Russia's forgotten eastern cities captured in gritty photographs by Instagrammer Barabakaa

These dark and gritty images reveal how cities in Russia's forgotten eastern and elsewhere in the country are ridden with misery, homelessness and addiction.

Shot in black-and-white for an even more oppressive feel, photographer Petr Barabakaa’s pictures of the post-Soviet east make for uncomfortable viewing.

The effect is made all the more threatening by his subjects.

Often bruised, dishevelled and poor, they never shy away from the camera, opting instead to stare boldly into the lens.

In one, a young boy calmly points a gun at the camera,.

In another, a woman is seen violently kicking a man on the floor in the middle of a busy street. No-one interjects.

Other pictures show a woman, seemingly drunk, flashing passers-by or a bloodied man limply resting against a wall.

But Barabakaa also manages to capture some lighter moments against the stark, desolate background.

Women having a catch-up, men cheering and girls abandoning their body and modesty to the music.

Barabakaa, who found his first camera in a Moscow skip, attributes his ease of access into Russia’s underbelly to his other passion – skateboarding.

He told Huck magazine last year: “When you skate you are out on the streets.

“You speak a mutual language with the city.

“In some ways, it erases the fear of interacting with life.

“Skaters are impudent and self-confident.

“A lot of the time, you need these qualities for street photography as well.”


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