Articles by Roland Oliphant

Roland Oliphant covers transportation, energy, and environmental affairs for the business desk at The Moscow Times. He joined the newspaper in October 2010 after working for three years at the RIA-Novosti news agency and Russia Profile magazine. His writing has also appeared in The Independent, The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph. You can contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @RolandOliphant.

Ministry Says Bison Killed to 'Discredit Park Management'

The European bison killed by an apparent overdose of amphetamines and caffeine may have been the victim of a hit to discredit the nature reserve's management, the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry said Thursday.

Mysterious Bison Death Fuels Corruption Row

An adult female European Bison turned around and leisurely defecated in the direction of a group of tourists from Moscow.

Truck Traffic Restrictions to Bring Questions and Costs

A plan to ban heavy trucks from the Moscow Ring Road during daylight hours could cause massive traffic jams in the Moscow region, increase the cost of goods for city residents and turn out to be a nightmare for logistics firms.

NSCP Management Vows Not to Be Distracted by Shareholder Dispute

The embattled management of Russia's largest Black Sea port has insisted that it will press ahead with ambitious growth plans despite calls for a change of leadership from one of the company's largest shareholders.

Relatives of Dead to Sue Russian Railways Over Dangerous Crossing

Bereaved relatives are preparing a class action suit against Russian Railways over dozens of deaths at a railway crossing in the Moscow region.

Less Booze, More Comfort For Travelers Using New Vnukovo Terminal

A complete ban on alcohol sales at airports and on board aircraft could make air travel more expensive, a Moscow airport executive said Wednesday.

Heaviest Snowfall in a Century Hits Moscow

The heaviest snowfall in a century brought Moscow and the surrounding region to a near standstill and left hundreds of people without power, officials said Tuesday.

Employment Dispute Highlights Shortage of Skilled Pilots

An employment dispute between Russia's largest airline and an outspoken union leader has highlighted a sharpening confrontation between pilots and Russia's air carriers over how to deal with a chronic shortage of qualified fliers.

Aeroflot Plans Lawsuit Sue Over Boeing 777-ER Delay

Aeroflot could sue the Federal Civil Aviation Agency for hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages after the national carrier's newest airliner was grounded because of lack of documentation.

Church Seeks to Restrict Access to Solovki

Access to the Solovetsky islands, home to one of Russia's most important monasteries, could be restricted in a bid to preserve the archipelago's "special way of life," a top ranking clergyman said.

Thais Rail Against Russian-Owned Businesses

Hundreds of protesters on the Thai island of Phuket, a popular destination for Russian tourists, on Monday expressed displeasure with "Russian-owned" businesses, accusing them of undercutting local competitors and taking jobs from native-born workers, the Phuket News reported.

City to Landscape Vacant Lots

Residents of several city neighborhoods may soon enjoy new parkland thanks to City Hall's decision to landscape and plant greenery on disused construction sites.

Skolkovo Graduate Plans Recycling Revolution in Primorye

The Primorye region, well-known as a refuge for endangered species like Amur tigers and leopards, might become a mecca for ecofriendly business under an ambitious investment plan unveiled this month.

Tetra Pak Promotes Sustainable Forestry

Nikolai Zinovyev thinks you have to be slightly crazy to be a wildlife photographer.

$3.3Bln to Clean Up Soviet Pollution

The government is preparing to allocate 100 billion rubles ($3.3 billion) to clean up pollution left over by Soviet-era industry.

Russia to Submit Arctic Claims by Year's End

The federal government will submit its final Arctic territorial claims with the United Nations by the end of the year, the country's leading Arctic scientist said.

Report Says $30Bln in Annual Infrastructure Savings Possible

Russia could save more than $30 billion a year out of the $1.5 trillion it has earmarked for infrastructure spending by 2030 through simple efficiencies and a more discriminating choice of projects, according to a new report.

Ministers Offered WTO Training

Government ministers were offered a free crash course in WTO rules after one of the country's most senior financiers savaged officials for failing to understand the organization Russia finally joined last year.

Aeroflot, Transaero Undeterred by Dreamliner Woes

The global grounding of Boeing's flagship 787 Dreamliner has not deterred Russian airlines from buying the aircraft, the country's two largest airlines said.

'Living' Resources to Get Consolidated Ministry

Environmentalists have cautiously welcomed plans to create a new ministry to run the country's fisheries, forestry and hunting sectors, but warned another round of reform in the sector could further erode rather than improve governance.

State Finds Cure for Hangover

The Health Ministry's chief narcologist, Yevgeny Bryun, warned Monday that it would take a month for many Russians to recover from the excesses of New Year's celebrations.

History Repeated Itself as Farce in 2012

Two hundred years ago this month, the miserable shreds of Napoleon's Grande Armee shuffled out of Russian territory, thanking their lucky stars they had made it safely home and vowing never, ever to try that again.

Scramble for the Arctic to Dominate Environmental Agenda

2012 saw the climate-change-fueled dash for the Arctic’s riches dominate the environmental agenda.

Vnukovo Airport Launches $1.4Bln Terminal

The authorities might have deemed Christ the Savior Cathedral as inappropriate for a Pussy Riot performance, but they have chosen it as the venue to celebrate the opening of Vnukovo Airport's long-awaited $1.4 billion Terminal A.

Magnitsky Act Sparks Russian Fury

Russia will impose a visa ban on U.S. citizens accused of human rights abuses in response to the "absurd" trade and human rights bill passed by the U.S. Senate on Thursday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Russia Likely to Soften Emissions Targets

Russia is expected to announce targets of cutting its carbon emissions to between 15 and 25 percent below 1990 levels when chief negotiator Alexander Bedritsky addresses the forum in Doha, Qatar, on Thursday.

Forest Workers Getting Pay Raises, but Tasks Remain Daunting

Forestry workers can expect a pay raise next year as the government seeks to get a grip on the endemic wildfire problem and widespread illegal logging.

Q&A: Economist Wermuth Keeps Shepherding Progress

After nearly two decades in and out of Russia, Jochen Wermuth no longer pretends to be a disinterested observer.

British Want to Up Exports to Russia as Europe Slows

British officials are hoping to capitalize on the success of the London Olympics by selling their event expertise to the organizers of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games and the 2018 World Cup.

Medvedev Motorist 'Megafine' Spurs Disdain

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was showered by a wave of ridicule and negative public sentiment on Monday following a weekend tirade against bad driving.