Articles by Ben Aris



Specter of Money Haunts Ukraine's Turmoil

Russia is not the villain here. The crisis is rooted in money, and Yanukovych's efforts to stave off Ukraine's bankruptcy forced him into Putin's arms.

Diki Kapitalism: Economists Criticize Unexpected Interest-Rate Hike

The Central Bank unexpected hiked overnight interest rates by 0.25 percent to 8.25 percent to head off rising inflation, in a move that economists have criticized and fear may slow Russia's growth further.

Diki Kapitalism: Is the Sentiment Pendulum Swinging Back in Russia's Direction?

Last week, fund manager megastar Jim Rogers said he might start investing in Russia, and Russia has attracted more portfolio investment than any other BRIC country in the past five weeks, witnessing unbroken gains over that period.

Why Is WTO Accession Important?

It's done. After an 18-year humiliating wait in the anteroom, Russia finally ratified the WTO protocol on Tuesday, June 10, and is now a fully paid-up member of the world's biggest trade club.

Russian Economy Showing Signs of Overheating

Kolya is back in Moscow to interview for jobs. A Russian national, he has just graduated from Liverpool University, where he majored in business but has a long-standing interest in aviation software and has even sold some of his software to Russian carrier Transaero.

When Global Oil Giants Dance With the Kremlin

BP's hopes to partner with Rosneft in exploring the Arctic and producing lots of oil for decades to come were dashed this week after the Russian state-owned oil major signed off on a $3.2 billion exploration joint venture with ExxonMobil. All this makes for great headlines, but what does the drama say about Russia's investment climate?

Disabled in Moscow: A 15-Year Reunion

About 15 years ago, I attended a little party in a hospital in the south of Moscow. This was not any ordinary ward. It was dedicated to caring for children with the most severe physical injuries.

The Reckless Road to Waste

RIA-Novosti ran a comparison of how much it costs to build a road in Moscow, the rest of Russia, the European Union, the United States and China. The differences are pretty stark.

Siloviki Monetary Policy Spooks Economists

For the last five years, most economists have watched with relative indifference as President Vladimir Putin and his loyal cadre of security service alums have gone about systematically taming parliament, reining in the regions, reprogramming the media and clipping the wings of oligarchs.

Betting on Security Services to Make a Killing

Russia is within striking distance of an investment grade rating that will open the doors to a new, and much larger, class of foreign institutional investor.

Fortune Keeps Good Times Rolling, for Now

Everyone agrees that Russia's economy is in the midst of a fantastic bull run. What role has luck played in the recovery -- and what will happen when that luck runs out?

Land of Bureaucratic Opportunity

Last week, Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky complained that bureaucrats were pushing Russia down the road toward the ""Saudi model"" of government.

Picking Up and Passing on the Pieces of Privatization

As the Russian market evolves, mergers and acquisitions -- especially the latter -- have taken the place of the naked asset-grabbing that was the hallmark of the Yeltsin era.

In Pursuit of Portugal

The Yeltsin years may be over, but with sagging investment rates and the return of a virtual economy, Russia has some rough seas to cross before catching up with Portugal.

Weaning Off the Barrel

While the Russian economy has been precariously dependent on high oil prices for years, President Vladimir Putin has managed to break the nation's black habit.

Russia's First Business Cycle

As 2001 drew to a close nearly all economic indicators dipped for the first time in nearly three years. Russia's period of effortless improvement has clearly come to an end.

The Coming Bond Market Boom

Russian companies, now casting about for fresh sources of money, likely spell the beginning of what is expected to be a corporate bond market boom.

A Diamond in The Rough

The Alrosa mining company produces a fifth of the world's diamonds at five mines deep in the Russian tundra, and it is to negotiate a new five-year contract with De Beers.

Fyodorov Lampoons Gazprom's Managers

Outspoken Gazprom board member and United Financial Group founder Boris Fyodorov blasted the gas giant's management Wednesday.

EBRD and Severstal Slam West's Steel Suits

Severstal joined the EBRD in blasting America and Europe for protectionism Monday over legislation that prevents former Soviet steel producers from selling on global markets.

Blast Heard 'Round World

Blast, one of the city's leading club bands, is riding high this month.

Blast Heard 'Round World

Blast, one of the city's leading club bands, is riding high this month.

Vlad's School Report

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Putin, I am writing to you to express some concerns I have with your son's behavior.

Rich Palladium Mine Pulls U.K. Firm to Urals

Can't Beat This

London Calling

The Talk of the Town

Moscow Hospital Gets Helping Hand

Residential Construction Remains Profitable

Models Aiming for Stardom and an Ordinary Life