The Astrakhan Region From Above

The Astrakhan Region From Above

Some parts of the Astrakhan region look like a moldy honey cake with rare green blotches of trees, which is restrung by celebratory blue ribbons of shallow streams. There is very little growth, the ground is dry and the trees are scraggy. The situation changes drastically as you approach the Caspian Sea, where the Volga river is divided into numerous arms, and it starts looking like a cable barbarian attacked and unraveled with the plug torn off: everything is green, the trees get higher, though there are fewer of them, little plots of land, that is there, is covered with green reed twice the human height. Half of the Russian Red Book (endangered species list) inhabits this area.

IL-18 with a bunch of strange antennae on the roof

The Astrakhan Region From Above

It turned out that it was a highly classified IL-22, which had been used as a flying headquarters and masked to look like a civilian plane of the Aeroflot.

The Astrakhan Region From Above

This is quite a beast.

The Astrakhan Region From Above

The flight was part of the training exercises that were performed by the military together with … can’t tell you who…. in the framework of anti-terrorist operation of trying to find bad guys in the steppe. The helicopter has flown up … can’t tell you without who…. and have enjoyed the solitude in the first few minutes in the cabin of MI-8

The Astrakhan Region From Above

Rice fields

The Astrakhan Region From Above

This is a typical village on a river bank

The Astrakhan Region From Above

Another shot of the village

The Astrakhan Region From Above

The Astrakhan Region From Above

The Astrakhan Region From Above

This house has stood out compared with the rest of the background because of its high thick hedge and green well-cut grass

The Astrakhan Region From Above

The Astrakhan Region From Above

There were too many military personnel in the helicopter, and this guy had to fly standing. Who could ever imagine that people can fly in helicopters like in trams or buses while standing.

The Astrakhan Region From Above

National Anti-terrorist Committee rules and regulations

The Astrakhan Region From Above

The first 15 minutes have been spent trying to get the connection with someone to work

The Astrakhan Region From Above

Something is wrong with the connection

The Astrakhan Region From Above

They were looking for a hidden UAZ automobile with the bad guys

The Astrakhan Region From Above

Went to South-West towards the salty lakes region

The Astrakhan Region From Above

The Astrakhan Region From Above

The Astrakhan Region From Above

The Astrakhan Region From Above

The Astrakhan Region From Above

Some of the salty lakes have dried out.

The Astrakhan Region From Above

The Astrakhan Region From Above

The Astrakhan Region From Above

The Astrakhan Region From Above

The Astrakhan Region From Above

The Astrakhan Region From Above

The Astrakhan Region From Above

The Astrakhan Region From Above

The Astrakhan Region From Above

The Astrakhan Region From Above

The Astrakhan Region From Above

The old church in the center has been used as a bus station during the Soviet era. It is surrounded by bedroom communities in apartment buildings.

The Astrakhan Region From Above

Here in the center – the Astrakhan Kremlin.

The Astrakhan Region From Above

There is a new grand hotel “Al Pash” in Astrakhan now – finally a decent hotel.

The Astrakhan Region From Above

We weren’t allowed to take pictures of MIGs on land, but it was okay to do in the air.

The Astrakhan Region From Above

All the planes are placed into caponniers, that is they are surrounded by land mounds, so if one is struck by a bomb, the rest of them don’t blow up.

The Astrakhan Region From Above

The Astrakhan Region From Above

So most of the photos were taken through an open door. The photographer was placed on a special stool, like the ones that are used in movie theaters, and was attached by a belt to a nail hook in the siding, and held onto the sides of the helicopter. He must have felt like a navy seal, just with a photo-camera instead of an M-16.

The Astrakhan Region From Above

via sergeydolya

6 thoughts on “The Astrakhan Region From Above”

  1. I’m a Leningrad Cowboy… raising cattle out on the Steppe…
    Won’t you pour me another Vodka, ‘cos I’m drinking to forget…

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