A Photo Essay on Russian provincial life

RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Sergey POLOVTEV, aka "Kaban" (wild boar), beating up Dimtriy.

RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Sergey POLOVTEV, aka “Kaban” (wild boar), beating up Dimtriy.

American photographer Bruce Gilden spent 16 days among ordinary Russians in a small provincial town, 70 km from Yekaterinburg. According to Bruce, this area is populated by former criminals, drug addicts and “lost people.” “Dark Ages community” – describes he the provincial Russia.

RUSSIA. Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Sergey SMIRNOV, aka "diplomat" or "engineer".

RUSSIA. Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Sergey SMIRNOV, aka “diplomat” or “engineer”.

The most time he spent was with a 32-year-old Sergey, nicknamed “Kaban” – a criminal, just released from prison.

RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Sergey POLOVTEV, aka "Kaban" (wild boar), at home.

RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Sergey POLOVTEV, aka “Kaban” (wild boar), at home.

RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Sergey POLOVTEV, aka "Kaban" (wild boar) with a knife.

RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Sergey POLOVTEV, aka “Kaban” (wild boar) with a knife.

Gilden wanted to document everyday life of the local gangsters. Photographer gained the confidence by buying them vodka and food.

RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Sergey POLOVTEV, aka “Kaban” (wild boar).

RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Sergey POLOVTEV, aka “Kaban” (wild boar).

RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Sergey POLOVTEV, aka "Kaban" (wild boar) strangling Alexey LYOHA.

RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Sergey POLOVTEV, aka “Kaban” (wild boar) strangling Alexey LYOHA.

“They all live in the dark decaying village communities. The basis of their life – vodka and violence “- says Bruce.

RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Man in car window.

RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Man in car window.

RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Sergey POLOVTEV, aka "Kaban" (wild boar).

RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Sergey POLOVTEV, aka “Kaban” (wild boar).

Eugene "Savva" Savelyev, 37 year old gangster and drug addict.

Eugene “Savva” Savelyev, 37 year old gangster and drug addict.

RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Sergey POLOVTEV, aka "Kaban" (wild boar) in a bar.

RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Sergey POLOVTEV, aka “Kaban” (wild boar) in a bar.

Sergey says that he is now “not 100% criminal” – he doesn’t want to go back to prison, and, therefore, does “business” – takes money from passing trucks, and from the immigrants who transport drugs.

RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Sergey POLOVTEV, aka "Kaban" (wild boar), at a picnic.

RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Sergey POLOVTEV, aka “Kaban” (wild boar), at a picnic.

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RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Vasily NOBOSYELOV, aka "Ded" (grandfather) and Dimtriy at a picnic.

RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Vasily NOBOSYELOV, aka “Ded” (grandfather) and Dimtriy at a picnic.

Another Sergey, also a "businessman".

Another Sergey, also a “businessman”.

RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Drunk man at picnic.

RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Drunk man at picnic.

The number of women is twice as much as men in that area. because of that, all men, including criminals are in the high demand. Nevertheless, the photographer said that he has a lot of respect for these people. “It’s tough to survive in such environment”, he says.

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RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Sergey POLOVTEV, aka "Kaban" (wild boar), and his wife.

RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Sergey POLOVTEV, aka “Kaban” (wild boar), and his wife.

RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Vasily NOBOSYELOV aka "Ded" (grandfather).

RUSSIA. 70 kilometers from Yekaterinenburg. 2010. Vasily NOBOSYELOV aka “Ded” (grandfather).

– via prophotos-ru.livejournal.com

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