September 01, 2020

Life in Isolation

Life in Isolation
Yoga on Kamchatka. Alexander Khachukaev

The universal quarantining and self-isolating due to COVID-19 has put millions of people in something of a predicament. Every day is the same as the one before, and sometimes we can’t even get together with our closest family members. But for a few, being solitary is a way of life. And so we decided to touch base with people in remote corners of Russia who, because of their jobs or the unique features of their culture, socialize with only a narrow circle of people, yet somehow never feel lonely.

Data from 2019 show a little more than 4,500 people living in Umba, a town in Tersk District that lies over 220 miles south of Murmansk and is still the most densely populated place in the entire district. Here, on the Tersk coast of the Kola Peninsula, kelp (usually found in salads) is worked into the soil (along with local varieties of brown and red algae) to fertilize the potatoes, and virtually every family owns at least one fishing rod.

This is the land of the Pomors.

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Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

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