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Photo Essay: The Unworldly Photos of Industrial Waste Landscapes in Russia

At first, these surreal landscapes look like images of far-off planets. But they’re actually photos of sewage drainage channels, waste-water reservoirs and ash disposal sites. “The superficial beauty of these places conceals a horrendous threat to the environment,” said photographer Alexander Sukharev, who spent a few months travelling across Russia capturing these sites with his drone. 

The waters of a lake nearby the Siberian Generating Company Power plant in Novosibirsk are turquoise blue. The toxic lake in Siberia, nicknamed the Siberian Maldives has become a selfie hotspot for locals and tourists. The water, which is saturated with heavy metals and harmful substances can cause allergic reactions or even chemical burns if ingested or touched.

More than 20 years ago, an abandoned copper mine flooded close to Levikha village, in the Sverdlovsk region. The sulphuric acid turned a nearby river orange, burning the soil and trees, and killing all animals who lived there.

The waste treatment facilities in Sterlitamak. Authorities are using bacteria which feed on the waste, to reduce the environmental impact.

Liquid waste reservoir near the town of Zima.

In the Far East of Russia, close to China’s northern border, is the Khabarovsk region. The region is known for its copper, tin and gold mines, and this liquid waste reservoir on the Chita-Khabarovsk highway.

The ash dump of the Artyom CHP power plant in the Primorye region.

The world needs to move fast to make a meaningful difference in the fight against climate change. We all leave an impact on the planet, so we can all play a part in preventing climate change. Read more about our efforts to reduce our impact here. Shop our environmental propaganda posters below or explore the collection here.

Life Threatening | Lithuania | 1983£450.00
Let’s Tidy Up Our Environment | Lithuania | 1972£250.00
Flora | Russia | 1990£600.00
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Further Reading

architecture

Soviet Status Symbols: The Unique Balconies of the USSR

In Ukraine, there are balconies shaped like ship hulls and castles. DIY renovations extend over the streets below, each decorated in a unique style representative of their owner’s identity and requirements.

art

In Conversation with a Soviet Poster Artist: Vladimir Tverdokhlebov

Art runs in my family. My father Sergey Grigoryevish Tverdokhlebov was an artist and spent most of his life working as an art teacher. My uncle Ivan Grigoryevich Tverdokhlebov was a prominent artist in Russia and Chechnya.

company

Celebrating 60 Years of Humans in Space with a New Tour

60 years ago today, humans left Earth for the first time. On 12th April 1961, Soviet cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, achieved Godlike status when he orbited the earth for 1 hour and 48 minutes onboard the Vostok 1. From outer space, borders vanish; and the conflicts that divide nations fade away. Space is our future.

company

Announcing Sustainable, Ethical, Design-led Tours to the Former USSR

Posters tell the stories of the USSR. But not the whole story. The rest needs to be experienced. I’ve had several customers ask for advice on travelling to the former Soviet republics. In my own experience, I’ve found that travelling to many of these countries is often difficult. I wanted to change that.

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+44 7397 297470
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+44 7397 297470
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