Monday, August 12, 2013

An Intimate Look at Life in a Harsh Russian Gulag

IK-28, a maximum-security Russian penal colony, is located in Yertsevo, in the northern Arkhangelsk region near the Arctic Circle. It was once part of a cluster of camps founded in the late 1930s as part of the Gulag system. Today, it houses over 1,000 prisoners, many of whom were convicted on murder or terrorism charges. "Most of them killed two or more people," says photographer Max Avdeev, who shot the prison in February 2010.

Given the growing number of Russian political prisoners who find themselves in jail—Mikhail Khodorkovsky, two members of the punk band Pussy Riot, and soon, opposition politician Alexey Navalny—we thought we'd show you what Russian penal colonies look like. This is one of the harsher ones.—Julia Ioffe


The head of the prison.

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