The People's Paradise

If you're reading this at one of Asia's many spectacular tourist destinations, please spare a thought for the Russian city of Chelyabinsk. Isolated in the Ural Mountains, this military-industrial center once produced half the Soviet Union's tanks—its nickname is "Tank City." It has also been called the most contaminated place on earth. Chelyabinsk's million or so citizens have endured three nuclear catastrophes, one caused by an explosion at a waste-containment unit, which spewed Chernobyl-level doses of radiation into the wintry sky. One of Chelyabinsk's advertised tourist draws is "a visit to a treatment center for victims of radiation poisoning." Spare a...

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