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Pevek: Life in Russia’s northernmost city

Pevek is Russia's northernmost city, where life is shaped by the harsh climate. Pevek is closer to Alaska than Moscow. The closest tree is hundreds of kilometres to the south. While it’s not even an island, Pevek’s residents refer to the rest of Russia as the ‘mainland’.

Pevek’s main ‘attraction’ is the local wind, called Yuzhak. Wind gusts here are so strong they knock people off their feet. There are plenty of videos showing people falling and crawling because they can’t stand up.

Grocery prices are several times higher than in the rest of the country. That’s because everything is delivered by air or sea. When the weather is bad, deliveries are delayed. The remoteness also affects internet speeds. It takes forever to watch a video on YouTube, Netflix, or TikTok.

Around 5,000 people live in Pevek. Why do they stay? ‘Nobody knows… Everyone wants to move to the mainland, but then they come back,’ a local resident told RT correspondent Konstantin Rozhkov.

Pevek almost became a ghost town after the Soviet Union collapsed. However, locals feel things are looking up for Pevek now, as it has become the first city in the world to be powered by a floating nuclear power plant and lies along the Northern Sea Route, which is a shipping lane running from the Bering Strait to the Barents Sea.

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