Russia: Then and Now

E-mail Steve

Sept. 13,  2004 1:10 p.m.

The main shopping avenue in Russia is Tverskaya Street, which used to be called Gorky Street. Walking up past all the fancy stores I noticed a man and a young woman washing one store window. It seemed to me they were a father-daughter team. What caught me was something on their heads, something I had not seen in a long time. Each wore a sheet of newspaper folded up into a triangular military cap. It was a sunny day and the newspaper hats shielded their heads from the sun. It was common to see newspaper hats in the old Soviet Union. It did seem out of place now on Tverskaya Street, in front of all the new stores, especially on the younger woman. I wonder if she felt any embarrassment wearing a newspaper hat. Amid all the economic growth and construction in Moscow you can still see a touch of the Sov, like a newspaper hat, but those touches in the capital are fewer and fewer.

I remember my first morning in Russia in 1989. I walked from the University to Red Square. I wanted to see St. Basil's Cathederal. It appeared by surprise, up a hill to my right, and the sight amazed me. Then I got hungry and I asked some passers-by where could I get something to eat. They were puzzled. Eat? They had no idea. People ate at home. One man told me there might be a restaurant in a hotel somewhere, but he did not know. Fifteen years ago there was nowhere to eat here. Now, when you go out to the Moscow restaurant Fish and Rice it is packed with a new Russian middle class, waiting for a table at the mechanized sushi bar where plates of salmon pass by on a conveyor belt two at a time.


In one of your recent blogs you mentioned Sept. 10th is your birthdate. My husband and I would like to wish you a very "Happy Birthday." We always look forward to your reports because we know we will get the TRUTH.  Thanks for telling it like it is.

Wayland and Pat (Eagle Rock, VA)

Hi Steve,
I have been watching you as you broadcast from all over the world, and have admired your courage under fire, your no-nonsense style of reporting.  It so reminds me of the fine reporters we enjoyed listening to during WWII.  You have made a name for yourself in war reporting.  Keep it up!
— Judith (Kiln, MS)

Dear Steve & All:

Thank you for being there to allow us to see what horrible things are being done.  I don't think I could do your job.

— Andrea


I am afraid we are not awake as a nation.

— Steve in CA

Dear Steve,

I read your story on Hostage takers: ‘these bastards’ and I thought of my little three year old red haired daughter running back to give me a kiss and a hug as I drop her off at her daycare... and my heart weeps for those Russian parents.

— Kert (Hilton Head, SC)

Dear Steve:
As an amateur historian and media enthusiast, I'm listening to an historic D-Day radio broadcast as I read your latest report from Moscow about the crisis in Chechnya.
Your no-nonsense, straight reporting of the facts is a breath of fresh air in this era of spin, bias and rumor-mongering.  Rest assured, there are those who still recognize fine reporting in the tradition of Murrow, Bob Trout and Bob Edwards.  Keep up the good work.  
— John (Cleveland, Ohio)


I began to read the many encouraging e-mails you've received from all of us in the States. I was most impressed and proud to realize that there is a true newsman out there!  I'd like to add my good wishes and caution to keep your head down and butt low!  As any Marine will tell you that is the most embarrassing war story to tell - how your butt became target number one.

— Larry (Richardson, TX)

My heart broke when I saw the images of small children running, half naked for their lives while "terrorists cowards" tried to shoot them in the backs. What a world we live in. If somehow you could let any of those folks know on my behalf we are thinking and praying for them and that the world does care.

— Mike

I just read your report. I have (2) little boys and I am devastated by what happened to those people. Does the Russian community have the resources to help these people with their grief? I have prayed for them, I wish I could wrap them all in a warm soft blanket and hold them and tell them it will all be ok.
Please provide an update on the aftermath, I am sure that many people want to know how they are at this time.
Annette (Nashville, TN)

Steve Harrigan currently serves as a Miami-based correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). He joined the network in 2001 as a Moscow-based correspondent.