This website is a collection of my journalistic work spanning 20 years. Here you will find reporting from North Korea, dispatches from pre-9/11 Afghanistan and commentary on what makes Vladimir Putin tick.
I have spent most of my life studying Russia and the former colonies of the Soviet empire stretching from Prague to Pyongyang. For my generation, the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was a defining historical moment that paved the way for the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the unification of Europe and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
I was born in Charleston, Illinois, in 1970. I earned a bachelor’s degree in geography and foreign languages from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, studied journalism at the University of California at Berkeley and completed the master’s program in nationalism studies at Central European University in Budapest. Besides English, I speak German, Russian and French.
I started my career in 1996 as Berlin correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor, covering Germany, eastern Europe and Central Asia. In 2003, I moved to Moscow, where I became the business editor and a columnist for The Moscow Times. From 2006 to 2010, I covered Russian energy giant Gazprom and Putin’s government for Bloomberg News. In 2011, I started a blog chronicling the Moscow protest movement.
Now I’m again based in Berlin, where I work as an independent journalist. I have blogged on my travels to Sochi and Chechnya and covered the Ukraine conflict for news organizations including Newsweek, the Associated Press, Deutsche Welle and Zeit Online.