Russell Working
For Russell Working's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Dec 20, 2001
War 'back home' divides Jordan's Chechen community
ZARQA, Jordan -- When the wounded Chechen fighters arrived in Jordan in 1994, everything changed for Younis Ashab.
Dec 3, 2001
EU overtures to Cyprus rattle Turkey
NICOSIA, Cyprus -- When you cross the "green line" between the Cypriot and Turkish-occupied parts of the city, you enter a zone that has frozen in time since war stopped on this eastern Mediterranean island 27 years ago.
Japan Times
Nov 6, 2001
Fighting for independence in the shadow of a Goliath
ALMATY, Kazakstan -- The phone calls started last May, after the body of an ethnic Uighur activist was found strangled and dumped in a water reservoir.
Oct 28, 2001
Plunder in a land of plenty
KYZYK-SUU, Kyrgyzstan -- When Canadian mining giant Cameco Corp. opened the Kumtor gold mine in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan in 1996, logistics were considered to be the greatest obstacle.
LIFE / Travel
Sep 17, 2001
Riding the Silk Road up to the sky
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- Throughout the former Soviet Union, the architectural barbarities of communist civilization have inflicted a dreadful sameness on disparate lands and peoples.
Aug 16, 2001
Numerous problems slow efforts to safely scrap retired Russian nuclear submarines
BOLSHOI KAMEN, Russia -- Propped up onshore amid heaps of scrap metal at the Zvezda shipyard is one of the largest vehicles ever to cruise the planet -- the five-story hulk of a submarine that once carried intercontinental ballistic missiles targeting the United States.
Jun 14, 2001
Pyongyang's Chinese connection to the global economy
DANDONG, China -- When managers at a North Korean metal works began dreaming that foreigners' suits and blouses might one day be draped on the company's aluminum coat-hangers, there was no way to pursue international markets directly.
Jun 5, 2001
The trial of Unit 731
KHABAROVSK, Russia -- Late in December 1949, Soviet Communist Party leaders began distributing tickets in factories and institutes for an upcoming trial. Twelve Japanese physicians and military officers -- former researchers at a secret facility near Harbin, China known as Unit 731 -- stood accused of manufacturing biological and chemical weapons following experiments on human guinea pigs. And somewhere it was decided that the masses should hear firsthand what had gone on at the sprawling complex, which had been dynamited by the Japanese as Soviet troops advanced at the end of World War II.
Feb 14, 2001
Sakhalin oil sparks hopes and fears
YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, Russia -- Sakhalin Island is a remote former penal colony where the sea freezes for up to six months a year and villagers have been known to sleep in tents pitched in their bedrooms when the central heating fails.
LIFE / Travel
Jan 31, 2001
A chaotic Southeast Asian haven
CEBU, Philippines -- Denis is a purple-nosed ex-con with yellow teeth, asterisk eyes receded deep in their sockets and tattoos covering his arms and knuckles.
Jan 24, 2001
Russia can teach California a few things about blackouts
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia -- When blackouts hit the residential districts of Russia's largest Pacific seaport, as they have for up to 20 hours a day and even more this week, people learn to cope.
Jan 13, 2001
Fates of Estrada, Philippines hang on trial
MANILA -- President Joseph "Erap" Estrada is in the battle of his political life as his lawyers fight corruption charges in an impeachment trial.
Dec 21, 2000
Time once again for Russia's perennial heating crisis
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia -- The communist central planners who designed modern Russia's infrastructure devised a system of boiling water kilometers from where it is needed, running it through aboveground pipes across a region where temperatures can drop as low as minus 40 C -- and expected this to warm the radiators of Russia's drafty apartments.
Nov 30, 2000
The Russian Far East reaps peace dividend
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia -- Bunkered in a hillside above the port city where Russia's Pacific Fleet anchors, Slavyansky Khleb may be one of the most secure bakeries on the planet.
Nov 1, 2000
Russia's back window onto North Korea
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia -- In the Davydova neighborhood in the northern part of town, one apartment block after another has been under construction for years. Thus, there are always North Korean laborers around.
Sep 22, 2000
Rebirth of Sino-Russian alliance unlikely
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia -- Chinese Premier Li Peng was having the time of his life. First, academics at Far Eastern State University bestowed a doctorate of law on him. Then women dressed in white and beaded caps like boyars' daughters on their wedding day danced to traditional music. And Yevgeny Nazdratenko, governor of the far eastern province of Primorye, praised his "comrade" and echoed Li's calls for "strategic cooperation" between the countries.
Sep 9, 2000
Nationalism before the national interest
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia -- If you ever chance to fly in the wintertime to the disputed Northern Territories -- a cluster of volcanic islets claimed by both Russia and Japan, and known as the southern Kuril Islands to Russians -- be prepared to be stranded.
Aug 31, 2000
Russia lies between Korea and the world
SEOUL -- The demilitarized zone that stretches between North and South Korea separates one of the world's most heavily fortified borders, bristling with artillery, tanks and troops.
Aug 7, 2000
Muslims under fire in Russian Far East
PETROPAVLOSK-KAMCHATSKY, Russia -- When Usman Usmanov laid the cornerstone of the first mosque in the Russian Far East last summer, he was thrilled to see the start of a spiritual center for 30,000 Muslims in the Kamchatka region.
Jul 31, 2000
Russians cheer thaw with Pyongyang
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia -- Until recently, the leader of North Korea's Stalinist state had never been known to meet a noncommunist, travel abroad as head of state or publicly utter more than a single slogan at a military parade.


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