is the first known Russian national to test positive for coronavirus while in the country. He told The Moscow Times his story.
‘United Dissatisfaction’: Tens of Thousands Across Russia Rally for Slain Opposition Leader
The fifth anniversary of Boris Nemtsov’s death came in the midst of what critics are calling a “constitutional coup.”
‘It’s Like Nirvana’: Inside the Banya, Russia’s Centuries-Old Winter Refuge
Russians have been visiting the traditional bathhouses since the 11th century.
LIFE OR DEATH
‘People Could Lose Their Lives’: Medicine Shortages in Russia Have Left Patients Fending for Themselves
Medical experts say ill-advised government policies have led to a deficit of vital foreign drugs.
Congratulations, You’re an Elected Russian Opposition Official! Now What?
In September, 31-year-old liberal activist Darya Besedina was elected to the Moscow city council. It hasn’t been easy.
How Mishustin Rose to the Top: Old Ties, Savvy and a Knack for Systems
Vladimir Putin shocked the world when he named a little-known tax chief his number two. We delve into the new Russian prime minister’s background.
In Wake of Putin’s ‘Coup,’ Russia’s Top Opposition Leader Refrains From Action
Other opposition figures are planning a Feb. 29 march against the president’s proposed reforms that could keep him in power past 2024.
Will Putin Stay Or Will He Go? Bombshell Address and Shock Medvedev Resignation Offer Big Hint
Real and proposed changes to the structure of the Russian government shine a light on Vladimir Putin and the country’s futures.
HAMMER AND SAW
Kremlin Critic Navalny’s Front Door Has Had a Tough Year
Frequent raids on the offices of the Anti-Corruption Foundation have taught the team coping and carpentry skills.
Jews Celebrate Hanukkah in Moscow. Some Still Can’t Believe It.
For the 30th year running, Jews gathered just steps from the Kremlin to light a ceremonial menorah.
2020 look ahead
After a Turbulent Year in Russian Domestic Politics, What Does 2020 Hold in Store?
We talk to five political analysts about how Russian authorities will attempt to maintain stability next year.
Yegor Zhukov Wants to Be Russia’s President One Day
The figurehead of the crackdown on Moscow’s summer protests says he’s just getting started.
POSITION OF STRENGTH
Ahead of Eastern Ukraine Peace Talks, Putin Is Sitting Pretty
The Kremlin is in a comfortable position heading into Monday’s international summit on solving the Ukraine crisis.
A Moscow Pensioner’s Death Puts City Officials in the Crosshairs
An elderly woman died after being stuck in the elevator of a new high-rise. Her neighbors say local authorities ignored 166 earlier complaints.
How Does a Powerful Russian Lobby Plan to Halt Climate Change? With Coal, Oil and Gas
If Russia is to move away from a carbon-based economy, experts say it will take external pressure. For now, though, there is none.
At Russian Media Freedom Conference, Discord Reigns
Officials insisted Russia is a bastion of free speech. Journalists wondered what they were missing.
NEW WORLD ORDER
At Russia's Inaugural Africa Summit, Moscow Sells Sovereignty
The Kremlin is leaning on its "anti-colonial" past for greater influence in Africa.
Free Speech Arena
Is a Sports Website Russia’s Most Vibrant Forum for Free Expression?
On Sports.ru, users discuss sports but they also spar over politics, economics, even identity.
Calvey Case: While Two Foreigners Are Under House Arrest, Their Three Russian Colleagues Remain in Jail
Vagan Abgaryan, Maxim Vladimirov and Ivan Zyuzin haven’t seen their families since February.
‘The Dragon Has Unclenched Its Jaws’: 25,000 Rally in Moscow to Demand Release of Jailed Protesters
A movement for fair elections that began in July has turned into a protest against the crackdown.
Letter From Udmurtia
A Russian Ethnic Group Leader Set Himself on Fire. But Will It Make a Difference?
For most of his adult life, Albert Razin had been concerned about Udmurt culture vanishing.
Ella Pamfilova, Villain of the Moscow Vote Protest Movement, Belongs to a Dying Breed
Both the Russian government and the opposition have grown tired of her, analysts say.
Trade of trust
Signaling Readiness for Thaw, Russia and Ukraine Swap Prisoners
The exchange brings peace talks between the neighboring countries closer, analysts say.
As Discontent Simmers, Russia’s Ruling Party Dons Camouflage in Countrywide Elections
Candidates from the ruling United Russia party are running as independents or under different banners on Sept. 8.
Trying to Maintain Momentum as Election Approaches, Moscow Protests Again
Police allowed several thousand people to march peacefully through central Moscow on Saturday afternoon.
What Appeared to Be a United Opposition During Moscow’s Vote Protests Is Fraying — Again
A sudden switch in strategy by core opposition leaders has left some supporters confused.
Exclusive: Russian Doctors Say They Weren’t Warned Patients Were Nuclear Accident Victims
One doctor was reportedly later found to have a radioactive isotope in their muscle tissue.
The Kremlin Sees Signs of Foreign Interference All Around
One lawmaker pointed to the dual citizenship of a rapper who performed at a Moscow vote protest as evidence of meddling.
round the clock
Summer of Discontent: Meet the People Working to Help Detained Russian Protesters
With 2,900 demonstrators arrested in Moscow alone this summer, activists have been working non-stop.
The Kremlin Turns Up the Pressure on Protesters Demanding Fair Vote
Despite an ongoing crackdown, demonstrators gathered en masse in Russia’s capital for a fourth straight weekend.
As Anger Simmers Over Wildfires, Protesters Demand Resignation of Siberian Governor
Demonstrators also gathered at the Natural Resources and Ecology Ministry in Moscow on Thursday.
The Ghost of a Russian Poet Is Trying to Warn America, Paranormal Specialist Says
Yesenin’s ghost has allegedly foreshadowed other historical events in the past.
‘Time for Radical Measures’: Lyubov Sobol Is Seizing the Protest Moment
With key opposition figures sidelined, the Navalny ally has led the Moscow council vote demonstrations.
Police Detain Over 1,000 in Crackdown on Moscow Elections Protest
Saturday’s demonstration came after a wave of arrests of opposition candidates barred from the ballot.
HONEY BEE MYSTERY
What’s Killing Russia’s Honey Bees?
Climate change may be playing a greater role than Russian officials care to admit.
‘A Pre-Revolutionary Situation’: More Than 20,000 Rally in Moscow for Free Elections
Russia’s largest protest in years came after a week of demonstrations against the barring of opposition candidates from city council elections.
Will a Road Through a Nuclear Dumping Ground Result in ‘Moscow’s Chernobyl’?
Activists warn that construction will release radioactive dust into the air and the Moscow River.
Moscow Police Detain Opposition Politicians Rallying for Inclusion on City Legislature Ballot
They also cleared up to 2,000 demonstrators on Sunday who protested outside Moscow’s City Hall and election commission.
Crime, Torture and Punishment in a Moscow Suburb
Viktor Lukyan, sentenced to six years for murder, had little chance of a fair trial under a system that presumes defendants are guilty.
‘Like Pre-Revolutionary Pogroms’: Ethnic Conflicts on the Rise in Russia
For the second time in 13 months, Roma have fled a Russian village for fear of attacks.
Arrest of Navalny Aide Highlights Latest Trend in Protest Clampdown in Russia
Police have threatened to continue re-arresting Leonid Volkov past September elections.
Police Detain Over 500 in Moscow During Protest Over Reporter’s Arrest
After investigative journalist Ivan Golunov was released on Tuesday, protesters’ focus turned to those responsible for his detention.
What Detained Reporter Ivan Golunov Has Meant for Russian Journalism
“We only know all of this because of Vanya.”
Russia Takes Baby Steps Toward Integrating the Children of Immigrants
The country’s reliance on migrant workers to offset population decline poses a language challenge.
Was the Mayor of Latvia’s Capital Ousted Because He Was Corrupt, or Russian?
The case has exposed rifts between the Baltic nation’s Latvian and Russian-speaking communities.
Ukraine’s Election Result Pleases Both Russia’s Opposition and the Kremlin
The two sides have for once found something they agree on — for different reasons.
Russia’s Fast-Growing ‘Youth Army’ Aims to Breed Loyalty to the Fatherland
The military-patriotic youth movement has almost half a million members.
Siberia’s Historic Capital, and Russia, Look to New Plastics Plant for Economic Future
Sibur has big plans for its polymers plant in Tobolsk.
Russia Enjoys the Show in Tight Ukrainian Election
The Kremlin is paying close attention to the results of Ukraine's elections.
‘An Inescapable Phase of Life’: Fighting Loneliness Among Russia’s Elderly
Already saddled with meager pensions, Russia’s elderly also face another hardship: solitude.
Can Urban Renewal Plug Russia’s Brain Drain?
Regional officials hope that beautifying towns can stop people from leaving.
Олигарх, его любовница и суды Краснодарского края
Как богатые люди России пользуются преимуществами правовой системы, перенося свои...
An Oligarch, His Mistress and Courts in Krasnodar
How Russia’s wealthy are taking advantage of the country’s legal system by shifting their court cases to a southern region.
'Point of No Return': Russia's Libertarians Lead Protest Against 'Sovereign Internet'
A draft law that seeks to isolate Russia's internet has raised fears that Russia could turn into the next North Korea.
Russians March in Memory of Boris Nemtsov Four Years After His Murder
For many of the demonstrators, the anniversary of the Kremlin critic’s death provided an opportunity to voice their concerns.
As Putin Shifts Focus to Economy, a Key Foreign Investor Sits in Prison
Michael Calvey has helped bolster Russia’s economy for 25 years. Now the joke’s on him.
In Search of Better Quality of Life, Russians Lean on Credit
Personal loans in Russia have grown by 46 percent over the past year.
Thousands Protest Against Moscow’s Plan to Dump Its Trash in Russian Regions
Protestors held signs reading “Russia is not a dump” and “I want to breathe” and called for recycling measures.
By Launching a Trade Union, Navalny Addresses the Elephant in the Room
As Russians get poorer, the opposition politician spots an opportunity.
As Russia’s Food Prices Soar, Bakers Are Feeling the Squeeze
The costs of key ingredients like sugar and eggs have risen sharply in recent months.
Salt in the Wound: Muscovites At Odds Over Corrosive Winter Grit
It eats away at shoes, cars and the morale of residents in Russia’s capital.
How Russia’s Attempt to Solve Its Trash Crisis Is Backfiring
Band-aid solutions to a growing problem are only fueling the anger.
Why the FSB Is Shutting Down Concerts and Tailing Musicians
Two attacks by young assailants in October may help explain Russia’s recent clampdown on ‘harmful cultural influences.’
Editor’s Resignation Signals Milestone #MeToo Moment in Russia
The incident marks the first time a Russian public figure has resigned over allegations of sexual harassment.
Don’t Call Lyubov Sobol Navalny’s Press Secretary
Meet the woman pushing the opposition politician’s YouTube empire forward.
Returning the Names: Victims of Stalin’s Great Terror Are Not Forgotten
This year, Moscow officials wanted the commemoration moved from the former KGB building.
In Ingushetia, Russia’s Smallest Region, Protests Are Reaching a Boiling Point
Observers say the standoff between protestors and authorities could be heading to a conflict.
Will Russia Stop Arresting Its Citizens For Posting Memes?
After Putin proposes softening an extremism law, skeptics say the liberalization is a facade.
Russia Has a Vaccination Problem
A fading Soviet mentality has seen measles make a comeback.
Navalny’s Pension Protests Steal Limelight on Russia’s Election Day
Local elections and mass protests took place simultaneously across Russia on Sunday.
Sergei Sobyanin, Moscow's High Priest of Urban Renewal, Is Biding His Time
How political cunning and a love for Western aesthetics has launched the mayor into Russia’s upper echelons.
Russia’s First Gay Married Couple Vows Never to Come Home
The two men have no plans to return to Russia, “even for a day.”
The State Duma Debated Pension Reform. Here’s What You Need to Know
The Moscow Times asked four prominent political analysts who attended the Duma hearings what to look out for.
A ‘Mothers’ March’ in Moscow for Teenage Girls Charged With Extremism
Hundreds braced the pouring rain to protest the pretrial detentions of two teenagers held on extremism charges.
Can Oleg Sentsov’s Hunger Strike Be Successful?
Human rights defenders say that, unless a hunger strike has a narrow scope, it’s unlikely to succeed.
What the World Cup Meant to Russia’s Kids
The monthlong tournament may be over, but Russia’s budding footballers see a lasting legacy.
On Centenary, Russian State and Orthodox Church at Odds Over Romanovs
Russians are still processing the executions of Tsar Nicholas II and his family a century ago.
Retired Opposition Mayor Yevgeny Roizman Predicts a Crackdown
The end of the World Cup will bring Russia back to a harsh reality.
A Gulag Historian Returns to Prison
Acquitted of child pornography, Yury Dmitriyev now faces charges of sexual assault.
Guus Hiddink Won't Predict Russia's World Cup Matches Now
“Nothing about their play said: ‘Hey, this team is growing towards becoming a competitive tournament team.’”
Igor Akinfeyev: Russian Football's Saving Grace
A series of infamous blunders had left Russian fans with serious doubts about their keeper.
‘I’m Scared I’ll Die Working'
Across the country on Sunday, Russians of all political stripes protested the new retirement ages.
Where Have Moscow's Homeless People Gone?
You can still see them if you look closely, but officials have tried to hide them from view.
Bettors Backed Russia Even As Most Had Given Up
Going against the grain, Russian gamblers put their money on the home team.
A Thirsty Journalist Takes on the World Cup's Beer Ban
On match days, host cities are restricting sales of alcohol.
The World Cup Gold Rush: Sex Dolls, Disco Parties, Chocolates and More
With FIFA set to make billions, local businesses want a slice of the pie.
Even Putin Has a World Cup Plan B
The tournament’s host almost certainly will be eliminated
Aging and Inexperienced: Why Russia's World Cup Squad Is Doomed to Fail
Heading into the World Cup on a seven-game winless streak has fans dejected.
Russia’s World Cup Opens the Floodgates for Trafficked Sex Workers
Activists expect sex trafficking to spike during the football tournament
Those Guys With Whips? They’re Cossacks Meant to Keep You Safe at Russia’s World Cup
Just a few weeks ago, they lashed anti-Putin protesters in Moscow.
‘He’s Not Our Tsar’: Russians Protest Putin Ahead of Inauguration
More than 1,600 protesters were detained across the country.