Articles by Rachel Nielsen

Rachel Nielsen is a business reporter at The Moscow Times. She joined the paper in December 2009 and has been its supplements editor and web editor. Earlier, she covered New York housing as a freelance reporter for City Limits and covered venture capital, startups and wireless technology as a staff reporter with Dow Jones Newswires. She was a news assistant at The Wall Street Journal and reporting intern for the Moscow bureau of the Los Angeles Times. Nielsen was the 2009 president of the New York City chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. You can contact her at or follow her on Twitter at @nielsenreporter.

Estonia Launches New Channel to Win Over Its Russians

On Monday, ethnic Russians in Estonia will wake up to a new television channel created expressly for them, a move by the Estonian government to reach out to its Russian minority.

Mobile Operators Look to Scartel for 4G Help

Established 4G wireless provider Scartel is talking with the big three mobile operators Ч MegaFon, VimpelCom and Mobile TeleSystems Ч about forming a company to develop and run 4G infrastructure on their behalf.

DreamWorks Battles NBCUniversal for Theme-Park Title

DreamWorks Animation is challenging fellow U.S. media company NBCUniversal for the title of first major theme park operator in Russia, just as the overall entertainment-park market is heating up from competition small and large.


Pride and resignation are twin sentiments in this Siberian city, and their coexistence here makes for a curious set of contrasts.

Q&A: Venture Fund Chief Investing in Human Capital

He has had long discussions with Microsoft founder Bill Gates, sits on the Skolkovo FoundationТs board of trustees with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and presidential aide Elvira Nabiullina and heads a company investing $1 billion of federal money into next-generation technology startups.


If you ask the classic question "chem dyshat mestnye? - "what makes the locals tick?" or literally "what do they breathe?" - a native of Barnaul might give you a literal answer: silver.

Real Estate Tax Changes in the Works

Properties with multiple owners could be taxed multiple times, as the state seeks to fill its coffers on thanks to real estate.

Progress Being Made On Space Launch Pad

The government will complete infrastructure construction this year for the Vostochny space launch facility, an alternative to KazakhstanТs Baikonur Cosmodrome, a top official said.

MegaFon Said to Weigh Tele2 Buy-Up Plan

Garsdale, the parent company of mobile operator MegaFon, has made a proposal to VimpelCom and Mobile TeleSystems under which Garsdale would buy up Tele2 Russia and then split the company's assets among MegaFon, VimpelCom and MTS, Vedomosti reported Thursday.

MTS' Uzbek Division Files for Bankruptcy

With the Uzbek division of Mobile TeleSystems filing for bankruptcy in the face of a $600 million government fine, the mobile giant is facing a struggle to maintain a presence in the Central Asian country, where its employees have been prosecuted and its assets seized.

Russian Post Delays Drag On

More delays lie ahead for consumers who did their holiday shopping through online retailers based abroad, as Russian Post announced Wednesday that it "is expecting a second wave of increased mail arriving from overseas."

State Wants Bidders' Owners Unveiled

The government is drafting measures to force bidders in the sales of state companies to reveal their beneficiaries, giving information about who will ultimately profit from privatization.

Commercial Property Investment Plateaus

The commercial property market is poised to notch another multibillion-dollar figure this year as economic factors support the purchases of malls, offices and hotels.

Sauer Says Onexim Isn't Bidding For Vedomosti

Derk Sauer, chairman of Sanoma Independent Media's supervisory board and president of Onexim media division RBC, denied a newspaper report Tuesday that Onexim was seeking a stake in Vedomosti.

Chart: What to Expect in the Telecommunications Industry Next Year

Mobile services are developing at a fast clip, more Russians are using the Internet and online retailers are carving up the market — all trends this year that point to more frantic growth for the telecommunications sector in 2013.

Election Webcams Lead Yandex Searches

Bigger than the releases of an Apple iPad computer and the Star Wars version of "Angry Birds," the live videos of ballot boxes and bundled-up voters on the government's elections-monitoring website topped one of Yandex's search lists in 2012.

Customs Officials Tout Corruption Battle

The Federal Customs Service said Thursday that since it started its anti-corruption division it has opened more than 100 criminal cases related to bribery and other corruption.

Small-Business Association Defends Foreign Cooperation

The head of Opora vowed Wednesday to continue the small-business association's cooperation with a U.S.-Russian business group that he said was maligned by "yellow" press in the wake of the new law on nongovernmental groups.

Medvedev Announces Housing Strategy

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday put forth a finalized version of the government's plan for improving the country's dilapidated housing stock and making quality apartments more accessible.

Russia Tests Global Internet Rules

Although Russian proposals on Internet regulation ahead of Monday's opening of the International Telecommunication Union conference in Dubai have worried anti-censorship watchdogs around the globe, some local experts aren't expecting any significant changes to the U.S.-centric system that administers the technical aspects of the World Wide Web.

Alekperov's Social Enterprise Invests $4.8M Over 5 Years

An organization set up and financed by LUKoil chief Vagit Alekperov has provided interest-free loans totaling $4.8 million over the past five years to self-supporting projects that benefit disadvantaged or underserved people, it said Wednesday.

Companies Hunt for Offices Outside Center

The construction of brand-new office buildings and the demand for existing office space are most pronounced in Moscow's outskirts and suburbs, real estate consulting firms said.

Rostelecom President's House Searched

Officers from the Interior Ministry’s investigative department searched the suburban home of Rostelecom’s president Alexander Provotorov and the residence of Marshall Capital founder Konstantin Malofeyev on Tuesday.

YouTube Pages 'Mistakenly' Put on Blacklist

In an incident that led to confusion and anger on the Russian-speaking Internet, a handful of YouTube webpages appeared on the government's Internet blacklist on Wednesday — only for officials to say YouTube as a whole wouldn't be affected and the webpages had been listed partly by mistake.

Officials Consider St. Pete's Merger With Suburbs

The authorities of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, which spreads out from its city limits, are playing up a newfound level of cooperation and talking about blurring the lines between them.

Putin Misses Business Group's Forum

At Wednesday's congress of a major business lobbying group, the president of the country pulled a no-show, the first deputy prime minister told the group to avoid politics and a State Duma deputy personally fielded business complaints.

Physical Threats Mark Construction Fight

Construction of a restaurant in Moscow's Lefortovo neighborhood has led to physical threats and written complaints after a handful of local residents and municipal deputies challenged the workers at the reportedly illegal building site.

Ballmer Touts New Windows and Local R&D

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer breezed into Moscow on Tuesday to hype mobile devices using the newest version of the U.S. software giantТs operating system, Windows 8.

Web Agency Fields 5,000 Ban Requests

The Communications and Press Ministry was inundated with more than 5,000 requests to ban various websites on the day a new Internet restriction law took effect.

Internet Restriction Law Comes On Line

The law giving government agencies the power to order Internet companies to block material the state deems illegal came into force Thursday.