Articles by Ethan Wilensky-Lanford



Guest Workers Send Less Home

Azim Abdullu sent $150 home to Dushanbe, Tajikistan, in April. Since then, the 34-year-old day laborer has not been able to provide money to his wife and four children.

Economic Growth Seen Flat Until July

The Economic Development Ministry forecasts 2.4 percent growth for 2009 if Urals crude averages $50 per barrel.

Caspian Pipeline to Double Capacity

Shareholders in the Caspian Pipeline Consortium agreed Wednesday on plans to double the line's capacity.

Bahraini King Meets With Medvedev

President Dmitry Medvedev and Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa agreed to cooperate on nuclear energy and promote economic ties after a meeting between the two leaders at the Kremlin on Tuesday.

Crisis Fails to Dull Luster of Millionaire Fair

  • 01 December 08
  • Staff Writers
"Everybody else has a crisis, but we have the Millionaire Fair!" -- This year, the glitzy show at Moscow's Millionaire Fair has been overshadowed somewhat by the global economic crisis.

IT Minds Expecting The Next E-Boom

With internet use growing rapidly in Russia and traditional retailers struggling to cover rising property costs, electronic commerce is ready to step in as the next big boom with lower prices and added convenience.

Casinos Say Moving a Gamble

A government initiative to relocate the gambling industry to four zones scattered across Russia is looking increasingly like a long shot, with infrastructure development lagging badly and investors fearing that a move to the regions would leave them picking up the bill.

$57 Bln Spent on Ruble in 2 Months

Central Bank Chairman Sergei Ignatyev and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin tell the Duma about their anti-crisis measures. Ignatyev said the bank had spent $57.5 billion in the currency market to shore up the ruble in September and October.

World Bank Sees Grim Year Ahead

The World Bank on Tuesday unveiled a grim picture of Russia’s economic outlook, slashing the country’s 2009 growth forecast by more than half and saying the ruble’s slide would likely be allowed to continue.

Kazakhstan In Pipeline Discussions

Kazakh state-run energy producer KazMunaiGaz said Thursday that a delegation from the country was in Moscow for talks with Transneft on expanding its stake in the Caspian Pipeline Consortium.

Central Asia May Be Key to Gas Cost Deal

With oil trading below $60 per barrel, eyes are turning to see what will happen to gas export prices as Gazprom begins the now-annual ritual of haggling with its customers to the West ahead of the winter heating season.

Tax Overhaul Could Help Oil Producers

A proposed overhaul of the way oil companies are taxed, including more frequent calculations of export duties and a possible replacement of the mineral extraction tax, would help meet calls for assistance from producers.

State Shrugs Off ONGC Fears on Imperial Deal

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service on Monday brushed aside concerns aired by ONGC that it had not yet received the necessary approval to purchase Imperial Energy.

Kyrgyz See Base Motives at Work in Base Politics

I passed the U.S. airbase on the way to the Bishkek airport Tuesday. My landlord's son Sasha was driving, and we talked about Kyrgyz politics during our drive.

For Refugees, There Is No Place Like Andijan

One year ago last week, hundreds of unarmed protesters were killed by Uzbek authorities in the eastern city of Andijan, eyewitnesses say.

Going Fishing With a Grandad in the S.E.Z.

On the ride back from a ski trip last winter, Sergei promised to take me fishing.

A Cure-All Remedy for Tumors and Tiredness

I have a strange little lump underneath my chin, so decided to seek out a dermatologist for a diagnosis. What I found was a creative sales pitch for a cure-all home remedy.

A Long Trip to a Mine and a Longer Trip Back

I visited a reprivatized coal mine last week, high up in the Tien Shan Mountains in Kyrgyzstan.

A Memorable Massage At a Kyrgyz Health Spa

There's a health spa in the mountains near Bishkek that is all but abandoned, yet still operational.

Where the Women Are All Beautiful and Lovely

Wednesday morning in Dushanbe, I received an SMS from Babilon, my Tajik cell phone company: ""Our women are beautiful and lovely! Congratulations on the March 8 holiday, and we wish you luck and love.""

A Moon-Lit Night in a Kyrgyz Yurt

I just got back from a winter expedition to Lake Song Kul, which is at an elevation of 3,016 meters in central Kygyzstan, to visit icefishermen living without electricity in yurts that are accessible only by horseback.

A Bishkek Performance Without the Art Angst

I never expected to see performance art in Bishkek, but that is exactly what I found in the back hall of the popular Metro Pub early last week.

Getting Shod Requires Patience in Bishkek

I do most of my Bishkek shopping in open-air bazaars -- hectares of stalls and carts, each overflowing with a near-complete overlap of goods, thereby requiring that customers walk for hours before finding what they want.

Hello Out There in the Plugged-In World

I did not move to Kyrgyzstan to enjoy the luxuries of a developed economy. Nonetheless, when the dominant cell phone company here, Bitel, cut off service late last month in the midst of an ownership dispute, I was as frustrated as the next guy.

A Turkey for Your Kyrgyz Christmas

There is a ski resort in eastern Kyrgyzstan whose sights are aimed at a mythical radiant future.

A Colorful Cast Calls Kyrgyzstan Home

Meeting my landlord for the first time in Bishkek, I casually mentioned the latest protest -- a picket organized by Rysbek, a self-proclaimed Kyrgyz Robin Hood who had invited 300 athletes to set up yurts at the foot of a large Lenin statue across from parliament.

Rugby Sevens Tourney Comes to Local Airbase

Russia may not have a long rugby sevens tradition, but the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce is trying to change that.