The image of Russia that is formed for viewers from the outside consists of many stereotypes — balalaikas, bears, ushanka hats, matryoshka dolls, and Red Square. In TV series and movies, heroes from Russia are invariably presented as bad guys with a rough accent and a non-smiling face. 

Television shows the whole world military parades in the center of Moscow, smooth rows of stone buildings, good roads, and the power of Russian science. 

But what does Russia look like from the inside? 

Wooden backwoods, taiga thickets, complete lack of communication for dozens of kilometers outside the cities, one hospital for 500 kilometers, and, if you are lucky, grandmother’s pie. In reality, the majority of Russian residents (76% of the population according to the Levada Center) have never traveled outside not only their country, but also their hinterland, and only 28% of Russians have a passport. People still live in log houses, heating them with wood from the neighboring forest, water is obtained with a bucket from a well, a hole in the ground is a toilet room, and instead of money, they use commodity exchange. 

I started working on the project after the pandemic began when people started leaving the cities for the countryside in droves. So I went to the village where I had spent my entire childhood to see the Russia that remained in the warm memories of my youth. The route was determined randomly, based on conversations with locals and casual acquaintances. Thus, from the Krasnodar region I gradually climbed up to the north of Russia to the Vepps forests of Karelia, villages of the Leningrad region, taking in the Murmansk region and the Komi Republic. In the project I show Russia not parade Russia, not glossy, not TV, not serialized, but the very Russia.