JRL NEWSWATCH: “Tie for warmest 12-month period globally as Siberia sizzles (Update)” – PhysOrg/ Marlowe Hood

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

“Temperatures soared 10 degrees Celsius above average across much of permafrost-laden Siberia last month …. Earth’s average surface temperature for July 2019-June 2020 was 1.3C above pre-industrial levels …. In the Arctic … an hourly temperature record for June … was set on the 21st near Verkhoyansk in northeastern Russia …. [P]reviously registered Arctic hourly highs in 1969 and 1973 […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Arctic sets ‘fantastical’ heat records: weather chief” – AFP

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

“The Russian Arctic set record temperatures in June that sparked abnormal tundra fires … Russia’s weather service [director] said … blaming climate change for … ‘fantastical’ anomalies. Russia’s northern territories, including parts of Yakutia region which borders the Arctic ocean, have faced a heat wave … with some districts declaring a state of emergency. … He noted one record in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Arctic Circle’s record temperatures heighten global warming concerns” – Financial Times/ Leslie Hook, Max Seddon

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

“Wild anomalies such as the 38C recorded in northern Russia this week underline climate change threat.” “… [N]orthern Russia has produced the highest temperature ever recorded inside the Arctic Circle …. [R]esidents of Verkhoyansk, north-east of Siberia in … Yakutia … have … been sunbathing in a town that at other times of the year shares the record as the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Siberia’s persistent, freakishly mild weather is reverberating around the world” – Washington Post/ Andrew Freedman, Isabelle Khurshudyan

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

“The planet just had its warmest May, continuing a streak from 2014.” “… Siberia … has seen persistently extreme temperatures since the winter … [leading] to a damaging Arctic oil spill, spark[ing] early outbreaks of large wildfires and help[ing] vault global temperatures to new milestones. … Permafrost thawing across Siberia … has caused widespread problems such as buckled roads, collapsed […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “As Pandemic Grips Russia, an Age-Old Bane Returns: Drinking” – New York Times/ Anton Troianovski

Man in Silhoette with Bottle of Alcohol and Head in Hand

The widespread, false belief that alcohol will protect drinkers from the coronavirus is helping drive a spike in liquor sales and domestic violence. “… Across the world, the coronavirus pandemic has sparked fears of increased alcohol abuse …. In Russia, two weeks into a nationwide partial lockdown, those fears are becoming reality … evidence mounts that a spike in alcohol […]

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Part Two: COVID-19 Siberia: Life in the Village: March 29- April 4 “Non-work Week #1” in Manjerok, Altai Republic

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

Subject: Part Two Date: Sat, 11 Apr 2020 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> Part Two COVID-19 Siberia: Life in the Village March 29- April 4 “Non-work Week #1” in Manjerok, Altai Republic By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Sarah Lindemann-Komarova has been a community development activist in Siberia since 1992. Currently she is focusing on research and writing about civil society in Russia.] With […]

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COVID-19 Siberia Update: Life in the Village

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

Subject: COVID-19 Siberia Update: Life in the Village Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2020 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> COVID-19 Siberia Update: Life in the Village: Part I: Background By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Sarah Lindemann-Komarova has been a community development activist in Siberia since 1992. Currently she is focusing on research and writing about civil society in Russia.] With Pictures: medium.com/@ECHOSiberia/covid-19-siberia-update-life-in-the-village-a3a964a5290a [DJ: Great […]

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COVID- 19: The View from Siberia

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

Subject: COVID-19: The View From Siberia Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2020 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> COVID- 19: The View from Siberia By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Sarah Lindemann-Komarova has been a community development activist in Siberia since 1992.] With pictures: medium.com/@ECHOSiberia/covid-19-the-view-from-siberia-fd04bfa38db5 I did not do any special reporting for this piece. It is a chronology of consciousness and events in relation to […]

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RUSSIALINK: “‘Where Is Our Land?’: Challenges for Indigenous Groups in the Russian Arctic” – Kennan Institute/ Arbakhan K. Magomedov

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Arbakhan Magomedov – Nov. 14, 2019) Arbakhan Magomedov is visiting professor at the Russian State University for the Humanities. (RSUH). His fieldwork in the Far North was done as part of the project “Rising Voices of Northern Indigenous People in the Context of Growing Pressure of Russian Nationalism,” for which he received financial support through […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin wants new connection between Arctic coast and Indian Ocean; The construction of a railway line to Sabetta is what is needed, the president argues” – The Barents Observer/ Atle Staalesen

Asia Map

“… ‘The idea is to connect the ports on the Northern Sea Route with the ports of the Pacific and Indian Oceans by means of transport arterials through Eastern Siberia, the heartlands of Eurasia,’ … [Putin said to Valdai] conference participants. … [such as] Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, King of Jordan Abdullah II, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Filipinian leader […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Radical warming in Siberia leaves millions on unstable ground” – Washington Post/ Anton Troianovski, Chris Mooney, Michael Robinson Chavez, Trish Wilson, Brian Murphy, Brian Malasics

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

“… The permafrost that once sustained farming – and upon which villages and cities are built – is in the midst of a great thaw, blanketing the region with swamps, lakes and odd bubbles of earth …. In Yakutia … cattle and reindeer herding have plunged 20 percent …. Siberians … are being driven to migrate …. An international team […]

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Shaman Story Overwhelms Russian Media, Highlighting Deep Problems among Russians and in the Kremlin

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 19, 2019) Sometimes the real story is the story, the fact that some event has so captured the attention of the media and the public that it has overwhelmed coverage of almost everything else. That is what has happened in Russia in the case of the shaman who promised to exorcize […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Arctic leader warns of ‘dramatic’ climate change impact; Head of remote Yakutia region expresses concern about effects of rising temperatures” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

“The head of Russia’s largest Arctic territory has warned of ‘very dramatic’ impacts from climate change … Moscow comes under increasing pressure …. [with climate] emerg[ing] as an important domestic issue … due to … large-scale melting of permafrost in the north of the country and temperature increases … outpac[ing] global averages. … creat[ing] serious knock-on effects for Russia, including […]

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Sarah Lindemann-Komarova: “Fake News or Sloppy Journalism? The Washington Post Dims the Lights of Democracy in Siberia”

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

Subject: Fake News or Sloppy Journalism? The Washington Post Dims the Lights of Democracy in Siberia Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2019 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> Fake News or Sloppy Journalism? The Washington Post Dims the Lights of Democracy in Siberia Re: Washington Post, September 5, 2019, “In Russia’s local elections, the vote totals are not what really count” By Will […]

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Trump Calls Putin To Offer Help Battling Siberian Fires

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – August 1, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russian-army-called-in-to-fight-siberia-forest-fires/30085889.html) U.S. President Donald Trump has offered to help Russia battle widespread forest fires in Siberia as he seeks to repair Washington’s fractious relationship with Moscow. Trump called Russian President Vladimir Putin to make the offer, the Kremlin said […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Siberia Could Be The Tourist Hotspot Of The Future, Literally” – Forbes/ Eric Mack

File Photo of People Working on Car in Siberian Woodlands

“The massive Asian side of Russia is often forgotten, as much of it consists often frigid and uninhabitable Siberian wilderness. … A team of Russian and American researchers looked at a number of computer models … [U]nder the most extreme scenario … [regarding] greenhouse gases … parts of Siberia where average January temperatures dip below minus 30 will be warmer […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Half of Russians Are Worried About the Environment Where They Live – Survey” – Moscow Times

Russian Landfill; adapted from image at epa.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 5, 2019) Almost half of Russians are concerned about the environment in their regions, according to a study by the Moscow-based NAFI Research Center obtained by the state-run TASS news agency. Environmental issues have taken center stage at protest rallies across Russia over the past year, with citizens drawing attention to concerns including landfills, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “New Russian Documentary Brings the Horrors of the Gulag to the YouTube Generation; Yuri Dud’s documentary has garnered millions of views in days. From Global Voices.” – Transitions Online/ Alexey Kovalev

File Photo of Kolyma Mountains Satellite Image, adapted from image at noaa.gov

“… former sports reporter … [Yuri Dud] runs his own YouTube interview show …. generat[ing] millions of views … a serious competitor even to state-owned TV. … [T]he subject of Dud’s latest show shocked his … 5 million [subscribers] and the general public: a two-hour documentary about the Kolyma region, in Russia’s far northeast … almost synonymous with Stalin-era repressions. […]

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NEWSLINK: “‘Winter. What do we do in the village?…’ Pushkin ‘Зима. Что делать нам в деревне?’ Пушкин [PHOTOS: Manzherok Village, Altai Republic Siberia, New Year Holiday 2019]” – Medium/ Sarah Lindemann-Komarova

Snowy Scene with Trees and Hills file photo, adapted from NWS image

“Manzherok Village, Altai Republic Siberia, New Year Holiday 2019 Манжерок Новогодный праздник 2019 … Photos: “

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NEWSLINK: “3 Days Stranded in Siberia? Flight Delays Don’t Come Much Worse Than This” – New York Times/Sophia Kishkovsky

File Photo of Airplane Approaching Runway About to Land

“Pretty much all seasoned travelers know the frustration of flight delays — the time wasted puttering in an airport, waiting in a hotel room or, perhaps worst of all, stuck on the tarmac in an idled plane. But how about three days stranded in Siberia? That was the nightmare experienced by the passengers and crew of Air France Flight 116 […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “At Asia’s heart, Lake Baikal stirs Russians to protect nature” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

Lake Baikal and Environs Satellite Photo

“… [Lake Baikal] is the only natural feature in Russia … [with] its own law … which bans many types of industry, including mining, and chemical-based farming in a buffer zone around the lake that includes most of Buryatia. … that makes Baikal a double-edged sword for the economically stagnant republic. The region’s beauty and largely untapped resources give it […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Buddhism flourishes in Siberia, opening window on its pre-Soviet past; Orthodox Christianity may be Russia’s most high-profile religion, but it is only one of the country’s four official ‘founding’ faiths. Another of the four, Buddhism, has been experiencing a rebirth in post-Soviet Russia.” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

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

“… For ethnic Buryats, the resurgence of Buddhism is part of a more complex awakening, as local scholars explore the Buryats’ distinctly non-Russian historical and cultural heritage, and endeavor to reconcile it with their identity as modern-day Russians. Similar processes are unfolding in many of [Russia’s] 22 ‘ethnic republics’ …. Today, there are about 1.5 million Buddhists in Russia, concentrated […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin’s Grim Reality: Public Fury Over Children’s Deaths in Mall” – New York Times

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

“… Putin traveled to the town of Kemerovo to lay flowers next to a memorial for the at least 64 people, many of them children, who died in the fire on Sunday. Some of them died as they banged on locked exit doors and screamed into cellphones for help from their parents. …”  

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian President Putin promises justice after Siberian shopping mall blaze tragedy” – bne Intellinews

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

“… details emerge of the fire that has killed 64 people, according to the latest official report, including 41 children, making this the worst tragedy of its type in Russia’s history. Twenty people were rescued … about 100 were evacuated. 15 people remain in hospital …. [O]ne of the owners of the mall has been arrested [for] criminal negligence …. […]

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On the Russian Presidential Campaign Trail in Siberia: Part Two: Putin, Grudinin, Titov and the Meaning of Life

File Photo of Car on Road in Siberian Town

Subject: Part Two Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2018 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> On the Russian Presidential Campaign Trail in Siberia Part Two: Putin, Grudinin, Titov and the Meaning of Life By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Founder, Siberian Civic Initiatives Support Center 1995 – 2014. Helped to establish this as the hub for the first civil society development support network in the former […]

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On the Russian Presidential Campaign Trail in Siberia; Part One: Ksenia Sobchak

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

Subject: The Siberian Campaign Trail Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2018 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> On the Russian Presidential Campaign Trail in Siberia Part One: Ksenia Sobchak By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Founder, Siberian Civic Initiatives Support Center 1995 – 2014. Helped to establish this as the hub for the first civil society development support network in the former Soviet Union.] [Text with […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia to spend $2.5 bln on Trans-Siberian, Baikal-Amur railroads. Investment is first stage in expanding railroad capacity to increase exports from Far East Russia.” – Asia Times

Russia Map

“Russian [sic] has approved US$2.5 billion to expand and modernize the Trans-Siberian and Baikal-Amur railways as part of a larger rail project to boost economic growth and exports from the country’s Far East region that borders the Pacific Ocean. … Putin has given the green light for the government to allocate money from the National Welfare Fund for this stage of […]

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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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