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Weird Doings at the Moscow Times

“This is the first blog entry of many I’ll be making as I travel along the Russian side of the Russia-China border over the next four weeks, beginning in Chita and ending in Vladivostok.”

That’s what Moscow Times reporter Howard Amos had to say on November 20, 2012, on a special web page on the paper’s website created just for him

He posted every day until November 25th, then went totally silent. Between then and today, December 3rd, more than a week has passed with no hint of why.  A large link to the special web page still appears prominently on the MT’s home page, but readers had no way of knowing if the journey was even still underway.

The reporter’s Twitter feed offers a slight clue.  On November 29th he tweeted: “Goodbye Chita, and your zealous, zealous FSB. In 40 hours I’ll be in Blagoveshchensk.”  Blagoveshchensk is about halfway between Chita and Vladivostok, implying the reporter was continuing his journey to the East but perhaps had been ejected from Chita and his attempt to go close to the Chinese border.

But then the next day came this, out of nowhere:  “That’s it, then. FSB + FMS + MT = total f**k-up. Back to Moscow.”  Since then, no further information on Twitter either.

The special web page is rather bizarre, in that comments are disabled and a map with a small person figure on the route seemed to bear no relations to the reporter’s actual whereabouts.

We wrote the MT editors and asked for an explanation. None was forthcoming.

It’s a pity the MT could not be a bit more transparent with its readers.  If Amos stopped tweeting due to serious problems, we wish him well with them. If he stopped due to pique, that’s a pity too.

UPDATE:  Finally the MT issued an explanation, very weirdly putting a date on the item earlier than it was actually published.

9 responses to “Weird Doings at the Moscow Times

  1. siber_troll ⋅

    i thought nobody today goes russia without insurance. best wishes to Howard Amos.

  2. Bohdan ⋅

    Interesting comments indeed about Howard Thomas and his proposed travels! Especially so his ‘Tweeted’ feed of November 29th as he traveled towards Vladivostok – namely “The reporter’s Twitter feed offers a slight clue.” “Goodbye Chita, and your zealous, zealous FSB. In 40 hours I’ll be in Blagoveshchensk.” Then the next day came this: “That’s it, then. FSB + FMS + MT = total f**k-up. Back to Moscow.” Since then, no further information on Twitter either.

    This gentleman obviously has not heard of and read about Mr Gareth Jones, a Welsh reporter who traveled widely in the USSR. He had the honesty to report the truth about Stalin’s so called Socialist ‘Paradise,’ and who finally traveled to this far East area of the USSR, where he mysteriously disappeared on August 12, 1935, courtesy of Russia’s secret police, the NKVD, For this ‘Stalin displeasure’ he and his body’s whereabouts remained a “no no subject” to the soviet Russians.

    For Mr Thomas’s sake, if the worst comes to the worst, I sincerely hope he just gets booted out of Putin’s Russia as a “persona non grata.”

  3. Jon Fletcher ⋅

    I agree La Russophobe-this was the most pathetic posting of a journey in Russia ever.Hello, does the Moscow Times not realise that one needs to a) register everywhere one travels these days in Russia b)dream on when one wants to interview officials c)not be so arrogant and assume that the trip of Howard Amos to the Russian Far East is going to blow our minds and that none of us have not done and are doing the same journey. Difference being we are prepared and do our homework in advance and know what hassles there will be, unlike such a ‘fly by night’ who ends up getting his knickers in a twist when refused an interview by the local ‘servants of the people’. Childish and amateur and no help to anyone.

  4. Manfred Steifschwanz ⋅

    In unison, everybody:

    BOOOO for Russia!!!

    • MCC ⋅

      kleine schwaine aka russkyie barakhlo – you must remember boooing for soviet russia in London in the late seventies when the wife of the soviet ambassador was caught red-handed shoplilfting at the Selfridges – that poor russian peasant woman who looked like nina knruszczova – was staffing clothes, food, etc into her big bag and caught at the entrance to the Selfridges – and what a walk of shame it was – she was handcuffed, taken to the police car; at the police station she was fingerprinted and kept in the jail until the soviet embassy paid bail money.,.It was a field day for the british press, of course – the press watched the russian embassy 24/7, and surely enough they filmed the unforgottable moment at night when the unfortunate russian thief was whisked away, covered with the blanket, to the soviet plane and transfered to the USSR.. In unison, ebverybody BOOOOO for Russia!!!!

      • siber_troll ⋅

        a cruel comment. but i support it somehow

      • Bohdan ⋅

        Just like a true Soviet Communist ‘apparatchik!’ Plundering – i.e. stealing – the wealth and goods of the nation, in this instance the British nation, for personal gain.

        The only mistake that this ‘comrade’ made was that this time she was dealing with a civilized nation like England and not the uncivilized, lawless and criminal regime of her beloved USSR.

        I bet her exploits were covered up in Stalin’s Russia, by either total silence in reporting to the brainwashed comrades! or if reported, then how this innocent doyen of soviet ‘Kultur’ was framed by the evil capitalist ‘milizia’ to destroy the close ‘and fraternal’ relations between Soviet Russia and capitalist Britain!!!

        Now ManTurd! in unison with the likes of Cockroach and etc, yell at the top of your squeaky voice “BOOOO.” Bravo! well done comrade!!! Putin will be proud of you!!!

        • MCC ⋅

          Bohdan,
          The reaction to the total humiliation of the soviets at the Selfridges of London by the British press, comediens, comedy programmes etc., was relentless, brilliant, deadly funny and devastating. Here is one example; picture this..

          Concert hall, a piano in the middle of the scene awaiting a pianist’s entrance..but instead the huge sack of potatoes drops from the above on the key board. Surprise, surprise, in the sack, addressed to USSR, GULAGS, there are no potatoes but a person trying desperately get out of this contraption hitting the key board in desperation and total panic..and that’s when the concert starts and the first bombastic movement of Chaikowski’s 1st concerto in Flat B Minor starts….Then the velvety upper-class British voice asks; LEAVING SO SOON, DEARIE….
          God bless Brits for their magnificent sense of humor….

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