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 and Slate, and an editor at Berlin Policy Journal. I've written for Foreign Policy, BuzzFeed, nytimes.com, Bloomberg News, The Moscow Times and The Christian Science Monitor.