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Ust-Kamenogorsk (Oskemen)/Kazakhstan

Introducing Ust-Kamenogorsk (Oskemen)

Ust-Kamenogorsk (Kazakh: Öskemen), 800km north of Almaty, is a fairly lively city with generally low-key Soviet architecture, at the confluence of the Irtysh and Ulba Rivers. Founded as a Russian fort in 1720, Ust-Kamenogorsk has grown from a small town since the 1940s when Russians and Ukrainians began arriving to mine and process localcopper, lead, silver and zinc. These industries still keep the city out of the economic doldrums, but are bad news for air quality: Ust has a high rate of respiratory infection.