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Russian Investigations

Imprisoned by a Railroad Track

A small residential area in the Karelian village of Chalna has been cut off from the rest of the village for almost four years, because the railroad company without any warning closed a crossing and thus blocked the only road. Residents had to park at the tracks and carry all all supplies to their homes. […]

Cultural Heritage or a Worthless Shack?

Almost 50 of the 150 old wooden houses in Vologda have been destroyed in the last two decades. The reporter Irina Kazankina in her article ‘Without Helms’ explains what happened to one of these –  a very beautiful example of traditional building style in this  Russian town: A house with two floors on Prechistenskaya Embankment […]

Insurance Companies Try to Outfox the Law

In Russia as in other countries car insurance is obligatory. But what do you do, when the insurance companies refuse to sell policies? If you are a taxi driver this  destroys your business. And why do they refuse to sell? After all, insurance rates are skyrocketing. Sergei Markelov tried to sort things out in the […]

Putting a Name on the Lords of the Land

What happened with the land of Zaytsev Collective Farm after it was reorganized in 1992? In the story “Land on Paper”, investigative reporter Anna Yarovaya dug into the privatization procedures of state agricultural enterprises that happened in Karelia like everywhere else after the fall of the Soviet Union. Anna Yarovaya investigated how and by whom […]

VIPs Own Illegal Summer Houses on the Curonian Spit

The Curonian Spit in Kaliningrad is listed as a World Heritage Site and a national park. Nevertheless, investigative reporter Nikita Kuzmin found about 100 buildings, that were supposedly guest houses, cottages, hotels or recreational and medical facilities, but in reality were serving as exclusive summer houses for private persons. Five years ago there was a […]

Millions of Euro Spent, But Pollution Continues in Kaliningrad

The promising words from politicians when Kaliningrad applied for financial support from the EU and Sweden to clean the city’s waste water, were worth nothing. Only six out of sixteen waste water treatment plants have been built. And most of them do not clean the waste water at all, only pump it into the rivers […]

10 Guide Dogs for 500 Blind Persons

According to the legislation, every sight-disabled person has the right to get a free guide dog and to receive an annual payment for its keeping. In the course of this investigation, the question “why have more than 500 blind people in Karelia received only 10 dogs?” gets its answer. This investigation is devoted to the […]

Village Moaning under the Weight of Ten Quarries

This investigation focused on life in Rybreka, a traditional Karelian village, which is affected by the actively developing stone extraction. Some 10 quarries are under operation both inside and around the village. It would seem that the welfare of the population should grow, which is not in fact true. On the contrary, people complain about […]

Krasny Bor Landfill: The Chemical Chernobyl Is a Reality

Krasny Bor, popularly nicknamed “the Chemical Chernobyl,” is the largest chemical waste landfill in Northwest Russia. The approximate two million tons of chemical waste that has accumulated here over the last 45 years pose a real threat to everything and is located just a few kilometers from St. Petersburg. In the early 1990s, the Northern […]

The VIP-cheaters

This investigation takes the reader into the world of dissertations at St Petersburg State Polytechnic University Department of Economics. It is here that a big chunk of Russia’s politicians, officials, Putin’s personnel and other celebrities have got their academic degrees. But as this story shows, a lot of them had to plagiarise in order to […]