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Howard Amos

Moskva, Russia
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About Howard
Howard Amos is a journalist based in Moscow, Russia. He has broad experience writing about politics and business as well culture and social issues in Russia and the former Soviet Union. He has been based in Moscow for six years and has written for publications including The Associated Press, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Newsweek, The Sunday Times, Politico and Buzzfeed.
Languages
English Russian
Services
Interview (Video / Broadcast) Feature Stories Content Writing
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Skills
Business Finance Politics
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Portfolio

Everything changed. Ukraine’s literary star Serhiy Zhadan on 5 years since Euromaidan

16 May 2024  |  New East Digital Archive
Serhiy Zhadan, a prominent Ukrainian novelist, poet, and political activist, reflects on the profound changes in Ukraine and his own life since the Euromaidan protests. He discusses his involvement in the protests, the impact of the ongoing conflict with Russian-backed separatists, and his views on language, culture, and politics in Ukraine. Zhadan emphasizes the importance of Ukrainian identity and patriotism while rejecting nationalism. He also shares his current projects, including music albums, an opera, and a novel about the start of the war in 2014.

In conservative Poland, gay literary couple ‘Maryla Szymiczkowa’ are cutting a defiant path

03 May 2024  |  New East Digital Archive
Jacek Dehnel and Piotr Tarczynski, a gay literary couple known as 'Maryla Szymiczkowa', are challenging societal norms in conservative Poland through their murder mystery series. Despite the risks in a country where same-sex marriage is illegal and the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has launched an anti-LGBTQ campaign, they openly discuss their relationship and insist on visibility to change attitudes. Their character Turbotyńska, a conservative, bourgeois woman, is the protagonist of their 'cosy crime' series set in historical Krakow, which they meticulously research to ensure authenticity.

‘Russia’s Cartier-Bresson’: how Dmitry Markov captured beauty amidst the brutality of Putin’s regime

26 Feb 2024  |  ca.news.yahoo.com
Dmitry Markov, a renowned Russian photographer known for capturing the essence of Russian society, particularly its most vulnerable, passed away at the age of 41. His work, which often featured orphans, alcoholics, addicts, and the homeless, offered a stark contrast to the official narratives of Russia under Putin's regime. Markov, who had a history of heroin addiction and personal struggles, used his iPhone for photography, amassing nearly a million Instagram followers. He combined his art with philanthropy, supporting various charitable causes. Despite criticism for remaining in Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, Markov felt tied to the country and its people. His death prompted widespread appreciation for his contributions to socially oriented Russian art.

‘Russia’s Cartier-Bresson’: how Dmitry Markov captured beauty amidst the brutality of Putin’s regime

26 Feb 2024  |  newsbreak.com
Dmitry Markov, a renowned Russian photographer known for capturing the essence of Russian life, particularly its most vulnerable citizens, passed away earlier this month. His work, which often featured orphans, alcoholics, addicts, and the homeless, provided a stark contrast to the official narratives of Russia under Putin's regime. Markov, who had a history of heroin addiction and personal struggles, used his photography as a means of philanthropy and personal healing. Despite criticism for remaining in Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, Markov felt a deep connection to the Russian people. His death has sparked widespread appreciation for his contributions to socially oriented art, with some critics comparing him to historical figures like Ilya Repin and Caravaggio.

Kremlin condemns bomb hoaxes as ‘telephone terrorism’

05 Oct 2023  |  apnews.com
Russian authorities are grappling with a wave of bomb threats targeting major public buildings, which the Kremlin has labeled as 'telephone terrorism.' Despite extensive evacuations affecting over 100,000 people across various cities, including Moscow and St. Petersburg, the perpetrators remain unidentified. Theories range from involvement by the Islamic State group to potential links with Ukraine, but no evidence has been provided. State-owned media have offered minimal coverage, and security officials have yet to issue formal statements.

Kremlin condemns bomb hoaxes as ‘telephone terrorism’

05 Oct 2023  |  apnews.com
Hundreds of bomb threats made by anonymous callers against major public buildings in Russia this week have been condemned as 'telephone terrorism' by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Over 100,000 people have been evacuated from various cities, including Moscow and St. Petersburg. Theories about the origins of the threats include involvement by the Islamic State group, calls from Ukraine, and an official exercise, but no evidence has been provided. State-owned television has provided little coverage, and there have been no official statements from security services.

FSB poison squad reportedly targeted prominent poet

04 Oct 2023  |  The Bell
Russian intelligence officers from the FSB, known for poisoning Alexei Navalny, reportedly targeted poet Dmitry Bykov in 2019. Bykov, a vocal critic of the authorities, fell ill during a trip to Siberia and was hospitalized with symptoms similar to Navalny's. The Bellingcat investigation revealed that the FSB's 'poison squad' had been tracking Bykov for over a year. Despite his political opinions, Bykov is primarily a poet and literary critic with no known political ambitions. The incident underscores the unpredictable nature of Russia's security services.

Russian Schools Are Teaching 3-Year-Olds Propaganda About the War in Ukraine

03 Oct 2023  |  www.vice.com
Russian pre-schools are being compelled to conduct lessons promoting support for the war in Ukraine, with teachers fearing job loss or salary cuts if they do not comply. Activities include drawing military hardware, spray-painting Russian flags, and promoting symbols like 'Z' and 'V'. Some teachers have protested, but many feel pressured to conform. The Kremlin's propaganda efforts have intensified, extending to young children, with patriotic activities and lessons being mandated in schools and nurseries across the country.

Thousands protest in Armenia over military strike on Nagorno-Karabakh

20 Sep 2023  |  theguardian.com
Following Azerbaijan's military assault on Nagorno-Karabakh, thousands protested in Armenia's capital against Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's leadership, the inaction of Russian peacekeepers, and the perceived failure of Western governments to halt the violence. The ceasefire agreement seemed to signal the local defense forces' capitulation, intensifying Armenia's political unrest. Accusations of ethnic cleansing by Azerbaijan were rampant among Yerevan's protesters, who also expressed disillusionment with Russia's role in the region. The US and EU's credibility is at stake if they fail to respond effectively to the crisis, according to analysts.

Nagorno-Karabakh: ceasefire agreed after dozens killed in military offensive

20 Sep 2023  |  the Guardian
A ceasefire agreement has been reached following Azerbaijan's military offensive against the local Armenian government in Nagorno-Karabakh. The agreement includes the disbandment of the local Armenian military. Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev declared victory, claiming the restoration of sovereignty. The conflict resulted in significant casualties, with estimates ranging from dozens to hundreds killed. Negotiations are set to take place in Yevlakh, Azerbaijan, focusing on the reintegration of Nagorno-Karabakh. The ceasefire was mediated by Russian peacekeepers, and international figures like Charles Michel have called for the protection of ethnic Armenians' rights. Protests erupted in Armenia's capital, Yerevan, against the government's handling of the situation.

The Ivan the Terrible statue is unveiled in the city of Oryol, Russia

10 Apr 2023  |  POLITICO
In Oryol, Russia, a statue of Ivan the Terrible has been unveiled, reflecting a resurgence in positive appraisals of the controversial czar under Vladimir Putin's regime. The monument, which portrays Ivan as a great ruler, was attended by Russian nationalists, Orthodox Church figures, and government officials. This event marks a continuation of the historical trend in Russia where the erection or demolition of monuments is closely tied to the political climate. The statue's unveiling has sparked debate, with some drawing parallels between Ivan's and Putin's leadership, while others criticize the glorification of a ruler known for his violent reign. The article also touches on the broader context of statue politics in Russia and the former Soviet Union, including the recent rehabilitation of Stalin's image and the toppling of Lenin statues in Ukraine.

Elizabeth Wilson Chronicles the Miraculous Life of Maria Yudina

18 Sep 2022  |  The Moscow Times
Elizabeth Wilson's biography, 'Playing with Fire,' chronicles the life of Soviet pianist Maria Yudina, who navigated the oppressive Soviet regime with her Orthodox beliefs, avant-garde music, and support for political prisoners. Despite her eccentricities and opposition to the authorities, Yudina remained unscathed by the Soviet system, outliving Stalin by nearly two decades. The biography details her concert schedule, intellectual engagements, and the myths surrounding her life, offering a rich narrative of her contributions to music and intellectual circles in the Soviet Union.

“Cold, Ashamed, and Free”: Anti-Putin Russians Take Refuge in Armenia

28 Mar 2022  |  newrepublic.com
Tens of thousands of Russians, including writer Maxim Osipov and academics Maria Maiofis and Ilya Kukulin, have fled to Armenia and other countries following President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine. These emigrants, primarily from Russia's middle class, are grappling with feelings of shame, fear, and uncertainty about their future. The influx has significantly impacted Yerevan, Armenia's capital, with rising real estate prices and increased Russian presence. Many are in shock, reading historical texts to understand their situation, and fear speaking freely due to new repressive laws in Russia. The exodus includes many independent journalists and IT specialists, potentially causing long-term economic and political impacts on Russia. While some hope to return, others are preparing for a permanent life abroad, reflecting on the loss of their hopes for a democratic Russia.

I Joined the Exodus From Russia

04 Mar 2022  |  newrepublic.com
Amid rumors of Russia imposing martial law, the author and others with Russian partners faced the prospect of being separated by a new 'iron curtain.' Despite official denials, the fear of closed borders and conscription prompted a mass exodus. Russian civil society, including independent journalists, activists, and IT entrepreneurs, is under threat as repression intensifies. Independent media outlets are being shut down, and online platforms are censored by Roskomnadzor. The author, along with many others, fled to countries like Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, with Yerevan and Tbilisi becoming hubs for Russian emigrants. The article highlights the personal decisions and broader implications of the exodus for Russian society.

Stat of the day

01 Jan 2020  |  Rest of World
In 2020, Ukraine saw an increase in mushroom-related deaths due to more people foraging during the pandemic. In Vietnam, increased CCTV use has led to more cases of sexual harassment being reported, with activists criticizing the legal system's response. Africa's tech investment is heavily concentrated in Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, and South Africa, which received 92% of the continent's total investment. Egyptian e-payment company Fawry has reached a market cap of $1 billion, offering extensive electronic payment services and processing millions of transactions daily.

‘This is the end’: Schoolchildren caught in Siberian mall fire made desperate, futile calls to family

26 Mar 2018  |  nationalpost
At least 64 people, many of them children, died in a fire at a shopping center in Kemerovo, Russia, where blocked fire exits and a disabled alarm system exacerbated the tragedy. Desperate phone calls from trapped children highlighted the chaos, while parents and emergency services faced criticism for their handling of the disaster. The incident has sparked a criminal investigation and calls for stricter fire safety regulations amid accusations of corruption in oversight.

Russia fire: Tragedy as parents recall final words with children trapped in shopping mall

25 Mar 2018  |  telegraph.co.uk
A fire in a Kemerovo shopping centre in Siberia resulted in at least 64 deaths, including children. The fire safety system had been disabled, and exits were blocked. A criminal investigation is underway, and four people have been arrested. The tragedy occurred during the Easter school holidays, and the building was full of families. President Putin has expressed condolences, and the Prosecutor General's Office has ordered fire safety checks on all shopping malls in Russia. Stories of bravery have also surfaced, including that of a schoolteacher who saved her daughter and other children.

Russia condemns bomb hoaxes as ‘telephone terrorism’

14 Sep 2017  |  www.spokesman.com
Hundreds of bomb threats termed as 'telephone terrorism' have been reported across Russia, with over 100,000 people evacuated from public buildings including schools, hospitals, and airports. Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, assured that all necessary measures are being taken. Theories about the hoaxes range from Islamic State involvement to originating from Ukraine, but no evidence supports any claims. Major Russian news channels have provided minimal coverage, and no official statements from security services have been made.

Russia seeks to calm tensions over czar love affair film

13 Sep 2017  |  apnews.com
Russian officials, including Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky and President Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov, have addressed the controversy surrounding the film 'Matilda,' which depicts the love affair between Russia's last czar, Nicholas II, and a ballerina. The film has faced criticism from nationalists and some Orthodox believers, leading to threats and arson attacks against cinemas. Russia's largest cinema chain has decided not to show the film due to safety concerns. Medinsky emphasized that the film is not insulting to Nicholas II or Russian monarchy history, while Peskov condemned the pressure on cinemas and called for security service investigations into any extremism. The film is scheduled for release on October 26.

Russia seeks to calm tensions over czar love affair film

13 Sep 2017  |  CityNews Calgary
Top Russian officials, including Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky and President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov, are attempting to mitigate the controversy surrounding the film 'Matilda,' which depicts a love affair between Russia's last czar and a ballerina. The film has faced severe backlash from hard-line nationalists and Orthodox believers, leading to arson attacks and threats against cinemas. Medinsky and Peskov have condemned the pressure on cinemas and called for respect and lawfulness. Despite the controversy, pre-release audiences have reacted positively to the film, which is set to be released on October 26.

‘Big hunt’ for Russian hackers, despite no obvious election link

02 Aug 2017  |  www.taipeitimes.com
A series of US-initiated operations have led to the arrests of several alleged Russian cybercriminals, including Pyotr Levashov, who is accused of being a notorious spam lord. These arrests come amid strained US-Russia relations and allegations of Kremlin interference in the US presidential election. While some defendants suggest their arrests are politically motivated, there is no firm evidence linking them to the election. Experts and legal documents indicate that investigations into these cybercriminals began well before the election. The article provides detailed accounts of the arrests and backgrounds of the individuals involved, as well as expert commentary on the complex relationship between Russian hackers and the Russian security services.

‘Big Hunt’ For Russian Hackers, But No Obvious Link To US Election Turmoil

31 Jul 2017  |  talkingpointsmemo.com
A series of American-initiated operations have led to the arrest of Russian cybercriminals, including Pyotr Levashov, who was detained in Barcelona. These arrests occur amidst allegations of Kremlin hackers influencing the U.S. election to aid Donald Trump. However, an Associated Press review found no solid evidence linking the arrests to the election. Legal experts and the accused have suggested political motives, but without proof. The FBI has been tracking some of these individuals for years, indicating that the arrests may not be election-related. The article details the background of the arrested individuals and the charges they face.

Peak Obsession: How Russia's Love for Cult U.S. Drama Twin Peaks Defined the 90s

26 Jun 2017  |  The Moscow Times
In the early 1990s, the U.S. television drama Twin Peaks captivated Russian audiences, including young crime reporter Sergei Sokolov and his colleagues at Novaya Gazeta, who dedicated a column to unraveling the show's mysteries. The series, which aired in Russia in 1993, stood out amidst the popular Latin American soaps and resonated deeply due to its mysticism and portrayal of rural America. The obsession even reached political elites, with former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev reportedly inquiring about the show's plot. The recent revival of Twin Peaks has rekindled interest, though it has received mixed reviews. While some fans appreciate David Lynch's continued genius, others find the new series chaotic and less engaging.

Russian media has a preference in US election, and it’s Donald Trump

05 Nov 2016  |  www.bostonglobe.com
Russian state-owned media shows a clear preference for Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election, frequently highlighting allegations against Hillary Clinton and echoing Trump's claims of a rigged election. Pro-Kremlin journalists and TV channels portray Clinton negatively, focusing on her alleged corruption, health issues, and connections to scandals, while Trump is depicted more favorably. Russian President Vladimir Putin denies Kremlin's preference, but experts note similarities in foreign policy positions between Trump and Putin. The Russian media's coverage reflects a broader narrative of skepticism towards the U.S. electoral process.

'Hipster Stalinism:' Populist Renewal Projects Come to Moscow

03 Jul 2016  |  Newsweek
The article discusses the extensive urban regeneration projects in Moscow, focusing on the renovation of VDNKh, a historic park and exhibition space known as the 'Soviet Versailles.' Mayor Sergei Sobyanin is leading the multi-billion-dollar initiative, which includes updating Stalin-era structures to reflect modern Russian nationalism, a trend some call 'hipster Stalinism.' The article also covers the 'My Street' project aimed at making Moscow more pedestrian-friendly, the expansion of the city's transport network, and the greening of an abandoned site near Red Square. Critics argue that the projects are authoritarian, lack public input, and are marred by corruption. The article suggests that these developments reflect a broader shift away from Western urbanism and a return to Soviet-style management, with a focus on the upcoming 2018 presidential elections.

Russia refuses to help Syrian refugees

10 Sep 2015  |  The Telegraph
Russia refused to participate in any refugee assistance programs, attributing the European migration crisis to Western powers. The Kremlin, a major arms supplier to Bashar al-Assad's regime, has granted asylum to only two Syrians this year. Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesman, emphasized that the financial burden of the crisis should fall on those responsible for the situation. He also highlighted potential security threats from Islamic State infiltrators among migrants. Russia has bolstered Assad's military support, with troops protecting its naval facility in Tartous and aiding Syrian forces, which are blamed for most civilian casualties in the conflict.

Ukraine crisis: 'It's war, civil war'

03 May 2014  |  www.theguardian.com
The article recounts the tragic events in Odessa, Ukraine, where violent clashes between pro-Russia and pro-Ukraine groups led to a fire at the city's trade union building. Fatima Popura discovered her son Vadim among the dead, who had jumped from the building to escape the flames. Local prosecutors reported 46 deaths, and hospitals treated numerous injuries. The violence began with an attack on a pro-Ukraine rally and escalated into street battles. The absence of police during the hour-long fire has sparked outrage among locals and officials. Accusations of responsibility are being exchanged between Kiev and Moscow, with some blaming foreign fighters and others pointing to Ukrainian nationalist groups. The community mourns as Odessa grapples with the aftermath of the tragedy.

Bank Drops Navalny Card Project

07 Oct 2012  |  The Moscow Times
Alexei Navalny's initiative to launch a debit card supporting his anti-corruption efforts has stalled after the partnering bank withdrew due to political risks. The card, intended as a tool for anti-Putin protesters, had its launch postponed indefinitely. Vladimir Ashurkov of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Fund did not disclose the bank's name but mentioned discussions with other banks without any concrete plans. Alexander Lebedev had previously indicated his National Reserve Bank's involvement in the project, which his spokesman Artyom Artyomov confirmed is still under development despite Lebedev's intentions to downsize his Russian business ventures.
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