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The Secret of Numto. Shrinking boundaries of Khanty's sacred lands

7х7's report on a Natural Park and Khanty village in focus of oil producer's interest

Darya Karetnikova, Greenpeace

Numto village is located in Numto Natural Park on the bank of Khanty's sacred Lake Numto in the north of Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area. It is almost isolated from the rest of the world: cell phones hardly catch the signal of the only mobile operator, and the road built by Surgutneftegas is only available to the village residents with a special pass. Others are not let in by the checkpoint guards. 

The oil company already extracts oil in the south of Numto Park. In autumn 2016, despite protest of scientists and aborigines, the government of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area rezoned the Park. This opened a way for industrial activities in the north, in wetlands, where Khanty still live their traditional life and which is the habitat of Siberian white crane and other endangered birds and animals and a moose migration path. 

Numto is one of Yugra's most beautiful parts, but no tourists are invited here. Even on the Reindeer Herder's Day, an important Khanty festival, present were only the invited media, officials, oilmen and a few friends of Numto residents. Aygul Khismatova, 7х7's journalist, visited the village in secrecy. She learnt about Khanty's real live in the midst of oil fields and what is in store for Numto in the future.

You can find the material here.

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