Apocalypse Paused: Scenes From Soviet-Era “Ghost Farms”

Picture two giant farms: one the size of France; the other the size of Wisconsin. That is how many acres of agricultural land sit fallow in Russia (45 million) and Kazakhstan (35 million).

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s collapse. During that time, many collective farms were abandoned, creating “ghost farms” that now haunt the steppes.

Ranchers working to rebuild the cattle industries of Russia and Kazakhstan have a large inventory of abandoned farms to choose from.