Photo of the Week: Lenin’s Pillars


Vladimir Lenin was born Vladimir Ulyanov. At 31, he changed his name to “Lenin,” most likely after the Lena River, a north-flowing river that crosses the Russian Far East and is used as a frozen highway in winter. The river’s most famous feature are the Leninski Stolbi (or Lenin Pillars), rock formations reached by boat a day’s ride from Yakutsk, a city of … Read on

Video: Russia’s Ysyakh Festival

Yakutsk is the coldest city in the world. In winter, temperatures can fall to 70-below Farenheit. Locals (split evenly between Sakha and Russians) must keep cars running all day — or in heated garages — or their motors freeze up till May. It stands on stilts, to protect itself from the thaws and freezes of the cruel permafrost below. Yet when I returned … Read on