Rivers

Father Tito, a rector at the Church of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist in the village of Myeldino, looks at the Vychegda river. He complains, "There are few churchgoers, and not enough hands to keep up repairs on the church. The local men don't want to work. They've got no more faith. Maybe this is our fate. The punishment for our sins
Soviet curtains are pictured in an abandoned house on the Vychegda river. Like most previously navigable rivers, Vychegda is shallow. Villages with people still living in them are only found near to the cities along the river, where there are proper roads. Even in the deeper waters, you're unlikely to find any ships. Close to villages and cities, people race around on motorboats. For the most part, people busy themselves with fishing. What else is there to do, after all?
A folklore ensemble from the neighboring village of Markushka arrives to Sergievskaya Sloboda village to celebrate its 380th anniversary. "Russian culture is disappearing," says soloist Daria. "The youth have already changed. They don't understand. For instance, I am in an ethnographic study group in the city of Vologda, but there are very few of us, because nobody is interested in these things. Everybody's forgotten about such things—they just make fun of it. In Moscow, though, there's a cultural revival happening. When I went to Vologda for City Day, some teachers from Moscow visited and gave us a lesson in singing. They said they get together for every holiday, and there are always more and more people coming out to celebrate."
Ulyanovsky monastery, almost destroyed during Soviet time is seen on the Vychegda river. Along the north rivers, the occasional church pans into view. Here the partly rejuvenated churches and monasteries are like ruined anthills, where the odd surviving ant can be seen slavishly dragging a conifer.
A folklore ensemble from the neighboring village of Markushka arrives to Sergievskaya Sloboda village to celebrate its 380th anniversary. "Russian culture is disappearing," says soloist Daria. "The youth have already changed. They don't understand. For instance, I am in an ethnographic study group in the city of Vologda, but there are very few of us, because nobody is interested in these things. Everybody's forgotten about such things—they just make fun of it. In Moscow, though, there's a cultural revival happening. When I went to Vologda for City Day, some teachers from Moscow visited and gave us a lesson in singing. They said they get together for every holiday, and there are always more and more people coming out to celebrate."
An elderly nun attends a prayer at Ulyanovsky monastery located on Vychegda river.
An abandoned house in the village of Sedtydin on the shores of the Vychegda river in the Komi Republic. Today, a swallow and her chicks are the only residents left.
An oilfield near the village of Сolva. According to Greenpeace, more than 4 million barrels of oil spill into the Arctic Ocean every 18 months.
Tatiana is from the village of Colva, which is located on a river by the same name in the Komi Republic. Milking her cow, she covers the animal in a blanket, to protect her from insects. Almost every year, during the ice drift, the town's residents watch the ice turn black, contaminated with oil. The nearby oil factory, in compensation for the damage it causes Kolva, repaves small sections of the downtown road. Looking at the different colors of pavement, you can count the number of oil spills over the past several years.
Andrey Tikalov from the village of Laikovo, showing his trophy from the banks of the Izhma river. Helping hitch our boat to the only functioning truck in the village, Andrey and his family speak with great pride about his eight-grader daughter. "Valya knows how to fish all by herself! She's been able to drive since she was ten! " He pauses, considering his next remark carefully. "It's America against Russia, they say on television. If the Americans really put the screws to us, we'll all end up living like we did in the 19th century. Those who can live on their own will be the ones to survive. It will be tough. My daughter will make it."
A family, Olga and Alexey Sergeev is pictured in a former Soviet river dispatching office i Ust-Vologodskoye. Alexey is a worker at local businessman Alexander Zheltov's (an owner of local river fleet and ports) company