Russia: Zone of Absolute Discomfort by Justin Jin

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Nina Merzlikina, 75, and Sergei Kostenko, 45, with their packed possessions awaiting baliffs at their apartment in Vor Shor. Established beyond the Arctic Circle, where temperatures in winter drop to -50, most of its population left after the closure of its Soviet-era coal mine. Those who remain are being evicted by the regional authorities who want to save money by shutting off supplies of gas and electricity. Russia's far north is slowly declining. Every year thousands of people from its towns and cities flee south. The system of subsidies that propped up Siberia and the Arctic in Soviet times has crumbled. Now there is no advantage to living in the far north, salaries are no higher than in central Russia and prices for goods are higher. /Felix Features