Produced by Harutyun Mansuryan
06 September 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."
20 August 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.
12 August 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.
26 July 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.
15 July 2021
Kamchatka: Mysterious 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.
02 July 2021
Ukraine's Garbage Becomes Hungary's Problem As It Flows Down The Tisza River
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.
31 May 2021
Dyatlov Pass Mystery: 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.
15 May 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.
22 April 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.
09 April 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.
25 March 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.
19 March 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.
14 March 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.
12 February 2021
The Tiny Russian Village That Lives In A Five-Story Building
Almost the entire population of the tiny village of Karmadon has lived for decades in a five-story building. After the Georgian-Ossetian conflict in the early 1990s, many of the villagers lost their jobs in the nearby sanatorium.
01 February 2021
Abandoned Homes, Crumbling Infrastructure In A Dying Russian Town
Syava was once a thriving town of 10,000 people some 730 kilometers east of Moscow. But it's dying. After the main factory went bankrupt, rail service stopped, the main hospital closed, and the streets are lined with abandoned houses.
14 January 2021
In Russia's Urals, Abandoned Industrial Towns Are Reclaimed By Forest
In Russia's Urals region, towns that once churned out industrial chemicals and coal are now largely abandoned. Verkhnyaya Gubakha was once a thriving city of more than 30,000, but the population has dwindled, and the landscape is returning to forested taiga.
25 December 2020
The Circum-Baikal Railway: A 'Golden' Treasure Of Russian Transport
The Circum-Baikal Railway was a feat of engineering when it was built during the reign of Russia's Tsar Nicholas II. Today, the route beside the world's deepest lake is used more for tourism than for transportation, but it still inspires visitors with its stunning views.