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Vorkuta ( , , Vörkuta; Nenets for Place teems with bears) is a coal mining town in the Komi Republicmarker, Russiamarker, situated just north of the Arctic circle in the Pechora coal basin at the Usa river. , its population was 84,917. It had its origin in one of the more notorious forced labour camps of the Gulag which was established in 1932. It was at Vorkuta, in 1937, that the Stalinist regime in the 1930s liquidated the Trotskyist Left Opposition.

In 1941 the town and the labor camp system based around it were connected to the rest of the world by a prisoner-built railroad linking Konoshamarker and Kotlasmarker, and the camps of Intamarker. Vorkuta became a city on 26 November 1943. It was the largest centre of Gulag camps in European Russia and served as administrative center for a large number of smaller camps and sub-camps, among them Kotlas, Pechoramarker, and Izhma (modern Sosnogorskmarker). In 1953, the town witnessed a major uprising by the camp inmates, the Vorkuta Uprising. Like other camp uprisings (such as the Kengir uprising), it was bloodily quelled by the Red Army and the NKVD. Afterwards, in the 1950s, many of the Gulag camps were disbanded. However, it is reported that some in the Vorkuta area continued to operate into the 1980s.
Mining College in Vorkuta
By the early part of the 21st century many of the mines have been closed as problems with high costs of operations have plagued the mine operators. At one time during the late 1980s and 1990s there were labor actions in the area by miners who had not been paid for a year.

The city is served by Vorkuta Airportmarker. During the Cold War an Arctic Control Group forward staging base for strategic bombers was located at Vorkuta Sovetskiymarker.


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Adapted from the article Vorkuta, from Wikinfo, licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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