38 Photos of Russia's Harsh Gulags, Past and Present
38 Photos of Russia’s Harsh Gulags, Past and Present

38 Photos of Russia’s Harsh Gulags, Past and Present

Jacob Miller - September 4, 2017

38 Photos of Russia’s Harsh Gulags, Past and Present
The prison and its surroundings in winter. Guards are allowed to shoot an escaping prisoner after he has crossed the middle wooden fence. It is more humane to shoot an escaping prisoner, there is nothing for miles and would most likely starve. Investigations surrounding the shooting of an inmate rely heavily on the position the body is found in. If the prisoner’s head is facing away from the camp, he is presumed an escapee and the case is closed. newrepublic
38 Photos of Russia’s Harsh Gulags, Past and Present
This photo shows the head of IK-28, a maximum-security Russian penal colony, 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. newrepublic
38 Photos of Russia’s Harsh Gulags, Past and Present
Roll call is taken three times a day. Escape is nearly impossible. newrepublic
38 Photos of Russia’s Harsh Gulags, Past and Present
A young rabbi from Moscow leads a ceremony with Jewish prisoners. Prison authorities tolerate all religions, figuring that a practicing prisoner is less trouble than an idle one. newrepublic
38 Photos of Russia’s Harsh Gulags, Past and Present
An inmate baking bread for the prisoners’ breakfast. newrepublic
38 Photos of Russia’s Harsh Gulags, Past and Present
An inmate walks past the prison barracks on his way to his daily work mandate. newrepublic
38 Photos of Russia’s Harsh Gulags, Past and Present
Prisoners are kept in distinct sectors to prevent them from sharing items and ideas with other groups. For example, prisoners convicted of terrorism charges (mainly from Chechnya) are kept together in one sector. newrepublic
38 Photos of Russia’s Harsh Gulags, Past and Present
Prisoners walking past a Russian Orthodox Church back to their sectors after dining. newrepublic
38 Photos of Russia’s Harsh Gulags, Past and Present
The sign reads, ‘Every employee is a teacher and a controller’. newrepublic
38 Photos of Russia’s Harsh Gulags, Past and Present
These prison guards are on a 2-hour, 25-kilometer trip for a shift change with guards at a colony-settlement of about 100 non-dangerous prisoners. It’s about -31ºF outside, and around 10ºF inside the truck. newrepublic
38 Photos of Russia’s Harsh Gulags, Past and Present
This inmate oversees the prison’s Russian Orthodox church, which is attended by about 30 inmates. newrepublic
38 Photos of Russia’s Harsh Gulags, Past and Present
This inmate was allowed to keep his mustache after proving that it was a part of his family heritage dating back to the 16th century. newrepublic
38 Photos of Russia’s Harsh Gulags, Past and Present
This prisoner, convicted of killing two people, chops wood. newrepublic
38 Photos of Russia’s Harsh Gulags, Past and Present
A prisoner chopping trees as his daily work. newrepublic
38 Photos of Russia’s Harsh Gulags, Past and Present
Locals near the railway station. There are two trains a day out of Ercevo—one to Arkhangelsk in the morning, and one to Moscow in the evening. newrepublic
38 Photos of Russia’s Harsh Gulags, Past and Present
The dining hall. newrepublic
38 Photos of Russia’s Harsh Gulags, Past and Present
Workers return to their sector at night. newrepublic
38 Photos of Russia’s Harsh Gulags, Past and Present
Guards form a perimeter, discouraging prisoners from making a run for it. There is nowhere to go. newrepublic

 

Sources For Further Reading:

History Channel – Gulag

The Moscow Times – 7 in 10 Russians Support Reviving ‘Gulag’ Prison Labor

Bloomberg – It’s Not a Gulag, Russia Says of Plan to Put Prisoners to Work

The Times – Gulag Camps That Killed Two Million Gave People Start in Life, Russia Declares

The Atlantic – The Truth About Stalin’s Prison Camps

The Conversation – Russia and The Gulag: Putin Is Fighting for State Control Over How Soviet Horrors Are Remembered

The Guardian – ‘A Lifetime Sentence’: Children of The Gulag Fight to Return from Exile

All That’s Interesting – 32 Disturbing Photos of Life Inside Soviet Gulag Prisons

West Port Library – Bolshevik Revolution: 1917: The Sparks That Ignited Revolution

Smithsonian Magazine – What You Need to Know First to Understand the Russian Revolution

The Guardian – Russia’s Gulag Camps Cast in Forgiving Light of Putin Nationalism

Encyclopedia Britannica – Pavel Alexandrovich Florensky

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