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Articles by Jake Cordell
2022 LOOK AHEAD
Russia’s Business Owners Fear Kremlin Pressure Set to Tighten
The country’s biggest businesses will be asked to contribute even more to Russia’s development.
2022 LOOK AHEAD
Russia’s Economy Set to Face Old Problems in New Year
After a swift recovery from the coronavirus recession, the Russian economy is facing a familiar set of challenges.
European Businesses Fight Against Russia’s ‘Drastic’ Health Checks Law
Lobbying drive ramping up as firms warn of “exodus” if staff are forced to undergo quarterly health checks.
Rising Inflation Gives Boost to Russia’s Discount Retailers
Surging prices and weak wages are a win-win for Russia’s bargain stores, even as the wider economy slows.
Is the Tide Turning for Russia’s IPO Wave?
With dealmaking and stock markets at record highs, and plenty of international competition, investors cool on latest Russian offerings.
COST OF TRANSITION
Russia Faces $2T in Stranded Hydrocarbon Assets in Net Zero World
Researchers say more than half of Russia’s oil and gas infrastructure could be worthless within the next 15 years.
Testing the rules
Moscow Raids Firms Violating Lockdown, as Small Businesses Call for Help
Owners say weak support from the government has left them with no choice but to carry on working.
Russia’s Excess Death Toll Passed 720K Before Brutal Fourth Wave
The country is recording record-high numbers of new infections while vaccination rates remain low.
As Moscow Prepares for Another Lockdown, Frustration Mounts Among Vaccinated Minority
Russians who had the jab say they are being punished for the country’s low vaccination rate.
Russia Hikes Rates as Economists Warn of Triple Threat to Economy
The Russian economy faces a surge in coronavirus cases, partial lockdowns and spiralling inflation.
‘FREEDOM OF SPEECH’
Russian Journalist Dmitry Muratov Wins Nobel Peace Prize
The editor of the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper said he would have awarded jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny the honor.
Russian World Cup Stadium Strives To Avoid White Elephant Status
Home to its third football club in as many seasons, Saransk’s $300M Mordovia Arena risks becoming a symbol of Russia’s costly World Cup legacy.
Deripaska-Linked Firms Sent Thousands to Moscow On Election Day. Some Said They Were On Standby for a Pro-Kremlin Rally.
Around 11,000 employees came to the capital for an online conference covering topics from family values to geopolitics.
Russia’s Gazprom Inks 15-Year Gas Contract with Hungary
Deal between Moscow and Budapest has angered Ukraine and comes as gas prices in Europe hit record highs.
Statisticians Claim Half of Pro-Kremlin Votes in Duma Elections Were False
Russia’s opposition has claimed the vote was the country’s most fraudulent in recent history.
‘There Is Fatigue After 20 Years’: A Young Russian Duma Candidate Pushes for Change
Anastasia Bryukhanova thinks Russia’s political institutions, and its leader, are showing their age.
Russia's Opposition Candidates Are Fighting Among Themselves. Again.
Alexei Navalny's Smart Voting system has added a new dimension to an old problem.
In Small-City Russia, Elections Feel Irrelevant For Local Business Owners
Saransk’s entrepreneurs are divided on whether the government is on their side, but discontent is unlikely to be reflected in the coming Duma vote.
Russia’s Excess Death Toll Hits 600K
A Delta variant sweeping across the country and low vaccination rates resulted in more than 2,000 extra fatalities a day during July.
IMF Awards $1Bln Reserves to Belarus Despite Fierce Opposition
Minsk was included in the IMF’s historic reserve allocation despite strong pushback from the U.S. and others.
Leaked Sputnik V Report Shows More Inconsistencies in Clinical Trial Data
Findings outlined in a 136-page study report into vaccine’s development show different data from developer’s public statements.
As Coronavirus Fatalities Hit a Record High, Russia’s Vaccination Campaign Falters
With parliamentary elections looming, the Kremlin is wary of pushing Russians too hard to do something a majority are against — getting vaccinated.
As Russia’s Vaccine Diplomacy Falters, One Caribbean Country Goes All in on Sputnik V
St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves told The Moscow Times he’s betting on Sputnik V to win over a hesitant population.
Kenya’s Failed Sputnik V Deal Used Emirati Resale Scheme
Documents obtained by The Moscow Times show a failed agreement used the same controversial resale deal linked to a royal middleman in the UAE.
Premium Healthcare Provider Becomes Russia’s Latest $1Bln Unicorn
Stock market debut values European Medical Center at $1.1 billion after pandemic took revenues to record high.
A Royal Mark Up: How an Emirati Sheikh Resells Millions of Russian Vaccines to the Developing World
The Moscow Times investigated a deal between Russia and a minor Dubai royal to supply poor countries with Sputnik V — at high prices.
Demand Finally Outstrips Supply in Russia’s Vaccination Race
As mandatory vaccination programs kick-start a sluggish jab campaign, the country’s regions are facing shortages.
WHO Finds Production Infringements at Sputnik V Manufacturer
The World Health Organization (WHO) has outlined a series of concerns following inspections of Sputnik V manufacturing sites in Russia.
Moscow Businesses Call For Free Vaccination for Labor Migrants
Unless the rules around foreigners receiving vaccines are relaxed, entrepreneurs doubt Moscow's mandatory vaccination campaign will be a success.
JABS FOR JOBS
Russia's Unprecedented Mandatory Vaccination Push Divides Society
Russian officials are desperate to get citizens vaccinated in a nation that distrusts vaccines.
‘BACK TO NORMAL’
Russia’s Pandemic Excess Deaths Climb to 475K
In encouraging sign, Russia recorded one of its smallest monthly fatality spikes in April since the start of the pandemic.
Russia’s Inflation Surge Is Not Temporary, Will Hurt Economy, Central Bank Warns
At ‘Russia’s Davos,’ Russia’s top economic policymakers debate how to tame price rises.
World Bank Urges Russia to Adopt Guaranteed Minimum Income to Slash Poverty
Russia spends $30 billion on social welfare, but only 10% goes to the extremely poor.
With Carbon Border Taxes Looming, Rusal to Spin Off High-Carbon Assets
Deripaska-linked aluminum producer will divest its dirtiest plants as it hopes to tap into a booming green metals market.
Big Mergers at Russia’s Top Supermarket Chains Kick Start Consolidation Race
Russia’s grocery market is highly fragmented. Now the biggest players are trying to change that.
Russia’s Inflation Headache Intensifies as PM Blasts Corporate ‘Greed’ for Price Hikes
Mikhail Mishustin attacked companies for profiteering, driving Russia’s inflation rate to a five-year high.
Russia’s Pandemic Excess Death Toll Passes 460K
Country continues to be one of the world’s hardest hit, as Moscow reports growing case numbers.
Is Russia Entering a Third Coronavirus Wave?
Despite the Kremlin denying a hidden rise in cases, figures for Moscow and reports from hospitals paint a worrying picture.
Should Russian Banks Be Scared of SWIFT Disconnection?
Talk of financial Armageddon should Russia be kicked out of the system may be overblown.
STATE OF THE NATION
Putin Announces New Cash Handouts, Familiar Policies in Pre-Election Pitch
Bonuses for families were top of the agenda in a state of the nation address focused on Russia’s domestic problems.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Russia’s Claims of Sputnik V's 97.6% Effectiveness Under the Spotlight
Limited data and possible methodological shortcomings raise concerns Russia is cherry-picking and embellishing vaccine data.
Russian Markets Shrug Off New Sanctions
The ruble and stock market have recovered, but risks remain.
Explainer: Why Is the U.S. Sanctioning Russia and What Impact Will it Have?
The U.S. has imposed the widest anti-Russia sanctions since 2018.
Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine Less Effective Against South African Variant – U.S. Study
Sputnik V developers have criticized the study, branding the conclusions and methodology “weak.”
Sanctions Threat Pushes Foreign Share of Russian Debt to 6-Year Low
International investors hold less than 20% of Russia’s government debt for the first time in six years.
Russia’s Excess Death Toll Hits 422K
The country was recording more than 1,000 extra fatalities a day during February, official statistics show.
ON THIS DAY
One Year On: How Russia’s Coronavirus Lockdown Hit the Economy
Russia avoided mass unemployment and a sharp fall in GDP but has one of the world’s highest excess death tolls.
Could Russia Benefit From the Suez Canal Blockage?
The Kremlin wants to use the grounding of the Ever Given ship to promote its Northern Sea Route and counter European concerns over Nord Stream 2.
‘We Need Our Government’: Surging Food Prices Put Kremlin on Edge
Food prices are rising fast in Russia and the government has rolled out temporary price caps, but discontent is simmering.
Falling Profits, But Corporate Russia Stays in the Black
Businesses bruised by pandemic, while blue chips defy worst expectations.
Has Russia Beaten Boom and Bust?
Russia has won plaudits for its macroeconomic handling of the coronavirus. Can other countries learn from its success?
Russia Has One of the World’s Highest Excess Death Rates. Why Aren’t Russians Angrier?
Surging coronavirus fatalities have played little or no role in a recent wave of protest.
How Will the West Respond to Navalny’s Prison Sentence?
A swift and forceful uproar might not translate into harsher sanctions.
Navalny Supporters Abroad Urge West to Get Serious About Sanctions
Anti-Kremlin voices back campaigns for tough personal sanctions on oligarchs and Putin allies.
Russia Says It Has Vaccinated 1.5M. Some Experts Think the Numbers Don’t Add Up.
Official coronavirus statistics have been controversial since the start of the pandemic. Now, the Sputnik V rollout is under the spotlight.
2021 LOOK AHEAD
Russia in 2021: Will the Economy Recover?
Russia’s economy is handling the coronavirus better than most. But austerity, bruised businesses and cautious consumers set the stage for a slow recovery...
2021 LOOK AHEAD
Russia in 2021: A Corporate Reckoning?
The pandemic exposed deep divides in Russia’s corporate world. How will the recovery play out?
Russia Recorded Almost 50K Excess Deaths in October – Deadliest Month in Decade
The country’s excess death toll now stands above 160,000 — many times more than accounted for in official coronavirus fatalities.
‘Gross Violation’: In Open Letter, Russian Scientists Criticize Lack of Vaccine Data
Russia has launched mass Sputnik V vaccinations. But concerns over weak data and cut corners continue to mount.
Russia’s Mixed Censorship Model Is a Boon for Online Activism
New research shows the growth of mobile internet leads to falling trust in governments, with Navalny as the prime example.
THE SBER ECONOMY
Sberbank’s Big Plan to Become Russia’s Consumer Goliath Takes Shape
The state-owned lender will launch an online retail giant in 2021, as it aims to be the main player in almost every sphere of Russian life.
COCKTAIL OF FLAWS
Arctic Oil Spill: Nornickel Failures, Tank Flaws Caused Catastrophe – Report
A report commissioned by Nornickel said the metals giant failed to investigate warning signs or grasp the consequences of a possible disaster.
Ozon Shares Jump 40% on U.S. IPO
Firm valued at more than $7 billion after landmark IPO for Russian business.
Is the WHO Too Soft on Russia?
Critics fear Russia is using the WHO’s structural weaknesses to validate its coronavirus approach.
CLEAR FOR LAUNCH
Ozon Sets Price for Blockbuster $5Bln Share Sale in Quest to Be Russia’s Amazon
Online retail giant gears up for most hotly anticipated Russian stock market launch in years.
Curfew Darkens Outlook for Moscow’s Night Spots
Amid weak support, some nightclubs are switching to day-time opening hours to keep business going.
Russian PM Mishustin Tightens Grip on Domestic Policy in Mini Reshuffle
Putin’s divide-and-conquer approach is also on display.
Russia’s Excess Death Toll Passed 110K Before Second Wave
Excess deaths stand almost six times higher than government numbers of coronavirus fatalities.
Experts Fear Calvey Settlement Rewards Strong-Arm Tactics
A multimillion dollar corporate “peace deal” was struck 20 months after Baring Vostok founder Michael Calvey was arrested on dubious charges.
Is Russia’s Housing Market Facing a Coronavirus Bubble?
Mortgages have never been cheaper and lending is growing at an eye-watering pace. Is it sustainable?
Russia’s Economic Recovery Cooled Before Second Wave Struck
The impact is forecast to be weaker than the spring outbreak, but authorities have less options to support the economy this time.
Russia’s Business Regulations Are Worse Than The Pandemic, Say European Investors
Businesses cite a cocktail of the coronavirus, sanctions, ruble volatility and a worsening bureaucratic environment as major obstacles.
Russia Ignores Requests to Share Controversial Coronavirus Vaccine Data
Russia’s Gamaleya Institute has not responded to multiple requests regarding the results of clinical trials published in The Lancet.
CLASH OF THE TITANS
Yandex vs. Sberbank: Battle of the Russian Tech and Finance Giants Begins
Two of the country’s highest-profile companies have unveiled plans to dominate a host of cutting-edge industries.
How Will a Second Wave Affect Russia’s Economy?
The damage won’t be as devastating, but the long-term impacts will linger.
DON’T CALL US A BANK
Russia’s Sberbank Unveils Sweeping Transformation Into Tech Company
State-owned bank outlines host of Apple and Amazon-style services and drops “bank” from corporate branding.
Yandex Shares Hit Record High as Analysts Cheer $5.5Bln Tinkoff Deal
Investors pour into Yandex stock on deal that will make tech giant Russia’s leading fintech firm.
Russia’s Yandex Agrees $5.5Bln Deal For Tinkoff Bank
Two sides have reached agreement in principle on mega merger.
‘Harsh Times Ahead’: Russia’s Emergency Loan to Belarus Changes Little for Embattled Lukashenko
The $1.5 billion will largely go towards refinancing Russian, and is only a fraction of what Belarus needs to avoid a living standards crash.
Leading Scientists Question 'Highly Improbable' Russian Vaccine Results Published in Lancet
“It’s like if you throw a dice and you get exactly the same sequence of numbers several times.”
Explainer: What is Nord Stream 2 and Why Might Navalny’s Poisoning Stop Its Completion?
Everything you need to know about the mega Russian-German gas pipeline.
The West Is Outraged By Navalny’s Novichok Poisoning. That’s No Guarantee of Tough Sanctions
Looming U.S. elections and disparate EU interests could translate into a symbolic response.
‘Everyone Who Can Leave, Will Leave’: Violence, Raids and Internet Blackouts Scare Off Belarus’ Entrepreneurs
Young professionals have been at the forefront of protests in Belarus. Their future now hinges on whether Lukashenko stays or goes.
Coronavirus Pandemic Rebalances Russia’s Corporate Landscape
Earnings season shows tech companies setting record-high share prices, and closing the gap on Russia’s energy giants.
CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS
Six Months Into the Coronavirus Outbreak, Russia’s Statistics Still Provide More Questions Than Answers
Analysis of excess fatalities show regions may be underreporting deaths from Covid-19.
OUT OF OFFICE?
Russian Corporates Plot Employees’ Return to Office
A handful of Russian businesses are embracing the work-from-home revolution, others are rushing back to the office.
The Lowest Tax Rate in the World? Russia’s ‘IT Tax Maneuver’
Experts see the Kremlin’s tax cuts for software firms as its latest attempt to squeeze out foreign competition.
Idle Moscow Stores Reveal Emerging Economic Scars
Shop vacancy rates in the Russian capital are set to hit a record high, and experts expect a wave of bankruptcies in Russia’s services sector.
Putin’s WWII and Referendum Holidays Cost Russian Economy More Than $5Bln
The government added two extra public holidays to stage delayed Victory Day parade and assist constitutional vote.
Moscow’s Tour Guides Pray for Miracle as Summer Season Ebbs Away
With Russia’s borders still shut, the country faces a year of lost tourist spending.
Russia Will Raise Taxes on Top Earners, Putin Announces
Flat tax rate scrapped as rich Russians to help pay coronavirus bill.
Russia’s Coronavirus Recovery Plan Has No Space for Renewables
Without hydropower, just 0.16% of Russia’s electricity comes from renewable sources.
‘LONG AND TEDIOUS’
Russia Starts to Dig Its Way Out of a Coronavirus Economic Hole
The Kremlin will see the post-pandemic state of the economy as a vindication of its conservative doctrine, but there are underlying weaknesses.
Russia’s Shops Reopen Their Doors, But Customers Only Trickle In
Tills are starting to ring as Russia's lockdown eases, but business owners expect revenues to stay lower for longer.
Russia Wants to Spark a Domestic Tourism Boom. Will It Work?
The government is telling Russians to explore their homeland, and borders remain shut.
Foreign Firms Seek Level Playing Field in Russia’s Coronavirus Response
The Kremlin must not ignore foreign economic contributions, says new AEB chief Tadzio Schilling.
Profit Slumps Herald More Trouble Ahead for Russia’s Corporate Giants
Russian companies’ first quarter financial results are already showing the impact of the coronavirus. The worst is yet to come.
‘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.
Private Healthcare Contributes Little to Russia’s Coronavirus Response
Non-state hospitals provide just 5% of Moscow’s free beds for Covid-19 patients.
Russia’s Economic Woes Continue to Mount During Coronavirus Outbreak
As the Kremlin resists pressure to spend, official statistics show economic activity down by a third and tax revenues crashing.