|Baku [Azerbaijan, 2004]|
The Caspian coast just south
of Baku, the Azeri capital, is an eco-nightmare of leaking oil and rusting
oil derricks. These fields supplied much of the Soviet Union's oil needs
until drilling switched to Siberia.
Now Azerbaijan is experiencing a new oil boom, led this time by Western companies. So far the profits have disappeared into the pockets of government cronies, leaving little for improving the lives of ordinary Azeris or cleaning up past messes.