Articles by James Brooke



The Many Wonders of Sochi

Journalists are agitated to learn that the Russians, while building 24,000 hotel rooms in three years, made athletes' rooms a priority.

Ukraine's Two Nations

To understand what is happening in Kiev today, remember that Ukraine has a larger landmass in Europe than France, the largest nation of the European Union.

YouTube Made the Maidan

A video showing police brutally bashing protesters was viewed 780,000 times, helping bring 300,000 new protesters on to the street.

Why I Surrendered My Private Parts to Putincare

With Obamacare dividing the U.S., I thought it my patriotic duty to do an undercover investigation of "Putincare." My weekend did not have the drama of Solzhenitsyn's 1967 novel "The Cancer Ward," but it had its moments.

China's Central Asia Bazaar

Trade between China and Central Asia hit $46 billion last year. At the time of the Soviet collapse, in 1991, it was virtually zero.

Russia Helped Build Syria's Chemical Weapons

Western observers are right to be wary of Moscow's offer to bring Syria's chemical warfare program under international controls and, ultimately, destruction.

Russia's Gas Warfare History

Russian politicians and analysts are working hard this week to create a cloud of doubt around the Aug. 21 chemical attack outside Damascus.

Did Kremlin Arrange Snowden's Trip to Russia?

Russian officials may have approached Snowden in Hong Kong with the idea of flying to Russia.

Russians Rediscover Georgia's Wonders

When I first visited Georgia as a reporter in September 1991, residents in Tbilisi had spray-painted out all Russian language signs and were jamming Russian language radio and television broadcasts.

The Geopolitics of Sheep in an Armenian Region

The sheep deal would mean thousands of armed Azeri men infiltrating Armenia.

Tbilisi's Soft Power of Wine, Smiles and Tourism

Nervousness was in the air the other afternoon when my S7 Airbus, packed with Russian tourists, touched down at Tbilisi's international airport.

Why Russia Has Lost a Generation of Georgians

In the run-up to Georgia's parliamentary elections on Monday, supporters of President Mikheil Saakashvili derided their opponent, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, as a "Kremlin project."

Sakhalin Set to Enter Global Energy Equation

  • 30 September 05
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
Just north of Japan and across the Pacific from California, a long-forbidden Siberian island is about to join the global energy map.

Tokyo and Moscow Bury the Sword

  • 15 February 05
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
The Russian general gamely tried on a samurai helmet. The visiting Japanese general donned a Russian fur hat. Together, they watched Russian tanks maneuver across the snow-covered terrain.

Environmentalists Challenge Pacific Pipeline

  • 26 January 05
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
Stretching from Lake Baikal to the Sea of Japan, the first trans-Siberian oil pipeline is to run 4,100 kilometers -- more than three times longer than the trans-Alaska pipeline. With a price tag of $15.5 billion, it looms as modern Russia's biggest infrastructure investment, President Vladimir Putin's answer to the Trans-Siberian Railway of the tsars.

A Cold Shoulder for N. Korean Refugees

  • 12 January 05
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
The Russian woman in the cafe was in tears, her tea cooling, her potato salad untouched.

9 Commit Group Suicide in Japan

  • 14 October 04
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
Nine people were found dead in two rented cars Tuesday, with the windows sealed from the inside and charcoal burners at their feet, in what Japanese police are calling modern Japan's largest suicide pact.

Plan Foresees Shipping Sakhalin Gas to Mexico

  • 23 August 04
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
Russian liquefied natural gas would be shipped across the Pacific to help power California under a contract that is in ""very, very advanced"" negotiations, according to a corporate executive on Sakhalin Island.

Mongolia Builds Its Route 66

  • 22 July 04
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
Canada has the Trans-Canada Highway. Brazil has the Trans-Amazon. Germany has the Autobahn and Russia now has the Trans-Russian. This summer, from westernmost Tsaganuur to Halhyn Gol in the east, road crews are working to add another to the list, the Mongolian Millennium Highway.

Bumps Along the Ultimate Road Trip

  • 09 July 04
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
It could be this summer's ultimate road trip: driving from the Baltic to the Pacific. Just before the presidential elections in March, President Vladimir Putin inaugurated a 2,150-kilometer link in a trans-Russia highway that starts in St. Petersburg, on the Gulf of Finland, and ends 10,500 kilometers later in Vladivostok, on the Sea of Japan.

Japanese Capital Returns to the Far East

  • 06 July 04
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
Far below the edge of a cavernous dry dock, hundreds of workers in orange jumpsuits and hard hats labored in a forest of steel reinforcing bars, laying the gray concrete bases for two gas- and oil-producing platforms that will soon rise 20 stories.

Russia Woos Koreans With Electricity, Gas

  • 05 July 04
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
Russia is moving to become a major supplier of electricity and gas to North Korea at a time when the supply of non-nuclear energy sources available to the impoverished country is emerging as an important bargaining chip in talks intended to defuse North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

Where Russians Are Shunned

  • 13 May 04
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
David Aldwinckle, a bespectacled native of Geneva, New York, braced himself for confrontation when he walked into Joy, a restaurant that, like many establishments here, posted a sign that was a variation on a popular theme here: ""Japanese Only.""

Free Trade Fever Rages on the Chinese Border

  • 13 April 04
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
Backs to a biting Siberian wind, Russian welders toiled recently, their bright blue flames securing a new kind of fence on this spare landscape where Russia meets China.

Power-Hungry China Turns Northward

  • 24 March 04
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
Recalling that Quebec powers New York and Paraguay powers Sao Paulo, Viktor Minakov tapped his pen on a map of the Far East and spun a vision of this corrugated landscape helping power China, the 21st century's factory to the world.

Vladivostok Opens Doors to the World

  • 17 February 04
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
Bathed by the Sea of Japan but controlled by Moscow, Vladivostok has always presented two faces to the world.

Cold War Spy Post Goes Commercial

  • 11 February 04
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
On Japan's northern edge, the long-running threat from Russia was as real as the debris on the beaches in 1983 from the Korean passenger plane shot down by a Soviet fighter jet from Sakhalin, a dagger-shaped island 40 kilometers north of here.

Russia-Japan Relations Thawing

  • 27 January 04
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
A century after the Russian-Japanese war broke out, the first in a string of conflicts between these Pacific powers, the two perennial adversaries now seem to be finally embarking on an era of real economic cooperation.

Japan and China Struggle for a Pipeline

  • 09 January 04
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
For now, Krylova Cape is not much to see: a spit of land between the taiga forest and the Sea of Japan, its soil being graded a bit by a bright yellow bulldozer.

China Wants to Rent Key Port

  • 16 December 03
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
With a 16-kilometer-wide sliver of Russian territory blocking Manchuria from the Sea of Japan, China is drawing on its own history for a solution, pushing Russia to sign a 49-year lease to convert the midsize cargo port on Trinity Bay here to a Chinese economic enclave, a Hong Kong of the Far East.