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In Pictures: Russia's decaying villages
Thousands of villages have a population of less than ten people, and many more lack adequate infrastructure.
Last updated: 02 May 2014 13:37
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Moscow, Russia - The fall of the Soviet Union precipitated the collapse of many collective farms and state-owned enterprises, shutting down thousands of factories and throwing millions of people out of work.

In rural areas, many were left behind and had few opportunities to adapt to new circumstances caused by a lack of infrastructure and poor education.

Unemployment and poor living conditions forced people out of the villages and led them to migrate toward the cities. In northern Russia, there are hundreds of abandoned settlements and ruined factories, making many villages feel like ghost towns. A substantial number villages are home to primarily pensioners and thousands of villages have less than ten people.

Unemployment and alcoholism are widespread. Critics say the government has not created iniatives to revitalise these towns, leaving many to decay.


/Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Thousands of abandoned villages are scattered across northern Russia. Many have become uninhabited due to a lack of infrastructure and jobs. Poor quality roads make some regions unreachable, so people have to save food for weeks ahead, especially in early spring when the frozen rivers begin to melt and before ferries are operational.



/Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

The decay of many Russian villages is likely to continue without help from government, investments, infrastructure and social services.



/Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

The outmigration of young people is a real threat to the future and sustainability of rural villages. 



/Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Railway and timber industry employees are among the best paid workers in these areas. Monthly salaries can reach up to $800. These workers receive additional compensations for labouring in harsh conditions.



/Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Aleksander Tarutin, 55, has been working on the railroad for his whole life. "Here, it's more or less stable to work only on a railroad or in the forest industry. I started to work as a mechanic after I finished school, but later on became a welder," says Tarutin.



/Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Vladimir Vrachihin, 59, retired five years ago, but keeps working at a sawmill because "the money is good". He admits that life has changed greatly in comparison with the 1990s, when "everything was in ruin. Now many private companies own the sawmills, so they want their workers. It's hard to work in the North, but I have no choice," says Vladimir.



/Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Thousands of factories in rural Russia closed during the 1990s, throwing millions of people out of work. Most of these factories remain in ruins.



/Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Alcoholism in rural towns became a growing problem following the collapse of communism and the subsequent economic turmoil.



/Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Pasha is Lidiya Spiridonova's second child. She lost the parental rights for her first child a couple of years ago due to alcoholism. She now lives with her 55-year-old husband, who helps her drink less. Her two-year-old son has a developmental disability, and she has been unable to find employment for several years.



/Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Patients at a mental hospital in Velsk, a small town in Arkhangelsk region, have a high rate of alcoholism. More than half of the 405 patients here checked in for substance abuse.



/Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Maxim Nechaev, 16, calls himself an orphan in spite of the fact that his mother is still alive. She lost her parental rights after Maxim's father died. He was sent to a school for children with developmental disorders in the small northern town of Shenkursk. "I have spent 8 years here already. I don't feel resentment, I got used to it," says Nechaev.



/Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera
The 15th century Aleksandro-Oshevensky monastery lays in ruins. Father Cyprian was appointed the abbot years ago, but there's only one novice who stays with him to help restore the building.


/Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Maxim, 35, left the northern town of Arkhangelsk four years ago and decided to become a novice. He was looking for relief from the unpleasant realities and enjoys living a simple life in the monastery. "It will be very difficult for me to go back. I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, but I feel very happy now," says Maxim.




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images:
/mritems/images/2014/5/2/20145212364112949_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/5/2/20145212364424793_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/5/2/20145212364658522_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/5/2/20145212364908975_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/5/2/20145212365127837_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/5/2/20145212365362221_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/5/2/20145212365690818_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/5/2/20145212366143163_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/5/2/20145212366596832_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/5/2/20145212367174158_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/5/2/20145212367471301_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/5/2/20145212367908622_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/5/2/20145212368627948_8.jpg
captions:

Thousands of abandoned villages are scattered across northern Russia. Many have become uninhabited due to a lack of infrastructure and jobs. Poor quality roads make some regions unreachable, so people have to save food for weeks ahead, especially in early spring when the frozen rivers begin to melt and before ferries are operational.

;*;

The decay of many Russian villages is likely to continue without help from government, investments, infrastructure and social services.

;*;

The outmigration of young people is a real threat to the future and sustainability of rural villages. 

;*;

Railway and timber industry employees are among the best paid workers in these areas. Monthly salaries can reach up to $800. These workers receive additional compensations for labouring in harsh conditions.

;*;

Aleksander Tarutin, 55, has been working on the railroad for his whole life. "Here, it(***)s more or less stable to work only on a railroad or in the forest industry. I started to work as a mechanic after I finished school, but later on became a welder," says Tarutin.

;*;

Vladimir Vrachihin, 59, retired five years ago, but keeps working at a sawmill because "the money is good". He admits that life has changed greatly in comparison with the 1990s, when "everything was in ruin. Now many private companies own the sawmills, so they want their workers. It(***)s hard to work in the North, but I have no choice," says Vladimir.

;*;

Thousands of factories in rural Russia closed during the 1990s, throwing millions of people out of work. Most of these factories remain in ruins.

;*;

Alcoholism in rural towns became a growing problem following the collapse of communism and the subsequent economic turmoil.

;*;

Pasha is Lidiya Spiridonova(***)s second child. She lost the parental rights for her first child a couple of years ago due to alcoholism. She now lives with her 55-year-old husband, who helps her drink less. Her two-year-old son has a developmental disability, and she has been unable to find employment for several years.

;*;

Patients at a mental hospital in Velsk, a small town in Arkhangelsk region, have a high rate of alcoholism. More than half of the 405 patients here checked in for substance abuse.

;*;

Maxim Nechaev, 16, calls himself an orphan in spite of the fact that his mother is still alive. She lost her parental rights after Maxim(***)s father died. He was sent to a school for children with developmental disorders in the small northern town of Shenkursk. "I have spent 8 years here already. I don(***)t feel resentment, I got used to it," says Nechaev.

;*;The 15th century Aleksandro-Oshevensky monastery lays in ruins. Father Cyprian was appointed the abbot years ago, but there\(***)s only one novice who stays with him to help restore the building.;*;

Maxim, 35, left the northern town of Arkhangelsk four years ago and decided to become a novice. He was looking for relief from the unpleasant realities and enjoys living a simple life in the monastery. "It will be very difficult for me to go back. I don(***)t know what(***)s going to happen tomorrow, but I feel very happy now," says Maxim.

Daylife ID:
c840e1fd027977b4d3fc8e300ced7fcd
Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera;*;Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Decaying Russian villageshttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villagesen-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Fri, 02 May 2014 12:32:38 GMT http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/4e9ace50d19b417c5448ca803aeaab8f

Thousands of abandoned villages are scattered across northern Russia. Many of them are uninhabited due to the lack of infrastructure and jobs. Pitted roads make those places unreachable, so people have to save food for weeks ahead, especially in early spring when the frozen rivers begin to melt and before ferries are operational.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/4e9ace50d19b417c5448ca803aeaab8fAndrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Thousands of abandoned villages are scattered across northern Russia. Many of them are uninhabited due to the lack of infrastructure and jobs. Pitted roads make those places unreachable, so people have to save food for weeks ahead, especially in early spring when the frozen rivers begin to melt and before ferries are operational.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/0ccfab7fbc5c4474209731d87c6886fd

The decay of Russian village is likely to continue without help from government, investments, infrastructure and social services.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/0ccfab7fbc5c4474209731d87c6886fdAndrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

The decay of Russian village is likely to continue without help from government, investments, infrastructure and social services.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/77ccdf52ae725757ea112767b27f9b5f

The lack of young people is a real threat to the future and sustainability of rural villages. They are being forced out by the government's failure to provide affordable homes and services, such as education and healthcare.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/77ccdf52ae725757ea112767b27f9b5fAndrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

The lack of young people is a real threat to the future and sustainability of rural villages. They are being forced out by the government's failure to provide affordable homes and services, such as education and healthcare.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/38fef738d658b4a0b6bc1835db1a07f2

Railway and timber industry employees are among the best paid jobs in these areas, as their monthly salary can reach up to $800. These workers receive additional compensations for labouring in harsh conditions.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/38fef738d658b4a0b6bc1835db1a07f2Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Railway and timber industry employees are among the best paid jobs in these areas, as their monthly salary can reach up to $800. These workers receive additional compensations for labouring in harsh conditions.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/b95304211d323a842fea827f697b2f48

Aleksander Tarutin, 55, has been working on the railroad for his whole life. "Here, it's more or less stable to work only on a railroad or in the forest industry. I started to work as a mechanic after I finished school, but later on became a welder," says Tarutin.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/b95304211d323a842fea827f697b2f48Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Aleksander Tarutin, 55, has been working on the railroad for his whole life. "Here, it's more or less stable to work only on a railroad or in the forest industry. I started to work as a mechanic after I finished school, but later on became a welder," says Tarutin.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/42106c08d8e1168b5b491fb4b6700c4f

Vladimir Vrachihin, 59, retired five years ago, but keeps working at a sawmill because "the money is good". He admits that life has changed greatly in comparison with the 90s, when "everything was in ruin. Now many private companies own the sawmills, so they want their workers. It's hard to work in the North, but I have no choice," says Vladimir.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/42106c08d8e1168b5b491fb4b6700c4fAndrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Vladimir Vrachihin, 59, retired five years ago, but keeps working at a sawmill because "the money is good". He admits that life has changed greatly in comparison with the 90s, when "everything was in ruin. Now many private companies own the sawmills, so they want their workers. It's hard to work in the North, but I have no choice," says Vladimir.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/7d7ff7dc85162d47819e7ac053aff81a

Thousands of factories in rural Russia are closed which threw millions of people out of work. Most of these factories remain in ruins.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/7d7ff7dc85162d47819e7ac053aff81aAndrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Thousands of factories in rural Russia are closed which threw millions of people out of work. Most of these factories remain in ruins.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/51600e1ffa334510353f24e31665ef0c

Alcoholism in rural towns became a problem with the collapse of communism and economic turmoil that followed.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/51600e1ffa334510353f24e31665ef0cAndrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Alcoholism in rural towns became a problem with the collapse of communism and economic turmoil that followed.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/d498406c802d961bd24e2ed4dbbe7142

Pasha is Lidiya Spiridonova's second child. She lost the parental rights for first child a couple of years ago due to alcoholism. She now lives with her 55-year-old husband, who helps her drink less. Her two-year-old son has a developmental disability, and she has been unable to find employment for several years.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/d498406c802d961bd24e2ed4dbbe7142Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Pasha is Lidiya Spiridonova's second child. She lost the parental rights for first child a couple of years ago due to alcoholism. She now lives with her 55-year-old husband, who helps her drink less. Her two-year-old son has a developmental disability, and she has been unable to find employment for several years.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/5b2670899fd05f3155e389ff88a1926b

The number of patients at a mental hospital in Velsk, a small town in Arkhangelsk region, has a high prevalence with alcoholism. More than half of the 405 patients here checked in for substance abuse.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/5b2670899fd05f3155e389ff88a1926bAndrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

The number of patients at a mental hospital in Velsk, a small town in Arkhangelsk region, has a high prevalence with alcoholism. More than half of the 405 patients here checked in for substance abuse.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/ae160feb22a9d87221e49b95f583a234

Maxim Nechaev, 16, calls himself an orphan in spite of the fact that his mother is still alive. She lost her parental rights after Maxim's father died and was sent to a school for children with developmental disorders in the small northern town of Shenkursk. "I have spent 8 years here already. I don't feel resentment, I got used to it," says Nechaev.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/ae160feb22a9d87221e49b95f583a234Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Maxim Nechaev, 16, calls himself an orphan in spite of the fact that his mother is still alive. She lost her parental rights after Maxim's father died and was sent to a school for children with developmental disorders in the small northern town of Shenkursk. "I have spent 8 years here already. I don't feel resentment, I got used to it," says Nechaev.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/802c50a59b616faf3b893c4b4a0c6d0c

The 15th century Aleksandro-Oshevensky monastery lays in ruins. Father Cyprian was appointed the abbot years ago, but there's only one novice who stays with him to help restore the building.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/802c50a59b616faf3b893c4b4a0c6d0cAndrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

The 15th century Aleksandro-Oshevensky monastery lays in ruins. Father Cyprian was appointed the abbot years ago, but there's only one novice who stays with him to help restore the building.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/4a46e6718662292a10e7e2c2f4a386c0

Maxim, 35, left the northern town of Arkhangelsk four years ago and decided to become a novice. He was looking for relief from the unpleasant realities and enjoys living a simple life in the monastery. "It will be very difficult for me to go back. I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, but I feel very happy now," says Maxim.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Decaying_Russian_villages/slideshow/no-caption/4a46e6718662292a10e7e2c2f4a386c0Andrey Kovalenko/Al Jazeera

Maxim, 35, left the northern town of Arkhangelsk four years ago and decided to become a novice. He was looking for relief from the unpleasant realities and enjoys living a simple life in the monastery. "It will be very difficult for me to go back. I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, but I feel very happy now," says Maxim.



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