Gulags

From the 1930s – 1950s, uncounted millions of Russians were starved, frozen and worked to death in concentration camps known as gulags. This was part of an effort to eliminate “class enemies” and political opponents, but also to develop the vast wilderness of Siberia, the Arctic and the Far East. The most feared gulag camps of all were in Yakutia. People were forced to work outside, inadequately clothed, underfed and with impossible workloads in temperatures that reached the minus 60s and 70s Centigrade. One of the most horrendous stories of mass suffering that mankind has ever known was played out in these isolated mountains, taiga and tundra.

Watchtower at Kestyor gulag camp, Yakutia

Watchtower at Kestyor gulag camp, Yakutia


Unlike in Europe, Siberian gulag camps have not been turned into tourist attractions. Instead, they are hidden away in the mountains and forest, and often even locals do not know their location. Many, built mostly of wood, have not survived the test of time and decades of harsh Yakutian winters.

We run two trips that include visits to well-preserved Yakutian gulag camps:

1. Highlights of Arctic Yakutia

2. The Road of Bones