SOVIET UNION: The Vast New El Dorado in the Arctic

Siberia. The Russian name originally meant sleeping land, and so it has been since the beginning of history. For millenniums, men came and went in this vast expanse and scarcely left a mark. Ancient hunters in animal skins tracked the mammoth through the taiga—the deep silent forests of pines and birches. Nomadic tribesmen pushed up from the south, grazing their cattle and roaming on. Then the thunder of horses reverberated across the steppes, bearing the predatory banners of Genghis Khan. Chinese prospectors ranged northward to comb the wilderness for ginseng roots, the...

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