Before the Siberian Arctic was incorporated into the Russian Empire, it had been inhabited by small numbers of indigenous peoples. The first Russian settlers came to Siberia in the 16th century. The northern areas of Siberia had not been subjected to extreme anthropogenic influences before the Norilsk Industrial Complex started to be built in 1935. Negative anthropogenic impacts on nature became apparent after the end of World War II. During Stalin’s rule, the idea of nature transformation in the interest of humans was proclaimed. It led to widespread “ecological cruelty.” Newcomers from other regions of the U.S.S.R. came with the intention of “conquering” the North. They considered neither the interests of the indigenous population, nor the ecological features of the land. Decades of destructive use passed before the strategy was condemned. It was as late as 1985, in conjunction with Perestroyka and M. S. Gorbachev coming into power, when the following Nature Reserves were established in Central Siberia: Stolby, Sayano-Shushensky, Taimyrsky, Central-Siberian, Putoransky, and Bolshoi Arktichesky. Current and potential threats to the nature of Central Siberia are discussed.