How the greenest settlement on the tundra turned into a ghost town

  • Mar 03, 2021
How the greenest settlement on the tundra turned into a ghost town
How the greenest settlement on the tundra turned into a ghost town

The leadership of the Soviet Union was well aware that the path to a prosperous country lay through the development of the economy. At the time of the first half of the 20th century, this meant exactly one thing - the creation of a powerful industrial complex. For the same reason, numerous young cities began to grow in the vastness of the boundless fatherland. One of these was Inta, located in the Komi Republic. However, today there is almost nothing left of the glory of this settlement.

The greenest city. | Photo:
The greenest city. | Photo:

Intu is often called the greenest city in the Russian tundra. Once upon a time it was really so. The settlement was founded back in 1932, but settlement and construction began here only in 1940. A year later, the war began, and it was followed by an equally difficult post-war period. All this time, Inta did not develop very dynamically. The spike in construction and settlement only occurred in the early 1950s. As a result, at the time of 1959, 41,136 people lived in the village.

Built before the war. | Photo:

Looking at the map of Russia, many compatriots will have a natural question: why did it even take to build a city from scratch in the middle of nothing? The answer to this question is simple - subsoil treasures. Back in the 1920s, Soviet scientists found here rich deposits of thermal coal. The first enterprise to develop local deposits opened here before World War II, in 1940.

All production has virtually stopped. | Photo:

At the time of 1942, Inta had already been recognized as an urban-type settlement. However, it was mainly engaged in the construction of mines and infrastructure to prepare coal for transportation to the "mainland". Already in 1943, the first train with coal left Inta, which was sent to meet the needs of Leningrad besieged by the Nazis.

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The city is virtually extinct. | Photo:

After the war, the city flourished. Large-scale coal mining attracted more and more settlers here. In 1975, already 50 thousand people lived in Inta, and by 1989 the population of the city exceeded 60 thousand. All conditions for a comfortable life were created in the city, a developed infrastructure was created. Many people came to Inta to earn money, as well as to other similar settlements of the USSR.

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It was about coal. | Photo:

The situation changed in 1992. At first, coal production in Inta was significantly reduced, and soon it was completely closed. Today, not one of the six coal mines built during Soviet times operates in Inta. Despite the presence of natural valuable natural resources in the region, development is no longer underway. The city's infrastructure is gradually declining. Over the past 29 years, there has been a steady outflow of the population, both for natural reasons and as a result of mass labor migration. By 2001, 49 thousand people lived in Inta, by 2010 - 32 thousand people, in 2020 the population dropped to 24 thousand and continues to decline.

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