Saturday, December 20, 2014


Yelena Balanovskaya stands in the newly decorated kitchen of the apartment that she bought with a dollar mortgage that she's now struggling to pay off because of the ruble crisis.

Russian Dollar-Mortgage Holders Feel Ruble Crunch

Russians who took out dollar-denominated mortgages in better times are now feeling the crunch as a weak ruble becomes the new normal. More

Iranian officials and members of the Jewish community pray together at a ceremony to unveil a monument honoring Iranian-Jewish soldiers who died in action during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s.

Iran Honors Its Fallen Jewish Soldiers

Tehran has commemorated Iranian-Jewish soldiers who died in the bloody Iran-Iraq War. More

A rights activist (left) is set upon by against an antigay protester during a gay-pride event in St. Petersburg. Russia's "gay propaganda" law has been blamed for unleashing a wave of homophobia across the country.

St. Petersburg Teacher Latest Victim In Antigay Campaign

A teacher who worked with disabled children is the latest educator fired for being in violation of Russia's so-called "gay propaganda" law. More

People in Moscow buy household appliances to take advantage of suddenly low prices on December 17.

Russia's Neighbors Scramble To Cope With Ruble's Tribulations

As the value of the Russian ruble declines, citizens of neighboring former Soviet countries are finding out how deeply entwined their economies remain. Countries dependent on trade with Russia or remittances from citizens working in the giant neighbor are bracing for hard times. More

The Russian ruble has collapsed, but the effects are not only being felt in Russia. In the Tajik village of Eloki, marriages are being canceled and houses left half-built as remittances from migrant laborers dry up. Nearly every family has been affected -- this is one family’s story. It was filmed when the ruble had lost around 40 percent of its value against the dollar, but before the dramatic plunge that shook markets in December. (RFE/RL)

Video Migrants Take Hit From Ruble's Freefall

The crash of the ruble has meant lost income and opportunity for the millions of labor migrants who depend on Russia for their livelihoods. More


Recent Features

Blame Game Begins As Ruble Plummets

Economists say the collapse of the ruble is due to a combination of Western sanctions and the uncontrollable drop in world oil prices. But many Russians are still searching for particular countries or people to blame. We look at some of the most popular scapegoats.
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U.S. Says Russia Sanctions Vindicated As Ruble Tumbles

As Russia’s currency plunges, the Obama administration is delivering a message about the impact of Western sanctions: We told you so.
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Video Explainer: Russia Defends Ruble But Currency Still Struggling

The Russian Central Bank has raised its interest rate to a staggering 17 percent in a move to stop the ruble devaluing further. But the ruble keeps falling and the bank's action risks weakening Russia's ailing economy further.
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Video Muscovites React To The Ruble's Crash

Some blamed the Europeans. Some blamed the Americans. Some blamed the falling oil price. And nearly all blamed Western sanctions. Here's a snapshot of how Muscovites viewed the ruble's dramatic slide.
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What To Do In An Economic Crisis? Buy A Car!

Russians have been snapping up luxury cars before the plummeting ruble forces producers to dramatically hike prices. But experts say the uptick won't last.
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Jailed Azerbaijani Journalist Khadija Ismayilova's 'Letter Of Hope' For 2015

Award-winning Azerbaijani investigative journalist, Khadija Ismayilova, who hosts a daily program for RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service, has been held in pretrial detention in Baku since December 5 after being accused of encouraging a man to commit suicide -- charges that have been broadly condemned as a flagrant attempt to silence her critical voice.
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Money Troubles: Russia's Weak Ruble Pulls Down Neighbors' Currencies

As the value of Russia's ruble tumbles amid low oil global prices and Western sanctions, it is taking the currencies of many former Soviet republics down with it.
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Letters From Donbas

What is day-to-day life really like in Ukraine's separatist-held territories? RFE/RL invited ordinary people behind rebel lines to share their impressions.
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Don't Shout, Don't Push, Eat Blini: Russian Orthodox Church's Manual For Migrants

Migrant laborers in Russia will soon be required to pass Russian language, history, and civics tests. And now the Russian Orthodox Church wants to teach them how to behave.
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Five Things You Might Not Know About Alisher Usmanov

Russia's richest man is in the news for buying a Nobel Prize gold medal for millions of dollars -- and giving it back to the U.S. scientist who won it. Here are some other interesting things to know about billionaire Alisher Usmanov.
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