A mosque is visible in front of an apartment block in Norilsk. It provides a place of prayer for immigrants from Azerbaijan, other Muslim republics in the Caucasus, the republic of Bashkortostan in Russia and other Central Asian countries. Norilsk officially has a 1% rate of unemployment and people move from far away to take advantage of the jobs offered by the mining industry.
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.