All Your Palladium Belongs to Us

Russian city Norilsk

This is Norilsk city. Located in Russian Siberia this city hosts the biggest in Russia factory producing “rare” metals. It is even can be called a world leader when speaking about the worldwide production share it contributes. That’s like 35% of palladium production, 25% of platinum, 20% of nickel, 10% of cobalt that are being made in modern world come from Norilsk, which makes it having number one of such kind factories in Russia. The price they pay for this is that 2% of total world CO2 production is coming from this city too. The area of 100 000 hectares (50,000 acres) around the city is consists of burned down forests. It was widely recognized one of the worst ecology city in the world and the average life expectancy is ten years less than the average values across the Russia.

Those photos were made there this May, and as you can see that’s not a warmest place in the world too. It’s common to have the snow in May out there.

But life is still going on. More than 160,000 people live there today, and children of the city still think that their place is the best place in the world, as we all someday thought back in our childhood.

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photos by Sergei Maximishin

36 thoughts on “All Your Palladium Belongs to Us”

  1. There is no doubt about it, Russian people are tougher than Americans! You will never catch me wearing a speedo, especially when there is snow on the ground, and going for a swim in freezing river water.

    • if there is no running/hot water in your “heavenly / low life / worker scumbag” apartment you do what you gotta do! -and that would be bathing in runoff cooling water from the plant (or perhaps firefighting basins – check out the nozzles on the banks).

      all in all that city looks like a cancer bomb for all that live there

      • give up your fancy office job, give up your fancy car, give up your big salary, give up your luxurious house, give up your fake spirituality and then, but only then you may see people bathing.

  2. Not to over worry but is that water safe to be swimming in? It appears to be a warm water outflow from a local factory.

    I hope it’s OK. The people of Russia deserve a good life.

      • nope, it is very warm, in fact you would get scolded during summer when it does not cool down as fast. the fact that this particular “water” contains alkaline additives to prevent corrosion makes it really good for washing these fat russkiye chicks!

      • Swimming in cooling ponds from the refinery isn’t such a good idea… There will be all kinds of heavy metals and chemicals in that water.

  3. “It was widely recognized one of the worst ecology city in the world and the average life expectancy is ten years less than the average values across the Russia.”

    Ok, and so the average values of life in Norilsk city would be 20 years – instead of 30 years across Russia.

    • Wow your ignorance is amazing! Do you know anything of how the major cities function? Do you see factories in cities? Farms? Power Plants? No OF COURSE YOU DON’T!.

      Places like Norilsk are PARAMOUNT to the functioning of the world. Norilsk specifically supplies MANY CONSUMERS around the world especially in wealthy nations such as AMERICA and WESTERN EUROPE. People live here because they earn money. They are paid money to work in these factories. These factories then produce goods which get sent out all over the world.

      This is why they don’t live in “big cities”.

      Smarten up.

      • I guess he mentioned the depressive environment there. Admit it, living there has to be difficult in the mental way – the weather also brings influence to your mood.

      • People live here just because. It’s not that easy to sell your apartment in Norilsk and move to Moscow or St. Petersburg(the only major cities of Russia). Who would buy it? And anyway it’d be a laughable sum of money with which you could only afford a little house in a village. They are stuck in here. They earn money you say? You mean, big money? You clearly don’t know much about Russia, and who is ignorant now. Yes, and I don’t know much about English so excuse my grammar, please.

  4. I love the field of flowers paint job on that wall, and the bright buildings in the photo where the guy was in the police van.

    It would be great if they would paint those other grey, dreary buildings, bring more color to the city. In my city, we have a huge public use building that’s grey like that. I hate it! Every time I pass it, I think “paint that thing, it’s so blah!” Those Russian buildings give me that same feeling.

  5. Hello Russia! I always enjoy your fine site and have only one minor complaint. Your photography is great and shows many interesting people and places but lacks annotation. How nice it would be if each photo had a line or two describing the subject matter. Keep up the good work and remember that it is probably much safer to swim in the rivers of Norilsk than in our Gulf of Mexico. We share a major pollution problem by the looks.

    • Pollution isn’t such a big problem. It is only a problem around factories and industries but this is the same reoccuring around the world. Not just russia. It is safe to swim in any river if it isn’t too cold or too hot 🙂

      Gulf of Mexico is a big problem. But it is not Americas fault, it is the fault of some worker on the oil rig at the time 🙂

      • Well no it’s not. You sound like some soviet time politician. “It’s safe, don’t worry”, “little radiation hasn’t killed anyone”, etc.
        Most of these factories probably don’t produce the “innocent” stuff.

        • I thought the same about Kovo. I think maybe he is from Russia like me, but unlike me he is bitter and don’t want to admit bad things about our country.

  6. There is actually slight bit of steam coming from the water, or is it just fog?

    I have to know if this water is warm or cold, because then it would become clear if Russians are robots or humans. 🙂

    • There can be no warm water in Arctic. In fact, temperatures are going all the way down to ­-60°C during polar night there. The city is covered with snow for about 270 days a year. You do not have an open-air cooling pool in such conditions. 🙂
      These people seem to be swimming in Norilskaya river or one of numerous tundra lakes, water temperature there does not exceed 6-8°C during summer.

  7. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I really didnt have a clue. Took me time to read all your posts, at least most of them, but I really enjoyed your blog. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained!


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