Also by Harutyun Mansuryan
September 11, 2021
'People Warned Us': A Western Russian Town Still Lives With Chernobyl's Fallout
The impact of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 was felt not only in Soviet Ukraine, but also in parts of Belarus and western Russia. The town of Zlynka in Russia's Bryansk region is still living with the consequences, despite an official ruling that classifies the area as a "residential zone."
September 03, 2021
Once A 'Window To Europe,' A Russian Town Rich In History But Little Else
The centuries-old town of Sebezh sits near the borders of both Belarus and Latvia in Russia's western Pskov region. Residents are proud of their well-preserved old houses and rich history, but they've seen little development in a struggling town that was once called the "window to Europe."
August 19, 2021
The Antlers Of Altai: Siberia's Controversial Harvest
Russians living in Siberia’s Altai mountains make a living by cutting the antlers off Maral deers. The dried antlers are sold for more than $300 per kilogram to China and South Korea where people believe they help boost libido and longevity. But animal rights groups call the practice cruel.
August 14, 2021
'So Much Grief': Opening Ukraine's Soviet-Era KGB Archives
Since Ukraine opened its Soviet-era KGB archives in 2015, the public has been able to dig into the files and uncover many dark secrets of the past. But for some, the harsh revelations have been too much to handle as they learn that their relatives were secret police informants or agents.
August 01, 2021
This Remote Island Is Not Quite Ready To Be A 'Window To Asia'
Bolshoi Ussuriysky Island, an outpost on the Amur River in the Far East, was disputed by Russia and China for decades, but it has now been divided almost equally between the neighbors. The Chinese call it Heixiazi Island.
July 24, 2021
The Russian Village Of 'Muddy Continent' Sinks In A Quagmire Of Problems
In Russia's Komi region, the village of Mutny Materik -- or Muddy Continent -- stands in the swamps along the Pechora River, without paved roads or a sewer system. The town's name was recently recognized as the funniest in Russia, but locals find the conditions of life here are no laughing matter.
July 18, 2021
Kamchatka: Land Of Volcanoes, Bears, And Secret Military Bases
The Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's Far East is one of the world's wildest places, where researchers keep watch over active volcanoes and hunters come in search of big game. It's also home to a secretive military facility where ballistic missile tests disturb the pristine environment.
July 05, 2021
Ukraine's Garbage Becomes Hungary's Problem
The Tisza River, a major tributary of the Danube, flows from Ukraine into Hungary -- and brings with it thousands of tons of garbage each year. Hungary has urged Ukraine to deal with its trash before it becomes an international issue, but there's no easy solution in sight.
May 31, 2021
Dyatlov Pass: 1959 Deaths In Russia Still Spark Speculation -- And Tourism
The mysterious deaths of nine Soviet hikers in the Ural Mountains in 1959 has inspired many movies and documentaries. To this day, journalists and tourists come to Russia's Sverdlovsk region to follow the expedition's route and reach the infamous Dyatlov Pass.
May 15, 2021
Living On The Edge: Open-Pit Mines In Siberian City Spark Fear
In the Siberian city of Kiselyovsk, locals live within a stone's throw of gaping open-pit coal mines. The operations within the city limits are technically forbidden, but residents say clever legal language has allowed the mining companies to keep digging close to their homes.
April 29, 2021
The Meteorological Dynasty Monitoring Daghestan's Weather
Magomed Magomedov and his two sons, both named Magomed, work in 10-day shifts to monitor the weather at a meteorological station high in the mountains of Russia's southern Daghestan Republic. The site is cold, poorly supplied, and prone to avalanches.
April 24, 2021
Neutrino Hunters Use Lake Baikal's Depths In Search For Mysterious Particles
Far below the ice of Lake Baikal in Siberia lies a telescope used to search for neutrinos. These cosmic particles can pass through the Earth undetected, but in rare cases they emit radiation that can be measured in large bodies of water.
April 10, 2021
'Am I Really Still Alive?' A Hunter's Story Of Survival In Siberia
Sergei Sazanakov was hunting in Russia's Khakassia region when an accident left him trapped in the snow overnight. He lost his lower legs to frostbite, and later had to fight for his children in court after his wife left him. But Sazanakov has learned how to run his farm and care for his family.
March 25, 2021
Residents Of Crumbling Moscow Factory Dorms Fight Eviction
Thousands of Moscow factory workers have been forced out of company housing over the years as plants closed their dormitories or shut down altogether. But some families have stayed on despite barely livable conditions, and are fighting in court for their right to decent housing.
March 21, 2021
Dangerous Wealth: Russians Fear Contamination From Uranium Fields
Russia's remote Kurgan region, near Kazakhstan, is the location of about one-sixth of the country's uranium reserves. A subsidiary of the state nuclear agency is expanding its operations there. But for many local residents, the growth of the mines means not greater wealth, but greater dangers.
March 14, 2021
Ice For Sale: Siberian Tatars Carry On A Centuries-Old Tradition
In an ethnic Tatar village in Russia's Omsk region, drinking water comes from the ice of a local lake, which is cut in winter, carried, and stored for year-round use. It's a good business for those who do the hard work of collecting the ice.
February 21, 2021
A Growing Mountain Of Garbage Casts A Shadow On Russian Residents
Russians living near one of the country's largest landfills say they can barely breathe due to gas from the site, which has been growing without restriction for years. Locals hold frequent protests against unchecked dumping, but they say their complaints fall on deaf ears.