NEWSLINK: “Russia Wants Innovation, but It’s Arresting Its Innovators” – New York Times/ Andrew Higgins

Skolkovo File Photo

“… The troubles of Mr. Trubitsyn, however, may help explain why such a breakthrough has proved so elusive: The Russian state, which Mr. Putin has made the main vehicle for his plans for the nation’s resurgence, often stifles growth. A bureaucracy empowered by a steady erosion of democratic checks and balances can often smother new ideas. Grand state-directed projects to […]

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RUSSIALINK: “[Putin] Trip to Tyva, August 1-3” – Kremlin.ru

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Kremlin.ru – August 7, 2017) [5 minute video here http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/55308] On August 1-3, Vladimir Putin made a two-day stop in Tyva, southern Siberia, on his way to Blagoveshchensk. The President went to hard-to-access taiga, fished in a mountain lake cascade, went spearfishing, sunbathed, went down mountain rivers, rapids and anabranches on powerboats and rafts, went on mountain hikes on foot […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia’s Villages, and Their Way of Life, Are ‘Melting Away'” – New York Times/ NEIL MacFARQUHAR

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

“… With Russia’s natural population growth entering an extended period of decline, villages like Baruta are disappearing from across the country’s continental expanse. * * * Russia’s demographic problem dates back at least 100 years, to the upheaval of the 1917 revolution, followed by Stalin’s purges in the 1930s. Both events curbed population growth, foreshadowing the devastating impact of World […]

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NEWSLINK: “An American Dream Fulfilled. While the United States government was secretly preparing to bomb Syria, I was in my Siberian university classroom” – The Nation/Sarah Lindemann-Komarova

Russia Map

While the United States government was secretly preparing to bomb Syria, I was in my Siberian university classroom. It was the first day for a new group of third-year linguistics students. … After the class all told me something about themselves, I asked the stranger where he was from, as he was clearly not Russian. His name was Ali (the shortened version […]

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How Does Conflict of Interest Translate Into Russian? It Doesn’t.

Yury Chaika file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Irina Skrynnik – February 9, 2017) Russia’s Prosecutor General Yury Chaika gave his first detailed comments on the business owned by his eldest son, Artyom, and his younger son, Igor, in an interview last week. “Don’t you think it’s a delicate situation when a father – meaning you – serves on a high government post […]

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Russian Government Starts Free Land Giveaway in Country’s Far East

Siberian River, Forest, Mountain

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 1, 2017) #Russian citizens can now claim a hectare of free land in the country’s remote Far East in a bid to rejuvenate the sparsely-populated region. Free plots of land are on offer in the Kamchatka, Primorye, Khabarovsk, Amur, Magadan and Sakhalin regions, the republic of Sakha, or the Jewish and Chukotka autonomous districts. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “General Frost to the Rescue: cold helps Russia comply with OPEC deal” – Reuters

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

“… Russia … in the past … accused of dragging its feet in implementing oil production and exports deals, reduced production by 100,000 barrels a day in the first few days of January … a third of the way towards the total cut Russia promised to deliver by mid-2017. … [at least partly] the result [of]  …unusually cold temperatures in […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH: “Can Russia repopulate its Far East with the offer of free land?”

File Photo of People Working on Car in Siberian Woodlands

The government plans to tempt Russians with a complimentary hectare in one of the country’s most remote regions – but the initiative faces a number of problems that need to be solved if it is to become a success. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – OLGA VLASOVA, RBTH – November 4, 2016) Have you ever dreamed of acquiring land […]

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Russia: the tinderbox in the struggle for a safe climate

Arctic Satellite Image and Map

Russia is at the forefront of the global climate change struggle. We ignore it at our peril. (opendemocracy.net – Daniel Voskoboynik – September 20, 2016) Daniel Voskoboynik is a journalist and campaigner covering human rights, ecology and migration. The Russian region of Yamal rarely makes global headlines. Despite being larger than France, its remote location bordering the Arctic Circle holds […]

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The Tin God Behind the Ice Curtain: Observing the State in Russia’s Far East

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – David Ramseur – August 31, 2016) A former journalist, David Ramseur is writing a book on Alaska-Russian relations for the University of Alaska Press, scheduled for publication in Fall 2017. He worked to melt the Alaska-Russian “Ice Curtain” as a top aide to Alaska Governors Steve Cowper and Tony Knowles and U.S. Senator Mark Begich. […]

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NEWSLINK The Nation/Sarah Lindemann-Komarova: “How A Siberian Mom Took on Politics as Usual in Russia and Won.”

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

In Siberia, Natalia Pinus is taking on established political forces and challenging the idea that Russian democracy is no more than a puppet show

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin, Shuvalov, Livanov, Galushka at] Meeting with Government members

Siberian River, Forest, Mountain

(Kremlin.ru – August 10, 2016) Vladimir Putin met with Government members to discuss measures to develop Russia’s Far East and a number of routine matters, in particular, the results of this year’s national final school exam and support measures for single-employer towns. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon colleagues, We agreed to discuss matters regarding the development of the […]

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The Westernization of Higher Education in Russia: Novosibirsk State University and its Students 1992-2016: Part 2: The Students

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

Subject: The Westernization of Higher Education in Russia: Novosibirsk State University and its Students 1992-2016: Part 2: The Students Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2016 10:59:20 +0700 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> The Westernization of Higher Education in Russia: Novosibirsk State University and its Students 1992-2016: Part 2: The Students By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova Founder, Siberian Civic Initiatives Support Center 1995 – 2014. […]

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VIDEO & TRANSCRIPT: The Baltics Remember, Russia Forgets

Map of Baltics and Environs, Including Kaliningrad

(RFE/RL – The Daily Vertical: Brian Whitmore – June 15, 2016) [Video further below] Seventy-five years ago this week, an ethnic cleansing campaign began. Seventy-five years ago this week, tens of thousands of people were uprooted from their homes, from their lives, and from their families. Seventy-five years ago this week — when the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were […]

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Will Chinese factories pollute the Russian Far East?

Siberian River, Forest, Mountain

Experts from WWF’s Amur branch assess the environmental impact of moving certain Chinese industries to Russia’s highly forested peripheral eastern region. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ELENA FEDICHKINA, EVGENY SHVARTS, SPECIAL TO RBTH – May 13, 2016) China’s proposal to relocate some of its production facilities to the Russian Far East has provoked heated debates among many experts. […]

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Akademgorodok: The last Soviet Utopia, or a new Silicon Valley?

Russia Map

Why is Russia’s intellectual, spiritual and cultural strength concentrated in Siberia? What is happening today at this world-renowned research center? Why do people here refuse to believe in a new brain drain? (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – MARINA MOSKALENKO, SPECIAL TO RBTH – March 28, 2016) Akademgorodok was created in 1957 by decree of the Soviet leader, Nikita […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Government members

Siberian River, Forest, Mountain

(Kremlin.ru – March 16, 2016) Vladimir Putin held a meeting with Government members to discuss measures to develop the Far East, including improvements to the electric power pricing policy, as well as other current issues on the socioeconomic agenda. In particular, the President heard reports from Russian Railways President Oleg Belozerov and Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov about work to improve […]

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The ordinary, yet exceptional people of Russia’s provinces; A significant part of Russia remains unknown to many of its citizens – mainstream media have no interest in the provinces. This photoblog captures a provincial life otherwise left behind.

Russia Regions Map

(opendemocracy.net – Vladimir Itkin – March 3, 2016) Vladimir Itkin is a journalist and literary critic from Novosibirsk, Russia. [Photos here opendemocracy.net/od-russia/vladimir-itkin/ordinary-yet-exceptional-people-of-russia-s-provinces] In 2009, Valery Klamm, a photographer from Novosibirsk, launched a photo project about elusive provincial Russia. This photoblog, called “Birthmarks on the map” (Rodinki na karte) [http://rodinkinakarte.ru/], quickly became popular for introducing poorly-known people and places. The idea […]

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‘Putin’s Children’ – Life, Crime, Terror on the Edge of Russia

Russia Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oliver Carroll – February 26, 2016) The driver’s voice teeters between depression and aggression. “What kinduva life do yoo call this?!” he shouts. “Weerrall peepul … peeeeepul, for sheeettin sake! … Fook, Ruussia, yoo make me want to cry!” We veer from side to side of the snow-covered track. Outside, the mercury pushes twenty under, […]

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It’s official: Native Americans and Siberians are cousins

Siberian River, Forest, Mountain

After more than a century of speculation, an international group of geneticists has conclusively proven that the Aztecs, Incas, and Iroquois are closely related to the peoples of Altai, the Siberian region that borders China and Mongolia. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – ARAM TER-GHAZARYAN, SPECIAL TO RBTH – rbth.ru – February 23, 2016) Scientists have suspected for a long time […]

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NEWSWATCH Carnegie Endowment for International Peace/Eugene Rumer, Paul Stronski: “Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia at Twenty­Five-A Baseline Assessment”

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace undertakes an overview of former Soviet states two-and-a-half decades following the USSR’s collapse. For nearly twenty-five years following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia, Ukraine, and the rest of the former Soviet lands now collectively referred to as Eurasia defied the best and the worst expectations of students of the region’s history. Unfortunately, […]

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Recommendations for additions to the Russia expert media outlet mix

Subject: Reaction to a piece in #217/Top Russian Media Date: Wed, 11 Nov 2015 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> Recommendations for additions to the Russia expert media outlet mix: Response to JRL #217, Russia Direct’s “Top 10 Russian media any Kremlin watcher needs to know” Uliana Malashenko’s “special round-up of the most influential and interesting media outlets that provide insights into […]

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Reclusive Russian Family’s Last Survivor Toughs It Out In The Taiga

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(RFE/RL – Nick Holdsworth – October 28, 2015) SIBERIAN TAIGA, Russia — Agafia Lykova emerges from the thick forest on the banks of the Abakan River like an image from Russian folklore. Dressed in ragged black sackcloth with a tattered head scarf and a triangular prayer amulet hanging from a beaded cord around her neck, she greets visitors arriving by […]

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NEWSWATCH Reuters: When Kremlin candidate loses election, even voters are surprised.

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

Reuters covers a recent Russian regional election in which the ruling United Russia party suffered defeat. When Communist Sergei Levchenko beat the incumbent from President Vladimir Putin’s party to become governor of Irkutsk region in Siberia on Sunday, even the voters who backed him were surprised: the Kremlin doesn’t lose elections. The result is said to raise questions about the […]

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Running for Office in Siberia

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

Subject: Running for Office in Siberia Part III Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2015 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> Running for Office in Siberia A series on the District #35 Election for Novosibirsk City Council: Part III: Becoming an Official Independent Candidate By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Founder, Siberian Civic Initiatives Support Center 1995 – 2014. Helped to establish this as the hub for […]

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NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal/Ariel Cohen: How Russia Could Become a Food Superpower

File Photo of Wheat Field in Kenya, adapted from image at usda.gov

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Ariel Cohen addresses historical shifts in Russian agriculture, and what the future might hold. Russia could be a food superpower, given its vast soil and water resources. It still may become one, but the question is whether the food will be Western or Chinese. Since the beginning of the Ukrainian conflict, the Russian economy has […]

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Russia-China pipeline to be largest infrastructure project in world – premier

Gas Flame file photo

(Interfax – June 29, 2015) Russian Prime Minister Dmitriy Medvedev has announced that the Power of Siberia gas pipeline, which is set to run from Russia to China, will be the world’s largest infrastructure project, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 29 June. Speaking at a ceremony dedicated to the start of construction of the Chinese part of the […]

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Looking after yourself in Siberia

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

The ‘rationalisation’ of medical and social services in rural Russia has compelled people to acquire new skills in order to survive, but life for the weakest is very hard – and very expensive. (opendemocracy.net – Georgy Borodyansky, an Omsk-based correspondent for Novaya Gazeta – May 12, 2015) Circumstance has forced the inhabitants of Kurganka, a village in Russia’s Omsk Region, to […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Kamchatka, Home to Russian Version of Alaska Iditarod, Frets Over Growth

Map of Russian Far East and Environs, Including Kamchatka Peninsula; adapted from image at noaa.gov

When Vladislav Revenok, an Orthodox priest, first participated in the obscure Russian version of Alaska’s Iditarod, he found himself in places so isolated that he was mobbed by villagers demanding to be baptized. They told him he was the first priest to visit the outback of the already remote Kamchatka Peninsula in about 50 years.

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The rouble crisis in Siberia

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(opendemocracy.net – Anna Fofanova – December 17, 2014) Anna Fofanova is a Tomsk-based editor and journalist. As the rouble collapses, residents of Tomsk have long memories – from Black Tuesday 1994 to Black Tuesday 2014. Tomsk is a provincial city in the best sense of the word. Indeed, as the largest centre for education and science on the other side […]

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The Battle for the Siberian harvest

Map of Russia

(opendemocracy.net – Georgy Borodyansky – November 28, 2014) Georgy Borodyansky is an Omsk-based correspondent for Novaya Gazeta. President Putin’s special envoy to the Urals, recently praised the region’s farmers for their heroic efforts to save the harvest. But it won’t save them. President Putin’s special envoy to the Urals, recently praised the region’s farmers for their heroic efforts to save […]

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Interfax: Moscow says Silk Road route may go via Russia

China Map

BEIJING. Nov 10 (Interfax) – Some sections of the Silk Road route pass through Russia, according to Russian Direct Investment Fund head Kirill Dmitriyev. “The route is being chosen, and Russia should hold a very active position in this respect. The Russian president said earlier today that we had plenty of infrastructural capacity for building a part of that route […]

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Interfax: Europeans may have ancestors in Siberia – Russian Academy of Sciences

Siberian Natural Scenery, with River, Trees, Hills

(Interfax – October 14, 2014) A comparison of genomes of ancient Europeans and people living in contemporary countries has shown that a Siberian tribe is an ancestor of modern Europeans, said Olga Posukh, senior research fellow of the human molecular genetics laboratory of the Cytology and Genetics Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences’ Siberian branch. “A certain genetic component of […]

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Interfax: Proposal to ban Western airlines from using trans-Siberian routes is “on the table” – Medvedev

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

MOSCOW. Aug 7 (Interfax) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said that Russia is considering a potential ban on European and U.S. air carriers using trans-Siberian routes as a possible retaliatory step against Western sanctions targeting Russia’s low-cost airline Dobrolet. “The government of the Russian Federation is considering a number of retaliatory steps. But it does not mean that […]

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RIA Novosti: Powers of Russia’s Far East Ministry Set for Expansion

Siberian Natural Scenery, with River, Trees, Hills

MOSCOW, February 17 (RIA Novosti) – Greater powers are to be handed over to a government department overseeing affairs in Russia’s Far East within the coming month, a top official has said in an interview published Monday. The move is in line with government designs to boost the fortunes of a vast expanse of territory between Siberia and the Pacific […]

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Some Government Agencies Could Move East

Siberian Natural Scenery, with River, Trees, Hills

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – February 6, 2014) The Cabinet is mulling further tax breaks for the Far East and moving some government agencies to the remote region in another bid to inject more vigor in the economically lagging area. In addition, two new state companies could emerge to plow 170 billion rubles ($4.8 billion) into preparing […]

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Ice Age Thrives In Southern Siberia

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Antoine Blua – January 30, 2014) If you ever wondered what the Ice Age looked like, then look no farther than Eurasia’s Altai-Sayan mountains, where thriving mammalian communities are frozen in time. Parts of the range along the Russia-Mongolian border have served as sanctuaries for Ice Age mammals since the last glacial period. While the sizes […]

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Construction of New Pipeline from North Siberia to China Kicks Off

China Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – December 18, 2013) Construction of a major pipeline kicked off Tuesday in an effort that will likely bring more oil from Siberia to China. Governor Lev Kuznetsov made a show at the starting ceremony in his Krasnoyarsk region, braving the rubber-bullet injury he suffered during a robbery of his southern French villa […]

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Has Siberia had enough of Russia?

Siberian Natural Scenery, with River, Trees, Hills

(opendemocracy.net – Aleksei Tarasov – November 21, 2013) Aleksei Tarasov is correspondent for Novaya gazeta based in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. In 2008 he was awarded the prestigious Golden Quill prize for his investigative work. With Siberia’s enormous natural resources being mercilessly exploited by Russia, and now China as well, Aleksei Tarasov wonders if the region might some day amount to more […]

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Russian government selects Far East development model

KHABAROVSK. Oct 29 (Interfax) – The Russian Far East Development Ministry has put together a model for the Far East that will establish a network of export oriented zones in the region. Other ministries have not yet reached a consensus on this issue, but Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has already issued some instructions. Export to Russia irrational In a meeting […]

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Putin Builds North Korea Rail to Circumvent Suez Canal

North Korea Map and Flag

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ekaterina Shatalova and Nicholas Brautlecht – October 15, 2013) Vladimir Putin is inching closer to his goal of turning Russia into a major transit route for trade between eastern Asia and Europe by prying open North Korea, a nuclear-capable dictatorship isolated for half a century. Russia last month completed the first land link that North Korea’s […]

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TRANSCRIPT (continued): [Putin at] meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club (transcript concluded)

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Kremlin.ru – Novgorod Region, September 19, 2013) [Complete transcript here http://eng.kremlin.ru/transcripts/6007] VLADIMIR PUTIN: And one more question for our American friend and colleague. What will the United States do about the budget deficit, the debt that has reached an incredible size? It is the largest debt in the United States’ post-war history. How will the situation unfold moving forward? This […]

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New Far East Minister Named

Siberian Natural Scenery, with River, Trees, Hills

(Moscow Times – temhoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – September 12, 2013) President Vladimir Putin on Thursday appointed business lobbyist Alexander Galushka as Far East Development Minister, completing the staff changes meant to spur investment in a region sitting next to major Asian powerhouses. A co-chairman of business association Delovaya Rossia, Galushka will work in tandem with Deputy Prime Minister Yury […]

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ANNOUNCEMENT: “The Ansan Forum” New Online Journal

Map of Asia-Pacific Highlighting APEC Member States

From: “Gilbert F. Rozman” <grozman@Princeton.EDU> Subject: a new online journal Date: Fri, 2 Aug 2013 A new, online journal has been launched with substantial coverage of Russia in the context of international relations of the Asia-Pacific. To check it out, go to www.theasanforum.org In the first issue, there is a Special Forum, consisting of an Introduction and five articles under […]

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Russia dreams of creating an alternative to Suez

Eurasia Map

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Ilya Dashkovsky, special to RBTH – August 26, 2013) Railways across Siberia and the Far East might become alternatives to the sea route. An ambitious program of railway expansion in Russia’s Far East opens up the prospect of creating rapid new trade routes between Asia and Europe. At least $17bn is to be […]

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Taken from Chita, Made in China

Map of Russia

(opendemocracy.net – Mikhail Loginov – August 24, 2013) Mikhail Loginov is a journalist and novelist based in St Petersburg. He is the author of the recently published bestselling political thriller “Battle for Kremlin”. Lake Baikal, the largest freshwater lake on the planet, is part of Russia’s DNA, and many romantic ballads sing of its size and beauty. Beyond the lake […]

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