The Moscow News

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This article is about the English-language newspaper. For the Russian-language newspaper, see Moskovskiye Novosti. For the pre-revolutionary Russian newspaper, see Moskovskie Vedomosti.
Cover of a 1979 Soviet issue of the Moscow News.

The Moscow News, which began publication in 1930, is Russia's oldest English-language newspaper. Many of its feature articles used to be translated from the Russian language Moskovskiye Novosti.

On January 23,2014, the paper ceased appearing in print 'by order of the management'.[1] On March 14, 2014, the paper 'ceased updating materials on its news website, Facebook page and Twitter account due to the liquidation process and reorganization of its parent company, the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti'.[2] Both events followed President Vladimir Putin's December 9, 2013 abolition of the state-owned news agency, which would be merged in 2014 into a new news agency Rossiya Sevodnya[3] Editor Natalia Antonova wrote in a March 14 farewell signed article: 'If you write about Russia with any kind of nuance, you may confuse and anger many people. At first this will scare you, then it will infuriate you, then you'll get used to it.'[4]


The Moscow News was founded by American socialist Anna Louise Strong and approved by the Communist leadership—at that time already dominated by Joseph Stalin—in 1930 as an international newspaper with the purpose of spreading the ideas of socialism to international audience. The paper was soon published in many languages, including major world languages, such as French, German, Spanish, and Arabic, as well as languages of neighboring countries, such as Finnish.

In 1949, the Moscow News was shut down after its editor-in-chief, Mikhail Borodin, was arrested (and most likely died in a prison camp (Gulags). The paper resumed publication under the supervision of the Communist Party on January 4, 1956. Perhaps in the mid-1990s, Sergey Roy became the editor-in-chief.

In 1985, Gennady Gerasimov was the editor-in-chief. When he hired Bob Meyerson as an editor stylist (a re-write editor), Meyerson (who was the only American pacifist living full-time in the USSR) became the only American working for any Soviet newspaper during the next three years, and he continued working for the paper until 1992. When Gennady Gerasimov left the Moscow News around 1986 to become a spokesman for Michail Gorbachev, Yegor Yakovlev became the editor-in-chief and helped the newspaper break one taboo after another during the era of Gorbachev's reforms known as glasnost (openness) and perestroika (rebuilding). In 2004, the Moscow News began to introduce a fully colored front-page.

Under President Vladimir Putin, and suffering from declining sales, Moscow News was bought by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, one of Russia's oligarchs and owner of Yukos. Khodorovsky hired Yevgeny Kiselyov, an outspoken liberal journalist who started a scandal in the ranks by firing nine veteran journalists. Kiselyov was eventually replaced.

The Moscow News has had numerous other owners: Ogonyok, International Book, and the All-Union Society of Cultural Ties with Foreign Countries among others have had a stake in the historic newspaper at one time or another. In 2007, the English version of The Moscow News was partially owned by the RIA Novosti news agency, with some of articles translated from Moskovskiye Novosti.

Between January and September 2007, the paper was managed by Anthony Louis,[5] who introduced several changes. The paper's format was changed to a completely new layout with new fonts and masthead design. The paper went from 16 to 32 pages and featured a variety of popular columnists, both Russian and foreigners.

Local and business coverage was expanded, as well as a sport and local section that features regular original writing by staff writers, most of whom are expatriates living in Moscow. Distribution on domestic and international Aeroflot flights was reintroduced as well. The paper was available free of charge at many business establishments in the Russian capital, and was sold in kiosks at prominent locations, such as Pushkin Square. Between September 2007 and February 2009, the editor-in-chief was Robert Bridge.

In the summer of 2012, the paper started appearing less often, dropping being from a bi-weekly to being a weekly, and its news and politics sections took on a broader, more in-depth focus. It ran occasional advertisement, and was distributed mainly free of charge. It continued to cover both Russian and global news and columns by writers including Mark Galeotti. The paper was financed entirely by its owners. It ceased publication in 2014 and became a web-only news medium, although from two months later the web edition was no longer updated. The printed paper's last editor-in-chief was Natalia Antonova.


  1. ^ Natalia Antonova, "Print edition of The Moscow News shut down", Moscow News, 23 January, 2014. Accessed: 14 March, 2014.
  2. ^ "The Moscow News temporarily stops publication" Moscow News, 14 March, 2014. Accessed: 14 March, 2014.
  3. ^ "Russian news agency RIA Novosti closed down", BBC News, London, 9 December 2013. Accessed: 14 March, 2014.
  4. ^ Natalia Antonova, "From your friendly editor: a goodbye and some unsolicited advice", Moscow News, 14 March, 2014. Accessed: 14 March, 2014.
  5. ^ "Arcadi Gaydamak annonce avoir racheté 'France Soir' (Arcadi Gaydamak announce having bought back 'France Soir')". Le Monde. March 14, 2006. 
  • Baker, Peter and Susan Glasser. Kremlin Rising. Scribner: New York, 2005. p. 287.

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