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Highest Average Salary in Russia Is in Gas-Rich Siberian Town

Apartment blocks in Nadym, the town with Russia's highest average salary.

The north Siberian town of Nadym, located near an abundant natural gas deposit, has Russia's highest average salary — 90,400 rubles ($1,700) a month — according to a study by the RBC news agency released Monday.

For comparison, the average monthly salary in the city of Moscow is about 61,200 rubles ($1,150), about twice the national average for Russian city-dwellers: 36,800 rubles, the report said.

But while Nadym may have the highest average salary in nominal terms, residents of the Baltic port city of Primorsk have the most buying power, taking into account local salaries versus the cost of living.

Following Primorsk on that scale is the Moscow region industrial city of Lobnya, according to the study of 1,128 Russian cities and towns, based on salary figures from 2012 to 2014.

The city with the lowest average wage is subarctic mining hub Verkhoyansk — one of the world's coldest cities — where residents make an average monthly salary of 21,000 rubles versus a cost of living of 13,500 rubles.

Verkhoyansk made headlines in winter 2011 when it came under attack by hundreds of wolves, prompting the regional government to announce a three-month battle against them.

Russia's other poorest localities include the town of Sursk in the Penza region, Demidov in the Smolensk region and Vorsma in the Nizhny Novgorod region.

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