Articles by Natalya Krainova

Natalya Krainova has worked as a news reporter for The Moscow Times since February 2007 covering human rights, political parties, housing issues, City Hall, the City Duma and the State Duma. Before joining the paper, she worked as a fixer for the Moscow correspondent of Cox Newspapers. You can contact her at

Protesters Storm Buildings in Ukraine as West Ponders Next Move

A day after European Union leaders met to discuss taking a firmer line on Russia over its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region, pro-Russian demonstrators stormed government buildings in two Ukrainian cities and demanded autonomy from the new government.

NASA Hit by U.S.-Russia Ukraine Spat

Space cooperation takes a hit over the crisis as NASA was added to the U.S. list of entities forbidden of cooperating with Russian agencies, and a Russian diplomat tells U.S. officials to get over the loss of Crimea.

St. Pete Organization Adopts Baby Crocodile

A baby African crocodile discovered in a St. Petersburg yard in early March may be adopted by organizations tied to the local government, the head of a local quarantine center told The Moscow Times on Monday.

Dozhd Gets 50-Day Lifeline After Telethon

Independent television channel Dozhd has extended its operation for at least 50 days in a fundraising campaign launched to save the channel after major cable networks refused to air it.

Kerry and Lavrov Meet on Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov were set to meet late Sunday as Russia sought to play down Western fears of an imminent invasion of Ukraine.

Dozhd Fights to Save Independent Reporting

While most international media attention is focused on Russia's actions in Crimea and the fate of Ukraine, the fate of one of Russia's only remaining independent television channels hangs in the balance back home.

NATO Alarmed by Russian Troops After Crimea Annexation

As President Vladimir Putin finalized the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and Sevastopol to Russia on Friday, European officials voiced concerns that Russia may have plans to expand into Moldova’s separatist self-proclaimed Transdnestr republic and the Baltics.

U.S. Goes After Putin Allies, 'Key Sectors' of Economy

As Russia's State Duma on Thursday ratified the annexation of Crimea and the Black Sea port of Sevastopol to Russia, the U.S. kept good on a promise for "serious consequences" by hitting high-ranking individuals reportedly tied to President Vladimir Putin with sanctions — but Russia quickly hit back with its own list.

To Be Russian, or Not to Be Russian? Crimea Residents to Decide on Citizenship

Among the many thorny issues facing Crimea's residents following Russia's annexation of the region this week is whether or not to become citizens of their new country.

Russia Not Planning Sanctions Against Western Officials, Rogozin Says

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin denied Tuesday that Russia was contemplating sanctions against U.S. and European officials to retaliate for banking and travel restrictions imposed on officials involved in staging Sunday's referendum in Crimea, in which voters overwhelmingly voted for joining Russia.

U.S. and EU Impose Sanctions Over Kremlin Actions in Ukraine

The European Union and the U.S. on Monday imposed travel bans and asset freezes on more than a dozen Russian and Crimean officials involved in staging the referendum on Crimea’s independence from Ukraine, which the West deemed illegal.

Russia Refuses to Budge Despite Warnings

Russia has blocked the United Nations Security Council from declaring invalid Sunday's referendum on the fate of Ukraine's pro-Russian region of Crimea, after talks between Russia and the United States on the Ukrainian crisis ended in a stalemate.

Janitors Find Baby African Crocodile in St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg janitors have discovered a baby African crocodile beside garbage cans in a local yard.

Russia Preparing Response to U.S. and EU Sanctions

The Federation Council is drawing up a bill that would allow the government to confiscate the property of U.S. and European companies in the event of Western sanctions, though political analysts dismiss both actions as intimidating rhetoric unlikely turn into action.

Journalist Organizations Urge End to Harassment of Media in Crimea

International media rights advocates say independent journalists are getting attacked and harassed while trying to cover events in the autonomous republic of Crimea, which has been occupied by pro-Russian forces.

Russia's Move to Send Troops to Ukraine Spurs Talk of War

Russian lawmakers have given President Vladimir Putin the go-ahead to use Russian troops in Ukraine, a move that has thrown the international community into a tizzy and prompted Ukraine to mobilize its own troops.

RIA Novosti Employees Await Word on Fate of News Agency

Less than two weeks ahead of the deadline set by the Kremlin for the abolishment of major state-funded news agency RIA Novosti, its employees say they still lack details about what will happen to their jobs or when the company will cease its work.

Bolotnoye Suspects Get Prison Time

A Moscow court on Monday issued seven prison terms and one suspended sentence in the high-profile Bolotnoye case over alleged anti-Kremlin riots in May 2012, triggering protests by and detentions of supporters who say the case is politically motivated.

Russia: Don't Trust Ukraine's Opposition

Russian officials have warned that the political opposition that has taken power in Ukraine consists of "illegal extremist groups" that do not represent the majority of the Ukrainian people and called on opposition leaders to abide by an earlier reached agreement.

Bolotnoye Case Sentences to Come Monday

A Moscow court on Friday convicted eight people of participating in riots and violence against police at an opposition protest on Bolotnaya Ploshchad in May 2012, as hundreds of supporters rallied without permission outside the court, resulting in nearly 200 detentions.

Critics Fear Post-Sochi Crackdown (Video)

With three days to go until the Winter Olympics in Sochi draw to a close, fears are growing among many Russians that the apparent tolerance of President Vladimir Putin toward critics of his government in the run-up to the games will dissipate after the last foreign participant leaves.

Udaltsov and Razvozzhayev Riot Trial Begins

Opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov and his aide Leonid Razvozzhayev appeared in court Tuesday to face charges of staging riots at an anti-Kremlin protest after more than a year on house arrest and in pretrial detention, respectively.

Experts Warn of Increase in Ethnically Motivated Attacks

Russia has seen an increase in violence motivated by ethnic hatred and physical attacks on the LGBT community in the past year, experts said Thursday.

Ryzhkov Quits RPR-Parnas Opposition Party

A leader of Russia's main liberal opposition party, RPR-Parnas, quit over the weekend with a group of senior supporters in a move that some say could be beneficial to the Kremlin and lead to the party's dismissal.

Rescuers Catch Condemned Sochi Dogs and Bring Them to Moscow (Video)

Three well-groomed mongrels follow Igor Ayrapetyan, 41, around his home in the Moscow region, wagging their tails and jumping to lick his face.

After Rocky 2 Years, McFaul Quits as Ambassador

Michael McFaul, who has served as U.S. ambassador to Russia over a two-year period marked by heightened tensions between Washington and Moscow, announced in a blog post Tuesday that he would be leaving his position as ambassador and returning to academia later this month.

Prosecutors Initiate Check of Dozhd TV

Prosecutors on Thursday said they were examining embattled Dozhd television for possible extremism charges related to a viewer poll about World War II, as the independent channel attempted to rally amid strong political pressure directed against it.

Cable Providers Drop Independent Dozhd TV Amid Pressure

A wave of intense political pressure on opposition-leaning Dozhd television, the country's most prominent privately owned television outlet, resulted Wednesday in at least two cable providers removing it from their packages, while lawmakers have demanded an investigation into content on the channel.

Khodorkovsky Partner Lebedev Walks Free, Hints at 'Surprise'

Platon Lebedev, the one-time business partner of former Yukos owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky, walked free on Friday night from a penal colony in northwestern Russia, after serving more than ten years on economic charges that many viewed as politically motivated.

Environmental Groups Lobby for Jailed Activist Ahead of Games

Four high-profile environmental and human rights groups held a news conference Wednesday in a bid to help a jailed activist who criticized construction for the 2014 Sochi Olympics over supposed harm it has done to the environment.