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Everyday Russia


Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Name: Alexander Gayvoron

Age: 28

Profession: Teacher

City: Sakhalin Island

How long have you been doing photography? Since 2015.


Can you give us a short description of your city? Sakhalin Oblast is the only Russian oblast located on an island. Many years ago, the island was a prison for the mainland. Later, southern Sakhalin and the Kuriles was occupied by Japan, which left these lands after Japan's loss in the Second World War.

Sakhalin is rich in natural resources and beautiful, mysterious nature.

Today, the main activities for growth are fishing and oil and gas.

What is something about your area that only locals would know? One of the most significant events on the island was the arrival of A.P. Chekhov.

The weather on the island is extremely volatile. There is a local expression: Summer arrived on Sakhalin today, be sure you don't miss it (на Сахалине наступило лето, не проспите этот день).

Sakhalin's distance from greater Russia, the mainland, has left a significant imprint.

Which places or sites are a must for someone to see if they visit your area? The many objects left behind by the Japanese. Lighthouses. Bays. The ski resort "Gorny Vozdukh" (Mountain Air).

  • Birds

    Vladimirovka-Toyohara and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk are two names for one city in different times. The city is not so big. There are two main streets that run parallel to each other. Lenina Street and Mira Avenue. Interestingly, these parallel lines cross on one point and thus destroy all the laws about parallel lines. Actually there are a lot of strange things on our island.

    Alexander Gayvoron

  • Wave

    What is an island without the sea? The sea is everywhere. It is our life. There are two seas washing Sakhalin: the Sea of Okhotsk and the Japanese Sea.

    Alexander Gayvoron

  • Net

    A fisherman who is waiting for a school of capelin. Fishing is done by hoop nets and drifters along the coast, in the evening or at night. A school of fish is attracted to light from a lighthouse or lamp. 

  • Peekaboo

    Nogliki village. Workers in the oil and gas industry come here by train. After that they are sent to their work places. Indigenous people live in an area which is called "Kolkhoz."

    Alexander Gayvoron

  • State Seal

    In 1869 Sakhalin was declared a place of hard labor. Anton Chekhov visited Sakhalin in 1890 and did a great social and scientific work surveying conditions on the island. "Sakhalin Island" showed that the island was a place of unbearable suffering. In 1908, four years after Chekhov's death, the island was declared free.

    Alexander Gayvoron

  • Car

    The village of Duye is where hard labor (katorga) began on Sakhalin. Currently, the village is closed. Residents were moved to other cities. This place has great historical value. Anatoly Yufkin was born in Duye. He worked in the mines and in the boiler room. He is not happy that he had to move to another city. He sincerely loves his old home.

    Alexander Gayvoron

  • Dog

    A fishing camp. 

    Alexander Gayvoron

  • Flight

    Vzmorie village is located on shores of the Sea of Okhotsk. You can buy fresh crabs and very tasty bread here. The gate of a Japanese Shinto temple can be found in the village.

    Alexander Gayvoron

  • Fish

    Our island can get lost on a map of the Russian Federation and worldmap. Many mainlanders in Russia know only fairy tales about Sakhalin. That the island looks like a fish on map is symbolic: fishing industry is one of the island's main industries.

    Alexander Gayvoron

  • Family Portrait

    People say that citizens of Sakhalin Island differ from other people, I can tell you that real Island people are strong spirited, purposeful and kind. This is an apartment in the seaport city of Korsakov. It is rather typical. The Kuznetsov family lives in this flat. The home is not so big but all members of family live friendly together. You can feel cosiness and warmth in this place. 

    Alexander Gayvoron

  • Sunbeam

    Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk railway station building. The front of this building was designed by Pacific Nation University teacher and architect Nataliya Savkova. The narrow-gauge railway goes from the capital to the north of Sakhalin and was built by the Japanese.

    Alexander Gayvoron

  • Some Tea

    Mariya Fyodorovna has been dealing with the fishing industry for during 20 years. Now she sells fresh fish. Visiting her shop is like visiting a natural history gallery of the sea. 

    Alexander Gayvoron

  • Exit

    There is only one underpass in all Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. It is located under a railway platform. It was dug by the Japanese then repaired in the Soviet era.

    Alexander Gayvoron

  • Hands

    In Lopatin lighthouse, located near the Nevelsk on the shores of the Tatar Strait. It was built by the Japanese. It is hard to explain the feelings that occur during the first climb to the top of the lighthouse. Fresh breeze, the sea, all the world is below you and even the seagulls fly beneath you. I want to come back there all time. I am a frequent guest of lighthouse and its residents the Komarov family. This time we met the son of the lighthouse keeper - Sergei. He spent his childhood at lighthouses. He studied on the mainland then served in the army, but still returned to Sakhalin and lighthouses.

    Alexander Gayvoron

  • Bus

    Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. It is quite cold on streets now. The streets are mostly empty. People are waiting for the long-expected hot summer sun. There was snow on June 5.

    Alexander Gayvoron

Related Content

October 3, 2013
Who “Discovered” Sakhalin?

You think planting a flag on a piece of land makes you own it? Think again! With Sakhalin, it was just one step in the long back-and-forth between Russia and Japan.

Who “Discovered” Sakhalin?
By Eugenia Sokolskaya
Read More