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The Washington Post

Moscow’s plan to close hospitals and fire doctors threatens social welfare system December 4, 2014

MOSCOW — As the city’s premiere public facility providing palliative care for patients suffering from late-stage cancer, multiple sclerosis and other serious illnesses, Hospital No. 11 is normally a placid place. But in the past several weeks, it has become the epicenter of a fast-growing protest movement against cuts to public health services — steps […]

Russian youths find politics as their pop icons face pressure December 2, 2014

MOSCOW — Courting and cultivating loyalty among the Russian youth has long been a part of the Kremlin’s governing strategy. But the latest apparent move to command allegiance from younger Russians may be backfiring. When young people in former Soviet republics organized “color revolutions” to push out undemocratic leaders a decade ago, the Kremlin lent support […]

Russian advertising ban on paid cable and satellite channels threatens independents November 6, 2014

MOSCOW — An advertising ban on Russian cable and satellite TV stations could decimate regional television broadcasting from the suburbs of the capital to the far reaches of Siberia, leaving the country almost entirely dependent on state media for news and information. The law, which will prohibit commercial advertisements on paid cable and satellite channels starting […]

Dissident Russian artists getting squeezed by political pressure October 24, 2014

MOSCOW — The climate of hostility toward critical voices that has already changed the face of Russian journalism and politics is focusing on a new target: the arts. In Moscow, a city that prides itself on a rich cultural heritage, there are no official policies restricting artistic freedom. But from the theater to the rock concert stage to […]

Syria is sticking point between Russia and U.S. on defeating Islamic State September 22, 2014

MOSCOW— As the United States worked to build an international coalition for expanded strikes against the Islamic State, Russia has taken the opportunity to say “we told you so” and hedged broader support until the Syrian government gets a larger role. The Kremlin has no trouble with the intended target — like the United States, […]

Moscow city elections leave little room for Russian opposition September 13, 2014

MOSCOW— A year ago, Russia’s opposition thought the elections taking place Sunday could be a game changer. After opposition candidate Alexey Navalny’s strong second-place finish in the 2013 Moscow mayoral race, Sunday’s city council elections seemed to present a rare opportunity to grasp a place in Russia’s political firmament. Winning a few seats could legitimatize the […]

Russian soldier’s mother nearly faints, then demands to know why he was in Ukraine August 28, 2014

KOSTROMA, RUSSIA — Olga Garina spits out the time, “one-o-five,” when she got the call telling her that her paratrooper son was one of 10 taken captive this week in Ukraine. That call — from a neighbor, not from the army — set her on course to become a defiant ringleader against stonewalling Russian military officers. […]

As the West steps up sanctions, Russia starts banning food August 2, 2014

MOSCOW — As the United States and Europe step up economic sanctions against Russia, Moscow’s food-safety epidemiologists have been working overtime. In the past few weeks, Russian agricultural and consumer watchdog agencies have announced the discovery of harmful levels of antibiotics in U.S. poultry, contaminants in Ukrainian dairy, pests in European produce and bacteria in U.S. […]

Russians have many theories about the MH17 crash. One involves fake dead people. July 22, 2014

MOSCOW — As consensus builds in the U.S. government that pro-Russian rebels are responsible for shooting down a Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine, Russians are embracing a smorgasbord of alternate explanations. Like: Maybe it was actually part of an assassination plot. Maybe those bodies were planted. Khadija Gamzatova, 50, heard on the news that Vladimir Putin’s […]