It’s not so long since the Iron Curtain came crumbling down. But what is life like in the Russia of the 21st Century?
It’s hard to know exactly given the strained relations between Russia and much of the rest of the world, but these images should give you a sneak peek into the amazing country that is modern Russia.
In Russia, Roofing Is More Than A Job
This is an image of a roofer. In Russia, a roofer is someone who climbs very high buildings just take a photograph of themselves. It’s a very dangerous hobby with very few financial rewards. It’s “victory or death,” says one roofer. However, the images they capture are spectacular.
The Lost Cosmonauts?
This may be a myth or it may be the absolute truth. Many people inside Russia now claim that during the Soviet-era there were a lot of cosmonauts who perished during space missions and test missions whose identities were simply erased from the national memory.
The Poverty Is Real
Post-Communist Russia is no fun for tens of millions of Russians. The capitalist dream came and passed them by. While figures from the old regime enrich themselves beyond measure, for most life is nothing but constant poverty. Joy can still be found in poverty though as this photo shows.
The Old Religions Are Not Gone
Decades of communism and its extreme stance on religion should have seen an end to even the most tenacious of Russia traditional beliefs. As you can see from the man building a burial shrine from reindeer bones, this isn’t the case.
Swimming Can Make You Glow In The Dark
This is a lovely swimming pool — it’s filled completely naturally with water from a local hot spring. Hot is the right word, though. This water is also radioactive and brims with the element radon. Radon has been linked to cancer in other parts of the world, in Russia, they swim in it.
The Showers Are A Little Cold
If you live in much of Russia, there’s no hot water because the water pipes freeze so easily. So, in the middle of winter, you take a shower like this guy is doing. Outside in the freezing cold under ice cold water.
Islam Is A Big Deal In Russia
Russia is home to 200 million people and many of them have religious beliefs that are not in the majority. Here we see Red Square packed with Muslims out celebrating Eid al-Fitr in the center of Moscow. It must have been an incredible sight.
The Red In Red Square Is Not Communist
In fact, Red Square was built in the 16th Century, long before Marx ever dreamed up his Communist ideals. It was supposed to be a market but ended up being a meeting place. The word “red” is “krasnyi” and that also means “beautiful” in Russian.