Articles by Vladimir Kovalev



2 Convicted in Starovoitova's Murder

  • 01 July 05
  • Staff Writers
A St. Petersburg court on Thursday convicted Vitaly Akishin on charges of firing a gun that killed liberal State Duma Deputy Galina Starovoitova in the stairwell of her apartment building in 1998, and sentenced him to 23 1/2 years in prison.

The Darker Side of St. Petersburg Hospitality

It's not easy being a foreigner in St. Petersburg these days. Just recently, I heard of yet another attack on a foreign visitor who was hit over the head with a bottle and robbed.

Small Bridges Over the Troubled Narva

Last week, I witnessed something that gave me hope for the recently troubled relations between Russia and Estonia.

Russia's Farms Ignored by Oil-Obsessed State

European experts looking at the retail market recently suggested that food producers treat Russia as a market filled with opportunities.

The Red Carnations of Reconciliation

On May 9, shortly after the Victory Day fireworks, a friend who was driving a car with Estonian license plates got stuck in a traffic jam on Ploshchad Truda in St. Petersburg.

A Deputy Prosecutor's Political Schizophrenia

Employees at the St. Petersburg Prosecutor's Office must be schizophrenic.

Palace Debate Roiling St. Pete

The issue of compensation for property seized during the October Revolution has reared its head in St. Petersburg.

St. Petersburg Citizens Protest Hotel Project

Residents of St. Petersburg's Petrogradsky district last week protested against plans by joint-stock firm New Technologies to build a 30-meter-high hotel in Lopukhinsky Garden.

Killing the Marshrutka Will Spare Many Lives

The St. Petersburg government's plan to cut many private transportation routes and replace hundreds of dangerous fixed-route taxis, or marshrutki, with bigger and more comfortable buses seems like the light at the end of the tunnel.

Guilty of Breaking and Entering in the Baltics

The documentary footage showed Soviet soldiers in 1940 opening the gates in the border fence between Estonia and the Soviet Union, long military convoys with the leading trucks disappearing into a forest on the horizon and freight cars bearing prisoners from the Baltic states to the cold hell of Siberia.

Shoe-Burning Finn Sees IT Havens in Russia

When he was 11 years old, Jari Angesleva was at a youth camp where he burned the shoes of a famous Finnish communist who has since been buried in the Kremlin wall.

Foreign Students Go Online to Combat Racism

St. Petersburg students demand that the authorities do more to protect them from violent attacks.

Putin Asked to Testify in Starovoitova Killing Case

Defense lawyers in the Galina Starovoitova murder trial have called for President Vladimir Putin to testify about a 1998 conversation he had with her assistant Ruslan Linkov after the killing.

New Laws Give More Protection to Consumers

With many of Russia's top-end restaurants, shops and services used to setting their prices in hard currency, consumers have become used to doing elaborate mental arithmetic when scanning menus and buying plane tickets.

Students Set Up Anti-Putin Movement

About 50 St. Petersburg students, including former members of the pro-Kremlin movement Idushchiye Vmeste, or Moving Together, have formed a group called Idushchiye Bez Putina, or Moving Without Putin.

No Building for German Consulate

More than six months after being sworn in as Germany's consul general in the Kaliningrad region, Cornelius Sommer is still working out of a hotel after repeated refusals to approve a consulate building.

Suspect: Glushchenko Ordered Starovoitova's Killing

A defendant on trial in the 1998 murder of liberal State Duma Deputy Galina Starovoitova has testified that the killing was ordered by former Duma Deputy Mikhail Glushchenko, RIA-Novosti reported.

The Future's Bigger Under Matviyenko

Jokes during St. Petersburg's gubernatorial election that Valentina Matviyenko's term in office could be as long as Leonid Brezhnev's may not be funny at all, if a union between St. Petersburg and Leningrad region, proposed last week, goes through.

Matviyenko Inaugurated With Pomp

New St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko's friends in high places were on prominent display as she was officially inaugurated Wednesday in the Mariinsky Palace.

Gypsy Children Rob Tourists in St. Pete

Dozens of tourists to St. Petersburg have been robbed by crowds of Gypsy children in recent months, prompting the Russian Tourist Industry Union to appeal to the police for help.

Matviyenko Offers Higher City Profile, Rents

President Vladimir Putin's favored candidate, Valentina Matviyenko, celebrated Monday after comfortably winning the city's gubernatorial runoff with 63.17 percent of the vote.

Underdog Markova Battles for Votes

Like her former boss, Anna Markova hopes to step up to lead St. Petersburg from the vice governor's post.

St. Petersburg Vote Goes Into a Runoff

St. Petersburg's gubernatorial election went into a second round Monday after no candidate secured more than 50 percent of the vote in a weekend poll that saw low turnout and many residents picking ""none of the above.""

St. Petersburg Electoral Deja Vu

Traffic jams are nothing new in St. Petersburg, and I would have dismissed it as a stereotypical snapshot of today's city if I hadn't heard presidential envoy Valentina Matviyenko announce her decision to run for governor just a few minutes before.

Yakovlev Gets a Top Post in Moscow

President Vladimir Putin appointed St. Petersburg Governor Vladimir Yakovlev as a deputy prime minister Monday and put him in charge of reforming the country's housing and utilities sector.

Guests Won't See What's Behind the Fence

The new two-meter-high fence is an official attempt to hide Laar's shabby house, built a hundred years ago, from thousands of foreign dignitaries.

Time to Start Naming Names

Could the honest and respectable Vladimir Putin be involved in a dirty St. Petersburg political battle?