Articles by Simon Ostrovsky



Mechel Plans New York IPO, Reveals Owners

Mechel Steel Group, Russia's fifth-largest steel producer, said it will sell 10 percent of its shares in the United States by the end of the year.

E-Mail for the Paranoid Makes Its World Debut

A new e-mail transmission system from Britain that claims to be leakproof and spam-free is quickly gaining ground in Russia, the system's creator, Jeftel said.

Murder Trial Starts for Ex-Yukos Security Boss

Former Yukos security chief Alexei Pichugin pleaded not guilty to charges of organizing a 2002 double murder linked to the besieged oil major, his lawyer said Monday.

Paper: GM, VAZ to Import Plant

General Motors and AvtoVAZ are working on a $500 million project to move a mothballed engine plant in India to the heartland of Russia's auto industry, Vedomosti reported Thursday.

Tbilisi Seeks to Reopen a Gas Pipeline to Iran

Georgia has begun refurbishing a defunct gas pipeline passing through Azerbaijan to Iran in a bid to decrease the country's dependence on Russian exports, Georgia's state-owned gas company said Wednesday.

BP Makes Room for Gazprom

TNK-BP is prepared to surrender its majority in the massive Kovykta gas fields in favor of Gazprom, the CEO of the Anglo-Russian company said in an interview published Tuesday.

Foreigners Drive Up Auto Industry Standards

  • 28 September 04
  • Staff Writers
It might not look like a Russian car, but the Ford Focus is in many ways a homegrown product.

Credit Plans Help Fuel Demand

The traditional Russian way of buying a car -- walking into a dealership with a bagful of $10,000 worth of hard-saved rubles -- may be about to change, as a range of newly minted credit plans offer a quicker way to get behind the wheel.

Middle Class Drives Restaurant Boom

Moscow's premier restaurateur, Arkady Novikov, surveyed his new restaurant, Vesna, and pointed at a woman sitting in the far corner of the minimalist dining hall.

Report: Wal-Mart to Open in St. Pete in '05

Wal-Mart, the world's largest company, may open a store in St. Petersburg next year, a city official said Thursday, Interfax reported.

Shell Under Fire After Sakhalin-2 Spill

Environmental activists renewed criticism of Royal Dutch-Shell's Sakhalin venture Friday.

Basketball Bomb Sparked Beslan Battle

  • 07 September 04
  • Staff Writers
A bomb falling off a basketball hoop sparked the fierce battle at the Beslan school, and armed civilians hoping to save their loved ones helped sow chaos that cost the lives of hundreds of hostages.

Over 300 Killed in School Carnage

Wails of grief reverberated through the streets of this town Sunday as its residents began burying the more than 300 people slaughtered in a 52-hour hostage crisis last week.

'Can We Shoot the Dogs?'

When the armed attackers seized School No. 1, they separated the men from the women and children and marched them up to the second floor.

30 Women and Children Freed in Beslan

  • 03 September 04
  • Staff Writers
Hostage-takers released 30 women and children, including three infants, but more than 300 people remained trapped inside a school in this North Ossetian town for a second day Thursday.

Narco Cops Smoking Out Weed Ware

Planning on selling that vintage Grateful Dead T-shirt from your college days? Well, don't look for a buyer in Russia.

VimpelCom to Buy a Kazakh Telecom

National No. 2 cellular operator VimpelCom said Thursday it will buy its Kazakh counterpart for $425 million, the company's first foray abroad.

Russian Automakers Roll Out Hip New Rides

The makers of the clunky Ladas that ply the nation's potholed roads unveiled a new line of modern-looking passenger cars.

Report Warns of Crisis in Workforce

The country's workforce is shrinking at twice the rate of the general population due to a decrepit healthcare system and dangerous working conditions that have remained unchanged for the past century, an internal government report warns.

Sakhalin-2 to Spend $2M on Whales

Sakhalin Energy, a Royal Dutch/Shell-backed consortium, said Friday that it will spend $2 million monitoring endangered gray whales in the Pacific Ocean this year, but environmentalists warned that the research is off-target and likely to validate the company's own oil-drilling interests.

GE Buys DeltaBank for $150M

General Electric has paid $150 million for DeltaBank, the country's leading issuer of Visa cards.

Rebel Region Still Pulling Tourists

Firebrand nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky became Russia's most prominent tourist when he flouted a Georgian government warning and ventured into self-proclaimed republic of Abkhazia on Wednesday.

Lawyers Set to Select Pichugin Case Jurors

Prosecutors and defense lawyers in the double murder case against former Yukos security chief Alexei Pichugin are to lock horns on Tuesday as they select a jury for the secret proceedings.

Clinging to the Art of Carpet Making

Emerging from a dark room in her cool home high in the mountains of Dagestan, Asli Isayeva rolled out half a century's worth of dust and memories onto the dining room floor.

Ministry Targets Homes of the Rich

Barely visible through a thin grove of trees and brush, a bulldozer is busy turning a freshly deforested swath of earth into a road. A few hundred paces to the west, a yachting moor is taking shape on the Pestovskoye reservoir's north bank, which has been reinforced with hundreds of tons of rock and netting.

MTS Pays Premium to Uzbek 'Princess'

Moscow-based Mobile TeleSystems on Friday agreed to pay as much as $159 million for a cellphone company owned by the controversial daughter of authoritarian Uzbek President Islam Karimov -- or roughly 33 times what the company valued itself at just two years ago.

TV Station Fined for Yukos Ad Blitz

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service has slapped a 40,000 ruble fine on Russia's most widely viewed television network for showing too many Yukos ads, officials said Wednesday.

Narzan Water Bubbling to the Top

Narzan mineral water has been associated with this sunny resort town in the North Caucasus for more than a century.

Alcoa Deal With RusAl Put on Hold

Anti-monopoly authorities have put the brakes on Russian Aluminum's sale of an estimated $250 million in industrial assets to Alcoa, the American conglomerate said Tuesday.

Paper: Siemens Eyes Potanin Firm

The troubled $1 billion merger between engineering giants Siloviye Mashiny, or Power Machines, and OMZ is off, a board member of Power Machines said Monday.