Almost abandoned Russian city – Sinegorye near Magadan Russia

Almost abandoned Russian city - Sinegorye near Magadan Russia

This town in the Magadan region of Russia is called “Sinegorye” or “Blue Mountains”. A very nice name for a town, but in reality this is an almost completely abandoned place, and is now the size of a village. Its population has fallen by 70% since the collapse of the USSR and so almost 3/4 of its buildings remain empty and abandoned, including many huge apartment complexes like the one in the a picture above. Sergey, the awesome Russian blogger we so like to post here, has visited this place and says it’s very easy to say which buildings are abandoned – in the abandoned buildings all of the window glass is broken.

Almost abandoned Russian city - Sinegorye near Magadan Russia

Sergey says that there is a strange tradition in most semi abandoned places like this – as soon as one window gets broken, shortly after all the rest of the windows shed their glass as well. This is all done mostly by local youths – as soon as they see the destruction of windows has started by someone they all join and finish it fast.

Almost abandoned Russian city - Sinegorye near Magadan Russia

This is the town’s downtown. Here you can see the city central square and monument and buildings here are still intact.

Almost abandoned Russian city - Sinegorye near Magadan Russia

However the main street on both sides of the main square has only empty, abandoned buildings and kids wandering around.

Almost abandoned Russian city - Sinegorye near Magadan Russia

The main street continues.

Almost abandoned Russian city - Sinegorye near Magadan Russia

This city used to have over 10,000 people living here. Now just of fraction of them remain.

Almost abandoned Russian city - Sinegorye near Magadan Russia

More and more empty houses.

Almost abandoned Russian city - Sinegorye near Magadan Russia

Some buildings have only one or two apartments occupied, the rest are abandoned with open doors and windows.

Almost abandoned Russian city - Sinegorye near Magadan Russia

Still you can see passers-by on the streets, including young women.

Almost abandoned Russian city - Sinegorye near Magadan Russia

Some people try to paint parts of the buildings they occupy in bright colors.

Almost abandoned Russian city - Sinegorye near Magadan Russia

Like here, too.

Almost abandoned Russian city - Sinegorye near Magadan Russia

Almost abandoned Russian city - Sinegorye near Magadan Russia

A mother with kids on the streets.

Almost abandoned Russian city - Sinegorye near Magadan Russia

Kids never see nice cars here so they wanted to take a picture.

Almost abandoned Russian city - Sinegorye near Magadan Russia

All of the apartments in this building have been abandoned but there is a shop on the ground floor.

Almost abandoned Russian city - Sinegorye near Magadan Russia

And here is inside of this shop – lots of very different beverages.

Almost abandoned Russian city - Sinegorye near Magadan Russia

And some coffee.

Almost abandoned Russian city - Sinegorye near Magadan Russia

Also sweets.

Almost abandoned Russian city - Sinegorye near Magadan Russia

And even some produce.

Almost abandoned Russian city - Sinegorye near Magadan Russia

Also of course lots of canned foods and pastas – the most durable foods you can preserve for years.

Almost abandoned Russian city - Sinegorye near Magadan Russia

Some sausages. The prices, Sergey says, are higher than in Moscow which itself is a very expensive Russian city. The logistics costs here are crazy.Almost abandoned Russian city - Sinegorye near Magadan Russia

However to a Western eye the prices are probably rather reasonable – Cola bottle is roughly $1.50, since in general food prices in Russia are much cheaper than abroad.

Almost abandoned Russian city - Sinegorye near Magadan Russia

Hope you liked the story and big thanks to Sergei! His website is below:

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11 thoughts on “Almost abandoned Russian city – Sinegorye near Magadan Russia”

  1. This is natural and not sad at all. All good things come to an end, even cities. Lots of Ghost towns in North America, totally abandoned. This is the way of life. Glad that atleast some folks are still living in this City, impressive to see grocery store and kids etc.,

  2. It’s true, the ‘broken window phenomenon’ ( http://www.sociologyindex.com/broken_window_theory.htm) seems to have played a large part in Detroit, but applies across any city.
    I’m impressed the food prices are so low, much lower than Canada, for example, given the remoteness of the region.
    I love the Adventures of Sergei- seems like quite a trip!

  3. See Gary Sellar’s comment above – this town was always going to be ‘abandoned’ when construction of the local hydroelectric power plant was complete. Also, things can’t be that terrible if they have fresh bananas and kiwis for sale (and in good condition, too)

  4. It is fair to say, that Magadan is a country of former GULAG forced labbour camp, where lots of russian peoples lost at least part of their lives. As these camps closed after fall of CCCP, also the supporting jobs dissapeared, so people left. The dam theory doesn´t give a sense – no one will build city like this just for temporary works on dam construction.

  5. This is misleading. The population decline had nothing to do with the collapse of the USSR, it was simply that the dam construction had finished and people moved away. There was no reason for people to remain here.

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