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Articles by Jake Cordell
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.
Amid Unprecedented Disruption, P&G Prepares for Life in Russia After Coronavirus
The consumer goods giant has been one of the few winners from the crisis, so far.
Four Weeks Into Russia's Economic Quarantine, Confusion Reigns
Anger and confusion are growing, as businesses and citizens still try to figure out what Russia's "non-working" period means.
Explainer: What Happened to Oil Prices and What Does it Mean for Russia?
Oil prices in the U.S. went negative for the first time in history. Should Russia be worried?
BLAME AND SHAME
In Russia, Coronavirus Patients Fight Infection, Stigma and Harassment
Covid-19 patients report online bullying, threats and intimidation as fear and uncertainty follow the spread of the coronavirus across Russia.
OPEC+ Deal Will Help Russia Avoid ‘Market Chaos,’ But Provides Little Support to Embattled Economy
The production cut will support oil prices and avoid a further ruble crash while the wider economic damage from coronavirus continues to build.
Analysts Fear the Economic Impact of Russia’s April Coronavirus Shutdown Will Be Catastrophic
Growth is set to crash and unemployment to jump sharply, as Putin extends paid holiday until the end of April.
‘Children Will Die. It’s Terrifying’: Russia’s Charities Face Coronavirus Funding Crisis
Russia’s charities and NGOs face an acute funding crisis, as businesses and individuals cut back spending and lockdowns disrupt social care work.
THE COST OF THE CORONAVIRUS
How Much of a Hit Will Russia’s Economy Take From the Coronavirus? It’s Anybody’s Guess.
As the economic picture grows bleaker every day, economists and policymakers are struggling to come up with new ways to crunch the numbers.
‘The Government Doesn’t Believe in Small Businesses. The Feeling’s Mutual’: Russia’s Entrepreneurs Scramble For a Lifeline
Coronavirus has hit Russia’s smallest businesses hard. Putin’s support package could be too little, too late.
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.
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 Braces For Higher Prices
The oil price war will lead to inflation and a dilemma for the Central Bank.
PLAYING THE MARKETS
Market Volatility Exposes Investment Boom Fears
The explosion of interest in the stock market could revolutionize Russia’s economy, but it brings fresh risks, warn regulators.
Coronavirus Could Rock Russia’s ‘Stable and Isolated’ Economy
As markets tumble and a flagship business forum is canceled, experts are questioning the strength of Moscow’s finances.
‘Russian Spy Bank’ Prepares for Awkward Birthday Celebrations
The International Investment Bank is on a Europeanization drive that has Washington and Brussels worried about Russian espionage.
Alexander Galitsky: From Soviet Engineer to Libertarian Investor
The father of the Russian internet tells The Moscow Times he wants to kill all borders and warns that society is falling behind technology.
Russian M&A Heats Up as Sanctions Pressure Cools Off
Dealmaking jumps 21%, but remains well below pre-Crimea levels.
Russia and Saudi Arabia to Discuss Oil Cuts as Coronavirus Rocks Market
OPEC+ gets ready for an emergency meeting to respond to 15% drop in oil prices.
30 Years of Big Mac Prices Shine Light on Russia’s Economy
From the most expensive burger in the world to the cheapest: What do Big Mac prices tell us about the Russian economy?
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.
New Russian Prime Minister Is No Stranger to Business Community
Investors say he will promote digitization, while critics claim he has taken credit for natural progression.
Russian Auto Market Stalls
Sales of new cars dip. Carmakers expect bumpy road ahead.
Climate Change Threatens Russia’s Economic Growth, Watchdog Warns
Audit Chamber warns Russia will not hit targets to increase life expectancy and boost economy unless country addresses climate change.
2020 LOOK AHEAD
Russia in 2020: Where Are All the Foreign Banks?
Foreign banks in Russia generate huge profits, so why are there not more of them?
2020 LOOK AHEAD
Russia in 2020: Business Is Booming but the Future Is Unclear
While Russian businesses are feeling confident and growing their revenues, a lack of ambition and risk-taking could limit potential.
2020 LOOK AHEAD
Russia in 2020: Will the Economy Grow Faster?
The fundamentals are in place. But what will it take for the Russian economy to finally pick-up speed?
Russia Wins Oil Concessions at Key OPEC+ Meeting
Russia will not have to cut production significantly under terms of new Russia-Saudi deal.
6 Things You Need to Know About OPEC+
What does Russia want from this week's meeting in Vienna?
State-Run Bank Says Russia Unlikely to Meet Economic Targets ‘Without More Active Policies’
On current trends, Russia would fall short of most of the goals outlined in the president’s $400 billion National Projects program.
SHUFFLING THE DEX
Yandex Proposes Sweeping Restructure to Allay Government Concerns
Yandex and the Russian government have reached a deal on a new governance structure for the tech giant.
Russian Banks More Stable and Transparent Than Ever, Central Bank Chief Says
Six years and $80 billion into a mammoth clean-up drive, Elvira Nabiullina hails the strength of Russia’s financial sector.
What’s Next for Russia’s Economy?
Analysts predict low growth, low inflation and a strong stock market in the final two months of the year.
IN THE DARK
How Big Is Russia’s Shadow Economy and Why Does It Matter?
The informal labor market is a window into the country’s wider economy.
Russia’s Tinkoff Banking on Rapid Expansion
Online bank is on a mission to woo new customers and grab a larger share of the retail sector.
Russia’s Yandex and Mail.Ru Report Strong Growth Despite Ownership Threats
Both companies confirmed they are pressuring the government to water down new caps on foreign ownership.
History Is Not on Putin’s Side, Says Former U.S. Ambassador
Michael McFaul believes the future of Russia is “normal, boring and democratic.”
Experts Raise Questions Over Strong Russian Official Economic Statistics
Analysts struggle to explain an unexpected jump in real incomes and GDP recorded by the official Russian statistics agency.
U.K. Firms Fight Russia’s Image Problem
At an annual investment forum in Moscow, British businesses promoted U.K.-Russia business relations amid the ongoing political standoff.
Russia Displays a Two-Track Economy
The Russian economy is both growing and declining, depending on whether you look at domestic or global statistics.
EY Russia Boss Prepares for New World Order
The outspoken head of the global auditing giant sees economic focus turning to the East.
Why Is Russia So Unproductive?
Analysts say a toxic cocktail of state capitalism, corruption and low investment curbs output.
Russia Could Gain From Saudi Oil Attack – Analysts
Russia, the world's second-largest oil exporter, is poised to emerge as a winner following drone attacks on Saudi Arabia's largest oil refinery.
Isolationism Is Shielding Russia From Potential Global Market Meltdown
Sanctions are acting as a buffer, but the country is sacrificing growth for stability.