Siberia evokes images of frozen tundra, Cossacks, Gulags and vast mineral reserves.
But what is it really like to live there? What does Siberia mean to Russia and how important is it for the future? Who are the Siberians and what kind of cultural life exists in some of the coldest cities on earth?
Moscow journalist Arkady Ostrovsky braves Siberia's bleak winter weather to find out.