Skip to comments.I am a hostage of the north’: Trapped in a post-Gulag Arctic city
Posted on 03/12/2020 11:18:52 AM PDT by tlozo
Lyudmila Ivanova and her fiance came to the Arctic from a village in southern Russia in 1978 in search of a better life. Their destination was Vorkuta, a coal-mining city 90 miles north of the Arctic circle.
Vorkuta, which means place of bears...
Now, a better nickname may be the fastest dying city in Russia. The lure of higher wages and better housing is long gone, and the population has plummeted... When darkness falls, often just a handful of lights can be seen in apartment buildings of 100 units or more.
Ivanova, now 62, feels trapped. Like tens of thousands who worked at least 15 years in the far north, she has been waiting for more than two decades to be resettled... Of 14,000 Vorkuta residents on the list, only about 220 are resettled each year.
I'm a hostage of the north, Ivanova said. Despite health problems, Ivanova still works at a heating plant, earning just $440 a month too little to afford moving without government help. If you would have told me I'd be left high and dry and that I wouldn't be able to move away, then I wouldn't have come here.
Ivanova's plight clashes with Russian President Vladimir Putin's quest to conquer the warming Arctic. In April, he promised that the Northern Sea Route between Murmansk and Vladivostok would grow to rival the Suez canal as a shipping lane. Seven military bases have been built or reopened along the northern coast since 2013. Last month, the government approved huge tax breaks for oil and gas development in the Arctic.
But the paradox is that the north is emptying out even as Russia tries to develop it. Vorkuta was built during Joseph Stalin's reign on the backs of starved Gulag prisoners, 200,000 of whom died.
(Excerpt) Read more at pri.org ...
No worries. Grrrrreta will ensure it gets warmer there too.
They never miss a chance, do they? The author might want to be out of fist range if he puts it this way to Ms Ivanova. Just wait a while, my dear - soon this will be like Miami Beach! With bears...
When the Soviet Union died, so did a lot of plans such as hers.
the fastest dying city in Russia.
Just call it “the Russian Cleveland”
Easier to say.
Vorkuta !!!! A City of the future, where more people are under the ground than above it.
“Lyudmila Ivanova and her fiance came to the Arctic from a village in southern Russia in 1978 in search of a better life.”
A better life in the Arctic? Geez where the hell did these people live that they believed the Arctic was a better place?
Soon coming to a lot of North Dakota “boom towns”.
LMAO, if Putin thinks the northern route to the Pacific is going to be permanently open due to “global warming” and is actually basing investments on that, he is stupider than I thought.
They’ll have the last laugh when SMOD takes out everybody living on the surface.
It was the Soviet Union. Living in the arctic might have been a better life if it paid you enough to not have to stand on the bread lines.
Was rampant crime mentioned as a problem?
What sort of person would move to the Arctic in search of a better life? I suspect they might want to check into an asylum instead.
Vorkuta, which means place of bears...
That should have been a red flag right there.
Putin lives in fantasy-land.
Russia has/had some very rough places to live.
I knew John Noble and he was a lonely voice about the horrors of the Soviet slave labor/gulag systems until Solzenitsyn, then Avram Shifrin, and a few other victims of those “camps” spoke out, wrote their memoirs, and in the case of Avram (a late friend of mine, I helped him on one of his congressional testimonies on the hidden Soviet military budget within the civilian budget), testifying before Congressional committees (Shifrin’s “Slave Labor Camps in the USSR”, VOL. 1-3, 1972, Sen. Internal Security Subcommittee, Sen. Judiciary Comm).
Towards the end of the Soviet Union, the big enticement to work up north was being paid in hard currency. Pounds, Deutschmarks, Dollars. With that access to the special stores.
Ah yes, I heard about the “special stores” in Poland where you could buy Western goods, but only if you had real (non-Communist) currency.
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