Bruce Gilden, an American photographer, was fearless enough to go to the Ural region of Russia, the remote settlement 70 km away from Yekaterinburg, to make a series of photos featuring Russian bandits. These pictures may shock not only foreigners, but average Russians as well.
He spent several days next to these guys. He said they were dangerous and smart. But they never refused to be photographed.
Bruce Gilden gave vodka and meat to his new “friends” to deserve their loyalty.
Vodka, violence and crime are common for this guys. The follow the rule: “The sooner you get imprisoned, the sooner you get free”.
Yuri Potapenko is 56, he spent 30 years of his life in prison. Now he works for the organization that helps former convicts in Yekaterinburg.
The photographer says that he likes bandits, his father was also a bandit. He does not judge them and find them even more honest than some law-abiding people. They do what they do. Honestly.
Vasily Novoselov was imprisoned for the murder of his father-in-law. Bruce admits that this photo was staged but it well conveys the hopelessness of the life in the Russian province. They have no place to go.
The photographer has always enjoyed to take pictures of mafia. He had done this in Japan as well.