It used to be considered a hazard to visit the beach due to the plethora of sharp, jagged glass objects, but now it’s a big tourist attraction. Accordingly, its nickname is now “Glass Beach,” and people pay to come visit. It’s even been deemed a protected area.
Ussuri Bay is just one example of the effects of pollution during the Soviet era and luckily, it turned out quite nice! The former Soviet Union, however, has contributed to some pretty horrific pollution, Russia itself being one of the worst offenders.
In fact, two Russian cities have continuously been named as some of the most polluted cities in the world: Dzerzhinsk, a chemical-weapons production center, and Norilsk, a center for mining and metallurgy.
Fun (or just depressing?) fact: Dzerzhinsk was named the Guinness Book of World Records’ most polluted city in 2007.
Lake Karachay, in south-central Russia, has also suffered some devastating effects of pollution. During the Soviet era, the nearby city of Chelyabinsk dumped its radioactive waste into the lake. It’s now so radioactive that residents are urged not to walk along it for more than an hour at a time.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the Russian government is going to devote any resources anytime soon to climate change or cleaning up pollution -- leaders don’t currently believe that climate change is man-made. (Sounds familiar, doesn’t it...).