One of the first things that jumped out as I walked around Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk was the number of people walking with baby carriages. This is most notable in the city’s park, where I saw at least a dozen mothers and one dad walking their new borns. As one man told me, Sakhalin has been attracting young specialists from the Russian ‘mainland’ because of higher salaries and chance for an interesting experience.
This young mother was walking her child in a baby carriage around sunset in the center of Yuzhno-Sakhalin. She said she was born on Sakhalin and has ”no plans to leave. I love the nature and life here is getting better. I think life on the mainland is more difficult.” She also wants to be around her family and friends on Sakhalin.
She said she didn’t think about how difficult it might be raising a child – especially in a cold climate – until she had one. ”I probably won’t have another child any time soon,” she said. ”A baby needs constant attention. It is physically and morally exhausting.”