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Baykalsk is a town in Slyudyansky District of Irkutsk Oblast, Russia, located 41km from Slyudyanka, the administrative center of the district. Population:HistoryIt was founded in 1961 with the opening of a paper mill at Lake Baikal, called Baykalsk Paper and Pulp Mills.In the late 2000s, Baykalsk faced a series of well-documented economic crises stemming from its status as a monotown entirely dependent on the declining paper mill it was founded around.Administrative and municipal statusWithin the framework of administrative divisions, Baykalsk is subordinated to Slyudyansky District. As a municipal division, the town of Baykalsk, together with two rural localities in Slyudyansky District, is incorporated within Slyudyansky Municipal District as Baykalskoye Urban Settlement.EconomyBaykalsk Paper and Pulp Mills was a major source of pollution of Lake Baikal. About 3,500 people were directly employed by the plant. The plant was closed in 2009 after new expensive waste water treatment equipment made the factory unprofitable after the global economic downturn. In Soviet times, the factory management was primarily responsible for the town's maintenance. The town and plant administrations were independent from one another but 95% of the town's budget used to come from the plant in form of taxes. In January 2010, following disturbances, the Russian government with the cooperation of its private owner reopened the factory and exempted it from pollution rules but lowered the workers' wages.
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