KARGOPOL, NORTH RUSSIA: "There was a leader called Brezhnev - the period was great," said the 78-year old retired engineer (left) about Russia's recent history. He was fishing for pleasure by the river around sunset time as he spoke about the late and post Soviet periods, a friend popping by at one point to see what the caught. Although "cars were a luxury" during the Brezhnev years, food was ecologically sound and people could earn a salary that enabled them to take a vacation, he said. He said salaries are low in the region and many people just get by, pausing to ask rhetorically how salaries could be so low in a country so rich in natural resources.
KARGOPOL, NORTHERN RUSSIA: "First I wanted to study medicine, but then changed my mind as I am afraid of all that (injuries, blood)," said Irina, 16, in the center in the M&M-print with her classmates beside her. She was walking with her friends through the town in the late afternoon after classes. Born in a village in Northern Russia, she moved to a town (pop. 10,000) to study at a college with plans to become a teacher. She lives with her older sister and hopes to move further north to the city of Severodvinsk, military town on the White Sea. "There is no work in the village. I need to get into this world."