September 4, 1995 |
The rusty iron gates of the Kirov Factory creak open grudgingly, heralding the decrepitude and indifference within. A bored security guard, interrupted in his exercise of tipping back on the rear legs of his chair, eyes visitors languidly and takes another drag on his cigarette before bestirring himself to let them in.
July 20, 1997 |
They came in rags and shackles into icebound desolation, condemned prisoners packed onto Yenisey River barges among the tools they would use to cut through frozen wilderness and tap the north's natural riches. A tin-roofed shrine marks the blackened tundra where thousands died building this most notorious of labor camps in the 1930s. The more breathtaking monument, though, is the smoke-belching city of 300,000 left behind by those victims of "the Terror."
July 29, 2000 |
In an odd Kremlin meeting that was both a scolding and a pep talk, President Vladimir V. Putin tried to patch up relations with Russia's captains of industry Friday, exhorting them to support his economic program and stop using their media outlets to "politicize" legal actions against big business. Arrayed around an enormous table in an ornate Kremlin hall, 21 business leaders listened impassively as Putin tried to put to rest concerns that he had launched a war against them.
June 25, 1993 |
Significantly boosting its international aid, Japan announced today that it will contribute $120 billion over five years to developing countries in a move to demonstrate its "proactive stance" in promoting stability in the post-Cold War world. The financial package, approved by the Cabinet just days before the leaders of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations gather here for a summit, represents a 40% to 50% increase in bilateral aid over the previous five-year plan.
March 19, 1993 |
One of Boris N. Yeltsin's first lessons as president was that Russians notice what kind of car their leaders speed past them in. Criticized for importing a Mercedes-Benz, Yeltsin reverted to the homemade brand of his Communist predecessors, the stolid black ZIL limousine. "Buy Russian" sentiment is far from universal in a country that, after seven decades of Communist isolation, is embracing Barbie dolls and devouring McDonald's hamburgers.
April 30, 1993 |
It is late spring, but the snowdrifts in this coal miners' city beyond the Arctic Circle still loom higher than the rickety shacks at the edge of town. The Stalin-era prisoners who died by the thousands here are doubly buried--under permafrost and three more feet of glaring snow. As the temperatures drop and rise suddenly, the old suffer palpitations and weakness. The children's skin looks like yellowed wax. Raisa Kurdyukova, a teacher here, wishes she could live elsewhere.
March 5, 1999 |
Every day, a miracle of loaves and fishes takes place in this Russian town. In the gray of morning, thousands of workers emerge from concrete apartment blocks carrying empty tin lunch pails. They trudge out of town, across a snowy field and into a ramshackle set of buildings called the Tutayev Engine Factory. They work all day but produce next to nothing. The factory loses money but is not bankrupt. No one gets paid, but they don't go hungry.
August 6, 1992 |
As President Boris N. Yeltsin embarked Wednesday on a surprise vacation by the Black Sea, a political storm grew in Moscow over a controversial directive from the Russian Central Bank that critics claim will mean the end of radical economic reform here. The Central Bank issued an order last week that, in effect, mandates the payoff of 3 trillion rubles--$18.6 billion at the current rate--in debts that Russian state-owned factories owe each other.
December 21, 1993 |
An Orange County company, trying to make use of old Soviet nuclear technology, said Monday it has signed a contract with a group of Russian organizations to build small-scale nuclear power reactors. Advanced Physics Corp., a research company in Irvine, formed a joint venture project with five Russian nuclear and space industry institutions to build a series of miniature reactors to be used in Russia and developing countries.
May 7, 1998 |
Prosecutors were closing in Wednesday on a group of former top-level government officials, often labeled "young reformers," who allegedly received property illegally through the state privatization program they helped run. Alfred Kokh, President Boris N. Yeltsin's former privatization chief, was charged Tuesday with embezzlement for allegedly accepting a government-owned apartment in central Moscow.