September/October 2003

Features in this Issue

Miracles on a Shoestring

The Russian Space Program has enjoyed a remarkable string of successes and firsts over the past half-century. But, since the fall of the USSR, it has been forced to adapt to new, more commercial realities. We sent Nick Allen to Baikonur, the main Russian launch site, to report back on how the program is fairing.

Kalmykia: Reviving the Dusty Plain

A huge expanse of desert and grassy plains, this southern Russian republic has an austere beauty all its own. Of course there is also Chess City and the horse races...

Defending Russian Nature

Over the last century, Russia has created a system of preserves -- zapovedniki -- where wilderness holds sway and humans are rarely allowed. It is the world's largest system of strict nature preserves. We meet some of the heroes quietly working to preserve these zapovedniki, despite miserly allocations from the government.

Russia Goes to the Polls

Nikita Khrushchev once said, "Politicians are the same everywhre: they promise to build a bridge even where there is no river." As political observer Natasha Yefimova shows, there have been surprisingly few promises made or platforms pronounced in the run-up to this December's Duma election. The reasons for this are quite interesting.

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