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The Evictors

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.

Soviet Virtuosi in the Cultural Cold War

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Kiril Tomoff is a professor of history at the University of California Riverside where he specializes in the history of Soviet music and its place in Soviet culture and society. His first book Creative Union: The Professional Organization of Soviet Composers, 1939-1953 provides the first ever in-depth analysis of the professional organization of Soviet composers during the Stalin period. His new book is Virtuosi Abroad: Soviet Music and Imperial Competition During the Early Cold War, 1945-1958.


David Oistrakh, Dvorak Violin Concerto with Kirill Kondrashin and the USSR State Symphony Orchestra, 1949.

David  Oistrakh, Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Eugene Ormandy’s Philadelphia Orchestra in 1959.

Gidon Kremer, Mendelssohn Violin Concerto and Strings in D minor with Yuri Bashmet and the Moscow Philharmonic in 1976.

Sviatoslav Richter, Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.1 in F sharp minor, Op.1, 1955.