"Polar circle", "Bypass". Photographer James Hill first came to Russia about 20 years ago. Hill is known for being part of the Times team that won a Pulitzer prize in 2002. He has also won the World Press Photo award among
many others. But he is perhaps best known for his ongoing narratives about Russias and his book called In Russias. Below are some of his photographs pulling back the curtain on an unseen Russia.
The idea of hydroelectric station on the Volga near Samara Bend was proposed by Gleb Krzhizhanovsky in 1910. Ten years later K. V. Bogoyavlensky proposed a hydroelectruc station near Perevoloki, utilizing naturally existing water level difference. The disrupted economic system of the time did not allow this project to be realized. In the early 1930s the Volga near Samara Bend and Yaroslavl was surveyed, and some dam projects were proposed. In 1937 the project of a dam near the villages of Perevoloki and Krasnaya Glinka was approved. Forced
labour from Kuybyshev Camp was used (up to 30,000 people). In the autumn of 1940, oil fields were found near construction site, causing a suspension of construction. The Hydroproject Institute made a survey in 1949, after which a decision was made to build the hydroelectric station near Zhigulyovsk. August 21, 1950, the project to create a station with installed power of 2.1 gigawatts was approved and construction was started. In the photograph: before the construction, the Volga River, 1950.
The city of Ishimbay is called second Baku. In 1930 they started development of the second largest oil field with the first one being developed in Baku. In 1960 Baku occupied the first position in the list of places known for oil extraction in the USSR. And only
after a new oil field discovery in Siberia Ishimbay city started losing its former importance. Today we'll visit the place where one of the Russian great legends that contributed to development of oil and exploration of the North was born.