The Moscow Times

For time zone, see Moscow Time.
The Moscow Times
Type Weekly newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner(s) MoscowTimes LLC
Publisher MoscowTimes LLC
Editor-in-chief Mikhail Fishman
Photo editor Pascal Dumont
Founded 1992
Political alignment None
Language English
Headquarters Moscow
Circulation 35,000
Sister newspapers The St. Petersburg Times, The Kazan Herald

The Moscow Times (MT) is an English-language weekly newspaper published in Moscow, with a circulation of 35,000 copies. It's distributed for free at places frequented by English-speaking expatriates such as hotels, cafés, embassies, and airlines. It is also available by subscription, but it is not available at newsstands. The newspaper is very popular among foreign citizens residing in Moscow and English-speaking Russians.[1] In November 2015 the newspaper changed its design and type from daily to weekly (released every Thursday) and increased the number of pages up to 24.

The newspaper regularly publishes articles by prominent Russian journalists such as Yulia Latynina and Ivan Nechepurenko. It has served as a 'training ground' for foreign correspondents, including Ellen Barry, future New York Times Moscow bureau chief and Pulitzer Prize winner.[2]



Derk Sauer, a Dutch publisher who came to Moscow in 1989, made plans to turn his small, twice-weekly paper called the Moscow Guardian into a world-class daily newspaper. Sauer brought in Meg Bortin as its first editor in May 1992, and the team used a Radisson Slavyanskaya Hotel as its headquarters.[3] [4]

The first edition of The Moscow Times was published in March 1992,[5] and it quickly became "a primary source of news and opinion" quoted both in Russia and the West.[3]

It "played an important role by giving space to Russian commentators". For example, in the fall of 1993, it was able to play a role in defeating the censors: "when anti-Yeltsin forces occupied the Russian Parliament and censorship was revived. Russian newspapers came out with large blank spaces on their front pages where articles critical of the authorities had been suppressed. The writers of those articles came to see us. Published the next day in English in The Moscow Times, their articles were quickly picked up and beamed back in Russian by the BBC and other foreign radios, defeating the censors."[3]

From the mid 1990s until 2000, it was based in the old headquarters of Pravda,[6] and it was the first Western daily to be published in Russia.[7] In 1997, the website was registered.


In 2003–04, the Jobs & Careers and Real Estate appendixes were added. 2005 saw the addition of the glamorous Moscow Guide appendix, which featured high culture, and the launch of the annual Moscow Dining Guide.

Until 2005, the paper was owned by Independent Media, a Moscow-registered publishing house that also prints a Russian-language daily newspaper, Vedomosti, The St. Petersburg Times (The Moscow Times' counterpart in Saint Petersburg) and Russian-language versions of popular glossy magazines such as FHM, Men's Health and Cosmopolitan Russia.[7] That year, Independent Media was acquired by the Finnish publishing group Sanoma.

In 2006, the paper began its alliance with the International Herald Tribune, while 2009 saw the launch of the website. The first color issue was published in 2010.

In 2009, it published Russia for Beginners: A Foreigners Guide to Russia, written by foreign authors who offer advice based on their own experiences of living in Russia.[8] The paper celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2012 with a gala dinner at the Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow.[9]

Recent history

In 2014, sister publication The St. Petersburg Times ceased publication.[10]

In 2015, Sanoma sold MoscowTimes LLC to Demyan Kudryavtsev, a former director of Kommersant.[11][12][13]


In April 2014 longtime editor-in-chief Andrew McChesney stepped down and was replaced by Nabi Abdullaev, a former Moscow Times reporter, news editor, managing editor, and deputy editor-in-chief who left in 2011 to head RIA Novosti's foreign-language news service.[14] Shortly after his appointment, Abdullaev argued in The Guardian that the west's "biased journalism...robs the west of its moral authority".[15]

In the aftermath of the Ukrainian crisis, The Moscow Times was criticized by a number of journalists like Izvestia columnist Israel Shamir, who in December 2014 called it a "militant anti-Putin paper, a digest of the Western press with extreme bias in covering events in Russia".[2] In October 2014 The Moscow Times made the decision to suspend online comments after an increase in offensive comments. The paper said it disabled comments for two reasons—it was an inconvenience for its readers as well as being a legal liability, because under Russian law websites are liable for all content, including user-generated content like comments.[16]

In January 2014, malicious ads on the Times website redirected visitors to an exploit kit landing page.[17] In December 2014, The Moscow Times was forced offline for two days by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. It was forced offline a second time in February 2015 for unknown reasons.[2]


Regular sections

The Moscow Times highlights politics events that happen inside the country and abroad, business and culture news five days a week.

Separate publications and special projects

See also


  1. Richardson, Dan. (2001). The Rough Guide to Moscow. Rough Guides. p. 56. ISBN 978-1-85828-700-3
  2. 1 2 3 Luhn, Alec (February 5, 2015). "Hackers target Russian newspaper site accused of being anti-Putin". The Guardian.
  3. 1 2 3 Bortin, Meg (October 6, 2012). "To Moscow With News". New York Times.
  4. Simon Kuper (10 October 2005). "Russian remodelling of a cosmopolitan theme". Financial Times. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  5. Derk Sauer (2012). "Derk Sauer: "20 Years Later"". Moscow Times. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  6. Schreck, Carl (14 Feb 2006). "Fire Tears Through the Pravda Complex". Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  7. 1 2 Lawton, Anna. (2004). Imaging Russia 2000: Film and Facts. New Academia Publishing, LLC. p. 107. ISBN 978-0-9744934-3-5.
  8. "Russia for Beginners: A Foreigner's Guide to Russia". The Moscow Times. March 3, 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-03-09.
  10. "St. Pete's main English-language newspaper suspends operation". Russia Beyond The Headlines. 22 December 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  11. Andrew Roth (30 April 2015). "New Owner for The Moscow Times and Vedomosti". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  12. Peter Hobson (4 May 2015). "Russian Owner Wants Modernized Moscow Times, Not Kremlin Stooge". Moscow Times. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  13. "Russia blocks sale of Russian Cosmopolitan, Esquire". The Moscow Times. 16 June 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  14. "Nabi Abdullaev to Replace Andrew McChesney as MT Editor". The Moscow Times. April 14, 2014..
  15. Nabi Abdullaev (August 4, 2014). "Is western media coverage of the Ukraine crisis anti-Russian?". The Guardian.
  16. "Russian English-language newspaper The Moscow Times becomes latest victim in Kremlin info war". Ukraine Today. October 31, 2014.
  17. Jérôme Segura (January 7, 2014). "Hard times on The Moscow Times". Malwarebytes.
  18. "The Moscow Times: About Us". The Moscow Times. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  19. "The Moscow Times: Archives". The Moscow Times. Retrieved June 20, 2016.


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