‘The Kuzbass is now just one big hole’: Siberian coal town residents on their failed effort to come to Canada – by Chris Brown (CBC News World – June 15, 2021)


The view from the top of Alps Street, the high point in the Siberian city of Kiselyovsk, makes it seem like surrounding neighbourhoods are being swallowed up by a succession of giant black holes.

Nine open pit coal mines encircle this city of 90,000 people in Russia’s Kuzbass region, the epicentre of the country’s coal production, 3,700 kilometres east of the capital, Moscow.

Daily, bone-rattling explosions from the pits reverberate across the blackened landscape, shifting buildings off their foundations and leaving structures crumbling. The spontaneous combustion of coal byproducts dumped in areas adjacent to neighbourhoods engulf homes in noxious fumes.

And, depending on the wind, thick black dust can blanket cars and homes. “I just have to open the window, and there’s a layer of soot this thick,” said resident Natalia Kamarova, holding her fingers a centimetre apart.

“The children are breathing this. I don’t think these homes should be near the pits.” A crew from the CBC’s Moscow bureau visited the community on the eve of the summit between President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Joe Biden to survey the mood and priorities of Russians who live outside the big cities — and because Kiselyovsk has an unusual connection to Canada.

For the rest of this article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/russia-coal-pollution-kiselyovsk-1.6064679