Is it ash or soot? What’s the black snow that has blanketed Siberia? Well, it’s actually coal dust mixed with the air and the snow. It has afflicted three cities of the coal-mining region of Kemerovo.
In grim scenes uploaded to social networks and described as "post-apocalyptic" by Russian media, Siberian residents in the cities of Prokopyevsk, Kiselyovsk, and Leninsk-Kuznetsky have shared images of their soiled, shadowy landscape – prompting at least one Twitter user to ask, "Is this what snow looks like in hell?"
The director of the Prokopyevskaya coal plant claims the black snow was the result of a broken shield at the facility, which exposed coal powder to the atmosphere – but has also said emissions inevitably escape, and "we can’t tackle coal dust in the streets".
(Image credit: voilok/Instagram)