In the second half of the last century, Min Kush was a strategic and closed city, where uranium was mined for the USSR’s nuclear program. The goods were supplied from Moscow, so local residents had access to food that was not available even to military officers. In the 70s, uranium mining was stopped, and the factory was redesigned to produce felt pens. In Soviet times, about 20,000 people lived there, now about 3,000. With the collapse of the union, production was closed and there was a massive outflow of residents. Houses and apartments were simply abandoned, sometimes without boarding up the windows. This place is forever engraved in my memory as the most amazing drunkenness in Kyrgyzstan, which we wrote about in the National Geographic Traveller competition, and got the second place.

The town that time forgot

Min Kush, in central Kyrgyzstan, is a town full of abandoned places. Once a crown jewel of the Soviet Union’s nuclear programme, thanks to its uranium deposits, today it’s a crumbling ruin. Our digital postcards capture a couple of winter days spent in this melancholy town.

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