6 Early 2000s In Saint Petersburg

Early 2000s In Saint Petersburg

Saint-Petersburg in the early 2000s in the photographs of Igor Stomakhin. This is not about glamour, politics or the architectural beauty
of the northern Russian capital. Just some moments of an ordinary life, the good and bad of our society a dozen years ago.
2 Octagonal Houses of Nineteen Century Buryats

Octagonal Houses of Nineteen Century Buryats

The Buryats are people of Russia and Mongolia, numbered around 400,000 during the last census. They used to live in yurts - mobile round homes that could travel with them, and once they find a new place to stay, they set up in a matter of some hours. Usually the yurts were made of skins or felt and wooden planks. They might be in some way similar to native Indian teepees, but more rounded and
larger. However, besides Nomadic Buryats there were ones that decided to stay in one chosen place for longer, and because of this they built more permanent houses. But the round form was probably still preferred, and they didn't want to build more traditional square or rectangular shaped dwellings, so their dwellings got eight corners and looked somewhat similar to yurts.
17 Is There Space for More Referendums Around?

Is There Space for More Referendums Around?

    Now in Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine, people have gathered to ask for a referendum on joining Russia. Some brought Russian flags, some held the portraits of Yanukovich - the president of Ukraine who fled to Russia and published a memorandum yesterday calling for people to demand more referendums on the fate of their regions. Some people were holding banners with more mundane
demands like "Give us back Russian TV channels" as a few days ago the court in Ukraine banned the broadcasting of the main Russian TV stations. Donetsk has almost one million people living in it and 48% of them are Russian. However it doesn't look to me that this gathering was too large, some reports say that around two thousand people were present.

4 Vintage Russian Circus Posters

Vintage Russian Circus Posters

I have here a collection of vintage Russian circus posters and wonder if other are as interested in them as I am. In my opinion, in the Soviet past the circuses could be sort of little islands of freedom, especially in the early Soviet years. They offered entertainment (and entertainments were controlled by the state, at the time), they travelled to different cities (and wandering around without a fixed place of residence was considered a crime, as far as I recall). I tried to research a
little, and it seems that there are more people sharing the same opinion - like Olga Sviblova, the head of the art and multimedia museum in Moscow, quoted as saying that "Circus and sports were the only two spots in Soviet 1930s that had freedom". And so the vintage Russian circus posters to me look different to most of the other Soviet posters - both propaganda and advertisement. I find the circus posters much more vivid and real in detail. So here they are:

2 An Encircled Part of Moscow Where Life is Not that Bright

An Encircled Part of Moscow Where Life is Not that Bright

I think that in Russia most people believe that basically Moscow is much better in terms of quality of life when compared to the rest of the country. I believe it's sort of normal to think that people in Moscow have higher salaries, better roads, get better healthcare, have the biggest stores, buy world recognized luxury brands, etc. Such people might
be surprised to learn that even in Moscow there are places like the place in these photos. Like some magical circle, the part of Moscow with 386 people is enclosed by triple circular rows of railways. Built in 1932 to be used as a test site, the trains cut the settlement out of the outer world and out of the rest of Moscow.
3 Airforce Drill Near Finland

Airforce Drill Near Finland

Today, an air force drill started in Karelia, 250 km east of Finland. Reportedly, air force jets and teams have arrived from four regions of Russia. The drill is planned to be conducted during
both the day and the night. The official defense department statement says that the main region of the drill would be Ladoga lake, which is on the border with Europe and Finland.

15 Russian Official Army Field Ration

Russian Official Army Field Ration

Here are photographs of an official army field ration. The package is shielded with aluminum foil to prevent spoilage for
longer. Total calorie count is 4287 calories, and it weighs 1.7 kilos (or around 3 pounds). What's inside? Let's see.
7 Sochi on the Sunset of the Final Day

Sochi on the Sunset of the Final Day

A few widescreen and clickable photos of Sochi on
the sunset of the final day of the Olympics.
14 The Taking Back Crimea Award

The Taking Back Crimea Award

A few hours ago, Russian twitter users started reporting that the Russian defence department has published an article and photos of the Russian chief of defence arriving in Crimea and awarding soldiers and local officials with a new award. The medal was called "For getting back the Crimea". These photos show the Russian chief of defence awarding something to the people in camouflage. Some camouflaged people have the insignia "BERKUT" which is the name of a Ukrainian special forces unit which became better known after the clashes in Kiev this past winter. Also a photo of the award
itself reportedly was published. That particular medal in the photo was in the name of Aksenov, the current leader of Crimea, who declared the Crimea independent. His personal numbered award had the number 136, so people supposed that at least a hundred more of the same medals were awarded. Later, people started to report that this article was removed from the official defence department website. The photos still could be opened if you knew their direct web address, however after a little more time you could not open the photos either.
4 Perestroika That Never Hits the Road

Perestroika That Never Hits the Road

When "Perestroika" - a term coined by Mikhail Gorbachev, was a trend in one large country, another "Perestroika" which literary means "rebuilding" was conceived by the engineers of Minsk Auto Factory or MAZ, one of the largest Soviet truck manufacturers. This somehow unusual looking truck is
"Perestroika" itself. You might have already noticed a gap between the truck's cab and the headlights, that is because the truck was not one solid truck but rather a set of modules or blocks that could be conjoined. Let me try to explain what this Perestroika truck was about.

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