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Articles by Jake Cordell
Big Pharma Grapples With Russia Boycott Push
Debate rages over whether medicine makers should join the hordes of Western firms leaving Russia.
Putin Orders Europe to Pay Rubles for Russian Gas
Move is seen as a bid to get Europe to roll back heavy sanctions on Moscow.
Russia’s Central Bank to Buy Government Bonds
After a three-week suspension, limited trading will resume on Russia’s financial markets Monday.
Russia’s Inflation Rate Surpasses Annual Target in Two Weeks
Prices have shot up at their fastest pace in more than two decades since Moscow invaded Ukraine.
Yandex Head Quits After Surprise EU Sanctions
Tech giant that previously tread path of compromise with Kremlin comes under Brussels’ fire.
bracing for impact
For Russia's Small Businesses, Instagram Ban Deals a Huge Blow
Already facing the economic shock of sanctions, Russia's entrepreneurs have now lost a critical means of running their businesses.
Kremlin ‘Silent’ as Economy Collapses Around It
There are few ideas and even fewer policies for how to deal with Russia’s economic malaise.
She Signed an Open Letter Calling for Peace. Then Got Fired.
Russians who signed petitions against Russia’s war in Ukraine are losing their jobs.
How is Russia’s State TV Depicting the War in Ukraine?
Footage and narratives are at odds with coverage of the invasion from Western news organizations.
SANCTIONS AND INFLATION
Russia’s Economy on the Brink of Crisis After Ukraine Attack
Despite Moscow’s talk about a sanctions-proof economy, Putin’s military action will likely have steep costs.
Rewriting History, Putin Pitches Russia as Defender of an Expanding Motherland
In an emotional and angry speech, the president justified his decision to recognize breakaway states in Eastern Ukraine as independent.
‘GUN TO OUR HEAD’
‘Illogical and Unfair’: Russian Firms Hunker Down Under Sanctions Threat
Despite signs of de-escalation, the war scare has spooked Russia’s government and firms into action over their vulnerabilities to Western sanctions.
Russian Investors Flocked to Stock Market as Prices Crashed
The Russian stock market saw some of its most volatile trading in decades last month. Many ordinary Russians sensed an opportunity.
Letter to Putin
‘Russians Are Not Your Enemy’: A Lonely Petition Against Kremlin’s War Wind-Up
While most Russians blame the West for the standoff over Ukraine, some intellectuals are trying to tell the world that not everybody backs Putin.
Thriller-Documentary 'Navalny' Opens Online at Sundance
Fast-paced drama chronicles Alexei Navalny's investigation into the men behind the 2020 Novichok poisoning attack that almost killed him.
‘OUR HANDS ARE TIED’
As Markets Crash and War Fears Grow, Russia’s Business Elite Suffers in Silence
Some of the country’s most successful executives are preparing for heavy losses, but unable to speak out or influence events.
In the World’s Biggest Country, Vertical Farming Gains Ground
Despite Russia’s status as an agricultural superpower, hi-tech, intensive, indoor farming is gaining a foothold.
Russia’s Central Bank Steps In to Halt Ruble Slide as Markets in Freefall
Russia’s Central Bank was forced to halt foreign currency purchases in a bid to stop a dramatic slide in the value of the ruble.
Ukraine Standoff Threatens to Derail Russia’s Domestic Battle Against Inflation
Even without invasion, the crisis is accentuating rising price pressures at home.
Biden Threatens Dollar Ban on Russian Banks
The U.S. said it could block Russian financial institutions from trading in dollars if Moscow invades Ukraine.
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.”