34 imagesBaikalsk is a town of 16,000 people nestled on the shore of Siberia's Lake Baikal, it's rear flank guarded by picturesque mountains and Russia's vast forests stretching out as far as the mind can fathom. It is one of Russia's hundreds of so-called monotowns, those whose survival depends on the fate of a single factory or industry. Baikalsk has become emblematic of the fight over the fate of Russia's industrial heartland. Intervention by President Vladimir Putin prevented the local paper mill from shutting down once, in 2010, but it did not happen a second time. In September 2013, the Baikalsk Pulp and Paper Mill ceased operation. Environmentalists considered it a win, as the mill had been polluting Baikal's pristine waters for decades, but as the primary economic engine for the town, the plant's closure is devastating. While a small ski resort and Baikal's rocky beaches leave open the hope that tourism will fill the gap, many of the town's younger residents are fleeing at the first opportunity.