Image of Norilsk Sometimes the temperature falls to -50 degrees. And then there is the wind. When the wind starts blowing everything just disappears, your face and eyes are covered in ice.

In this environment prisoners worked with just picks and spades. Boots were in short supply. Food was scarse and the prisoners had no warm clothing.
Now, it is silent on the hills, but in 1937 hundreds of prisoners worked in these conditions in Norilsk

Vjatcheslav Blochin

Place An Alternate Description Here!d I have spent the last 35 years of my life living and working in Norilsk. In my spare time I have researched about the Gulags in the Norilsk region and the prisoners who worked and died there. Step by step I have collected information about where the barracks had been located and the facts about the prisoners life.

This was not just an historical exercise for me but came from a deeper attempt to try and understand the pain, suffering and even courage that the prisoners showed.

The Map

Norilsk Map! The map you see here is actually 1,5 by 2 metres. I took as a starting point the general map of the modern Norilsk region.

I have tried then, to the best of my knowledge and ability, add rivers, lakes and the railways. Then, on top of where today are houses and factories I have added the rectangular Gulag barracks

As you can understand this is a work that is always in progress. There are still too many things that I don't understand. But, I hope that one day I will have it finished which will be my contribution to the memory of the Gulag prisoners.


I would like to come into contact with anybody who knows or is just interested about the Gulags or the prisoners in Norilsk. In particular I am interested in coming into contact with prisoners who are still living or maybe you know such a person or maybe you are a relative of a prisoner.

Take contact with me at the following mail address in English or Russian.


In the last few years there has been an increasing interest for Gulags in Norilsk. I have published a number or articles in various Russian newspapers and magazines. I have also been interviewed by France TV5 for a programme about the Russian Gulags.

All of this has meant that I have been able to come into contact with many more people who have information to share.

Facts about Norilsk

Founded in 1935 (2004 pop. 133,000), Krasnoyarsk Territory, N Siberian Russia.

The northernmost major city of Russia and the world's second largest city (after Murmansk) above the Arctic Circle, Norilsk is the centre of a region where nickel, copper, cobalt, platinum, and coal are mined.

Average climate figures

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