KAZAN: "I usually dress very bright: a red t-shirt, blue shoes and green pants for instsnce," said Elya, 17. She was returning from the aviation university, where she studies programming. Elya wanted to study landscape design, but she could not get a scholarship for that department, so she chose programming instead. "I realized I like working with computers and understanding how games are made," Elya said, explaining her choice of majors. She said she loves Kazan, but would like to see the city take care of the run-down buildings.
MOSCOW: Daria, 17, was returning from the Tretyakovsky Gallery, one of Russia's best known museums. A native of Crimea, it was her first visit to the museum, so she spent four hours walking around. Having studied in an art school, she wanted to see up front the paintings by Repin and Vasnetsov that she read about in her text books. Daria said she studies philosophy and would like to become a speaker in her hometown. She said her shawl represents Slavic culture and religion.
MOSCOW: These days I see a lot more girls and women dressed in black from head to two. Dasha, left, wants to be a musician and her friend Valeria an architect. They are 15.
ARKHANGELSK: ''My twin sister and I are planning right now to move to Moscow because of the job market here. People of my age are leaving, but they are choosing St Petersburg, not Moscow," said Daria, 25, who works in real estate. "There isn't much work and the salaries are disappointing. I was working as an engineer, but left because I was earning a very small salary. I now earn three times more." According to local people, the median salary is around 15,000-20,000 rubles ($250-$300 based on the current ruble-dollar rate).
MOSCOW: Dasha, 21, was crossing a foot bridge in the center of Moscow as she listened to music on her phone. She was dressed in a large summer hat, a blue flower-patterned dress and turquoise converse sneakers. Dasha said she grew up in Tver town and studies economics at a university in Moscow. She said she has two more years of study and works part-time while finishing up her education. Her brother is also studying in Moscow, she said.
MOSCOW: Alyona, 21, was sitting in the Moscow metro wearing sunglasses, a flower-pattern dress and pink sweater. She said she is from the Moscow suburbs, about an hour from the city by train. Alyona said she studies at a medical institute and works at the moment at a military hospital.
MOSCOW: Yulia was wearing a black turban and red makeup below her eyes as she rode a foot scooter in the center of Moscow. It is unusual to see someone wearing a turban in Russia, though this fashion statement may be catching on. Yulia said - not surprisingly - that she is a fashion design student and was on her way to a popular clothing mall with friends.
MOSCOW: Approaching the main entrance to Moscow's VDNKh Park on weekends, you are greeted by young people selling balloons. The sellers say the profit from the balloon sales goes to a fund that helps children, but some say it's a scam as there are no documents indicating the fund actually exists. According to some bloggers, a group of scam artists is hiring students like this girl to sell the balloons. This teenage girl said she had been selling the balloons for a few weeks. She was dressed very colorfully, with striped socks pulled up to her knees and a bright yellow coat.
MOSCOW: Roman, 31, was headed toward a shopping mall in Moscow on Sunday spring day dressed in camouflage pants and sneakers. A fan of 20th century American art, Roman said he worked as an art director at clubs and restaurants, but recently moved to financial consulting. ''I felt I needed more serious work because working as an art director isn't stable, especially now.''