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People walk by an empty boarding house in Vorkuta. The city’s population has fallen by a third since the break-up of the Soviet Union, when subsidies for the Far North were reduced..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.
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Mass exodus from Arctic Russia
People walk by an empty boarding house in Vorkuta. The city’s population has fallen by a third since the break-up of the Soviet Union, when subsidies for the Far North were reduced..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.

Filename: Arctic_JIN 09.jpg
Source:
Date: 10 Jan 2009
Location: Vorkuta Komi Russia
Credit: Justin Jin
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Property Release: No
Restrictions: Email justin@justinjin.com for instructions.
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