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‘It’s hard to talk’: World’s coldest city powers through cold snap

Jan 16, 2023


The Siberian town of Yakutsk, Russia – known as the coldest city in the world – is currently suffering an abnormally long cold snap. Temperatures have plummeted to -58 degrees F in recent days. Last week, temperatures were forecasted to be a low as -85.

“It feels like this is the coldest winter. Another problem I’ve got is that my footwear isn’t warm,” student Sargylana Pavlova told Euronews. “It’s very warm inside buildings, it’s very cold outside. I don’t know where to find some balance.”

Yakutsk is located 3,100 miles east of Moscow on the permafrost of the Russian Far East. January is typically the coldest month of the year, with residents regularly seeing temperatures below -40.

“To be honest, we’re used to cold snaps. [Minus] 50 or 60, there’s no huge difference for us. We dress like this in the winter, we’re prepared,” a Yakutsk resident who spoke to Reuters said. “Some people protect their homes from cold. I don’t do anything, whatever happens, happens, that’s it.”

While some in the coldest city are used to the cold snaps, others believe “you can’t fight it.” Anastasia Gruzdeva, who was wearing two scarves, two pairs of gloves, and multiple hats and hoods when speaking with Reuters, added “you either adjust and dress accordingly or you suffer.”

For others, like fish seller Marina Levina, even being prepared for the cold can still get in the way of the daily routine.

“It’s hard to talk, to breathe, to move because we wear a hundred layers,” Levina told Euronews. “Working is very hard, of course. But we need to sell our product, so we’re here.”

CNN contributed to this report.

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