Articles by Matt Siegel



Activist Facing Questions of KGB Ties

  • 16 December 08
  • The Associated Press
Lira Tskhovrebova flew nearly 10,000 kilometers to Washington on a mission: The self-described independent activist from South Ossetia wanted to challenge the strong U.S. support for Georgia in its war with Russia over the breakaway region and describe atrocities by Georgian troops.

Georgian Province in Uneasy Embrace of Moscow

  • 11 December 08
  • The Associated Press
Russias footprint is everywhere in Abkhazia, from billboards featuring President Dmitry Medvedev to its joint military exercises with the Abkhaz navy.

Living in Fear of Sporadic Blasts

  • 04 December 08
  • The Associated Press
When August's fighting surrounded her cottage in this quiet village, Tamuna Kitiashvili fled to the Georgian capital with her husband and 3-year-old daughter. They returned only to find their home covered in cluster bomblets designed to tear apart tank armor.

Ex-Ambassador Blaming Georgia

  • 27 November 08
  • The Associated Press
Erosi Kitsmarishvili, former ambassador to Moscow, said the Georgian government's actions were to blame for the conflict in August as authorities mistook messages from the U.S. administration as encouragement to use force against breakaway provinces.

Aliyev Poised to Win Re-Election

  • 15 October 08
  • The Associated Press
Azeri President Ilham Aliyev is poised to cruise to re-election Wednesday in a ballot boycotted by the main opposition parties over accusations of vote rigging.

Russian Troops Exit Under EU's Watch

  • 09 October 08
  • The Associated Press
Russian forces pulled back Wednesday from positions outside South Ossetia, bulldozing a camp at a key checkpoint and withdrawing into the separatist region as European Union monitors and relieved Georgian residents looked on.

EU Monitors Start Patrols in Georgia

  • 02 October 08
  • The Associated Press
European Union monitors began patrolling Georgian territory Wednesday under a French-brokered peace deal, and Russian troops allowed some monitors into a buffer zone around South Ossetia despite insisting earlier that they would be blocked.

Mothers Sit and Wait for Answers

Whether from the blazing sun, the strain of emotion or simply the terrible weight of the past three long years, Larisa Aramisova has finally had enough. She wants to know what has been done with her son's body.

58 Muslims Await Trial in Nalchik

Claims of widespread torture and judicial corruption plague the government's efforts to try suspects in a 2005 attack.

Moscow Says Some Troops to Stay Put

  • 22 August 08
  • Staff Writers
Russian soldiers were at work digging positions outside Georgias main Black Sea port city of Poti on Thursday at the same time Moscow maintained that its soldiers were on schedule to pull out of the country proper by Friday.

Russians Pulling Back, Digging In

  • 20 August 08
  • and Nikolaus von Twickel
A small number of Russian troops and armored and supply vehicles began moving north from the Georgian border on Tuesday and toward Vladikavkaz as part of the beginning stages of a phased withdrawal of Russian forces from Georgian territory.

Medvedev Vies With Putin in Word War

  • 19 August 08
  • Staff Writers
President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday made a surprise visit to Vladikavkaz, near the border with South Ossetia, to commend soldiers on their valor during the conflict with Georgia and promise them a better future.

Nashi Summer Camp Tries a New Message

With the peaceful transfer of power complete in the Kremlin, the youth group’s organizers are looking for a new reason for being.

Georgia Threatens To Shoot Down Jets

Georgia will shoot down any Russian fighter jets that violate its airspace, two senior Georgian officials said Friday, a day after Russia's admission that it had flown sorties over the breakaway republic of South Ossetia.

New Bill Targeting Graft at Customs

A group of State Duma deputies on Friday proposed a major overhaul of the Customs Code aimed at simplifying the Byzantine process of importing goods into the country and stamping out corruption.

Chelsea Owner Escapes Politics

  • 04 July 08
  • Staff Writers
President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday accepted the resignation of Roman Abramovich, the Kremlin's most loyal oligarch, as governor of the far eastern Chukotka autonomous district, a job Abramovich has long made clear that he wanted out of.

2 Killed in Explosion At Sochi Apartments

An explosion ripped through an apartment building in Sochi on Wednesday morning, killing two people and injuring more than 30 in the city scheduled to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, police and emergency services said.

Tsars Bubbly Tipple Enjoys Sparkling Revival

In a small North Caucasus village, Boris Titov’s investor group is importing wine know-how from Champagne, France.

Gay Paraders Opt for Safer Approach

Gay rights activists protested in defiance of a City Hall ban on Sunday, marching in front of the Moscow State Conservatory and unfurling a banner demanding greater rights for gays and lesbians from the window of an apartment on Tverskaya Ulitsa, just blocks from the Kremlin.

Medvedev Pressed On Human Rights

Amnesty International on Wednesday urged President Dmitry Medvedev to initiate a sea change in his countrys attitude toward human rights. The appeal came in the form of a 15-page letter made public during a news conference on the release of Amnestys 2008 world report on human rights.

NGO Head Wins Smuggling Case

The Constitutional Court ruled in favor of media activist Manana Aslamaziyan on Tuesday, agreeing with her lawyers that the anti-smuggling law under which she had been charged was so vaguely worded as to be unconstitutional.

City Garbage Plan Meets Hot Resistance

  • 27 May 08
  • Staff Writers
On the best of days, the incinerator outside Olga Lipina’s apartment in Kozhukhovo emits only puffs of white smoke. On the worst, the emissions here in Moscow’s eastern outskirts can span the rainbow to pink and beyond.

Businesses Profit From Visa-Free Experiment

  • 23 May 08
  • Staff Writers
For British fans, Thursday might have been the hangover after the match the night before, but local businesses were happily tallying up bumper sales from this week’s flood of football fans.

Migrants to Get Metal Homes of Their Own

  • 22 May 08
  • Staff Writers
Moscow approves a plan to house migrant workers in moveable containers, drawing an outcry from ethnic community leaders.

Gays Ask Medvedev To Permit Parade

The Moscow organizers of a gay-pride parade have appealed to President Dmitry Medvedev to help circumvent a city ban on their event by granting them permission to hold it on federal land within the city.

Shuvalov Gets Same Job on a Much Bigger Stage

In Group of Eight parlance they’re called sherpas — the personal representative of a head of state tasked with setting the stage for a successful summit.

High Spirits, Shrinking Numbers

  • 12 May 08
  • Staff Writers
Floating high above the tracks at Kievsky Station, Stalin's smiling face beamed down from an enormous flat-screen television, exhorting his aging cadres to ""repel the enemy and bring home victory.""

Barren Streets, Baffled Tourists

At precisely 20 minutes past noon, a 30-gun salute echoed down narrow Nikitskaya Ulitsa in central Moscow. Few seemed to notice. A teenager with bright blond hair used the booms as a sly pretext to wrap his girlfriend in a bear hug.

Canceled March Draws Big Crowd

More than 300 OMON and Interior Ministry troops and hundreds of journalists poured onto Chistoprudny Bulvar on Tuesday evening in anticipation of a protest by the Other Russia opposition coalition -- only to discover that the protest had been called off.

Opposition to Protest Inauguration

Hundreds of opposition activists will stage a protest in central Moscow on Tuesday, defying city authorities on the eve of President-elect Dmitry Medvedevs inauguration, opposition coalition The Other Russia said Monday.