Mirny is a perfect example of human greed. People once decided that diamonds were beautiful, more beautiful than other stones. And they destroyed earth and polluted rivers and nature for the sake of diamonds.
Mirny town in Yakutia is considered a diamond capital of Russia. It stands on the very edge of a giant hole in the ground. When you get close, it takes your breath away – it is amazing what people are capable of!
The “Alrosa” company holds the lead here, half of all the population of Mirny, one way or another, works for “Alrosa”.
“Alrosa” is not only a mining company but is also an airline company that brings people from Moscow to Mirny.
Passengers of “Alrosa”.
6-pane windows are advertised in the airport – yes, it’s cold in the north of Russia.
“Stop! No entry!”
The kimberlite pipe “Mir” (“Peace”) was found in 1955. Until 2001 it had been an open pit mine, later they tunnelled under the ground, and in 2009 an underground mine “Mir” was opened.
On August 4th, 2017 an accident happened in the mine: it was flooded by the water from the bowl of a depleted pit. 151 people were in the mine at that moment, 142 were immediately evacuated, one saved the following day, 8 never found, they are presumed dead.
From that day the mine has not been used, and it won’t be until 2022 or later.
The further destiny of the pipe is unknown, but still it is one of the most incredible holes on the planet – 535 meters deep, 1,2 kilometer in diameter – it is visible from the space… but how could it be used? Any ideas? Amusement park? Giant bungee? Ski resort?
Mirny could be a cool tourist spot like Grand Canyon, why not?
Here is a concept of an eco-city under the dome in Mirny from one Moscow architect.
Mine turned into the closed system. But it’s hard to believe it can be more than a fantasy.
Besides, “Alrosa” still plans to resume mining here one day.
An excavator base used to serve as an observation deck but now it is not safe.
Dump trucks are probably coming from a neighboring mine.
21000 carats, 14 million dollars on the table!
Men are not the best workers…
Mirny town itself is not big, some dozens of panel houses. In 1955 they founded a settlement and years later it got a town status. The population quadrupled, streets grew chaotically without any plan. Most houses were built in the 1970-80s.
Leningrad avenue – the main street in Mirny.
New houses built by “Alrosa”. “Mirny is the capital of the diamond region”.
The bus stop – snow is not removed by the municipal services.
Where else did you see a hookah bar right at the bus stop?
Gas-powered buses are in priority now.
The building of the town administration still has a Soviet emblem.
“Zarnitsa” is the best hotel in Mirny, ordinary 3-star Soviet-like room costs 200 bucks per night.
The library building dated 1984 was renovated for the worse…
Simple evacuation map.
In winter the town is very clean.
Yuri Gagarin looks at you from the facade of the house.
Mirny can boast the smallest IKEA shop in the world!
Kindergarten built in 2015.
Stairs are always covered with Yakut carpets.
Many people wear fur boots.
Carpets on stairs again.. No matter what building it is – a hospital or a church…
In fact they protect people, as the tile floor is too slippery.
A huge ramp.
People make balconies warmer in different ways.
Mirny is one of few places in Russia that has a monument of J. Stalin.
Cool Soviet mosaic.
Such nostalgic refreshment rooms are rare now, most of them have already been renovated.
Mirny seems to have tourist potential but probably it won’t be used – at least in the near future. Alas.