Ice cold in old Yaks

Russia’s Sakha Republic is battered by some of the harshest weather on the planet, yet commercial aviation continues almost without disruption. Bernd Sturm puts on his big coat and heads east to find out how

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The author, braced for the extremes of the Siberian winter
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF BERND STURM

When temperatures fall well below freezing in Western Europe, many of our daily routines face restrictions and infringements. Governments issue warnings, while roads, railways and airports are often subject to disruptions, diversions or even complete shutdowns.

Russia’s Sakha Republic is a little different. It boasts the northern hemisphere’s coldest average temperatures, with the mercury often plunging below -35°C for months on end. While one might assume this would slow down life to a glacial drip, people living in such extreme conditions have adapted remarkably well and life continues as normal in spite of snow, ice and dangerously cold temperatures.

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