The Next Must-Watch TV Show Is Russia’s Version of ‘The Americans’


MOSCOW Mar 23, 2017


If you really want to understand how Moscow sees U.S. intelligence, turn off the congressional hearings and start watching “Adaptation.” It’s 2017, and the new Cold War is in full swing. The West is winning, for now. U.S. sanctions have impoverished Russia. But the two sides are poised at a critical juncture...READ MORE

Photo: TNT

A Rabbi Strives to Make His Corner of Siberia Kosher Again


BIROBIDZHAN  Feb 26, 2017


It’s tough being observant in Russia’s remote Jewish Autonomous Region—Eli Riss aims to fix that by shipping in beef from 5,000 miles away...READ MORE

Photo: Amie Ferris-Rotman

Russians Are Turning on Donald Trump


MOSCOW  Feb 17, 2017


One month in, the new White House is looking chaotic and weak -- the opposite of what Russia respects in a politician...READ MORE

Photo: David Roehring (Flickr)

Russia ♥ Marine Le Pen


MOSCOW  Feb 17, 2017


‘It’s hard not to love her.’ Moscow can’t get enough of the far-right French politician. Russia is on a roll: Donald Trump is in the White House, the wheels of Brexit are in motion and the Kremlin’s Gallic target of affection — France’s Marine Le Pen — is riding high in the polls...READ MORE

Photo: Joel van Houdt

China Goes Food Shopping—to Russia


KHABAROVSK  Jan 17, 2017


‘Everything that can be consumed by a human being in China is something they’re interested in,’ Russian official says. When Chinese delegations visit the sprawling Central Food Market in Khabarovsk, 18 miles from the Russia-China border, they head for the main attraction: butcher stalls heaped with pork, chicken and beef...READ MORE

Photo: Amie Ferris-Rotman

Russia Spins Tale of Success in Syria


MOSCOW  Dec 18, 2016


State media, museums, even video games project Kremlin’s message that only Moscow can resolve the conflict. At two large photo exhibitions recently held here, Russians were shown the bomb-scarred Syrian cities of Aleppo and Palmyra as the West rarely sees them...READ MORE

Photo: Amie Ferris-Rotman

Russia Welcomes Growing Wave of ‘Red Tourists’ From China


MOSCOW  Oct 31, 2016


Nostalgia for Communist past as well as capitalist bargain-hunting draw more Chinese visitors. To see how good relations are between Russia and China these days, check out Novodevichy Cemetery here...READ MORE

Photo: Amie Ferris-Rotman

Daunted Afghans find refuge in former foe Russia (Reuters)


MOSCOW Aug 22, 2011


Signs in Dari decorate the creaky lifts of a Moscow hotel heaving with Afghan merchants and schoolchildren who have found refuge in a former foe. Although still haunted by the decade-long war in which 15,000 Soviet troops were killed, Russia has renewed interest in Afghanistan, quietly allowing the local Afghan community to thrive as a gesture of goodwill...READ MORE

Photo: Amie Ferris-Rotman

Russia's love affair with dill more than a sprinkle (Reuters)



MOSCOW  Jul 26, 2011


Sprinkled on almost every dish, grown by old ladies in their homes and boiled to combat sweating: the herb dill is a matter of Russian national pride...READ MORE

Photo: Ultrashock Images

Top Moscow club throws party for "coolest" Putin (Reuters)


MOSCOW  Mar 7, 2011


Bare-breasted women, celebrities and club promoters threw their support behind Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at a lavish party for the country's paramount leader, a year before presidential elections...READ MORE

Photo: Studio Roosegaarde

Battle for alcohol in Muslim Russia is deadly business (Reuters)


NAZRAN  Feb 2, 2011


A masked guard clad in camouflage pokes his AK-47 rifle into the shoulder of a vodka-guzzling client in a hotel bar in Russia's Muslim Ingushetia region, and orders him to leave immediately...READ MORE

Photo: sacks08 (Flickr)

Special report: In Russia, a glut of heroin and denial (Reuters)


TVER  Jan 25, 2011


In her one-room flat, as a small shelf of porcelain cats looks on and the smell of mold hangs in the air, Zoya pulls down the left shoulder of her black blouse and readies herself for her next hit...READ MORE

Photo: UrbanSeedEdu (Flickr)

"Deathly" silence fails to bury Tolstoy centenary (Reuters)


MOSCOW  Nov 30, 2010


The Russian Orthodox Church refused to rehabilitate him and the state chose to ignore him, but the official silence surrounding the 100th anniversary of Leo Tolstoy's death has not muffled praise or quelled debate...READ MORE

Photo: Tschäff (Flickr)

Sharia law threatens Moscow control in Muslim Chechnya (Reuters)


MOSCOW  Aug 26, 2010


Aspects of sharia law imposed in Muslim Chechnya in recent months are inching the republic closer to autonomy and posing a renewed threat to Kremlin control, analysts say...READ MORE

Photo: ssoosay (Flickr)

Suicide bomber spotlights Russia's Islamist battle (Reuters)



BALAKHANI  May 18, 2010


Rasul Magomedov identified his daughter after investigators showed him three photos of her detached head. It had blown off her body in the Moscow metro as she detonated explosives strapped to her waist...READ MORE

Photo: mpeake (Flickr)

Global jihad creeping into Russia's insurgency (Reuters)


MOSCOW  Mar 4, 2010


The Islamist insurgency in Russia's North Caucasus region appears to be mutating from a grassroots separatist movement toward global jihad or holy war, whose goals, propaganda and patronage point abroad...READ MORE

Photo: Keith Bacongco

Muslim revival brings polygamy, camels to Chechnya (Reuters)


GROZNY  Dec 16, 2009


Adam, 52, keeps his three wives in different towns to stop them squabbling, but the white-bearded Chechen adds he might soon take a fourth...READ MORE

Photo: Neil and Kathy Carey (Flickr)

Russian Arctic tribe at risk from Yamal gas projects (Reuters)


67 N LATITUDE, 71 E LONGITUDE  Oct 6, 2009


The Nenets tribespeople of Russia's frozen Yamal peninsula have survived the age of the Tsars, the Bolshevik revolution and the chaotic 1990s, but now confront their biggest challenge -- under their fur-bundled feet is enough gas to heat the world for five years...READ MORE


Russian lesbians denied country's first gay marriage (Reuters)


MOSCOW  May 13, 2009


A lesbian couple challenged the Russian legal system on Tuesday when they applied for a marriage licence but it was swiftly rejected on the grounds that such a union must be between a woman and a man...READ MORE

Photo: Person Behind the Scenes (Flickr)

In crisis more Russian men want talk, not sex (Reuters)


MOSCOW  May 3, 2009


A popular joke among Russian oligarchs has one telling another, "I have bad news, I have lost $5 billion." The second replies, 'Well I have lost $7 billion. But the good news is that whores are back to costing $100'...READ MORE

Photo: thisisbossi (Flickr)

Russia luxury down with a bump in 2009 (Reuters)



MOSCOW  Mar 30, 2009


Kerchiefed women peddle fake designer handbags in front of the pitted Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney stores, whose signs have been scratched off by hand less than 18 months after their grand openings...READ MORE

Photo: ASGW (Flickr)

Kandinsky art prize plays with politics (Reuters)


MOSCOW  Nov 7, 2008


Faked photographs of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin cavorting naked on a sofa with U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton, a giant styrofoam throne and pins in rubber erasers are vying for Russia's top modern art award...READ MORE

Photo: Sharon Mollerus

Russia sees revival in film making (the International New York Times)



SUZDAL  June 3, 2008


A gang of black-clad horsemen gallop past a line of gallows, splattering tufts of snow against frozen corpses. They are the "oprichniki," loyal henchmen of the 16th century Russian czar, Ivan the Terrible. Severed dogs' heads dangle from their saddles, a warning to the motherland's internal enemies...READ MORE

Photo: Vancouver Film School

Enter Russia's new first lady -- Svetlana Medvedeva (Reuters)


MOSCOW  Mar 5, 2008


A patron of Russian fashion, socialite and supporter of the arts, Svetlana Medvedeva is shaking off her air of mystery as she prepares to become Russia's first lady...READ MORE

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

After years of isolation, Siberian town booms (the International New York Times)


TOMSK  Jan 7, 2008


Half a continent east of Moscow and sitting on a frozen swamp the size of France, the city of Tomsk has struggled economically since the Trans-Siberian Railroad passed it by at the end of the 19th century...READ MORE

Photo: Marc van der Chijs

No end in sight for Russian love affair with fur (Reuters)


MOSCOW  Dec 1, 2007


Under the leaden, snow-filled sky of the notorious Moscow winter, commuters rush to work, their heels teetering on ice, and almost every woman -- and a few men -- wear fur...


Photo: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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