Bulging China eyes empty Russian Far East

In English, Siberia is a synonym for frigid desolation. Actually, it’s much the same in Russian as well. And now that Russians are no longer forced to live there, they are emptying the vast spaces of the Russian Far East, which stretches from Lake Baikal to Vladivostok. According to an article by David Blair in the London Telegraph, only 6.7 million people live there – 14% fewer than in the late 1980s. Furthermore, over a third of these live in only nine towns. The countryside is nearly empty. By 2015 there will only be 4.5 million people in the Russian Far East.