Is Yakutia the Coldest Region in Russia? The -60 Degree Weather Certainly Seems to Think So
This year, Central Russia did not wait for the traditional Epiphany frosts. For example, in Moscow, the temperature barely dropped to -10°C. However, the Russian winter still takes its toll and recoups in Siberia and the Far East. Is Yakutia the coldest region of Russia?
Dmitry Makarov with the details.
Right after starting the cold engine, this state-of-the-art Mi-171A2 gains altitude in a matter of minutes. Takeoff under such extreme conditions is part of the required testing program, which aircraft undergo in the frigid region of Yakutia.
Salavat Sadriyev, test pilot: "One of the main requirements of low-temperature certification testing is reaching the peak temperature at which the aircraft can function. It's -50°C this time".
The lower the temperature outside the harder it is for river transport workers. They are preparing to do some real navigating. The work lasts until late evening: the screws and bottom are cut out with a saw in order to repair them.
Ilya Vysokikh, ice cutter: "-40°C is great, it's not too cold and not too hot. The ice is thick and the saw works fine".
Winter is a hard time for drivers but their desire to ride is stronger. If there is no garage, they use portable ones consisting of special car blankets. They help preserve heat during long stops, assuming nobody steals them.
Ivan Prokopyev, driver: "The trick is to run over the front of the garage blanket. To keep it a bit more secure, I plan on putting something on the garage blanket's roof. I'll just screw it on tight".
The residents of the largest and coldest region aren't afraid of the cold. The Republic continues to live normally even when the temperature drops far below -40°C.
The cold weather is paradise for fish lovers. Freshly frozen products literally flood the local market. Coho, chum, and nelma are just a small part of the rich Yakut assortment. Due to shock freezing, the fish retains all of its best qualities, therefore, it is in high demand. Svetlana Belyaeva has been trading in winter for several years. She spends most of the time outside and considers it a huge advantage to do so.
Svetlana Belyaeva, shopkeeper: "We're working and earning money. We enjoy it. We've been working for several years. At least we don't get sick with the flu. We're getting fitter. We're not bothered by viruses. We're preserving our youth".
Yakut artists are also inspired by the winter landscapes. They've gathered in the open air to draw pictures at almost -50°C. Although many participants only managed to draw a sketch — they'll finish it at home.
Lyubov Zalina, artist: "Oil-based paint freezes at -50°C and turns into Play-Doh. It would be nice to have some kind of fire to warm it up to make it more elastic".
This person didn't give up and went all the way. The Japanese tourist dipped into a pond in Oymyakon, which is a recognized Pole of Cold in the Northern Hemisphere. It's -60°C outside. In a matter of two days, this video got two million views. It shows that the cold weather is becoming Yakutia's main tourist attraction. And now the republic is looking for a way to make this unique "natural resource" profitable.
Dmitry Makarov, Vladimir Suzdalov and Robert Nabiyev Vesti News of the Week, Yakutia.