Magazine article Russian Life

Insider Information

Magazine article Russian Life

Insider Information

Article excerpt

One day in late July, I was halfway through a morning workout at the gym, feeling guilty about all the editing I should be doing and the phone calls I should be making. My things burning from the churning of a ridiculously medieval torture machine, I flipped a page in the copy of Business Week I was reading.

Time stood still. Space tilted.

Before me was a full page advertisement for Norilsk Nickel. Aimed at the American stock trading crowd, it was a bright, sky-blue ad that touted--in that understated way typical of such ads--the company's absolute dominance of its market sector.

The guilt dissipated. I was not working out, work was chasing me.

As it turned out, that afternoon, I was scheduled to do a first read-though of Eric Helque's article on the closed city of Norilsk (page 38). It is not a very upbeat story, as Norilsk is vastly overpolluted, underfunded and bitterly cold most of the time. But it is a story worth telling. And that's what really matters most, after all.

Eric's article on Norilsk, in Northern Siberia, is just one of four stories in this issue that take us to four remote corners of Russia. Jessica Jacobson shows us an isolated village (and former Gulag colony) in Central Siberia in her article on Narym (page 48); Joshua Hartshorne takes us to the shores of beautiful Lake Baikal (page 22); and Laura Williams shows us what it is like to live with the storks of Western Russia (page 54).

Exploring in another dimension, Jennifer Cherkasov takes us inside the Russian orphanage system (page 30). …

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