MIN +12
MAX +19
Mostly Cloudy / 02:36 AM / Traffic

Sakha Republic Mulls Gulag Camps for Tourism

Lawmakers in the far eastern Sakha Republic hope to leverage its history of forced labor to create the ultimate tourist attraction — gulag camps visits for tourists.

Last Friday Nadezhda Kladkina-Klysheyko, head of Topolinoye village, delivered a presentation on the historical heritage of the region's gulag camps at a meeting of the region's economic development officials, proposing to turn defunct labor camps into tourist attractions.

The head of the regional tourism department, Yekaterina Kormilitsyna, said that "today, the gulag has all the chances of becoming a hallmark tourist attraction, as well as an object of research and excursions."

Attendants at the meeting — which discussed the development of small businesses — recommended the creation of tourist attractions on the sites of the gulags next to two local rivers and at the Senduchenskiy camp 18 kilometers from the town of Topolinoye, as well as a "business incubator" in Khandyga.

GULAG, the official acronym for the organization that administered a network of harsh prison camps, worked with the Soviet security forces and Justice Ministry to send prisoners to remote Siberia from the early days of the Soviet Union until the early 1960s. At its peak the "archipelago," as it was called by prisoner and writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, consisted of hundreds of camps.

In 1993 a study of declassified archival material concluded that at least 1 million people died in the gulag camps, but other estimates suggest that the death toll could have reached 30 million people.

From the Web

Dear reader,

Due to the increasing number of users engaging in personal attacks, spam, trolling and abusive comments, we are no longer able to host our forum as a site for constructive and intelligent debate.

It is with regret, therefore, that we have found ourselves forced to suspend the commenting function on our articles.

The Moscow Times remains committed to the principle of public debate and hopes to welcome you to a new, constructive forum in the future.


The Moscow Times