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A Russian ghost town has been photographed after people fled the freezing temperatures.

Owing to the many different nationalities that could be found in the coal-mining city of Vorkuta, it was once known as the “Capital of the World.”

Given its position 90 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the town attracted migrant workers from Asia and Eastern Europe due to its well-paying employment and benefits.

It is now known as one of the world’s fastest-dying cities.

People left in droves when work in the coal mine dried up, many taking advantage of a Russian government scheme to resettle people in the south.

Now the town and the smaller settlements that run around it resemble an abandoned tundra.

Snow has blasted its way into large blocks of flats, many of whom only have a few residents remaining in them, the lights from their windows small specks against the freezing dark of the night.

While summer migration brings some numbers back to Vorkuta for work, during the winter its -50C temperatures and status as the coldest settlement in Europe keep many away.

The name of the town in the language of the Nenets reindeer herders – the abundance of bears – may provide another reason why.

According to the last population census in 2010 around 70,000 people lived in the town – down 35,000 in 30 years.

At its peak in 1951, the nearby Vortulag labour camp held 73,000 prisoners.

As well as serving as a coal mining town, Vorkuta was established to serve the camp.

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Today it is mercifully empty.

Aerial photos of the town show abandoned vehicles covered in snow in parking lots.

The insides of some buildings have been completely taken over by the elements, with cascades of snow having burst into one room.

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