Bikin National Park is one of very few areas in the Russian Far East that remain untouched by those I consider the “wild barbarians of civilization.” It is home to the largest cat on the planet, the Amur tiger, and the Bikin River basin, nicknamed “the Russian Amazon.” Its forests are known as the lungs of the Northern Hemisphere, just as the Amazon’s jungles are in the Southern Hemisphere. The Bikin is also the native land of the Udege people, and about 600 of us still live there. The history of Bikin National Park is inseparable from the history of my people, and over the decades the land has been a valuable lens through which to observe the workings of Russian national politics. After years of struggle, in 2015 Bikin became the first national park project in which the government took responsibility for...

Article PDF first page preview

Article PDF first page preview
You do not currently have access to this content.