Articles by Douglas Birch



Families of Missing Assail Shadow War

  • 12 January 10
  • The Associated Press
A central tacticin Ingushetia's rebel conflict, activists say, is the brazen snatching of young people from their homes or off the street.

Obama Tests Soviets Afghan Endgame

  • 04 December 09
  • The Associated Press
Dark assessments of the Wests chances in Afghanistan typically dwell on Moscows setbacks while ignoring its successes, including the creation of a relatively stable Afghan government and a 300,000-member army.

Envoy Cautions on Troop Surge in Afghanistan

  • 16 September 09
  • The Associated Press
Russias ambassador to Afghanistan also says the U.S. and NATO made the same fundamental mistake the Kremlin made in its 1979 invasion: going to the country and sticking around, instead of being in and out in six months.

Georgians Line Streets for Biden

  • 23 July 09
  • The Associated Press
After receiving a heros welcome in Tbilisi on Wednesday evening, U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden declared that America stands with you and will continue to stand.

Alcohol Blamed for Half of Premature Deaths in '90s

  • 26 June 09
  • The Associated Press
A new study finds that drinking caused 52 percent of deaths of Russians aged 15 to 54, compared to less than 4 percent worldwide.

Turkmenistan Opens $1.5Bln Resort

  • 16 June 09
  • The Associated Press
The president of this normally reclusive nation staged lavish ceremonies for foreign guests and media Monday to launch a new $1.5 billion resort on the desert shore of the Caspian Sea in a city named after his eccentric and autocratic predecessor.

Saakashvili Praises Military Exercise

  • 23 July 08
  • The Associated Press
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili praised a joint military training program involving more than 1,000 U.S. Marines and soldiers at a former Soviet base, amid heightened tensions with Moscow.

'Doomsday' Collider Elicits Controversy, Lawsuit

  • 03 July 08
  • The Associated Press
The most powerful atom-smasher ever built could make some bizarre discoveries, such as invisible matter or extra dimensions in space, after it is switched on in August.

Klitschko Seeks a Shot at Mayor

  • 14 May 08
  • The Associated Press
Former heavyweight boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko has found politics in Kiev to be a bruising business. So tough, in fact, that he has hired former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to advise him in his campaign to be mayor.

Soyuz Takes First Korean Into Space

  • 09 April 08
  • The Associated Press
A Russian capsule carrying two cosmonauts and Korea's first astronaut blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome Tuesday, en route to the international space station.

Rocket Readied Amid Rust and Stray Dogs

  • 07 April 08
  • The Associated Press
The rocket scheduled to carry the first Korean citizen into space rolled to the launch pad Sunday, hauled across the scrubland of the Central Asian steppes by a locomotive at dawn.

Cosmonaut to Follow His Father Into Space

  • 21 March 08
  • The Associated Press
Sergei Volkov hopes to do as well as his father, a highly decorated Soviet-era cosmonaut, when he lifts off in a Soyuz rocket April 8.

China Prevailing In 'Great Game'

  • 17 December 07
  • The Associated Press
The driver of the 18-wheel tractor-trailer from China idling at the Kazakhstan-China border said apples were the cargo he brought to Almaty, Kazakhstan's booming commercial center. For Kazakhs, there's a tart irony in the shipment.

China Prevailing In 'Great Game'

  • 17 December 07
  • The Associated Press
The driver of the 18-wheel tractor-trailer from China idling at the Kazakhstan-China border said apples were the cargo he brought to Almaty, Kazakhstan's booming commercial center. For Kazakhs, there's a tart irony in the shipment.

Nuclear Effort Called a Lifeline in U.S. Ties

  • 03 September 07
  • The Associated Press
Amid tense relations between the United States and Russia, two prominent U.S. arms control advocates Friday toured a storage facility designed to hold tons of plutonium and enriched uranium from dismantled Russian nuclear weapons.

Kissinger and Putin Meet to Mend Ties

  • 16 July 07
  • The Associated Press
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and other prominent Americans on Friday sought to repair damaged relations with Russia in talks at President Vladimir Putin's residence outside Moscow.

The Truth Is Optional

We moved back to the United States from Moscow a year ago, and there are lots of things I miss about the place: the sardonic humor, Baltika beer and the cold snap that comes in late August.

U.S. Secrets Still a Seductive Target

  • 04 April 06
  • The Baltimore Sun
Even as the United States and Russia are cooperating to resolve international crises and track militant Islamic groups, Moscow is working at least as hard at stealing U.S. military and industrial secrets as during the Soviet era, current and former intelligence officials say.

Moon Trip Not Too Far-Fetched

  • 01 August 05
  • The Baltimore Sun
At a time when American manned missions have been suspended because of design flaws in the space shuttle, Russian authorities want to spin past the moon with a humble vehicle now serving as NASA's space taxi.

Islamic Revival Stirs Angry Youths in 6 Republics

  • 26 July 05
  • The Baltimore Sun
Dzhamed Tsakoyev knelt on the carpet and laid the paperwork out like tarot cards, as if shuffling medical and police reports might make sense of his son's brutal death.

A Mystery Killer Is Stalking Russia

  • 19 July 05
  • The Baltimore Sun
Life expectancy has plummeted since the collapse of the Soviet Union. No one really knows why.

Moscow Spiritualist Sues NASA

  • 28 June 05
  • The Baltimore Sun
The 45-year-old mother of two is upset about NASA's plan to smash a spacecraft into a comet millions of kilometers from Earth.

Cheated, Injured and Then Deported

  • 06 April 05
  • The Baltimore Sun
This is the end of the road for some of Moscow's foreign workers, the Severny Detention Center, a four-story jail in a suburb of scruffy dachas and industrial plants.

Jewish Homeland Enjoys a Revival

  • 12 October 04
  • The Baltimore Sun
It was trumpeted as a new Jerusalem, a Jewish homeland to be built by zealous Communists in the swamps and forests of Russias Far East.

Vladivostok's New Mayor Has a Worrisome Past

  • 17 August 04
  • The Baltimore Sun
It was only his second week on the job, but Mayor Vladimir Nikolayev seemed to have all the polish and poise of Russia's new breed of elected official.

Crime Novelist Rewrote the Rules

  • 10 August 04
  • The Baltimore Sun
He is the scholarly bad boy of Russian crime novelists. And he seems proud of the mischief that he has made.

Ford Fuels New Kind of Industrial Revolution

  • 16 July 04
  • The Baltimore Sun
For Gennady Vovoyev, the best thing about working in Russia's first auto factory built, owned and operated by a foreign company is not the salary and benefits.

Librarian Fights Off the Cold

  • 25 March 04
  • The Baltimore Sun
As director of Georgia's National Library, Levan Berdzenishvili is expected to serve as guardian of his nation's culture, keeper of its collective memory and conscience for its political leaders.

In Grozny, Struggling to Rebuild Amid Ruins

  • 13 January 04
  • The Baltimore Sun
When Dr. Sultan Magomadov walks through this city of ghosts, he sometimes recognizes a familiar shape half-buried in the rubble.

Rybakov Loses His Platform for Blast Inquiry

  • 15 December 03
  • The Baltimore Sun
One of the small but telling consequences of the watershed parliamentary elections was to remove a nagging thorn from President Vladimir Putin's side. That thorn's name is Yuly Rybakov.