But its industrial buildings have been abandoned, some half-built, because of the collieries closing.Shayk once said: 'It's a beautiful place - if you wear a mask.'Soviet: The cinema (left) and Gulag memorial (right) in Yemanzhelinsk.Irina worked for 20 days in a local hospital, painting walls, to earn enough for the shoes, which she wore to her studies though by this age she was taller than her contemporaries, say her old friends.School head Viktor Gusev said that she 'wouldn't let boys close to her' and friend Ekaterina Bereshenova remembers her saying as she grew up: 'I don't want to be friends with only one guy, so as not to offend the others.' On the verge of adulthood: The class of 2003 at Irina's high school, school number 4 Emangelinsk.The town of 30,000 people is depressed by the loss of its mines.Irina Shayk's big break was to win a beauty contest in the nearby city of Chelyabinsk Remains: The impact of mining on the steppe outside Yemanzhelinsk is clear.
Since being seen kissing in New York earlier this month they have been open about being a couple Among the extraordinary aspects of her journey to fame as a model is how she overcame - as a vulnerable and gawky 14-year-old - the sudden and traumatic death of her beloved father Valeriy Shaykhlislamov, her real family name.
Family: Irina (right) with her mother Olga and sister Tatyana.
A classmate of Irina remembered Olga working 'like a slave' to provide the basics for her family at a time when life in Russia was tough Close: Irina (right) and her sister Tatanya, now 31, as teenagers.
Distinctive look: Irina's father was an ethnic Tatar - a Muslim minority group - while her mother was an ethnic Russian.
She credits him for her dark skin and her for her light eyes, shown in this early modelling picture Debut: Early modelling shots taken of the then Irina Shaykhlislamov.