Cat of the Gulag survivor Anna Vasilevna, Vorkuta, Russia

The Cat of Anna Vasilevna

Cat of the Gulag-survivor Anna Vasilevna

Vorkutlag operated in the arctic city of Vorkuta from the 1930s until the 1960s. The camp was eventually closed after Stalin’s death and prisoners were released. However, most of them couldn’t leave Vorkuta, either because they were not allowed or because they had no means to do it, as the town is situated literally in the middle on nowhere. Thousands on former prisoners built their “new” lives just few miles from the place they had been imprisoned for years, and many continued almost the same work they had done in the camp, mostly mining. One of them was Anna Vasilevna Krikun. She survived over ten years of harsh climate and forced labour, for example road building and mining, in the Gulag camp of Vorkuta. Anna Vasilevna is now 94 years old and has been living in Vorkuta ever since 1950s when she was set free. She has seen the dismantling of Gulag and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Anna Vasilevna doesn’t seem bitter, just a bit lonely with her shy cat at the half-abandoned microraion of Vargashor  in the middle on the tundra.


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