In 1938, Joseph Stalin commissioned the gadfly author Mikhail Bulgakov to write a play. The subject was to be the Soviet leader’s early years. A professional hangman couldn’t have fashioned a neater noose.
When Alexander Gan fled the demise of Soviet-era industry in Siberia’s Jewish Autonomous District in 2000, it was a swampy backwater seven time zones east of Moscow. A decade later, its border with resource-hungry China is bringing work with iron-ore, copper and coal producers.
Anthony Stidham, a 48-year-old third-generation rancher from Oklahoma, is at the forefront of President Vladimir Putin’s plan to cut Russia’s $3 billion annual bill as the world’s biggest beef importer.
As Yuka Takeda sat down with members of Kazakhstan’s government earlier this year in the capital, Astana, to discuss poverty levels, the Japanese economist noticed a stark contrast with her experience back home.