If you’ve been here before, you’ll notice that I changed the look of the blog. If this is your first visit, this won’t matter to you much. I got tired of all the green and the open space on the left and right sides of the template. So thanks to Blogger Templates, I found something with more space and, what I think is a much better look. There are still some small changes I look to make. I want to get a good banner image to put at the top, and perhaps eliminate some of the stuff on the right column so things won’t look so crowded.
Strangely, the layout doesn’t come out correctly with Firefox. Usually viewing problems come with Internet Explorer. If you want to see some of the slight differences, try looking at the site with both browsers.
At any rate, if anyone has any suggestions on how I can improve the site, please let me know. I’m always willing to consider reader suggestions. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming . . .
Around Moscow, there’s a whole industry of so-called “black creditors” — microfinance institutions (or MFOs) that swindle and seize debtors’ homes. Ivan Golunov’s investigation for Meduza has discovered that almost 500 apartments have been seized from their owners over the past five years without so much as a court order. In fact, this scheme involves more than simply “squeezing” people from their homes. It is possibly part of a wider, international money-laundering system. Here’s Meduza special correspondent Ivan Golunov on the ins and outs of this industry.