Mass exodus from Arctic Russia
Karp Belgayev, a coal miner, walks through Yor Shor, an abandoned village near Vorkuta where he is among the last ten inhabitants living in empty blocks..Belgayev says the black rings around his eyes are result of not washing properly due to the Arctic cold during ten years working underground..Vorkuta is a coal mining and former Gulag town 1,200 miles north east of Moscow, beyond the Arctic Circle, where temperatures in winter drop to -50C. .Here, whole villages are being slowly deserted and reclaimed by snow, while the financial crisis is squeezing coal mining companies that already struggle to find workers..Moscow says its Far North is a strategic region, targeting huge investment to exploit its oil and gas resources. But there is a paradox: the Far North is actually dying. Every year thousands of people from towns and cities in the Russian Arctic are fleeing south. The system of subsidies that propped up Siberia and the Arctic in the Soviet times has crumbled. Now there’s no advantage to living in the Far North - salaries are no higher than in central Russia and prices for goods are higher.Add to Lightbox Download
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