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Aliide Naylor

Moskva, Russia
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About Aliide
British journalist, editor, and researcher. Work published in the Guardian, POLITICO Europe, New Statesman, Vice, The Moscow Times, and New Eastern Europe. 

Now primarily in London/Baltics but open to Russia-based commissions with the appropriate arrangements.
English Russian
Feature Stories Research Investigative Journalism
Politics Current Affairs Arts & Books

Russia arrests US citizen on treason charges for charity donation

20 Feb 2024  |  www.thetimes.co.uk
An American-Russian dual citizen, Ksenia Khavana, has been arrested in Russia on treason charges for allegedly donating about $50 to a Ukrainian charity. The FSB released a video showing Khavana being handcuffed and escorted out of a building in Yekaterinburg. She is accused of providing financial assistance to a foreign state in activities against the security of the Russian Federation.

Ukraine’s Dead Athletes Haunt 2024 Olympics

16 Jan 2024  |  cepa.org
The documentary 'Athletes of War' highlights the impact of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Ukrainian athletes, with over 400 killed. It challenges the neutrality of Russian and Belarusian athletes competing in the 2024 Paris Olympics, citing the unfair conditions faced by Ukrainians due to the war. The film features Ukrainian athletes like Sergiy Stakhovsky and Iryna Koliadenko, who speak about the psychological and physical disadvantages they endure. An open letter to French President Macron from Ukrainian athletes calls for a ban on Russian and Belarusian participants, some of whom have publicly supported the invasion. The film also questions the International Olympic Committee's reluctance to exclude Russia and the broader issue of international complicity. It ends with a call for recognition of Ukraine's losses and a hope for a response similar to the 1968 Olympics after the invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Putin discusses Gaza and Ukraine on visit to UAE and Saudi Arabia

06 Dec 2023  |  www.thetimes.co.uk
Vladimir Putin visited the UAE and Saudi Arabia, receiving a warm welcome and discussing oil production, Ukraine, and the Israel-Gaza conflict. His visit followed a drop in oil prices despite OPEC+'s pledge to cut output.

Kremlin’s War on History Targets Holodomor Remembrance

05 Dec 2023  |  cepa.org
Ukrainians marked the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor, a famine-genocide resulting from Soviet policies that claimed at least 3.9 million lives. The Soviet Union historically denied the event, and current Russian actions continue to suppress its remembrance. Russia has destroyed Holodomor monuments in Ukraine and launched drone attacks coinciding with the commemoration. The Russian government is also accused of revising history in textbooks and removing memorials to Soviet terror victims. The article draws parallels between the Holodomor and Russia's current war tactics in Ukraine, including the use of food as a weapon, as highlighted by US President Joe Biden.

Muslim mob in Dagestan storm airport hunting Jews

30 Oct 2023  |  thetimes.co.uk
Flights were diverted from Makhachkala airport in Dagestan after a mob stormed the runway to confront passengers from a flight arriving from Tel Aviv. The mob, which included individuals waving Palestinian flags, forced new arrivals to reboard the plane. The Russian interior ministry reported 60 arrests, and the incident involved a Red Wings aircraft.

Russia summons British ambassador over Crimea drone strike

30 Oct 2023  |  www.thetimes.co.uk
Russia has summoned British ambassador Deborah Bronnert to the foreign ministry in Moscow, accusing the UK of coordinating a Ukrainian drone attack on the Crimean port of Sevastopol. The Kremlin claims the Royal Navy oversaw the raid on the frigate Admiral Makarov, although no evidence was provided. The incident has heightened tensions, with pro-Kremlin protesters labeling Britain as a 'terrorist state'.

Biden blames Congress for Ukraine’s loss of Avdiivka

07 Oct 2023  |  www.thetimes.co.uk
President Biden has attributed Russia's recent battlefield gains in eastern Ukraine, specifically the capture of Avdiivka, to congressional inaction, particularly blaming Republicans for delaying additional funding. Despite the US Senate's approval of $95 billion for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, the measures are stalled in the House due to Republican demands for increased southern border security. President Putin praised his forces for the capture, emphasizing its significance.

Moscow drone attack: Russia threatens ‘harsh’ response to strike

03 Oct 2023  |  www.thetimes.co.uk
Russia has vowed to take severe retaliatory measures following a drone attack on Moscow, which the Kremlin attributes to Ukraine. The incident, occurring far from the front lines, has raised concerns about the effectiveness of Russia's air defenses. President Putin condemned the attack on civilian targets, suggesting it was a provocation to elicit a mirrored response. The attack follows recent Russian air assaults on Kyiv, including drones and missiles.

Zelensky dismisses Ukraine’s defence minister Oleksii Reznikov

04 Sep 2023  |  www.thetimes.co.uk
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has dismissed Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov and proposed Rustem Umerov, noted for his anti-corruption stance, as the replacement. Reznikov confirmed his resignation and may become Ukraine's ambassador to the UK. Zelensky's actions reflect his commitment to combating corruption, including firing regional military recruitment chiefs and planning legislation to classify corruption as treason. Ukraine is also developing a portal for anonymous corruption reporting. Transparency International ranks Ukraine 116th out of 180 countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index.

Russia confirms Yevgeny Prigozhin was killed in private jet crash

27 Aug 2023  |  thetimes.co.uk
Russian investigators have officially confirmed the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner group and ally of President Putin, following the crash of his private jet in the Tver region. Prigozhin was among the ten fatalities identified through genetic testing after the plane went down 210 miles northwest of Moscow. He had previously been involved in a brief mutiny against Putin in June.

What happened to Putin’s critics? From mysterious deaths to poisonings

25 Aug 2023  |  thetimes.co.uk
Following the loss of Kharkiv, President Putin replaced General Gennady Zhidko, known as the Butcher of Syria, with General Sergei Surovikin, who is now missing. Zhidko is deceased. The pattern of missing and deceased Russian commanders, business executives, and critics suggests an attempt by Putin to clean house, as noted by Russian opposition journalist Dmitry Kolezev.

Russia mobilises migrant workers to join battlefront in Ukraine

23 Aug 2023  |  thetimes.co.uk
Central Asian migrant workers in Russia are being forcibly mobilized by Russian authorities to fight in Ukraine, with a recent raid in St Petersburg targeting 100 migrants who had received Russian citizenship. The 'ghost mobilisation' was reported by an Uzbek-language Telegram channel, which warned migrants from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan and showed video evidence of the roundups.

Ukraine war: More attacks to come, vows Kyiv as drone hits Moscow skyscraper

01 Aug 2023  |  www.thetimes.co.uk
A Moscow skyscraper housing Russian government offices was damaged by a drone for the second time in three days, in a suspected Ukrainian strike. An adviser to President Zelensky warned of more attacks, while President Putin's regime condemned the incident as a 'terrorist attack'. The building, known as the 'IQ quarter', includes the ministries of economic development, digital, and industry and trade. Footage showed significant damage to its glass façade. The Russian defence ministry is located near the scene.

Memorial to Polish victims of Stalin is purged from St Petersburg

24 Jul 2023  |  www.thetimes.co.uk
A monument in St Petersburg commemorating Poles executed during Stalin's Great Terror has been removed, which seems to be a response to Poland's support for Ukraine. The memorial, established in 2001, honored over 100,000 Poles killed by the NKVD in 1937 and 1938. The Levashovsky cemetery, where the monument stood, is the burial site for around 47,000 victims of various backgrounds from the 1930s purges.

Zelensky: Bakhmut is still in our hands

21 May 2023  |  www.thetimes.co.uk
President Zelensky has stated that Bakhmut is not occupied by Russia, countering Russian claims of capture. He compared the destruction in Bakhmut to that of Hiroshima after the atomic bomb. Despite losing most of Bakhmut's territory, the Ukrainian army is holding on to some western streets and making gains around the city.

Israel vows to retaliate for Iran attack — as it happened

14 Apr 2023  |  www.thetimes.co.uk
Iran launched an unprecedented drone and missile attack on Israel, which was retaliated against by Israeli and US defense systems. The attack was in response to an Israeli airstrike on Iran's consulate in Damascus. The G7 and other international bodies are working towards de-escalation, with the UN Security Council holding an emergency meeting. The UK and US have condemned Iran's actions, and the UK has deployed additional RAF jets to the region. Iran's military claims the attack achieved its objectives, while Israel vows to retaliate appropriately. The situation remains tense with global calls for restraint.

Moscow's Narkomfin Building Faces Controversial Restoration

05 Apr 2023  |  The Moscow Times
The article discusses the controversy surrounding the restoration of the Narkomfin building in Moscow, a constructivist landmark designed by Moisei Ginzburg and Ignaty Milinis. The primary owner, Alexander Senatorov of Kopernik, plans to launch a $12 million restoration project, but heritage experts and residents are protesting against unauthorized and potentially damaging renovations already taking place. The building has been in disrepair for decades and is of global significance to architectural historians. Senatorov's plans include converting apartments to be bought instead of rented and adding modern amenities, but heritage organizations like Docomomo and Mosgornaslediye have not approved the current works. The international community has shown interest in the building's fate, with it being listed on the World Monuments Fund watch list. Despite the outcry, Senatorov is determined to proceed with the restoration, open to outside help but insistent on moving forward.

In Ukraine, Dead Dolphins Tell a Story of Ecocide and Violence

01 Apr 2023  |  Gizmodo
In Ukraine, the war has led to a significant environmental crisis, with an estimated 50,000 dolphins dying in the Black Sea due to factors such as sonar interference, burns from phosphorus incendiaries, and the impact of explosions. Ecologist Ivan Rusev from Tuzlovski Lagoons National Park has been documenting the deaths and attributes them to wartime activities. Ukraine's Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, along with other organizations, are concerned about the long-term ecological damage, including the contamination of land and water, destruction of habitats, and potential for a nuclear disaster similar to Fukushima. The war has also highlighted the need for clean energy, as Ukraine moves towards solar power and away from Russian gas dependency. Legal actions are being pursued for ecocide, with the Ukrainian prosecutor's office investigating over 100 cases related to environmental damage from the war.

Trump, Russia and the new geopolitics of the Baltics

01 Apr 2023  |  New Eastern Europe
The article discusses the geopolitical situation of the Baltic States in the context of US-Russia relations under President Donald Trump's administration. It covers a phone call between Trump and Putin, where various international issues were discussed, and the subsequent reactions from Baltic and Eastern European countries. Concerns are raised about the potential for Russia to provoke a conflict in the Baltics to test NATO's resolve, particularly Article 5, which requires member states to defend each other in case of an attack. The article also touches on the Baltic States' defense spending and their efforts to meet NATO commitments, as well as the mixed feelings in the region about the reliability of US support under Trump. The piece includes insights from various political scientists, journalists, and officials from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, who express a range of opinions on the future of security and stability in the region.

Dispatch from Dnipro: How ‘Ukraine’s outpost’ and its people are faring after one year of all-out war

23 Feb 2023  |  meduza.io
Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, now a year old, has caused significant human suffering, with thousands of civilian casualties and millions displaced. Dnipro, a key city for refugees from frontline areas, has become a hub for those fleeing the conflict. The Dnipro Metallurgical Plant and other facilities have been converted into shelters, providing essential support to displaced individuals. Despite the relative safety, the city endures frequent air-raid sirens and missile attacks. Grassroots initiatives and local efforts have been crucial in supporting refugees and soldiers. The city's history of migration and resilience is highlighted, with a focus on its evolving identity and the collective efforts of its residents to support one another during the ongoing conflict.

‘400 Russian recruits killed’ in Donetsk missile strike

02 Jan 2023  |  www.thetimes.co.uk
A missile strike in Makiivka, eastern Ukraine, reportedly killed around 400 newly mobilized Russian recruits according to the Ukrainian armed forces. The strike, conducted on New Year's Eve, targeted a facility in the city. The Russian Ministry of Defence acknowledged the attack but claimed the casualties were significantly lower, with 63 deaths reported. The attack was carried out using US-supplied Himars systems.

Kosovo shuts main crossing after Serbs block roads in border clash

28 Dec 2022  |  thetimes.co.uk
Kosovo has closed its largest border crossing at Merdare due to roadblocks erected by Serbs, leading to significant traffic disruptions and one of the region's most severe crises in years. Serb demonstrators used vehicles to obstruct traffic and expressed concerns over human rights in Kosovo. The Kosovo foreign ministry has accused Serbian criminal groups of instigating the blockades and advised citizens to use alternative routes. Additional border points, Jarinje and Bërnjak, have also been shut down.

‘Unlikely’ Poland missile fired from Russia, says Biden

16 Nov 2022  |  thetimes.co.uk
President Biden stated it is 'unlikely' that the missile which hit a Polish village was fired from Russia, contradicting initial accusations that escalated tensions by suggesting NATO allies could be drawn into direct conflict with Russia. The strike in Przewodow killed two Polish citizens amid a significant increase in bombardment on Ukraine by Russia. While a senior US intelligence official initially blamed Russia, Biden's comments, based on preliminary information, suggest otherwise, though investigations are ongoing.

Sirens and Flaming Shots — Life in Wartime Odesa

26 Oct 2022  |  cepa.org
In Odesa, Ukraine, residents are adapting to the new reality of frequent air raid sirens, which have become a background noise amidst the ongoing conflict. Despite the increasing frequency of these alerts, locals often ignore them, maintaining a semblance of normal life. The recent Russian bombardment from the Black Sea targeted Ukraine's critical infrastructure, cutting off power to over 1.4 million households and injuring three people. The author, Aliide Naylor, describes her experience seeking shelter during curfews and the resilience of the Ukrainian air defenses, which have successfully intercepted many incoming threats. Amidst the war, daily life continues with local volunteers distributing food, couples taking wedding photos, and people enjoying nightlife before curfew. The article also touches on the decline of the book market in favor of internet content and the importance of mental resilience for Ukrainians during these challenging times.

Theater In The Bomb Shelter: How The Arts Are Surviving Russia's Invasion Of Ukraine

24 Sep 2022  |  rferl.org
In Ukraine, theater performances are being adapted to the conditions of war, with plays being staged in bomb shelters. Directors like Yana Tytarenko and Kostyantyn Vasyukov have created works that reflect the realities of life under invasion, focusing on both the mundane and intense aspects of the conflict. Cultural institutions, such as the Donetsk Academic Regional Drama Theater and the Mykolayiv Academic Art Drama Theater, have been targeted and damaged by Russian attacks. Despite the challenges, the arts continue to provide a means for Ukrainians to process and distract from the war, with actors and theater workers also contributing to the war effort by sewing military supplies. The resilience of Ukrainian theater in the face of the invasion highlights the importance of cultural expression during times of crisis.

Muzzling the Watchdogs: Russia’s Media Crackdown

07 Sep 2022  |  cepa.org
Ivan Safronov, a former defense reporter, was sentenced to 22 years in prison by Moscow City Court for allegedly distributing material to foreign intelligence services. The case, held behind closed doors, has been criticized by rights defenders, with claims that the information was publicly available. Safronov's sentencing coincided with the revocation of Novaya Gazeta's publishing license, reflecting a broader crackdown on independent media in Russia, which has intensified since the invasion of Ukraine. Russian independent media and the Committee to Protect Journalists have demanded Safronov's release, highlighting the case as an example of the FSB's illegal activities and suppression of journalism.

Ukraine is striking back across front line, says Zelensky

31 Aug 2022  |  www.thetimes.co.uk
Ukrainian forces have launched a counteroffensive across the entire front line, including the Kherson region, aiming to retake territory captured by Russia. President Zelensky confirmed the active military engagement in the south, Kharkiv region, and Donbas. Ukraine's southern operational command reported significant Russian casualties and equipment losses.

The Strange Death of a Russian Scientist

05 Jul 2022  |  cepa.org
Dmitry Kolker, a Russian scientist with terminal pancreatic cancer, was forcibly taken from his hospital by FSB officials to Lefortovo prison in Moscow, where he died. He faced treason charges after refusing to testify against colleagues at the Institute of Laser Physics. His son and daughter publicly criticized the state's treatment of Kolker. Speculation arises that Putin's security services are targeting anti-regime elements. A memorial for Kolker in Novosibirsk was destroyed by Russian police, and another scientist, Anatoly Maslov, remains detained.

Hamburg faces hot water rationing as German gas crisis deepens

04 Jul 2022  |  thetimes.co.uk
The German chancellor has warned of significant increases in energy bills, which could become socially explosive. In Hamburg, residents may face warm water rationing due to a potential natural gas shortage this winter. Germany, still reliant on Russia for about 35% of its natural gas, is finding it difficult to find alternative sources promptly. Russia has cut gas exports to Germany by approximately 60% through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which German officials believe is part of a strategy to use energy as leverage to pressure Berlin and cause divisions within Europe.

Brain drain: educated Russians flee Putin’s regime while they can

15 Mar 2022  |  www.thetimes.co.uk
As rumors of martial law spread in Moscow, Alexander Vishnevskiy, a YouTube producer, decided to leave Russia, fearing it might be his last chance. He initially considered Istanbul but opted for a train to Tallinn, Estonia, due to high flight costs and sold-out trains to other Baltic states. This reflects a broader trend of educated Russians fleeing Putin's regime.

The rituals of Paganism are making a comeback deep in the Baltic states

28 Feb 2022  |  thetimes.co.uk
Pagan rituals, songs, and symbols are experiencing a revival in the Baltic states, centuries after being suppressed by Christian missionaries and German crusaders. Andris Zukovskis, in central Latvia, highlights the significance of this resurgence, which follows a long period of suppression under the USSR.

Underpaid Workers Are Being Forced to Train Biased AI on Mechanical Turk

08 Mar 2021  |  www.vice.com
Workers on Amazon's Mechanical Turk platform, such as Riley, are underpaid for repetitive tasks like labeling images to train AI systems. A study involving over 6,000 microworkers to train the ArtEmis algorithm revealed biases towards majority thinking, potentially skewing results. Workers fear retaliation for deviating from the norm, and platforms like Clickworker and Lionbridge encourage conformity. Experts warn this affects creativity and perpetuates biases. The median pay for such tasks is often less than $3 per hour, and workers may not be paid if their work is rejected. A study highlighted the exclusion of workers from communities most affected by algorithmic inequity, exacerbating the issue.

The Art of Dissent

21 Feb 2017  |  New Statesman
The article discusses the political and feminist activism of the Russian punk collective Pussy Riot and the subsequent crackdown on dissent in Russia. It highlights the increasing challenges faced by artists, curators, and activists in expressing themselves due to government censorship and the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church. The article also touches on the legal changes in Russia, such as the 'gay propaganda' law and legislation against insulting the feelings of believers. It mentions specific cases of self-censorship and the rise of bottom-up challenges to the status quo, including the use of online networks and social media to raise awareness of issues like sexual violence. The article suggests a generational shift in attitudes towards freedom and state authority, with younger Russians being less inclined to self-censorship.

Vodka, Banya and Bears as Seen By Foreign Eyes

02 Feb 2013  |  The Moscow Times
A group of 25 young documentary filmmakers from 16 countries, part of the Cinetrain project, traveled across Russia to explore and challenge the country's biggest stereotypes. They produced seven short films focusing on themes such as Russian winters, bears, banyas, vodka, women, Lada cars, and the Russian soul. The project drew inspiration from 1930s film trains used for anthropological expeditions. The filmmakers encountered various challenges, including extreme cold weather and cultural apprehension, but found adaptability and endurance to be key traits of the Russian soul. The pre-premiere of the films is scheduled for February 6 at the Multimedia Press Center at RIA-Novosti, with free admission through prior registration.

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