Photographers' Blog

Cut off

By Maxim Zmeyev
October 22, 2014

Moscow, Russia
By Maxim Zmeyev

Artist Pyotr Pavlensky sits on a wall after he cut off a part of his earlobe during his protest action titled "Segregation" in Moscow

A fence, four meters high. Three things: the artist, a knife and an ear. Outside, 2 degrees Celsius. One second– and a stream of blood, obeying the universal law of gravity, flows down, adding a new color to the picture.  The artist, completely naked, will spend the next two hours with a knife in his right hand and a cut-off earlobe in the left.  He doesn’t blink, or perhaps I cannot see it. He is silent. He looks, but he doesn’t see. He’s frozen and only the cold air that hits him, shakes him, gives him shivers, brings out a man in him and not a Roman statue that materialized on the wall  enclosing the Serbsky State Scientific Center for Social and Forensic Psychiatry.  And of course, the blood, still flowing and which I will later see on his leg and his buttocks. A passing pigeon sits briefly next to him, taking a part in the protest – the artist and the wall become one.

An American rebel in Ukraine

September 29, 2014

Yasynuvata, Ukraine

By Marko Djurica

He stood beside a jeep, wearing the Russian army’s tight, black boots and trousers, that most of the insurgents wear, and a green military jumper. A small compass and large hunting knife in a sheath hung on his belt, an AK47 was slung over his shoulder. He looked straight at me through a balaclava. As I approached, he seemed to get bigger and bigger.

Ukraine: One-on-one with the pro-Russian protesters

April 30, 2014

Donetsk, Ukraine

By Marko Djurica

“You have got to meet the Mexican,” said Wolf.

“Who is the Mexican?” I asked.

“He is our boss, you can ask him about this barricade, come with me.”

Wolf was dressed in a green uniform without any insignia. “Donbass” – the eastern Ukrainian region where pro-Russian separatists seem to be increasingly gaining control – had been written on his green helmet in permanent marker.

A different kind of field trip

April 22, 2014

Stavropol, Russia

By Eduard Korniyenko

Students at the General Yermolov Cadet School take all the same classes as their contemporaries would in any other Russian middle school. But there is a difference – pupils here are also given a military education.  

Ukraine Euromaidan

December 20, 2013

Kiev, Ukraine

By Marko Djurica

Slava Ukraini, Heroyam Slava!

At the beginning I didn’t understand what they were chanting.

The speaker at the podium repeated, “Slava Ukraini” and a mass of people responded in one voice: “Heroyam Slava!”

Sochi’s struggling locals

November 14, 2013

Sochi, Russia

By Tom Peter

“We meant to do better, but it came out as always.”

Everyone in Russia knows this phrase, unintentionally coined by the late prime minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and applicable to an abundance of situations in this country, where official pronouncements of intent are often so far removed from reality that you could cry. Though instead of crying, Russians ruefully utter this aphorism and smile.

A torch in space

November 12, 2013

Zhezkazgan, central Kazakhstan

By Shamil Zhumatov

PART ONE: LAUNCH

During more than a decade of covering Russia’s space exploration program, I have seen pretty unusual missions. I have taken pictures of an investor heading for the International Space Station, as well as those of a clown and programmers flying into orbit. But the most recent space launch and landing have probably become the most unforgettable – the torch of the forthcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia’s Sochi reached space and then returned to Earth. Now, as I play back this hectic flurry of events, it is still hard to believe how closely these two things are entwined – the Olympics and space. The Olympic Games had been aimed by the authorities to strengthen Russia’s image. Given this ambitious task set by Moscow, Russia’s space program – a symbol of national pride, albeit marred by several botched unmanned launches – simply couldn’t stand aloof. Space was doomed to become part of this bright political show.

At home with a hermit

By Ilya Naymushin
October 25, 2013

South of Russia’s Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk

By Ilya Naymushin

Viktor is a hermit who, for the last ten years, has lived all alone in the wild Siberian forest by the banks of the Yenisei River.

Riding the Moscow metro

August 22, 2013

Moscow, Russia

By Lucy Nicholson

London has the world’s oldest underground rail system; Tokyo’s metro has employees to push people into packed trains; New York’s subway is an ethnic melting pot. Hidden beneath the streets of Moscow is something completely different. To step onto the Moscow metro is to step back in time and immerse yourself in a museum rich in architecture and history.

Is it him, or is it not?

July 10, 2013

Havana, Cuba

By Desmond Boylan

Yesterday, a strong rumor that a delayed flight from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport due to land in Havana could be carrying fugitive former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, sent dozens of reporters scrambling to the airport. Since June 23, this has happened many times already.