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Pevek is an Arctic port town and the administrative center of Chaunsky District in Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia, located on Chaunskaya Bay on a peninsula on the eastern side of the bay facing the Routan Islands, above the Arctic Circle, about 640km northwest of Anadyr, the administrative center of the autonomous okrug. Population:Pevek is the northernmost town in Russia and in Asia. It is a modern settlement established after World War I to provide a port for the export of minerals as part of the expanding Northern Sea Route. During the 1940s and 1950s, the area surrounding Pevek was the site of several gulags where prisoners mined uranium. In recent years, many of the mines became unprofitable and have closed, causing many residents to move to more central regions in Russia and the port infrastructure to decay.EtymologyThere are two theories for the origin of the town's name. The first is that it is derived from the Chukchi word for fat; it was originally named for the nearby hill Peekin'ey, meaning "swollen mountain". The more macabre theory is that the name is derived from the Chukchi word "Pagytkenay", meaning "smelly mountain". Legend has it that a battle was fought on the site of the modern town between the local Chukchi and Yukaghir peoples. At the time, there was no tradition of burying the dead among the indigenous people, so the odor of rotting flesh was present for a long time. This legend suggests a reason why when Russian explorers first discovered the bay, they did not find any settlement, as the Chukchi refused to settle in the region following the battle and only brought their animals to pasture in the summer.
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