A marble tile floor, a big flat-screen TV and empty bookshelves lent the room a nouveau-riche air. A couple of armchairs were shaped like seashells; green bunches of glass grapes dangled from chandeliers decorated with gold leaves.
Based in Berlin and Moscow, I’ve reported from the rubble of the Soviet empire since 1996. I'm a regular contributor to Reuters, Slate, VICE News and Berlin Policy Journal. I've also written for Foreign Policy, BuzzFeed, nytimes.com, Bloomberg, The Moscow Times and The Christian Science Monitor.