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Vorkuta is a Russian city located in Bolshezemelskaya Tundra, in the zone of permafrost sections, 160 km beyond Arctic Circle, on River Vorkuta, 904 km to the northeast of Syktyvkar. It is a railway station.

Vorkuta became an urban settlement in 1940 and a town in 1943. Its area makes 24180 sq km.

History of Vorkuta

In the summer of 1930 geologists found five commercial seams of coal of very high quality at the distance of 77 km from the mouth of River Vorkuta. A special commission for planning of geological works around Ukhta and Vorkuta was created in 1931. A permanent coal geological base was founded in the area of the coal field in 1931. Development of the coal field in Vorkuta was carried out generally by forces of prisoners. The first group of prisoners was sent there in 1932. The camp settlement, where prisoners were settled, was named Rudnik (i.e. Mine). The self-standing Vorkuta camp of GULAG was established in 1936. The year 1953 saw the Vorkuta revolt, which was one of the largest ones in the USSR. After GULAG reorganization the Ministry of Internal Affairs institutions continued to work in Vorkuta. Besides, the city remained an exile place until the 1980s.

Vorkuta appeared in 1931 as a settlement in connection with the beginning of development of coal-fields on River Vorkuta (the right inflow of the Usa River). It was derived from the Nenets word vark meaning a bear; so Vorkuta is abounding with bears.

Tags: Vorkuta Komi Republic    



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