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Mass exodus from Arctic Russia

Polar darkness shrouds the Severny pit at noon. It is one of five coal mines still operating around Vorkuta. A decade ago there were 13.


Average life expectancy for a miner in the Far North is around 54, but many die in their forties.
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.

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Polar darkness shrouds the Severny pit at noon. It is one of five coal mines still operating around Vorkuta. A decade ago there were 13.<br />
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Average life expectancy for a miner in the Far North is around 54, but many die in their forties.<br />
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. <br />
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.