About these ads
Home > Abandoned - Explained, Creepy, Explained, Financial, Military & War, Mining, Russia > Abandoned coal mining town in Siberia: Kadykchan, Russia

Abandoned coal mining town in Siberia: Kadykchan, Russia

Deep in the Magadan region in remote Siberia, a coal mining town named Kadykchan was built by Gulag prisoners during World War II. At its peak, the town housed nearly 11,000 residents. By the early 1990s, the decreased demand for coal and the fall of the Soviet Union would see the town start to decrease in importance. A mine explosion in 1996 killed six people and prompted ownership to shut down the mines altogether.

Today, there are fewer than 200 people left in this remote town.  There are no services, winters are extremely harsh, and the only way into town requires traveling on a ghost highway.

*

Through most of the twentieth century, coal was a key energy source for the Russians. After a large deposit of coal was discovered in Far East Siberia, government authorities ordered Gulag workers to construct a town at the site of the discovery. But to get to the area Gulag workers were also required to build the Kolyma highway, a road so remote and hazardous in construction it was named the Road of Bones.

Kadykchan is completely isolated from both eastern and western Russia. The closest city center is a several-day drive, and for much of the year weather conditions make the highway impassible.

Working conditions were rough; shifts were twelve hours, seven days a week – and there were no holidays. Winters last ten months and there was little to do in town with nothing to do outside it.

By the late 1980s a lowered demand for coal and a depletion of the mines resulted in lowered output from Kadykchan. As the mines dried up and coal prices came down, workers were laid off and quickly left town.

By 1989, the population had dropped to just under 5,800 people. By the time the mine explosion occurred in 1996, the town’s population was less than half that. Most residents were eager to leave quickly and many did so, electing to leave many possessions behind on the way out.

(Click thumbnails to enlarge)

Due to poor record keeping during Cold War-era Soviet Russia, there is little we know about this town outside of recollections from past residents. Even though there is no longer power or running water, about 200 people stayed behind and still live there to this day.

However for most, the lives lost and poor conditions were reason enough to leave and never return.

*

Kadykchan in its heyday:

Kadykchan in satellite view and map: click here

**

About these ads
  1. July 15, 2013 at 00:04

    Reblogged this on Life in Russia and commented:
    It’s amazing just how many cities have been abandoned in Russia. Here’s another one for exploration.

  2. Pavel Gromenuch
    August 31, 2013 at 08:24

    Thanks for sharing this story! It’s really amazing to see how the mining industry has changed in Russia. For example, UMMC has really contributed to every aspect of life in Yekaterinburg.

  3. Randy Lex
    December 26, 2013 at 22:54

    Ya sounds like Siberia is the last wild place on earth I long to go there Randy

  1. October 6, 2013 at 23:36

Join the discussion!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,447 other followers

%d bloggers like this: