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Mike Bulgakov


Levi’s Shop Gives Moscow Black Market the Blues

FEB. 20, 1993

12 AM
For black marketeers, it was a black day indeed: Levi Strauss & Co. opened its first store in the former Soviet Union on Friday, seeking to button up one of the world’s most jeans-starved markets.
Hundreds of perfectly legal customers pressed up against the windows and struggled to wriggle into the Levi’s store when the doors opened at--what else?--5:01 p.m.
An entire generation had scrounged for second-hand Levi 501s in hotels and tourist spots, or paid the high prices of black marketeers.
The Levi’s store, about two blocks behind the Bolshoi Theater, is owned jointly by Levi Strauss, Moscow’s Central Department Store and a Russian trading company named Golden Star.



Mike Bulgakov


Stray Dogs Master Complex Moscow Subway System

MOSCOW, March 19, 2010— -- Every so often, if you ride Moscow's crowded subways, you notice that the commuters around you include a dog - a stray dog, on its own, just using the handy underground Metro to beat the traffic and get from A to B.

Yes, some of Moscow's stray dogs have figured out how to use the city's immense and complex subway system, getting on and off at their regular stops. The human commuters around them are so accustomed to it that they rarely seem to notice.

"In Moscow there are all sorts of stray dogs, but... there are no stupid dogs," Dr. Andrey Poyarkov, a biologist who has studied Moscow's strays for 30 years, told ABC News.
As many as 35,000 stray dogs live in Russia's capital city. They can be found everywhere, from markets to construction sites to underground passageways, scrounging for food and trying to survive.

Taking the subway is just one of many tactics the strays have come up with for surviving in the manmade wilderness around them.