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Murmansk Sakhalin residents

The outflow of the population from the Far East is an indisputable fact, but there is another movement - from west to east.

Migrants to the Far East from the Murmansk region - Andrey and Olga Lukin - told EastRussia why and why they decided to move, and are they going to stay here.

Murmansk Sakhalin residents
Photo: from the personal archive of the Lukin family

Andrei and Olga Lukin moved to Sakhalin from Monchegorsk in the Murmansk region when he was 47, she was 40. And this happened five years ago, and not at all because of a bad life. In Monchegorsk, everything went as it wanted: there was both respect and honor - Andrey is a karate kyokushin coach, Olga - in rhythmic gymnastics, there were plans - they were building a country house, which they planned to move partly because of a hobby, which became their second favorite occupation - riding sports. Even then, there were four dogs, who are more at ease in nature than in an apartment. Nothing, as they say, foreshadowed ... but then Olga was offered at work to help hold the training camp for athletes on Sakhalin. “I thought - Why not? - says Olga, - when else will it be possible to see the Far East? I have always wondered what kind of Far East it is that wakes up before everyone else! And then I came once - it was in the spring of 2015, then they called again to hold the training camp in a couple of months, and then they offered me a job. I came back, talked to my relatives and in October 2015 we already moved! "

The first impression of Sakhalin was a different mentality of local residents and many people of Asian appearance, and nature, especially the gigantism of plants, was amazed. "We have a fern, other herbs - ankle-deep, but here they are human-sized, and even taller!" - Olga shares her impressions. At the training camp, there was not much time for rest and travel around the island, but after the move, the first impressions only intensified. Back in the Murmansk region, the Lukins began to go in for sledding sports, so one of the obvious advantages of Sakhalin was the long winter and an abundance of snow - having arrived here with four sled dogs, now the Lukins can boast already 20! Andrey and Olga compete for Sakhalin, win prizes in all-Russian and international sledding competitions.

Photo from the personal archive of the Lukins

True, not everything went smoothly. Three times the Lukins packed their suitcases, were going to go back to Monchegorsk, and each time they gave themselves a vow - to try to settle down. At first everything was great, the employer allocated funds for renting a house - Andrei and Olga immediately indicated that the dogs needed space, and they would not be able to live in an ordinary city apartment. But after some time, everyday difficulties began, and difficulties at work, and then they were completely "asked" from rented housing. A family with two adult daughters settled in a container-shed, which was placed on the purchased 10 acres. “We realized that we needed to look for something else, and in 2019 we took the Far Eastern hectare - three and a half hectares at once. It took us a whole year to fill the road to this site, to make a check-in, to supply electricity, to make a well. And in July last year, we transported our container exactly to hectares and we live and settle down here ”.

Photo from the personal archive of the Lukins

Equipping yourself in the Lukins' concept means creating a "Center for Active Adventures." Soon a house will appear on hectares - the house kit has already been purchased, and several tourist routes have already been developed - dog sledding in winter and dog tracking in summer. The center is planned to be year-round. 

Photo from the personal archive of the Lukins

“We haven’t really opened yet, but people are already learning from somewhere, coming and asking,” says Andrey, “we have a lot of active people, there is a great demand for active rest. Both locals and visitors. In general, I believe that we will have much more development here in the Far East than in Central Russia. The Far East is a prospect, a growth prospect! "

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