Jewish Autonomous Region
Yasnaya | 6 December 2012 | Issue 5030
The swimming facility in the military town of Yasnaya was closed in the 1990s, but after the army pulled out last year, the doors to the sports complex were smashed in, the colorful notice boards were torn down and the empty pool began to fill up with garbage.
Petrovsk-Zabaikalsk | 5 December 2012 | Issue 5029
About nine o'clock in the evening on Feb. 12 seven years ago, Vladimir Baranov was killed by gunmen on the doorstep of his house in the fatal culmination of a dispute with illegal loggers.
Train | 30 November 2012 | Issue 5025
At 6:50 a.m. there was a loud banging on my door. I was instantly awake. But it was one of the hotel cleaners. She said that I needed to show my passport at reception before I checked out.
Chita | 28 November 2012 | Issue 5024
My train arrived in Chita at about 7:30 a.m., and I was checked into my hotel by shortly after 8. Half an hour later, as I was dozing, two men knocked at my door.
Zabaikalsk | 27 November 2012 | Issue 5022
About 70 percent of Russia's trade with China crosses the border at Zabaikalsk.
Petrovsk-Zabaikalsk | 25 November 2012 | Issue 5021
Like the Zabaikalsk region as a whole, Petrovsk-Zabaikalsk suffers from a slow exodus of people. The town's population has halved in the past 10 years.
Petrovsk-Zabaikalsk | 24 November 2012 | Issue 5020
At about 4:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, I was woken by screams and moans from the next-door room.
South of Chita | 23 November 2012 | Issue 5020
Today began with a bloody hare and ended with a roomful of armed men.
Chita | 22 November 2012 | Issue 5020
When planning my trip to the Chinese border, I decided that it would be worthwhile to try to speak to the governors of all the regions I would be passing through.
Chita | 21 November 2012 | Issue 5019
After a bad night on a lumpy bed and a struggle to get up at what would be 2 a.m. Moscow time, I couldn't stomach the watery breakfast of pale, congealed eggs — a so-called "omelet." The cold pancakes with fluorescent yellow jam, though, were edible. In the afternoon I paid a visit to the city's markets.
The region has traditionally been the scene of confrontation between Russia and China. In the most bloody exchange of the last 50 years over 100 soldiers from both sides were killed in fighting in 1969. The latest border treaty between Russia and China was signed and ratified as recently 2004.
At 4,444 kilometers the Amur river, which marks 1,600 kilometers of the Russia-Chinese border, is the tenth longest river in the world and the third largest in Russia, after the Yenisei and Ob rivers. The Chinese call it Heilong Jiang (Black Dragon) and the Mongols know it as Kharamuren (Black River).
The border between Russia and China, one of the longest continuous land borders in the world, stretches for 4,195 kilometers. The Canada-U.S. border (excluding Alaska) is 6,414 kilometers.
The Far East regions, including Zabaikalsky Region, account for 45.5 percent of Russia's territory and 7.6 percent of its population (10.8 million people)
The town of Mirnaya has seen its once 10,000-strong population decrease 85 percent, and remaining residents face a lack of jobs and infrastructure.