The geography of resettlement destinations is similar to that of the camps. The camps were scattered across the Soviet Union, with more in inhospitable or mining areas, or railway and factory construction sites. The special resettlers were sent mostly to farming or logging areas. There were no special resettlements west of a line from Leningrad to Moscow, although there were many camps there. The special resettlers were not kept behind barbed wire but rather sent to places where nature provided a perimeter wall.
Territories were transformed by the special resettlers and new villages sprang up. These became territories of exile as the families gradually took over the places. National communities formed new links of solidarity, because those deported from one region were often sent to the same places. However, the ban on leaving the villages and the dispersion of settlements created barriers.
Families were often split up. The Soviet Union was crisscrossed by letters between native lands where some of the family remained, camps where the fathers were often prisoners and special resettlements.
When the fathers were freed, they went looking for their families. Although some had managed to maintain relations with them while they were in the camps, others spent weeks looking for them once they were free.