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Aug/15

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Karabash – one of the most polluted towns in the world

Karabash is a small town with a population of about 12 thousand people located in the southern Urals, in the Chelyabinsk region, about 90 km from Chelyabinsk. This town is one of the largest copper smelting centers in Russia, known for its severe environmental situation.

Large quantities of pollutants, mainly gases, are generated during the production of copper from copper ore. All these gases were being released into the atmosphere without cleaning for decades.

Karabash, Chelyabinsk region, Russia, photo 1

As a result, the total weight of emissions reached the number of more than 14 million tons, which of course affected the state of the environment in the town and surrounding area. You can see the scale of pollution if you look at Karabash from space. Photos by: Konstantin Abrosimov.

Upon arrival in the town from the south you can see the so-called “Rusty Valley” and the drainage of chemical wastes called the Sak-Elga River.

Karabash, Chelyabinsk region, Russia, photo 2

Karabash, Chelyabinsk region, Russia, photo 3

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Karabash, Chelyabinsk region, Russia, photo 5

The Soviet Union is still here.

Karabash, Chelyabinsk region, Russia, photo 6

Chemical Street.

Karabash, Chelyabinsk region, Russia, photo 7

Zolotaya (Golden) Mountain that was once covered by forest.

Karabash, Chelyabinsk region, Russia, photo 8

Karabash, Chelyabinsk region, Russia, photo 9

Karabash, Chelyabinsk region, Russia, photo 10

Karabash, Chelyabinsk region, Russia, photo 11

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In the past, the living quarters were located right next to the plant administration. Today, it is a whole street of abandoned ruins.

Karabash, Chelyabinsk region, Russia, photo 14

Ash dump.

Karabash, Chelyabinsk region, Russia, photo 15

Karabash movie theater.

Karabash, Chelyabinsk region, Russia, photo 16

The source of pollution.

Karabash, Chelyabinsk region, Russia, photo 17

Karabash, Chelyabinsk region, Russia, photo 18

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Today, the main population of Karabash lives 2-3 km north of the plant.

Karabash, Chelyabinsk region, Russia, photo 22

The remains of the mine complex.

Karabash, Chelyabinsk region, Russia, photo 23

Karabash, Chelyabinsk region, Russia, photo 24

The sign on the hill: “Save and Protect.”

Karabash, Chelyabinsk region, Russia, photo 25

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