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Articles by Evan Gershkovich
In Russia, ‘There’s Nothing to Hide’: A Phone Call With One of Putin’s Closest Friends
Sergei Roldugin, the godfather of Putin’s first child, explains why — and how — he bought a $20 million Stradivarius violin.
Could a Lethal Algae Bloom Have Killed Kamchatka’s Sea Creatures? Some Marine Biologists Think So.
Whatever the cause, the response to the disaster shows public outrage can force the Russian authorities’ hand when it comes to ecological questions.
NO END IN SIGHT
‘We’re Out of Beds’: Russia’s Resurgent Coronavirus Outbreak Is Approaching First Peak
Moscow has readied additional hospitals for Covid-19 patients after the Russian capital reached capacity last week.
WINTER IS COMING
Six Months Into Pandemic, Migrant Workers in Russia Live in Makeshift Camps as They Wait to Go Home
Rights groups are worried about the coming months as seasonal jobs dry up and the weather turns cold.
A New Russian Law Could Ban Trans People From Officially Changing Their Gender
By aiming to enshrine a traditional understanding of family in the law, activists say Russia is marking LGBT people as second-class citizens.
In Wake of Suspected Poisoning, Navalny’s Allies Vow to Soldier On
But if the Kremlin critic is unable to return to health, Russia’s opposition will lose its most recognizable leader.
‘Poisoned’ Kremlin Critic Navalny Arrives in Germany for Treatment
The opposition leader’s team had claimed the authorities were delaying his transfer to cover up traces of a poisoning attempt.
Doctors Bar Navalny’s Evacuation to Germany as Confusion Surrounds Presence of Poison in System
The opposition leader’s spokeswoman blamed the decision on the Kremlin.
Russian Opposition Leader Navalny in Critical Condition After ‘Poisoning’ as Aides Seek Evacuation to Europe
Alexei Navalny’s team is hoping to move him to a toxicology center in Europe to determine the cause of his sudden illness.
As Discontent Grows at Home, Russia’s Opposition Is Watching Belarus
Despite massive protests continuing in the Far East, all eyes in Russia are on its western neighbor.
Salmon Is Disappearing From Russia’s Amur River. It’s Taking Local Tradition With It.
The loss of the staple fish has bolstered anti-Moscow sentiment, with locals blaming federal authorities for supporting commercial fisheries.
Russian Far East Protesters Turn Out by the Thousands as Crackdown Intensifies
Despite multiple arrests of protesters this week, Khabarovsk saw a fourth consecutive massive rally Saturday.
‘Russia, Wake up’: Far East Protesters Seek to Set Example for Entire Country
Some local Khabarovsk activists and experts, however, wonder if the protest movement can be sustained.
Anger at Kremlin Grows in Latest Massive Russian Far East Protest
Putin’s decision to replace a popular arrested governor with a politician who is not from the region has poured fuel on the fire.
A Wave of Sexual Harassment Claims Is Rocking Russia’s Independent Media
Novaya Gazeta has blazed a trail by instituting a sexual harassment policy after taking internal accusations of misconduct seriously.
THE PEOPLE’S GOVERNOR
Russia’s Khabarovsk Region Tasted Democracy. Now Voters Feel It Was Ripped Away.
Protesters told The Moscow Times they will continue rallying until their governor’s murder trial is held in Khabarovsk.
What a Growing List of ‘Instructional’ Court Cases in Russia Have in Common
A flurry of recent rulings are meant to identify “enemies of the state” for the public, rights defenders say.
As Russians Went to the Polls to Extend Putin’s Rule, Yekaterinburg’s Hospitals Were Overflowing
Doctors in Russia’s fourth largest city told The Moscow Times they are treating coronavirus patients in hallways as more keep arriving.
‘All We Have Is Putin’: Russians Vote to Grant President Ability to Extend Rule Until 2036
Hours before the polls had even closed, Russia’s election commission released initial results showing a 73% yes vote.
As Russia’s Constitution Reform Vote Kicks Off, Election Watchdog Decries ‘Manipulative’ Process
In an interview, Grigory Melkonyants of the Golos election monitor said the vote is set to be the “least transparent” in years.
Coronavirus Is Just Getting Started in Some Russian Regions. Their WWII Parades Are Going Ahead.
Meanwhile, 20 cities have canceled or delayed the June 24 parades because of the pandemic.
‘A Political Decision’: Russia Declares Victory Over Coronavirus Even as Cases Rise
Although coronavirus cases are still growing by the thousands, Moscow announced Monday it would lift lockdown restrictions.
In Siberian Fuel Spill, Climate Change Is Seen as Major Factor
Russia’s weather and environment service warned of the risks of melting permafrost as early as 2017.
As Russian Officials Back Hydroxychloroquine, Doctors Take Matters Into Their Own Hands
Some experts suspect that the controversial anti-malaria medication causes higher death rates among coronavirus patients.
FITS AND STARTS
Putin Wants Russia to Get Back to Normal. New Outbreaks Show It May Be Too Early.
Budget deficits are driving regions to lift quarantine restrictions. But poor data could be hiding a second coronavirus wave.
As the Coronavirus Contagion Grows in Russia, Putin’s Strongman Image Weakens
With an economic crisis heaving into view, the Russian president “looks like an old, sick wolf.”
‘Our Equipment Is Dangerous’: Russian Doctors Expected Ventilators Tragedy
Russian-made ventilators sent to the U.S. last month have been blamed for hospital fires that killed six Russian coronavirus patients in recent days.
SHADES OF GRAY
Russia Is Boasting About Low Coronavirus Deaths. The Numbers Are Deceiving.
Increasing transparency by Russian officials shows that 233% more coronavirus-positive patients died in two regions than reported in the total count.
Russia’s Ambulance Crews Are Running on Empty as They Fight Coronavirus
Paramedics and drivers told The Moscow Times they have caught the virus en masse while driving for hours in search of free hospital beds.
Russia Is Coercing Medical Students Into Coronavirus Fight
Students told The Moscow Times they face academic repercussions if they reject a government order to work in coronavirus hospitals.
Inside Russia’s Secretive Prisons as Coronavirus Takes Hold
Prisoners described an anxious state of affairs in jails across the country. Meanwhile, calls for amnesty have been ignored.
Exclusive: First Russian Doctor Treating Coronavirus Patients Dies From Virus, Medical Workers Say
A colleague told The Moscow Times that 64 of the Moscow hospital’s staff had tested positive last week.
Russia’s Healthcare System Faced Cuts for Years. Now Medical Students Are on the Coronavirus Frontlines.
In Moscow, medical students have been deployed to hospitals strained by the pandemic.
Italian Doctors Warned Hospitals Are Coronavirus Vectors. One Russian Region Proves Their Point.
The sparsely populated northern Komi Republic is one of Russia’s coronavirus hotspots. Six of its hospitals are now under quarantine.
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.