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WINTER 2016/2017

www.Moscowexpatlife.ru • What Does Trump Mean for Russia? • From Russia With Love – Rev. Clive Fairclough • Henrik Winthers • Taxis in Moscow • U.S. Elections in Moscow • Moscow’s Wolves

Birthday


“An extraordinary event for extraordinary people”

MOSCOW BUSINESS NETWORKING CLUB Networking – ‘to socialise for professional or personal gain’

“Now limited to the rst 100 to register!” The MOSCOW BUSINESS NETWORKING CLUB is Moscow’s premier business networking opportunity for business socialising in Moscow. Created by a professional networker for professional networkers this evening provides a superb platform for peer-to-peer networking in a productive environment including all the pre-requisites for effective contact, acquisition, communication and referrals. • Selective multi-national audience (Russian & expat) • High quality visitors due to price policy • Professional name badges for easy recognition • No speeches or presentations • High quality Catering • Quality free-flow drinks • Full photographic report in Moscow expat Life • No membership fees For professional visitors these evenings provide the opportunity to meet new potential clients/partners and maintain current relationships whilst enjoying a professional atmosphere with excellent catering. The Moscow Business Networking Club provides sponsors with a superb opportunity to present their products/services directly to this specific audience. Ask for our Sponsorship packages. For more details on sponsoring or participating please contact Kim Waddoup on kim@aigroup.ru +7 495 777 2577 or http://moscowexpatlife.ru/networking/


Index Like us on facebook...

News

4-5. Community News 6-7. Moscow expat Life is 5!

Community

9-11. Social Movers. Chris Helmbrecht, Don Craig 12-13. Charles Borden: The Moscow Youth Soccer League 14-15. The Reverent Clive Fairclough: ‘From Russia With Love’ 16-17. Night Flight’s 25th Anniversary 18-19. Marie Giral: Gentrification of Malaya Bronnaya 20-21. Nigel Cox: The James Bond of Central Asia (about Fitzroy Maclean) 22-24. Simon Green: Brexit Times Ten (Reaction to the US Elections in Moscow)

Business

World Cup 2018

“An extraordinary event forJones: extraordinary 26-27. Luc Ekaterinburgpeople” 28-29. Gwyn Thomas: Saransk Song

Features MOSCOW BUSINESS NETWORKING CLUB

30-31. Elena Migunova: Moscow’s Wolves (in Moscow Zoo) 32. Nikita: The Snack Thief (about taking dogs for walks) 33-35. John Harrison: Moscow’s Taxis 36-37. Paul Goncharoff: So, This is That Nasty Russia? (U.S. Perceptions of Russia) Networking – ‘to socialise for professional 41. Neil Cross: You Can’t Get There From Here (Short Story)

or personal gain’

Education

“Now limited to the rst38-40. 100EIS to register!”

Business

The MOSCOW BUSINESS NETWORKING CLUB is Moscow’s premier 42. Camille Housseini: Swiss Education Group business networking opportunity for business socialising in Moscow. 44-45. John Harrison: Interview with Henrik Winthers (restaurateur) Created by a professional networker for professional networkers this 46-48. September Business Networking Club Event evening provides a superb platform for peer-to-peer networking in a 49. Filipp Kashpar: How To Arrange a Perfect Move productive environment including all the pre-requisites for effective 50-51. John Harrison: Interview contact, acquisition, communication and referrals. with Michael Byrne 52-53. Kim Waddoup: What Is Networking? 54-55. November Business Networking • Selective multi-national audience (Russian & expat) Club Event 56.visitors Alexei due Spirikhin: Why Foreign Accounting Providers? • High quality to price policy 58-59. Andrei Povarov: What is Blockchain? • Professional name badges for easy recognition 60-61. Luc Jones: Greyheaded Job Hunting • No speeches or presentations 62-63:Catering Chris Weafer: Will President Trump be good for Russia? • High quality 64-65: Olga Lavrinenko: • Quality free-fl ow drinks Women’s Careers: 5 Career Killers You Thought Were Your Bestexpat Strategies • Full photographic report in Moscow Life 66:fees Luke Conner: Legal Wrangling Engulfs Brexit • No membership 70-71. Key Investments For professional visitors these evenings provide the opportuCulture nity to meet new potential clients/partners and maintain cur72-73. D. Smith: Treaty of Brest-Litovsk rent relationships74-75. whilst Scott enjoying a professional atmosphere Cordrey: The Art Deco Museum with excellent catering. 76-77. John Harrison: The Bolshoi Theatre The Moscow Business Networking Club provides sponsors with 78. Maris Ushakova: Interview with Denis Novoseltsev a superb opportunity to present their products/services directly 79. David Owen: A Short Defence of the British Embassy… to this specific audience. Ask for our Sponsorship packages. Book Review For more details on sponsoring or participating please 80-81. Maxine Maters: Sailing through Russia From the Arctic to the Black Sea contact Kim Waddoup on kim@aigroup.ru +7 495 777 2577 Moscow Good Food Club or http://moscowexpatlife.ru/networking/ 82-83. Bar BQ Café 84-85. Café Russe (Ritz Calton) 86-87. Burov & Sova Restaurant

WINTER 2016/2017

25. John Harrison: Russia As A Brand

88. Clasified ads

89. Moscow’s Bars and cafes

Community Services 90-92. Business Clubs 93-95. Charities 96. Women’s Clubs

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Editor’s letter

S

omebody asked me to write a roundup of what has happened this year. I said that I need about three months to do that please. Where do you begin in a year when everything has changed? And yet has everything changed? Has anything changed? Brexit still has to actually happen, and judging by the decisions of Britain’s High Court judges (see Luke Connor’s article on page 66), may be blocked indefinitely. Changes to America’s foreign policy are not Trump’s immediate concern, as Chris Weafer discusses in his article (page 62). Sanctions may or may not be lifted, it is difficult to say at the moment. Great changes are afoot, but it is just not clear exactly, at least at the time of going to press, what these changes will be, how quickly they will happen, and what events may occur in the meantime which will alter our perspectives. A rapprochement towards Russia, will be good thing for many of us, but because of pressure from the Republican Party, we have to face up to the fact that it may never happen, at least in the way that we thought it might. In short, it is business, or lack of business, as usual. With that hopefully realistic note, this is Moscow expat Life’s 5th birthday. It is difficult to believe that 5 years have gone since the first issue of this magazine was distributed in Moscow. As that first issue hit the streets, we watched as the Russian economy nosed dived and wondered whether this was the best time to launch an English language magazine. 17 issues later we are still in print, and doing OK, thanks to YOU! We have tried to keep to our original idea – that is a lifestyle magazine with no politics. That has not been strictly possible, because everything has become politicised. Just living here is now a political statement. However the overall mission to show, indeed celebrate the fact that there is life beyond politics, remains unchanged. Working on this magazine has given me personally the opportunity to meet some amazing people, see sides of Moscow that I never knew existed and even find out what it means to be an expatriate. The magazine is targeted at the basic core of expatriates who are manning essential positions here. Their numbers have decreased, but only slightly. When times are good, a large influx of foreigners arrive to work here, and many find work thanks to these people. When times are not so good, the opposite happens. But the underlying need for western quality, experience and know-how in Russia has been here since the 17th century, is still here now, and probably always will be. The magazine has morphed out into the Moscow Good Food Club and the Moscow Business Networking Club, both of which, thanks to Kim Waddoup, are successful. Despite the crisis (when, precisely, was there not a crisis of one kind or another here?), there seems to be a niche for all of us, not only to exist, but to grow in an organic way.

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Publisher:

Kim Waddoup, kim@aigroup.ru

Editor:

John Harrison, editor@moscowexpatlife.ru

Business Development Manager: Anastasia Sukhova, anastasia@moscowexpatlife.ru

Designer:

Julia Nozdracheva, chiccone@yandex.ru

Researchers: Anastasia Soldatova Aleksandra Markova Alena Kizimova Natalia Alexandrovna

Administration: Alina Kurpas Marina Noskova

Свидетельство о регистрации СМИ ПИ № ТУ50-01602 от 15 января 2013 г. Выдано Управлением Федеральной службы по надзору в сфере связи, информационных технологий по Москве и Московской области Учредитель: ООО «Эй Ай Груп» Главный редактор: Джон Харрисон № 17, выход журнала 5. 12. 2016 Тираж: 30 000 экз. Цена свободная. Для аудитории: 18+

Contributors: Kim Waddoup Re. Clive Fairclough Dominica Harrison Chris Helmbrecht Don Craig Marie Giral Nigel Cox Simon Green Luc Jones Gwyn Thomas Elena Migunova Nikita Paul Goncharoff Neil Cross Camille Housseini Filipp Kashpar Alexei Spirikhin Chris Weafer Olga Lavrinenko Luke Conner D. Smith Scott Cordrey Maris Ushakova David Owen Maxine Maters

Editorial Address: 3rd Frunzenskaya 5, Bldg 1, Office 1 119270 Mosvcow, Russia Tel: +7 495 777 2577 www.moscowexpatlife.ru info@moscowexpatlife.ru Moscow expat Life occasionally uses material we believe has been placed in the public domain. Sometimes it is not possible to identify and contact the copyright owner. If you claim ownership of something we have published, we will be pleased to make a proper acknowledgement.

All rights reserved Printed by Blitzprint, Moscow Representative office: 127051, Moscow, Petrovsky Boulevard, Dom 10


News XIV. International Russian Rotary Children’s Music Competition 2016

Rotary Club Moscow International (RCMI) has organised the International Russian Rotary Children’s Music Competition every year since 2002 in Moscow for children between the ages of 8-12 for the piano, violin and wind instruments categories. The 14th competition 2016 took place on the 1st and 2nd of October in the Russian

State Specialized Academy of Arts. Over 650 children from 44 countries and from all six continents have participated in this competition participated over the past fourteen years. From the thirteen semifinalists, the international jury headed by Maestro Eduard Grach decided after the finals to award two first prizes ex-aequo of the competition to the very talented violin players Matvey Blumin (12) from Sevastopol/Moscow/ Russian Federation and to Park Boogyeom (11)

ISM

from South Korea. The third prize winner was the young clarinet player Sofia Mekhonoshina (12) from Moscow/Russia. The finals were played with a Symphonic Orchestra composed mainly by young musicians in the Great Concert Hall of the Academy. The laureates of the competition will also receive the possibility, with the help of RCMI to perform in different concerts in the country and abroad which are supported and organized by other Rotary Clubs worldwide. The

General Sponsor of the 2016 competition was the Alfa Capital Company. Other main sponsors this year were KPMG, RC Moscow Humboldt, Berenberg Bank, Roedl&Partner, Wermuth Asset Management and RC Zuerich Belvoir. The competition has, over the course of many years, helped very talented children pursue their musical development. Tiberius Braun Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the 14th IRRCMC www.rcmc-moscow.ru www.rcmi.ru

The Music Marathon – a bi-annual charity event – took place on November 18th at the International School of Moscow, involving over a thousand students, teachers, and parents. The total sum collected for charities in the UK and Russia has not yet been calculated, but ticket sales alone contributed over 300,000 roubles.

Celebration of Languages at EIS On February 27, languages are celebrated at English International School. With more than 52 nationalities it will be surprising and animated! Flamboyant Costume Parade and many activities around the languages and the beauty of diversity. Come and visit us at West Campus. More information: www.englishedmoscow.com

William Blake at EIS “When the voices of children are heard on the green, And laughing is heard on the hill, My heart is at rest within my breast, And everything else is still” William Blake At English International School, children’s laughs bring sun during winter. Come to our Winter Concert at West Campus on December 9. More information: www.englishedmoscow.com

WEEKENDS AND HOLIDAYS IN 2017, supplied by VALEN The Russian Government established the following transfer of weekends and holidays in 2017: from December,31 till January,8 (9 days); from February, 23 till February, 26 (4 days); March,8 (1 day); from April, 29 till May,1 (3 days); from May, 6 till May,9 (4 days); from June, 10 till June,12 (3 days); from November, 4 till November, 6 (3 days).

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News Congratulations to Luc and Sonia with the arrival of their son Daniel!

Indonesia-Russia Business Forum

FREE ROCK’N’ROLL JIVE DANCE CLASSES AND SOCIAL DANCING IN MOSCOW !

Beginners’ classes on Saturdays, held in English and Russian at the Esse Jazz Café. These are followed by social dancing, including live rock’n’roll bands. Not essential to come with a partner. For more information contact Richard at richardhume.hume@gmail.com or phone +7 903 558 71 35 Co-op Jive - www.coopjive.co.uk Co-op Jive is a free dance co-operative.

AEB

Pension system of Russia: looking into the future The Association of European Businesses (AEB) invites you to the business meeting ‘Pension system of Russia: looking into the future which will take place on 20 December 2016, 09.30-14.00. Registration and details are available at the AEB website (http://aebrus.ru/en/aeb-events/). Taxation Committee Conference The AEB Taxation Committee is pleased to invite you to the Taxation Committee Conference which will take place on 15 December 2016, from 8.00 to 13.00 in Ararat Park Hyatt Hotel. Registration and details are available at the AEB website (http://aebrus.ru/en/aeb-events/).

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On the 31st of October in Jakarta this year’s session of the ‘Indonesia-Russia Business Forum’ was held. The Forum was held under the auspices of the XI Joint Commission on Trade, Economic, and Technical Cooperation. Over 150 representatives of Indonesian companies and over 100 representatives of Russian companies, including such companies as ‘RZD’, United Shipbuilding Corporation’, ‘Rosneft’, ‘Ruslan’, ‘Gazprom Neft’, ‘Rusnano’, and ‘Rostec.’ An agreement was signed concerning the creation of a $100 million international fund for direct investment into the aerospace industry. More information can be obtained from Maria Vagonova, Press-secretary, Indonesia-Russia Business Forum +7 (903) 727 24 44 press@bcri.ru

US Dental Care

US Dental Care is pleased to announce that they will also be offering Cosmetology Services in their premises on Olympiyskiy Pr. They offer the best esthetic treatments based on latest research with proven and safe results. Treatments available include PRP-natural rejuvenation, correction of acne, ageing and pigmentation, peels and other esthetic treatments in addition to recommendations for home care to maintain the best effect. All procedures are performed by highly qualified doctors-estheticians and the clinic’s philosophy is to be one of the best in Moscow.

Moscow English Theatre Moscow English Theatre’s sell-out production of Nick Payne’s CONSTELLATIONS with Jonathan Bex (RSC) and Emma Dallow continued to wow audiences at the Mayakovsky Theatre in November. Moscow’s only professional English language theatre company’s production will continue in the new year. For further details follow at: www.moscowenglishtheatre.com or write to tickets@ moscowenglishtheatre.com


Community

The Kim Waddoup, publisher, Moscow expat Life

As a long-term expat in Moscow, I had often fostered the idea of a publication that would unite the entire expat community in Moscow. In the early days there were several publications in English but these gradually closed. I remember the way that the project started quite well. I had previously talked with John Harrison about starting a new publishing project, but it wasn’t the right time then. A few years later, on the last day last day of a winter vacation in Thailand, I was determined to sit by the pool despite the rain! I had picked up a copy of Bangkok’s excellent expat magazine, aptly named, Big Chilli. A thick, professional full colour magazine that covered all aspects of the very diverse expat community in Bangkok. On the flight back to Moscow (not an easy one +32C in Thailand and -18C in Moscow) an idea was starting to take shape. Two days later I heard of the demise of Passport Magazine and so an idea became reality. I teamed up

with John and found that he was thinking along exactly the same lines. Together we created the concept of a professional, 96 page, full colour magazine that would reach all corners of our multi-cultural expat community. We would stay clear of politics and religion and concentrate on the theme of ‘Working and Living in Moscow.’ And so Moscow expat Life was born! So with each of our issues we have striven to introduce our readers to many of the varied personalities living and working in Moscow, provided support to as many charitable events and organisations that we can and to provide practical information to help all our daily lives. It is easy to be negative about one’s adopted city and whilst, like many of you, I still have some niggling opinions, I do feel that it is a great honour to live in Moscow and experience first-hand how this great city is changing around us. Those of you that were he in the 1990’s will know what I am talking about It’s been quite a ride so far! Our editorial meetings are lively and highly creative with amazing ideas bouncing off the walls. There is a lot more to come. In our short history, we have created the Moscow Good Food Club, which continues to be one of the leading culinary clubs in

y r o t S

Moscow and also the Moscow Business Networking Club bringing together 100 top executives for face-to-face contact. Now with our 17th issue and entering our 5th year, I guess that we are well established and here to stay! None of this would have been possible without the support of our many contributors whose articles and opinions adorn our pages. There is a vast background of experience within this group of talented people so please do contact them if you require advice or support. We will continue to do what we do best and produce our comprehensive, quarterly issues and if you have any suggestions, these are always welcome. I have to say, thanks John for keeping us on a straight track. I must also say thank you to my great team. I would also like to thank Colin Hastings, Publisher of the Big Chilli in Bangkok for his initial inspiration. Thank you also to our Advertisers without whom none of this would have been possible. We appreciate your trust and hope that you continue to enjoy the results and benefits of advertising with us. What the future holds for us we cannot know, but if we can, we will print it in Moscow expat Life!

John Harrison, editor, Moscow expat Life

It is difficult to believe that five years have gone by since Kim and I met and discussed the possibility of starting a magazine for expatriates. Kim produced lots of financial plans and predictions, most of which were forgotten about as we watched Russia head inexorably into a period of isolation. At one stage we said to each other that we started the magazine at exactly the wrong time. And yet the need for such a magazine was evident. Amazingly, and thanks to a very large degree to Kim, this project has survived, and not just survived. On the editorial front, which is ‘what I do,’ being let to actually do that more or less without conditions, apart from one called common sense, is a freedom I cherish greatly, and one that I have not always enjoyed in previous editing posts. This project, unlike many that I have been involved with, relies completely on advertising for money, but also on the goodwill and community spirit of the writers whose words grace these pages. They are not being

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Community paid, we have no editorial budget. This whole operation is run on goodwill and the need to communicate. If the magazine is interesting to read, it is because there are writers here who care enough about this community of people called expatriates to sacrifice their time and energy for the common good. I take my hat off to all of them, and of course I thank all of our advertisers who make it possible to print and distribute this product. THANK YOU everybody! Long may we all survive!

magazine, have sometimes asked me why there aren’t more Russian writers. It’s a valid point as I see in the weekly Moscow Times there are some high quality restaurant reviews written in English by a couple of Russians, as well as some other articles. All in all, I’m honoured to be associated with this success story, and here’s to the next 5 years! Elena Kubantseva, PR Chair, International Women’s Club

Simon Green

Many congratulations Moscow expat Life magazine on your 5th birthday. I myself am proud to have been associated with this upmarket journal and am fortunate to be able to write regularly for it. It has the reputation as being the Rolls Royce of magazines with its glossy appearance and quality writing. There’s something there for everyone as a wide spectrum of issues about Moscow life are covered, and I appreciate the fact that the magazine is prepared to ‘stick its neck out’ and be controversial when it is necessary to protect expatriates’ rights. If I was to be hypercritical, I would venture to say it appeals to the upmarket professionals in Moscow, and maybe if there were some more down to earth articles about everyday life here appealing to ‘the man in the street,’ that would appeal to a broader spectrum of reader. Also my clients, who love the

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We are pleased to know that the famous magazine Moscow expat Life, has completed its fifth year. I am writing this letter to you to congratulate you on this achievement. This level has been reached by your hard work, talent and determined effort! We would also like to congratulate your team. It been said there are about 1 million foreigners in Moscow, however there are only a few mass media companies focused on the international community in this beautiful city. I must say it is not so easy to unite people and help them to integrate in their country of destination. You have done a great job! The International Women’s Club of Moscow is extremely proud of being your partner in this international community and we wish you good luck, fruitful work, success, professional development and the promotion of new ideas. We expect that our cooperation will help you to open new opportunities for more subscription.

Wendy Soucy, AWO President. Happy Birthday!

The American Women’s Organization would like to congratulate Moscow expat Life on 5 years of keeping expats informed about a vast array of activities, articles on different international groups, updates on work with Russian charities, as well as many other interesting topics that help all of us enjoy our experience here in Moscow to the full. AWO truly appreciates the opportunity to publicize our activities and fundraisers, always presented so well in this well produced publication. Thank you for your support and wishing you many more successful years. Nova Dudley-Gough, Chair, British Women’s Club

Moving to a new city is always a challenge, but moving to one where the language is so different can be particularly hard. While groups such as the British Women’s Club are a lifeline for newcomers, being able to find an English magazine that not only lists other groups and societies but opens your eyes to the rest of expat life in Moscow is fantastic. It gives its readers a sense of place and history as well as an ear to the ground for events and

activities. Happy Birthday Moscow expat Life! www.bwcmoscow.com Frank Schauff, CEO of the Association of European Businesses: AEB congratulates Moscow expat Life magazine on its 5th anniversary! It is valuable to the whole foreign community to have its own publication that covers relevant topics. We wish a lot of future interesting issues, new projects and brilliant authors to the magazine! Nigel Cox

I have known John Harrison, the editor of Moscow expat Life since the mid 1970’s when he was a committed student of the Russian language. Very soon he took himself off to the then Soviet Union. A very brave and adventurous thing to do at that time. Many years later when I too arrived in the former USSR, in the lovely city of Almaty in Kazakhstan, I was pleasantly surprised to learn he was still residing in Moscow. We re-established contact and he told me about the magazine and then offered me the chance to write an article about Kazakhstan. This I did with great pleasure and have submitted further articles since then. I feel very much that John and the magazine are doing a great service helping expats and Russians alike to get the most out of Moscow and helping to build strong friendly ties between cultures.


Community Richard Hume

Well Done MEL, for a great contribution to the expat community! I like the historical stuff especially, that you publish in the magazine. Linked to some of the expat community it serves, MEL has a tendency to cater to the upper middle classes, in term of the events and issues it covers e.g. Balls, high-brow get-togethers, etc. Not the kind of bashes that this working class boy would be invited to! Don’t forget, not all MEL ex-pat readers are well-to-do. Nonetheless, congratulations MEL for a first class job! Richard Hume, School Teacher and organiser of Free Rock’n’Roll Music and Dance Events in Moscow.

but also to English-speaking Russians who wish to interact more with the expatriate community. I particularly like the mix of business, travel, individual personalities and cultural issues, combined with specific features on how to navigate your way through Russian bureaucracy. And yes it is possible; whilst maybe not particularly user-friendly, you can get things done here, usually for a fraction of the price of what it would cost you back home. It is also pleasant to read something in English which isn’t totally one-sided (i.e., such as the majority of the international media’s stance on Russia) and can provide insights even to those such as myself who arrived back in the early 1990s. All in all, Moscow expat Life brilliantly combines the essence of what we all love about living in the big ‘kapusta’ that is Moscow – long may it continue. Here’s to the next 5 years! Luke Conner

Luc Jones

Moscow expat Life burst onto the scene 5 years ago, although at times it feels like only yesterday. Initially it began as just an addition to other glossy publications serving the expatriate market but with the demise of many (AND with The Moscow Times moving to a weekly print run), now stands out as a cut above the rest in more ways than one. It performs an invaluable function both for foreigners living & working in Moscow

Entertaining, wellproduced, novel, excellently edited and distributed but, most importantly, entirely relevant to a relatively large target group, Moscow expat Life has become a core part of the Moscow expat community. Its diverse content, ranging from light-hearted articles about expatriate social life, to the more serious topics facing our community of, for example, a business or legal nature, means that there is something in MEL for everybody. The

shareholders, editorial and design team at Moscow expat Life should be congratulated for producing such a professional publication in such a challenging economic environment, and I for one should very much like to put my gratitude on record. Here’s to another five years of success! Jason Whyte

Moscow expat Life Magazine is the to go to journal that gives you on the pulse, relevant and accurate news advice and recommendation on all things that are happening in Moscow, Russia and the CIS. Whether its Political, economic, cultural, cuisine or travel you can find it all in this complete emporium of knowledge about life in Moscow. Absolute essential reading for all expats new and seasoned, a rich balance, forthright forever challenging but produced by the people who have embedded experience of the territory and the culture. Many happy returns on your 5th Birthday here’s to another 5 years of entertaining and informative articles. David Maltby

I’d like to see MEL being around for another 5 years – maybe more. It strikes a

great balance of information, interest and community articles. Very well written (if I do say so myself) by all contributors… I think your headlines need an alternative angle though. Here are some examples from UK newspapers to illustrate what I mean; Shot Off Woman’s Leg Helps Nicklaus to 66 Enraged Cow Injures Farmer with Axe Two Soviet Ships Collide, One Dies Two Sisters Reunited after 18 Years in Checkout Counter Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge Deer Kill 17,000 Man Struck by Lightning Faces Battery Charge New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group Kids Make Nutritious Snacks Chef Throws His Heart into Helping Feed Needy Maria Ushakova

I absolutely love MEL. I feel I am privileged to be able to write for this magazine. I will always support everything the two men are doing, Kim and John. They are the guardians of true Friendly Expat Spirit in Moscow! The last ones of such kind! The magazine is simply a joy to read. Proud to be part of this journey. Many thanks and congratulations on the 5th anniversary, we will survive and overcome any obstacle, because we are together in it! Thanks for bringing us together! Maria’s photo by Ira Rokka

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Social Movers

A

Chris Helmbrecht

s the nights get longer, we are entering the busiest period of Moscow’s nightlife. There are lots of special parties and activities, but also the closer we get to the end of the year, the more corporate events will happen. So be aware, that your favourite place might be closed for a night, because some company or some Oligarch rented it for their end of year party. The new hotspot: ‘Berlin Bar’ opens at the end of November. It’s located on Blagoveshchenskiy Pereulok, not far from Mayakovskaya Square. But, it may take you some effort to find it. The makers of ‘Suzuran Bar’ or the ‘Brix’ wine places don’t like flashy signs. They think you must look for the ‘good’ by yourself. ‘Berlin Bar’ features a simplistic stylish interior, designed by a young awarded designer from … Berlin. The bar itself is laid out with boardwalk concrete plates from East Berlin. Some of the lights are former streetlights, which

mysteriously disappeared in Berlin and ended up in a Moscow bar. And of course the music concept is based on what is played in Berlin’s best venues. Expect a fashionable and creative crowd in this small boutique bar. From models to designers to advertising folks. I wrote about ‘Motel’ about a year ago, when it opened. It has been one of Moscow’s best party bars ever since, with around 1,000 people per weekend night hanging out, on one of the 3 floors. ‘Motel’ is styled after a 60s American Motel. For a few weeks now, the bar has a new art and music director and the venue is getting ever better. Drop my name at the door and the face-control guy will let you in with ease. Also come to visit our bi-weekly Thursday sessions there. You’ll find more information in our WE group on Facebook. My favourite hangout ‘Suzuran’, which became my living room, made it to fame within the insiders of Moscow’s nightlife. The weekend parties there are Suzuran

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Social Movers packed with a mix of creative and underground people, but also expats and the notorious rich and famous. ‘Suzuran’ is still one of the city’s best kept secrets and if you haven’t been there yet, it poses somewhat of a challenge to find that secret bar. Delicious cocktails, good tech-house music from the city’s best DJ’s: Sanchez, BVoice, Dmitry JCB, Sofia Rodina, … and a really friendly staff and positive (easy to talk to) crowd. ‘Fabrique’, one of Moscow’s older clubs (and closed for 3-5 years), is reopening this month. I am not sure what to expect. The place was always average and didn’t work that well in the past. But who knows, maybe there is a good new concept behind it, and it will work out. I will write about it in my next review. For a Friday pre-party, stop by at ‘Mojo’ on Paveletskaya. They have great food, good cocktails and usually some good DJ’s warming you up for the rest of your party night. The owner Simon, is an expat himself, an experienced bar chef and a nightlife insider for a very long time.

Surprisingly, my favourite after hour club ‘Krysha Mira’ closed a few weeks ago. Ever since, there have been rumours on why Viktor, the owner, closed Moscow’s most famous club. Some say he had problems with the narcotics police and the city administration. Some others think the nearby competition wanted ‘Krysha’ closed. Others say that Viktor ran out of money. None seems to be true. Apparently ‘Krysha’ is only closed for the winter season and reopening with the start of the summer next May. It’s been a PR gag as well as a business decision, I guess. So where to go for a proper after hour? The cities new hotspot is ‘Gazgolder.’ The 10-yearold club moved from its old position to a new house in the former Arma factory space. Apparently it’s (part) owned by the famous Russian rapper Basta. The crowd is mixed, but mainly underground people. The venue is huge and can hold up to a 1,000 guests, although there are usually around 200-300. Unfortunately, there are

Suzuran

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Social Movers not enough unisex toilets for this amount of people and they are not always used for what they were intended (you know na mean?), so don’t wait too long when the bladder starts pushing. ‘Gazgolders’ music concept is mixed. You can find some boring underground click clack music (perfect for the drugged up, dancing the night away into the afternoon). Occasionally, they have good local DJ’s and also great foreign bookings. I often get asked what to do from Sunday to Wednesday night. Sundays you can find the ongoing after hour at ‘Mendeleev’ (which is always a good choice!). It runs until Monday morning. Once a month Techno ‘Gipsy’ is running all Sunday until early Monday morning.

If you like it more relaxed check Alex Nikolaevs BabyMakingMusic @ ‘8 Oz’. in Gorky Park on Sunday evenings from 19:00 until midnight. Some of the city’s best DJ’s play their favourite tracks there each Sunday. But don’t expect a dancing crowd. Typically, some stars, mixed with the regular Gorky Park crowd and some of the nightlife people, hang out at the tables, drinking beer and eating pizza. Monday is dead. You can only hang out at one of the famous lounges (‘Luch’, ‘O2 Lounge’, etc.,) or visit one of the down and dirty places, like ‘Crazy Daisy’ or ‘Kamchatka’. ‘Propaganda’ got Soul, is the place to check on Tuesdays. Phil and his friends open the party at around midnight and it goes until 5-6 am. Expect a soulful

house music. Wednesday is RnB Party day at ‘Garage Club’ (Polyanka). That since about 15 years, with ups and downs, but typically it’s a cool party from around 00:30 in the clubs basement. Thursdays you can head to ‘Mendeleev Bar’ for some live jazz and cocktails. If you are looking for a glam party, you need to take a rather long taxi ride along Kutusovsky Prospekt to ‘Obloko.’ It’s where the Rublovka and Barvika rich and famous meet the centre’s rich and famous for a 3 floor posh night. Just in case you like it a bit more democratic, check ‘Propaganda.’ It’s still (for 15 years or so) the best house music night in town and starts at midnight, running until around 6 am.

Mojo

Don Craig

So as it has been for most of the year, the world has gone crazy and by the time you read this we will understand just how far especially in regards to the buzz subject at all bars is

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‘World Politics.’ Meanwhile, here in Moscow we continue life as normal or as normal as we can and continue to party on because that is just what we do. The summer was a blessing but our Fall season was very short and we fell into winter going from our t-shirts & shorts into our ski jackets almost overnight, but I digress. The Good Food Club hosted by Kim Waddoup has become a monthly look forward to event combing good food with good people in a pleasant social

networking evening that all can enjoy. Along those lines the Curry Club which I have hosted for over 7 years still is a Moscow favourite and is a weekly event on Tuesdays at the Tibet Himalaya restaurant located at Nikolslya 10. Live Music is making a comeback which I am delighted to say with weekly and even Nightly events at such places as: • Ïmagine Café • Blacksmith Pub • Forte Music Club • Kozlov Club

As far as new Venues ‘H2’ modeled after the Old Hudson Bar is coming to life, with the diehard places like Papa’s and Bar BQ Café holding their own as always. For the younger expat crowd ‘Jim ‘N’ Jack’s’ still is the favourite. As always if you want to know what I am up to you can find me on Facebook though my groups ‘Papa Don Productions’ or ‘Moscow Interacts,’ also you can follow me on Twitter@DonCraig777

Mojo


Community

Charles Borden

Let the Fun Begin Because Everyone Is In

E

ach fall for more than fifteen years, Moscow Youth Soccer League has united Expat and Russian boys and girls from age 3 to 17 in the fresh fall open air for the Beautiful Game. Beginning in September, MYSL organizes ten game days on Saturdays and Sundays. This year the season ran from September 3 to October 16 for about 400 kids of all experience levels. It has become the largest independent amateur sports program that brings together Expat and Russian kids. In the spring it also offers a shorter Moscow Youth Champions League tournament. MYSL consists of six divisions of teams by age, ranging from 3-5 years old for Division 6 to 15-17 for Division 1. Each team has a sponsor: well-known international companies such as P&G and Pepsi, and also Russia-based such as RBK and Beverly Hills Diner. Each kid gets a full kit with jersey, shorts and leggings provided by the team sponsor – children love the kits and they become souvenirs for life. Kids register online, and are then randomly divided into teams, with some judgement used to balance ages and skill levels. There are occasional roster changes after the first day of ‘friendly’ games to balance skill levels. The tournament begins in earnest on the second game day. Coaches are volunteers, usually parents. Experienced referees oversee each game. Dutch businessman Derk Sauer, who founded The Moscow Times and a Russian publishing empire, also founded MYSL. The league benefited from support from the Moscow Times and a number of Mr. Sauer’s Dutch colleagues. It grew through the ‘90s, but like the many Moscow kids who have grown up with MYSL, the league

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became more independent with the support of dozens of parent volunteers. MYSL is now part of Korsa Media, but managed day-today as a charitable activity by two very personable young ladies, Ksenia Mershina and Lucia Rodriguez. Chet Bowling, a volunteer parent, is now the chairman of the league, and there are volunteer leaders for each of the six divisions. The ‘working’ languages for MYSL are English and Russian, but a wide variety of languages and nationalities are represented on the pitches. All kids get prizes and medals at the end of each season. Another hallmark of MYSL has always been ‘fair play’ and sportsmanship is rewarded. Each division awards a ‘Best Sportsmanship Team’ at the end of the season. In recent years MYSL has also reached out to support other charities: any excess earnings are donated to other charities such as DownSide Up (which helps families


Community with a child with Down Syndrome), MPC Social Services, Nastyenka fund and Noginski orphanage. With MPC Social Services, MYSL also organized a ‘Day Against Racism’ on a tournament day last year. The league also sponsored training for kids with Down Syndrome in cooperation with DownSide Up this year. The league has great benefits for parents as well, especially the opportunity to get out with your child and root for his or her team. Tournament days are also great networking experiences and a chance to meet other parents from around the world and usually interesting reasons for landing in Russia. Most parents make many new friends after a season, and the network expands for those who participate year after year. For sponsors, MYSL represents not only a great public service, but a chance to reach out and develop good will with a large, extended Expat community, and enthusiastic Russian parents and children. In addition to logos on the bright jerseys of each kid on their team, each game day large banners for each sponsor are hung around the pitches. The MYSL sponsors over the years have provided a wonderful community service for the city.

Contact for more information or to sponsor a team: Ksenia Mershina, Lucia Rodriguez soccer@korsamedia.ru + 7 (968) 832-88-53, +7 (495) 139-2556 http://www.youthsports.ru/ Chet Bowling, League Chairman ‘After 7 years as a parent and even once coach, it has been very fulfilling this year to help everybody involved at MYSL, and of course the kids, to have fun. For me, and other volunteers, the smiles on faces makes it well worth our time. We are looking forward to the 2017 season!!’ Rodolfo Abenoja, Parent and Division Leader ‘MYSL is the greatest competition in Moscow where kids from different countries meet and compete. We love the international atmosphere. It’s always great to meet new faces and make friends. The bonding and camaraderie among the kids becomes stronger each year. And there’s always the Burger stand to keep us happy and the complimentary coffee and tea to keep us warm in this autumn season.’

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Community

By The Reverend Clive Fairclough

From Russia with Love

I have a passion for all things James Bond and so does my wife - Sean Connery and Daniel Craig anyway! Before I came to Moscow my family combined our farewell with a big birthday party for me. My birthday present was a limited edition 007 50th Anniversary watch. I couldn’t possibly reveal what gadgets it has, as one day, I might need them to get out of a tight spot! It turns out that’s what life here is all about. I had many preconceptions of Russia including the beautiful Tatiana from the movie who turns out to be a double agent. Maybe there was a Rosa Klebb, the Russian agent from the movie, with poisoned-tipped high-heeled shoes in my new church! Another, was a vision of the mighty Russian Bear portrayed in the massive armed services, whom, for twenty years as the Soviet Army, were formally my sworn enemies. I am sure we all have a vivid imagination for what we might encounter either in full time work or as a ‘trailing’ spouse as if the partner is a kind of animal on a lead! We won’t be going into what animals our partners might represent! These preconceptions changed as I recognised that Russia is just – different. In my sights, I have seen the West which has distrust of a huge Eastern continent which has, throughout its history, been threatened and attacked from all sides. And yet, in the nineteenth century the British Royal Family married members of the Romanov dynasty and we were close allies for a time. In being threatened, Russia has responded like a bear, in so many situations and yes there are stories of betrayal, intrigue, and brutality. However, we only have to look at our own histories and we can see the same. For me seeing Russia at very close quarters and as guests of this huge place, has been an adventure into the unknown. I have been on a search to find the Russian soul in the Motherland and I have found it in her culture, faith, and the honesty of its people. The culture in which I was most interested on my search was through music, opera and ballet. I soon discovered that music belonged to the people of Russia. The Kremlin theatre which seats six thousand and built by the Soviets, for a very different purpose, offers great opera and ballet for just 800 roubles. Seeing

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The Anglican community in Russia regrets that the Reverend Clive Fairclough is returning to England’s green and pleasant West Country. We all wish him well, and yet we are sad because with his various pro-active outreach programmes, he showed us all that the Church is a living organism, not just something that exists within the 4 walls of a building at Voznesensky Pereuolok 8. His massive contribution meant that St. Andrew’s Church became St. Andrew’s Church and Centre. The Anglican faith was once more back with us in Moscow. Editor.

and hearing the music of Tchaikovsky, my favourite composer, sung in Russian, in a Russian theatre in Russia really moved me as I experienced the truth of a deeply sensitive Russian. He struggled with his life (supported by a patron he never met), as a manic depressive, his marriage and his sexuality. It really enlightened me as to exactly what passion there was in the heart of this Russian. Despite a massive inner struggle he composed the Nutcracker an enchanting Christmas fairy-tale. It was the start of my journey. My cultural quest continued by reading Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. In this novel I discovered romance, passion, and seeds of revolution both in political thinking and in agriculture. I also read about the author, his passion for equal rights and his extraordinary spiritual struggle. It struck me as being so modern as we often struggle ourselves with such issues. My cultural quest continued with an encounter with the extraordinary story of the Tzars who ruled Russia for more than three hundred years. I shared the lives of those families at court, at home, in politics and at war through the amazing author Simon Sebag Montefiore through his latest book the Romanovs. I drew many parallels with the British Empire stretching over many continents which boasted that the sun never sets across the Empire. My search for the soul of the Russian really came to fruition as I experienced the Orthodox Faith. My journey of learning and personal encounters with our fellow Christians will stay with me forever. Their humility, their inner strength forged by a faith stretching over a thousand years. It endured war and peace as well as revolution. In some ways they were so like the early dawn of Church in England, although a much younger church, which suffered on its journey through the bloody times of the Reformation in Europe. However the Russian Orthodox Church has seen a huge growth and revival of its faith as can be seen by the restoration and building of new churches (three a week since 1994). If you haven’t experienced Orthodox worship whether you are a believer or not, it is a must. All three senses are engaged. The story and worship of God is depicted in art, music with a single instrument, the human voice, and finally the waft of ancient incense


Community is keenly smelt as prayers and blessings are offered. Worship is about encoring the living God and that what you experience in Orthodox worship. In fact, whenever I experienced this unique worship I didn’t really know if I was in heaven or on earth. The highlight of my encounters with the Orthodox Church was when I accompanied the Archbishop of Canterbury during the Patriarch’s visit to London and his private audience with the Queen. The celebration in their cathedral in Kensington (a gift from the Church of England) of three hundred years of the Russian Orthodox church in Britain was extraordinary; offering a sense of common purpose of proclaiming the Gospel of Peace. Uppermost in the conversations between the Archbishop and The Patriarch at a private meeting at Lambeth Place was their shared compassion for Christian, and other, minorities in many parts of the world, especially in the Middle East, where they have been systematically targeted and persecuted and their communities decimated. They also spoke of the importance of the Church as the keeper of tradition – that is, the wisdom of the past, living in the present. Finally, my search came to a conclusion when I met Russia’s people and their language. First encounters were of an unsettling abruptness but this, as I soon discovered, is largely due to a language which has both a different alphabet and a far smaller number of words that English. The seemingly direct approach is not reflected in what the Russian people are really like. When I reflected on Russia’s culture and faith, I discovered a resilience and a passion for survival despite anything, any foreign power, the harsh climate and all the suffering which the Russian soul endures with Grace and patience. I found, in every case, that once you really befriend a Russian and once he or she trusts you, you have a friend for life. Perhaps the most moving encounter I have ever had of the Russian soul was when I watched the march of the Immortal Regiment on the May Day celebrations of the Great Patriotic War. It comprised thirty thousand people each carrying a banner with a picture of a relative lost in WW2 walking along the huge street into Red Square. For me, the Russian belief that through suffering we become stronger in ourselves and in our faith explains why the Russian people are so positive about life and living in the present in spite of the long history of struggle and war. They have survived like the eternal flame in Moscow’s Alexander Gardens. ’From Russia With Love’ is what I will take with me when we move back home to rural England to the depths of the West Country. I have been profoundly challenged by what I have witnessed and seen gazing through telescopic sights to the West from the East. I have been changed and strengthened by my experiences of Mother Russia. My wife will be relieved that I am leaving without an encounter with the lovely Tatiana and so will I as she might have been a double agent.

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Community

25

th

t h s g ’ i t N gh ary i s l r F ive n n A

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ate into the night on the 25th of October, at a very well-known part of Tverskaya, a group of expatriates and Russians crowded into a night club that they have taken to be their very own. Here, the guests feel to be at home. Welcome faces, smiles, complimentary drinks, great music, food and of course beautiful women. As the evening progressed, people became more and more relaxed, they danced, and celebrated. It is good to be alive! It was a great night. 25 years ago that night, Night Flight first opened its doors in Moscow. For those of us old enough to remember, Night Flight has been consistent in terms of its concept and level of service. The club was opened


Community

by Swedish businessmen Sonny Lundquist and Hakan Polhammar together with their Russian counterpart, businessman Yuri Giverts. On October 25, 1991, the club opened right in the heart of Moscow: 300 metres from Red Square and a stone’s throw away from the Mayor’s office, on the spot of the former ice-cream café ‘The North,’ amidst a few bleak Soviet style eateries. The birth of the night club coincided with tectonic changes in the country. According to Yuri Giverts, ‘At the time when we wanted to open a night club, in our country, and Moscow specifically, there was literally nothing. We realized that we would have to bring everything from Sweden, and this meant not only furniture but wallpaper, ashtrays, toothpicks, screws, screwdrivers – everything… We prepared exhaustive lists containing thousands of items, and everything was delivered on August 15, 1991, but on August 19, 1991 there were tanks passing by our windows on Tverskaya. The putsch was squashed on August 22, and the club opened its doors on October 25, phenomenally soon, taking into consideration that we had to do a full

renovation and train the personnel. This was the first and only place (then) in Moscow where everyone had to speak English.’ On ‘Night Flight’s’ opening night, the line of people who wanted to get in went as far as Yury Dolgoruky’s monument; half way down Tverskaya towards the Kremlin. This was a period of empty shelves and startling naivety: lemons had to be purchased in ‘Stockmans’ for foreign currency. Back then, the rouble was nonconvertible and prices changed every hour: exchange rates of dozens of foreign currencies were placed at the cashier’s office. Customers were allowed to pay in any currency they fancied, and the final morning reports came out with currencies varying dramatically from Swedish krona to Japanese yens. The restaurant, adjacent to the night club, opened in 1993. Chefs from Sweden rotated once in two years, all produce was transported in to Moscow in a club-owned lorry from Sweden, providing a real guarantee of high quality. The business lunch concept was a revolution: for $10, a customer could order a salad and a main dish which

changed every day. Since then, the menu has been constantly changing, maintaining consistency in preserving authentic Scandinavian traditions, in combination with latest trends in modern gastronomy. The night club was so popular in the 1990’s that Sydney Sheldon, who never visited it, had set one of the scenes of his novel ‘The Sky is Falling’ (2001) at Night Flight. According to the Swedish journalist Gunnar Johansson, ‘visiting this night club was a must-do for all big stars visiting Moscow. I’ve met David Copperfield, Robert De Niro, Chuck Norris, Charlie Sheen and Gerard Depardieu there. Donald Trump, Russian hockey team, wrestler Alexander Karelin – everyone was there...’ The club became an icon. The story of ‘Night Flight’ is truly unique. Hardly anywhere in the world can you find a night club that has a 25-year history: few night clubs last more than five years, particularly in Moscow. As founders and owners of the club confess, ‘There is no secret to the club’s phenomenal longevity – it is just maintaining unfailing premium quality.’

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Community

The Gentrification of Malaya Bronnaya?

Marie Giral

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Or A Case Of Responsible Community Action?

or the last two years, many bars, cafés and restaurants have been opening in Malaya Bronnaya Ulitsa, the narrow historic residential street, where Mikhail Bulgakov set the beginning of his famous novel, The Master and Margarita. Since the gigantic road, pavement and utilities works that lasted all summer 2015 (turning the district into something resembling a

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building site where pedestrians walked at their peril), Malaya Bronnaya has turned into a one-way, no-parking street, where pedestrians, and cyclists, now have a chance to pass by without stumbling on some forgotten metal pipe, extruding metallic piece or protruding pavement. The cafés, bars and restaurants used to remain open until very late at night – early into the morning actually –

attracting both young and older people who would hang around outside, smoking or chatting; due largely to lack of space inside the bars and restaurants themselves. Inevitably, conversation and laughter got ever louder as more drinks were imbibed, punctuated with the earpiercing roaring of prestige motorbikes and cars accelerating rapidly down the street at high speed. In such a narrow street, noises can only resonate along


Community

the residential buildings which run all along Malaya Bronnaya. Some residents complained strongly, and eventually the authorities decided to put a stop to this level of disturbance and imposed an 11pm curfew when the bars and restaurants have to close. Residents sighed with relief and started to enjoy uninterrupted sleep for the first time in ages. Perversely, others seem to have complained, in the social media, about the gentrification of the district and its rich residents, promoting a spirit of dullness in their favourite street. I happen to live in that street, just across from three of these hipster places and of course as a run-of-the-mill expat

I am privileged. However I am not sure the picture is so black and white. Among my supposedly privileged neighbours are retired (and rather tired-looking) people and elderly workers. Even my landlady had to rent what used to be the apartment she lived in and go and settle outside of Moscow when she retired. Night-life in Moscow is wonderful for night dwellers and, compared to other countries, the atmosphere is respectful and largely amicable without any evidence of the dreaded binge drinking that has plagued other cities in European cities. But, Malaya Bronnaya is too narrow, old and atmospheric to be treated as if it is the Champs-ElysĂŠes.

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Community.Central Asia

Nigel Cox

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itzroy Maclean (1911-1996) was a Scottish diplomat, soldier, writer and politician who loved travel and adventure. In the 1930s after graduating from Cambridge he became a diplomat in Moscow. There he worked with the author Ian Fleming in the British Embassy. He learned Russian and took several fascinating and exciting journeys around the Soviet Union of Josef Stalin and beyond. His first trip in 1937 was to The Caucasus. He was arrested by the NKVD, as he approached the Caspian Sea on horseback. However, he was allowed to go free and after a visit to the British War cemetery in Tbilisi, where the remains of soldiers and sailors killed in the Wars of Intervention are interred, he made his way back to Moscow.

Later that year he set off again, travelling Eastwards along the TransSiberian Railway and then from Novosibirsk he took the Turksiib Railway that connects Siberia to Central Asia. From Novosibirsk on, he was accompanied by the NKVD although he wasn’t arrested. On the train journey, masses of Koreans who were being deported to the area boarded the train. Today their hard working descendants still live and thrive throughout the Central Asian region. After travelling past the beautiful Altai Mountains and through Barnaul, he eventually reached the former capital of Kazakhstan, AlmaAta, known today as Almaty. Today it is the thriving and bustling business centre of Central Asia, but then he described it as a pleasant Soviet provincial town. Alma-Ata means ‘Father of Apples’ and in the nearby town of Talgar he recounts eating the

biggest apple he had ever seen. This was the famous ‘aport’ apple for which the area is famous. From Talgar he journeyed on to Issik Lake some 40 miles from Almaty. This is a beautiful mountain lake surrounded on all sides by huge tree covered mountains. He describes looking down on the lake illuminated by a full moon, and whilst he sipped cognac and smoked a cigarette, it dawned on him he was one of very few Western Europeans who had ever witnessed the stunningly beautiful scene before him. From there he travelled by train to Tashkent, travelling through villages that had hardly changed since time immemorial. From Tashkent he travelled to Tamerlane’s fabled city of Samarkand. However, the biting cold of winter was closing in, so he decided to return to Moscow.

Fitzroy Maclean:

The James Bond of Central Asia

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Community.Central Asia The following year, when the weather improved he set off for Chinese Turkestan, today’s Xinjiang close by to Kazakhstan. He was on a fact finding mission for the British government concerning the city of Urumqi. So he returned to Alma-Ata and then travelled through the ‘Hungry Steppe’ (the vast steppe land where almost nothing of value could grow). However, although he crossed into China he was not allowed to continue and on returning to Alma-Ata he was immediately ordered back to Moscow by the Soviet authorities. Although this trip was done on the behest of the British government, Maclean always maintained he was not a spy and did most of his travels in the area purely for his own self-realization and the joy of travel and adventure. His wanderlust had not been satiated and his next trip took him back to Uzbekistan with it’s beautiful classic cites and mosques. Perhaps he had been inspired by another Cambridge graduate James Flecker, part of whose work ‘The Golden Journey to Samarkand,’ is now inscribed on the Special Air Service’s clock tower in Hereford, UK. We are the Pilgrims, master; we shall go Always a little further; it may be Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow Across that angry or that glimmering sea. During the Second World War, Maclean was a member of the Long Range Desert Group, in North Africa, who were the forerunners of the modern Special Air Service. Perhaps Maclean felt a need to retrace the steps of the two British undercover agents Charles Stoddart and Arthur Conolly, participants of the ‘Great Game’ who were both beheaded in the square of Bukhara nearly 100 years before. In 1938, once more, he made his way back to Uzbekistan via Ashgabat in Turkmenistan and visited ‘the enchanted city’ of Bukhara. Then he took the train to Dushanbe in Tajikistan. He then crossed the River Oxus into Afghanistan. He visited the ruins of Balikh, founded by Alexander the Great but destroyed by the hordes of Genghis Khan. From there, Maclean returned to Moscow via India, Iraq, Iran and Armenia. The fact that he was a close friend of Ian Fleming and that he led such an epic life has led many people to believe that Fitzroy Maclean was the inspiration for James Bond. Whether that is true or not, he was an amazingly colourful character in his own right.

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Community

Simon Green

TIMES TEN

B REXIT

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ust when you thought it was safe to go back in the water after the vicissitudes of Brexit in the UK (still an ongoing saga), hard on its heels comes the bitter, fight to the death American election, making it a double whammy inside six months of seismic proportions. If I hadn’t known the result by mid-morning on November 9th, I could have guessed it by the animated chit-chat from the Russians in the metro, with the word ‘Trump’ being frequently uttered, accompanied by feverish messaging on their mobiles. Donald Trump had just pulled off a master stroke, resulting in his getting the keys to the White House on January 20th, 2017, after the official swearing in ceremony which will make him the USA’s 45th President. Florida was a huge swing State to go his way, then an hour later, Pennsylvania proved to be the denouement from which Clinton had no return in a contest that most of the world had made her out to be the first woman President as a foregone conclusion. Alas, no glass ceilings being smashed on this occasion. The map bore witness to this unlikely triumph, bathed in a sea of red, and Trump’s triumph had totally annihilated what many of his supporters saw as the ‘luvvy lefties,’ boot-faced feminists and chronically inaccurate and waste of space pollsters. Even at death, CNN couldn’t bring themselves to admit the impossible had happened, with their commentators dumb with stupefaction that a rank outsider had defied all the odds, not to mention the nefarious media. As Trump predicted, it was Brexit times ten; and the ordinary man in the street had risen up and made his voice heard, leaving Hillary to weep into her pant suit, and her supporters crying into their nachos. The Trump camp was too full of racists, xenophobes, misogynists and deplorables to have any chance, they said- a parallel to the British Brexiteers who were deemed too ‘stupid’ to understand what they had voted for. So where had it gone so horribly south for Clinton? I met up with a couple of Republicans and a Democrat to learn.

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When Joyce M. Miller enters a place, in this case Chicago Prime, people tend to notice her. Tall, flamehaired, attractive and confident, she announces her arrival in her unmistakable Virginian accent: “We did it,” she exclaimed, eyes sparkling with joy, enveloping me in a bear-hug simultaneously; “Wow, I mean wow!” She confesses to shedding a tear after the result, but couldn’t stop smiling the whole time she was with me. This also might have had something to do with the fact there was a pre-arranged Democrat victory party going on at the same time in Chicago Prime, attendees of which were forced to watch Clinton’s concession speech, much to their utter chagrin! Jo, as she’s known to her friends, is a seasoned Moscow expat who speaks Russian fluently, and arrived here in 1995, following a stint in the early 1990’s as a Foreign Affairs Specialist in the commercial department of the U.S. government. Did you expect this result, I ask? “Not in a million years.” she replied, “it’s completely blown me away!” Jo expressed that the Republicans now have control of the Presidency and both houses of Congress. Clinton lost, according to Jo, because of her snooty attitude to people in that she believed people should answer to her, not vice versa. Regarding Trump’s victory, she says it’s a victory for the ordinary people from the forgotten towns; the people who pay their taxes and work hard for it. Trump is a middle of the road sort of guy who’ll be keen to change the somewhat dis-United States into the United States again, and run America like a business until he starts to understand politics and its ramifications. Exactly the same labels that were applied to Reagan have also been applied to Trump. What about relations with Russia? Definitely it will be high on his agenda as well as the significant European countries. Putin’s spokesman had suggested under Clinton we were headed towards WW3, but at least now we’re assured of some dialogue. She says that while


Community Julian Assange played his part by releasing emails from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Clinton was the author of her own misfortune with her own health issues, Bhenghazi scandal, mendacious manner and the Clinton Foundation with its dubious sources of income. Next up I met Anastasia Fedorova, now working in the TV department of Reuters. I approached her door with some trepidation as she’s a staunch Democrat and I wondered what reaction awaited me. I needn’t have worried. I asked if she was disappointed Clinton had lost and was met with a firm ‘no!’ She admits she didn’t like or vote for Clinton, but abstained instead. Some of her Democrat friends actually voted for Trump as they were vehemently against Clinton. She reminds me Zhirinovsky, outspoken Trump supporter, maintains relations will warm up which should change the world political dynamic for the better. Anastasia expressed that Trump is the lesser of two evils and ‘the surprise Skittles flavour’ in that you never know what you’ll get! Anastasia had reservations about the Republicans dominating in the house, and declares that health and immigration should be at the top of Trump’s agenda. Obamacare has been an unmitigated disaster as it was mandatory and expensive, favouring insurance companies in lieu of the end user – Anastasia was fined $250 for not having it while she was over here. Regarding immigration, the questions on everyone’s lips are will Trump build the wall and what will happen to the ‘bad hombres’ already in situ illegally? In fact, following an interview with CBS, Trump stated that yes he’ll build the wall, which the Mexicans are refusing to pay for (quelle surprise), with a combination of concrete and fencing, but then went on to declare he intends to remove 2-3 million undocumented illegals with criminal records. Trump’s acceptance speech indicated a change of tone to the point of being conciliatory. He appeared surprised, like a game show contestant not quite sure how to react when they’ve just won the top prize. Anastasia feels Americans are largely clueless as to what goes on overseas, and only the USA matters to them. The Republicans had many more serious candidates than the Democrats who only really had Clinton and Sanders as serious players – this was a recipe for trouble ahead. In synopsis, Hillary’s mantra of ‘we need a woman in the White House’ simply drove some Democrats away, many of them because they simply didn’t like or trust her. Meet Paul Angotti, an engineer working in procurement and contracts for nine years in Moscow and four in Siberia. Paul is originally from Washington D.C. but has now built himself a lovely house in Florida. He had this to say about the election: I wasn’t surprised by the result except for Trump sweeping almost all of the swing States. Apparently enough people were fed up with the Obama administration, and the thought of it being continued under Clinton was a bridge too far. Hillary had a lot of issues, from being part of the aforementioned legacy, to the $21 trillion debt – she openly planned to

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Community expand it and even smiled while saying it. She also relied heavily on support from the minorities, special interest groups and feminists to support her left wing liberal agenda while calling others deplorable. Being dishonest and elitist didn’t help her cause either. Paul said: “The silent majority of Americans don’t want these liberal policies that have attacked the traditional values they uphold. Domestically, Trump is going to cut taxes, kick-start domestic investment in a bid to get America back to work again. He’s going to relieve EPA restrictions on energy and industry so we can run our factories and mines, burn coal and produce oil, and maybe even build new pipelines. He’ll get rid of the government’s obsession with banning weapons, but importantly he’ll make a concerted effort to have the police and public regaining trust in each other. He’ll also pay attention to the military and their needs, but not with a blank check.” I asked Paul: “How about Russian/EU relations?” He replied: “Whilst he [Trump] may not be a top public speaker, he’s a very skilled one on one negotiator; he doesn’t pull punches, so you know where you stand, and the Secretaries of State and Defence are key appointments. Most Americans don’t care what happens overseas as long as it doesn’t affect them. Remember, only 17% of Americans possess a passport, and most who voted for Trump aren’t in that category.” “Most of the public, due to what some see a biased media, have labelled Trump an out of control bigot with

a short fuse.” Paul continued. “Ask the people of Louisiana what they thought of him when he personally visited after the flooding disaster, with aid paid for out of his own pocket while Obama and Clinton were on Nantucket island vacationing. That’s the Trump some people ignore – he’s not part of the Washington establishment and people like that, so he deserves a chance to show his true colours. All he wants to do is make America great again.” So there you have it, and America has spoken loud and clear for change. There was a common denominator threading through people’s comments of the people I met in Moscow and others besides: people simply didn’t like or trust Hillary. She’s currently blaming the FBI director for her defeat like a recalcitrant child who refuses to accept she’s wrong, in my opinion. In her concession speech which was full of predictable platitudes and clichés, and being watched by a room full of gloomy down-in-the-mouth Democrats, I afforded myself a wry smile. Bill Clinton was hovering stoically in the background with stress etched on his face, no doubt wondering what might have been. During her closing words, Hillary did manage to come out with one absolute gem: “I just want to say to all you young people out there starting out in business: you’ll get setbacks in life and you have to learn to deal with them”- never a truer word said. As for Trump, he’s talked the talk to land the biggest deal of his life, now he has to walk the walk and deliver on his promises.

Never miss an opportunity to see your old friends By Olga Pantchenko

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Use WIYO® to easily share your travel plans with friends and meet them on the go!

ow often do you travel on your own and wonder if some of your friends might be travelling there as well? How often do you post on Facebook something like “I’m in London, anyone around?” And how often do you realize that some of your friends actually WERE around but saw your post only after you left? It happened to me several times too. I would spend a boring Sunday in Frankfurt on my own, and a week later my good friend living in Amsterdam would tell me that she was there on the same day and without any plans. I would go back home after a vacation in Cancun to find out that my Colombian fellow student

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from business school is still there for a convention, and with my very flexible dates I could have stayed for a couple of days longer to catch up with him. Finally, I don’t even know how many opportunities to see my friends I’ve missed, as we’re all on the go every other week and don’t always brag about it on Facebook. I know a lot of people with the same lifestyle: frequent solo business travelers, they often feel lonely once the work is done, and wish they could see an old friend for a dinner or a drink. The world is becoming a smaller place and having friends all over the world is nothing special these days. However, seeing them requires quite some effort and planning, so why not use every chance?

This is how I came up with the idea of WIYO®, an app that allows you to add your upcoming trips to the calendar and share it with your network of frequently travelling friends from all over the world. This way you can instantly see if any of your travel plans match with your friend’s calendar, check your friends’ calendars to adjust your dates or even plan a special trip. Seeing an old friend is always a great pleasure, and with our hectic daily life staying in touch with those far away is often a challenge. So now with just a little bit of planning you can meet them on the go. WIYO® is available for free at both AppStore and GooglePlay. Remember, the more of your friends use it, the higher your chances of seeing them!


Business

Russia as A Brand John Harrison

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fascinating conference was held in November at the World Trade Centre, about how Russia sees itself. Here are a few comments made by a selection of the surprisingly varied cross-section of business and media leaders who spoke at the event. Speakers’ comments confirm the feeling that I have felt on an intuitive level for decades about Russia. That Russia does not understand the importance of PR on an international level. Perhaps this is good, it is difficult to say, however for Russian exporters, the impression that Russia creates abroad is vitally important, not just for the survival of the company concerned, but for the viability of the Russian economy itself. There seems to be a battle between those who are saying that we don’t need other countries, and those who are saying that we do. At the moment, the former seem to be winning. Burkhard Binder, the MD and Co-Founder of Lamoda said that the design element in Lamoda’s fashion goods is growing – at present it is 20% of the company’s total design work internationally. He said that people love the image of Russian design; there is no problem with that, but there is a problem in sustainability as Russian designers can’t seem to keep up with the speed of people’s changing tastes in the West. Dmitry Stryukov, the Director of Strategic Planning at DDVB and Board Member of the Russian Branding Companies Association, said that Russia has not yet worked out an ideological basis for its branding. Russia has not figured out who her audience markets are. China has a brand, he said, so does Germany, but why doesn’t Russia? He suggested moving to the idea of ‘created in Russia,’ not ‘Made in Russia’ as a start. Anatoly Prokhorov, Russian film and TV producer, Co-founder of Pilot Studio, Artistic Director of the Smershkari Project, complained that there is no state education in animation. Despite the fact that the government has been meaning to do something for over 20 years. Without at least its own animation

industry, how can Russia even hope to begin to create a brand?, Anatoly asked. Anton Anisimov, Head of International Broadcasting at Sputnik, Russia Today, said that very few people know about Russia’s inventions and achievements, of which there are a huge number of. He said that Russian companies do not seem to want to advertise themselves either here in Russia, or abroad. They do not, he said, seem to understand the importance of PR.

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World Cup 2018

Ekaterinburg – a Bridge Between East & West! Luc Jones

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katerinburg is best known as being the birthplace of Russia’s first leader after the fall of the Soviet Union, Boris Yeltsin, and also as the place where the Tsar and his family (a.k.a., the Romanovs) were executed during the October revolution of 1917. It’s also the only venue for the 2018 World Cup which is located in the Asian part of Russia, even if only just. Travellers and ground-hoppers alike have commented on what a great shame it is that only the European part of Russia will be hosting games. However, commentators seem

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to agree that had the country’s proposal involved sending fans out to far-flung cities in the remote and sparsely-populated Far East & Siberia, Russia simply wouldn’t have been selected to host the tournament, regardless of the thickness of the brown envelope! Even Novosibirsk would have been pushing matters somewhat, and as for Magadan, dream on!

The city was founded in 1723 by Peter the Great; hey, his wife was called Catherine (‘Ekaterina’, in Russian) who just also happens to be the Russian patron saint of mining, which is lucky since quite a lot of digging takes place in the surrounding regions. The assassination of the Romanov family has been well documented and in 2000 a massive Orthodox church (The ‘Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land,’ to give it its full name) was built on the site of where the actual shooting took place. This was in the basement of a residence, known as Ipatyev House where the Romanovs had been held prisoner for the final 78 days before their fateful ending, and the


World Cup 2018 house itself was then turned into a museum dedicated to atheism. Worse was to come when the then rising governor, Boris Yeltsin had the house demolished in 1977, fearing that it might attract monarchist sympathizers (as if )! In 1924, the city was renamed Sverdlovsk after Yakov Sverdlov, a local Bolshevik party administrator but reverted to the former name in 1991, even though a statue to Sverdlov in the city centre remains. Due to numerous defence plants in the area, the city was off limits to foreigners until 1990 and in the early years of capitalism, Ekaterinburg was renowned for its lawlessness as a virtual mafia city. It’s a completely different story today as the place has rebounded in recent years and the population of almost 1.5 million enjoy standards of living which rival the best in Russia. From a footballing point of view, Ekaterinburg’s team is FC Ural, although until 2002 they were known as Uralmash, named after a local factory during Soviet times (but which itself is now better known by the acronym OMZ). Although FC Ural play in Russia’s premier league, they’ve never won it, or anything else, for that matter and their current stadium, the SBKBank Arena holds a measly 10,000. If your team is playing here and you’re worried about not getting your hands on a ticket, fear not as there is a larger brother not far away in the shape of the Central Stadium. This ‘Tsentral’ny Stadion’ can seat 27,000 but is currently being expanded to hold 44,000+ spectators, and to meet FIFA requirements. The metro is also being extended to reach the stadium if you don’t fancy the walk. If you’ve come out all this way, it would be a shame not to make the short drive out to the border between Europe & Asia. The original monument, erected in 1837 is some

40km west of the city but local authorities deemed this to be a little too far, so established a ‘closer’ monument, which resembles a miniEiffel Tower. This one is only 17 km out (on the same road, in the same direction) but both are popular with tourists & wedding parties alike. Also worth a visit is the leaning tower of… (wait for it), Nevyansk! It’s an hour north of Ekaterinburg and whilst it might not rival its namesake in Pisa, it’s an impressive structure nonetheless. Finally, if you’ve a day to kill in between matches and fancy something a little different, take a trip 3 hours south to the industrial city of Chelyabinsk. Why, you may ask? Well, in 2013 Chelyabinsk hit the world headlines when a meteorite broke through the earth’s atmosphere shortly after dawn on 15th February, and whilst fortunately nobody was injured in the explosion, it caused extensive damage to buildings, mainly in the form of broken windows. A beach ballsized rock is on display at the local museum, with all the information you ever needed to know about meteorites but were afraid to ask.

Getting there: Ekaterinburg’s Koltsovo airport (SVX) receives flights several times a day from all of Moscow’s 3 main airports, as well as from St Petersburg and virtually every other major city in Russia - flight time from Moscow is just over two hours. Since Ekaterinburg is on the Moscow to Vladivostok, Trans-Siberian railway line, there are frequent trains running and it’s a great way to see the country roll past. However, they’re not for those in a hurry as the journey time is approximately 26 hours and unless you travel platskart (dormitory class) you won’t save a whole lot of cash.

Staying there: Several top-end hotels (Hyatt, Novotel, Hilton, Radisson) have sprung up in recent years although if you’re not on expenses, there’s no need to break the bank as middlerange options are also available.

Getting around: There is a metro although this is at present of limited use for the casual tourist and much of the central area is easily covered on foot. Cabs are plentiful and cheap – even cheaper when prebooked by telephone or via app.

In the know: Ekaterinburg is two hours ahead of Moscow time, but don’t forget that ALL trains in Russia run on Moscow time, although airport timetables use local time. It’s also worth being aware that Ekaterinburg is sometimes still referred to by its old name, Sverdlovsk (particularly on train tickets) and the surrounding region is still formally called the Sverdlovskaya Oblast’.

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World Cup 2018

Gywn Thomas

Saransk Song

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ootball and Music have been a huge part of my life in Moscow and have introduced to many good friends and business contacts over the years. While my football playing years are pretty much over, I’m still performing and writing music and that has given me an opportunity which could only happen in the Motherland!

Saransk who….?

I received a phone call from the British Embassy asking if I would be interested to travel to Saransk to take part in a FIFA Fan Festival and perform live in front of 10, 000 supporters in the city’s main square. They had heard I had a British rock/pop music band in Moscow and were looking for someone to help fit the slot. I was surprised…..surprised first and foremost that the Embassy called me, but the first question that

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went through my head was: Where the hell is Saransk? …… Saransk – heard of it? Not many foreigners have, but this city with around 300 000 inhabitants will be the smallest city hosting some of the world’s finest footballers and their fans during the World Cup in 2018. Saransk is the capital of Mordovia, an 8 hour drive east of Moscow and has been voted Russia’s “most comfortable city to live in” 8 times - based on quality of housing, communal services and ecology. According to an Instagram statistic, Saransk people have the largest smile in the world, however, if you ask the average Russian about the city, they usually won’t have too much to say, only that maybe a distant relative once lived there!

First trip to the city

After a couple of short telephone calls, I was booked up and set off on my first visit trip to the city in

June 2014 with my band ‘October Sun’. There wasn’t much time for sightseeing, but there was an instant feel that the city was very warm and welcoming. Most Russian cities always seem powerful in their design and stature, but Saransk seemed a little more ‘homely’. We were treated like superstars, chauffeured around the city and fed like kings. Our performance was that afternoon after the band ‘Ottawan’ (you remember the song ‘Hands Up, Baby Hands Up?!’) and I as peaked out onto the main square from behind the stage, I saw the thousands of people enjoying the summer sun and there was a real party atmosphere. We finally made it onto the stage and I approached the microphone I saw a sea of people. Filled with nerve and excitement, we started with a couple of well known ‘crowd pleasers’ and then tested the water with our own material, which was well received.


World Cup 2018 After the gig, the organising committee thanked us and took us for dinner. The Head of the Committee told us how we fitted in so well and how the Saransk people enjoyed the performance, especially our material. At that point, he also asked whether we would write an official song for their city to be used for the World Cup in 2018. There was no hesitation in accepting! I mean, World Cup, music, Russia….pretty much all of the things which have been part of me for virtually all of my life. Could these opportunities ever happen anywhere else in the world? I was already engrossed in the details, and immediately asked what type of song would be appropriate. The reply was fairly simple ‘The main thing is that you like it’. We were shocked and excited….. so excited that we had written the song by the time we got back to Moscow that evening. That day is one that I will never forget.

Smile

Over the next few months, we sat in the studio, chopping and changing the song, composing and amending the lyrics. We invited a local Mordovian folk band to perform with us on the song to give it ‘cultural flavour’ and produced a

demo. The song was baptised ‘Smile’ and was sent to the Organising Committee and FIFA for its approval. We were given a green to present the song at an official presentation for all of the host cities, which was held in St P for a FIFA delegation, governors and celebrities including Gerard Depardieu (who actually is a Saransk resident!). Performing at this event meant that the song received the Administration’s ‘seal of approval’, which opened up further opportunities. We were asked to perform at the region’s most significant Russian Premier League football match between FK Mordovia and CSKA. It also meant I had another chance to explore the city more and see some of the sites which I hadn’t seen during my first visit. The match turned out to be the highest scoring game of the championship with FK Mordovia eventually losing 4 - 6. However, the game provided the city with valuable PR coverage and gave our band additional exposure to a stadium of 15 000 supporters.

Lights, camera, action

As you all probably know very well, in Russia things can often be very last minute. I received a phone call to ask if I would like to be part of the official clip for the song, which was taking place the following week. Naturally, I wanted to be involved in the clip in

some shape or form, as this was ‘my baby’ and wanted to make sure the video would fit the initial idea of the song. This was probably the moment, when I understood how U2, Lady Gaga, Coldplay and other artists probably felt when they wanted to protect their identity and ensure that their ideas were heard. I had no control over this process. I wasn’t the budget owner, I didn’t have equipment or an agency that could produce a clip of this level, but I knew that this was my only ticket to getting attention for the song from an audience wider than the Garden Ring. It was pretty paralysing to know this, but after a few heated discussions and brainstorms, I managed to cast myself as the lead role for the clip. This meant another trip to Saransk and this time, I had 4 days straight of filming and a real chance to get a feel for the city and also see how people lived in the rural parts of the region. The most humbling part of the trip was how well known the single had become. It was played regularly on the main square to dancing fountains and in the main parks of the city. Competitions for best ‘Flash mobs’ across schools had been organised and people from all walks of life were involved. I can’t describe how I felt, but it confirmed how much the city believed in our group and wanted to show their support in our journey. This unique journey still continues and will continue at least until the World Cup ends in 2018, where hopefully I will have a chance to be part of this chapter in Russia’s history and be a small part of a fantastic legacy for the city of Saransk involving my biggest passions.

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Feature We continue our series about Moscow Zoo, reported on from the animal’s point of view. Many thanks for Elena Migunova. Editor

Elena Migunova

Moscow’s

Wolves

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Reporter. Would you introduce yourselves? Tarzan. My name is Tarzan and my friend here is called Rada. We met 3 years ago, at the Zoo’s breeding station. I was born in the other zoo and Rada is from the wild! Some people saved her when she was a tiny cub, took good care of her and then later brought her to the breeding station. She is pretty friendly and calm. I liked her as soon as I first saw her. Rada. Tarzan was very suspicious at first, and didn’t like people. He kept jumping very high in his enclosure – that’s why the keepers called him Tarzan. But after we met, he became a different wolf: calm and nice. Now we are together here, at the zoo, and he is just a tiny bit cautious – especially when he hears a sound of some big trucks or lorries. But otherwise he has almost stopped putting his tail between his legs. Reporter. Are there other wolves here, or just you guys? Tarzan. Oh, there’s another couple – they live in the New Territory, in a place called Beast Island – nice location, but frightful neighbours! Imagine, there are hyenas, bears, even lions there!


Feature

Reporter. Don’t be such a chicken! They are all kept separately! It’s completely safe! Tarzan. Those wolves belong to the same species, but are different: white polar wolves. They are much older than us, but hopefully will stay at the zoo for a long time: in captivity we live up to 20 years, in the wild normally only 5 to 6 years. So, we are lucky: no predators, no hunters, plenty of food. Some days are ‘hungry,’ just like in the wild. I usually bury some pieces of meat in soil. But those crows! Ugly tricky birds… When I take nap in the daytime, they come and find my hideouts! Miserable good for nothing birds! Reporter. The crows sit close by and watch Tarzan digging closely… Sometimes they fool me, too. Rada. In the wild, our relationships with people haven’t always been very good. When they started raising cattle, they consider us dangerous competitors. They started to invent wild stories about werewolves etc. We got a bad rap – but for what? We didn’t take a lot – one or two sheep, not a big deal. Wolves were extinct in England by the 16th century, and everywhere else a couple of centuries later. Tarzan. Things began changing in the 20th century. People started

to realize that wolves help to keep the population of hoofed animals under control – we remove sick and weak animals. Finally, we came to an understanding. Reporter. But people at the Moscow zoo are different. They like you, they play with you. I hear that wolves love their back to be scratched – and so you have trained your keepers to scratch you! I also heard that you are pretty good trainers, and can educate your keepers pretty effectively. I’ve got a question -- do you eat only meat? Tarzan. Not at all! Our diet is very diversified. Not just meat, but also chickens and quails, and fish. And also cottage cheese. They bring also eggs – but I don’t like them. Every wolf has his own preferences. Rada. I sometimes like to nibble a carrot or an apple, and fresh wheat germ – even carnivores need fruit and green grass, it’s healthy. Tarzan. There are more wolves at our zoo. Not real wolves, of course, but also members of our extended family – believe it or not, members of our Canids Family live not only in Russia, but all over the world. You can see some of them here. There are dholes here. Originally they are from Asia – do you remember The Jungle Book? Maned wolves from South

America – they are sooo different, with really long legs, large ears and a short dark mane. Maned wolves are the tallest of all the wild dogs. We also have African hunting dogs – they look a bit like hyenas, but you know, appearances are deceptive. There are also the racoon-dogs. Reporter. Do you howl with them as with your pack? Rada. I’m not sure about the other wild dogs – but Tarzan and I are devoted singers. We love howling, especially in spring (which starts for animals much earlier than for people – in January, as soon as the days start to get longer. We howl in the evenings, and think about summer time… Tarzan. We can do different howls – we yelp, whine and even bark. But, of course, we distinguish ourselves by our howl. Wolves’ howls are used as greeting cards and as warnings for neighbours: this place is occupied! Howling helps wolves in a pack to communicate while hunting. Sometimes we howl to create the illusion of a larger pack, wolves use polyphony – It can help to frighten enemies away! Come back in a couple of months, we can demonstrate to you how we howl – we’ll be organising a howling concert!

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Feature

The Snack Thief

by Nikita

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hen going out for their daily walk, not all dogs have, as their primary objective the desire to run, explore and take care of their bodily needs. For mine, the real goal is to find food, because (to put it in simple terms) he is a greedy glutton. Systematically he eats bread left for the birds and not just the crumbs, the whole stale loaf. This is because in Russia, throwing bread away is a sin so it is left in the parks mainly for the benefit of pigeons. He is proving to be exceptional as well at taking freshly caught fish from the basket of fishermen. Once, free from leash and muzzle, he stole a snack from the hands of a child. And not just any snack, a croissant from Volkonsky bakery at the corner of the park, a confectionery jewel, which sells French delicacies - chic and expensive. The child was with his grandmother, the babushka; I was instantly petrified. In Russia babushka is an undisputed authority, especially in the moral field. After a moment’s thought, I grabbed the dog and began to teach him not to do it again, but also to show to the babushka that I was performing my moral duty by punishing the bad dog, who had stolen the snack from her nephew. I thought I was safe. It took just a few seconds

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(www.by-Nikita.com) for the babushka to order me to stop, telling me off and informing me that dogs should never be beaten and should definitely never be blamed. I learned the lesson. Another time walking off-leash, (dog not me) he stole a sandwich from a homeless person. I was shocked, unable to react. Instead a man who was passing by took care of it. He grabbed my dog and took it out of his mouth. He looked at me and told me: “You should be careful; these foods can be harmful to your dog’s health!” Strangely enough, the homeless man was agreeing with him! When I offered money for the sandwich, he rejected it. This made me feel even worse. This morning, my dog tried to snatch a morsel of a Volkonsky pastry with cream and raspberries from a beautiful little girl, sitting on a bench with her mother. But he was on a leash, for once, and so I was able to avoid the disaster. Satisfied with myself, I moved away, while the mother of the little girl started to chase me, wanting to give the dog, (but only with my permission), half of the pastry. I replied: “Thank you, but it’s not good for him.” Strange life isn’t it? The moral is: Russians adore dogs to the point of taking the food out of their mouth for them.


Feature

Taxis

Moscow’s John Harrison

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cold early winter morning on the garden ring. The wind and rain is whipping against my face, and my daughter is sheltering behind my back. Moscow looked as bleak as I felt on the Monday morning school run. A few cars slow down, the drivers peer through dirty windscreens, take a look at us, and drive on. Suddenly a Zhiguli pulls up, the driver indicates for me to open the door which I do, looks nonchalantly at me, I say ‘Academicheskaya,’ he grunts ‘nyet nyet nyet’ as if I was asking to drive to the moon, and drives off in a huff. Another car pulls up, and another behind that. This time, one of the drivers nods, ‘skolko?’ (how much?) I ask. He says: 350, I say 200, he drives off without even looking at me, in disgust. The next driver from one of 3 or 4 cars that has pulled up responds positively to my request and says ‘davaite,’ (OK, let’s go) and in we get. The split second the door is shut, the car’s engine emits a high pitch whine, like a mosquito on heat, even louder than the boom boom boom of the pop music. Nica and I looked warily at each other, this time it is going to be a more interesting journey than usual. At Barrikadnaya he swerves to avoid a large black jeep cutting him off from the left, whilst at the same time accelerating to protest against such ‘Novy Russkie’ driving. He swears, oblivious to his passengers. The jeep, now square in front of us, jams on his brakes hard, as a kind of punishment for

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Feature having the audacity to keep up with him. Our driver brakes hard, forcing us into the back of the front seat as we aren’t wearing seat belts (there weren’t any), our car somehow stops without hitting the jeep which has wisely started moving again, and then proceeded to hit the light speed button and disappear into the rain. In those days 10 or 15 years ago, large jeeps were nicknamed ‘innoplanitarnye’ (visitors from outer space), which in many ways, they were. Our driver accelerates in pursuit. I grab the driver’s arm, and say “ne nado, ne nado, ne nado…” (‘you don’t need to, really’). He says not to worry and points to the icons on the dashboard, smiled, perhaps indicating the Saint would look after us. I imagined the Saint closing his eyes, shaking his head, and saying majestically: “ne nado, ne nado, ne nado…” and the race continued… My colleague Kim told me about one ride he took a long time ago.. The taxi company that I used, called me 15 mins before the ordered departure time to say they don’t have a taxi. No sorry, just no have! Dressed for an exhibition and in my best shoes I trudged to the street. Hand out, and the normal parade of clapped out Zighuilis, Volgas, shake of head and drive off. This happened 3 times and the 4th car was an S Class Mercedes, he just said: ‘sit’ and took my 300. In another ride, the driver was Armenian. I managed to communicate that I had not been to Armenia, but I did know Armenian Cognac. He became my best friend for the remainder of the drive and in my happy, drunken state, I gave him my business card. Imagine my surprise when the next day his wife brought a bottle to the office for me!” We all have such recollections. In fact, in the ‘old days,’ the majority of Moscow’s taxis were gypsy cabs, and drivers were polite, and a lot of fun. As long as you smoked, liked loud music, penetrating conversation which extracted more information in the space of the journey from Sheremetyevo to the centre than your partner has ever got out of you. They were, and still are, available almost anywhere in Moscow, and their cars are getting better and cleaner because of competition from online car companies like Gett, Yandex.Taxi or Uber cab. Now the drivers might even get out of their cab to help you with your luggage, wow! Just put up your hand, be prepared to bargain, speak Russian and you are away, without the mosquito on heat and cheesy unshaved ambience. Over the last few years, Moscow’s taxis have been radically transformed. Partly because of City Hall’s ongoing battle with illegal gypsy cabs or ‘bombilas’ as they are called, and partly, as mentioned above, because of the online companies, which are forcing the ‘chastniki’ (private car owners) to clean up their acts. What happened? In 2011, newly elected Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin pitted himself against the then army of 40,000 private gypsy taxi drivers and resolved to bring some sort of order into

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what he saw as Moscow’s taxi nightmare. Private taxi drivers were required to have a permit (for their cars), and their cars to be equipped with a meter, an orange light on the roof, and checkerboard stripes painted on the side. The cars were also required to be tested every six months. The driver were supposed to have at least 5 years’ driving experience and must fill out a receipt for each journey. Quite naturally, none of this was actually applied. The legislation kept coming though. In October of last year, for example, the Duma passed a law in its first reading making it compulsory for all new taxis registered after July 1st 2016 to be painted yellow. Despite what seems like an abundance of yellow taxis, in fact only a small proportion of them – 2,500 of a total of 28,000 are painted yellow. If you book a cab by phone or through an APP, the car that picks you up will most likely not be a yellow cab. Uber was recently only given permission to continue to operate legally in Moscow if the company agreed to use officially registered taxi drivers and share travel data with local authorities. Now, only drivers with those with DoT-licensed cars will be able to drive for that company, at least that is what we are told. The real situation (gleaned from asking numerous drivers) is that they now have to have had a driving licence for at least three years, know where the main highways are in Moscow (sometimes companies are so desperate for drivers that even that condition is wavered), have a foreign car which is not older than 6 years, be a Russian citizen, and preferably Caucasian (also variable when the taxi company really needs people). That is as far as regulations go for most of the drivers go. One would think that imposing such regulations would be good news for the drivers themselves. Standards should rise and fares increase. In fact the opposite is true. Car leasing rates have gone up, some say, by as much as 30% in the last 2 years alone, and drivers spend as much, if not more on servicing their own cars if they are owners of vehicles. Meanwhile, because of competition, taxi fares have remained more or less static. Every time one company tries to introduce a hidden way of increasing fares, like charging customers for making drivers wait for them, a rival company undermines them. A taxi company quango has yet to appear in Moscow, luckily for customers like me and you. Even if a quango should appear, official cars are up against competition from the omnipresent army of drivers, the ‘bombilas’ if their prices should rise quickly. As a result of all this, when all expenses are paid, a driver will be doing well if he clears 2,000 roubles for a 12-15 hour shift. The taxi companies experience such a high turnover in staff that they are sometimes need to hire people who do not know Moscow well, sometimes not at all. Passengers have complained that drivers do not know where Moscow’s main landmarks are,


Feature including, incredibly, Red Square, as I found out during a ride the other day. However, for most expat passengers at least, that is not crucial, as modern technology makes getting lost very difficult. It can be, sometimes, problematic when the online system does not recognize a driver’s accent. This is a huge business. According to Vedomosti, there are about 120,000 to 150,000 calls for taxis each 24 hours, and 55%-77% of them are now directed towards the online companies. In an attempt to keep staff, Uber pays bonuses for recommendations for other drivers and a bonus for extra rides over the norm that the driver carries out. Gett rewards its best drivers with discount cards for petrol and an ‘Ashan’ entry card. Gett and Uber compensate drivers for parking fines and pay drivers anyway if the passenger doesn’t have any money on his credit card. Yandex works with 30,000 drivers, Gett with about 20,000 and Uber does not reveal how drivers it has on its books. Yandex.Taxi appears by far the largest company. Some drivers work for more than one company at a time, thus making it possible for them to cherry pick the best rides. A few months ago, in protest against drivers’ low wages, there was a three-day boycott of the Yandex APP by Moscow drivers. Drivers protested protest against the reduction of the minimum fare from 199 to 99 roubles. A movement has started to get

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legislation passed in the Duma to force online taxi companies to raise the bar as far as standards go, by increasing fines for unlicensed taxis. It is not clear as yet how quickly, if ever, City Hall will introduce such legislation. The next stage, however, might be to issue some kind of special taxi drivers’ licence, and special insurance for ‘chastniki.’ However regulations will be hard to enforce. The only way to prove that somebody is giving a ride to somebody else is to capture the moment that money changes hands on video, and that is not easy to do, given the hardened street savvy nature of most Moscow taxi drivers. It looks likely, however, that Sobyanin will clear all illegal taxis away from airports, railways stations, and other popular locations. In the meantime, the likes of you and me enjoy a wide range of taxi services. If you try to flag down a taxi these days, a number of ‘bombilas’ will still probably pull up, and a yellow cab might possibly turn round the corner as well. There is no guarantee, however, if you choose a yellow cab, that the driver of the cab will have his meter on, so the difference between a ‘bombila’ and an ‘official’ cab can be ambiguous. The roughly 55,000 drivers (nobody really knows) who ply Moscow streets do not bide well with rules and regulations. They are the losers and the passengers are the winners in this Brave New Moscow.

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Feature

So,This is That Nasty Russia? (Part One of Two) Paul Goncharoff

A

native New Yorker, brought up in the 1950’s and 60’s, I damn well knew what those Russkies were; pinko’s, spies, commissars and worse! At public school I regularly had to squat under my desk while the nuclear attack alarms went off, all the while our homeroom teacher barked at us to make sure our eyes were closed and our faces turned away from the windows. All that bother because the communists were especially intent on turning our school into a thermonuclear barbeque. Although born in Manhattan, my relatives all emigrated from a war torn Europe in the last years of the 1940’s. Many of their friends shared similar experiences, some escaping the Nazis, some running from the reds, all running from poverty and post war chaos. It was also the time of McCarthy, and the stamp this left on American perceptions, the ‘them against us’ view of the world. Being a fan of the Lone Ranger, Superman, Gumby and Bonanza, I teethed on us good guys always being right. My friends were a mix of the immigrant inflow to the lower east side, Russians, Chinese, Greek, Italian, East European, you name it… we were all born in America, citizens, while many of our parents were still in the process of becoming American. I noticed at an early age that many who immigrated to America became ‘Super Americans.’ McCarthy and his ilk were pansies compared to these ideological commie fighters from Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Russia. It was a worldview of absolutes, no middle ground, no compromise, just the good and bad. Much of America’s expertise on Russia and Eastern Europe was heavily composed of such immigrants who left during or just after the chaos of war. These became our Soviet experts, our cold warriors. They had a mindset largely fixed at a point in time, carried forward by their children and those they mentored with worldviews still influencing perceptions and positions in our foreign policy today. In 1976 when as a green employee I was called into the office of the chairman of our firm which was a leader in the world of Platinum and Palladium. He seemed immensely pleased that my parents were from Russia. I corrected him, my mother was from Yugoslavia and my

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father from Russia, and they met in NYC, hence me. He made me an offer I could not refuse; “Young man, you are to fly to Moscow, obtain a supply contract, and do not dare return until you have done so.” He was smiling when he said that, but this was the time of Brezhnev/ Nixon détente and anything was supposedly possible with the cash strapped Soviets. Priorities in my life then were girls, study and work, preferably in New York and not some Bolshevik heaven. Nevertheless, not thrilled at losing a good job by declining this weird opportunity, I agreed. I arrived to a place and time which was hugely different from my understanding of the usual. The Soviet Union in many ways challenged perception as the structures and priorities were so differently aligned and emphasized than anywhere else. Being a foreigner then in the USSR was unique. We could only stay at Intourist run hotels which were set up to accept us and our hard currencies, all at official rates. These hotels were the best that were available at that time; they were the peak of local luxury. This in a Soviet Union where necessities were the norm, with little that was frivolous, flashy or non-essential. It was a conservative society distilled to basics and lubricated with spirits. To an outsider from the States this was a cold, grey, strangely alien world cocooned with an undercurrent of anxiety. This was a society with a well-educated, well-read citizenry that was politely curious yet in the main disinterested in global matters that did not directly involve them. Nothing was easy; there were procedures, laurels went to the stubbornly persistent and those who knew how to operate the warp and weft of the system well enough to avoid snags. As it happened, and it was not my prime desire, my trips to and from the USSR became regular quarterly or biannual events from 1979 through 1990, when quite a bit changed. Brezhnev died, Andropov appeared, then Chernenko and finally Gorbachev as the last leader of the Soviet Union. Witnessing this period through quarterly snapshots it seemed I was looking at an old moving picture flipbook, where the changes move stutteringly forward. The wall came down in 1989, the Comecon dissolved, the Warsaw Pact disappeared,


Feature interconnecting economic ties severed, and the currency debauched. Standards of living were akin to a postwar nation where the raw basics for survival were the main concern. The collateral damage of perestroika was the total collapse of the social net, food, jobs, security, pensions, and healthcare. People had to learn and master entirely new ways to fend for themselves; however they could, as best they could. This ‘fending for oneself’ was a clear introduction to individualism, which was not considered a positive trait in the Russian culture even before the Communist revolution. This was the era of humiliation, where surviving tested the bonds of family, friends, position, expectations and hope…many failed, some did not, it was stark reality. Just after Yeltsin became the first president of Russia, I moved to Moscow, working full time. Advising and consulting various interests in the country, including the new government, and running my business that was located in Europe and USA. Having already conducted business from Vladivostok to Murmansk my past and present business contacts were a telling litmus test of regional change. The management of this new Russia in many ways was the equivalent of Americas Ivy League/ Goldman Sachs circles - these were the remnants of the party, nomenclatura, Komsomol, their friends and families. Whom did anyone trust in those disruptive days? Hence, nepotism and loyal old buddy networks, a practical and understandable path. America was largely accepted as the only trusted lighthouse which could guide Russia out of this storm, therefore any advice from America was implemented. As for the majority of Russians; they stoically picked themselves up and steadily rose from the dust of the dead and collapsed Soviet Union. It was during this time that I truly became a Russia fan. There was no roadmap to a democratic free market economy for anyone to follow. Experts who arrived to Russia to advise were theoreticians insofar as they had little appreciation for the actualities of life, or state of structures that remained from Soviet times, or the day-to-day realities on the ground, or the abysmal depth of the collapse throughout the far-flung regions. As the US and Europe were advising the Yeltsin government on how to build a Democratic Russia modeled on an ideal version of themselves, it seemed that every NGO on the planet descended on Russia. Good intentions were all the rage, inculcating trappings and nuances that every ‘democracy’ must have; independent judiciary, good governance, human rights, transparency, no corruption, women’s rights, LBGT rights, minority rights, the list went on. All ‘good’ things, but presented and made conditional at a rather awkward time. Russians by nature tend to the conservative and pragmatic. They like to act on what has a chance to work given the tools, resources, attitudes and perspective realistically available. Then on New Year’s day 2000, amid this tempest of dissonance and stresses a new President came on the scene which ushered in a new era, it was Putin’s time. Moscow. October 31, 2016

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Diplomatic

A Short Defence of the David Owens

British Embassy…

‘Long Term British Expats Scathe Their Embassy’ was a provocative headline in last month’s Edition of Moscow Expat Life. A healthy debate ensued on social media, and whilst many of the comments and complaints from individuals may have been valid, it seems only fair that the other side of the story is told. I have no role at the Embassy, no special interest in defending its reputation – but writing simply as another long-term British Expat, I would like to offer an alternative view of the work the Embassy does, and why it is such a valuable resource. But first a short history: The first embassies as we know them today can be traced back to the states of Northern Italy, with the first embassies being established in the thirteenth century. The United Kingdom (and before that, England and then Great Britain) was a little late to the party, but one of the very first nations to understand the vast trading potential that Russia had to offer. It has been sending Ambassadors to Russia since 1558. When Anthony Jenkinson first arrived in Moscow, it was strictly for business and he secured several major trade deals with Ivan the Terrible. The Ambassadors who followed were likewise tasked with securing more trade on better terms. As an island nation, trading and business was always at the forefront of a British Embassy’s work. Ambassadors Plenipotentiary (i.e. having the full authority to represent the monarch and government) had the power to negotiate trade deals and treaties. These days, when the world is much

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smaller and direct communication much easier, Ambassadors and their staff may not sign trade deals or negotiate peace treaties for the country, but they do work tirelessly to promote the interests of British companies in the host country, facilitate deals, and also to attract inward investment into the UK. The Department for International Trade (DIT - formerly UKTI) have an excellent team in Russia. Compared to other countries where I have worked, I would classify the Russian team as ‘outstanding.’ In my own personal experience, I have always found them to be extraordinarily proactive in seeking out new projects for the company where I work. The team has frequently helped to facilitate meetings at the very highest level with major Russian companies, City and Federal Authorities, and using both the magnificent Ambassador’s Residence and the (somewhat less magnificent) Embassy itself, they have hosted events to smooth the wheels of trade. The Embassy holds regular business briefings for UK companies and covers topics including economic outlook, the Russian political situation, UK-Russia bilateral relations, upcoming opportunities for British businesses – and more recently the effects of sanctions and any progress (regrettably little!) on them being rescinded. Trade missions are frequently organized to major Russian cities by the British Embassy – these are heavily-subsidised trips that allow British companies to get access to key players and decision makers in

cities where the potential for trade may have been overlooked by the companies themselves. What it isn’t, and has never been, is a social club for expats. It is funded by UK taxpayers primarily to attract trade and investment and to keep a political conversation going. The last few years have been tricky for the British Embassy (and both Consulates) in Russia – primarily because of the strident way that the UK Parliament has criticized Russian foreign policy and vociferously (and rather ludicrously, in my opinion) placed itself at the forefront of the calls for sanctions. The Embassy staff are only able to do what their political masters allow them to. In addition, the baying, clueless rabble we elect to Westminster every five years continue to cut funding and resources to the DIT and the Diplomatic Service. Career politicians, who have never worked at the coalface of business or had P&L responsibility, constantly demand ‘more for less’ – and both the Embassy’s diplomatic and Consular services have inevitably suffered. Visas have been outsourced, it takes months to renew passports, DIT have had to reduce staff numbers – a decision of mind-blowing stupidity in the wake of Brexit! Yes, there is a lot to complain about, but the complaints need to be directed at our MPs, not the Embassy staff, who still valiantly work hard to promote British interests and British business and to deliver ‘more for less.’ I have a feeling that Anthony Jenkinson would still approve of the work they do!


Culture The man who fitted a wood burner at my flat in Scotland is the inspiration to start a regular section in the magazine, dedicated to short stories. Not only did Neil install the burner extremely well, he mentioned his passion for writing, forwarding the piece below. I was impressed. If you would like your short story, to be considered for publication, please write to: editor@moscowexpatlife.ru

Neil Cross

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YOU CAN’T GET THERE FROM HERE

he watched as tiny figures drowned the bracken ocean’s rippling tide. They followed the trail which wound up the gorge, skirting the tumbled rockery she lay, her supine form, lost in shifting shadow. Cool wind spoke of celandine and crushed nettle stalk; the sticky tension of rain, maybe not to come till evening. Mingled in the mountain’s breath, something else, which despite instinct and everything her mother taught her, she could not place. Nearer, the melted figures formed into distinguishable shapes. Both Twolegs. The smaller, a girl, billowing outline gossamer bright, in the springtime sun, no threat even this close. Behind, striding purposeful, darker, taller, older, perhaps wiser, though you could never tell with a Twolegs, a man. His crumpled features, an immobile mask, as he peered after her. Pausing, he scanned the path they just trod, then plunged the chest high fern, cutting the corner, lest she swirl from his view in her haste. The path they followed led to the quarry. A few untidy slabs, shaded by a stand of twisted trees, visited by dog walkers and noisy cubs. These two, the first she’d seen, since the long nights of winter. She assumed, hikers, kids on bikes, this mismatched pair, hailed from

the angular cloud makers, which crowded the boundaries of her domain. On a clear day, in the long moments before the sky circle sank behind the edge, it was possible to pick out movement, among the sombre cubes. Each indistinct figure, haloed with a fiery mane. Sometimes she wondered if she should walk between the uniform boulders which squatted in crampsnake lines. Then she might understand why they blinked their yellowing eyes throughout the long dark. Where the stream stepped sideways, the couple paused. She on tiptoes him stooping, noses almost touching. It seemed they might settle together to the long grass and soak up the sun. Without warning the girl spun away. As she pivoted, he caught her hand. For a few moments they struggled before she pulled free, stumbling a few paces more. Turning to face him, she spoke. A single short shriek, before she moved to follow the stony path. Now the man cried, a baritone bray, baring his teeth to the youngster’s back, before starting quickly after her. Soon they would pass the granite wall which served as the porch to her lair. Their voice murmur, drifting up with the breeze, which ruffled the fur of her silvery neck. His slow and measured, bees busy on summer heather, contrasting the

chirping girl, morning blackbird to his croaking jay. No longer able to see, she snoozed and lulled by early insects in the flowers above, slept. Sometime later, the day all but passed, cool and lichen grey, she woke, ears pricked, listening hard. Moving stealthily to the edge, tested the gloom, with a practised eye. There, a withered form, the girl from the morning, shivering and pulling the now muddied covering, to her fragile frame. For long moments she watched, the gurgle-glop of the stream the only accompaniment. Rain began, a few light spots shaking the canopy, heralding the coming storm. For her, wet weather was a good time to hunt. Prey scurrying from dry place to dry place, less wary. Any telltales, marking her progress through the forest, lost to the pattering cacophony. She allowed her eyes to drift up past the prickly roof of her watchtower to the mounting banks of cloud. As the rain came in earnest she again looked down to the girl, who now stood, arms straight, fists balled, oval face turned towards the skies. For a second they each looked, each seeing the other, contact held deep, eye within eye. As the first flash of lightning fractured the sky, the girl set off at a run, back to the world from which she’d come.

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Business

Swiss Education Group – Camille Hosseini

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wiss Education Group is an alliance of four leading hospitality management schools and one Culinary Arts Academy. At each of these schools, students have the unique opportunity to undertake undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the key sectors of the Hospitality industry such as Food & Beverage, Events, Culinary Arts, Spa & Wellness, Hotel & Design, Business & Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Luxury Brand Management. These different specialisations enable students to explore and understand a booming industry in order to develop the skills, flexibility and versatility to make a career in this sector. Hospitality Management Education has become very popular because of dynamic growth in International tourism. The programmes of Swiss Education Group are tailored to the needs of this fast-growing industry and respond to requirements in the hospitality field by establishing close links with the key players in the sector. Swiss Education Group offer an education based on traditions and excellence of Swiss Hospitality trainings, focused as much on practical skills as on academic learning. Moreover, Swiss Education Group organises, twice per year, the International Recruitment Forum (IRF). This event fulfils an increasing demand from the global hospitality

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the largest provider of Hospitality Management Education

and tourism industry for access to highly qualified managers. The IRF is considered to be a not-to-be missed event, bringing talented students and future employers together. From a student perspective it gives them exclusive access to the best career opportunities and its success is growing as it attracts an ever-increasing number of professionals from the hospitality industry. From a recruiter’s perspective it is a unique opportunity to meet

and exchange information with young talents from all over the world and to attract the managers of the future. According to statistics more than 89% of SEG graduates have either started their own company or hold management position within five years of graduation. The participation of employers from around the world highlights the esteem and recognition of the schools of Swiss Education Group by industry leaders.


Business

Interview by John Harrison When did you first arrive in Russia?

Henrik Winther

President, TigRus Restaurant Holding

Henrik Winther has been in Russia for 25 years, quietly revolutionising Moscow’s casual dining scene. I interviewed him and he came out with so much interesting information that I decided not to give the material the usual edit (savage cut), but run it over two issues. This first instalment covers coming to Moscow and working with Rostislav Ordovsky when, as a partner he opened hundreds of restaurants. Editor

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I arrived exactly 25 years ago. 25 years ago, it was still the Soviet Union, it was very different then, and often people asked me why on earth I would want to come here. To answer that question, I need to return to my family history. My parents are Danish, I was born in Dallas, Texas, and I was brought up in Denmark where I studied until I was 13. I went to school there until my parents decided to move to Southern France, where they opened up a hotel and restaurant there in 1975. Opening up a restaurant as a Scandinavian in southern France, the country of culinary expertise, was most unusual. Little by little, my parents transformed the old police station they bought into a nice little place; that had a number of very nice guest rooms (apart from original cells in the cellar) and some good food, and over the years it actually got better and better. My first job was working in Chateaux de la Chevre d’Or, one of the best restaurants on Côte D’Azur. That was a great learning environment for me of how to run a quality restaurant. How did you come to go to work in the Soviet Union? Later on, after living and working in the US for a few years, I returned to France to run my parent’s business as they wished to retire. I did that for a couple of years until 1991, when on a cold, dreary, lonely, lonely day

(because there are no guests in The French Riviera in the winter), I was reading the International Herald Tribune, which I read religiously for years and years, and there was a two or three-line ad in there: ‘Looking for a restauranteur for Moscow.’ People were looking for professionals for the Caribbean, for Latin America, for China, for Japan, all over the world, but there had never ever been any mention of anybody looking for anybody in the Soviet Union. So when I saw that, I couldn’t just ignore it. I was curious. So I called him up, and the person I spoke to didn’t want to talk to me unless I sent a resume. I found out that these guys were in the process of opening up a restaurant, and needed a professional to come over and basically be a restauranteur. This was in January, and about two weeks later, they called back and asked, well how about considering the job? I said: “no thank you, I have my own business, I was just curious.” Another month and a half went by, and I got another phone call, and they said: “are you sure that you really would not like to come?” I said yes, I am pretty sure, because nothing had really changed, but nevertheless, the thought of the Soviet Union, Moscow, had started building up in me a little bit, so it wasn’t a complete refusal, so I said: “Ok, let’s talk about it, let’s look into it.” A conversation started, off and on, for a month or two, in late Spring, all of a sudden they said: “come on over, join us.” Again sitting on the French Riviera, the Spring is the time you are


Business

preparing to guests to arrive, so I said: “I cannot do it.” So we parted ways, up until the end of August, the time of the Putsch in Yalta, when they called me back and said that: “we have had some delays in construction, how about we renew our discussions?” At the end of August, I said, OK, I’ll come over and have a look. They showed me the restaurant they wanted to open, and showed me a bit of what Moscow is like in those days; where to buy products and where not to buy products, and what kind of life it would be there. The only reason one would want to come here in those days was adventure. There was no logic or rationale or otherwise that could justify moving to the Soviet Union. In 1991, I remember driving in from the airport, there was not a single street sign, or shop sign, everything was dark, grey, dirty, like the Soviet Union was supposed to look like! But very exciting, because you can imagine, I was moving to a country which at that point in time, had a population of 360 million people and it didn’t have any restaurants, at least of the kind that westerners consider to be restaurants. Here was an opportunity to come over and make restaurants and have no competition. So that’s how it started. Together with Rostislav, who had opened up Kodak in the Soviet Union in the 1980s, we opened restaurants.

He had a problem, selling Kodak products for roubles, but he had to pay his supplier in dollars, there no Dollar/Rouble conversion mechanism existed then. But, he figured out that if he opened up a ‘valuta’ (hard currency) restaurant, he could use the Kodak generated roubles to buy products in the local market for roubles (from Kodak) and the hard currency generated in the restaurant could be used to pay Kodak. Hey presto… he had a viable method for operating his business. That was the motivation for him to get into the restaurant business. That’s how we got going. The restaurants were mostly for foreigners as they were ‘valuta’ based. Business boomed because the few foreigners that did come here had no options really. You had literally a captured clientele. Then I went back to France and packed up a whole restaurant with chairs and tables and table cloths, wine, salt and pepper, coffee, furniture, food, put it all into a container and shipped it over, because there was goods here in the local market. You were manging the restaurants then? I partnered with Rostislav. He was president and he was active in the business, although he was

more involved with Kodak. I worked years for 17 years with Rostistav, and I was Chief Operating Officer until I took over presidency and CEO of Rostiks KFC which was a deal with KFC which brought KFC’s fast food operation here. I did that for a couple of years and then I started operating my own business, meaning my own restaurants rather than working for somebody else. By that time, we had opened up about 320 restaurants in Russia, most of them were ‘casual dining’ venues; Planet Sushi, Il Patio, TGI Fridays and Rostiks restaurants. Really it has been a fabulous experience because we came into virgin territory. To open up a restaurant, you couldn’t buy quality product anywhere, when we needed quality bread, we had to open up a bakery, when we needed to organise food for the restaurants, we had to open up a warehouse and import and distribution business to serve the restaurants, we had to open up a carpentry shop because you couldn’t buy wooden furnishings. We employed a lot of expats then, so we needed lots of personal cars, so we had to open up an automobile maintenance work shop, and so on… You ended up with a large corporate infrastructure The point was, you had to do everything yourself, there was zero infrastructure.

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Business

4th Moscow Business Networking Club (September)

T

he 4th Moscow Business Networking Club was the busiest yet with scores of business executives descending on NightFlight towards the end of September. The feeling was that after the long summer, Moscow was now back at work, and there we were, involved in serious networking. This time, not only were numbers well up, but the variety of backgrounds,

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professions, topics of conversations were — interesting. With minimal speeches and no presentations, the Moscow Business Networking Club is bringing people together to meet and discuss potential business and co-operation. Aided by the excellent team at NightFlight, good food and free flow drinks, this event is now well established as the premier business networking club in Moscow.


Business

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Business

How to Arrange a Perfect Move Interview with Filipp Kashpar

Filipp Kashpar, CEO Terra Moving

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Business

I

f you just came to Russia, most probably you have on a 2-3 year contract, and you have a good stretch of time ahead, so you don’t have to worry about your next move. Besides, who knows, you may fall in love with Russia (or some beautiful Russian man or woman) and never return home! However, if your stay is coming towards an end, you must be looking for a solution on how to move out your personal effects and household goods with a minimum of time and financial losses. Below are a few things you need to do in order to organise your move in the most efficient way. The market of moving companies in Moscow is overloaded with companies but most of them do not handle international moves. If you need one that has experience handling international moves, that means one that can handle custom clearance, the number of companies comes down considerably. The most obvious way is to find one is to open the IAM (International Association of Movers) website and check the list of members in Russia. The site is a bit complicated; you need to find ‘Member Directory’ in the ‘Membership’ column on the right side. You will be surprised how many registered movers there are in Russia. Choose as many as you want and send them emails, with quotation requests. Essential information you need to supply is origin and destination addresses, your contact information and

approximate volume of your household goods (or a list of items). Note that all major moving companies provide a free survey service in order to calculate the volume of your shipment and predict possible difficulties and extra costs (such as for acquiring documents from the Ministry of Culture for paintings and other valuable items of art). The Surveyor is a ‘visiting card’ of a company. You can get an impression of how professional that company is by how the surveyor looks and acts. The first companies that will send you their proposal most probably will be the most organized when it comes to operational processes. If you have to wait too long for reply, it may mean that managers are either overloaded or disordered. This is a bad sign. Once you receive a quotation, check the list of services very carefully as you may notice some of them may contain hidden extra charges. Some of these charges – such as customs’ or port charges will take place in any case so make sure

the cost is either included or at least mentioned. Others, such as customs’ examinations are possible but may also never take place. Fragile items may need wooden crating in order to avoid transportation damages. If a mover has not included crating for your TV, statue or paintings, it would be better to ask how much all this will cost. Do not count on insurance, as it never covers full replacement costs and not everything can be repaired. Once you have calculated the cost just choose your winner. Once you’ve chosen a mover and agreed on a packing date, there is nothing else to worry about. Packers will bring in all the packing materials they need for the job. You will only need to provide the move manager with scans of your documents and notarized power of attorney so that a custom broker could represent you at customs and handle all the formalities without your presence. Once you arrive at your destination, a local moving company partner will contact you in order to obtain documents required for import formalities. Each country has its own customs rules and requirements, so it depends on where you are doing. But usually the most complicated part is in Russia.

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Business Michael Byrne is one Moscow’s iconic expats. Like the rest of us, he has weathered a few storms here. Through sheer determination and talent, he has made it through to the other side. His current position as managing director of Schouten Global Russia is perhaps his greatest achievement so far. In this interview, Michael tells us about how he came to Russia, some of his experiences living in Russia and what he is doing now.

Michael Byrne met and lost my heart to the most beautiful, talented amazing woman who would change my life and career path forever and finally I was offered a job. What else did I need? It was Russia for me. Very briefly, how has your career panned out here?

Michael, how and why did you come to Russia? Life has a wonderful way of surprising you, so I suppose mine could be described as ‘I saw that going differently in my mind.’ I had been to Russia during the 90’s, to deliver training but I did not return again until 2007, ten years after my first mind blowing Russian cultural experience and things had changed… a lot. Through a series of highly unlikely events and chance meetings I decided to stay. What happened? Well first I met my ten-year old Russian brother, then I

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I had no planned career path when I first came here and by chance was offered a job with a Project Management company developing an ISO Quality Manual for them, but as I had a strong sales and training background this evolved into me heading up their sales team. Having no Russian language, in a market I didn’t understand and without the support of a large international organisation behind me made this one of the most exciting and challenging times of my life. As my business network was non-existent and I knew no one I had to quickly change this by attending every business networking and social event I could

Interview by John Harrison possibly go to and meet people and connect. Three years later and after the 2008 crisis a new opportunity presented itself and with my then girlfriend, who was a very experienced and talented Director in the call centre world, we started our own outsourced call-centre operation. What are you doing now? Currently I am the General Director of Schouten Global Russia. I started working with Schouten last year and was taken on to further develop the Schouten brand and business presence here. The last 18 months have been very exciting and challenging as we have gone through a massive transformational change, strengthen the Schouten brand position, re-evaluate our service offerings, introduce new procedures and put a bright, fresh new team together. One that was creative, inspirational and passionate. Looking back to my first few months in St. Petersburg and


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what we, as a team, have created makes me very proud of everyone. The ship is ‘only as strong as its crew’ as they say. There is still a long race ahead of us and the Russian market still presents many challenges but they are challenges we are ready to meet. What makes Schouten in Russia different? In today’s VUCA world, powerful leadership and optimal teamwork are crucial. Strong leaders are able to manoeuvre their organisations, avoiding threats and leveraging opportunities. They are capable of forming the best teams (multicultural), managing them with maximum inspiration and motivation. They make essential choices, can deal with pressure and are focused on achieving the goal they defined. Successful teams are capable of achieving better results than teams that are not as well-developed and balanced as a group. Our difference then is our ability to develop leaders and teams by influencing behavioural change and building learning journeys. Such journeys are based on the individual’s own personality. Personal skills are developed and managers are developed so that they become hybrid managers; able to operate in changing circumstances and environments. Relating to team development, Schouten offers the right tools to make teams more effective and efficient. Schouten develops leaders and teams that are larger than life. No mountain is too high, no ocean too deep for them.

Are you saying that traditional training methods don’t work in Russia? No, but ask anyone who has attended a soft skills training program and they will probably tell you that while they may have left the program inspired and excited about what they learned, they came out fundamentally ‘unchanged.’ Despite their best intentions, they simply could not successfully integrate the theories and practices they learned and soon forgot them all together. Context is king and the first spend should be to ensure that the program is relevant to the learner and reflects the company’s strategy and values. To think that a program built in 2001 or back in the 1990’s magically fits (and needs no customisation) in 2016 is farcical – and yet it happens. Discovery, focus groups, tailoring and a passion to ‘get it right’ must be part of any training budget in order to make the learning stick. Training designs should emphasize engagement, discovery and creative use of visuals. People learn when they are fully engaged – and will remember what they say, not what you say. Does being a member of a team, like crew in a yacht race come naturally to Russians? For me working internationally has over the years allowed me to experience different cultures and working in an international environment enables you to see how different people interact. If you ask me and my Russian team they would say that being a part of any team, like a yacht team if you will, doesn’t come

very naturally to Russians, although that is changing. Russian mentality has historically been of a closed type implying everybody fights for themselves in common situations. However, the Russian people are genetically predisposed to turn into the most united and the most collaborative team when they have to. As the Great Russian poet Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev wrote, ‘Russia cannot be understood with the mind alone, No ordinary yardstick can span her greatness: She stands alone, unique – In Russia, one can only believe.’ Does living in Russia make it difficult to live anywhere else? It is an interesting question to ask John and I would have liked to have heard my answers after my first and fifth years here. For me, Russia is a place where I feel both completely at home and completely alien. What would make leaving Russia hard are all the things I would miss. I would miss the beautiful Soviet metro stations — the stained glass, the marble, the statues and I will definitely miss that you rarely have to wait more than a minute or two for a train. I would miss the parks. Both in the summer when they are alive till the late hours and the winter when they are transformed in to glittering ice-skating rinks. I would miss the European feel of Saint Petersburg and the street musicians that creep out from every corner. I would miss the fact that you can get antibiotics and just about anything else over the counter. I would miss the constant changes that have and are still taking place. I would also miss the Russian people and the strong friendships I have made.

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Business

By Kim Waddoup Networking – What is Networking? How to prepare and how to gain the maximum from an event. Networking: ‘to socialise for professional or personal gain.’

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have been networking for so long that I can’t really remember when I started! I also cannot recollect how I found out what to do! I guess that I am one of the lucky ones to whom networking comes naturally! Before you choose which event to spend your valuable time on, look and see what the focus of the event is. Is it really business networking? Am I going to spend my money/my company’s money and get something more than a hangover in return? ‘Business networking’ is a well-abused catch phrase. Most business clubs organise networking for their members, but it is often the same crowd which may be good, in that it is an opportunity for you to consolidate contacts. A great deal depends on your job/your position and what your aims are.

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Many organisations offer business networking in Moscow, and it is quite easy to see if the event is going to be primarily social or business. Maybe social networking is what you need to establish more friends in town? If so, you will generally see that the fairer sex outnumbers the male population by two or even three to one! It will probably be fun, forget your business aims and just gather telephone numbers! There is a vast choice of events now in Moscow and you can find them on Facebook or Meet-Up. If there is no entrance charge, you just buy your own drinks and food. However, if it is commercial, with an entrance fee, ask if they are legitimate and can provide you with a tax receipt. Technically, you are breaking the law if you just pay cash and receive no receipt!

Business networking is generally for 2 purposes. The first is to meet, to get to know and cultivate people/ contacts who can be potential business partners or generally useful for your business, and the second is to make contact with people who, if impressed, may be able to offer a better employment position. There are many levels of Networking, from basic (with horrible stick-on badges) to highly sophisticated utilising aps and other wizardry to enable you to meet with people that you have not been able to contact before. So, if you have never been to a business networking event before, how do you prepare? Some organisations have online booking procedures that allow you to see who is coming, however the majority utilise Facebook and then have an actual turn-out rate of under 30%,


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so any research you may have done is mostly useless. Probably the two most important tips to remember are business cards and bad breath! It is amazing how many people go to networking events and then say, “Sorry but I forgot to bring my business cards!” How can you make contact if you forget the singularly most important tool that you have! OK, technology allows our phones to mate in the most surreptitious ways, but normally as one is meeting, it is the formal exchange of cards that starts the conversation. I don’t think that I have to say much about bad breath, but you are not going to be speaking to people for very long if you suffer from this! Some countries have a great deal of etiquette around business cards and their presentation, especially in Asia. In Moscow it is generally polite to offer either an English or a Russian card or a double sides card. Whilst many of the people you are meeting speak English, it shows respect and politeness to your hosts if your details are also in Russian. There does not appear to be any special way to pass over the cards, in fact this is often quite a juggling feat with a glass also in hand! Remember to also respect the card that you have received as it indicates your sincerity. Best to have a double-sided card holder, one side for your cards and one for cards received. Generally, at a networking event, conference etc., people are open to talking without formal introductions, after all, that’s why most are there! When I arrive I will

generally tour the room to see who might be of interest. Whilst I will acknowledge friends and previous acquaintances I generally prefer to look for new people, as my aim is to extend my contact radius. Don’t make the mistake of walking in, meeting old friends and then not meeting anybody new! If there are standing tables, then grab a table. As people take food you will be surprised how popular you become when you have space at your table. However always introduce yourself and get their cards before the feast begins. As the evening progresses and people relax with the help of alcohol, it is generally easier to approach and enter into conversation. If you approach a small group, don’t just barge in, rather wait for them to acknowledge you and introduce you to others. Generally speaking, business networking does not finish late, so there is often an opportunity to join some groups as they move on to other establishments, further cementing the contacts that you have made. However, meeting people face to face at a networking event is only a small part of the procedure. All your hard work will come to nothing if you do not make follow-ups. Some of the contacts made will require individual emails reminding them of your promise to supply them with further details, some may be expecting your CV. For other more general contacts a short email making further contact and describing what you do is sufficient. Always aim to achieve this within 24 hours for maximum effect.

I personally find LinkedIn* the best way to log new contacts and to be able to find some months later. If you are like me with an extensive list of contacts and approaching the limits, you can only make contact through LinkedIn by entering their email address. It’s on their card so now you can accomplish this! Facebook is rather special in Russia with many foreigners being quite surprised when business contacts request to become a ‘friend’ and many, Europeans especially, keep Facebook only for friends and family and are not keen to add business contacts there, especially people that you only met the evening before! It is also important to evaluate the event. Did I get my money’s worth and favourable new contacts? Did I feel that I received value for money with the venue and the services provided? How was the quality of the visitors, as sometimes a price level ensures a higher quality. If you did, you will go again?’ if you did not then you will have to keep looking for suitable events! About the Author: in addition to being the Publisher of Moscow expat Life, Kim has been an ardent networker in Moscow for most of his 20+ years. Seeing many of the smaller business clubs being unable to hold their own events, he created the Moscow Business Networking Club to provide executives in Moscow with high quality and effective business networking events. * ‘at the time of going to press, LinkedIn is currently unavailable in Russia”

Free Classifieds! Advertise for free in Moscow’s community Classified Advertisements http://moscowexpatlife.ru/classified-ads/

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Business

Moscow Business Networking Club, November 2016.

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Business

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Business

Why Foreign Accounting Providers?

Alexei Spirikhin, Director, Alinga Consulting

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or many multinational companies, outsourcing accounting functions has become the corporate standard, and access to new markets is accompanied by the search for a suitable local provider. Although major Russian players have appeared on the market, foreign businesses still prefer foreign providers (with western owners and/or management). In my view, there are six main reasons for why this happens.

The most extensive and relevant experience in the market The first outsourcers in Russia were foreign companies that arrived in the country in the footsteps of western business in the early 1990s. Representing the interests of foreign customers before the tax authorities, day in and day out they acquired tremendous expertise and an impressive pool of customers from different industries. Providers with experience working in Russia for 1520 years and with a large number of foreign customers in their portfolios naturally inspire confidence.

Qualified English-speaking professionals The specific nature of working with foreign customers influences the personnel policy of foreign owned accounting providers. English-speaking

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accountants are recruited who can competently prepare management reports and financial statements that comply with international standards, who can personally advice the customer, and who can familiarize themselves with documents and standards sent from the headquarters. For example, at Alinga we compile a ‘reporting package’ for the Head Offices of several Italian clients. The instructions are prepared in English by the group auditors (usually Big 4) at the Head Office and sent over for us to review and apply. Without English language skills our staff would not have managed such tasks.

Extensive experience using information technologies Foreign owned providers are accustomed to working with a wide variety of premium, high-level software programs; their western customers differ from their Russian ones because of their greater degree of business process automation. Therefore, fine-tuning of everyday interaction between the customer and provider takes place quickly and constructively.

Expertise Western businesses in Russia are turning to foreign providers to improve the stability of their operations against the backdrop of constantly changing local legislation. They are also doing so to gain access to the expertise of outsourcing: the best accounting and reporting practices, as well as successful case studies of other foreign companies. Providers who solve dozens of crucial problems for their foreign customers every day have an extensive knowledge base and are able to provide balanced and well-formed

counsel on a number of issues faced by customers.

The ability to replicate corporate standards Foreign accounting providers have the necessary knowledge and experience to uphold a customer’s corporate standards in the areas of payroll, HR administration and management reporting as well as in the area of confidentiality.

Specializing in accounting functions The main industry ranking prepared each year by the Expert Rating Agency clearly demonstrates that the largest and leading Russian players in the market today are primarily audit and consulting groups. Provision of outsourced accounting functions in general, and financial and tax accounting in particular, is a secondary rather than a primary type of activity. Foreign providers, on the other hand, often specialise precisely in the accounting function. It is a key business process for them, and one which they have a great interest in developing and improving. This approach scores them points in the eyes of foreign companies, ensuring long-term cooperation, stability and quality of work. This is a really powerful argument when choosing a provider and one whose validity I can personally confirm. My company works primarily with foreign businesses and is also focused on outsourcing financial and tax accounting as the most sophisticated and popular service sought out by clients. This service is responsible for more than 60% of our earnings.


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What is Blockchain? by Andrei Povarov

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merging technologies can become disruptive. This happens when innovations they introduce lead to drastic changes in business, economy, and quality of life. Russia – and specially Moscow – is today becoming a hub of various technology pilots, of some of the most recent, influential and sometimes the most expensive to implement innovations. Moscow already benefits from many of them on a day-to-day basis. And all of us are surrounded by these new ideas; long-term plans are announced, practical projects are suggested etc. Examples of Disruptive Technologies are concepts such as ‘Big Data’ or ‘Internet of Things.’ Surprisingly, however, a word that is becoming the buzz-word technology – Blockchain, is something that we might never have heard about, and this is bigger than all of these. What is Blockchain? A few years ago, in 2008, it existed solely in the

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form of a white paper written by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto. We do not know whether this was a real person or not, but his research, and the open code he published have started what we see today as a new industrial revolution. And the first act of this was the successful launch and world-wide acceptance of a new global peerto-peer payments system – Bitcoin. The implementation of Bitcoin was based on Blockchain technology, similar to the way in which an application is built on top of an operating system. Bitcoin made governments and businesses seriously consider Blockchain

as a reliable base for mission-critical future applications – and not only payments-related applications. What is so special about Blockchain and why could this technology be so attractive? First of all, it enables fast and secure peer-to-peer transactions between participants – players who should not need to trust each other – in a total absence of a trusted third party. Instead of banks carefully verifying our credentials, Blockchain mathematics are sufficient to secure transactions. Thus a trust in central authorities is replaced by a trust in algorithms. How does it work? All ongoing transactions are verified and assembled into blocks, and each block is securely and irrevocably attached to the rest of an already existing chain of such blocks (hence the name – block-chain). Not only the sequence of the blocks, but also their internal content can’t be changed so whatever has entered


Business Blockchain is immutable until the end of time. Verification involves going through the whole chain and making sure the initiator of a transaction (e.g. sender of a cryptocurrency unit) has enough power to perform it based on historical transactions done by him in the past. Verification is fulfilled by the collective efforts of users reaching consensus through a finetuned mathematical ‘game’ with substantial computing processing power applied. The algorithms are designed so that it is extremely hard (although not impossible) to falsify a transaction – enormous computer power would be required and its cost would actually be much more than the expected gain. Furthermore, in such an event, the trust to this particular cryptocurrency would be destroyed and the beneficiary will lose most of the value obtained in such way. How about the size of quickly growing chain of blocks? And where is it stored? Everywhere. Indeed, it is replicated on every single participating computer of each user. And with the right data structures the Blockchain size is well manageable – e.g. Bitcoin’s chain takes less than 100GB today. As mentioned above, Blockchain can keep an open log of whatever has entered the chain (user identities or selected parts of the log may remain hidden). This brings on board a large group of applications called Distributive Ledgers maintaining digital records of who-owns-what, but unlike traditional systems, there is no central administrator or a central data base, thus no vulnerability or bad will at a central point. For example, if you need a confirmation paper from a state registry regarding your property rights or civil acts that you have undertaken, in the Blockchainbased economy you will get it instantaneously from your own PC (or any public PC), in a fully secure way (your private crypto-keys will

guarantee this) and with no risk of a registry bureau’s central server going down, thus postponing your actions for whatever security checks or technical reasons. Not only the recording, but making more involved changeof-ownership operations with property or other assets, is managed by Smart Contracts applications. They extend the concept of payments (cryptocurrencies) to any value transfer and enable the adding of self-verifiable conditions to its fulfilment. Smart Contract applications make it possible to release deposits at a specific moment in time, based on other pre-requisites secured within a contract logic etc. An army of real estate agents and lawyers will have to find new jobs when this technology takes over. In Russia, Blockchain is being actively discussed, and practical development is taking place. Small start-ups and large companies are involved, as well as government and public institutions. In 2016, the influence of the Blockchain idea become so strong that a discussion which has lasted for over two years between different Russian authorities, trying to develop a single position on cryptocurrencies seems finally to be over, and the threat of a cryptocurrencies ban will not materialise. On the business side, the most active participant is the payment service QIWI. They even proposed to introduce a Bitruble in 2015, but this has not been accepted by the authorities. Qiwi’s director general has been recently appointed to lead the FinNet working group of National Technological Initiative, working on decentralized financial technologies. QIWI, as the very first Russian member, has joined the R3 Blockchain Consortium. R3 aims to deliver advanced distributed ledger technologies to the global financial markets uniting more than 60 financial institutions worldwide (such as Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Bank

of America, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sacks, BNY Mellon, ING, HSBC, Banco Santander, Nordea, Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS). Many government and public organizations are currently pretending to be in Blockchain projects, however in most cases there is no real project running or even conceived. In some rare cases, things are better. A National Settlement Depository has been developed and has tested a sample of a Blockchainbased electronic voting system. But their next step specified as ‘to perform security assessment’ shows that the path to production is still extremely long. On the cryptocurrency level, most of the major cryptocurrencies are ‘in circulation’ in Russia. In Moscow there are at least two physical cryptocurrency-to-rouble exchange points operating with 4-5 cryptocurrencies at any one time. What is my general advice? Do always check how close to realisation the declared project is in Russia. In the commercial sphere remember that for Blockchain to work within a specific ecosystem, all of its participants have to adopt it. To summarize, we are witnessing the opening the first pages of a new exciting book – a Blockchain driven economy. In few years’ time we should be able to fully enjoy the benefits of Blockchain-based applications in our day-to-day life. There is no mystery in Blockchain as a technology – it is based on a relatively simple idea implemented by elegant mathematically and practically proven algorithms. But the magic is in converting an allcumbersome centrally-based economy to quick, easy, reliable ones. This will significantly reshape our economy and will bring a new quality of life. And right now Blockchain – this new Disruptive Technology – is at the very beginning of its inevitable massive adoption.

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‘Jobhunting for the Greyhaired’ – working into your 50s. Does anyone (still) need you? Luc Jones

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ot so long ago, I turned 40, which back home (In Britain) would be an excuse for a huge party yet in Russia this particular anniversary is considered superstitious and isn’t celebrated with gusto. Luckily, I was abroad on that particular ‘life begins at 40,’ day but it got me thinking about my future in the workplace. Every year Antal places almost 1,000 mid-tosenior level people into new jobs in the CIS region, yet our most recent salary survey showed that only around 1% of these are aged over 50. Surely this isn’t purely a Russian phenomenon? In fact, the problem seems to be even more acute in more established markets where people are living even longer. Having said that, Russia seems to suffer less from an ageism problem that many Western countries. Many expats celebrate the fact that they are able to work in Russia whilst they are often well past their ‘sell by date’ in the West.

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As global longevity increases, European governments in particular have been forced to make unpopular announcements that their population of working age citizens will be required to toil for several more years before they can qualify for a State pension. At the same time, many business commentators readily admit that if you were to lose your job in your 50s, you are likely to find it extremely difficult to get yourself back into decent, permanent employment. Yet all the talk from major employers is about Millennials; the focus is very much on attracting and engaging generations Y &; Z, with even generation X-ers beginning to worry about their future. So what chances do the Baby Boomers have, and can anything be done to influence this situation? Let’s begin by looking at the symptoms: candidates can be guilty of pricing themselves out of the market or losing self-motivation and failing to engage with their staff. Managers can also be accused of moonlighting. In a


Business recent assignment we were asked to replace the Country Manager of a particular organization as he was only seen in the office three days a week. Another General Manager decided to hedge his bets and was found to have built up a network of other business activities, some of them even competing with his main job! Secondly, self-awareness and planning are crucial as losing your job can happen much more quickly than one might expect. There are businesses which cease to exist as a result of an acquisition, and the inevitable fall-out of duplicating personnel; other firms plan redundancies due to lower-than-expected performance during tougher times. Some may pull out of the Russian market altogether thanks to the Russian economy being viewed as a liability, perceived or otherwise by their regional or global HQ. It is also crucial not to over-estimate your importance. Yes, you have done a great job of growing the business from $1m to $10 million but don’t forget that you have been paid (& most likely bonused) for this already. Past successes rarely secure your future in an organization; nobody will be interested in your old stories anymore, in particular your new boss and those staff who joined afterwards. A prospective employer would want to know if you capable of now taking it from $10m to $100m. Engagement is also key. Do you consider your staff to be fully engaged or are you already living in a different world, far removed from the day-to-day running of the business? You can easily check this if you run meetings and presentations. Try to measure both the amount of time, and the frequency your people use their mobile phones and gadgets, surfing social media during your talks. One tactic is that the best form of defence is attack, rather than sitting around and waiting to be contacted. Openly talk about possible moves with your superiors, colleagues and HR. The initiative that you are, for example, ready to take a step forward, backwards or sideways, such as to become an ‘advisor’ to the next generation should come from you. Finally, how tech-savvy are you? Is your Linkedin profile up-to-date, and have you added all your colleagues, ex-colleagues, clients, partners and key people whom you studied with? Your profile should be kept fully updated not only during an urgent job search or after you have been made redundant (by which time it’s possibly too late; you’ll come across as desperate), containing information on your achievements, responsibilities and achievements which help you to stand out from the crowd. Don’t be afraid to seek advice from those younger than you who have only known life glued to their iphone, and on that note, don’t underestimate the power of social networks which you may consider to be irrelevant to the business world. Facebook might appear to be a world away from work but in Russia can be valuable source of information – just check out some of the groups you can join. In the case you find yourself ‘surplus to requirements’,

there are some steps you can take and also some things to avoid: do let people know that you’re now available, both on social media and in person (& don’t think that you are too important/cool/proud/busy to do this). Yes, it might have come as a shock and/or a blow to be let go after so many years of diligent service to your employer but that’s all in the past now. Your ego might be bruised but you need to get the word out that you’re now available for new opportunities. Don’t take it personally and certainly don’t ever badmouth a former boss or company (either in writing or in person). Oh, and don’t even think about feeling sorry for yourself; it’s just business. Do look at what your key attributes are and more importantly where they could be put to good use. Does your company have global operations, and if so, is there a place for you in another market? Loyalty might count for little but a strong track record together with positive words from your co-workers, especially those in high places can work wonders, particularly if your skills are transferable and you are flexible with regards to new locations. Don’t expect to be instantly re-hired on the same salary/package as you were previously on. If you were posted to Moscow & paid in Euros or $US, once the rouble crashed, you suddenly became twice as expensive as a local hire, and that’s before taking into account your generous Expat package. Today, a Russian will happily do your job for a rouble salary and won’t need copious add-on benefits. If you wish to remain in Russia, you will almost certainly have to accept a local salary (and before you ask, yes – I am on one myself; and always have been). Do be realistic and flexible in terms of the type of job you are ready to accept. You may well have been a General Manager in your last posting but the more senior you become, the fewer such vacancies there are, and most companies prefer to promote from within, wherever possible. Don’t simply wait for the offers to roll in. Be proactive and reach out to former clients, colleagues and friends. Send them an updated CV but more importantly add some bullet points to your letter stating where you can add value to the organization. Most jobs are never advertised and just because there isn’t an actual vacancy doesn’t mean that management isn’t considering making a change as the existing person is thought to be underperforming. I have witnessed numerous examples of companies creating a position for a good person. Consequently, if you are over 50 and reading this, my hope is that you will be contacting us (Antal Russia) to help recruit staff for your expanding organization since you are doing an excellent job. With any luck, your regional superiors have given you the green light to go ahead and make additional hires; not because you have recently found yourself on the scrapheap and ready to accept almost anything simply to remain in Russia. You’re only as ‘old’ as you feel, so your future is indeed in your hands.

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Will President Trump be good for Russia? Chris Weafer

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hile many in America, and in many other countries around the world are openly fearful of how the Trump presidency may impact them and their way of life, in Moscow there is a clear sense of relief. That relief is not so much out of a firm conviction that President Trump will be good for Russia but more from a sense that Russia has dodged a bullet. Relations between Washington and Moscow would either have deteriorated under a Clinton presidency or, at minimum, not improved. Ahead of the late January inauguration of Donald trump, there is at least a sense that conditions are being put in place which will allow for calmer or pragmatic relations and this will be good for investment and the economy. But, is that assumption overly naïve, i.e., the default assumption in a bitterly contested election, or can both countries now enter a new friendlier phase? There is no doubt that Russia, in particular the perception of Russia in the western media, has suffered considerable collateral damage during the latter part of the US presidential election. The Kremlin was all but accused by US security agencies of hacking into the Democrats’ email system and that translated as an indisputable fact in the media. President Putin was vilified as deliberately interfering in the election process. The reality is that no matter what Trump may personally want, it will not be easy to simply suppress all that bad feeling and pretend it never happened. The relationship between Washington and Moscow is today as bad as it has ever been since the end of the Soviet Union. Many people believe that the two sides are close to entering a new Cold War while others now accept that to be already the case. So let’s assume that President Trump will, at least initially, be more open to rebuilding a better relationship with President Putin. What can he actually do to make that happen? The first point to make is that while Trump will make all key decisions, the direction of his administration’s foreign policy is expected to be orchestrated by Vice President Pence and by his Foreign Secretary. They are expected to take a more pragmatic stance and will likely have to negotiate with Congress and other vested interests in order to progress the administration’s policy

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priorities. As we heard in the election campaign, these are almost entirely domestic. President Trump will have to engage in a lot of old-style political horse-trading with Congress and with government agencies to get support for his more important domestic policies, such as immigration control and trade protection. Geopolitical policies may have to be given up, diluted or changed to facilitate such deals. Syria is still expected to be the most contentious and dangerous issue both sides will have to deal with in the near future. A calming of events in the Levant in early 2017 seems like wishful thinking at this stage so both sides will still be engaged in the conflict. President Trump cannot afford to be seen weak, either in front of his military or internationally, in what is likely to be his first geopolitical test. The question is whether Russia and America will start to cooperate, or stay out of each other’s way or whether there may be an increasing risk of a conflict? There is also a question mark over how much involvement the new Administration will wish to have regarding Ukraine. There is no evidence that President Trump has any personal interest in events in Ukraine. Very likely he will be more inclined to make clear it is Europe’s problem to solve and let Germany and France take a lead in negotiations with Kyiv and Moscow. Here also the Vice President is expected to have more of a hands-on role than the president. The previous hope for even a first step reduction in financial sector sanctions by the EU in January now seems completely extinguished. The accusations over Syria and the demonizing of Russia in the US election have almost certainly put paid to that. The EU is expected to roll over sanctions for another six months and review again in June. Any adjustment then also seems like wishful thinking at this stage but of course a lot can happen in a six-month period, not least of which will be the French Presidential election and the UK either triggering the Brexit and/or facing an early general election. One potentially positive factor may be that the big US corporations who have important business in Russia may get better access to the new administration than they had with the Obama administration. Many businesses which have profitable operations in Russia or who rely on Russia as a source of critical materials are


Business

expected to try and press for at least a more pragmatic and less confrontational relationship for the next four years. After all, one of Trump’s consistent messages over the past two years is that he is pro-business. The relationship between both sides may also depend on whether the escalating show of strength between Russia and NATO continues. Moscow very publicly sailed part of its northern fleet through the English Channel and is regularly accused of buzzing NATO airspace with military aircraft. NATO has been building forward bases in the Baltic countries and also deploying navy ships near Russia’s coasts. A step back by both sides would be a clear sign of the hoped for pragmatism while an escalation, especially in the early days of the new US administration, will be taken as a very bad signal by investors and businesses. Beyond any initial enthusiasm for a Trump victory by the political nationalists and media commentators in Moscow, the real concern may be that Trump is completely unknown and untested in geopolitics; a black box. It is unknown how he may engage with China over that country’s expansion in the South China Sea or indeed how he would have reacted to the events in Ukraine in March 2014. That will worry the Kremlin as much as leaders in other capital cities. In reality while geopolitical perception is very important, especially for big international businesses worried about reputation as much as financial risk, whether Russia becomes an attractive investment location again will be decided by the actions of the government in Moscow and not in Washington. The country has survived the last three years of sanctions and low oil revenues remarkably well. But resilience, a not inappropriately overused word to describe the economy, is not enough. Russia needs to get back to the targeted 3.5-4.5 per cent annual growth the country needs to boost investment and restore both business and consumer confidence. Making that happen is almost entirely in the hands of the Kremlin administration and the government. The list of what needs to be done is very clear. In that sense the more important election will be that scheduled for March 2018, and the policies prioritized by the administration after that, and not the election just completed on the other side of the world.

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Business

Women’s Careers: 5 Career Killers You Thought Were Your Best Strategies Mistake Number One: ‘Be Perfect.’

Were you an ‘A’ student in school? Or have you seen those girls, with perfect outfits, perfectly sharpened pencils, and perfect grades? Were you a top performer at school, you always did your homework? Well, now you can forget about it. Welcome to the real world: nobody cares how perfect your handwriting is. In this real world, competitors are hounding your clients, while you perfect your reports. The ‘A-grader’s’ mistake is that she plays too closely to the rules, and tries to please the teachers. The corporate world doesn’t play by school rules, and there are no teachers (or adults) but yourself.

Mistake Number 2: ‘Be A-Sexual’

By Olga Lavrinenko, Career strategist, Executive coach (Olga supplies a contemporary Russian view on the workplace for Russian women, it makes interesting reading. Editor.)

E

ntering the corporate world is not easy for a woman. Succeeding in a corporate job and keeping our femininity, is even harder. Should a woman dress up and flirt in the office? Should she bring her radiance and charm to her day routine? Will it help her career …and will it help the business? Throughout my own corporate career of 15 years, and the years spent helping managing careers of my clients, I have noticed a few major errors which we women make. These mistakes are like poisonous pills; they rapidly bring our careers down, and put our careers at stake. They slowly but inevitably kill our selfesteem, our radiance, and – our careers.

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You do not want to be seen as a woman, so you cut your hair short. Forget about high heels and a low cut blouse. You dress in business suits, dark colours, matching jacket and skirts. In trousers, you walk fast and take large steps. Big gestures. Have you seen robots? That is now your style. And most important – forget about flirting, even the idea is banned! Forget feelings and emotions in the office. Being joyful, being sad, smiling and laughing – prohibited from now on and forever. What happens to you then? You are not a woman, not a man. You are a walking office zombie. Do zombies have great careers? And if your boss happens to be autocratic and patriarchal? Somebody who believes women should better stay at home and raise kids? He would kill your career – and your self-confidence – sooner or later. The only way to disarm him gracefully is to use your shy smile, soft trembling fingers and that deep look in the eyes… And please remember from now on: your deep décolleté is your best argument.


Business

Mistake Number 3: ‘Play small‘

And keep silent. I was 25 when I got a super job with General Electric at their European Headquarters. That was a big step for my postMBA career. I was invited to Board of Directors meetings. I watched senior grey-haired men talking about marketing strategies and was so impatient to stand up and tell them ‘Look!! I know what you are talking about! We just had a great marketing case like that in my MBA.’ I was so excited and really wanted to stand up and say something. But some tiny little voice inside my head whispered: ‘who do you think are you? They have worked here for 20 years... they are so senior! You speak up and they will see how young and unexperienced you are. You will look stupid.’ And I kept silent. That time. And then again. And again. Only years later did I learn to stand up and speak before this tiny little voice would start its traitorous whispering. Because every time you shut up when you get hurt, when your idea is criticised or rejected, when you have something to say – you become smaller. You reduce yourself. Shrink. You get less energy, less space, less importance, are less visible, then nonvisible. And the invisible ghost will have an invisible ghost career.

Mistake Number 4: ‘Be Cinderella.’

Cinderella is hyper responsible, she is very caring, an extremely nice girl who is so comfortable to have around and ask to do favours! She never says no. Even if you are not an evil step mother, you ask Cinderella to do a favour, once. And twice. And every day. And she smiles in return, sighs, and does everything.

You never hear: “I am in such a rush, my three children and five dogs are hungry at home and I need to leave immediately… please could you stay a bit longer and finish this work for me? Oh that would be sooooo nice and kind of you…” And you stay. You wait to be appreciated? You will be soon. Very much appreciated and be given an extra amount of work – because you are so damn good and efficient in doing it! A client of mine called me some time in January. After the new Year holidays she found herself…in a hospital. “What happened?,” I asked. She got the ‘news’ about a tax inspection right before the New Year Eve – when everybody was packing for the holidays. All her colleagues left including her expat boss. How could she leave? Cinderella cannot leave until she finishes all her tasks. So she stayed and spent 14 days getting ready for the tax inspection. All by herself. And on the 15th day this young beautiful woman was taken to an emergency ward with cardiac arrest symptoms. Not exactly to the ball in the palace. Do you think this helped her career, in any way?

Mistake Number 5: ‘Be alone.’

Or hang out with the men. Make friends with men, copy their style, be like them. Ignore women. Because ‘it is a man’s corporate world.’ In my childhood, the most exciting games I played were with the boys: we played ‘the war,’ and ‘pirates’ - and almost boys only. Girls were not allowed to play, only to watch. And so you watched, and got it – the right strategy to survive and have fun was to behave as a boy, to be accepted and included. And to succeed – in men’s games you had to forget your girls’ friends and stop

talking to them, stop playing dolls and ignore all women around you. And yes, all women groups – what was good about them? Intrigues, chattering, stupid jokes, envy and jealousy, blablabla… When we, women, choose to ignore each other, avoid talking and sharing with each other, choose to compete not collaborate with each other, we cut ourselves off the greatest source of energy, the power of female sisterhood. Whoever could understand a woman as another woman? Who would listen to her that carefully and share her feelings? Who would stand for her when she may feel weak? Who would be next to her, back her up when she is up to something, to feel safe and supported? So you know that one day, when you dare for something bigger and important, you would not be alone. You would have other women around. Sisters. Because every woman is a sister to another woman, and the sisterhood of women – wise, experienced, joyful women, is a great power in this world. Not only in corporate world, but also in politics, and in the world in general. On our world on this planet Earth, the female sisterhood community could change so many things for the better. These strategies may help you once you are a young graduate to sneak your way into a top company. Top grades, modest looks and yesto-all-work-attitude could secure you your first job and help you stand out from the other candidates. But as you raise through the corporate ranks, you have to let these strategies go. Otherwise they may sink your ship as extra weight. Spread your wings and fly to the sky.

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Legal

Luke Conner

General Director, Conner & Company LLC

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n my last column for Moscow expat Life, I reacted to the aftermath of the Brexit referendum and highlighted my concerns that there was no clear plan for Brexit and that a soft-Brexit might end up irritating those on both sides of the political spectrum, rather than having a unifying effect on Britain’s voters. As it happened, and presumably based on similar reasoning, Theresa May’s government has seemingly since opted to form a policy centred on an altogether harder form of Brexit. On 3 November, 2016, the High Court of England and Wales threw a proverbial spanner in the works, by ruling that the government had no right to invoke Article 50 without obtaining prior parliamentary approval. This in turn, led to sections of the press referring to the judges concerned as “enemies of the people”, resulting in a fair amount of anger and confusion amongst sections of the voting public. To better understand the reasoning behind this judgment, we should take a quick look at the background. Theresa May’s government always contended that invoking Article 50 (of the Treaty of European Union) was a foreign policy matter and therefore under the government’s sole purview pursuant to an ancient constitutional legal convention known as the

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Legal Wrangling Engulfs Brexit royal prerogative. Gina Miller, a fund manager from London, and Deir Tozetti Dos Santos, a Spanish-born hair-stylist living in London, begged to differ and brought a claim challenging the catchily named, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. With a powerful legal team assisting them, (which was ostensibly financed by Mrs. Miller and funds raised through crowd-sourcing), Miller and Santos argued that, as a matter of law, invoking Article 50 should only be initiated by the government subject to the prior approval of Parliament because the rights afforded to British citizens under the European Communities Act 1972 (which ratified the treaty) were also provided by Parliament domestically. In summary (and please note this is necessarily concise), the court, presided over by Lord Thomas, the Lord Chief Justice, Sir Terence Etherton, the Master of the Rolls, and Lord Justice Sales, agreed with Mrs. Miller and Mr. Santos, for the following reasons: 1. Parliament (essentially the two Houses ((Commons and Lords)) plus Royal Assent) is sovereign; 2. ‘Parliament intended EU rights to have effect in domestic law and that this effect should not be capable of being undone or overridden by action taken by the Crown in exercise of its prerogative powers’;

3. Parliament would have legislated in vain (when originally joining what is now the EU) had the Crown been able to withdraw the UK from the EU without further legislation, something which could never have been intended; and 4. the legislation constituting the referendum process was only ever passed by Parliament on the basis that the referendum was to have advisory effect, which conclusion reflects “the basic constitutional principles” already applicable in the UK. Having read the judgment in full, I can assure the reader that it was distinctly apolitical. The judges stressed that “nothing we say has any bearing on the merits or demerits….. of withdrawal from the EU ….nor does it have any bearing on government policy.” They also strongly emphasised the “pure legal point” which was put before them to decide. It is abundantly clear from this judgment, how little respect the judges had for the legal (not political) reasoning provided by the Secretary of State. They demolished each of his arguments, one-by-one. With hindsight, it was surprising to hear Theresa May claim afterwards, that the government’s case was sound and they would appeal. Based on what I read, she should stop wasting tax payers’ hard earned money on legal fees! The Supreme Court will surely uphold this verdict in early December!


History D. West Very few people know Mr. West, however he is one of those unassuming, erudite people, who does seem to know a thing or two about history. Moscow expat Life caught up with him and asked him to tell us about a certain treaty which we have seemed to have almost forgotten about. Editor.

The Treaty

of Brest-Litovsk

What perspective does this little-known treaty cast on the current relationship between Russia and NATO? The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was the treaty that ended Russia’s participation in the First World War. It marked the success of Germany’s strategy of allowing Vladimir Lenin to return to Russia in a sealed railway car from his exile in Switzerland in April 1917, following the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II after the February Revolution. The Provisional Government continued Russia’s participation in the war, with resultant large numbers of casualties and food shortages in the major cities. Lenin agitated for ‘peace, land and bread’ and, after the October Revolution that same year, became head of the new Soviet Russian government. The treaty was signed on 3 March 1918 between Russia and the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire. The British and

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French continued fighting on the Western Front with the participation of the United States, which entered the war on their side during 1917. In November 1918, an armistice was declared, Germany having been defeated militarily. This effectively terminated the treaty, fortunately for Russia. When Germans later complained about the harshness of the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, the riposte was that it was more benign for them than Brest-Litovsk had been on Russia. What did the treaty do? Under the treaty, Russia gave up all claims to the territories of Finland, the Baltic States (which were largely ceded to Germany), Belarus and Ukraine (which by another treaty of the same name and date was established as an independent republic under German military protection) – all of which had been part of the Russian Empire at the start of the war. So too was Congress

Poland, not mentioned in the treaty but in respect of which Russia in effect also gave up any claim. Russia also transferred Ardahan, Kars and Batumi in the South Caucasus to the Ottoman Empire. It is commonly estimated that Russia lost at least a quarter of its population, arable land and industry and most of its coal mines. The treaty returned Russia to the European boundaries it had before the start of the Great Northern War against Sweden in 1701 - apart from the area around St. Petersburg east of the Narva River which Russia, led by Peter the Great, took early in that war and retained ever afterwards. Ironically from a contemporary perspective, no issue arose over Crimea, which remained part of Russia and was shown as such on the treaty map. What were the German objectives? These were not clear, and it seems there were two schools of thought. The German Foreign Ministry wanted to establish a series of buffer states that would isolate the Soviets from the heart of Europe. They envisaged that the new states would establish strong ethnic and national identities which would lead them to assert their independence of


History

outside control. On the other hand, the German Army High Command, headed by Paul von Hindenburg and driven by his chief of staff Erich Ludendorff, wanted permanent mastery over the periphery of the Russian Empire, with puppet governments facilitating German strategic and economic exploitation of the region. When asked why the annexation of the Baltic States was necessary, von Hindenburg said: ‘to secure my left flank for when the next war happens.’ What happened afterwards? The treaty worked out badly for the Germans. Although they moved large numbers of veteran troops to the Western Front for the Spring Offensive, they had to leave over a million soldiers behind to maintain their presence in the huge area they occupied from Poland eastwards. In the wars and civil war that followed during the next three to four years, Ukraine was recovered by the Bolsheviks and became one of the republics of the Soviet Union, Poland and the Baltics emerged as independent countries. However, in consequence of the MolotovRibbentrop Pact of 1939 the Soviet Union annexed the Baltic States and Poland was divided between it and Germany. At the end of World War II, Poland’s sovereignty was restored but with its north-south borders moved westwards on both sides of the country. The Baltics only became independent again during the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991.

What is the significance of this today? The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was formally nullified as between Germany and Russia by the Treaty of Rapallo of 1922. However, some treaties – even short-lived ones – have a way of asserting a ghost-like presence in international affairs long after they have become defunct as legal instruments. To see this, let us first review the period from the end of WWII until the end of the Cold War based on traditional, non-ideological “realpolitik.” During this time, most of Europe was divided into two ‘blocs’ (only a few states being neutral). One, under US tutelage, consisted of the NATO alliance which included most of western Europe (but not Austria, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Switzerland and Yugloslavia) and Turkey. The other, driven by Russia, had two layers. The first was the Warsaw Pact, a central and eastern European alliance intended to counter NATO. The second was the Soviet Union itself, which consisted latterly of 15 Soviet Socialist Republics, the largest and most dominant being that of Russia. Since the break-up of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991 (25 years ago next month), Russia’s western boundaries have been the same as those following the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. In the Caucasus, they have been reduced by the independence of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. This may have seemed relatively inconsequential at first because there was no apparent reason for

Russia to be concerned militarily about its western or southern frontiers. However, NATO expanded into much of central Europe – most significantly including Poland and the Baltics, both of which had been within the Russian Empire (although only in part for Poland) and subsequently either the Warsaw Pact or the Soviet Union. Furthermore, for so long as neutrality was maintained by Ukraine, Belarus and Finland on Russia’s western flank and Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia to the south, they effectively provided a buffer zone. Once discussions started about including Ukraine and Georgia in NATO, there was no longer any assurance to Russia that their neutrality would necessarily be continued. It is in this context that the differences in German strategy relating to the Brest-Litovsk Treaty come back to life. The policy of establishing (or reviving, depending on one’s viewpoint) states with strong ethnic and national identities that would assert their independence has clearly been effective. However, extending NATO to Poland and the Baltics and holding public discussions about including Ukraine and Georgia inevitably revives (consciously or unconsciously) memories of the plans of the German General Staff in 1918. It also inevitably raises again the question put to von Hindenburg – what do you need it for? DC West London 8 November, 2016

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Culture

The Art Deco museum Moscow

I

Scott P. Cordrey

had heard someone talking, on TV one evening, about the beauty of the Art Deco style of visual arts, architecture and design that first appeared in France and became popular in the 1920s and 1930s, influencing the design of buildings, furniture, jewellery and so much more. So I looked on the internet one Saturday morning, to see if there was an Art Deco exhibition anywhere in Moscow that weekend and, voilĂ , I discovered an Art Deco museum and decided to make a visit. I took the metro to Vorobyovy Gory station, located on a bridge over the Moskva and then spent ten minutes walking along Luzhnetskaya Quay, next to the river, enjoying the late autumn colours of the trees until I reached the Museum, a little hidden from the main streets. Entering, on a Saturday afternoon, felt a little odd as there was no-one waiting to greet visitors in the main reception. So I wandered through the outer doors, and eventually found myself

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Culture entering a very large room full of paintings and some glass panels in the style of Alfons Mucha, the Czech Art Nouveau painter. On the left I found the entrance to a similarly large room which houses a considerable collection of sculptures, furniture and decorative arts all in the Art

Deco style. This is the Art Deco Museum, founded in 2014 by Mkrtich Okroyan, a businessman and Art Deco collector for more than 15 years. Here I discovered a beautiful exhibition of bronze and ivory sculptures representing an extensive display of the work of Demetre Chiparus, but also including Ferdinand Preiss, Claire Colinet, Bruno Zach and many others. These beautiful objects are so delicate and tactile with wonderful attention to the details of that time. Each piece seemed to consume my complete attention for minutes at a time as I searched to understand the method, the magic and the rhythm of these creations. I also enjoyed the decorative lacquered panels by Jean Dunand, who produced gilded lacquered wood panels for the legendary French ocean liner SS Normandie. There is a collection of the most elegant furniture featuring works by Paul Follot (my own particular favourite), Jacques-Emile Ruhlman, Jules Leleu, and others. The final items that caught my eye are some wonderful pieces of wrought iron works including floor and table lights by the famous French blacksmith Edgar Brandt. He produced the gates at the entrance to the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts DĂŠcoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris from where Art Deco took its name. After an emotionally fulfilling tour of the exhibition, there was a comfortable seating area with Art Deco books available to peruse, read and purchase before saying goodbye and heading home. I felt I discovered yet another little pearl of delight in Moscow and if, like me, you are captivated by the Art Deco style then I can recommend a visit without hesitation.Art Deco museum, Luzhnetskaya quay 2/4, building 4. MOSCOW

Moscow Business Networking Club

March 1, 2017 75


Culture

Back Stage Tour of the Bolshoi Theatre By unashamedly in love with Moscow

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he cost of this backstage tour is considerably less than the price of a ticket to one of the Bolshoi Ballet’s performances, which cost the same if not more than trip to Paris and back. Living in Moscow provides the opportunities to learn through touch, hearing and feeling, in comparison to just reading about these places. I learned, for example, that the massive restoration work that closed the Bolshoi from 2005 to 2011, was also an opportunity to expand the theatre underground, towards the fountain which stands proudly outside the front of the theatre. Underground, there is a new theatre hall, the Betkhovensky stage, which we visited. As soon as it opened, our helpful and knowledgeable guide Maria told us, it was closed because of the noise factor from the nearby underground station, and the whole underground complex was sound insulated.

For a back-stage look at the Bolshoi, book yourself on a tour of the Bolshoi, organised by Maria Grechukhina at ‘Tours of Moscow’ (www.toursofmoscow.com )

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Culture History is imbued into the walls of this place. On looking at Nikolai II’s and Alexandra’s (his wife) initials made into a logo above the entrance to the Tzar’s Box, Maria told us, in brief, the history of the Bolshoi. A theatre was first built on this site in 1776. The location was chosen because of its close proximity to the Kremlin, and the cheap price of the land there because it was right next to the Niglinnaya river; the land was damp and used for rubbish dumps. The original Petrovsky Theatre was replaced by the Bolshoi Petrovsky Theatre. Both previous theatres burned down, and in 1856, the present theatre was built quickly, in 16 months, in the shape of an unidentified musical instrument, for the coronation of Emperor Alexander II. One of the rooms used to celebrate the coronation has the most amazing acoustics I have ever heard, it beats EMI, Apple’s studios any day. It is possible to hear somebody speaking quietly 10 meters away when there are 50 other people in the room.

One of the other unexpected surprises was a rehearsal stage, way up above the main theatre, on the 9th floor, complete with a stage that is as long and as wide as the main Bolshoi stage. The ceiling is far lower, and this stage is used for rehearsals as the main stage is almost always being used. A lone ballerina was rehearsing her steps for Don Quixote, completely engrossed in her painstaking work on points. Unable to understand all of what we had just witnessed, we visited the costume making studios, which are located in a room with windows looking out onto the roof where Apollo is drawn in a chariot by three horsemen. Here are the day time creators — the women who slave away at the costumes day after day.

We learned many fascinating details; for example, that during Stalin’s campaign against religion, the theatre adopted 35 church bells, from churches in Moscow that Stalin had demolished. The theatre itself was untouched because it was the only building big enough in Moscow then to house the Communist Party’s Congresses, and because Stalin liked to watch the occasional opera here from his own box that still exists today.

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Culture

Maria Ushakova

Denis Novoseltsev

Denis Novoseltsev is a young producer, a successful entrepreneur and a charismatic actor. I call Denis the new Diaghilev. Firstly, because he looks like him, secondly, because I want to see someone finally promoting Russian art abroad, and thirdly because he is one of the most energetic and promising young theatrical figures in Russia. He has several very successful theatre projects. For example, Denis surprised a lot of people when he managed to bring the musical ‘Dubrovsky’ to Moscow from Minsk, complete with a cast of 100 people, without state financing and without help from people who would take advantage of the play... After graduating from the Shchukinskiy Institute, Denis entered the High School of Performing Arts, where he wrote a dissertation about a very interesting project, which is called ‘School Classic.’ (www. школьнаяклассика.рф). On the April 19th the project will be two years old. I met with him to talk about this successful project, and not only about that. Denis, please tell us how was the idea of ‘School’s Classics’ was born and why did you choose this type of project? My first degree was in acting, I graduated from the Theatrical Institute of Boris Shchukin. While I was studying, I watched a lot of performances in and observed the process of modernizing the classics. I came to the conclusion that school students need to watch original plays, rather than those modern ones, that are offered by so many theatres right now. This, and only this, will help children. The project is presented in this way: during the theatre season we watch plays in Moscow and other cities of Russia which are based on the school curriculum. After that, we put the best of them on in Moscow. So, in October for example, we put on ‘Woe from Wit’ by the Moscow Theatre at Pokrovka... How many performances have been put on since 2014? To date, over 100 plays, an average of two shows per week from October to April.

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What age groups do the plays appeal to? Prior to this season, we played shows in 12+ category, this year we have put a number of performances for elementary school children so the 6+ age group. So in this season, we have covered all age groups from first to 11th grade. What schools do you work with? Only state schools, or private as well? Both. People say that you plan to have performances in foreign languages, and in Russian abroad? The English language and English literature is in the first place of call for everybody who is interested in foreign cultures. I believe that it is necessary to learn the language as a child, when one has a fresh memory and a good imagination, and the language must be taught by native speakers.

We are now working on two performances and one is being planned, ‘The Catcher in the Rye, directed by the talented Daniel Romanov with a premiere at the end of January. We are also planning ‘Pygmalion’ directed by the founder of the Moscow English theatre Jonathan Salway. ‘Pygmalion’ will be premiered at the end of February. And, of course, “Chechov’s tales” in English. Which of the classics do you like the most? I think reading the classics such as Shakespeare, Byron, Wilde, Dickens, George Bernard Shaw and other great play writers at a young age in extremely important. I also think that people should become acquainted with the theatre when they are young, and it would be fantastic if plays could be part of the school curriculum. Even better, if children themselves perform in such shows under the direction of British actors and directors.


ENGLISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL MOSCOW English International School is delighted to present our new principal of EIS West Campus: Nicola Hemingway. Nicola Hemingway holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from Trinity College Wales specializing in English and Teaching English as a Foreign Language. She has worked in Europe and the Middle East where she held an advisory position at Abu Dhabi Education Council leading school improvement for 36 institutions and at EIS as Assessment and Curriculum Coordinator. Education is her Passion. She loves sharing the best pedagogy with teachers in order to bring success throughout the classes as well spreading a truly family spirit all around the campus.

‘‘

At English International School, West Campus, the ambition is that every child who joins our school will be nurtured and inspired to fulfill their potential and be the best that they can be. By providing a truly International education, which celebrates different traditions and countries, we help our students to become global citizens of the world.

’’

EIS Moscow West Campus: Safe, challenged and happy students A strong and fully embraced Personal, Social and Health Education

Large classrooms boasting plenty of natural light with wide corridors and attractive communal areas A dedicated and active parent community

Tel: + 7 (495) 668 70 50 E-mail: admission@englishedmoscow.com englishedmoscow.com


Book Review

Maxine Maters

Sailing through Russia From the Arctic to the Black Sea by John Vallentine & Maxine Maters website: sailinginrussia.org Available: Amazon, Arthur Beale in London and Morkniga in Moscow Paperback ISBN: 978-15262-0258-1 318 pages 340 full colour pictures Contact: Maxine Maters maxine@sailinginrussia.org

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n 2012 Russia began opening its vast network of inland waterways to foreign pleasure craft. A year later, Australian yacht Tainui became the first foreign-flagged vessel to traverse Russia’s Volga and Don Rivers from the Arctic to the Black Sea. This richly illustrated book describes Tainui’s ground-breaking journey. It is a laconic and amusing account of a 3,000 mile adventure by two intrepid sailors through a vast landscape, giving unique insights into a Russia which has for so long been inaccessible to foreigners. Detailed descriptions of the villages and cities which lie along the banks of the mighty Volga and Don Rivers are accompanied by 340 colour pictures and navigational charts. The appendix contains an historical overview of the Volga watershed, together with geological and botanical notes and much

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Book Review

practical information for cruising yachtsmen venturing into Russian waters. ‘Sailing Through Russia’ is at the same time a personal account of the crew’s trials and tribulations en route, and a detailed cruising guide for adventurous yachtsmen who may follow in their footsteps. It describes candidly the difficulties and triumphs, both personal and bureaucratic, which the crew faced along the way. Skipper John Vallentine is an Australian doctor who has sailed for most of his life. But he was new to Russia and his frequent exasperation, bewilderment and frustration, couched in wry, light-hearted prose, are clearly evident. If John initiated the trip however, it was Maxine who made it happen. Her struggles with the complexities of Russian bureaucracy were at times gargantuan but always successful. As John says, she was by turns QC, arbitrator, administrator and seductress. Originally from the Netherlands, Maxine began sailing before she could walk. A lawyer by training and fluent in Russian, Maxine is a long-term Moscow resident who used to work in the media. The book is partly based on John’s award-winning blog, for which he won the Cruising Association’s 2014 Lacy Award. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the Volga River. As a cruising guide it is unique, unlikely to be superseded for many years. ‘Sailing through Russia’ is published by its authors and as from 1 September 2016 is available through Amazon, Arthur Beale in London and Morkniga in Moscow

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MGFC

Kim Waddoup

Bar BQ Café – Great Expectations Justified! The ratings for Bar BG Café were:

Food Suitability: Quality/Suitability of the drinks: The service standards: The general rating of the meal:

G

reat Expectations! Many restaurants are able to create quite a reputation and mostly because of this one wants to try them out. Therefore, one’s expectations are generally higher than they should be, and it is then a challenge for the restaurant to come up with the goods, provide food and service that is worthy of that reputation. Often in reality the expectations are higher than the actual experience. When we heard that the Moscow Good Food Club had been invited to the Bar BQ Café we were intrigued. Yes we had heard that their steaks, burgers and ribs were good but was this not a bar where younger people

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are encouraged to drink from oversized glasses through straws? Long term expat and owner of the Bar BQ Café Chain, Henrik Winter worked with his team to prepare what looked like an amazing menu with many very interesting wine pairings, but would they really be able to come up with the goods? With these thoughts, Moscow Good Food Members descended on the Bar BQ Café on Trubnaya Pl. The place is modern, bright and the interior decorations very comfortable. We were shown to our curtained-off area for our MGFC Dinner. Lovely waitresses with beaming smiles were quick to serve us with a very pleasant Nino Franco Brut, Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superior accompanied by

the Chef’s selection of creative and delicious canapés. Soon we were asked to take our tables and our feast could begin. With each course our hosts Sacha Murachev, the chief Culinary Director explained each course and Georgy Maximov the wines and why they have been selected for us. The meal started with a delicious Spicy Pumpkin Soup that packed so many additional flavours including pumpkin seeds and watercress. This was paired with a very soft and gentle Tenuta Sant’Antonio, ‘Fontana’ Soave. The next dish of Salmon Tartar with ginger-citrus ponzu was soft and delicate but could maybe had done with a splash more lime to complete the effect. This was paired with a


MGFC

Jerman Pino Bano, Frui-Venezia Giulia IGT which was crisp and flavoursome and perfectly complemented the ponzu dressing. Could this quality and flavour continue? Yes it could and it did with superbly prepared roast beef served with an onion chutney and back radish admirably paired with a Gaja ‘Promis’ Ca Marcanda, Toscana IGT. Then came ‘la piece de resistance’ delicious King Crab prepared in warm butter with black salt and stewed white onion. Rumour had it that this is the signature dish in one of Copenhagen’s most famous restaurants and now admirably prepared for us also in Moscow! The robust Muga, Blanco, Fermentado en Barrica, Rioja proved that Rioja does not always have to be red and it’s white variety with bursting flavours was excellent for this comprehensive dish. This was followed by Brisket served with fresh coleslaw, mustard sauce, leek and pickles. Once again the chef had prepared the Brisket to perfection and the coleslaw was fresh, crispy and full of flavour rather than the dull, mayonnaise soaked varieties that we are generally used to receiving. The Catena Zapata, ‘Catena’ Malbec,

Mendoza proved to be an excellent choice, not as heavy and overpowering as many Malbecs but soft and mellow whilst remaining fully flavoured. By now many of our members were showing the strains of packing away 5 courses and 6 different wines, but as well prepared connoisseurs, they had saved space for the dessert of Raspberry Lavender Mouse with fresh berries, a delightfully light concoction that freshened the palate. The Beringer, Moscato California Collection proved to be a worthy dessert wine, not over sweet but perfectly balanced by the berries and raspberry flavours. As tea and coffee was served, each table was busy conferring with their spokespeople to prepare their critiques. All were unanimous in their praise of Bar BQ Café and the endeavours of Henrik Winter’s highly talented team headed by Chef Sergey Liminko. All mentioned that they were intrigued with the idea of attending a Moscow Good Food Club in a restaurant generally not so associated with haute cuisine but based on our reputation for Good Food, Good Wine and of course Great Company, non were disappointed, in fact quite the

opposite all were delighted with the amazing high quality, the flavours, the attention to detail and the exceedingly well paired wines. Each spokesperson also praised the waitresses who were efficient, so friendly and never without a smile. This ranks Bar BQ Café on a level similar to many of the great restaurants that we have attended over the years! Hearty congratulations to Henrik Winter and his incredible team. It goes to prove that the adage that ‘you can’t judge a book by it’s cover’ is also appropriate to a restaurant called Bar BQ Café! The question of the evening was “Christmas is coming and it is time for a wish. To make our lives in Moscow more enjoyable what would your wish be and what are your reasons?” Naturally after several glasses of Prosecco and 6 different wines, some of the replies are best forgotten! Others included:Magical Walks along the Boulevard, Come back EasyJet, lots of deep snow and of course many Christmas Presents. After a really super evening it was time to bid farewell to Bar BQ Café and head out into the clear Winter’s evening in Moscow!

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MGFC

Kim Waddoup

Café Russe in the Ritz Carlton The ratings from our MGFC members were:

Food Suitability: Quality/Suitability of the drinks: The service standards: The general rating of the meal:

A

n invitation to the Moscow Good Food Club in the Café Russe in the Ritz Carlton is hard to refuse and 38 venerable members made their way into these hallowed halls with the expectations of yet another great culinary experience. And they were not disappointed as it was set to be an evening of superlatives. The Café Russe has become a refuge for many in a city that seems to run on adrenalin! It is elegant, yet comfortable and does not require the ‘airs & graces’ that so many other establishments employ. One would refer to the Café Russe as refined elegance. As the members entered the

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waiters served them with a rose champagne. It was interesting to observe how many were preoccupied greeting old friends but as they raised their glasses for the second or third time, the looks appreciation formed. We were drinking a Balaklava Brut Rose from the Crimea. This raised some eyebrows but this aperitif and the amazingly succulent canapés set the scene for the evening. As is tradition, all members were asked to seat punctually at 20:00. We were welcomed by Bernie Aird from the Ritz Carlton and then introduced to our Chef, Pavel Belyalov. “Is he not a bit young mentioned one of our esteemed members!”). Then to the amazing personality of Anton

our Sommelier for the evening. Pavel explained the menu and then disappeared into his kitchen. Anton explained that for this evening, he has specially selected wines from Crimea. Our first course was Beetroot Marinated Salmon with green apple horseradish cream and fresh herbs. Many were surprised by the colour of the salmon as it was deep red from the beetroot. The tastes were immaculate and individual and the dish excellently paired with a Sary Pandas from the Zaharin Estate. An extremely well balanced wine and perfect for the salmon. This was followed by Slow Cooked Chicken Breast, with smoked celeriac puree and chicken


MGFC

Jus. This dish received mixed reviews, the chicken was succulent but a little bland, however the crispy nuggets of well roasted skin flavoured the dish and suited the overall taste. Anton had warned us that this wine would be controversial and how right he was. The Chardonay Reseve Baccal Su, divided the group with some liking and some totally against it’s almost sherry flavour. However it was noted that few glasses remained full and the top up from the Café Russe’s excellent waiters were never refused! On to the main course of Grilled Venison with pan fried Chanterelle, Herb Brioche, fresh berries and Venison Jus. Admirably paired with a bold and deep Kefessia from the Zaharin Estate, the venison was succulent and full of flavour. The brioche was quite surprising and added well to the combined flavour with the fresh berries providing some final sharpness. An excellently paired course with suggestions of the Winter to come! Moscow Good Food Club members are canny and new to keep space for dessert. As the last of the dishes were cleared and the Kefessia being bid a fond farewell, the desserts appeared. The colour

and decoration had most members grabbing for their phones to take pictures of this beautiful Raspberry Composition with intriguing Pain Perdue and Vanilla Chantilly. Again perfectly balanced providing an excellent flavour to cleanse the palate from this amazing meal. Always one for surprises Anton served a Berry Bitter, Beluga Gold to conclude this gastronomic journey. Tea and coffee were served as the members discussed and prepared their Critiques. These have become an important part of any Moscow Good Food Club evening and lead to lively discussions on each table. As each spokesperson took to the floor, it was evident that, even if there were some points for discussion, the general impression was excellent with great praise for the young Chef, Pavel Belyakov. Whilst each course was ‘dissected’ by our juries, you could see Pavel making note of each comment. A Chef rarely has such an opportunity to hear an honest appraisal of his creations. The wines were also discussed in some depth with varying critiques but always to the pleasure of Anton who really appreciates such feedback. Once again the general

impression was that Russian wines are certainly coming of age and will soon take the justified place in world markets. Once correlated, the ratings from our MGFC Members were:So congratulations to Pavel, Anton and the entire team at the Café Russia, for another excellent Moscow Good Food Club! As is customary our members are asked some relevant questions. On this occasion the question was: The centre of Moscow has changed so much over the Summer with so many projects. If you had 3 wishes for the mayor’s Department for more improvements what would these be? As usual the answers varied from practical to outright hilarious and included:- Less Disney Land styles; more parking; food trucks in the centre; better communication with residents prior to re-construction; lifts to be provided in Metro stations: re-launch small shops in or near the metro stations and a 24 hour Metro. Suitably fulfilled by the excellent meal and with the warm feeling produced by the Berry Bitter Beluga Gold, the stalwart members of the Moscow Good Food Club bate farewell to the Café Russe and made their way out of the grand entrance of the Ritz Carlton to resume normal life in Moscow.

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MGFC

Kim Waddoup

Burov & Sova The ratings from our MGFC members were:

Food Suitability: Quality/Suitability of the drinks: The service standards: The general rating of the meal:

S

ometimes its good to be different! This certainly was the Motto by which eminent members of the Moscow Good Food Club were welcomed as the made their way through the doors of the charming Burov and Sova Russian Bistro on Kuznetsky Most. In a short time since it’s opening this rather humble establishment has made quite a name for itself! Rather than the normal Aperitif and Canapes favoured my most Restaurants, the talented Chef at Burov & Sova decided to welcome us with a vast buffet consisting of Russian favourites including Deer, Duck, Roast Beef, Beef Tongue, home made duck and deer pate, amazing Rabbit

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pirogi’s, his own unique black caviar and much more!. To complete the uniqueness of this welcome we were invited to savour the delightful tastes of their Wormwood and Horseradish house liqueurs. This really set the mood for the evening. Following an introduction we were asked to take our seats in the main hall. This Russian feast continued with a Sauerkraut soup with smoked duck washed down with a glass of the unique Garlic & Pepper Polugar. This was followed shortly after by another Russian favourite, Herring under a Fur Coat with fragrant Pacific Herring, roasted vegetables and light beetroot mouse accompanied by our first Russian

wine of the evening, a light, rather young Sibirkoviy Vedernikov 2014. The next dish was quite a surprise, Kamchatka Crab cooked in butter with cheese and tomatoes. Initially many were intrigued y the cheese covering the crab and the first bites did confirm that this was maybe too much protein at one time, however, almost as if by magic, the plates were cleaned and nothing left to waste. Maybe this was due to the impeccable taste of the Roussane de Gay – Kodzor 2015. The next dish was a meat Skoblyanka of beef, pork and duck with white mushrooms and salted pickles. The dish favoured a hearty creamed sauce that was then


MGFC

delicately balanced by the inclusion of a specific berry that broke the creamy flavour and cleansed the palate. However the robust Dostoiny Premium Zaporozhskoe from 2014 was excellently paired proving to admirably complement the intricate flavours of this exceptional Skoblyanka. Dessert was a generous slice of Bird Cherry pie with orange sauce which proved to be a tart tasting cake and a speciality of the restaurant when the bird cherries are in season. The almost bitter flavour of the cake was beautifully balanced by the superb Muscat White Red Stone. An amazing wine and a superb end to a magnificent Russia banquet worthy of a Tsar.

With our members suitably fortified the spokespeople from each table, eloquently delivered their Critiques. All were unanimous in their praise of Burov and Sova and the amazing efforts of their talented Chef, Vlad Labutin. They all admired his creativity combined with his respect for tradition in preparing an excellent meal. Excellent ratings for an independent restaurant. All were unanimous for their praise for the waiters who carried our their duties so proficiently and quietly, it was almost as if they were not even there. Hearty congratulations to this excellent team. As is the custom at the Moscow Good Food Club our members were challenged with the question:

‘Winter is just around the corner. Imagine someone coming to Moscow for the first time to start work, what essentials would you recommend?’ Well inebriated, naturally the range of answers went from practical to sublime to the ridiculous including bringing ample supplies of bacon & sausages, bring plenty of vitamin D, obtain a large box of Polugar, buy a season ticket to a banya, good hat, gloves and good shoes. However it was mostly agreed that a sense of humour would be most essential to face a Moscow winter. Bidding their fond farewells, the members left these hallowed halls and made their way back to real life!

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We speak English Spanish, French

UK / US & Scandinavian iptv TV for the whole family and the best sports coverage available +7 (495) 988 91 17 sales@worldsat.ru www.worldsat.ru

Groom Room salon & boutique for dogs Professional grooming and best products!

Petrovsky Boulevard 17/1, Moscow, 127051 тел: +7 (495) 650 25 43; +7 (985) 434-61-51 www.groomroomsalon.ru www.facebook.com/groomroom4dogs/

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Elan Languages Quality professional translations

Tel: +7 (495) 627 57 34 info@elanlanguages.ru www.elanlanguages.ru

Residential Development Projects Investment Opportunities in the Tula Region

Please contact David Morley Tel: +7 925 367 9241


Moscow Good Food Club recommended restaurants SCANDINAVIA 7 Maliy Palanshevskiy Per. M. Pushkinskaya Cuisine: European, Skandinavian, $$

OSTERIA DELLA PIAZZA BIANCA Moscow Good Food

Club

“Comfortable, calm restaurant with high quality cuisine offering many Scandinavian specialities”

REAL FOOD RESTAURANT Crowne Plaza Hotel/WTC Krasnopresenskaya Nab 12.

Moscow Good Food

Club

Full a la Carte menu incorporating healthy dishes made from organic ingredients. Open kitchen and excellent food & wine

Moscow Good Food

Club

Typical Italian traditions for food and hospitality. Food care is the most important aspect, with freshness and simplicity as the main characteristics. Feel and breath Italian culture and true Italian cuisine.

Moscow Good Food

17 Tverskaya St M. Pushkinskaya Cuisine: Scandinavian, Moscow Good Food European, $$$ Club +7 495 629 4165 www.nightflight.ru

“Superb food at sensible prices prepared by excellent chefs with friendly, efficient service”

Club

True Italian cuisine from Executive Chef Giuseppe Todisco

Moscow Good Food

Club

Moscow Good Food

Club

Moscow’s most popular steakhouse & bar. Top steaks, efficient service and large wine list

KATIE O SHEA’S STEAKHOUSE & BAR Groholsky Per 25, Bldg 5 M. Prospekt Mira Cuisine: Irish, $$ Genuine Irish pub with great beer, food and atmosphere

Kuznetsky Most 21/5. M.Kuznetsky Most Cuisine: Russian traditional $$$

Moscow Good Food

Club

Authentic, traditional Russian cuisine excellently prepared and complimented with extensive Russian wines

BAR BQ CAFE, TRUBNAYA Trubnaya Pl 2. M.Trubnaya Cuisine: Steaks, Ribs & more $$

Good Food

Club

Modern restaurant with lovely views over Strastnoy Blvd. Creative International Cuisine from Chef Angel Pascual

Krasnaya Presnaya 13, M.Krasnopresenskaya Cuisine: French, International $$$

Moscow Good Food

Club

Charming family owned, French themed restaurant offering a variety of excellent cuisine

Michurinsky Pr.16 M. Universitet Cuisine: European Bistro $$$

Moscow Good Food

Club

New style of European bistro with creative food and a large wine selection.

BUROV & SOVA RUSSIAN BISTRO

STEAKHOUSE & BAR

Moscow

WINE RELIGION

“Casual but elegant restaurant offering an entertaining gastronomic experience”

CHICAGO PRIME: Strastnoy Blvd. 8a M. Tverskaya Cuisine: American, $$

22, Tverskaya M. Tverskaya Cuisine: European, Russian, $$$$

Hotel Standart, Strastnoy Blvd M. Chekhovskaya Cuisine: International $$$$

CAFE-RESTAURANT MICHEL

NIGHT FLIGHT

CHEKHONTE

ITALIANETS 13, Samotechnaya Ul, m. Trubnaya, Cuisine Italian, English menu price $$$

Lesnaya street 5a M. Belarusskaya Cuisine: Italian $$$$

RESTAURANT SEVER YUG

Moscow Good Food

Club

Bright, modern restaurant with excellent service. Creative cocktails list, fun & excellent value for money

CAFE RUSSE Ritz Carlton, Tverskaya St 3, M. Okhotny Ryad, Cuisine: Euopean $$$

Moscow Good Food

Club

Casual dining in an elegant atmosphere, top chefs and extensive wine list

STARLITE DINER 8a, Strasnow Bulevard M. Pushkinskaya Cuisine: American, $$ Moscow’s original diners still serving our favourite food

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Community Services Business Clubs/Organisations

Polish Business Club President: Alexander Janeczek CCIR (Camera di Commercio Italo-Russa) Director: Marisa Florio Web site: www.ccir.it/ccir/

The Polish Business Club was created 15 years ago to develop contacts between Polish and Russian companies, and to provide business support; such as help in renting an apartment, how to get medical help and advice on where to go in your free time. The Club’s main mission is business development in Russia.

British Business Club President: Don Scott Web site: www.britishclub.ru

Russia continues to offer massive opportunities to British businesses, but it takes stamina to see them through. The BBC offers a small sanctuary of Britain to help in these times.

We organise and attend a lot of trade exhibitions each year and help all of our members establish themselves in Russia.

Canadian Eurasia Russia Business Association (CERBA) President: Lou Naumovski, National Chairman, Canada Eurasia Russia Business Association, Vice President and General Director Moscow Office, Kinross Gold Corporation Co-President: Nathan A. Hunt, Founder, Chairman, CERBA Moscow, Canada Eurasia Russia Business Association Web site: www.cerbanet.org Moscow Chapter Contacts: alex@cerbanet.org; radmila@cerbanet.org Phone: 7 (495) 7621240 Italian Business Club (ITAM) President: Giovanni Stornante

The Irish Business Club Chairperson: Avril Conway Web site: www.moscowirishclub.ru

The members of the Irish Business Club are a mix of both Russian and Irish professional people and private individuals. It takes some time to understand the Russian culture and to make friends. We try and help in these respects as much as we can.

We organise social and professional events for the Italian community. We bring Italians together, help their integration when they move to the big city, facilitate the exchange of ideas, experience and opportunities between the Italian and other business communities.

The Canada Eurasia Russia Business Association has a network of seven chapters located in Moscow, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary Vancouver and Almaty, and a membership base of over 200 corporations and individuals in a wide range of sectors. As an association, CERBA provides an extensive network of contacts with frequent networking events, informative seminars on pertinent topics in the Eurasian market for Canadian companies, an annual National Conference, a quarterly printed Newsletter, committees of the Canada-Russia Business Council (CRBC), access to annual trade missions, as well as market intelligence, advocacy on government policy, and active, Canada-focused sector committees.

www.cerbanet.org

Wirtschaftsclubrussland e.V: We are a business club for bilateral and multilateral business connections between the EU and Russia and Central Eastern Europe. Being part of the social entrepreneurship “Closing the distance” our network reaches from Europe to China. Our Mission: We connect people and cultures – building bridges

Wirtschaftsclub Russland CEO: Dr Karin von Bismark Web site: www.wirtschaftsclubrussland.org

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Dialog opens Markets Our Values Respect Responsibility Trust Open with us new chances and markets around 70 theme events every year. Meet us and become a member www.wirtschaftsclubrussland.org.


Community Services Business Clubs/ Organisations

The Association of European Business (AEB) CEO: Dr. Frank Schauff Web site: www.aebrus.ru

AEB is an active community of about 630 members, providing a network for sharing opinion and experience. The AEB is an advocate of its members’ opinions, generated in 40 industrial and crosssectorial committees, sub- committees and working groups.

The Danish Business Club has both corporate and private members, almost all of whom are based in or doing business in Moscow. About 80% of our subscribing members are Danish.

EXHIBITIONS IN MOSCOW

10a-r1ch12017 M MoscowShow ion t a c u d E

ITA Italian Trade Agency Director: Mr Celeste Web site: www.italtrade.com/rossija

ITA-Italian Trade Agency is the Italian government agency that supports the globalization of Italian companies. ITA has 65 offices all over the world. ITA has been operating in the Russian Federation since 1966, with a network of offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk.

French-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIFR) General Director: Pavel Chinsky Web site: http://www.ccifr.ru The Danish Business Club in Moscow Chairman: Kasper Ditlevsen Daytime job: Commercial Director – Uhrenholt Russia & CIS Web site:www.dbcmoscow.camp9.org

INTERNATIONAL

The French-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is aimed at developing economic cooperation between Russia and France. We organise a large variety of different events for our members to meet each other, such as sector committees, business presentations, B2B meetings, cultural events.

17-r1ch82017 Ma Moscoww o Medsh Moscow Education Show – a vast choice of educational establishments from around the world, language schools to top Universities. Moscow MedShow – 50+ International clinics represented covering all forms of Medical Tourism from surgical procedures to cosmetic surgery.

Professional exhibitions in Russia since 2003

www.aigroup.ru

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Community Services Women’s Clubs/Associations The Swedish Women’s Educational Association (SWEA)

International Women’s Club of Moscow (IWC)

SWEA is an international organisation, with 7,500 members in 34 countries all over the world. The fact that the 90-member strong Moscow chapter fits into a large international organisation, has many advantages. The main purpose of the SWEA in Moscow is to act as a network for members, to support Swedish culture and Swedish languages. The majority of SWEA’s 90 members in Russia are accompanying spouses, even though the trend is that more and more women come here by themselves for career reasons working for Swedish companies.

The American Women’s Organisation

The International Women’s Club of Moscow is a not-for-profit organisation which exists to promote friendship and cooperation between women and men of all nationalities. Explore our website to find out more about our events, how to join, and the charities we support.

Since 1993 the American Women’s Organization of Moscow, has provided support to expatriate women, and/or spouses, of all North American countries including the United States, Canada and Mexico. The aim of the organization is to provide social and cultural opportunities during your tenure here in Moscow. The members are very friendly, open and always willing to share their experiences. General meetings are held on the first and third Wednesday of each month and commence at 11:00 a.m. Newcomers are always welcomed and encouraged to attend any of our meetings. If you would like additional information on the American Women’s Organization of Moscow, please contact us at awomoscow@gmail.com.

President: Victoria Šeligo, the wife of The Ambassador of Slovenia. Web Site: www.iwcmoscow.ru

The American Women’s Organisation President: Judy Peacock

The German’s Women’s Group This is a new German-speaking group which organises meetings for German and Austrian women. Meetings are held every second Wednesday. The group supports newcomers and those who have been here longer.

Founder: Monika Michaely Email: info@ deutschegruppemoskau.com

Since 1993 the American Women’s Organization of Moscow, has provided support to expatriate women, and/or spouses, of all North American countries including the United States, Canada and Mexico. The aim of the organization is to provide social and cultural opportunities during their stay here in Moscow. The members are very friendly, open and always willing to share their experiences. General meetings are usually held on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 11:00 a.m. Newcomers are always welcomed and encouraged to attend any of our meetings. If you would like additional information on the American Women’s Organization of Moscow, please contact us at awomoscow@gmail.com

De Tulpen

Presidents: Olya Kalmykova and Desiree Dekker Web Site: www.nlclubmoskou.nl

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President: Cecilia Oskarsson Web Site: www.moskva.swea.org

The Main goal of the Tulips is to provide a social platform for the Dutch speaking ladies in Moscow, do things of interest together and have fun! When you are abroad, one’s own culture becomes so much more important. If anybody wants to connect with us, please find us on the Dutch Cub web site. If people want to go and visit museums, they can do that one their own. But if they want to speak their mother tongue with other people here in Moscow, then here we are.

The British Women’s Club (BWC)

Chairwoman: Nova Dudley-Gough Website: www.bwcmoscow.com

BWC began in 2000 as a support group for women arriving in Moscow. Since then we’ve grown and regularly organise activities and social events for long term residents and new arrivals. We meet weekly for coffee and are always able to offer advice and support for British affiliated people arriving in this exciting and exhilarating city.


Charity List of Charities Below is an incomplete list of Charities operating in Moscow which foreigners are known to be involved with. If you wish to list a charity in future issues, please write to: editor@moscowexpatlife.ru

Kidsave Contact: Alexander Mzhelsky, +7 985 970 9019, a.mzhelsky@kidsave.org Kidsave® is a non-profit organization working in Russia since 1999. Our programs create strong and lasting connections between children and adults, with the goal of giving orphans and young people graduating from institutions opportunities to develop the skills necessary for a successful future. ________________________

Downside Up Contact: Elena Lubovina, Tel. +7 499 367 1000, +7 499 165 5536, lubovina@downsideup.org About 2,500 children with Down syndrome are born in Russia annually. In 85% of such births, parents give their children up to maternity homes, often following doctors’ advice. The abandoned children are sent to state institutions with no chance of ever leaving them. But there is an alternative! The children can live in their families and join early

intervention and education programmes. Children with Down syndrome, no matter how different, have a vast learning potential. Downside Up invites you to help make life better for people with Down syndrome ________________________

Kitezh Contact: Katya Gurkina, +7 916 975 1603, kitezhcentre@ yandex.ru, www.kitezh.org/ en/index.php Kitezh is a network of therapeutic communities that give children from orphanages loving foster families. The aim is to create a developing environment for the education and care of orphans and children in crisis. The first Kitezh village is in Kaluga Region, 300 km south west of Moscow, and the second village, Kitezh-Orion, is located 60 km in the same direction. ________________________

Musical Experimental Theatre ‘Open Art’ Contact: info@metopenart. com, www.metopenart.com

Open Art was created in September 2001 for people with learning disabilities. Open Art is based on a unique combination of different art forms and directions: • Music • Dramatic art • Choreography • Art Design • Poetry • Dramatic improvisation • Ethnic art The Musical Experimental Theatre Open Art is open for participants from Moscow and Moscow region. Open Art has developed methods which are being used in rehabilitation centres and institutions for people with learning disabilities. Open Art also organizes courses and seminars for specialists in Moscow. ________________________

and educational support for both physically and mentally disabled children in Russia. The larger goal is to support changes in society and legislation in order to create social and medical support programs, which would allow parents to raise their children at home rather than living in institutions. ________________________

Diema’s Dream

Vera Hospice Charity Fund

Contact: +7 495 942 4003, sa5557@yandex.ru, sergey@ddfund.ru Diema’s Dream was established in 1998 to provide financial, medical,

Contact: Maria Bakhtina bakhtina@hospicefund. ru, Ilya Kaukin kaukin@ hospicefund.ru Tel +7-965-372-57-72 website: www.hospicefund.ru

Moscow Animals Contact: info@ moscowanimals.org, www.moscowanimals.org Moscow Animals – devoted to the welfare of homeless animals. To adopt a dog or cat or if you would like to help local animal shelters by making a donation or volunteering your time, please visit the Moscow Animal Website or email. ________________________

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Charity List of Charities

Since 2006, Vera Hospice Charity Fund is the only non-profit organization in Russia supporting palliative and hospice care for children, adults and elderly. ‘Vera’ fundraises to assist hospices in Moscow and other regions of the country. By 2015 the total number of hospices under the care of ‘Vera’ has reached 40. The foundation also provides direct aid to over 300 terminally ill children and their families and finances the work of in-home care units for them. Other programs include social and educational support programs for hospice employees, hospice care awareness, and volunteer fostering activities. ________________________

United Way Contact: + 7 (495) 780 9718, info@unitedway.ru The Fund supports charities offering programs aimed to meet the social needs of the following sections of society: • children at risk • disabled (children and adults) • refugees and homeless • elderly people Our mission is to foster

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responsible philanthropy in Russia by supporting local charity programs aimed at solving the most critical problems. The Fund is a permanent source of financing for efficient charitable organizations. Charities receiving funding have to demonstrate financial transparency to the highest possible degree. In turn, we guarantee to the donors full adherence by the foundation to Russian legislature and provide full financial and activity reports. ______________________

MPC Social Services Web Site: www.mpcss.org MPC Social Services is one of the longest serving charitable organizations in Moscow. It is a registered Russian charitable organization and an established 501(c)3 nonprofit in the United States that addresses poverty and hunger, and provides medical care and education for Moscow’s poor, including women, children, families, pensioners, economic migrants, and refugees. ________________________

Big Brothers Big Sisters Contact: +7 (495) 500 40 42, www.nastavniki.org/ru Big Brothers Big Sisters of Russia is a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters International, one of the most efficient mentoring programs for children. In Moscow BBBS helps children living in institutional care (orphanages) and disadvantaged children. A volunteer becomes a Big Brother or a Big Sister to a child, visits him or her once a week for at least one year. Studies show that children who have a mentor have higher self-esteem, are more stable emotionally, have better motivation to study and show more initiative. Currently there are 162 matches in Moscow. Please keep in mind that you need a good knowledge of Russian to become a Big Brother or Big Sister because the children don’t speak English very well. ________________________

Nastenka Contact: +7 (495) 980-5377, +7 (495) 585-41-01, www.nastenka.ru

The charitable foundation helping children with cancer ‘Nastenka’ was founded in 2002. The main objective of the foundation isto increase the quality of diagnostics and treatment of children with oncological diseases, as well as to revive the tradition of charity in Russia. For 11 years, the foundation has helped thousands of sick children and purchased large number of expensive modern medical equipment for a hospital: two ventilators, an x-ray machine, a dialysis machine, blood separator and much more. ________________________

To Russia With Love Contact: www. torussiawithlove.ie The very best of institutions, orphanages, large childrens homes, are likely to harm children and leave them ill prepared for life in the outside world. Ideally, all of these institutions should be phased out as soon as possible by means of extended family support, fostering, the provision of small family units, and lastly, adoption. However


Charity List of Charities due to the number of children in State care in Russia, our immediate goal is to secure for each child, a long term stable solution whilst working side by side with the local administration. To Russia With Love is privileged to be allowed act as a guardian to many children without parents, who live in these very institutions. We work to build children’s self confidence, assist them to reach their full potential to become strong adults, successful parents, thus breaking the cycle of abandonment and in turn go forward as role models in society. ________________________

To Children With Love www.tochildrenwithlove.ru/en To Children with Love’ or ‘Детям с Любовью’ was founded in 2009 to focus on fundraising in Russia, in the belief that the best and the most sustainable initiatives should and can emerge locally. With a board composed of Moscow-based trustees, a celebrity patron and a growing base of corporate sponsors, the charity has, since 2009, worked hard to establish itself as a unique entity in the world of Russian children’s charities. ________________________

BIG Change Charity Contact: http://bigchange.ru/ en/about/. Or call Big Change at +7 - (499) 317-44-44 BIG Change Charity is a Moscow charity that

provides individualized education and training in life skills to teens and young adults who have lived for years in orphanages. Big Change helps their students: - prepare for vocational school or university - choose a vocation and find a job - broaden horizons, interests, relationships - become productive members of society - live full and independent lives. ________________________

Children’s Hospital Fund at Speransky Pediatric Hospital № 9. Contact: +7 499 256 64 44 (office); +7 916 117 3215 (mobile). www.childhospital.ru The Children’s Hospital Fund was founded in 2001 to support Russia’s Biggest Pediatric Burns Center at Speransky Hospital, Moscow. The fund provides medical equipment and materials for skin grafting and prevention of burn scarring. This NGO is running a pioneering psycho-social program, vital in cases of changed appearance or bereavement. The fund is supported by well-known businesses, banks and charitable organizations, including Moscow expat women’s organizations. The European Burns Association recognizes the achievements of the fund. The fund needs sponsors’ help to continue its charitable programs!

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Essential Information What do the numbers on the red number plates mean? They are Russian Diplomatic codes signifying countries. All vehicles registered with foreign embassies have to use them. 001 - Great Britain 002 - Germany 003 - Canada 004 - USA 005 - Japan 006 - Spain 007 - France 008 - Belgium 009 - Greece 010 - Denmark 011 - Italy 012 - Luxembourg 013 - Netherlands 014 - Norway 015 - Turkey 016 - Australia 017 - Austria 018 - Algeria 019 - Egypt 020 - Rwanda* 021 - Argentina 022 - Afghanistan 023 - Myanmar (the former Burma) 024 - Bolivia 025 - Brazil 026 - Burundi 027 - Ghana 028 - Bangladesh 029 - Guinea 030 - Zambia 031 - Peru 032 - India 033 - Indonesia 034 - Jordan 035 - Iraq 036 - Iran 037 - Ireland 038 - Iceland 039 - Cambodia (the former Kampuchea) 040 - Kenya 041 - Cyprus 042 - Congo 043 - Costa Rica 044 - Kuwait 045 - Laos 047 - Lebanon

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048 - Libya 049 - Mali 050 - Morocco 051 - Mexico 052 - Nepal 053 - Nigeria 054 - Venezuela 055 - New Zealand 056 - Pakistan 057 - Burkina Faso* 058 - Senegal* 059 - formerly Syria. Now code 133 is used. 060 - Somalia 061 - Sudan 062 - Sierra Leone 063 - Thailand 064 - Tanzania 065 - Tunisia 066 - Uganda 067 - Uruguay 068 - Philippines 069 - Finland 070 - Sri Lanka 071 - Chad 072 - Switzerland 073 - Sweden 074 - Ecuador 075 - Ethiopia 076 - Angola 077 - Democratic Republic of Congo (the former Republic Zaire) 078 - Colombia 079 - Cameroon 080 - Guinea-Bissau 081 - Portugal 082 - Bulgaria 083 - Hungary 084 - Vietnam 086 - Poland 087 - Korean People’s Democratic Republic (North Korea) 088 - Cuba 089 - Mongolia 090 - China 091 - Romania

092 - formerly Czechoslovakia (nowadays Czech Republic (148) and Slovakia (149)) 093 - Serbia 094 - Benin 095 - Gabon 096 - Guyana* 097 - Mauritania 098 - Madagascar* 099 - Malaysia 100 - Niger* 101 - Singapore 102 - Togo* 103 - Central African Republic (code 106 used earlier) 104 - Jamaica* 105 - Yemen 106 - formerly Central African Republic. Now code 103 is used. 107 - Palestine 108 - Nicaragua 109 - Mozambique 110 - Equatorial Guinea 111 - Sovereign Military Order of Malta (earlier code 111 belonged to Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon)) 112 - Malta 113 - Cape Verde 115 - Zimbabwe 116 - United Arab Emirates 117 - Côte d’Ivoire* 118 - Namibia 119 - formerly Republic of South Africa. Now code 137 is used. 120 - Oman 121 - Qatar 122 - formerly Arab League. Now code 503 is used 123 - formerly Liechtenstein 124 - South Korea 125 - Chile 126 - Panama (earlier code 126 belonged to UNESCO; see code 512)

127 - Israel 128 - FYR Macedonia (earlier code 128 belonged to EU) 129 - Albania 130 - formerly international organizations 131 - Holy See (Vatican) 132 - Lithuania 133 - Syria (code 059 used earlier) 134 - Estonia 135 - Latvia 136 - Bahrain 137 - Republic of South Africa (code 119 used earlier) 138 - Armenia 139 - formerly Georgia. Now code 158 is used. 140 - Saudi Arabia 141 - Slovenia 142 - Uzbekistan 143 - Kyrgyzstan 144 - Croatia 145 - Azerbaijan 146 - Ukraine 147 - Moldova 148 - Czech Republic 149 - Slovakia 150 - Belarus 151 - Tajikistan 152 - Turkmenistan 153 - Kazakhstan 154 - Guatemala 155 - Bosnia and Herzegovina 156 - Eritrea 157 - Paraguay* 158 - Georgia (code 139 used earlier) 159 - Brunei-Darussalam 160 - Gambia 161 - Vietnam 162 - Mauritius 163 - Dominican Republic 164 - Montenegro 165 - South Ossetia 166 - Abkhazia 167 - Djibouti


“An extraordinary event for extraordinary people”

MOSCOW BUSINESS NETWORKING CLUB Networking – ‘to socialise for professional or personal gain’

“Now limited to the rst 100 to register!” The MOSCOW BUSINESS NETWORKING CLUB is Moscow’s premier business networking opportunity for business socialising in Moscow. Created by a professional networker for professional networkers this evening provides a superb platform for peer-to-peer networking in a productive environment including all the pre-requisites for effective contact, acquisition, communication and referrals. • Selective multi-national audience (Russian & expat) • High quality visitors due to price policy • Professional name badges for easy recognition • No speeches or presentations • High quality Catering • Quality free-flow drinks • Full photographic report in Moscow expat Life • No membership fees For professional visitors these evenings provide the opportunity to meet new potential clients/partners and maintain current relationships whilst enjoying a professional atmosphere with excellent catering. The Moscow Business Networking Club provides sponsors with a superb opportunity to present their products/services directly to this specific audience. Ask for our Sponsorship packages. For more details on sponsoring or participating please contact Kim Waddoup on kim@aigroup.ru +7 495 777 2577 or http://moscowexpatlife.ru/networking/


Moscow expat Life - Issue 17 - Winter 2016/17  

The 17th Issue of Moscow expat Life is also the 5 year anniversary issue of this magazine for expats in Moscow, Russia.

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