((PKG)) RUSSIAN ARCTIC TOWN
((Banner: In The Arctic))
((Reporter: Henry Ridgwell))
((Camera: Ricardo Marquina Montana))
((Adapted by: Zdenko Novacki))
((Map: Russia / Sovetskiy / Vorkuta))
((EDUARD PARSHIN, RESIDENT, SOVETSKIY, RUSSIA))
The area started to die off at the end of the 1990s. I can’t tell you the exact year, but at the end of the 90s, the mine got closed. It was the start of the optimization. It was the case everywhere in Vorkuta. I think it was even the case in all of Russia.
((ELENA SKITSKO, RESIDENT, SOVETSKY, RUSSIA))
The village has changed a lot. When I was born and was small, the village was full of life. There were no empty apartments. There were not enough kindergartens. The school was full. There was a lot of fun. There were many kids and adults, and the mine was working. The village was full of life. We had many stores. We actually didn’t even go to the city. We had everything here.
((IGOR GURLEV, MAYOR OF VORKUTA))
It’s a mining city. So, after the mines closed, people started to leave together with their families. Today, the population shrank by a factor of three. Our goal in the near future is obviously condensing the city.
Since 2014, there have been attempts to close the village, but they were not successful. There are attempts to move people. There are only three families living in my building. I am the only one living in my block. There are 80 apartments in the building, and that’s the case all over our village. What can I say? The village is dying. I’d even say it’s dead now. There are plans to move everyone to the city, but I don’t know what will happen next. I guess coal will be mined here. ((NADEZHDA KOZHEVNIKOVA, CLOTHING STORE OWNER))
As far as I understand, we have enough coal for another 50 years. There is a demand for coal. So, why are mines are not being set up? None are being developed. Nothing is being done.
((ANATOLY VOROBYEV, MINER))
Coal will be needed for a very long time, and we have a lot of it here, great amounts. So, I think it will be mined one way or another for a very long time. New mines will open, or old ones will be modernized. I look to the future with optimism, because energy sources and coal mean life. It will always be needed, and I am optimistic.