Elizabeth's Feed
Mar 2, 2015

Blood near the Kremlin: Russia’s media fight back

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A corpse on a bloodstained bridge, with the Kremlin’s red stars glowing behind: the perfect symbolic backdrop, Russian media say, for the West to step up a campaign to vilify President Vladimir Putin.

Faced with a wave of revulsion around the world at the assassination of leading opposition figure Boris Nemtsov, the loyal media establishment is on the counter-attack, preparing Russians for a malicious propaganda campaign by a hostile West.

Feb 24, 2015

Russian lawmakers may take pay cut to weather crisis

MOSCOW, Feb 24 (Reuters) – Russia’s lawmakers should take a
pay cut to help Moscow through a financial crisis, the speaker
of parliament said on Tuesday, appealing to their patriotism as
Western sanctions over Ukraine drain the economy.

Sergei Naryshkin, speaker of the State Duma, said he had
asked all four groups in the lower house of parliament to
discuss the money-saving initiative, and would take it to
Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin if they agreed.

Feb 20, 2015

Economic crisis threatens Russia’s most secure state jobs

MOSCOW, Feb 20 (Reuters) – They seemed to have some of the
most secure jobs in Russia, working in the “power ministries”
favoured by President Vladimir Putin, himself a former KGB spy.

But firefighters, police officers and, according to some
media reports, spies are now being squeezed by Russia’s economic
crisis, losing jobs and perks as the Finance Ministry cuts
spending to build up resources for what could be years of
Western sanctions.

Feb 13, 2015

Insight – In Russia, battle for university places deflates Crimea euphoria

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Alexandra Kartokhina always dreamed of studying in a big city. She even went to a Russian school in her native Crimea to help her achieve her ambition of studying in St Petersburg.

But now that dream has been tainted. After winning a place at a university in Russia’s second city on an equal footing with other students, she has to deal with “the eternal squabbles” over accusations that Crimeans are stealing “Russian” places.

Feb 13, 2015

In Russia, battle for university places deflates Crimea euphoria

MOSCOW, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Alexandra Kartokhina always
dreamed of studying in a big city. She even went to a Russian
school in her native Crimea to help her achieve her ambition of
studying in St Petersburg.

But now that dream has been tainted. After winning a place
at a university in Russia’s second city on an equal footing with
other students, she has to deal with “the eternal squabbles”
over accusations that Crimeans are stealing “Russian” places.

Jan 30, 2015

Putin ally handed contract to build Russian bridge to Crimea

MOSCOW, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Russia has handed a multi-billion
dollar contract to build a bridge to the Crimea peninsula to an
ally and former judo partner of Vladimir Putin who is under
Western sanctions.

A government order published on Friday named Stroygazmontazh
(SGM) as the contractor to build the bridge spanning the Kerch
Strait to link Russia’s mainland and Crimea, annexed from
Ukraine last March in an act that triggered Western sanctions.

Jan 28, 2015

In Russia, crisis deepens slide in living standards for pensioners

MOSCOW (Reuters) – For Boris Lisitsyn, Russia’s financial crisis means less meat, cheese and sausage – hardships the 86-year-old says won’t kill him anytime soon.

But for him and the millions of pensioners who make up about a third of Russia’s population, rising prices are also spurring anger over declining living standards, threatening a pool of support President Vladimir Putin cannot afford to lose.

Dec 28, 2014

Special Report – Crunch time: As sanctions bite, Putin ally gets into apples

ABINSK, Russia (Reuters) – As U.S. and European sanctions piled pressure on Russia earlier this year, the Kremlin hit back with an unusual weapon: apples.

From Aug. 7 Russia banned imports of fruit from various countries that supported sanctions, including Poland, which has been a strong critic of Russia’s actions in Ukraine. The ban had real impact: Poland is the world’s biggest exporter of apples and last year sent more than $380 million worth to Russia, according to International Trade Centre figures.

Nov 12, 2014

Russians start to feel the pinch as economy struggles

MOSCOW, Nov 12 (Reuters) – Alexander Shalin rides a bike to
work, shops in local grocery stores and doesn’t worry too much
about fashion. The 37-year-old manager should be
recession-proof, but even he is feeling the pinch from Russia’s
slowing economy.

To escape the “terrible” weather in Russia’s second city of
St Petersburg, Shalin takes as many foreign trips as he can, but
now has started to “triple check” whether he can afford to since
the rouble fell almost 30 percent against the dollar.

Oct 29, 2014

Insight – Sanctions bind Russia’s energy elite to Putin

MOSCOW (Reuters) – An offer by Gazprom to help rival Rosneft salvage an Arctic oil project shows how tightly sanctions have bound Russia’s political and business elite together in the Ukraine crisis – an unintended consequence of the West’s punitive measures.

Some Gazprom executives now say this month’s little noticed proposal to loan Rosneft a drilling rig was “theoretical”. It was quietly made after U.S. sanctions put in doubt a project with ExxonMobil to drill for oil in the Kara Sea.