Lucian Kim

Lucian Kim is NPR's international correspondent based in Moscow. He has been reporting on Europe and the former Soviet Union for the past two decades.

Before joining NPR in 2016, Kim was based in Berlin, where he was a regular contributor to Slate and Reuters. As one of the first foreign correspondents in Crimea when Russian troops arrived, Kim covered the 2014 Ukraine conflict for news organizations such as BuzzFeed and Newsweek.

Kim first moved to Moscow in 2003, becoming the business editor and a columnist for the Moscow Times. He later covered energy giant Gazprom and the Russian government for Bloomberg News. When anti-government protests broke out in Moscow in 2011, he started a blog. In the following years he blogged about his travels to Chechnya and to Sochi, site of the 2014 Olympics.

Kim started his career in 1996 after receiving a Fulbright grant for young journalists in Berlin. There he worked as a correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor and the Boston Globe, reporting from central Europe, the Balkans, Afghanistan, and North Korea.

He has twice been the alternate for the Council on Foreign Relations Edward R. Murrow Fellowship.

Kim was born and raised in Charleston, Illinois. He earned a bachelor's degree in geography and foreign languages from Clark University, studied journalism at the University of California at Berkeley, and graduated with a master's degree in nationalism studies from Central European University in Budapest.

The German city of Trier has never been particularly fond of its most famous son, Karl Marx, who helped turn communism into an ideology that changed the course of history.

Conservative and Catholic, the picturesque city on the French border took an ambivalent view of the radical revolutionary, born into a Jewish family in 1818.

Kiev's Solomyansky District Court is a four-story pink building squeezed between an Orthodox church with golden domes and the soaring office tower of Ukraine's tax service.

"It's a very symbolic place," said Maxim Eristavi, a journalist and activist, as he returned to the site of a dramatic standoff that took place in early March.

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Back in the olden days – maybe five years ago in Moscow time – the Russian word for barbershop was rather quaint: parikmakherskaya, or literally, "wig shop."

While women could tend to their coiffures in ubiquitous salony krasoty, beauty salons, men had to content themselves with surly babushkas delivering awkward, cookie-cutter haircuts in spartan halls.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu made his way to the Duma, the lower house of parliament, on the eve of Defender of the Fatherland Day. The Feb. 23 national holiday was once known as Soviet Army and Navy Day, and Shoigu, dressed in the uniform of a general, came to boast about the Russian military's latest achievements.

"We tested 162 types of contemporary and modernized weapons in Syria, which showed a high level of effectiveness," Shoigu said. Only 10 weapons systems performed below expectations, he added.

The young mother spoke softly but with determination. After fleeing from her abusive boyfriend, she and her newborn baby found refuge last month in a women's shelter on the outskirts of Moscow.

According to Russian law at the time, he could have faced criminal prosecution for striking her. Now, under legislation signed Feb. 7 by Russian President Vladimir Putin, her partner would most likely face an administrative fine of up to $500.

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How is all this news going down in Russia? Well, we're joined by NPR Moscow correspondent Lucian Kim to find out. Lucian, what are you hearing?

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Konstantin Kosachyov, the head of the foreign relations committee in the Federation Council, Russia's upper house of parliament, is in a hurry to get U.S.-Russian relations back on track.

The morning after Rex Tillerson was sworn in as secretary of state, Kosachyov invited two dozen experts on the United States to the Federation Council in downtown Moscow.

The Kremlin has given a positive readout of the long-awaited phone call Saturday between President Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

Putin's overture to the United States to join forces in the fight against international terrorism was the main subject of the one-hour conversation, while thorny issues such as alleged Russian cyber-attacks on U.S. political parties or economic sanctions on Russia weren't mentioned.

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In his inaugural address, President Trump said America would join with other countries to fight Islamic radicals like ISIS. As NPR's Lucian Kim reports from Moscow, that sounds exactly like what Russian President Vladimir Putin has been saying.

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Thomas Graham, managing director of the Kissinger Associates consulting firm, doesn't like to discuss speculation that he may become President-elect Donald Trump's next ambassador to Moscow.

But the former diplomat and adviser on Russia in the George W. Bush administration does like to talk about something else: how to salvage U.S.-Russian relations following accusations that Russian President Vladimir Putin interfered in the November presidential election.

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On a bright Sunday afternoon last November, Anastasia Popova was picketing outside the Russian Embassy in Washington with a dozen other activists.

"Russia will be free! Russia will be free!" they chanted at the hulking white building on the other side of the street.

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We begin with Russia a day after President Obama announced sanctions against the Kremlin for allegedly interfering in U.S. elections. Among other measures, Obama ordered out 35 Russian diplomats believed to be intelligence agents.

Russian President Vladimir Putin downplayed Donald Trump's tweet Thursday calling for the United States to expand its nuclear capabilities.

"There's nothing out of the ordinary here," Putin said, since the U.S. president-elect had advocated a stronger military throughout his election campaign.

Tuesday was supposed to be a day of triumph for Russian diplomacy, when Russia aimed to replace the United States as the indispensable power in the Middle East. Instead, it became a day of mourning, with a Turkish honor guard in Ankara loading the flag-draped coffin of Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov onto a Moscow-bound plane.

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