Russia Gallery

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St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg

A marine regimental church built on the banks of the Kryukov Canal, the Nikolsky Naval Cathedral contains a plethora of memorials to the crews of sunken Soviet submarines.

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St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg

Part of the permanent collection in the Hermitage, the Peacock Clock - designed by James Cox and acquired by Catherine the Great in 1781 - features three life-sized automated mechanical birds.

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St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg

Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood, built on the spot where Tsar Alexander II was blown up by the People's Will movement in 1881.

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St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg

In the Summer Gardens of Peter the Great, photobombed by a statue.

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Moscow
Moscow

Part of the Moscow Kremlin, the Cathedral of the Annunciation was built between 1484-1489 on the site of older churches. Originally it functioned as the private chapel of the Moscowvite Tsars.

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Moscow
Moscow

Street performance Moscow style. Sign reads "For Milk".

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Moscow
Moscow

Intercession or St.Basil's Cathedral on Red Square at dusk. St. Basil was a barefoot holy fool who predicted Ivan the Terrible's damnation.

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Moscow
Moscow

Not fit for the wall of heroes in Red Square, Khrushchev resides in the Novodevichy Cemetery, by the convent where Peter the Great imprisoned his sister, Sofia, the heir apparent. The black and white blocks symbolize his good and bad sides at war with each other.

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Yekaterinburg
Yekaterinburg

Church on the Blood, built on the site where the last Tsar and his family were put to death in the basement of a local engineer's house.

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Yekaterinburg
Yekaterinburg

Matryoshka graffiti on the banks of the Iset River.

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Tomsk
Tomsk

Anton Chekhov Monument. 'Tomsk isn’t worth a brass nickel,' Chekhov wrote in 1890, 'an incredibly boring city… full of drunks.' In response the city erected this statue, the base of which reads 'Chekhov as seen through the eyes of a drunken peasant, lying in a ditch.'

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Tomsk
Tomsk

Old wooden houses in Tomsk, a vibrant student town on the West Siberian Plain.

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Novosibirsk
Novosibirsk

The purpose built city of Novosibirsk, capital of Siberia and third largest city in Russia has a reputation for being drab. Featured here is a monument to the city's first traffic light, which stands in front of rows of crumbling housing blocks.

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Irkutsk
Irkutsk

An upper class Russian movement calling for radical social change, the Decembrist Rebellion of 1825 collapsed into disarray. Soon rounded up, many conspirators saw their death sentences commuted to hard labour, serving 12-15 years in chain gangs before being allowed to settle in Irkutsk. The mansions of Volkonsky & would-be dictator, Prince Trubetskoy are still to be found in town.

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Maloe More, Olkhon Island, Baikal
Maloe More, Olkhon Island, Baikal

Buryat shaman perform a ceremony on the bluff above Maloe More. Dotted with ribbon-festooned totems, to the Buryat Lake Baikal is a holy place.

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Cape Left Shunte, Olkhon Island
Cape Left Shunte, Olkhon Island

Frequented by Baikal Seals, though estimated on their numbers vary as pollution increases.

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Khuzhir, Olkhon Island, Lake Baikal
Khuzhir, Olkhon Island, Lake Baikal

Discarded piles of litter at the abandoned gulag fish factory.

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Khuzir, Olkhon Island, Lake Baikal
Khuzir, Olkhon Island, Lake Baikal

In a ship graveyard, children tossed empty vodka bottles at each other for entertainment.

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Ulan Ude
Ulan Ude

In the Buryat capital of Ulan Ude, Siberia, is the biggest Lenin head in the world, standing ten metres tall. Note the tiny people at the base who've just escaped from his nostrils.

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Ivolginsk
Ivolginsk

Permission to build the original datsan at the centre of Buryat Buddhism, Ivolginsk, Siberia, was granted by Stalin. In the large red temple lurks the waxy form of the 12th Khambo Lama, who hasn't decayed despite dying some eighty years ago.

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Dzivgisskaya Naskainaya Krepost
Dzivgisskaya Naskainaya Krepost
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Dargavs
Dargavs
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Magas
Magas
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Magas
Magas
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Grozny
Grozny
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Grozny
Grozny
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Grozny
Grozny
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Beslan
Beslan
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Beslan
Beslan
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Beslan
Beslan
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Pyatigorsk
Pyatigorsk
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Pyatigorsk
Pyatigorsk
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Pyatigorsk
Pyatigorsk
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Mt Chegut & Mt Interkosmos
Mt Chegut & Mt Interkosmos
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Mt Nakratau & Donguzorun Zapadni
Mt Nakratau & Donguzorun Zapadni
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Mt Elbrus
Mt Elbrus
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Mt Elcbrus
Mt Elcbrus
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Sochi
Sochi
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Sochi
Sochi
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Sochi
Sochi
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All images copyright Stephen M. Bland