16 August 2020
Yury Shevchuk, the lead singer of DDT and laureate of a Moscow Helsinki Group award
Yury Shevchuk, the lead singer of DDT and laureate of a Moscow Helsinki Group award, has made a public appeal on the issue of preserving the Shikhans in the Western Urals. These are the isolated uplands in the Bashkir Trans-Urals that are the unique remains of the reefs of ancient seas formed of limestone. They consist of four single mountains: Toratau, Shakhtau, Yuraktau and Kushtau, forming a narrow chain, stretched along the White River for 20 km. They are located near the towns of Sterlitamak, Ishimbai and Salavat. They are the remains of a barrier reef formed in the warm sea (Ural Ocean) of the early Perm period. In sediments there are fossils of ancient invertebrates. Typical features of the Bashkir Shikhans, as of many similar slagheaps, is a gentle slope with a slope angle of about 30 degrees, going from top to bottom, and natural screes. In total, there are three Shikhans left – Yuraktau, Kushtau and Toratau. The fourth Shikhan, Shakhtau, was almost completely reworked by the Soda company that began working the ancient hill in the 1950s (see Wikipedia).
Translated by Simon Cosgrove