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August 5, 2009 12:09 AM

Biden had it right: Rural Russia is dying of poverty, neglect

Vice President Joe Biden struck a sensitive nerve among Russia's ruling elite when he said recently that the country has "a shrinking population base; they have a withering economy," and added, "It's a very difficult thing to deal with, loss of empire." A visit to Kuvshinovo shows why: the area around this rural enclave is in steep decline and the population is in free fall.

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