Articles by Alexander Bratersky

Alexander Bratersky joined the Moscow Times in 2009 as a news reporter focusing on politics, civil society, and police reform. In the mid 1990s he was a regular freelance contributor to the arts section of The Moscow Times, writing about culture. Prior to joining The Moscow Times, Alexander worked as a political reporter for Izvestia, the Russian national daily, and as Washington correspondent for the RIA-Novosti news agency. He has also been a contributing writer for the Russian edition of Rolling Stone. You can contact him at

Remembering Soviet Rock Martyr Viktor Tsoi 24 Years After His Death

On the 24th anniversary of the death of Soviet rock legend Viktor Tsoi, we take a look back at arguably one of the most mysterious figures in the Russian music scene.

Viktoria Belova Teaches American Singing for Slavs

A former actress turned singer, Viktoria Belova is known to many in Russia as a voice coach who teaches Russian beginners to sing better. Her secret is her own schooling by American voice coach Seth Riggs.

Government to Establish Airfield to Boost Arctic Presence

The Defense Ministry will establish a permanent airfield in the Arctic as part of Russia's plan to boost its presence in the oil- and gas-rich Arctic Ocean and facilitate shipping on the Northern Sea Route, officials said at a meeting chaired by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

'Alterum' Dance Troupe to Conquer Middle East

In the mid 1990s, Alexei Chernov was a street dancer whose break dance group "Da Boogie Crew" was so popular that it was shown on MTV Russia and performed alongside leading Russian hip-hop and break dance musicians.

California Clinic Has Russian Flavor

Before his emigration from the Soviet Union in 1985, Oleg Vidov was a successful actor, most famous for starring in the lead role of a brave romantic cowboy in the popular adventure film "Headless Horseman." 

A Just Russia Pushes Anti-Nepotism Legislation

The left-leaning Just Russia party wants to prohibit state officials from hiring close relatives to directly subordinate positions in state or municipal organizations.

Russian Alexei Guskov to Play Pope John Paul II

The relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church might be strained, but the choice of a Russian actor to portray the late Pope John Paul II might help to warm them up.

Putin Orders to Proceed With Academy of Science Reforms

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ruled out postponing reforms to the Russian Academy of Sciences that are fiercely opposed by many researchers but proposed a compromise of sorts that would grant additional powers to the academy's newly elected head.

Business Amnesty Bill Approved

The State Duma on Tuesday passed in the third and final reading the long-awaited economic crimes amnesty bill, which will free several thousand businessmen from the nation's prisons.

Shipbuilder Opposes Foreign Purchases

A senior United Ship Building Corporation official said Russia should not buy ships abroad, while the company recently completed assembly of a Mistral helicopter ship under a French license.

Legendary Soviet Record Label Goes Online

The state-owned Melodiya label, once the Soviet Union's record monopoly, has started to sell its music collection online, Vedomosti reported Thursday.

Amnesty Plan for Businessmen Submitted to Parliament

The long-awaited amnesty plan for economic crimes was submitted to the State Duma on Tuesday after its revised version was approved by President Vladimir Putin.

Poet and Free-Market Liberal Ulyukayev Takes Over as Economy Minister

The newly appointed Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said Monday that his main task was to prevent a recession, while Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the government expected a 400 billion ruble ($12 billion) budget deficit in 2014.

Opposition Lawmakers Slam WTO Effect

Opposition lawmakers and businessmen said at a panel Thursday that Russia had lost billions of dollars due to cuts in import tariffs after its accession to the World Trade Organization.

Developers Set Up Lobby to Promote Their Interests

Russian property developers have created a lobbying group to promote their interests on the government level, the first attempt to unite their efforts in many years.

Dvorkovich Sees Possibility of Guriev Return

Some see the meeting of the deputy prime minister and the economist, who chatted like "old friends" as a sign of government support.

Mistral and Gorshkov Projects Back on Track

The United Ship Building Corporation has accelerated work on two of its international military-related projects, company sources told Interfax Wednesday.

Bloggers Claim Photos Show Yakunin Mansion

Bloggers have published pictures of a luxury mansion, believed to be owned by Vladimir Yakunin, the head of Russian Railways and a powerful member of President Vladimir Putin's inner circle.

Bill Restricting Employee Leasing to Hit Businesses Hard

Amendments to the Labor Code restricting employee leasing might hit hard Russian companies and Western firms working in the country and deprive the budget of billions of rubles.

Even in Zimbabwe, It's All About Having the Right Partner

For some, Robert Mugabe is the authoritarian anathema who leads Zimbabwe, the mineral rich state in Africa, but for Russian businessman Alexander Chepik he is a man to be admired.

New Academy of Science President Pledges Reforms

The newly elected head of the Russian Academy of Sciences said his organization could contribute to the country's innovation policy, and he supported the Skolkovo innovation hub.

Fresh US-Russian Translation Examines TV Attitudes

Russian television has often been labeled a Kremlin propaganda tool by its critics, with the intelligence of many who take it at face value being disdained by its opponents, unlike those who rely on the internet.

Head of Major College Reportedly Emigrates Under Pressure

A minister said Wednesday that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's Open Government would continue to work with prominent liberal economist Sergei Guriyev despite media reports that he resigned as head of a major college and left the country under pressure from authorities.

Government Offers Tax Incentives for Grants

With some experts complaining about the decreasing quality of higher education, the government is planning to provide tax incentives for grants given to students.

Top Judge Proposes Jury Trials for Arbitration Courts

Supreme Arbitration Court head Anton Ivanov on Monday proposed introducing jury trials in arbitration court hearings, a move that could make the court system more transparent.

Q&A: Anti-Drug Crusader Roizman Wears Many Hats

Dressed in a beat-up denim jacket and with three days worth of stubble on his cheeks, Yevgeny Roizman, 50, looked like an 80s rocker being interviewed after a concert. But the charismatic Yekaterinburg native, with eyes red from a lack of sleep, is a man who wears many hats.

Putin Says Amnesty Plan for Businessmen Needs Refining

President Vladimir Putin, who was expected during a meeting with more than a hundred entrepreneurs on Thursday to give a nod to the State Duma to draft an amnesty act freeing thousands of imprisoned business people, said the concept needed more work, Russian television reported Thursday.

Rogozin Says Defense Ministry Won't Be Stripped of Pricing Function

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Wednesday that the Defense Ministry would bear responsibility for the pricing of military equipment, despite Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu's earlier plans to get rid of the function.

New Publisher Named to The Moscow Times

Ekaterina Movsumova has been selected as the new publisher of The Moscow Times, replacing Ekaterina Son, the paper's parent company Sanoma Independent Media announced on its website Tuesday.

Dvorkovich Upbeat on His, and Russia's, Future

In an attempt to squash media reports and assure investors, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said Tuesday that he had no plans to leave government and intended to help guide the country's economic course at least until the next presidential election in 2018.