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Brian Droitcour

Brian Droitcour spent the better part of his years at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota learning to translate Russian literature. After moving to Moscow two years ago, he adapted those skills to translate for the market research firm COMCON; more recently, he ventured out on his own as a freelance translator and writer. Brian revamped the Museums and Galleries section on pages 40 and 41 for this months issue of PASSPORT. He says the highlight of the job was watching curator Josef Backstein and artist Carlos Garaicoa as they planned an exhibit for Moscows first Biennial of contemporary art, which begins January 28. Brian can be reached at






George J. Dubenetsky

This month, we went to the expert to get the inside scoop about downhill skiing in Russia. George Dubenetsky is the editor of Russias Ski Magazine and operates leading alpine skiing website He has skied almost everywhere in Russia, from Murmansk in the north to Elbrus in the south. George has been a skier for 25 years, but it was only recently that he transformed his love of skiing into a profession. Just a few years ago he worked as technical director in a Moscow office of an American company with a specialization in pre-press and press-shops equipment.






Vernon Howell


Vernon Howell
was born in Scotland and studied History and Fine Art at the University of Saint Andrews. After graduating he worked for ten years as a croupier in casinos around the world, visiting Russia, Israel, Hong Kong and Egypt. Currently he is a semi-professional poker player and freelance journalist, writing for a number of UK-based magazines. Vernon has written for PASSPORT since its launch last November. He recently finished a book about five places in Russia you should never visit. Its due out from Faber and Faber late next year.

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