The Marble Gorge - documentation

In August 2016, we made another expedition to abandoned Gulag camps in Siberia. This time, we headed to the Kodar Mountains in the Chita Oblast, where Gulag prisoners mined uranium for the first Soviet atomic bombs. We documented three camps, which came under the administration of the Borsky corrective labour camp (Борский ИТЛ).

The Borsky corrective labour camp was established on 24 January 1949 and it was directly subordinate to the Main Camp Administration (GULAG) in Moscow. Its main purpose was to extract uranium ore, which at that time was a strategic raw material for the development of Soviet atomic weapons. When it was set up, the camp was located far beyond all the trappings of civilisation (the nearby Baikal-Amur Mainline was not completed until a later date) and almost 4,000 prisoners passed through it. It soon became apparent, however, that supplies of uranium were minimal compared to expectations and the camp was hastily closed on 3 October 1951. Thanks to the fact that it was quickly abandoned, as well as its distance from civilisation and the dry, icy climate high in the mountains, the remnants of the camp have been preserved in a relatively good condition to this day.

More information about the expedition you can find HERE.


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