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Russian Investigations

Does the Navy Dream of British Furniture?

Chain of scandals are being revealed about the activities of the former Russian Minister of Defense Anatoly Serdyukov and his subordinates. The investigation focuses on a contract with a phony firm for supply of English furniture for the Russian Navy. The “Severnaya verf”(The Northern Wharf) shipyard awarded a 40 million rubles contract to a little-known […]

Forests of Wonderland

Something mysterious is going on in the woods of Leningrad region: showy private mansions appear miraculously on territories owned by the state. Even the wrath of Sergei Stepashin, the head of the Russian Audit Chamber, doesn’t frighten landlords who likely took possession of their properties by dubious means. The township of Roschino in Leningrad region […]

Millions for Water Gone Down the Drain

A decade ago, an ambitious and expensive project started in the town of Slantsy in the Leningrad region: The construction of a water-treating facilities complex, which was intended to supply the settlement with drinking water drained from an abandoned shale mine. But after twelve years, the system is not operational and its maintenance requires more and more government […]

How to Infect a Whole School

In 2012, many inhabitants of the Gatchina district heard the word “Norwalk virus” for the first time. It is an enteric infection transmitted effectively by food, air or in domestic environment. Recurrent Norwalk virus outbursts in January and March put dozens of children and adults to the local hospital. Virus infections abound in schools in the […]

Children Are Born Sick in Severodvinsk

The Atomic Shipbuilding Center, the city of shipbuilders, the city with heightened radiation levels—Severodvinsk always stood out for its environmental conditions. What’s more, it has two of the largest enterprises right in the center of town. Both are directly connected with the construction and repair of submarines with onboard nuclear reactors. And 20 kilometers from […]

Pskov and Condominium Partnerships – a Romance Yet to Come

Today almost 90 condominium associations – non-profit organizations created by owners for the co-management of their houses – are registered in Pskov. They control approximately 20per cent of all apartment houses in the city. However, this control is illusive: most of the associations exist only in official papers. The massive creation of these associations (CPs in […]

Older than the Pyramids – and Decaying

“Besovy sledki” (Devil’s Trail) is a part of the unique complex of petroglyphs or stone carvings, images on the rocks made by ancient people. It is situated near the town of Belomorsk in Karelia. Despite its high tourist potential, the site, in fact, belongs to nobody, and therefore is left without proper custody. In 1960s, […]

Desperately Looking for Baltic Cesium

The ecologists are concerned: Areas contaminated with cesium-137 have been found at the bottom of the Gulf of Finland. A report from the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection-2008 started the concerns. The experts take the contamination for the “legacy” of Chernobyl incident, but it is hard to determine more precisely: data from […]

How to Steal 40 Billion Rubles

In 1995, the Murmansk region was shocked by unprecedented fraud: five swindlers managed to pull a con game on local government and transfer 40 billion rubles ($6,5 million at that moment) assigned for medical purposes to foreign bank accounts. Later four of them were captured and convicted, yet the fifth still walks free. This story […]

The Curtain Falls, the Drama Goes On

Retired actors in St. Petersburg are fighting fiercely for the House of Stage Veterans on Petrovsky Island, and the battle has gone on for years. Retired actors and the general public are sure that funds allocated for institution repairs are misused. The House of Stage Veterans is a whole complex of historical buildings where actors […]