Blog Archive


Can Yandex Weather a Second Wave of COVID-19 Infections in Russia?

Yandex‘s (NASDAQ:YNDX) stock recently dipped after the Russian tech company posted mixed third-quarter numbers and warned of rising COVID-19 cases across the country.

Its revenue rose 30% year-over-year to 58.3 billion rubles ($732.1 million), which missed expectations by $21.8 million. On a like-for-like basis, which excludes its consolidation of Yandex.Market from both periods, its revenue rose 19% to 53.7 billion rubles ($674 million). On the bottom line, Yandex’s adjusted net income rose 11% to 7.6 billion rubles ($96 million), and its adjusted EBITDA increased 8% to 15.1 billion rubles ($189.4 million). Its GAAP earnings, which were boosted by the Yandex.Market consolidation, more than quadrupled to $0.77 per share and beat estimates by $0.65.

The business district in Moscow.

Image source: Getty Images.

Yandex’s third-quarter growth looked stable, but it didn’t provide any forward guidance in light of the pandemic. It also warned the “number of new COVID-19 cases in Russia started to grow again

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  • November 3, 2020

Russia shuns tough restrictions even as infections soar

On Friday, Russian authorities reported over 15,000 new infections, the highest daily spike so far in the pandemic. Moscow — with less than 10% of the population — accounts for up to 30% of new infections each day. The health minister says 90% of hospital beds for coronavirus patients have been filled. Three times this week, Russia’s daily death toll exceeded the spring record of 232.

Even these soaring virus tolls are likely undercounts; experts have cautioned that official figures around the world understate the true toll, but critics have taken particular issue with Russia’s death tolls, alleging authorities might be playing down the scale of the outbreak.

Right now, situation is “difficult” but “no restrictive measures for the economy are required,” Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova told President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

The spring lockdown hurt the country’s already weakened economy and compounded Russians’ frustration with plummeting incomes and

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  • October 18, 2020

U.S. Tennis Player Sam Querrey Leaves Russia While COVID Positive

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — American tennis player Sam Querrey was placed in isolation by Russian authorities after testing positive for the coronavirus and then left the country on a private plane, organizers of the St. Petersburg Open said Thursday.

The tournament said Querrey and his wife tested positive on Sunday, the day before play started. They tested negative on arrival in Russia four days earlier. Querrey was withdrawn from the competition and his family was asked to isolate at a hotel.

Organizers said Querrey did not open the door for doctors who came to examine the family on Monday, with the player saying his baby son was sleeping. The family then left the hotel before a second scheduled examination the next day.

“Sam Querrey, as the hotel’s security cameras identified, left the hotel together with his family at 5:45 a.m. on Oct. 13 without informing the reception service. As

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  • October 15, 2020

Inside Room 239: How Alexei Navalny’s aides got crucial poisoning evidence out of Russia

MOSCOW — Vladlen Los sat in a chair outside Room 239 of the Xander Hotel. It was midmorning on Aug. 20 in the Siberian city of Tomsk. The lawyer Los was determined that no one get inside the room that his colleague, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, had left hours before.

All that was known at that point was that Navalny was gravely ill — stricken on a plane returning to Moscow. But Los and a handful of other members of Navalny’s inner circle immediately suspected a deliberate poisoning.

And they decided some clues still could be in the hotel room. They also knew they had to be first to get inside.

So began a pivotal, high-pressure gambit with four of Navalny’s associates becoming forensic evidence hunters — recovering a hotel water bottle on which a German military laboratory later found traces of a Novichok group

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  • October 4, 2020

He cheated death, but can Navalny ever break Putin’s grip on Russia?

<span>Photograph: Andrei Fateyev/AP</span>
Photograph: Andrei Fateyev/AP

It has been an eventful few weeks for Ksenia Fadeyeva, who runs Alexei Navalny’s operations in the Siberian city of Tomsk. In mid-August, she welcomed the Russian opposition leader to this university town in the heart of the country’s vast landmass, to make a pre-election video about local corruption, as part of Fadeyeva’s bid to win election to the city council.

It was on the plane back to Moscow from Tomsk that Navalny suddenly fell ill, and ended up in a coma, fighting for his life. German doctors say he was poisoned with a novichok nerve agent, apparently in his Tomsk hotel room.

Fadeyeva had said goodbye to Navalny late the previous evening, and was scrolling through her phone that morning when she saw the news on Twitter. “It was something unbelievable. I don’t think anyone expected it,” she recalled in an interview last week at her

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  • October 4, 2020

How American Gaylen Grandstaff finally got out of Russia after years falsely jailed

Standing at border control in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in early April, Gaylen Grandstaff wasn’t sure what was about to happen.

A 53-year-old American from Texas, Grandstaff had been trapped in Russia for almost three years, stuck in a nightmare because of a cleaning product.

Falsely charged by Russian prosecutors with large-scale drug smuggling for ordering a bottle of solvent cleaner online , he had spent nearly two of those years in a Moscow jail while on trial, an ordeal that ABC News chronicled in a documentary film last year.

A court released him and twice found the charges against him to be unfounded. But police had refused to let go of the case.

So as he’d walked towards passport control, Grandstaff thought at best he might likely be turned back—at worst he was taking steps back towards prison.

That didn’t happen. Instead, Grandstaff is finally back in the United States—out

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