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16 Aug, 2007 02:06

Krasnoyarsk region: the charm of extremes

Siberia's Krasnoyarsk region is the gateway to the taiga forest, which is one of the most unspoilt and unpolluted landscapes on the planet. It may have one of the harshest climates on Earth, but small communities have chosen to make it their home.

Krasnoyarsk has almost everything you might want in a modern city: reliable transport, plenty of places to eat and comfortable hotels. But it takes further a 1000 kilometres to get to the taiga. One of the ways to do that is to travel by the Yenisei river, which is the fifth longest in Russia.

The journey to a village on the edge of taiga in Turukhansky region takes about 13 hours. Around 200 people live in this community braving temperatures of -50C in the long winters and enjoying the summer while it lasts.

Work can disappear with the seasons and salaries are low. Nevertheless, people here have something more important than money as the village chief Andrey Bekk says.

“Some come here for hunting, some come for fishing.  This is a quiet place, far from the big city bustle. The countryside is so much better than being crammed in apartments in a big city. People are not tense here, everybody is relaxed. That's why people like it,” Andrey believes.

Most of the region's men work in the forestry industry, and hundreds of tonnes of timber are transported to neighbouring cities every single week.

Vladimir Kislitsyn has lived and raised his family here for more than 25 years.  Even with the severe climate he says he's never short of something to do.

“In spring and summer we take care of the gardens.  I work in Krasnoyarsk in the winter but in autumn I go hunting on the other side of the Yenisei river,” he explains.