Magnitogorsk is an industrial city in Russia, that was founded in 1929 and is located on the eastern side of the southern extent of the Ural Mountains. It was named after the Magnitnaya Mountain, which consisted almost completely of iron. The word Magnitogorsk means "city by the magnetic mountain" in Russian.
As part of Stalin's Five-Year-Plans to industrialise Russia, the plan was to set up a replica of the leading steel producing cities in the US at the time. Many foreign experts arrived to complete and direct the work. The idea of the city was to have housing blocks for workers on one side and the steel mill on the other. It would be separated by a greenbelt that was supposed to absorb noise and pollution.
After few delays, the construction started in 1932 but things got worse when the building materials that was meant for the houses was used for the steel mill. Building the steel mill was a priority to the accommodation for workers. By then 250,000 workers lived in makeshift accommodation which was, as usual, far from ideal.
During the first stages of the construction of the steel mill, the workers, skilled and unskilled, took part in the construction of the Magnitogorsk Steel Works. The project took nearly ten years to complete. Most of the construction was done under extreme conditions; the temperatures ranged from -40oC in the winter and 40oC in the summer. Despite all of the hardships, the steel mill progressed at a rapid pace. Things continued to move rapidly when the first batches of the steel was smelted in 1932.
Magnitogorsk played a vital role in WWII as the city supplied steel to produce military equipments. Because of this, the city underwent a massive boom in population and activity. The city was strategically placed behind the Ural Mountains by Stalin, in view that the enemies would not be able to access Russia's main steel plant.
"Since WWII, Magnitogorsk has undergone a prolonged period of...