The Moscow Times
The Moscow Times (TMT) is an independent English-language online newspaper based in Moscow. It was in print from 1992 until 2017 and was distributed free of charge at places frequented by English-speaking tourists and expatriates such as hotels, cafés, embassies, and airlines, and also by subscription. The newspaper is popular among foreign citizens residing in Moscow and English-speaking Russians. In November 2015 the newspaper changed its design and type from daily to weekly (released every Thursday) and increased the number of pages to 24, and it became online-only in July 2017.
|Owner(s)||TMT LLC (ООО Тиэмти), supported by Dutch foundation "Stichting 2 Oktober"|
|Editor||Michele A. Berdy|
|News editor||Samantha Berkhead|
|Opinion editor||Pjotr Sauer|
|Photo editor||Anna Savchenko|
|Sister newspapers||The St. Petersburg Times|
The newspaper regularly publishes articles by prominent Russian journalists such as Yulia Latynina and Ivan Nechepurenko. Some foreign correspondents started their careers at the paper, including Ellen Barry, who later became The New York Times Moscow bureau chief.
Founding and current ownership
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 room at the Radisson Slavyanskaya Hotel as its headquarters.
The Moscow Times was founded in 1992 by Derk Sauer to reach US and European expats who moved to Moscow after the fall of communism. Sauer said, "It was a completely different time, there was no internet and there was a huge influx of Western expats who didn't speak Russian. At the time, they were the only ones with money in Moscow, so The Moscow Times was an interesting medium for advertisers".
The first edition of The Moscow Times was published in March 1992. It was the first Western daily to be published in Russia, and quickly became "a primary source of news and opinion" quoted in both Russia and the West.
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."
The Moscow Times currently belongs to a limited liability company which is 51% owned-by Vladimir Dzhao, the CEO of an airline catering company, 30% by Svetlana Korshunova, general director of the paper, and 19% by Derk Sauer, the original founder of the paper. Speaking to Kommersant, Derk Sauer explained that this is merely to comply with a Russian law which prohibits foreigners from controlling more than 20% of any Russia-based media company, since Sauer is a Dutch citizen. He further said that Vladimir Dzhao is an old friend of his, and "he does not control the publication, he is a partner".
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. That year, Independent Media was acquired by the Finnish publishing group Sanoma at an enterprise value of €142 million.
In 2006, the paper began its alliance with the International Herald Tribune, while 2009 saw the launch of the themoscowtimes.com website. The first color issue was published in 2010.
In 2009, it published Russia for Beginners: A Foreigner's Guide to Russia, written by foreign authors who offer advice based on their own experiences of living in Russia. The paper celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2012 with a gala dinner at the Hotel Baltschug Kempinski in Moscow.
Decline and move to digital
In January 2014, malicious ads on the newspaper's website redirected visitors to an exploit kit landing page. 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.
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 had left in 2011 to head RIA Novosti's foreign-language news service. Shortly after his appointment, Abdullaev argued in The Guardian that the west's "biased journalism ...robs the west of its moral authority". In Autumn 2015 Abdullaev was removed from his post and replaced by Mikhail Fishman, former head of Newsweek's Russian edition.
In October 2014 The Moscow Times made the decision to temporarily suspend online comments after an increase in abusive and excessive pro-Russian trolling. 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.
In 2014, sister publication The St. Petersburg Times ceased publication.
In 2015, Sanoma sold MoscowTimes LLC to Demyan Kudryavtsev, a former director of Kommersant.
Separate publications and special projects
- Inter-country annexes The Moscow Times – Russia-France, Russia-Finland, Russia-UK, etc. These editions are dedicated to bilateral issues of cooperation and promote establishing of business and investment programs of interaction between two countries. They focus on economic, trade, and investment, as well as inter-culture project, tourism issues.
- Real Estate Catalog and Real Estate Quarterly – regular specialized business editions about the real estate market
- The Moscow Times Guide – Russia for Beginners, Russia for the Advanced, Dining Guide, Travel Guide, Bar Guide glamorous edition, seasonal style guide, fashionable trends, cultural events in Moscow.
- Conferences: The Moscow Times – meeting place of Russian and foreign investors, businessmen and experts in Russia and abroad as well.
- In March 2020, the online newspaper launched a Russian-language edition, which eventually became the independent VTimes news website, a project with Russian journalists who left the Vedomosti business daily over censorship concerns. Russia designated VTimes as a "foreign agent" on May 2021, saying it was registered in the Netherlands; on 3 June 2021, VTimes announced closure of its operations on 12 June, citing operational difficulties connected with the status.
- Matt Bivens, 1998 until 2001
- Lynn Berry, January 2001 until June 2006
- Andrew McChesney, June 2006 until April 2014
- Nabi Abdullaev, April 2014 until October 2015
- Mikhail Vladimirovich Fishman, November 2015 until July 2017
- Eva Hartog Skorobogatova, 2017 until 2019
- Afanasyeva, Anna (11 October 2017). "The Moscow Times подпитали акционером" [The Moscow Times was fueled by a shareholder]. Kommersant. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
- Luhn, Alec (2015-11-06). "Russia's last independent English newspaper ends daily edition". The Guardian. Retrieved 2020-12-11.
- Richardson, Dan. (2001). The Rough Guide to Moscow. Rough Guides. p. 56. ISBN 978-1-85828-700-3
- Luhn, Alec (February 5, 2015). "Hackers target Russian newspaper site accused of being anti-Putin". The Guardian. Archived from the original on January 18, 2017.
- Kuper, Simon (10 October 2005). "Russian remodelling of a cosmopolitan theme". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 11 December 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
- Bortin, Meg (October 6, 2012). "To Moscow With News". New York Times.
- Cohen, Mischa (2017-06-07). "De terugkeer van Derk Sauer in de Russische media" [The return of Derk Sauer in the Russian media]. Vrij Nederland (in Dutch). Retrieved 2020-08-07.
- Sauer, Derk (2012). "Derk Sauer: "20 Years Later"". The Moscow Times. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
- Lawton, Anna. (2004). Imaging Russia 2000: Film and Facts. New Academia Publishing, LLC. p. 107. ISBN 978-0-9744934-3-5.
- Schreck, Carl (14 Feb 2006). "Fire Tears Through the Pravda Complex". Retrieved 30 August 2015.
- Ведомости (7 June 2017). "Дерк Сауэр вернется в The Moscow Times". vedomosti.ru. Archived from the original on 7 May 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
- "De terugkeer van Derk Sauer in de Russische media - Vrij Nederland". vn.nl. 7 June 2017. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
- "The Moscow Times' new majority owner is a Russian catering company executive". Meduza. 11 October 2017. Retrieved 2020-08-06.
- "The Moscow Times подпитали акционером". kompromat1.io. Retrieved 2020-08-06.
- "The Moscow Times: 18 Years". english.imedia.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2020-12-23.
- "SanomaWSOY acquires the leading Russian magazine publisher Independent Media – Sanoma Group". Retrieved 2020-12-23.
- "Finland's Sanoma sells stake in Russian financial paper Vedomosti | Financial Times". www.ft.com. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
- "Russia for Beginners: A Foreigner's Guide to Russia". The Moscow Times. March 3, 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-03-09.
- "20 years with The Moscow Times". The Moscow Times. 2012. Archived from the original on 21 March 2016.
- Jérôme Segura (January 7, 2014). "Hard times on The Moscow Times". Malwarebytes. Archived from the original on June 5, 2015.
- "Nabi Abdullaev to Replace Andrew McChesney as MT Editor". The Moscow Times. April 14, 2014. Archived from the original on April 17, 2014..
- Nabi Abdullaev (4 August 2014). "Is western media coverage of the Ukraine crisis anti-Russian?". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 29 August 2014.
- "'The Moscow Times' hires a new chief editor". November 5, 2015.
- Collison, Chris. "Russia's Information War: Old Strategies, New Tools" (PDF). Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. p. 41. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
- "Russian English-language newspaper The Moscow Times becomes latest victim in Kremlin info war". Ukraine Today. October 31, 2014. Archived from the original on 1 November 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2020.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- "St. Pete's main English-language newspaper suspends operation". Russia Beyond The Headlines. 22 December 2014. Archived from the original on 24 July 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
- Andrew Roth (30 April 2015). "New Owner for The Moscow Times and Vedomosti". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 4 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
- Hobson, Peter (4 May 2015). "Russian Owner Wants Modernized Moscow Times, Not Kremlin Stooge". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
- "Russia blocks sale of Russian Cosmopolitan, Esquire". The Moscow Times. 16 June 2015. Archived from the original on 5 June 2016. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
- "The Moscow Times Closes Print Edition". The Moscow Times. 2017-07-05. Archived from the original on 2017-07-06.
- "A Letter to Our Readers". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
- Times, The Moscow (2020-07-27). "Ex-Vedomosti Journalists Launch New Outlet Following Pro-Kremlin Censorship Scandal". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 2021-03-03.
- France 24 with AP, Reuters and AFP (2021-05-14). "Russia launches crackdown on media over 'foreign agent' designation". France 24.
- "Почему мы закрываем VTimes". VTimes (in Russian). 2021-06-03. Retrieved 2021-06-09.
- "New Editor for the Moscow Times". the Guardian. 2006-06-16. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
- "Moscow Times chief editor says he's resigning because new Russian owner wants too much control". October 28, 2015.
- "Встреча с Михаилом Фишманом, главным редактором". Встреча с Михаилом Фишманом, главным редактором (in Russian). Retrieved 2020-12-29.