Land of gold and land of death
The 2000 km-long M56 Kolyma Highway in the far east of Russia is known as the Road of Bones because the thousands of gulag prisoners who died building it lie just beneath its surface from Magadan to industrial Yakutsk, in one of the most extreme landscapes on earth. It was here in the 1930s and 1950s that hundreds of thousands of prisoners worked under inhuman conditions for the “welfare” of the Motherland.
A few witnesses of those times still alive. Kolyma’s most pressing issue these days is desolation. Loneliness, ruins, abandoned villages, mining ghost-towns
Kolyma still has island status; to its inhabitants the rest of the country is “the mainland”.
Magadan’s region is the main supplier of gold in Russia for many years.