Pevek City

The expedition of the GULAG History Museum to Chukotka in August 2015.

Pevek is a city in the Far East of Russia, the administrative center of Chaun District of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug. The development of this territory started in the 1930s. The Chukotka National District was established on 10 December 1930 according to the resolution of the Soviet government.

In 1933, the Pevek settlement was founded at the eastern shore of the Chaun Inlet of the East Siberian Sea. It turned into the main harbor of the region. In 1937, the largest tin deposit in the USSR called the Pyrkakay Stockworks (the Krasnoarmeysky Ore Mine) was found 85 kilometers east of Pevek.

In the second half of the 1940s, Dalstroy began developing Chukotka where 3 separate corrective-labour camps were founded later. These three camps (Chaunsky Camp, Chukotsky Camp, and Chaun-Chukotsky Camp) were a part of the USVITL (Administration of the North-Eastern Corrective-Labor Camps).

The administrations of two Chukotka Camps (the Chaunsky Camp and the Chaun-Chukotsky Camp) were located in Pevek. Prisoners of the Chaunsky Camp mined uranium 60 km east from the city, while prisoners of the Chaun-Chukotsky Camp were engaged not only in mining but also in urban development in Pevek (constructing schools, boarding schools, motor vehicle service stations, and a power station).

Due to the secrecy of the GULAG’s activity in this region, Pevek appeared on maps of this region only after disbanding the camp system in Chukotka in the 1950s.

In 1967, Pevek was granted the status of a city. The thermal power station in Pevek built by prisoners has remained the city’s important and prominent symbol

This video was filmed during the expedition of the GULAG History Museum to Chukotka in August 2015 guided by the head of Museum Roman Romanov. The expedition started in Pevek and led to the uranium camps of Chaunlag – Vostochny and Severny. During the expedition, a large number of exhibits have been collected. In addition, the staff of the expedition conducted aerial mapping, created 3D panorama, took photos, and shot videos of preserved buildings and the adjacent territory.