Moscow’s First Days of 2022, in Photos

Russia’s New Year holidays came to a close on Jan. 10, meaning Moscow’s residents headed back to work after a week of rest and relaxation. This year, Moscow residents returned from holiday to bitter winter temperatures and warnings of an impending coronavirus surge. However, some are using the extreme cold to honor the age-old tradition…

Russian Officials Spurn ‘Russophobe’ Kazakh Cabinet Minister

A cabinet member in Moscow-friendly Kazakhstan’s newly appointed government has emerged as an unlikely divisive figure among Russian officials. Former media executive Askar Umarov was named Kazakhstan’s new information minister when President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev reshuffled the government in response to this month’s anti-government protests that turned violent. A senior Russian diplomat said he was put off…

Russian-Led Forces Begin Kazakhstan Pullout

Russian-led forces have begun their gradual withdrawal from Kazakhstan after it was gripped by anti-government rallies that spilled into deadly violence this month, the Russian military announced Thursday. Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said the pullout of around 2,000 Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) troops would take no more than 10 days to complete. Russia’s Defense…

License documentation for El Dabaa NPP units 3 and 4 has been handed over to the Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority

On December 30, 2021, ahead of schedule, Egyptian Nuclear Power Plant Authority (NPPA) handed over the package of documents to the Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority (ENRRA) which are required for receipt of license for construction of El Dabaa NPP power units 3 and 4 (general designer and general contractor is ROSATOM Engineering Division).…

Kazakh President Fires Rare Criticism at Predecessor After Unrest

Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev issued rare criticism of his long-ruling predecessor Tuesday, and said he expected Russian-led forces to leave the troubled Central Asian country in the next 10 days. The oil-rich country’s descent into chaos has laid bare infighting at the top of a government once dominated by Tokayev’s mentor, 81-year-old Nursultan Nazarbayev.  The…

Fabergé Takes London by Storm — Again

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM — “Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution” is the Victoria and Albert Museum’s third exhibition dedicated to the Russian goldsmith. A show in 1977 was the first major exhibition on Fabergé to be held by a national museum in the United Kingdom. The second exhibition was co-organized by the V&A, the Fabergé…

Kyrgyzstan Cries Foul Over Musician’s Wrongful Arrest in Protest-Hit Kazakhstan

BISHKEK – A well-known musician returned to his home country of Kyrgyzstan on Monday after authorities in neighboring Kazakhstan wrongly accused him of taking part in last week’s anti-government protests that roiled the ex-Soviet nation.  But for jazz pianist Vikram Ruzakhunov’s colleagues and activists, his release only highlights the plight of dozens of lesser-known Kyrgyz…

In Moscow, a Young Artist With Nomadic Visions

In December, Moscow’s JART Gallery opened a large exhibition of the whimsical work of Evgeniya Dudnikova, a 25-year-old artist from the town of Ramenskoye, not far from Moscow. The exhibition “Nomads,” curated by Alexei Korsi, is Dudnikova’s first. The show includes works in several media: prints, paintings, ceramics, sculpture, and wall-hangings made of organic plastics…

U.S., Russia Hold High-Stakes Talks on Ukraine

Top U.S. and Russian officials held crucial talks Monday with tensions soaring over Ukraine and security demands from Moscow, but there was little hope of a diplomatic breakthrough. The high-stakes negotiations come amid fears of a Russian invasion of its pro-Western neighbor Ukraine, and with Moscow demanding wide-ranging concessions from Washington and its NATO allies.…

Russia-Led Military Bloc Will Not Allow ‘Color Revolutions’ in Post-Soviet Countries – Putin

A Moscow-led military detachment deployed to Kazakhstan to quell the worst anti-government unrest in the post-Soviet country’s history will not allow “color revolutions” to take place, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday. Putin’s remarks came days after 2,500 Russian, Belarusian, Armenian, Tajik and Kyrgyz troops were deployed across Kazakh cities to defend key state facilities as…

164 People Killed in Kazakhstan Unrest

More than a hundred people died in Kazakhstan in the wake of violent riots that shook Central Asia’s largest country this week, media reported Sunday citing the Health Ministry. The energy-rich nation of 19 million people has been rocked by a week of upheaval with nearly 6,000 — including a number of foreigners — detained…

Turkmenistan Plans to Close Giant Burning Gas Pit

Turkmenistan’s strongman leader has ordered experts to find a way to finally extinguish a massive five-decade old fire in a giant natural gas crater in the Central Asian country, dubbed the “Gateway to Hell.” Citing environmental and economic concerns, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov appeared on state television Saturday telling officials to put out the flames at…

You Can’t Hurry Kharcho

Winter weather dominated the headlines this week as a freak snowstorm brought Washington D.C. to its knees, a fact that didn’t go unnoticed by Moscow’s veteran expatriates, who greeted the 19-hour delays on I-95 with wry amusement, as they trudged through yet another daily deluge of snow that has become the norm in the Russian…

New Year Highlights in Russian Theater

Moscow’s theaters have taken a hit over the past two years in the wake of changing Covid-19 restrictions, but the main theaters have survived, and a ‘new normal’ is being established. It seems only fitting in the Chinese year of the tiger— the symbol of fearlessness — that the 2022 programs for Moscow’s central theaters…

New Year Arts Highlights in Russia’s Regions

Travel restrictions due to covid might have kept Russians staying in the country, but they also helped them discover some great places to vacation and enjoy cultural activities. The practice of inviting innovative directors and performers to such places as Perm, Ekaterinburg, Voronezh, Ivanovo, and Tula has become popular in opera and ballet, while local…

New Year Music and Opera Highlights

With less fear of lockdowns and disruptions due to covid, the main concert halls in Moscow and St. Petersburg have already set their schedules for the coming year. Here are a few highlights for lovers of opera and classical music. Moscow Philharmonic celebrates its 100th anniversary The famous Moscow Philharmonic, which puts on concerts at…

Russian Newsmakers to Watch in the New Year

Politics  Alexei Navalny, opposition figure President Vladimir Putin’s biggest domestic opponent enters the New Year with his movement gutted as he enters the second year of his 2.5-year prison sentence for violating parole on an old embezzlement conviction his supporters call politically motivated. Navalny, 45, also faces an additional 10 years as part of a…

New Year Museum Highlights

The major museums of Moscow and St. Petersburg have what looks to be an amazing year planned – so much so that it might take some skill in time management to see everything. Here are our picks for museum-hopping in 2022 to see classical and modern, Western and Russian art, photography and new technologies installations…

New Year Dance Highlights

Dance in Russia in the coming year will be many things: orderly and chaotic, experimental and classical, beautiful and surprising. We asked ballet companies what premieres and events to expect in 2022. Here are our advance picks. Woland’s Ball at the Bolshoi Theater Definitely not to be missed is the new ballet of “Master and…