The Moscow Times

The Moscow Times is an English-language online-only newspaper based in Moscow. It was in print from 1992 until 2017, with a peak circulation of 55,000. It was distributed free of charge at places frequented by English-speaking tourists and expatriates such as hotels, cafés, embassies, and airlines, and also by subscription. The newspaper is popular among foreign citizens residing in Moscow and English-speaking Russians.[3] In November 2015 the newspaper changed its design and type from daily to weekly (released every Thursday) and increased the number of pages to 24, and it became online-only in July 2017.

The Moscow Times
The Moscow Times (front page).png
Owner(s)TMT LLC (ООО Тиэмти)[1], supported by Dutch foundation "Stichting 2 Oktober"
PublisherMoscowTimes LLC
Editor-in-chiefEva Hartog Skorobogatova[2]
HeadquartersMoscow, Amsterdam

The newspaper regularly publishes articles by prominent Russian journalists such as Yulia Latynina and Ivan Nechepurenko. Some foreign correspondents started their careers here, including Ellen Barry, who later became the New York Times Moscow bureau chief and won a Pulitzer Prize.[4]

On 23 March 2020, the online newspaper launched a Russian-language version.[5]



Derk Sauer, a Dutch publisher who came to Moscow in 1989, made plans to turn his small, twice-weekly paper called the Moscow Guardian into a world-class daily newspaper. Sauer brought in Meg Bortin as its first editor in May 1992, and the team used a room at the Radisson Slavyanskaya Hotel as its headquarters.[6] [7]

The first edition of The Moscow Times was published in March 1992.[8] It was the first Western daily to be published in Russia,[9] and quickly became "a primary source of news and opinion" quoted in both Russia and the West.[6]

It "played an important role by giving space to Russian commentators". For example, in the fall of 1993, it was able to play a role in defeating the censors: "when anti-Yeltsin forces occupied the Russian Parliament and censorship was revived. Russian newspapers came out with large blank spaces on their front pages where articles critical of the authorities had been suppressed. The writers of those articles came to see us. Published the next day in English in The Moscow Times, their articles were quickly picked up and beamed back in Russian by the BBC and other foreign radios, defeating the censors."[6]

From the mid 1990s until 2000, it was based in the old headquarters of Pravda.[10] In 1997, the website was registered.


In 2003–04, the newspaper added Jobs & Careers and Real Estate appendices, and in 2005 the Moscow Guide appendix, featuring high culture. The annual Moscow Dining Guide was also launched in 2005.

Until 2005, the paper was owned by Independent Media, a Moscow-registered publishing house that also prints a Russian-language daily newspaper, Vedomosti, The St. Petersburg Times (The Moscow Times' counterpart in Saint Petersburg) and Russian-language versions of popular glossy magazines such as FHM, Men's Health and Cosmopolitan Russia.[9] That year, Independent Media was acquired by the Finnish publishing group Sanoma.

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

In 2009, it published Russia for Beginners: A Foreigner's Guide to Russia, written by foreign authors who offer advice based on their own experiences of living in Russia.[11] The paper celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2012 with a gala dinner at the Hotel Baltschug Kempinski in Moscow.[12]

Decline & move to digitalEdit

In January 2014, malicious ads on the newspaper's website redirected visitors to an exploit kit landing page.[13] In December 2014, The Moscow Times was forced offline for two days by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. It was forced offline a second time in February 2015 for unknown reasons.[4]

In April 2014 longtime editor-in-chief Andrew McChesney stepped down and was replaced by Nabi Abdullaev, a former Moscow Times reporter, news editor, managing editor, and deputy editor-in-chief who had left in 2011 to head RIA Novosti's foreign-language news service.[14] Shortly after his appointment, Abdullaev argued in The Guardian that the west's "biased journalism ...robs the west of its moral authority".[15] In Autumn 2015 Abdullaev was removed from his post and replaced by Mikhail Fishman.

In the aftermath of the Ukrainian crisis, The Moscow Times was criticized by a number of journalists. In October 2014 The Moscow Times made the decision to suspend online comments after an increase in offensive comments. The paper said it disabled comments for two reasons—it was an inconvenience for its readers as well as being a legal liability, because under Russian law websites are liable for all content, including user-generated content like comments.[16]

In 2014, sister publication The St. Petersburg Times ceased publication.[17]

In 2015, Sanoma sold MoscowTimes LLC to Demyan Kudryavtsev, a former director of Kommersant.[18][19][20]

In 2017 The paper version stopped. The last paper number appeared on July 6.[21].

In July 2017 the operation of the paper changed to Stichting 2 Oktober, a foundation based in the Netherlands.[22][23] The ownership of the paper is currently split between Vladimir Jao, the CEO of an airline catering company, with 51%, Svetlana Korshunova, general director of the paper with 30%, and Sauer with 19%. [1] This is to comply with a Russian law mandating no more than 20% of media companies in Russia can be owned by foreigners. [24]

Separate publications and special projectsEdit

  • The New York Times International Edition– international news every day
  • Inter-country annexes The Moscow TimesRussia-France, Russia-Finland, Russia-UK, etc. These editions are dedicated to bilateral issues of cooperation and promote establishing of business and investment programs of interaction between two countries. They focus on economic, trade, and investment, as well as inter-culture project, tourism issues.
  • Real Estate Catalog and Real Estate Quarterly – regular specialized business editions about the real estate market
  • The Moscow Times Guide – Russia for Beginners, Russia for the Advanced, Dining Guide, Travel Guide, Bar Guide glamorous edition, seasonal style guide, fashionable trends, cultural events in Moscow.
  • Conferences: The Moscow Times – meeting place of Russian and foreign investors, businessmen and experts in Russia and abroad as well.

Chief editorsEdit

Eva Hartog Skorobogatova (2018)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "The Moscow Times подпитали акционером". Kommersant. 11 October 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Derk Sauer wil met digitale Moscow Times bijdragen aan persvrijheid". Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  3. ^ Richardson, Dan. (2001). The Rough Guide to Moscow. Rough Guides. p. 56. ISBN 978-1-85828-700-3
  4. ^ a b Luhn, Alec (February 5, 2015). "Hackers target Russian newspaper site accused of being anti-Putin". The Guardian. Archived from the original on January 18, 2017.
  5. ^ "A Letter to Our Readers". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  6. ^ a b c Bortin, Meg (October 6, 2012). "To Moscow With News". New York Times.
  7. ^ Simon Kuper (10 October 2005). "Russian remodelling of a cosmopolitan theme". Financial Times. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  8. ^ Derk Sauer (2012). "Derk Sauer: "20 Years Later"". Moscow Times. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  9. ^ a b Lawton, Anna. (2004). Imaging Russia 2000: Film and Facts. New Academia Publishing, LLC. p. 107. ISBN 978-0-9744934-3-5.
  10. ^ Schreck, Carl (14 Feb 2006). "Fire Tears Through the Pravda Complex". Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  11. ^ "Russia for Beginners: A Foreigner's Guide to Russia". The Moscow Times. March 3, 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-03-09.
  12. ^ "20 years with The Moscow Times". The Moscow Times. 2012. Archived from the original on 21 March 2016.
  13. ^ Jérôme Segura (January 7, 2014). "Hard times on The Moscow Times". Malwarebytes. Archived from the original on June 5, 2015.
  14. ^ "Nabi Abdullaev to Replace Andrew McChesney as MT Editor". The Moscow Times. April 14, 2014. Archived from the original on April 17, 2014..
  15. ^ Nabi Abdullaev (4 August 2014). "Is western media coverage of the Ukraine crisis anti-Russian?". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 29 August 2014.
  16. ^ "Russian English-language newspaper The Moscow Times becomes latest victim in Kremlin info war". Ukraine Today. October 31, 2014.
  17. ^ "St. Pete's main English-language newspaper suspends operation". Russia Beyond The Headlines. 22 December 2014. Archived from the original on 24 July 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  18. ^ Andrew Roth (30 April 2015). "New Owner for The Moscow Times and Vedomosti". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 4 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  19. ^ Peter Hobson (4 May 2015). "Russian Owner Wants Modernized Moscow Times, Not Kremlin Stooge". Moscow Times. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  20. ^ "Russia blocks sale of Russian Cosmopolitan, Esquire". The Moscow Times. 16 June 2015. Archived from the original on 5 June 2016. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  21. ^ "The Moscow Times Closes Print Edition". The Moscow Times. 2017-07-05. Archived from the original on 2017-07-06.
  22. ^ Ведомости (7 June 2017). "Дерк Сауэр вернется в The Moscow Times". Archived from the original on 7 May 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  23. ^ "De terugkeer van Derk Sauer in de Russische media - Vrij Nederland". 7 June 2017. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  24. ^ "The Moscow Times подпитали акционером". Kommersant. 11 October 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2018.


  • Michielsen, Dido (2013). Moscow Times. Het Russische avontuur van Derk Sauer en Ellen Verbeek (in Dutch). Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Nieuw Amsterdam. ISBN 9789046814727.

External linksEdit