Russian photographer Arseniy Kotov has done his best to document some of the most extreme and fascinating places in Russia and the post-Soviet lands that surround it.
And you can see the fascinating fruits of their labor in the new book Soviet Seasons (Design and publication of fuels).
Arseniy, who has also published a photobook called Soviet Cities, reveals in the introduction that he traveled through Siberia during the winter of 2019, visiting cities that were never less than 700 km (434 miles) away, and that he even got a job in remote places. and the frigid Norilsk (the record low is -53 ° C) for six weeks, during which he “photographed the surreal and beautiful landscapes, sometimes with snowdrifts reaching up to the third floor of the buildings.”
During the close of spring 2020, he says, he walked along the Volga from Samara to Ulyanovsk, stopping in towns and villages along the way, then stayed for a month in Moscow, visiting nearby cities like Vladimir, Obninsk and Kaluga.
He adds: “Every summer for the past seven years, I have traveled to different parts of the Caucasus, including all the regions of the Russian Caucasus and all the republics of Transcaucasia. In this land of glaciers and ancient settlements, I have been struck by the juxtaposition of mountainous landscapes with paneled apartment buildings so familiar to those of us who live in post-Soviet towns and cities.
Scroll down to see 15 of the fascinating images featured in the author’s latest volume …
Pictured above is an abandoned office in the icy Siberian city of Norilsk, where temperatures can drop below -50 ° C. Sometimes it is too cold, Arseniy explains, for workers in the center of the city. city in Norilsk return home at night, so schools, kindergartens, theater, museum and other public buildings are equipped for them to spend the night.
Hot water generated from Norilsk Combined Heat and Power Plant No. 1 is discharged into Lake Dolgoye [pictured] to prevent the water from freezing, explains Arseniy. And he adds: ‘This makes it a popular spot for winter swimmers, even though the water temperature is close to zero.’
This bleak scene is a view from a window to the Orbita receiving station in Norilsk, built in 1967. Arseniy explains: “This rhythm communications receiving station allowed the people of Norilsk to watch television programs transmitted by the Molniya 1 satellites through of the USSR “
An image showing the coke plant in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, which is located northeast of Norilsk. Construction of the plant began in 1915, says Arseniy
This image was taken in the Siberian city of Angarsk and shows a mosaic mural created sometime between 1969 and 1975 with a space exploration theme.
Mosaics on Komsomolskaya Street in Norilsk, created in 1973. Arseniy explains: “These mosaics were designed by a group of Norilsk artists led by painter Nikolay Loy. They immortalize stories from the life of the Komsomol (the League of Young Leninist Communists of the Union), whose members helped in the construction of this part of the city ‘
Here is ‘Worker and Kolkhoz Woman’, a stainless steel monument in Moscow made by Vera Mukhina, the ‘Queen of Soviet sculpture’. It was built, explains Arseniy, in 1937 for the World’s Fair in Paris and is recognized as an exceptional example of socialist realism, ’employing an Art Deco aesthetic to embody the ideals of the USSR’
A dramatic May storm over Lenina Avenue in Samara, southwestern Russia. Arseniy explains in the book that this apartment block was built for employees of the Progress Rocket and Space Plant design department, with large green spaces, playgrounds and sports facilities.
Victory Monument in Veliky Novgorod, erected in 1974 on the 30th anniversary of the liberation of Novgorod from Nazi occupation and intended, explains Arseniy, to ‘represent the great power of the Soviet state and the achievements of its people in the defeat of Germany ‘
This Svan village in Ushguli, Georgia, is located on the banks of the Inguri River, Arseniy explains, and at 2,200 (7,217 feet) meters above sea level, it is the highest permanent settlement in the Caucasus. “Traditional Svanetian tower houses,” adds the author, “have considerable historical interest, and the area is a Unesco World Heritage site.”
Wonderfully mountainous: alpine meadows and wildflowers in beautiful Svanetia, Georgia
Shown here is the impressive Irick River Valley in Kabardino-Balkaria in the North Caucasus.
A beach scene in Kaspiysk in Dagestan, which is located on the Caspian Sea coast. In the background is an abandoned naval weapons plant from 1931 that housed a torpedo workshop.
The impressive monument to the ‘Mother of Georgia’ in Tbilisi, Georgia, which was erected in 1958
A man driving a horse and cart in Krivoy Rog in central Ukraine