An ageing man stands in front of a pile of boxes in an apartment in Norilsk. He is being relocated to warmer parts of Russia as part of a relocation programme launched by the city of Norilsk. To relieve housing shortages and to the drain on municipal financial resources, people who are no longer working are moved back to warmer parts of the country.
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.