272 An Abandoned City

An Abandoned City

Posted on September 5, 2006 by team


Here is a little photo-session of an abandoned city. When the Soviet Union collapsed, government didn’t have much funds to support some small cities around strategically import objects. People of these cities were left all by themselves. Nobody could support them because any communication with this places terminated after the army decided that they now don’t have money to support those objects.

People had to leave their places and move. Some were lucky to find their place under a sun of the Army of new Russian Federation, some less fortunate had to leave such places without any hope to find a new home, just because the shops stopped working, water stopped coming out of the facet and nobody cared about them any more.

It has been said that even president Putin was thinking to retire from KGB in 1990 and go to work as a taxi driver. Many people are now probably express great sorrow that he changed his mind at that time.

Ok, so here are the photos:

an abandoned city in russia

Just imagine how magnificient those buildings were before abandoned.


Across the network:

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an abandoned city in russia

There were wide streets,

an abandoned city in russia

big schools,

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272 Responses to “An Abandoned City”

  1. An Abandoned City (photos)…

    [link][more]…

  2. Riley says:

    I really like these photo essay posts. Very interesting pictures and I enjoy the commentary.

  3. Bill says:

    Very interesting, but it still looks nicer than Detroit.

    • sal says:

      ha! that was good….

      nicer than many places in inner American cities actually…

    • alex says:

      i hope you were joking because i bet you have never lived in a soviet country. in my old village in Kazakhstan, we had water all the time during the soviet union. i visited back June 2007 and some of the houses were deserted, the roads were messed up, and there was barely any flowing water.

  4. Ville says:

    Would like to know why they would support an entire living city…

  5. vjb2 says:

    Can you tell us the NAME of this city? Nowhere is it mentioned in the article. This could just as easily be a collection of abandoned buildings from around Russia; heck, half of them could be from nearly anywhere Europeans live. And what does Putin retiring have to do with it?

    • Scott lucas says:

      The town is a group of settlements just north of the infamous Gulag camp of Vorkuta.These camps had schools and other admin as well as residential accomadation.I would guess that when the camp system clapsed the people would have returned to the cities,although Vorkuta still has a population today.

    • Phil says:

      You must be blind mate….look at the end, it says Promyshlennyi, Vorkuta Province. RUSSIA….and Putin has a hell of a lot to do with it, he’s supposed to BE IN CHARGE…you must be an Amerikan!

  6. Ryan says:

    Seems every 2-3 weeks somebody posts crazy cool pictures coming out of Russia.

  7. What is the name of this city? Where is/was it?

    • nicholas says:

      that city is called chernobyle (i think thats how its spelt) it was evacuated in around 1984 because a nuclear power plant blew up and the city got severly polluted with radiation. even now there is still high amounts of radiation

      • Peter says:

        Nicholas, your lack of knowledge is terrible. It wasn’t Chernobyl but Pripyat – town located next to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. It was evacuated 27th April 1986, the day after the catastrophe took place. 49.000 of inhabitants had to leave their homes. But Pripyat is IN UKRAINE and here is clearly said that the pictures above were taken IN RUSSIA. Can you see this slight difference?

        • nicholas says:

          listen buddy no need to spaz, calm yourself down a bit, take 3 deep breaths maybe u know. now im well aware the city is called pripyat, but i typed it wrong and it was 2 am so stfu. also i said it was AROUND 1984, i didnt say exactly because i wasnt sure, and i know chernobyl is in the ukraine but large amounts of radiation were thrown up into the air from the explosion forming a cloud, the winds pushed this cloud spreading the radiation over thousands of miles, including russia, even moscow got a bit of radiation, so this city could easily could have been affected by this

  8. bill says:

    Just wondering, why don’t people reclaim areas like this and farm?

    I know that people used to pump their own water, raise cattle and chickens, enough to live off at least.

    I suppose it would be necessary to have trees around for wood (heat), but you could probably live for a couple winters just burning stuff you find around town.

    Or is there just so much open farmland in Russia that something this far from civilization isn’t worth it?

    Just curious. Here in America we have no open land like this (Everything owned by greedy rich people) and a lot of people without homes who might be able to make use of something like that if it existed.

    • John says:

      Bill you are wrong if you want to see wide open expanses of un owned land in america I suggest you travel west , their is much open unowned land in Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, North Dakota and South Dakota, you might want to get hold of someone within the department of the interior, you might even find there might be government programs still offering people land in those areas if they are willing to farm it and stay on it for a number of years.

      Only problem with this is those areas have extremly harsh winters and one must have everything they will need to live through the winter put up before the end of September when the big snow begins to fall and the polar winds slices through to the bone.

  9. Hearty Vittles says:

    These were not cities in the way you normally think of cities. Normal cities grow up organicly over decades or centuries around a certain area. Those kinds of cities don’t need “funds to support”, and have a strong enough economy and enough social cohesion that they will never fully disapear. For example, someone mentioned Detroit. Detroit might have lost much of it’s population after the decline of the U.S. auto industry, but is still has a population of a million people, and a standard of living much higher than cities in Russia, Eastern Europe, or the Caucasus.

    Instead of building military bases in established communities that could support them, Soviets built new cities to support military bases (this fit in with the Soviet fetish for grand social planning projects). The closest thing to compare them to would be to the logging and mining boomtowns that popped up over the western U.S. and Canada in the 19th century. When the trees were clearcut, or the mine used up, the town turned to a ghost town. (You can find many “Old West” Ghost Towns in western U.S. and Canada today)

  10. [...] Needless to say, I was quite excited to look a set of pictures of an entire abandoned city in Russia, alive and inhabited only some 15 years ago.  It was apparently abandoned when the USSR collapsed and the army ceased support for the town.  I would love to see that kind of thing in person. [...]

  11. Abandoned Russian city in ruins…

    Cory Doctorow: Here’s an amazing, haunting photo-essay on an abandoned Russian city that turned ghost…

  12. [...] Item 2: I know you all read Boing Boing, so I won’t really talk about this really awesome photo essay, but it’s pretty sad. It got me thinking about something I read recently (and if this rings any bells, please let me know where, I need the reference) that talked about the declining popluation in Russia resulting from having their national spirit broken one too many times. Those images remind me, as well, of the blown-out, dead cityscapes of Blade Runner. I’m thinking there may be an essay in all that mess (I want to write a paper entitled “Re-animating the urban corpse,” but I’m not completely sure what all that would be about). Anyway, bleak. [...]

  13. You continue to amaze me with absolutely amazing photographs. Keep up the great work!

  14. [...] After the Soviet Union collapsed, certain cities that at one time been deemed strategic, suddenly lost state support.  Once the money dried up, the army pulled out and left cities alone and unable to communicate with the outside world.  Sad.   [...]

  15. Justin says:

    we like to think that our cities will stand the test of time and be there as memorials, but as these pictures show, nature Will reclaim the land if we don’t work to preserve our spaces.

  16. fake says:

    what is the name of this city?

  17. vad says:

    Why there is no name of the city? Is it officialy closed or something?

    • nicholas says:

      that city is called chernyoble (i think thats how its spelt) and its abandoned because a nuclear power plant blew up and it had to be evacuated because it got severly poluted by radiation. it happend about 23 years ago

      • DuManchu says:

        Nicholas, would you please stop telling people that?

        This is NOT the abandoned town of Pripyat, Ukraine (the town near Chernobyl which WAS abandoned due to the nuclear accident).

        These photos are of an abandoned town in Russia named Promyshlennyi.

  18. Anonymous says:

    איך נראית עיר רפאים אמיתית…

    אחרי נפילת ברית המועצות ננטשו עיירות מרוחקות שללא תמיכת הממשל לא הצליחו להתקיים כלכלית….

  19. [...] English Russia – An Abandoned City [...]

  20. Daria says:

    great pics, terrible commentary. Ghosts? Penthouses? The author (with all due respect) does not seem to know what Russia is about. But pics are amazing, thank you for those:)

  21. Aberdeen Mongus says:

    Ack, ugly architecture, insipid photos and laughable and trite commentary, could you be any “sappier”?

  22. meneame.net says:

    Fotos de ciudad abandonada en Rusia…

    Cito (traducción semi-libre): "Os muestro una pequeña sesión fotográfica de un pueblo abandonado de la Unión Soviética. Cuando la Unión Soviética cayó, el gobierno no tuvo suficientes fondos para mantener algunas pequeñas ciudades. Los p…

  23. russia says:

    Мудаки вы, Англичане. Хуйню какую-то порете.

  24. Steve says:

    Hilarious commentary as always, keep up the good work

  25. Fluffballs says:

    wow that is amazing. I would love to visit that place. I absolutely love abandoned places.

  26. [...] Here is a little photo-session of an abandoned city. When the Soviet Union collapsed, government didn’t have much funds to support some small cities around strategically import objects. People of these cities were left all by themselves.read more | digg story [...]

  27. Bill says:

    All I said is that it looks nicer than Detroit. Check out these photos to compare… and while you’re looking at these pics bear in mind that this IS America… then ask yourself which looks “nicer” the above pictures of Russia, or the ruins of Detroit.

    Urban Exploration

    Urban Decay

  28. Jackdaw says:

    I know other people are asking this but I think it’s worth re-asking:

    Did you take these photos? If not where are they from? What’s the city called? In what region is this?

    “It has been said that even president Putin was thinking to retire from KGB in 1990 and go to work as a taxi driver.” Where’s the source for this?

  29. rb says:

    Some interesting pics. Try and think of someone worthwhile to say first. Then look up how to spell the words you mean to use.

  30. Neal Saferstein says:

    This looks like North Philadelphia.

    Neal Saferstein

  31. deborah says:

    Interesting photo set. Reminded me of Halflife 2. Its hard to see that the building fell apart just through neglect, was there some demolition as well?

  32. Moi says:

    Could the name of the city happen to be “tshernobil”?
    Maybe it was abandoned because the whole area is radioactive…

  33. Anton says:

    Dear Moi, learn geogrphy! Chernobyl is located in Ukraine..

    Judging by the stepe around, these photos probably taken in Kazakhstan, not Russia.

  34. Rob says:

    They should dismantle and sell the architectural details abroad. Top dollar for some of that stuff.

  35. Jeremy says:

    The unknown semi-circular building is most likely a radar dome (or at least the base of one). The dome likely collapsed or was demolished to retrieve the dish itself.

    Also, while there aren’t many cities in N. America that are now ruins, there are many towns, esp. in the Western USA. There are several along Route 66 (notably Glenrio, TX/NM and Two Guns, AZ – both beautiful, creepy, and sad)

  36. A.R.Yngve says:

    Amazing photos!
    Even more desolate than Chernobyl.
    :-O

  37. czqsbp says:

    Is it the construction techniques, or the materials that are the reason for such a fast decline of structure integrety?….Detroit looks much better than this place:)

  38. Nite says:

    Awesome, awesome pictures. You’ve got my digg!

  39. villson says:

    A very stark illustration of how centralized economic planning did not work.

  40. David says:

    Bill, those flickr photo sets are of specific buildings in Detroit. In general, Detroit is a living, thriving, and very large city. There are a million people living in the City of Detroit, and several million more living in the outlying areas (“suburbs”). Most of the city is intact and in decent to good condition. Large swaths of downtown are vacant and decaying. Very different situation, but still very cool to explore. :-)

    I would agree with czqsbp – these buildings must have been very shoddily constructed for them to decay to this point after 15-20 years. Detroit has buildings that have been vacant and unmaintained for 40-60 years that are still structurally sound and could be renovated if the money and will was there. Sad to see buildings this “young” falling apart so badly.

  41. Pito's Blog says:

    After the nuclear war…

    Actually this is a fascinating photo essay of an abandoned city in the Soviet Union, left to gradually die off while the USSR collapsed. Check out An Abandoned City Here is a little photo-session of an abandoned city. When the Soviet Union collapsed, g…

  42. David says:

    Bill, thanks for the link to those flickr sets, too; I’ve been exploring them and they’re awesome. But I would have to disagree on the Russian buildings looking better – half of these downtown Detroit buildings could be rebuilt. Most of the Russian buildings have obvious and severe structural problems. Perhaps my perspective is different, though, having done numerous renovations of older buildings. There are key things that can cause a building to be a hopeless case – the Russian ones all exhibit one or more of them. Sinking foundations, major cracks in the masonry, masonry decaying to it’s original elements (sand and rocks), etc. Once that happens, you’re either going to have to disassemble and re-lay the brick walls or else tear it down and rebuild. You can guess which one is cheaper and more likely.

  43. [...] Good Bye and Thanks for all the Fish. Dolphins smarter than we thought. [...]

  44. LS Stahl says:

    I thought for sure that these were really going to turn out to be pictures of the American south, a year after Hurricane Katrina.

  45. BearFacts says:

    It is sad to see the demise of the Evil Empire. LOL

  46. [...] People had to leave their places and move. Some were lucky to find their place under a sun of the Army of new Russian Federation, some less fortunate had to leave such places without any hope to find a new home, just because the shops stopped working, water stopped coming out of the facet and nobody cared about them any more. See it here: English Russia » An Abandoned City [...]

  47. [...] 2) The ghost towns in the American west have nothing on this abandoned city in Russia. [...]

  48. [...] Cool pictures of a town/city/village in Russia that has been abandoned. [...]

  49. [...] An Abandoned Soviet City Photo set of the ruins of an abandoned Russian city. (tags: apocalypse photography soviet inspiration) [...]

  50. [...] English Russia » An Abandoned City [...]

  51. [...] Reading BoingBoing today, I was drawn to a photo essay on a group blog, “English Russia“, which describes itself as “a daily entertaiment blog devoted to the events happening in Russian speaking countries, such as Russia (Russian Federation), Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, etc.” The series focused on a city build around a strategically important part of the former Soviet Union, later abandoned when there were no longer reasons to maintain the city. (The comment thread on the post speculates that the city might be in Kazakhstan, judging from the steppe characteristic of the land.) [...]

  52. [...] Thanks to an article on Boing Boing, I checked out a website called English Russia specifically a photo essay about an unidentified abandoned city located somewhere in Russia. Apparently the city was created during the days of the Soviet Union and when the USSR collapsed, this city, apparently maintained mostly by the Soviet military and USSR financial backing, was abandoned. It has several haunting yet interesting photographs taken around the ruins with some commentary from the blog’s author. [...]

  53. [...] Here’s a page devoted to a completely abandoned Russian city. It’s been probably fifteen years since it was abandoned and nature has moved back in quickly. [...]

  54. barry says:

    From the description at the top “some less fortunate had to leave such places without any hope to find a new home, just because the shops stopped working, water stopped coming out of the facet and nobody cared about them any more.

    The pictures are facinating, but what makes the poster of this gallery believe that its the government’s job to “take care” of the people in the first place?

    This is a classic example of why Socialism and Communism don’t work.

    The people living in this town were depending on the government to take care of them everyday.

    Because of this, when the government collapsed, the citizens who ALLOWED themselves to be dependent on the government suddenly had to become self-sufficient in order to survive.

    They were NOT “abandoned”.

    These pictures are not a “sad reminder” of a once-occupied town, they’re a STERN warning of what happens when the people ask the government to take care of them so they don’t have to take care of themselves.

    By becoming self-sufficient, they become dependent on nothing but their own

  55. barry says:

    From the description at the top “some less fortunate had to leave such places without any hope to find a new home, just because the shops stopped working, water stopped coming out of the facet and nobody cared about them any more.

    The pictures are facinating, but what makes the poster of this gallery believe that its the government’s job to “take care” of the people in the first place?

    This is a classic example of why Socialism and Communism don’t work.

    The people living in this town were depending on the government to take care of them everyday.

    Because of this, when the government collapsed, the citizens who ALLOWED themselves to be dependent on the government suddenly had to become self-sufficient in order to survive.

    They were NOT “abandoned”.

    These pictures are not a “sad reminder” of a once-occupied town, they’re a STERN warning of what happens when the people ask the government to take care of them so they don’t have to take care of themselves.

    By becoming self-sufficient, they become dependent on nothing but their own

    • Alan Drake says:

      And I am sure that you are not dependent on ANYONE for food, water, electricity, medical care, clothing in your isolated hermits cave ?

      Cut oil imports by just half in the USA and you will see some of the same effects. Gated “communities” in Phoenix, where homes now sell for $1+ million will look much like the photos (sans grass of course) if US oil imports are cut by half.

      Alan

  56. kostia says:

    I hate reading the complaints about the comments between the photos unless you could do better in a language not your own. They were obviously written by a non-native speaker of English. Native English speakers, is your Russian this good? Doubtful. It seems obvious that misused words like “penthouse” are innocent mistakes. It is easy to imagine looking up the Russian word for “attic” in a dictionary, or asking someone for the English word for the room at the top of an apartment building, and getting “penthouse” instead. Cut the writer a break.

  57. [...] Esqueça tudo o que você viu nos filmes. Se quiser conhecer uma cidade fantasma de verdade, clique aqui. Essas fotografias são de uma cidade na Rússia, abandonada após o fim da União Soviética. Veja o que pouco mais de uma década de abandono pode fazer. Mais informações sobre a história da cidade e seus habitantes no site, em inglês. [...]

  58. kostia says:

    And here is a source for the Putin/cab driver connection: Time magazine

  59. Bill says:

    Some interesting pics. Try and think of someone worthwhile to say first. Then look up how to spell the words you mean to use.

    Comment by rb — September 6, 2006 @ 3:30 am

    Perhaps you should take your own advise.

  60. Bill says:

    Notice how I spelled advise instead of advice? Funny?

  61. Brian M says:

    That place would make a great training area for snipers. Reminds me of the Zone in Tarkovsky’s ‘Stalker’.

  62. cruachan says:

    Re: comment 9 about cities never disappearing, there’s quite a lot of examples of such around Europe, Old Sarum in Wiltshire, England perhaps being the first to come to mind.

  63. Mobo says:

    Even the Baltica Factory is abandoned, and empty… Because the wandering ghosts don’t stop to drink the beer as they float through the walls to the infinity…

  64. Mobo says:

    Wicked, I my last post was number 69! Sixty Nine DUDE!

  65. Melrose says:

    Hey it’s me again: Mobo. I just changed my name to Melrose. I wanted to add that the commentary is what made the photoset interesting. A bunch of photos is one thing, but reading and imagining the story that drives the reader through the series is key, and this one has it.

  66. Steve says:

    Bill said:
    Just curious. Here in America we have no open land like this (Everything owned by greedy rich people) and a lot of people without homes who might be able to make use of something like that if it existed.

    News flash, Bill! here in America we do have open land, we do even have abandoned towns, and everything isn’t owned by greedy rich people! Towns sometimes die for a variety of reasons – environmental, economic, or even political. Please broaden your horizons a bit and realize there is a world out there that you may not be familiar with!

    • Jason Simmons says:

      I think the poster was trying to be sarcastic and witty! (LOL)

      It is true to some degree; however, that the richest Americans do own most of everything.

  67. Outraged In Ohio says:

    They are obviously trying to immitate the ubiquitous kiddofspeed site http://www.kiddofspeed.com/chernobyl-land-of-the-wolves/chapter29.html

    Both here and there I don’t appreciate that the narrator sees it’s necessary to tell us how sad the pictures are, implying that we’re heartless monsters who can’t feel without the prompting of an affected native. Consider me greatly offended.

    They talk about ghosts. Who died? It isn’t Chernobyl but they must wish it was because aparently some people can’t miss an opurtunity wax poetic on pictures of abandon towns.

    • Jason says:

      I think the person who posted the photos was trying to convey a sense of sadness with a side order of humor to lessen the feeling of dread that comes upon as we view the photos.

      Personally, it didn’t look like much of a thriving town to me.

      Where’d the roads go and most importantly, where are the people now?

      It’s truly sad that these people had to abandon everything, but as the poster stated, they were virtually abandoned with no running water, etc. Therefore, they didn’t really have a choice as to whether or not to stay or leave.

      If they chose to remain living there, I don’t know how they would have survived.

      Hopefully, they are living much better lives than their previous ones in this town.

      Regarding, someone’s comment stating that this is what happens when you live in a Communist society–so true, so very, very true, but these people have a different perspective that we, as Americans, fail to understand, so it’s easy to criticize them for their governmental policies, but that’s their way of life, unfortunately.

  68. [...] Here’s an intersting photo series about an abandoned town in Russia. The pictures are pretty interesting, especially when you consider this place was probably occupied less than 20 years ago. Now it’s a veritable ghost town of the Cold War. I thought it was a pretty stark example of the after effects of localized human migration. [...]

  69. Morsel says:

    The idea here is more of that of an introduction to the possibility of potential things. Some of these comments I’ve read are without that which they contend, but rather. Furthermore I for one would only hope to state the clearer picture, and listen to the more hidden constructions of testimony so laboriously delivered by Charles. Thus I think it’s clear you’re begging the question and I would strongly urge you to pertain only to the aquisition of these such Russian scenarios.

  70. CHB says:

    Thank you. I have always been fascinated by things lost and then found. I wonder where the builders and inhabitants are now. Your photo essay and commentary are very moving.

  71. akeyes.co.uk says:

    [...] To stop this turning into Al’s geeky wet dream, I’ll also include this link for y’all to peruse. http://englishrussia.com/?p=276 It amazing how in such a short time (15 years) a proud empire such as the old USSR can have whole towns completely deserted and the buildings left to rot. Comrade Stalin wouldn’t have allowed this to happen, you capitalist, imperlist westerners!!!!* Anyway, late night and some damn migrations to do tomorrow so I should really get to bed. [...]

  72. Andy says:

    The name of the settlement (not a city, not even a town!) is written below the pictures, next to photographer’s name. It is Promyshlennyy (which in Russian means “industrial”), an outskirt of Vorkuta, in the Republic of Komi. In its full gloom it hardly had 9000 inhabitants, the whole economy being coal mining.

    Pechora coal bassin used to be very important in the past. Pechora coal mining was developed when Donbass was captured by Germany, and helped the USSR to defeat Fascism. Today, coal mining in that area is completely pointless. With no other means for living in the harsh Northern climate, several minor settements were abandoned.

    The list of comments is very nice. It is a list of so Westernly cretinic speculations on the themes of huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge terrrrrrrrrrible Soviet army which was (of coooourse, it was, how dare you doubt?) supporting whole large cities, on Communism, and all the stuff, which, even if existed in reality, would be completely irrelevant to the town in the pictures.

  73. [...] English Russia » An Abandoned City [...]

  74. Howard says:

    From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorkuta

    Vorkuta (Russian: Воркута́) is a coal mining town in the Komi Republic, Russia, situated just north of the Arctic circle in the Pechora coal basin, at 67°30′N 64°00′E. Its population as of the 2002 census was 84,917. It had its origin in one of the more notorious forced labour camps of the Gulag which was established in 1932.

    In 1941 the town and the labor camp system based around it were connected to the rest of the world by a prisoner-built railroad linking Konosha and Kotlas, and the camps of Inta. Vorkuta became a city on November 26, 1943. It was the largest centre of Gulag camps in European part of the USSR and served as administrative centre for a large number of smaller camps and sub-camps, among them Kotlas, Pechora, and Izhma (modern Sosnogorsk). In 1953 the town witnessed a major uprising by the camp inmates, in the so-called Vorkuta Uprising. After it, like other camp uprisings (see Kengir uprising), was bloodily quelled by the Red Army and the NKVD, many of the Gulag camps were disbanded in the 1950s. However, it is reported that some in the Vorkuta area continued to operate into the 1980s.

    By the early part of the 21st century many of the mines have been closed as problems with high costs of operations have plagued the mine operators. At one time during the late 1980s and 1990s there were labor actions in the area by miners who had not been paid for a year. [1].

    During the Cold War an Arctic Control Group forward staging base for strategic bombers was located at Vorkuta.[2]

  75. ajgulyas.com says:

    [...] English Russia » An Abandoned City (tags: apocalypse History photography) [...]

  76. [...] 5 – English Russia » An Abandoned City “Here is a little photo-session of an abandoned city. When the Soviet Union collapsed, government didn’t have much funds to support some small cities around strategically import objects.” Snaps from the (former) USSR, via BoingBoing. (tags: decay suburban ruins buildings Russia photos images architecture abandoned) [...]

  77. When Government Dependency Goes Bad…

    An interesting pictorial of what happens to cities when their main reason for existing vanishes. English Russia » An Abandoned City In the U.S. similar things happened but on a much smaller scale. It only reached this level where the……

  78. [...] A photo-essay about one of the many government-built cities that became complete ghost towns when the Soviet Union collapsed. [...]

  79. [...] Photo essay of an abandoned city somewhere in Russia. Looks nice. [...]

  80. Evil Jim says:

    How melodramatic. Even moreso than those photo journals that accompanied the return to Chernobyl on the 20th anniversary of that disaster. The people didn’t die here. The residents just left.There are no ghosts of schoolchildren wandering those halls. They just moved somewhere else, continued on with life, grew up & are living & working elsewhere in the world.

    Asside from the commentary tho’, the photos are great.

  81. ted says:

    beautiful images. Sad that each and every one needed to be butchered with a mcdonald’s mustard yellow “seen on http://www.englishrussia.com“.

  82. Ru_man says:

    Some military bases (or some parts of the bases) in Russia look like in the pics. When I was on my officer military training, it was usual situation when you go through the forest – you can run into abandoned military buildings or abandoned military cars and equipment. In 1990-th they had no money for base supporting so they left some parts of the base. In the end, such reduced base could be disbanded. Today Russia makes new bases, so the situation is much better.

  83. [...] English Russia » An Abandoned City Cité fantôme en ex-URSS (tags: architecture bizarre cool) [...]

  84. samuel says:

    Place is interesting to look at on Google Earth. The “unknown, dome structure” referred to in the article is located here :

    67°36’23.70″N
    63°54’12.64″E

    Some freakin industrial complex heavily polluted here, a couple of miles away

    67°34’54.60″N
    63°49’44.99″E

    and a UFO landing pad north of the place (with alien spaceship aground)

    67°38’25.59″N
    63°54’31.20″E

    :)

  85. [...] En övergiven stad i Ryssland [...]

  86. Bourbaki says:

    No comment, I just wanted to close the italics that barry left open.

    Close your tags people!

    Oh, and Don Lee, your tolerance is showing.

  87. [...] Photo Essay: Abandoned Russian City in Ruins [...]

  88. Carl says:

    Don Lee wrote…
    Americans are pompous liars and ferocious bigots. I should know, I was raised here.

    Mr. Lee, it should be mentioned that you do not speak on behalf of the vast and overwhelming majority of Americans. In actuality your words show you to be misguided, misinformed and quite lacking of character and tact. If those words in your post are to be believed as being sincere. I’m a bit dubious since they are so over-the-top in their outrageousness. It comes off more as if it were a schtick from “The Onion” or “National Lampoon.” However to give you the benefit of the doubt, if the words you posted are your honest and sincere thoughts then you are a very bitter man who is in actuality the type of American you describe. This would make your comment fall more in the category of irony. Either way, your words are quite erroneous and therefore moot.

    Personally, I have enjoyed reading the entries on “English Russia” and especially enjoyed seeing sites that most likely I will never see in person. I also enjoy the humor the author presents which is refreshing in the blogosphere. Asking for the name of the town is merely a way of gathering information. No more. No less. People are a curious bunch regardless of what part of the world from which they reside. Thanks to others who left comments, readers like myself will learn more about another part of the world we will most likely never have the opportunity to see in person. I made sure I put an entry about it on my blog because it is so interesting and “English Russia” as a whole is a very interesting blog in of itself.

    However, Mr. Lee, you are entitled to your opinion albeit it is one not shared by myself nor represented by the Americans you attempt to paint with an overbroad brush.

  89. Zilch says:

    Don Lee,

    Americans are pompous liars and ferocious bigots. I should know, I was raised here. The worst of the lot are the ones who try to pretend that they aren’t misogynist racist sedulous sheep, the ones who try to get on a moral ground and elevate themselves, and are full of misinformation.

    I am not. I’m Amoral by American standards and far from anything typical because I have a brain and an education that isn’t religious

    That’s VERY typical of semi-educated, leftist type americans to think they are above other americans. Therefore you defeat the purpose of your comment by claiming to be so different. It’s almost artistic.
    ———————————————————

    The pictures are really nice, I remember something similar about a small theme park in Japan. I always find Ruins to be fascinating, they remind us that something comes after we’re gone, nothing’s forever.

  90. Pavel says:

    THe name is “Silent Hill”. You should know it, guys… Check the school out! ))))))) It is really better than Detroit’s ones )))))

  91. dr says:

    Great photos, but awful captions. Ghosts? Give me a break. (sorry if this has already been posted- I’m sure it has)

  92. Amy says:

    What an absolutely stunning place. The tiles on that staircase in particular have so much detail.

  93. Erin says:

    They talk about ghosts. Who died? It isn’t Chernobyl but they must wish it was because aparently some people can’t miss an opurtunity wax poetic on pictures of abandon towns.

    The commentary is likely some kind of Russian humor that doesn’t translate well.

    It’s my understanding that in Russian folklore old places are always haunted. In some old farmhouses there’s a tradition of leaving some small offering of food or drink in the attic for the ghost of the previous farmer. Ghosts in that tradition are not malicious.

    Sorry… I once took a Russian Folklore class at the University of Michigan.

    • Jason says:

      That’s okay…we’ll let it slide just this one! (LOL)

      I agree with you; however, that Russian folkore is quite interesting as I never knew that!

      Jason

      P.S. I wonder what’s going to happen to those buildings? Perhaps, they’ll sell it off eBAY after all, eBAY has everything! (LOL)

  94. Outraged In Ohio says:

    The corny captions could be in reference to some folklore, but the Putin comment at the top indicates an obvious agenda.

    It’s funny how so many people who don’t speak good english slaughter nuance and use a lot of thesaurus words when they try to propogandize in english. The have the subtletly of a chainsaw. They usualy don’t accomplish their goal and they do give us a good laugh instead.

  95. [...] A photo essay of what used to be the town of Promishlennyi in Russia. The journalist says many places were abandonned like this. There are once-beautiful public buildings that Nature is reclaiming, and the detritus of a once-vibrant school. [...]

  96. tim drage says:

    Great photos… would be amazing to go and shoot a post-apocalyptic movie there.

    Interesting blog!

  97. Anton says:

    Outraged In Ohio, some thesaurus comments like
    “This is a classic example of why Socialism and Communism don’t work” from people that never been in the USSR sounds as same funny for us Russian residents as author’s bad language sounds for you.. One can’t have a comprehensive opinion about the country they never been in, as same as another can’t speak fluent a foreign language if they never had a good amount of verbal communication with native carriers of the language.

  98. [...] Here is a little photo-session of an abandoned city. When the Soviet Union collapsed, government didn â��t have much funds to support some small cities around strategically import objects. People of these cities were left all by themselves.read more | digg story Digg this [...]

  99. Hey folks, this indeed is a great collection of photos. Liked teh commentary too. I wonder if all the people who posted there comments have actually observed properly.The name of teh town was given right under the last picture in teh series.

    Name of the town is Promyshlennyi, Vorkuta area

    Cheers,
    Purush

    P.S: I read an article about Chernobyl and in NGC magazine, they showed some pictures which almost were over lapping with the theme of thsi site. They were very touching.

  100. [...] The crazy dead aquatic beast is rather interesting as are the abandoned buildings. Oh… and this Moscow subway photo collection is great also. [...]

  101. [...] A stark look post modern ruins. When the Soviet Union fell a number of communities were abandoned. Thanks to Matt Tonnies over at Post Human Blues  [...]

  102. Abe Froman says:

    Half Life 2 anyone ??

  103. [...] The images are chilling and unforgetable.  Read Moore! Posted in Intresting Read, What???, photos | | September 9th, 2006 [...]

  104. Djibril says:

    What really interested me in these photos was not how quickly the buildings degraded, or the interiors looked vandalised, paint peeled, roofs fell in, etc., but how quickly the natural world started to reclaim the land. Grass and weeds growing over yards and roads; trees and bushes breaking down the foundations of buildings. How long before the buildings topple and there’s nothing left to see except by archaeologists?

    What’s the climate like in Vorkuta? I imagine we’d see more rapid vegetation reclamation in a warmer, more hospitable clime…

  105. bpgisme says:

    There are no trees?

  106. Cipora says:

    Zilch–“The pictures are really nice, I remember something similar about a small theme park in Japan.” Any idea where I can find those pictures? Did you see them online?
    As a separate point, I don’t know why some Americans feel it necessary to apologize for “the rest of America” and rush to reassure the world that we “are not all like that.” I understand there is no way to characterize even a small group of people, much less an entire country. I assume other intelligent people, in other countries, do, too.

  107. Mihail says:

    I’m from Russian, but from south part. Kuban.
    (I use english rarely, so keep on =)
    In the time of changes many of cities and peoples was abandoned. It was like traveling into new world, where nobody care of others. But this twilights is end now and Russia rise again. Who knows, probably we will settle this town agains in future =)
    But in present time there is some kind of extremal tourism like “Base-exploring”. Some groups of people search for abandoned and strange places in our huge country.
    City like that, tonnels under Moscow (there is something like AD&D dungeons, but withouth monsters… oftenly)
    Here, on Kaucas we have small amount of “yesterday history” period. But if you travel north and west…
    So, come on. Take up your bags and be our guests. But always remember – guest is only guest here…

  108. [...] Siempre me preguntaba como se veria una ciudad abandonada, si era cierto como salian en las peliculas, aca lo averigue : Para ver mas fotos Click Here [...]

  109. Sunday Means Mindless Entertainment…

    Such as these links. I have a big post coming tomorrow, so be sure to stay tuned. Palabra.
    PICTURES THAT MOVE:
    The Shat hawks the Commodore: like a video game, but with a keyboard!
    Autistic art.
    Washing maching turns ocean in an incredibly imagin…

  110. [...] English Russia » An Abandoned City (tags: russia photography abandoned architecture photos history) [...]

  111. R. Demaree says:

    Looks like Chernobyl.

  112. olmstr says:

    I have seen this city in a book I read and the reason it is abandon is because of the Chernobel melt down and the radiation cloud that was created, in other words the place is hot.

  113. Elizabeth Block says:

    Come on, friends. At the end of the photos is the name of the town – Promyshlennyi, Vorkuta area – and the photographer, Oleg Shvets.
    The western U.S. is studded with ghost towns, none, I think, as elaborate as this one, and rural New England is full of the ruins of long-abandoned farmhouses, now surrounded by forest.
    If – when? – the rest of the world forces the U.S. to pull its army bases out (there are some 700+ of them), there will be American equivalents of Promyshlennyi, except that they won’t be elegant ruins – just barracks, shopping malls, garages, etc.

  114. English Russia » An Abandoned City…

    Link: English Russia » An Abandoned City. Here is a little photo-session of an abandoned city. When the Soviet Union collapsed, government didn’t have much funds to support some small cities around strategically import objects. People of these citie…

  115. Laura says:

    Great pictures. I really like seeing abandoned buildings but it’s so rare to find anything online from Russia. Thanks for posting these. It’s great to have a look at other architecture and cultures.

  116. [...] Há um tempo eu escrevi aqui no Favoritos sobre um site com fotos legais de uma cidade fantasma na Rússia. Pois agora eu descobri o Ghost Town Gallery, um site com fotos e histórias de dezenas de cidades fantasmas nos Estados Unidos. Eu não sabia que existiam tantas cidades abandonadas pelo mundo. As fotos são legais. Para ver as melhores, clique nos nomes das cidades que estão em negrito. [...]

  117. juha says:

    Samuel,
    just north of the UFO landing pad you recognise is a UFO crash site. It appears as if the aliens have nearly completed reconstruction of their craft.
    It is located here:
    67˚39′ 35.36″N
    63˚54′ 06.18″E

  118. Alt from Russia says:

    Вы в HALF-LIFE играете, мы в нем живем.
    Слабо?

  119. [...] An Abandoned City is a nifty photo essay about an unnamed city in Russia that was put out to pasture after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The pictures are eerie and bleak, and best of all from a GMing perspective, almost entirely devoid of era-specific details. [...]

  120. cain says:

    le monde est un grain de sable.

  121. Lawrence Ricci says:

    I have seen these cities, and cities on the way to this state too-

    Stalin built these cities around ‘combinats’ central factories- that were linked across the soviet empire. He did this so the truck factory in republic X was dependant on the tires from republic Y and the wire and cables from republic Z. The Factory and City were inseparable- for example waste heat from the factory heated homes. The town’s trolley cars would be maintained in the factories workshops. When the factory went down, everything stopped.

  122. [...] Here is a little photo-session of an abandoned city. When the Soviet Union collapsed, government didn’t have much funds to support some small cities around strategically import objects. People of these cities were left all by themselves. This city is completley abandoed you should seriously look how devestated this city has been left as.read more | digg story [...]

  123. flashback says:

    It’s look like a Czarnobyl, I think i sow this pic before…

  124. [...] Now imagine whole cities deserted and forsaken to the forces of biological, chemical and physical entropy. The U.S.S.R. was an experiment that failed. In its wake are entire cities left useless and deserted. From the site englishrussia.com, comes a photoessay of one of these cities. When the Soviet Union collapsed, government didn’t have much funds to support some small cities around strategically import objects. People of these cities were left all by themselves. Nobody could support them because any communication with this places terminated after the army decided that they now don’t have money to support those objects… [more] [...]

  125. Travis says:

    I have a friend that regularly goes hunting in the regions surrounding Moscow – places like Tverskaya Oblast, an area the size of Ireland with less than 1.5 million people. He was there over the weekend and told me that there are many abandoned villages. People are moving; Russians are fleeing dictatorships in central Asia, they are leaving the far north and the far east, and they are leaving small towns (many of which lack sanitation and most of which lack telephones) for regional capitals. The one place that’s growing by leaps and bounds is Moscow, where real estate prices rival those in New York or London.

    http://www.economist.com/world/europe/displaystory.cfm?story_id=E1_SRJTNVJ
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/905956.stm

  126. [...] Here is an interesting site that has some photographs from a town that was abandoned in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union.  You have to remember that these buildings have been decaying for 20+ years.  Apparently, when the government fell people just left these towns. [...]

  127. BK says:

    Could this be a city some place in Siberia? As many Military bases would have been in the far North during the cold war. It would have been a much shorter distance to fly bombers and or send Nuclear Missles into the U.S. during the cold war.

  128. Tony O'Rourke-Quintana says:

    Hello, Friends:

    First, let me invite everyone to Detroit for vacation. Go ahead, laugh. But there’s a lot of great things to do here. I would not recommend coming in the winter, though.

    Second, those sites showing Detroit’s blight (and much of it is still there) represent only a portion of the city, and NONE of the suburbs. More than four out of five people in the Metro live outside the City.

    Third, as to that exodus, please know that the “white flight” and urban sprawl began LOOOOOOONG before the (myopic) American auto industry went into decline. In fact, I think it could be argued that they are both the result and symptomatic of a mentality that does not believe in preservation. But that is beginning to change here, thank goodness.

    Tony O’Rourke-Quintana – CEO – SEM/Vest Detropolis

  129. Mobo says:

    Now you can stand over the bowl and have the cream-of-wheat float UP your pants legs.

  130. vano says:

    for those who is desperate for some more pics visit http://www.pripyat.com/en/

    By the way who cares about those cities. You people are responsible for all those ghost towns. Think about it; its your demand for things you dont need that made chernobyl, herosima and nagasaki.. So dont go: oh.. in feel sad.. these cities.. oh.. im going to cry now..

  131. vano says:

    Promyshlennyi, Vorkuta area – thats the name of the Place..

  132. Blossom says:

    thats amazing pix……

  133. Mobo says:

    Now you can walk really fast and leave a splattered trail of cream-of-wheat.

  134. Mobo says:

    Ah, these people who abandoned this great city should have fought, perchance for freedom, perchance to sleep, perchance to dream…

    Ah, yes! Perchance to dream of cream-of-wheat.

  135. Cream says:

    Great photos!

  136. of says:

    Yes, excellent photos!

  137. wheat says:

    Keep up the good work!

  138. Classix says:

    What is the deal with the cream-of-wheat references here, people? It’s a maelstrom. And I think that says alot, not sure how but I really like the way that word rolls of the tongue. So I’m leaving you to talk amongst yourselves about the validity of the building reconstructure and the adaptations to a society which, case in point, allows me to rest mine. Never before or after which it was, that being said, “the city of wrecked abandon”. Does that shine a light on anything? No. And there you have it.

  139. Mobo says:

    Classix, that city is almost as abandoned as your head.

  140. Mobo says:

    I can’t remember if it was sixth, seventh, or eigth grade, but Laura had this one beak that she formed from aluminum foil and covered with American flag. She held it to her face and called it the, “Patriotic Beak”. Genius!

  141. Mobo says:

    Classix, you’re not going to have the last word.

  142. Mobo says:

    Вы в CREAM-OF-WHEAT играете, мы в нем живем.
    Слабо?

  143. Mobo says:

    I’m not gonna lie to you, I spend hours on this page, and I visit it frequently. It’s probably my favorite place on the Internet to hang out.

  144. Mobo says:

    mannaya kasha!

  145. rsha1988 says:

    Родина матушка =)))

  146. Mobo says:

    You Americans admire abandoned and haunted city. In Soviet Russia, abandoned and haunted city admires YOU!

  147. Highway 62 says:

    A warning…

    For those of you who think that you’re creating for The Future and aiming at posterity and not the here and now. Found over on Chris Allen’s blog. It’s a nice little bucket of icewater it is…….

  148. Mobo says:

    Happy Halloween, abandoned and haunted city!

  149. Craig Brown says:

    An incredible photo essay , thank you so much for making it available to view!

    Abandoned places evoke such emotions, it is such romantic art…

  150. Mobo says:

    PS3, 360, and WII. They all rhyme with PEE. Go with the Sega Dreamcast, baby!

  151. Mobo says:

    I can draw a turkey by tracing around my hand?
    I can draw a turkey by tracing around my hand.
    I can draw a turkey by tracing around my hand!

    Gobble gobble!

  152. [...] America take a lesson here. Also note that this little photo essay is tagged as “russian humour”. More ruins of tomorrow at the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. More Russian can-do-it-tude here. Your official guidebook for your tour here. And here is your tour guide Mr. Dock Boggs, who says he hopes he lives for a few more days. I tried to find Blind Willie Johnson but looks like no one ever youtubed him. [...]

  153. Mobo says:

    [...]English Rebels absorb a tale locally. Additionally save that this tiny flicker set is titled as “red-mother haha”. Added leftovers of soon in the wasteland. Ammended Soviet go-for-it-tude present. Your authentic atlas for your vacation here. And here is your driver Ronald P. Coleman III, who responds he dreams he doesn’t kick the bucket for a while. Poor Blind Willie Johnson, I only wish him the best. Download youtube videos to your harddrive at keepvid.com.[...]

  154. Mobo says:

    U.S., get it. Then keep it as, “whatever”. And then some. Positivity. This is how. Here he is, he likes it here. Willie Johnson, youtube.

  155. Mobo says:

    Happy Holidays, abandoned and haunted city!

  156. dan says:

    Wow, for some reason that whole picture set was very sad. It reminded me of some of the ghost towns I visited in Nevada and New Mexico. Many of them were abandoned mining towns that died after the mines became unprofitable.

  157. Ivan Manov says:

    This was a coal mining city in what is now far-northern Komi republic. The coal is now gone or unreachable due to costs of new government. In 1999-2000 6000 residents of this Promshmyelnye town were evacuated due to unemployment. Same as many “boom towns ” In American states

  158. [...] English Russia » An Abandoned City (tags: UE Russia photography architecture photos History abandoned) [...]

  159. Barty says:

    Dear fiends:

    somebody have news about ancient abandoned cities of Russia or Central Asia lands.

    Also, there is now, in this moment some cities threatened in spite of being left or to become depopulated?

    Please write me to barti111@latinmail.com

  160. Mobo says:

    It’s doesn’t add up, earwax smells bad, so why don’t boogers sound bad?

  161. I see the same question all through the comments “What the name of the City”. To me, It’s written under last pictures. “place: town Promyshlennyi, Vorkuta area “.
    The name of the town translated as “Industrial”, the location is Vorkuta region.

  162. cam says:

    you think this is cool, google ocean falls B.C canada. A ghost town of the same magnitude in our own back yard

  163. bjorn says:

    here is the sources:
    http://oleg44.livejournal.com/91801.html — author of these photos
    http://ellabari.livejournal.com/46396.html — comments of the girl, who lived there when a child. very sentimental.

    the building with columns is a recreation center, ‘Palace of Culture’, where was cinema, amateur concerts ets. Ellabari says, people talked it built by political prisoners.

    ‘unknown structures whith domes’ is a skating rink. roof is falled. Ellabari remembers the room with boxes, where was skates for visitors, who don’t have own (second photo in her blog).

    the walls pictured whith fairy-tale characters are in a school dining-hall. text on the wall says ‘bon appetit!’.

  164. joão pires says:

    lovely pictures, indeed!

  165. Ivan Minic says:

    I was told that there quit a number of these in eastern and souther parts of the country..

  166. Your pictures are amazing. I’m a huge fan of abandoned themes: constructions, hospitals, graves, etc
    I really like all the complete gamma of textures you can find into the abandoned places.

    See you later! ^^

    P.S. Have you seen pictures of Ohio Reformatory and Waverly Hills Sanatorium? They’re great abandoned places!

  167. Jason says:

    Actually, I think the reason for everyone comparing the abandoned establishment to America is as a frame of reference.

    As to whether or not they’ve been outside of the US is mere conjecture, at best.

    I do; however, agree with you that most people wouldn’t visit this abandoned place due to the simple fact that there’s no real reason to; unless, of course, you’re one of those English tv shows who likes to go to alleged haunted places and allow your imagination run wild with tales of mythological ghosts.

    Bottom-line: Great photos, but the comments underneath them are disrespectful to those who actually called this place, “home,” but ironically, delightfully amusing!

  168. Annya says:

    Yeah, that’s my country. We love to build and destroy.
    It happens all the time in Russia.
    Your pics are amazing, comments are wonderful. Thanks!

  169. skifred says:

    I’m sorry, my English is not very good.
    It’s not a city. It is “Promishlenniy”, coal-mining village, not far from Vorkuta, in Siberia. Coal-mine is deactivate, by Putin’s goverment. Not work, not food, not good water, etc. People leaving this place and lost they houses and they life.
    Every year Russia lost about 2 millions peoples. Capitalists and our goverment killed our peoples, destroyed our towns and villages. Many people havn’t drugs, food, houses and work.
    We need new revolution.

  170. J Hargreaves says:

    It’s very interesting to see the results of a fallen superpower, who spent millions of dollars developing rural areas for strategic/military purposes. The architecture is very impressive, far, far away from the Western idea of Soviet Era architecture…

    Also interesting are the photographs of downtown Detroit and St Louis after the hurricane, why doesn’t the US government fix these things? Because America has a trade deficit of 33 billion USD, and is a dying superpower itself.

    Ruined buildings are becoming commonplace in the USA, because they’re going the same way as the USSR did. The only difference is the US Govt. use the media to pull cotton wool over the eyes of the US people.

    James from the UK

    • Benji says:

      What a steaming heap of poo!
      America may be the Evil Empire, but one thing they cannot be accused of is allowing infrastructure to crumble and decay like in Russia.

      • Me says:

        Have you visited the northeast lately, or any of the ruins that used to be Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Cleveland, New York, et al … ?

  171. Elvira says:

    Magnificent photo!!! Charming and full of spirit!!!
    Elvira From Italy with love

  172. Kenny Burdette says:

    Amerika in 20 years…..you could call this masterpiece life after King George II….Hail to the chief!

  173. Ben says:

    I like this kind of thing, reminds me of the pictures of Chernobyl today.

  174. The "L" says:

    He’s obviously referring to New Orleans and the effects of Hurricane Katrina. An American’s ignorance knows no bounds and isn’t limited to just ignorance of another country.
    He probably caught a few glimpses of Katrina’s devastation on TV while trying to find the NASCAR race.

  175. Sveta says:

    Гг. Читаю и поражаюсь, что они несут.
    Приплели сюда Чернобыль. Мдо…
    Ясно ведь написано – Промышленный! =)

  176. alaalas says:

    You can find satellite pics of that area, a mining district with lots of small towns/cities. The abandoned properties are clearly intended expansions of long existing close-by living and processing facilities. The Soviet collapse meant the bank went bust and these and many other investments went up in smoke. Kind of like the USA today.

  177. Andrey says:

    Фигасе о_О

  178. Vladamir Putin says:

    Does antone know where this place is?

  179. [...] Promyshlennyi, Russia was abandoned with the fall of the Soviet Union, cut off from communication with and support from [...]

  180. hassan says:

    Se eu fosse prefeito dessa cidade eu a transformaria em uma nova york russa.

  181. dozorniy45 says:

    это припять видно по фото

  182. Hrch says:

    Maybe young people would be interested to make a huuuuuuge party in such abandoned city as these one. It would be crazy. Just think abou it! 10.000 people in a town like the one in pictures getting drunk and crazy in that city. Maybe Ukraine would rent the city for a weekend?

  183. [...] Kadykchan was one of many small Russian cities that fell into ruin when the Soviet Union collapsed. Residents [...]

  184. [...] Kadykchan was one of many small Russian cities that fell into ruin when the Soviet Union collapsed. Residents [...]

  185. [...] towns as children? Why will we drive, as adults, so far out of our way on long road journeys to see a bunch of old buildings crumbling back into the [...]

  186. [...] City: Promyshlennyi, Russia was abandoned with the fall of the Soviet Union, cut off from communication with and [...]

    • LaceyJack says:

      Igor, thank you for everything that you wrote. You mentioned that you have black and white pictures from when you were young, back when the city was busy with people and lots of activity. Could you possibly post those pictures? Thanks!

  187. Igor says:

    Photos were placed more then 2 years ago and last message was written 1 month ago. Then it’s interesting for our days too.
    If you will allow me…
    First. My English language bad, excuse me.
    Second, etc…
    So…
    “Oh world where are all those people now?” So, those people are there now.
    It hurts me…It very-very hurts me. I was born and grew up in this House. I don’t had time to have visited there from my childhood. It was my dream…
    My name is Igor. I live in Saint-Petersburg, in Russia. I’m 50 years old. I was born in 1958 and lived in Promyshlennyy from 1958 to 1975. I studied at this school of 10 years. Then I have left for Leningrad (Saint-Petersburg now), graduated from Leningrad University (mathematics-mechanics faculty) and work in commerce firm.
    About geography, history and topology. For those who don’t know where is town Vorkuta. If you know where town Moscow is, let’s go from Moscow 2500 km to North-East of European party of Russia (near the parallel 67; Notice: Polar Circle – 66 parallel). From Vorkuta to Arctic Ocean – 160 km. It is not Siberia. It is Europe, but very far. In 1924 – geologist A.A.Chernov find here black coking coal. 1930, august – the first settlement. 1943 – Vorkuta has status “Town”. Topology. There is centre of town (diameter 3-5 km). Let’s paint the circle, diameter 15-20 km, and this centre of town places on the circle. This circle – is asphalt road. Then let’s move. 5 (or 7, or 10) km. Hi! The first village! ( settlement?). There is coal mine near the village (about 1-2 km from it, lies on the radius of our circle). People live in the village and work in coal mine. The village has name “Severnyy” (English: “Northern”). Further. Again the circle. Again 3 (or 5, or 7, or 10) km. Another village “Komsomolskiy” and another coal mine! And so on. One of these villages is “PROMYSHLENNYY”, and coal mine for it – named “Coal mine number 32”. My father worked in coal mine 32 (miner). So… Attention! The centre of town AND all of these villages (all together) – is Vorkuta! Promyshlennyy – NOT a town!!!, but – one of the many villages and coal mines of town Vorkuta. For example, FULL address for letter is – West Street, 7, Promyshlennyy, Vorkuta, Republic of Komi, Russia. (What is Covent Garden, Greenwich and Paddington for London? Or Staten Island, Manhattan for New York City?)
    Too, “Vorkuta” means “bear’s corner”. It’s strange, but more then 17 years I didn’t met at least one bear anywhere. But instead of bear – many lemmings (polar mouse), white foxes, polar owls and ptarmigans.
    Why I write “PromyshlennyY”? Because Russian transcription – ПромышленнЫЙ. All Russian words, which ends are “ЫЙ” have English “YY”. You can see on any Russian-English official topographic/sea map. For example: “The cape Northern” in Russian “мыс СевернЫЙ” and on Russian-English map I read “Mys SevernYY”. Promyshlennyy – that’s right, Promyshlennyi – that’s NOT right. However, this is small thing. Not small thing is that I lived there.
    Promyshlennyy in 1975: ~ 12000 peoples (95000 peoples in town Vorkuta at all), ~450 dwelling houses (1-floor: 2 two/three-room apartments = 2 families [they are absent in all photos!] and 2-floor: 8 two/three-room apartments = 8 families [at the left, Photo 05] ), 1 school, 1 music school (it’s my school too), 1 hospital, shops, 1 House of Culture (we proudly named it “Club”), 1 Skating Rink, 3 big football fields (70-80 m – they were fantastic huge fields for us) ), 1 restaurant, and many others.
    May I ask you a question? Why Promyshlennyy is dead? Soviet Army? No, and no once more. SA is absent in Vorkuta (and absolutely in Promyshlennyy). There are internal forces (few quantity, they guards prisoners) and police (5-6 person was in Promyshlennyy). May be radiation? No. I do not know any nuclear objects in Vorkuta and near, if only in our school in teacher-room. There is permafrost, average-yearly –minus 6,1oC, in December – minus 40-45oC. I remember max minus 53oC. May be because Soviet Union degraded and collapsed? You have not guessed right again! SU collapsed in 1991 and peoples began to leave Promyshlennyy in 1975-1977.
    “…any communication with this places terminated after the army decided that they now don’t have money to support those objects…” Excuse me, please, it’s full bosh, it relate to anything, but only not to Promyshlennyy and this photos! Communication with this place not terminated! The army not decided anything! Because army was’nt in it.
    In 1993 there were 17 (!) coal mines. In 2000 – 11 coal mines! There is only one reason, only. 90 percents of mans worked in the coal mine! Coal mine – three changing, twenty-four-hour. It is bread for our life. Then Black Coal came to the end in this place. The mine is not profitable. NOT PRO-FIT-ABLE to exploit layer of coal thick 10 centimeters (conditionally)! And there is not any (another) JOB, near the not-working mine. It’s catastrophe. IT IS REASON. In 70-80th found new well layer of coal in village Vorgashor. Many peoples abandoned our village and left to Vorgashor, I think. Many others (like my father, mother and sister in 1977) left in the middle of Russia, far from the North.

    Comments of PHOTOS.
    Photo 01. It is interesting object. It’s not penthouse. There were not apartments. And it’s not a house for General of Soviet Army or great politicians. It’s our Club, our House of Culture. There was big stage and big screen, and hall with 500-600 places. And other big hall for dancing. We went in Club to see cinemas and visitant artists. Of course, dancing! This Club built prisoners ~17 years (Began in ~1957, finished in = 1973-74). Around building place stood high wooden wall with 6 watch-towers for soldiers with Kalashnikov. Every day early in the morning (winter too) from prison arrived at this place 2 long big cars with 5-6 soldiers, 2-4 big nice dogs and ~ 50 prisoners. I remember, it was interruptions in building about 4-5 years, if more. When I was 7 or 8 years old, sometimes prisoners asked us to buy 1 pack of tea. We was afraid, but sometimes did it.
    Photo 03. What is the dark spot near the school? There is grass in other places and there is not here. Why? It’s our school football field! Goal sport is absent now. Thousands children trampled down the grass. And I – one of them.
    Photos 10,11,12. It’s not unknown structure. It’s skating rink. One part of it has round shape. There was ice-floor and round cupola-shaped ceiling. In square part we changed shoes, relax, drank hot tea and lemonade (Coca-cola was absent at that time). And we skated on round ice. Photos of skating rink: 08, 10, 11, 12, 33.
    Photo 09. It is restaurant. …When I’m sixtyfour…Sorry… No! When I’m 6! When I was 6 my father and mother led me there once. I remember appetizing Kiev-cutlet and snow-white cloth till now. Yes, and I knew “The Beatles” approximately in this time (~1965). And they are my idols up to now.
    Photos 13,14. It is shop. On 2 floor – Clothes, on 1 floor – food stuffs.
    Photos 18, 07. Sports hall. Ourselves mounted basketball boards and rings. 3 basketball trainings every week! In the photo 18 (left side) we see small stripe of daylight from the door in photo 07.
    Photo 29 “Here those students lived in happy families together with their parents.” No! It is a part of our Club.
    Photo 30 “In luxury appartments, spending their cold evenings…” No, dear friends. “…(with all due respect) does not seem to know what Russia is about.’’ (Daria, see post above). It is not apartments. We not lived in such apartments. It is our Club again. Yes, we “…spending our cold evening…” in this Club. Cinema, Concert, Dancing, cold evening, warm evening…
    Photos of Club: 01, 04, 28-32, 34-36.
    Photos of School: 03, 06, 07, 15-27.
    I don’t want to comment any ravings of a madman about Prypyat and Chernobyl.
    Thanks to: Oleg (photographer); Daria; administrators of this site; and, of course, all readers.
    I have many black-white photos from THERE…From my childhood…Now I have these photos…
    And any more. I am ashamed for those Russian who write any muck on this page. Not all of Russian peoples are the same. Excuse me for them.

  188. Mnemonic89 says:

    мне очень жаль что случилосьс этим городом и что пришьлось пережить его жителям я понимаю что не кто не поймет что я тут написал но фото произвело на меня огромное впечатление что я решил оставить свои коментарии я имею в виду иностранцев а не русских

  189. [...] y más es lo que nos podemos encontrar en esta ciudad Rusa “Promyshlennyi“, abandonada hace casi 20 años, cuando la antigua URSS se desmembró y a causa de esa gran [...]

  190. magic inhalt says:

    nice to read your explanations after seeing the pictures. Adds a lot of atmosphere to them. For example the dark spot on the schoolphoto being the football yard :)

  191. Gurtek-Singh says:

    great pics……….
    greetings from india

  192. andy james m says:

    these are great pictures i would love to have gone there and taken pictures my self its a shame that happened to that place but i think this place should be regenerated when and if it can be

    andy manchester england

  193. [...] Promyshlennyi, Russia was abandoned with the fall of the Soviet Union, cut off from communication with and support from [...]

  194. [...] with his buddies (like ya do in Russia).  And, because Russia is basically just one gigantic, Eurasian ghost town, he decided when he saw a raccoon wander into their social circle that he’d, “have a little [...]

  195. Mirian says:

    ola … eu adorei esse site … tenho muito interesse em cidades fantasmas …. bjsssssss

  196. [...] And here’s a city that has gone from booming to uninhabited in my own lifetime. [...]

  197. [...] first, unnamed, city is featured in a photo-essay on the English Russia site. It was a closed city during the Soviet era; strategically important [...]

  198. Have a look for Vorkuta on Google Maps.

    See how remote and deserted it is? Very few streets? That’s your answer.

    I guess it was a mining town/city, when the army or mine pulled out, end of city. Happens a lot – loads of ghost towns in the US from the end of the Goldrush or lapses in mining or the depression.

    Unless you think they should farm the desert? LOL.

  199. Great pictures, glad (?) well maybe not glad but interesting to see that there are other ghost towns/cities than Pripyat.

    Great social, economic or political upheavals always leave white elephants like this.

  200. LaceyJack says:

    Putin? Gorbachev? What about Stalin? Isn’t he the one who started all of this? Where’s the blame for him? By the way, beautiful pictures and a beautiful country Russia is!

  201. [...] are from the always-interesting (if not always grammatical) EnglishRussia, who offers this as socio-political explanation: When the Soviet Union collapsed, government [...]

  202. [...] interesante para ver, una galería de imágenes de ciudades Rusas abandonadas por el Gobierno (falta de [...]

  203. [...] Promyshlennyi, Russia fue abandonada con la caída de la Unión Soviética. Aislado de comunicación y sin el apoyo del [...]

  204. [...] situación ha facilitado que en el gigante euroasiático sea hoy un sitio único para encontrar ciudades abandonadas. Pobladas hasta hace pocos años por el hombre pero dominadas hoy por el viento y los [...]

  205. [...] But there is also a vein of posts which doc­u­ment the scat­tered, decay­ing remains of entire vil­lages, mil­i­tary equip­ment, libraries and train lines within remote areas of Rus­sia, fast [...]

  206. [...] пос. Промышленный, Россия, республика Коми, недалеко от Воркуты.С крахом Советского Союза множество маленьких городов, которые ранее занимали узкоспециализированную нишу в соцэкономике, оказались предоставлены сами себе. В частности, больше всего пострадали города, находящиеся в отдаленных северных и восточных территориях, которые целиком зависели от геолого-добывающей деятельности и от армии. Лишившись связи с основными экономическими центрами, такие городки моментально вымирали – люди уезжали к родственникам, к знакомым, да куда угодно, лишь бы спастись от безысходности умирающего городаИсходный пост в ЖЖ ellabariЭтот же фотосет на englishrussia [...]

  207. cheromory says:

    it seems like Chernobyl city of Ukraine. after incident of nuclear power plant explosion, thousand of peoples have been evacuated to other save places……

  208. [...] qui répertorie toutes les villes abandonnées sur le territoire américain, et englishrussia.com qui en fait de même pour la russie. Ajouter au favoris [...]

  209. Pahlavi says:

    Looks like Half-Life 2…

  210. Catherine says:

    Yes, it does look like Detroit, which is basically a ghost town.

    • Me says:

      Exactly; although, this city actually has a future, unlike Detroit. Looks a lot like Cuomo’s New York too, or what’s left of it. Hey, maybe it IS the little dictator’s state after all!

  211. [...] running water was discontinued. The residents had to pick up and move.(image credits:English Russia,English Russia)Other than mold and creepy crawlies that have no doubt moved in, a person with survival skills and [...]

  212. [...] City: Promyshlennyi, Russia was abandoned with the fall of the Soviet Union, cut off from communication with and [...]

  213. Branco says:

    Just think about this: Country so powerful, and population so vital and adaptable that abandoning a city and founding another one – a tousand miles away is a snap. Countries like USA or Britain could not pull something like this since the 19th century, and their “Gold Rushes” and “East Indian Companies”! And Russians have such a large and rich country. Maybe somebody here sees a despair and dissolution? I see a strenght of Soviet (now Russian) people, who could actally afford it (it should be a subject for contemplation, especially for you living in industrialized, overpopulated western countries)! And I am not even Russian …

  214. [...] cultura tras ser bombardeada por el ejército ruski. La primera foto (y las dos anteriores) son de English Russia; las dos de debajo son de Halmer-u.info, una página dedicada al pueblo por antiguos residentes. En [...]

  215. Hello admin , This is excellent posting for my homework from school Do u have twitter account ?? i want to follow your twitt . bye

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  217. Big Bear California says:

    What a great post on big bear ca village! Seriously, some of your best work. I can’t argue with one word of it, and I just subscribed to your feed. In the future, how about a post on ANCHOR_TEXT%? Cheers!

  218. qwark says:

    You Exaggerate.

  219. city news says:

    this is a very nice and informative site but i want to get the news about this site specially.

  220. Imp_104 says:

    I lived in Severnyy (“Northern”) town near the Vorkuta. But it’s still alive.
    Very sad to see this dying town…

  221. Mobo says:

    C to the R to the E to the A… Cream of Wheat!

  222. Mariel says:

    My god is so sad …

  223. Des says:

    I like your captions, it’s just sad to see this place get abandoned like that.

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