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A woman rides on a public bus past a statue of Vladimir Lenin in Norilsk. The city is one of the coldest in the world with winter temperatures averaging -30C. Around 280 days of the year have freezing temperatures with snowstorms on an average of 130 days a year. <br />
The city of Norilsk, in the far north of Russia's Krasnoyarsk region, was founded in the 1920s and today has a population of just over 175,000. In its early years it served as the centre of Norillag (or the Norilsk Corrective Labour Camp) but was given town status in 1953 as the Gulag system was slowly winding down. Today the city is largely dependent on MMC Norilsk Nickel, the world's leading producer of Nickel and palladium and Norilsk's main employer. In 2001, the city was closed to all non-Russians, except for citizens of Belarus.