Articles by Robin Munro



Russian Veterans Celebrate Victory in Far-off New Zealand

A wartime song saying the snow would thaw and the "Russian rose" would bloom again enthralled the Russian-speaking community celebrating Victory Day in Christchurch, New Zealand.

In Memoriam: Melissa Akin, Colleague and Friend

Melissa Akin thrived as a business reporter in the mini-boom that followed the 1998 financial crisis in Russia.

When Hitler Dropped By for Tea

A wartime meeting between Adolf Hitler and Finland's military leader, Field Marshal Karl Mannerheim, was where the German dictator planned to call on his ally to step up Finnish attacks against the Soviet Union.

Golf, History and Dachas in Small-Town Finland

Over the centuries, Russians, Finns and Swedes fought bloody battles here. But now day-trippers cross the nearby Russian border in more benign invasions.

A Look Into Putin's Dresden Days

President Vladimir Putin once joined his colleagues to drink to the early death of Soviet leader Konstantin Chernenko and believed that the Soviet Union was doomed, according to a new book written by one of his former colleagues.

Book Sees Kremlin's Hand in 2nd Chechen War

A new book on Chechnya presents evidence suggesting that Kremlin manipulations, not Chechen terrorism, were behind the start of the second war in the republic in 1999.

Office Space Gets Increasingly 'Smart'

With high-end office space in Moscow set to triple in the next five years, smart buildings are going to the head of the class, developers and property owners say.

The Holy Doctor Resonates 150 Years Later

The life of a man who died a pauper after giving his possessions to those at the bottom is being celebrated on the 150th anniversary of his death this year.

Hines Has New Look for Ducat Place

Looks may not be everything, but attractive, international-standard buildings are catching the market's eye, developers say.

U.S. Visa Mess Dashes Summer Dreams

For Alina Ibraimova, 21, this summer was supposed to be the fulfillment of a childhood dream to visit the United States.

Problem Solving Made Simple

Soviet creativity guru Genrich Altshuller believed that waiting for brilliant thoughts to appear is far less effective than taking a systematic approach to problem solving.

Small Surprises in Downtown Nizhny

Once a rich merchant town, Nizhny Novgorod, like most cities industrialized in the Soviet era, is ringed with monolithic Soviet residential blocks.

City Hall: Out-of-Town Workers Must Register

Russians who live beyond the city limits must get permission from City Hall to work in the capital, according to a new order that came into force last week.

City 'Not Ready for Investors'

Buildings suitable for institutional investors will have to be built in Moscow before large-scale investment comes to the local market, according to Sergei Riabokobylko, partner at Stiles & Riabokobylko.

Yoo Eyes Starck Change to Moscow's Interiors

French architect and designer Philippe Starck breezed into Moscow on Friday to launch a joint venture that will promote his designs in real estate developments in Russia.

Court Convicts 4 in Australian's Murder

A Moscow region court has convicted two men and two woman for the murder of an Australian national whose bound and gagged body was found at a hotel near Sheremetyevo Airport in October.

City's Color Brings Back Boomerang Lawyer

Lawyer Xavier Hunter likens his Russian career to a boomerang: Along with many other Westerners he quit town after the 1998 crisis, but now he's back, more confident than ever of the opportunities.

State Threatens to Ban Turkish Builders

The government is considering barring Turkish construction companies from operating in Russia in retaliation for Ankara's refusal to buy gas via Gazprom's $3 billion Blue Stream pipeline, the Energy Ministry said.

A Makeover for Luzhkov's Sister

An investor is being sought to restore one of the city's landmark ""Seven Sisters"" buildings, constructed in Stalin's time as the Soviet answer to skyscrapers in the United States.

Voyentorg Set for a Revolution

The Moscow city government has issued an order for the historic Tsentralny Voyenny Univermag, or Central Military Department Store, to be demolished.

Luxury Tretyakov Flats A Big Draw for the Rich

Ninety percent of apartments in a development in the heart of Moscow's art district have been pre-sold less than a month after work on the site started.

Fewer Students Go to U.S. This Year

Despite expectations of significant growth, the number of university students going to the United States to work for the summer or sightsee is shaping up to be hundreds fewer this year due to late and improperly filled out visa applications, the U.S. Embassy said.

Top Chita Official Is Shot Dead

A deputy governor of Chita in eastern Siberia was shot twice in the chest with a hunting weapon in an apparent contract killing, regional officials said Thursday.

Californian Brings Muscovites the Big Screen

It was Paul Heth's love for movies that started his career in Russia and 10 years after he arrived he is about to launch the nation's largest multiplex.

Rocco Forte Moves Into the Capital

British hotelier Sir Rocco Forte, who runs St. Petersburg's Angleterre and Astoria hotels, opened an office in Moscow on Tuesday to market his European chain of nine luxury hotels and vowed to open a hotel in the capital.

A Plan for a $500M Hotel Chain

A plan to create a $500 million chain of more than 100 economy hotels across Russia may be funded by Western or Middle Eastern investment.

Moscow Region Gets First Class A Building

Moscow region's first class A building, located in the fast-developing district of Khimki close to the Moscow Ring Road will be ready for internal fit-out in October.

Tribute to Victims of Midair Collision

Relatives of many of the 71 people who died when a Russian jet collided with a cargo plane last summer gathered at the crash site in southern Germany on Tuesday to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the tragedy.

Welltone Park, Moscow's Answer to La Defense

Residential development company Krost plans to build Moscow's answer to Paris' La Defense in the city' northwest between Polezhayevskaya metro station and Serebryany Bor.

Pristavkin: Prisoners Not Better Off Today

A ceremony Friday at the German School in honor of Friedrich-Joseph Haass, who until his death 150 years ago worked to improve the lot of Russia's prisoners, featured a speech by the man who perhaps most carries on his work today: presidential adviser on pardons Anatoly Pristavkin.