Vorkuta

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Vorkuta

Воркута
Other transcription(s)
 • KomiВӧркута
Central Vorkuta
Central Vorkuta
Flag of Vorkuta
Flag
Coat of arms of Vorkuta
Coat of arms
Location of Vorkuta
Vorkuta is located in Komi Republic
Vorkuta
Vorkuta
Location of Vorkuta
Vorkuta is located in European Russia
Vorkuta
Vorkuta
Vorkuta (European Russia)
Vorkuta is located in Arctic
Vorkuta
Vorkuta
Vorkuta (Arctic)
Coordinates: 67°30′N 64°02′E / 67.500°N 64.033°E / 67.500; 64.033Coordinates: 67°30′N 64°02′E / 67.500°N 64.033°E / 67.500; 64.033
CountryRussia
Federal subjectKomi Republic[1]
FoundedJanuary 4, 1936[2]
Town status sinceNovember 26, 1943[2]
Government
 • Administration Manager[3]Igor Gurlev[3]
Elevation
180 m (590 ft)
Population
 • Total70,548
 • Estimate 
(2018)[5]
56,088 (−20.5%)
 • Rank224th in 2010
 • Subordinated totown of republic significance of Vorkuta[1]
 • Capital oftown of republic significance of Vorkuta[1]
 • Urban okrugVorkuta Urban Okrug[6]
 • Capital ofVorkuta Urban Okrug[6]
Time zoneUTC+3 (MSK Edit this on Wikidata[7])
Postal code(s)[8]
169900
Dialing code(s)+7 82151
OKTMO ID87710000001
Websitexn--80adypkng.xn--p1ai/english/

Vorkuta (Russian: Воркута́; Komi: Вӧркута, Vörkuta; Nenets for "the abundance of bears", "bear corner")[9] is a coal-mining town in the Komi Republic, Russia, situated just north of the Arctic Circle in the Pechora coal basin at the river Vorkuta. Population: 70,548 (2010 Census);[4] 84,917 (2002 Census);[10] 115,646 (1989 Census).[11]

Vorkuta is the fourth largest city north of the Arctic Circle and the easternmost town in Europe. It is also the coldest city in all of Europe, boasting a record cold temperature of −52 °C (−61 °F).

A December 2019 report stated that after the fall of the Soviet Union, mines were privatized and many people began moving further south. It quoted a resident as stating the area is "rapidly dying".[12] Many of the mines had been abandoned and by September 2020, the estimated population was only about 50,000.[13] A report in March 2021 described the villages in the area as "ghost towns" with many "abandoned structures".[14]

History[edit]

In 1930 the geologist Georgy Chernov (1906-2009) discovered substantial coal fields by the river Vorkuta. Georgy Chernov's father, the geologist Alexander Chernov [ru] (1877-1963), promoted the development of the Pechora coal basin, which included the Vorkuta fields.[15][16] With this discovery the coal-mining industry started in the Komi ASSR. (At the time only the southern parts of the field were included in the Komi ASSR. The northern part, including Vorkuta, belonged to the Nenets Autonomous Okrug of Arkhangelsk Oblast.) In 1931 a geologist settlement was established by the coal field, with most of the workers being inmates of the Ukhta-Pechora Camp of the GULAG (Ухтпечлаг, Ukhtpechlag).[15][17]

Forced labour camp[edit]

The origins of the town of Vorkuta are associated with Vorkutlag, one of the most notorious forced-labour camps of the Gulag. Vorkutlag was established in 1932 with the start of mining. It was the largest of the Gulag camps in European Russia and served as the administrative centre for a large number of smaller camps and subcamps, among them Kotlas, Pechora, and Izhma (modern Sosnogorsk). The Vorkuta uprising, a major rebellion by the camp inmates, occurred in 1953.

In 1941 Vorkuta and the labour camp system based around it were connected to the rest of the world by a prisoner-built rail line linking Konosha, Kotlas, and the camps of Inta. Town status was granted to Vorkuta on November 26, 1943.[15]

Administrative and municipal status[edit]

Within the framework of administrative divisions, it is, together with eight urban-type settlements (Komsomolsky, Mulda, Oktyabrsky, Promyshlenny, Severny, Vorgashor, Yeletsky, and Zapolyarny) and seven rural localities, incorporated as the town of republic significance of Vorkuta—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts.[1] As a municipal division, the town of republic significance of Vorkuta is incorporated as Vorkuta Urban Okrug.[6]

Economy[edit]

By the early 21st century many mines had closed as problems with the high costs of operation plagued the mine operators. At one time during the late 1980s and 1990s there were labor actions in the area by miners who had not been paid for a year.[18][19]

In 2021, National Geographic described the area as a ghost town.[20]

Transport[edit]

The town is served by Vorkuta Airport. During the Cold War, an Arctic Control Group forward staging base for strategic bombers was located at Vorkuta Sovetsky.[21]

Climate[edit]

Mining College in Vorkuta

Vorkuta has a subarctic climate (Köppen Dfc) with short cool summers and very cold and snowy winters. The average February temperature is about −20 °C (−4 °F), and in July it is about +13 °C (55 °F). Vorkuta's climate is influenced both by its distance from the North Atlantic and the proximity to the Arctic Ocean, bringing cold air in spring. This extends winters well into May and hinders the characteristic interior Russian summer warmth from reaching the city but for rare instances. In spite of this, Vorkuta has less severe winters than areas a lot further south in Siberia courtesy of the minor maritime moderation that reaches it. This also means that temperatures below −50 °C (−58 °F) have never been recorded in any winter month but December. With winters being humid, snowfall is a lot more common than in areas further east and a sizeable snow pack is built up each year. Due to the moderately warm summers, Vorkuta lies below the Arctic tree line.

The polar day in Vorkuta lasts from 30 May to 14 July, the polar night lasts from 17 December to 27 December.

Climate data for Vorkuta
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 1.1
(34.0)
1.2
(34.2)
5.3
(41.5)
12.0
(53.6)
26.5
(79.7)
31.0
(87.8)
33.8
(92.8)
30.0
(86.0)
24.2
(75.6)
15.6
(60.1)
4.8
(40.6)
3.5
(38.3)
33.8
(92.8)
Average high °C (°F) −15.6
(3.9)
−16.1
(3.0)
−9.7
(14.5)
−5.5
(22.1)
1.7
(35.1)
12.6
(54.7)
18.6
(65.5)
14.2
(57.6)
7.9
(46.2)
−0.8
(30.6)
−9.9
(14.2)
−13.9
(7.0)
−1.4
(29.5)
Daily mean °C (°F) −19.5
(−3.1)
−20.0
(−4.0)
−13.9
(7.0)
−10.0
(14.0)
−1.9
(28.6)
7.6
(45.7)
13.2
(55.8)
9.7
(49.5)
4.3
(39.7)
−3.4
(25.9)
−13.3
(8.1)
−17.6
(0.3)
−5.4
(22.3)
Average low °C (°F) −23.5
(−10.3)
−23.9
(−11.0)
−18.1
(−0.6)
−14.3
(6.3)
−5.2
(22.6)
3.3
(37.9)
8.2
(46.8)
5.8
(42.4)
1.2
(34.2)
−6.1
(21.0)
−16.8
(1.8)
−21.6
(−6.9)
−9.3
(15.3)
Record low °C (°F) −48.0
(−54.4)
−49.4
(−56.9)
−43.1
(−45.6)
−38.5
(−37.3)
−25.3
(−13.5)
−8.4
(16.9)
−1.0
(30.2)
−4.0
(24.8)
−10.5
(13.1)
−29.0
(−20.2)
−45.1
(−49.2)
−52.0
(−61.6)
−52.0
(−61.6)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 36
(1.4)
34
(1.3)
33
(1.3)
27
(1.1)
35
(1.4)
52
(2.0)
55
(2.2)
63
(2.5)
57
(2.2)
57
(2.2)
40
(1.6)
42
(1.7)
531
(20.9)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 47
(19)
66
(26)
81
(32)
84
(33)
53
(21)
4
(1.6)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
6
(2.4)
17
(6.7)
30
(12)
388
(153.7)
Average rainy days 1 0 1 3 9 16 19 22 19 10 2 1 103
Average snowy days 25 21 23 19 16 4 0 0 4 18 24 26 180
Average relative humidity (%) 81 80 81 79 79 72 74 82 85 88 84 82 81
Source: Pogoda.ru.net[22]

Vorkuta and the crumbling permafrost[edit]

Vorkuta lies on the edge of the continuous permafrost boundary in Russia, and scientists predict that continued warming could advance the border of continuous permafrost hundreds of miles northward, weakening the earth beneath the vast infrastructure built during the days of the Soviet Union's industrialization of the Arctic.[23]

Vorkuta in 2012

Notable people[edit]

Miscellaneous[edit]

One of the largest coal mine disasters in Russia occurred at Vorkuta coal mine on 28 February 2016, when leaking methane gas ignited and killed 32 people, including 26 trapped miners who had been stranded by a similar explosion 3 days prior that had killed four miners.[24]

The Vorkutlag was the location of the mission "Vorkuta" in Call of Duty: Black Ops in which the main character Alex Mason escaped a prison camp with the assistance of Viktor Reznov.

Vorkuta is a city in the DayZ add-on map, "Namalsk".

Vorkuta has a location on the Russia map of Unturned named after it, a railway car storage named "Vorkuta Junction".

Vorkuta and the prison are the setting of Heather Morris' historical fiction novel Cilka's Journey.

In 2021, Moscow-based photographer Maria Passer photographed abandoned scenes in Vorkuta as part of a photography project that also included the villages of Cementozavodsky and Severny.[25]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Law #16-RZ
  2. ^ a b Информационный портал администрации Воркуты - История Воркуты 1930-1945 годы (in Russian). Archived from the original on October 8, 2011. Retrieved March 14, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Глава городского округа (in Russian). May 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Russian Federal State Statistics Service (2011). Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года. Том 1 [2010 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года [2010 All-Russia Population Census] (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service.
  5. ^ "26. Численность постоянного населения Российской Федерации по муниципальным образованиям на 1 января 2018 года". Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Law #11-RZ
  7. ^ "Об исчислении времени". Официальный интернет-портал правовой информации (in Russian). June 3, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  8. ^ Почта России. Информационно-вычислительный центр ОАСУ РПО. (Russian Post). Поиск объектов почтовой связи (Postal Objects Search) (in Russian)
  9. ^ "About city". Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  10. ^ Russian Federal State Statistics Service (May 21, 2004). Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек [Population of Russia, Its Federal Districts, Federal Subjects, Districts, Urban Localities, Rural Localities—Administrative Centers, and Rural Localities with Population of Over 3,000] (XLS). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года [All-Russia Population Census of 2002] (in Russian).
  11. ^ Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 г. Численность наличного населения союзных и автономных республик, автономных областей и округов, краёв, областей, районов, городских поселений и сёл-райцентров [All Union Population Census of 1989: Present Population of Union and Autonomous Republics, Autonomous Oblasts and Okrugs, Krais, Oblasts, Districts, Urban Settlements, and Villages Serving as District Administrative Centers]. Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года [All-Union Population Census of 1989] (in Russian). Институт демографии Национального исследовательского университета: Высшая школа экономики [Institute of Demography at the National Research University: Higher School of Economics]. 1989 – via Demoscope Weekly.
  12. ^ "Above the Arctic Circle, a once-flourishing Russian coal-mining town is in rapid decline". Washington Post. December 20, 2020. Retrieved March 10, 2021. Many people left their houses and moved from Vorkuta to more southern cities of Russia
  13. ^ "Vorkuta - Russia's Dying City Above the Arctic Circle". Dark Tourist. September 22, 2020. Retrieved March 10, 2021. abandoned ghost towns towns that surround the coal-mining center of Vorkuta
  14. ^ "Inside Russia's deep frozen ghost towns". CNN. March 5, 2021. Retrieved March 10, 2021. abandoned ghost towns towns that surround the coal-mining center of Vorkuta
  15. ^ a b c "История Воркуты"(in Russian)(retrieved August 3, 2004)
  16. ^ "История Воркуты"(in Russian)(retrieved August 3, 2004)
  17. ^ "Историческая справка. МО ГО "Воркута""(in Russian) (retrieved August 3, 2004)
  18. ^ "Vorkuta Miners Hold Authorities Prisoners". Russia Today. www.aha.ru. Retrieved July 18, 2008.
  19. ^ Keller, Bill (August 27, 1990). "At Gulag Cemetery, a Struggle Against Forgetting". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
  20. ^ In Russia’s far north, legends and lives are frozen in time
  21. ^ "Vorkuta". www.globalsecurity.org. Retrieved July 18, 2008.
  22. ^ "Pogoda.ru.net" (in Russian). Retrieved February 16, 2012.
  23. ^ Myers, S.L. (October 20, 2005). "Old Ways of Life Are Fading as the Arctic Thaws". The New York Times. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  24. ^ "Russian Coal Mine Accident in Vorkuta Kills 36, Including 5 Rescuers". Associated Press. February 28, 2016. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  25. ^ Street, Francesca (March 5, 2021). "Inside Russia's deep frozen ghost towns". CNN. Archived from the original on March 5, 2021. Retrieved March 5, 2021.

Sources[edit]

  • Государственный Совет Республики Коми. Закон №13-РЗ от 6 марта 2006 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Республики Коми», в ред. Закона №171-РЗ от 26 декабря 2014 г. «Об упразднении населённого пункта Верхняя Седка, расположенного на территории Прилузского района Республики Коми, и внесении в связи с этим изменений в некоторые Законы Республики Коми». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Республика", №44, 16 марта 2006 г. (State Council of the Komi Republic. Law #16-RZ of March 6, 2006 On the Administrative-Territorial Structure of the Komi Republic, as amended by the Law #171-RZ of December 26, 2014 On Abolishing the Inhabited Locality of Verkhnyaya Sedka Located on the Territory of Priluzsky District of the Komi Republic, and on Amending Various Laws of the Komi Republic Accordingly. Effective as of the official publication date.).
  • Государственный Совет Республики Коми. Закон №11-РЗ от 5 марта 2005 г. «О территориальной организации местного самоуправления в Республике Коми», в ред. Закона №171-РЗ от 26 декабря 2014 г. «Об упразднении населённого пункта Верхняя Седка, расположенного на территории Прилузского района Республики Коми, и внесении в связи с этим изменений в некоторые Законы Республики Коми». Вступил в силу 1 апреля 2005 г.. Опубликован: "Республика", №44–45, 17 марта 2005 г. (State Council of the Komi Republic. Law #11-RZ of March 5, 2005 On the Territorial Organization of the Local Self-Government in the Komi Republic, as amended by the Law #171-RZ of December 26, 2014 On Abolishing the Inhabited Locality of Verkhnyaya Sedka Located on the Territory of Priluzsky District of the Komi Republic, and on Amending Various Laws of the Komi Republic Accordingly. Effective as of April 1, 2005.).
  • Adapted from the article Vorkuta, from Wikinfo, licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

External links[edit]