Anna Nemtsova

Stories by Anna Nemtsova

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    Rediscovering the Political Power of Rock and Roll

    Rain poured over the crowd gathered for a rock concert in Moscow’s central Pushkin Square last month. Police sealed off the square, searched everyone coming in, and infiltrated the crowd with plainclothes officers. The musicians were only slightly more obvious than the police. They could barely be seen, performing from a stepladder in the center of the crowd, and singing into a megaphone in place of loudspeakers. Moscow city hall did not permit them to use real microphones, because the authorities didn’t want their message to be heard. This was a rare event in Russia: an anti-Putin rock-and-roll show.
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    Domestic Violence Pervades Russian Homes

    Russian women are habitually beaten with legal impunity—in a country with no support system for victims of domestic violence. So it was horrible but hardly surprising when my friend's husband got drunk and killed her.
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    How Russia's FSB Colonized Abkhazia

    Abkhazia, one of the breakaway provinces over which Russia and Georgia fought in 2008, has been colonized by Russia’s state security services. And the locals are hardly thrilled.
  • Ella Pamfilova on Human Rights in Russia

    Between 2004 and the end of July, Ella Pamfilova served as the Russian president’s adviser on human rights. But she left that post to protest a wave of violent attacks against human-rights activists. In the past year three of them have been murdered, and four others have had to flee the country.
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    Russia’s Activists Lose Hope in President

    When Dmitry Medvedev was elected president of Russia, he publicly criticized the country’s human-rights record and called for reform. But last week, he was dealt a stunning blow when his chief adviser on human rights resigned over a new wave of attacks on activists.
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    Bringing Peace to Battered Kyrgyzstan

    Roza Otunbayeva became Kyrgyzstan’s acting president in April after the violent ouster of Kurmanbek Bakiyev by angry crowds. Last week, after an explosion of interethnic violence in the country’s south, she appealed to Russia to send peacekeeping troops. She spoke to NEWSWEEK’s Anna Nemtsova by phone from Bishkek.
  • Russia's Terror Fighter

    Viktor Ivanov is one of Russia's leading Siloviki, a group of ex-KGB officers close to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Since 2008 he's been a senior member of Russia's National Antiterror Committee. He also heads Russia's Federal Service for the Control of Narcotics, where he's focused on breaking the links between the heroin trade and Islamic insurgencies in Russia and Central Asia. Ivanov spoke to NEWSWEEK's Anna Nemtsova in Moscow. Excerpts: ...
  • Mikheil Saakashvili Says He's Been Abandoned

    In the largest opposition demonstration in Georgia since November 2007— WHEN President Mikheil Saakashvili tested his democratic credentials by sending in riot police to quash the protests—tens of thousands of people filled Tbilisi's leafy Rustaveli Avenue last Thursday to demand Saakashvili's resignation. The president retreated to his residence, where he spoke with NEWSWEEK's Anna Nemtsova about the crowds on the street, his difficult relationship with Russia and how the West has largely abandoned him in recent months. Excerpts: ...
  • Igor Yurgens And Russian Democracy

    In establishing the Kremlin's control, we lost our freedom of the press. Now the challenge is to expand democracy.
  • Fast Chat: Yuri Schmidt, Yukos Lawyer

    A crisis-stricken Kremlin is courting Western investors, and activists hope this may lead to the release of high-profile political prisoners, like the Yukos Oil executives. (Last month, a terminally-ill Yukos man was allowed the option of dying at home.) Anna Nemtsova spoke to lawyer Yuri Schmidt about the likelihood of a pardon for Yukos oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky: ...
  • Q&A: Georgia's Mikheil Saakashvili on Russia Fight

    In an interview, embattled Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili says Russia intends to occupy Georgia and overthrow his government. And he claims Moscow's real target is the United States, Europe and NATO.
  • With Rooms to Grow

    If there is any doubt that Moscow has arrived as a high-end tourist destination, just try booking a hotel room. Accommodations in the hotel-starved Russian capital are already going for $1,000 a night—not including breakfast. The number of travelers to Moscow is projected to increase fivefold, up to 5 million, within the next two years. Where will they all stay? Fortunately, the city is undergoing a hotel-building boom. And given the mega-high real estate prices, five-star accommodations seem the only way to go.Among the newest arrivals, the 11-story Ritz-Carlton offers 334 guest rooms and suites facing Tverskaya Street and Red Square. For $700, waiters will serve a tsar's breakfast—complete with Beluga caviar and champagne—on the terrace overlooking Lenin's Tomb (from $1,400 to $18,000 per night; five-star MaMaison Pokrovka Suite Hotel boasts 84 suites done in sleek, 1930s-style décor, with unusually shaped red velvet furniture (from $529 to $3,347 per night...
  • Russia’s Medvedev Woos Business

    Dmitry Medvedev, a shoo-in as Russia's next president, recently addressed a key constituency—business leaders—with a hopeful and comforting message.
  • The Last Word: Yulia Tymoshenko

    After months of bickering with his archrival, Ukraine's pro-Russian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, Western-backed President Viktor Yushchenko dissolved Parliament on April 2 and called snap elections in order to breathe life back into the deadlocked government. Now former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko—a charismatic leader of the 2004 Orange Revolution who remains a hugely popular opposition M.P. —has set aside past differences and is coming to Yushchenko's rescue. Tymoshenko says she will reunite with the president to help him bring Ukraine closer to NATO and the EU—while breaking free of the Kremlin's influence. NEWSWEEK's Anna Nemtsova spoke to the 47-year-old Tymoshenko in Kiev. Excerpts: ...
  • State of Hate

    Russia is becoming an increasingly scary place. Ask Marat Gelman, whose gallery made the mistake of hosting a show by a Georgian artist at a time when Georgians are the subject of official disapproval. Last week the gallery was wrecked by 10 masked men--"not vandals, nor hooligans from the street, but highly professional and experienced militants who came to do their job," says Gelman, who was badly beaten. Or ask art historian and curator Aleksandr Panov, attacked (but not robbed) by thugs days after he publicly condemned the attack on Gelman. Or ask ordinary Georgians who, increasingly, have been the victims of police extortion and skinhead attacks, among them 24-year-old carwash supervisor Irakly Bukiya. "We immigrants have always been second-class people in Russia," says Bukiya, who knew better than to call the police last week after he was beaten up in the Moscow Metro. "I know that the state is on the side of corrupt police and the skinheads."Anti-immigrant attacks, a violent...
  • Medical Meccas: Eye-Surgery Assembly Line

    Moscow may not spring to mind as a center of medical excellence. Ordinary Russian hospitals are dismal places, and those wealthy enough to afford it usually leave the country for medical care. The exception is the network of clinics founded by Dr. Svyatoslav Fyodorov, a pioneer in microsurgery of the eye.Fyodorov invented the technique of radial keratotomy--better known as surgical correction of shortsightedness--back in 1977. Now one of the standard eye-microsurgery techniques used all over the world, the procedure involves making deep incisions in the cornea in a spokelike pattern to correct the curvature that causes nearsightedness. (Lasik is a different technique invented in the United States.) "Before Fyodorov started to operate with a microscope, eye surgeries were pretty much made with picks and shovels," says Khristo Takhich, general director of Moscow's Eye Microsurgery Center. Fyodorov was killed in a helicopter crash in 2000.Fyodorov invented not just the eye-surgery...
  • Grozny Live

    Sick of war and ruin, young Chechens create dark music.
  • Ramzan's World

    Drive down Victory Boulevard in Grozny, and you'd never think there had been a war in Chechnya. Five years ago this broad avenue looked like Stalingrad after World War II. Now it's flanked with new apartments and boutiques selling Italian clothes. Across the city, war-damaged buildings are being torn down; jackhammers roar around the clock. Floating defiantly over the ruins that remain: giant banners bearing the face of the city's conqueror, Vladimir Putin.The rest of the world may not have noticed, but Russia's president has won the Chechen war. He did not start it, but he prosecuted it with the full might of Russia's military. The conflict was as brutal as any Europe has known in the last century. Grozny was bombed flat, along with half of Chechnya's towns. Nearly a million Chechens were displaced; 80,000 were killed, mostly civilians, and thousands more disappeared into a nightmarish network of Russian "filtration" camps, never to be seen again. There were atrocities, mass...
  • A Russian Woodstock

    Rock and roll and revolution? Not for this generation.