6 In The Valleys of Death: The Top 5 Russian Ghost Towns

In The Valleys of Death: The Top 5 Russian Ghost Towns

Posted on January 9, 2017 by konst4

Alykel, Krasnoyarsk krai

Unlike the unfortunate Iultin, Norilsk won’t have such fate, though the circumstances of their birth were similar in many ways. By the mid 1920 s in the north of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, 2,000 kilometers from the regional center, the existence of rich copper-nickel deposit has been established. Nickel reserves, the most important metal used in making armor for tanks and aircraft designs were so big that the city grew really fast. Even before the war began, a large mining industry has started its work here, continued to develop, and after its completion. Over time, Norilsk got some towns satellites, one of which was Alykel.

Norilsk importance for the economy of the USSR was difficult to overstate. Local industrial complex gave lion’s share of Soviet nickel, cobalt and copper, not talking about the precious metals. The loss of the city and especially the opportunity to produce what nature has hidden under it, as a result of the conflict with the opposing camp would have become a tragedy. Most likely, in this regard, in 1960 it was decided to deploy the local airport Alykel and to build a military town for pilots.

On stilts in the middle of permafrost grew several dozen of buildings: barracks, administrative and office buildings, residential high-rise buildings for the officers. After the Soviet Union collapsed, the squadron was disbanded, planes with crews flew away to warmer climes, and Alykel became unnecessary. The population left Norilsk. The village also was the main attraction, which welcomes visitors, who come to the Russian nickel capital.

Halmer-Yu, Komi Republic

Translated from the local languages ​​exotic name “Halmer-U” means “river in the valley of the dead people.” This river is really there in 60 kilometers from Vorkuta. Superstitious people certainly believe that the settlement with the ominous name could not have had another fortune, but it was repeated by other cities.

Unlike Norilsk and Iultin, the appearance of Halmer-U was not directly caused by industrialization. During the Great Patriotic War in a condition of loss of Donbass coal the Soviet Union faced the question of its replacement to supply energy and industry of the country. Vorkuta and its surroundings was this alternate base for its European part. One of the new fields was discovered in 1942 on the banks of the river Halmer-U.


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6 Responses to “In The Valleys of Death: The Top 5 Russian Ghost Towns”

  1. john dudley says:

    Cool posting, sad to see so many empty building’s, and the people that lived there then forced to move just like that very sad.

  2. Douglas says:

    These ghost towns reveal the hell of Soviet style central planning. Lots of resources spent for nothing in the long run.

    • Jarema says:

      Your problem is western style of thinking. It was not resource as it was for free. Concrete, steel and labor was very cheap in Soviet Union. Prob. majority of this was done by prisoners or extremely cheap labor – as when u did not work, u were a saboteur and ur fate was gulag and death. This is more sad imho…

  3. RB says:

    Who cannot love all these pictures from such places we will never see with our own eyes?

    I am in Canada and after the cold war I remember watching some news team go inside Russia to see things. They went to one place that had big bags of diamonds. There were maybe five hundred bags and they told the news guys to pick any bag they want to see. They picked out one bag and the Russian guys poured out the whole bag was full of diamonds. I wonder where that place was?

    • Douglas says:

      Russia has a hoard of thousands and thousands of diamonds. They keep these OFF the market to control the price. If all the available diamonds hit the market, the price of a diamond would be about $50 -$100 instead of thousands of dollars.

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