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Yakutsk: The Coldest City in the World

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Post by Dragon on Tue May 22, 2018 5:17 pm

There are plenty of regions in Russia that can claim to be very remote and very cold, but none as extreme as Yakutia. It’s an enormous region in north-eastern Russia with an area roughly the size of India but with a population smaller than that of the US state of Rhode Island. Yakutia is well known for its extreme and severe climate, boasting some of the lowest temperatures ever recorded in the Northern Hemisphere. Two of the coldest inhabited places in the world—Verkhoyansk and Oymyakon—lie in Yakutia.

Oymyakon is a 500-people settlement, while Verkhoyansk is a former camp for political prisoners. None of them is a fully functioning city. Yakutia’s capital—Yakutsk—on the other hand, is home to over 280,000 people making it the coldest major city in the world. The average winter temperature here is minus 40 degree Celsius. The soil is permanently frozen, so most buildings are built on raised stilts.

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Post by Dragon on Tue May 22, 2018 5:20 pm

Yakutsk: The Coldest City in the World Yakutsk-16?imgmax=1600
Photo credit: Slava Stepanov

Yakutsk is so remote it is six time zones away from Moscow, and two centuries ago, a journey between the two would have taken three months. Today, the city boasts of two airports with regular direct flights from major Russian cities, but flights often get delayed or cancelled because of fog. Most travellers find themselves stranded at Magadan, 2,000 km away via the notorious “Road of Bones”, the Kolyma Highway, built by Gulag inmates, many of whom died in the process.

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Post by Dragon on Tue May 22, 2018 5:25 pm



Walking in the center of Yakutsk City, Republic of Sakha-Yakutia, Siberia / Russia.

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Post by Dragon on Tue May 22, 2018 5:27 pm



Yakutsk is the capital city of the Sakha Republic, Russia, located about 450 kilometers (280 mi) south of the Arctic Circle. Population: 269,601.

Yakutsk is a major port on the Lena River. It is served by the Yakutsk Airport as well as the smaller Magan Airport. It is a major supplier of diamonds. Its average winter temperature is −34 °C (−30 °F), which makes Yakutsk the coldest major city in the world.

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