Monthly Archives: December 2006

Ice Carvings at New Year

No self-respecting Russian city would be complete without a huge Christmas tree and ice carvings in its main square for New Year, and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is no exception.  In fact, we’ve gone one better and have a Christmas tree and ice carvings in … Continue reading

Posted in Photos, Sakhalin | 5 Comments

After the Storm

For the last two days, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk has been holding out against a fierce snowstorm which came in from the north.  Some roads disappeared completely, more were made impassable, and even the main road from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to the port of Korsakov … Continue reading

Posted in Photos, Sakhalin | 1 Comment

The Sound of Russia’s Wealth

Had any sentimental expatriate taken 25th December off work and attempted to have a peaceful family Christmas day at home, he would in all likelihood have soon wished he hadn’t.  For nowadays it is almost impossible to spend a quiet … Continue reading

Posted in Sakhalin | 3 Comments

Russia prepares for New Year

Yesterday was Christmas day across most of the world.  It wasn’t in Russia.  Russian Christmas follows the Orthodox calendar and falls on 7th January, and this is celebrated to a certain extent.  But the big event is New Year, and … Continue reading

Posted in Russia | 4 Comments

The Welcome Death of Turkmenbashi

As I read about the death of Saparmurat Niyazov, president of Turkmenistan, I was reminded of this article in The Economist, written back in May, which warned of the danger of Niyazov’s sudden death: There is, though, much speculation about … Continue reading

Posted in Turkmenistan | 5 Comments

Russian lifts and the idiots who wreck them

So, we’ve moved into our new apartment in the centre of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, and all we are waiting for now is for the landlady to install a new wardrobe to replace the five pieces of chipboard hastily banged together in China … Continue reading

Posted in Russia | 8 Comments

Gornii Vozdukh at night

Over the weekend we moved apartment to one which is larger, closer to the centre of the town, and offers a superb view of Gornii Vozdukh, the mountain situated behind Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk which I wrote about here.  Last night the authorities … Continue reading

Posted in Photos, Sakhalin | 5 Comments

A Benefit of Blogging

Quite apart from the fact that I owe my marriage to my blogging activities (Nathan emailed me with details of an Uzbek girl in Dubai, who later introduced me to the girl who became my wife), I like how my writing … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Sakhalin | 1 Comment

Gornii Vozdukh

A couple of weekends ago I woke up on the Saturday morning feeling very hungover following a night of heavy drinking with an English colleague and his Russian girlfriend.  Having tried all morning to get rid of the headache and numb … Continue reading

Posted in Photos, Sakhalin | 4 Comments


Gulf Arab leaders are considering a joint civilian nuclear programme, a move that could heighten proliferation concerns in the oil-rich region. reports the Financial Times. The decision to order a study, announced at the end of a two-day summit in … Continue reading

Posted in Middle East | 1 Comment