September 29, 1996 |
First came the power station and the chemical plant. Then they built the prefabs and filled them with young workers from across the Soviet Union. The planners even left some green space in this model city of the Khrushchev era. Next came the children, bored by it all, and the drugs they injected for escape. By the early 1990s, bloody syringes and hypodermic needles littered the playgrounds, courtyards and elevators of the look-alike apartment blocks.