The Baraba and Kulunda steppes are located in southwestern Siberia in an area with an arid continental climate. This paper presents results of the first study of the hypersaline Lake Krasnovishnevoye (Baraba steppe, TDS (total dissolved solids)=297 g/L, pH 7.88). The major chemical, mineralogical and biological features of the lake were studied and compared to those of Lake Malinovoe, a typical saline neutral lake of Kulunda steppe (TDS=396 g/L, pH 7.63). The phytoplankton composition and the culturable diversity of anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria from Lake Krasnovishnevoye correspond to the ones in the Kulunda lakes. Nevertheless, the peculiarities of water composition and regime of Lake Krasnovishnevoye reduce the biodiversity to prokaryotes and unicellular algae.