When it snows outside you expect to be able to look outside to blankets of the white stuff. Not so much for residents in Siberia who werecliving through a dark, industrial nightmare in Russia’s coal basin.
Three separate cities within the coal-mining region of Kemerovo in southwest Siberia have been blanketed in a thick, black deluge of toxic snow, polluted by ever-present coal dust that pervades the atmosphere – and now the surface, too.
The co-chair of Russian environmental advocacy group Ecodefense, Vladimir Slivyak told the Guardian:
In images uploaded to social networks, the scenes were described as “post-apocalyptic” by Russian media.
The Kuznetsk Basin, covering an area of approximately 70,000 square kilometres (27,000 square miles), is one of the largest coal mining areas in the world, responsible for about 60 percent of Russia’s total coal production, much of which is exported.
But for local cities living in the dusty shadow of open-pit mines, preparation plants, and coal stockpiles, there’s a huge environmental price to be paid for the proximity.
The fact is, these post-apocalyptic scenes are all human-made. The open pit mines of the region are already ruining lives in the area and something must be done about it.
Mysky town officials were ridiculed for painting black snow white in an attempt to cover up the disaster.
One angry resident said, and rightfully so: