Vanity Fair

Putin’s Run For Gold

At $50 billion and counting, the 2014 Winter Olympics, in Sochi, will be the most expensive Olympic Games ever. Intended to showcase the power of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, they may instead highlight its problems: organized crime, state corruption, and the terrorist threat within its borders.

mp3"Track 6" from Vanity Fair: February 2014 Issue (Abridged). Track 6 of 15.(12644 kb)

National Geographic

Putin’s Party

For Russia, hosting the Winter Olympics could prove it has finally reemerged as a global power. But the beach resort of Sochi—a target for Islamist insurgents, on the site of an alleged genocide—is an unlikely place to stage the celebration.

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ESPN The Magazine

His Games To Win Or Lose

The defiant strongman of a determined nation, Russian president Vladimir Putin is pulling out all the stops to dominate the West with his Olympic show.

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Shattered Genius

Grigori Perelman is one of the greatest mathematicians of our time, a Russian genius who solved the Poincaré Conjecture, which plagued the brightest minds for a century. At the height of his fame, he refused a million-dollar award for his work. Then he disappeared. Our writer hunts him down on the streets of St. Petersburg.

ESPN The Magazine

All The World Is Staged

Bribed players, crooked refs, fake games. The ugly truth behind the beautiful game is that criminal syndicates can fix any match, anywhere.

mp3Interview: ESPN Behind The Bets(15932 kb)

Roads & Kingdoms

Bodog, The Real Mongolian BBQ

We travel into the frozen wilds of Mongolia to eat goat the Genghis Khan way.

Bloomberg Businessweek

Gazprom’s Empire at the End of the Earth

The Russian energy giant has a lot riding on the success of a massive new gas field 250 miles above the Arctic Circle. So do Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin.

mp3Interview: Bloomberg Radio(6726 kb)

The Atlantic

The Battle of Rio

As the Olympics approach, the city’s embattled police invade the favelas.

ESPN The Magazine

Running The Tables

When money is at stake, Dennis Orcollo is the best pool player on the planet. Too bad no one will face him anymore.

Vanity Fair

Midnight in Moscow

The Moscow scene makes every other city’s look tame, as an indescribably wealthy few—Kremlin power brokers, star athletes, aluminum tycoons in sniper-tint glasses—drop $10,000 for a table, ignore the dawn on Stalin’s yacht, and indulge a bottomless appetite for the heartachingly beautiful women, many of whose hearts seem set only on those with bankrolls. With the tsars of the hot spots where status and souls are bartered, from the party that’s hard to crack to the one you’ll never even know about.

mp3Interview: СИТИ-FM Moscow(3748 kb)

Vanity Fair

Communist Gonzo

Hunting weapons, women, and Uncle Joe Stalin in Transdniester, the oh-so-Soviet tinderbox.

National Geographic

The New Silk Road

A railroad through the Southern Caucasus will soon connect Europe and Asia, fueling dreams and discord in the region.

Vanity Fair

A New Brand of Russian Mogul

Roustam Tariko's knack for predicting what Russians want—namely, their own luxury vodka and revolving credit—launched him past his fellow post-Soviet entrepreneurs and into the highest echelons of global wealth. Riding shotgun in Tariko's custom jet and million-dollar car finds the billionaire setting his course for the West.


The Bone Thieves

A high-quality fossil from Mongolia’s Gobi Desert can fetch six, even seven figures. There’s only one problem: It’s illegal to take it out of the country. Adventures in the planet’s hottest prehistoric black market.

International Herald Tribune

Party Down, Favela Style

Drug traffickers in Rio slums try to pacify the people caught in their cynical grasp by throwing them free block parties.

Vanity Fair

Two Wild and Crazy Moguls

Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis are the twin geek stars of “disruptive technology.” First their file-sharing program, Kazaa, soared from Napster’s ashes. For their second act, the Scandinavian team has plans to rewire the planet—wirelessly—with their Internet phone service, Skype. And it's free. No wonder Yahoo, Google, and the other heavy guns want their number. Traveling from an industry conference in Cannes to Skype's tech headquarters in Tallinn, Estonia, meet the elusive entrepreneurs who are transforming the way the world communicates.

International Herald Tribune

Steppe by Steppe

The Gobi Desert is losing its nomads, and a unique lifestyle, to the mining industry.

Marie Claire

Our Woman In Kabul

When danger struck, as it so often did in Afghanistan, Anne Smedinghoff, a young, up-and-coming diplomat with the State Department, shrugged it off, e-mailing friends and family that all was OK. Until one day in April, when it wasn't.

Foreign Policy

This Alliance Is Brought To You By The Letter “M”

Introducing the world's most unlikely political grouping.

Bloomberg Businessweek

The Skype Killers of Belarus

Founded by two Israeli army vets, Viber has attracted 100 million users and is challenging Skype’s dominance of Internet telephony. Even more unlikely is the pariah nation the company calls home.

mp3Interview: Bloomberg Radio Viber(7583 kb)

ESPN The Magazine

A Puncher’s Chance

Heavyweight champ Vitali Klitschko is preparing for the toughest fight of his life--to become the next president of Ukraine.

New York Times Magazine

Manhattan on the Moskva

At the center of Moscow's building boom is a 33-year-old adventure-seeking multimillionaire with a pet boa constrictor.

Bloomberg Businessweek

The Man Who Bought Mongolia

A government crackdown on foreign investment has sent speculators fleeing, but one American is more bullish than ever.

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Capital New York

The Big Russian Life Of Anna Chapman, Ex-Spy

The SVR operative is back in Moscow, capitalizing on her celebrity and her proximity to power.

Travel + Leisure

Kiev on the Rise

In the wake of the Orange Revolution, Ukraine’s capital is embracing Western ways—and investment dollars. A city in transition, with a burgeoning nightlife and an anything-goes mentality.


Tech in a Very Cold Place

A tech boom is giving life to Novosibirsk, Russia's third-largest city and a former Soviet center for science. IBM, Intel—even Oprah—are paying attention.


The Sleazy Life and Nasty Death of Russia’s Spam King

He withheld pay from his employees, boasted of his sexual adventures, enraged government officials, and flooded Russia with 25 million emails a day. Then one morning, Vardan Kushnir's mother found his bloodied body on the bathroom floor, skull bashed in.

mp3Interview: BBC/NPR, “The World,” (1197 kb)


Over a Barrel in Baku

As Caspian crude begins to flow through a new $4-billion pipeline, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is consolidating his grip on power. The U.S. wants both oil and democracy—but can it have both? November’s elections suggest not.

Vanity Fair

Bottoms Up: The Great Russian Vodka Taste Test

Our man in Moscow samples 11 premium brands in one wild night.


Fighting to Remember

Vitor Belfort can't untangle his past even as he tries to recapture his MMA glory

Bloomberg Businessweek

The Strategic Oasis

A war with Iran could shut off the flow of Middle Eastern oil. Will the tiny emirate of Fujairah become the world’s lifeline?

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ESPN The Magazine


They tried to hold Darko Milicic down in Europe. It didn't work there—and it's not going to work here.

ESPN The Magazine

Trojan Force

Last season, the USC three put up huge numbers. Now, with the Trojans freed from a bowl ban, they're concerned only with No. 1.


Ukraine’s Orange Revolution Comes up Lemons

A year after a popular uprising in Ukraine, hopes have soured and old rivals are at it again.


After The Flood

Hurricane Sandy wrecked their home and their finances. A year later, this Staten Island family, like tens of thousands of others in the New York metropolitan area, is still struggling to recover.


The Reel Russia

Hollywood studios and Russian tycoons are teaming up to make films in Moscow. Is it worth the trouble?


Russia in the Boxing Ring

With enough glitz, kitch and corporate sponsorships to make Las Vegas blush, welcome to the new and weird (yet weirdly underwhelming) epicenter of world boxing.


Bullets, Blood, and Videotape in Russia’s Far East

In the lawless corners of the former Soviet Union, a dangerous Russian car thief has turned his life story into one of the hottest shows on television—the real reality TV. Say "Do Svidaniya," Hollywood.

Wall Street Journal

Europe’s Little Piece of Brazil

South American influence is so important that Ukraine club's coach has learned to speak Portuguese.

Russian Life

The Beauty Hunter

Fifty percent of the world's top models issue from the former Soviet Union. Anton Alfer has to choose which girls will make it and which won't. Scouring the taiga for supermodels.


With Snoop Dogg and Girls Gone Wild at Mardi Gras

Outside, the crowd resembled an endless copulation of confused ants. Inside, a woman attached herself to the Doggfather and squirmed in the light of temporary stardom.


The Dying of the Light…Philly-Style

The final game at the Vet was an apocalyptic downer.


Trouble Man

Bouncer Mark Ehr is the six-foot-seven-inch reason you don’t ever want to step out of line at the toughest bar in Texas.

ESPN The Magazine

Ovechkin: “There will always be critics”

The Washington Capitals captain chats in his native Russian on Malkin, Putin, offseason.


The Paranoia Hour: Mike Skinner and The Streets Take on America

In no time, Skinner was teased up on cheap hooch, and he gripped the bottle all night like it was his boarding pass to the first moonshot. He had the wrath up at full blast. "I never liked you," he hissed at some poor unfortunate who got too close to the center. “I never liked you.”

ESPN The Magazine

Past Forward

New Michigan coach Brady Hoke is itching to return the team to its pro-style ways—but he’s not about to ask Denard Robinson to change.

ESPN The Magazine

The Cold War

Bloodied but unbowed, Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League refuses to let a tragedy derail its mission.

ESPN The Magazine

The Blue Horizon

In fighting Philly, boxing loses its crown jewel to the cold hand of progress.

Вестник Аналитики

Два Выхода

Насколько я себе представляю, у России два выхода: быть исключительно хорошей или совершенно плохой. Либо попросту вообще позабыть, что Америка думает, а лишь усесться поудобнее и получить удовольствие от кино.


Off the Record

The tent goes up. The cash comes in.


Hell on Wheels

Your customers disrespect you, your coworkers want to kill you. A month in the life of a New York City cabdriver.

Michigan Alumnus

From Russia with Love

For a journalist overseas, U-M football is a source of solace.

Alumni Horae

Don’t Falter. Don’t Judge.

An international journalist reaffirms the lessons of St. Paul’s, far away from home.