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Welcome to Moscow, Megan Stack

Fresh from hardcore postings in Baghdad and Beirut, the Los Angeles Times sends a new reporter to Moscow. Megan K. Stack delivers some first impressions of the crushing misery of income inequality as experienced in Moscow’s metro. Although we’ll all miss the great reporting from Kim Murphy (who actually left Russia quite a while back), it is great to see this paper assign its top talent to a country of increasing importance in world affairs. Read more about Stack’s experiences reporting from war zones here. latimes010808.jpg A disabled man begs in the Moscow Metro. “When you take that escalator down and look at those faces, get hit with all of that anxiety, all of the worry, it’s incredible,” one Russian says of the subway. (Sergei L. Loiko / Los Angeles Times) From the article:

Since moving to Moscow seven months ago, I’ve been schooled in the stark realities of Russian society by daily rides to language classes and the office on the Metro. The vast sprawl of tracks and tunnels seems to offer a direct line into Moscow’s soul — a place of faded elegance and hopeless cynicism, debauchery and destitution, barely contained brutality and touches of kindness. It’s potent stuff, and some days I just don’t have the stomach for it. I have to force myself to walk into the station, and spend the whole commute staring at my shoes, afraid of what I’ll see if I let my eyes rove.