Articles by Justin Lifflander


Justin Lifflander has served as the business editor of The Moscow Times since January 2011. He joined the paper in September 2010 as deputy business editor. He came to Moscow in October 1987 as a contractor for the U.S. Embassy. In December 1988 he became an inspector on the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty, where he worked at the Votkinsk Machine Building Factory as a gardener, sous-chef and missile inspector. He then spent twenty years working for Hewlett-Packard Russia. He also founded, ran and sold two technology start-ups. In 2000 he became a Russian citizen. Prior to moving to the Soviet Union, he worked for four years as a radio journalist in the United States at WVBR Ithaca, WOWO Fort Wayne and WTIX New Orleans. You can contact him at j.lifflander@imedia.ru.


Got a Diplomatic Dilemma? Send in the Clowns

While some potential visitors have crossed Russia off their list, a group of humanitarian clowns still regards the country as an ideal destination.

Despite Economic Woes, the Book Fair is Bigger Than Ever

Other countries have book fairs where publishers come to do business. The 17th International Book Fair for High-Quality Fiction and Non-Fiction Ч commonly simply referred to as "nonfiction" Ч taking place in Moscow this week is very much an event for readers.

Patch Adams and His Clowns Bring Health and Humor to Armenia

One Russian philanthropist has just completed the trial run of a unique investment vehicle: a bus filled with clowns.

What I'd Like to See at Next Year's Victory Day

Though some observers might find themselves overwhelmed by the flow of enthusiasm in honor of the 70th anniversary of Russia's victory over Nazi Germany, most would agree that the country takes good care of its veterans.

The Curious Incident of the Cat and the Missile

Twenty-five years ago last week a nondescript railcar rolled away from the Votkinsk Machine Building Factory in the Ural Mountains.

10 Unlikely Candidates to Replace Michael McFaul (Photo Essay)

U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul by his own admission failed to quell a tide of anti-Americanism during his two-year stint in Russia, and last week he announced he would return to academia after the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The Moscow Times Awards Affirm City's Evolution

Moscow's brightest stars in business and culture were honored at the first annual Moscow Times Awards on Tuesday evening, in a ceremony held at the Metropol hotel.

Q&A: Matlock, Reagan's Soviet Teacher, Never Stops Learning

Career diplomat Jack Matlock has befriended many world leaders, but perhaps none taught him a more important lesson than U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

Q&A: Tele2's Jere Calmes Matures Along With the Market

The adage about success being the fruit of hard work and good luck, attributed to the likes of Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Goldwyn and a host of sporting personalities, has a strong adherent in Jere Calmes.

10 Tips for a Free Snowden (Photo Essay)

Now that U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden is a genuine expat, free to roam Russia's capital while he figures out his next move, here is a list of 10 do's and don'ts that he should keep in mind.

Thom Moore's Irish Ballads From Russian Heart

Thom Moore is another proof point that you can leave Russia, but it never quite leaves you.

U.S. Tourists and Medvedev's Staff Mingle in Cuba

Should Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stop by the venerable Hotel Nacional during his visit to Havana this week, he might take note of an ironic composition in the lobby.

Q&A: 25 Years On, Gorbachev Recalls Nuclear Milestone

Mikhail Gorbachev regrets the Soviet Union's deployment of hundreds of SS-20 intermediate-range nuclear missiles at bases in Eastern Europe and Western Russia beginning in the late 1970s.

How 2 Cold War Foes Implemented the INF Treaty

Thirty Soviet inspectors moved to Utah in June 1988 to watch the gates of the Hercules plant, which manufactured Pershing II intermediate-range missiles.

U.S. Senate Passes Combined Rights and Trade Bill

American business leaders rejoiced while Russian officials fumed at the expected news that the United States Senate had passed the combined human-rights-trade bill on Thursday.

Rostelecom President's House Searched

Officers from the Interior Ministry’s investigative department searched the suburban home of Rostelecom’s president Alexander Provotorov and the residence of Marshall Capital founder Konstantin Malofeyev on Tuesday.

Q&A: Media Mogul Peter Gerwe Keeps Earning and Learning

Gerwe, currently head of Sistema's media empire, built one of Russia's first FM radio stations and first private TV network using out-of-the-box thinking he learned from his early mentor and boss, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

Q&A: Kremlinologist's Russian Skills, Preserved in Alcohol

Every April for the past 17 years, former U.S. soldier Igor Belousovitch has gone to Arlington National Cemetery at the invitation of the Russian Embassy in Washington.

Q&A: Success of 'Angry Birds' Hatched in Soviet Nest

Finding Peter Vesterbacka in a crowd isn't hard. It's not just that he's the one not wearing a suit Е anymore. His bright-red hooded sweatshirt is adorned with a stern-looking cartoon bird.

Q&A: Zimin's Conversion to Capitalism Comes Full Circle

At 78, Dmitry Zimin is not your typical businessman. His success in creating VimpelCom, and growing it into the country's first corporation to go public on the New York Stock Exchange, overshadows his own personal transformation.

Cuban Cigar Paying Homage to Local Tastes

In addition to pizza with mashed potato topping and caviar-flavored potato chips, Russian consumers will now have a Cuban cigar especially designed for their tastes.

Q&A: Viktor Semyonov Grows Vegetables and Relationships

If it weren't for Viktor Semyonov, "hold the lettuce" would have been the norm for the first Big Macs served by McDonald's when it entered Russia back in 1990.

Mobile Operators Ready to Handle New Year's Eve Jams

Even the airwaves have traffic jams in Moscow, at least on New YearТs Eve, but congratulating your family and friends while celebrating the arrival of the New Year via a call or SMS should work out, if you plan ahead.

Companies Focus on Charity

New Year's is a traditional time of gift giving, but this year, at least 382 Russian companies will be making donations to charity instead of distributing the usual branded calendars, pens and vintage wines.

U.S. Businesses Seek Gains in WTO Entry

With Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization looking likely sometime next year, companies are now starting to contemplate the opportunities that could form on a level global playing field.

U.S. Takes Close Look At J-1 Visas

The process by which Russian students get summer work visas to the United States will be improved and tightened in an effort to eliminate criminal abuse, U.S. Ambassador John Beyrle said.

Cigar Smoking Survives and Thrives

Imports of handmade cigars should return to pre-crisis levels in 2012 after falling by nearly half last year, Russia's exclusive importer of Cuban cigars has said.

Laughter, the Best Medicine With Patch Adams

American doctor and clown Hunter УPatchФ Adams is back in Moscow, with a troupe of 32 clowns from North America and Europe who will visit orphanages, cancer wards and retirement homes.

E-Government Needs $2.6Bln For Services

The Communications and Press Ministry is seeking 80 billion rubles ($2.6 billion) next year to help government agencies deploy systems that will let citizens get services through the Internet.

Foreigners Prepare for Business After Luzhkov

Mayor Yury Luzhkov's departure won't deal a body blow to the country's economy, but foreign company executives and analysts said business in the capital is facing harrowing uncertainty that will result in a temporary slump, especially in the real estate sector.