Compared to many of the dynamic economies in Asia, development is Russia's Far East is limited. Here, men wait for a ferry to take them to Russky Island just off Vladivostok, on Russia's Pacific Coast. In the background, a bridge to the island is being built. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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The Russian village of Sagra has been in the headlines since last summer, when residents — including 56-year-old Viktor Gorodilov (shown here) — successfully fought off an armed criminal gang that they say threatened their community. For many Russians, Sagra has become a symbol of how they say the government has let them down. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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Ella Stroganova opens the door at the city museum in Yaroslavl, Russia, where she serves as curator. "Progress makes person absolutely weak," Stroganova said. "He loses his strength because he doesn't need to think how to survive." David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption David Gilkey/NPR