July 26, 2004 |
The gulag is gone, but its prisoners remain. Poverty and a lifetime of missed chances have marooned Said Asan Dzhamilov in luckless Vorkuta. More than six decades ago, he was among a million inmates sent here to hack coal from the Arctic permafrost and build a city where none would naturally grow. Today, the 85-year-old still dreams of going home to his native Crimea. But he knows he never will. "I would leave today if I could. I'm sick and tired of living in Vorkuta.