Forgotten world (68): Siberia

Of course, Russia is always in the news, but usually we hear only of events in the most western part of this huge country. Siberia – about which we hear nothing – actually makes up about 56% of Russia’s territory making it similar in size to Canada or the United States or China.
Siberia’s population of around 25M resides mainly along the Trans-Siberian Railway and in the south and amounts to 15% of the whole Russian population. However, the economic chaos of the post-communist period has seen gross domestic product in the region fall by a half.
It is the most northern, the coldest and the least populated part of Siberia that has immense natural riches. The region contains ores of almost all economically valuable metals with some of the world’s largest deposits of nickel, gold, lead, molybdenum, diamonds, silver and zinc, as well as extensive unexploited resources of oil and natural gas.

One Comment

  • Janet

    Siberia suffered from the fall of communism differently from most of the Soviet Union. The demise of the gulags resulted in thousands of ex prisoners being released far from home and with no provision to help re-unite them with their families. Similarly many prison guards found themselves suddenly unemployed in a place where they were not exactly popular and with little other work available. Chita was particularly badly affected, and the churches found themselves inundated with people demanding answers to the meaning of life, when the foundations of their existance were taken from under them.