The new face of Moscow

Just ten years ago there were barely a dozen skyscrapers in site in Moscow. Today soaring towers dominate the skyline and the city boasts Europe's tallest building. Our Observers in Moscow wonder how the rapid changes will affect the capital. Read more...

The world's dirtiest festival is in Russia

"Nashestvie" is the biggest rock festival in Russia. And many say it's the worst organised. Read more...

Deface Jesus and risk doing time

When vandals destroyed pieces of modern art in an exhibition in Moscow, it wasn't the perpetrators who got into trouble. According to the law, their actions were justifiable. Museum director Yuri Samodurov however, is now facing several years in prison for putting on another of the "Christianity-offensive" shows. Read more...


'Even a draw against Spain would be great'

It’s hard to predict the result of this evening’s match between Spain and Russia. The Spaniards, among the favorites, have always failed to play convincingly in the final stages of the tournament. On the Russian side, the team isn’t used to playing at an international level but has an impressive line-up under Gus Hiddick. Read more

The panellist who disappeared

The panellist was cut out but you can still see his legs.

Last October a political analyst well known for his critical attitude towards the Kremlin took part in a pre-recorded debate on the Russian TV channel TV Centre. Were the authorities ready to get slated on telly? Apparently not. When the show was broadcast a few days later, the opponent magically disappeared from the set. Read more...


After counterfeit Levi's, counterfeit fighter jets

It started some 30 years ago with fake Levi's jeans and Versace bags. Then the market became more sophisticated, with faux iPhones on the racks. Now, the Chinese counterfeit goods trade has gone even further, with the production of identical copies of Russian-designed fighter planes. Read more.


Russia celebrates Nazi Germany – by accident

A bank inadvertedly advertises the Nazi code for a fellow fighter.

The end of WWII is celebrated on May 9 in Russia. Since Putin came to power, the event has become increasingly more commercial. But this year, it went a step too far, when eager party-goers put up Nazi symbols in place of Soviet war imagery. Read more...


"Medvedev is the one who’s really in power"

The Western press reacted cynically to the inauguration of Russia's new president, Dmitry Medvedev, who has been considered a puppet of outgoing president - and now Prime Minister - Vladimir Putin since being elected in March. However, a political analyst in the country and harsh critic of the ruling party, tells us why the idea is entirely speculative. Read more...


"The West has a twisted vision of Russia"

Dimitri Medvedev was inaugurated as Russia's new president today. Evguenia Obitchkina, an international relations lecturer in Moscow, explains that the conflict between Russia and the West might have more to do with the hydrocarbon trade than human rights. Read more...


The world's tackiest tombstones

Looming above a hundred grey headstones in a Russian cemetery, tacky monuments like these - with the tomb's incumbent and his faithful sports car etched onto the stone - appear on the horizon. Read more...