People living in the Siberian town of Kiselyovsk are seeking refuge in Canada based on an environmental emergency, according to Vice.  


See, Kiselyovsk is a small town infamous for its black snow. It is located on top of an open-pit coal mine and at least 80% of the 90,000 residents of the town live near these mines.


Which is why pretty much almost everything is covered in soot; the plants, their homes, their water and food. The situation is so dire that it is the only place in the world with black, coal-saturated snow.

The Sun

The residents meanwhile are saying that they have had enough and the town had become inhabitable, which is why they’re seeking asylum as environmental refugees


In one of the YouTube videos the people of the town released, they said: 

In this moment in Russia, there is a region where a terrible ecological situation has developed. Open-pit coal mining led to this ecological catastrophe when the whole world talked about our black snow… We were gasping in the city from coal, exhausting our children almost all winter.

The UN however only defines ‘refugee’  as someone who crosses an international border for ‘a well-founded fear of being persecuted because of his or her race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion’.

Science Alert

What will happen to these people, we cannot say. All we can do is hope that they find a way out of the post-apocalyptic looking world.