Spartak Moscow team players and fans celebrate their championship

Spartak Moscow. The champions

Football club Spartak Moscow fans were devastated in summer 2016. And being a fan since I was 3, I was among them.

Winning 9 out of 10 national titles in the nineties, the team has been losing for 15 years. And the fans' new hope, former player legend and a new coach Dmitry Alenichev, failed.

More, hopes were high for 2016/17 season, but the very first games brought a humiliating elimination from Europe League in a 2-game match with an underdog team from Cyprus.

Alenichev resigned and his newly assigned defense coach Massimo Carrera was chosen to head the team towards a few games while the club was negotiating with other candidates. The talks failed but the team kept winning under Carrera's rule, while he was seen mostly as a motivation builder.

He was promoted to be the new head coach, but the miracle stayed. The team went on to crush their opponents from CSKA in the country’s most heated derby. The players scored unimaginable goals in the additional time with those considered veterans showing the never before seen skills and young newcomers swiftly becoming Russian best players.

The miracle stayed with the Red-White. They won the league for the first time in 16 years. They are back.

This story was printed as an album. Additional circulation copies are available here.

 Alexey Navalny speaks at his campaign rally in Khabarovsk, a city on Russian Far East of approximately 600,000

‘This is Navalny’ is a year long photoproject following Alexey Navalny’s insurgent campaign. Navalny, a lawyer and an anti-corruption activist, announced his bid to participate in March 2018 Russian presidential election in late 2016. For more than a year he campaigned across Russia trying to force Kremlin into letting him be in the ballot against Vladimir Putin despite trumped embezzlement accusations and a special bill outlawing those convicted from running.

Navalny’s campaign accumulated almost 200,000 volunteers, got almost $4 millions in small donations and opened 84 local headquarters, his investigative movie on prime minister Dmitry Medvedev been watched 25 millions times, all results prevueusly unseen in the history of Russian grass root campaigning. Navalny criss-crossed Russia twice, staging dozens of record-attending rallies from Murmansk to Vladivostok. He was attacked with green liquid and acid, partially losing sight in one eye. His campaign became a turning point for tens of thousands of young people who for the first time in a generation became engaged in politics and participated in permitted and unpermitted rallies in hundreds of Russian cities and towns.

Given the costs and lack of major independent media in Russia, the project was funded by Navalny’s campaign under the terms of providing total access and zero involvement in editing and publishing.

On December 26th, Alexei Navalny was banned from participating in elections. He announced a ‘voters strike’ and sued the Election Commission.

This story was published in the first issue of SVOY magazin. Available for order here.

 Trump's supporters cheer at the National mall as Donald Trump finishes his oath being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States

Trumpland to the win

Trumpland to the win tells a story of Americans who propelled Donald Trump to an upset victory in November 2016. Those overlooked by the media and by politicians who were charmed with a perceived honesty and empathy shown by the New York billionaire.

This photos (and many more) were published in my album Supertuesday and The Rest Of The Week, available here



Last summer I spent a week on assignment in Abkhazia, Georgia's breakaway region that was recognized as an independent state by Russia 9 years ago.


Militarism & glamoUr in moscow

In this project, I followed the emergence of a new kind of glamour in Russia, one based on militarism and extreme loyalty to the state. I spent several months photographing displays of this new aesthetic everywhere from elite clubs to weightlifting gymnasiums and from army expositions to high-end department stores.

 Donald Trump's supporters on National Mall celebrate him finishing his inauguration speech

Two days in Washington, D.C.

For two days in January 2017, Washington D.C. was full of supporters and haters of the new president, Donald Trump. First ones, in relatively small numbers, came to cheer as mogul-turned-politician promised to stop ‘an American carnage’ and announced his plan of ‘America first’. Second ones mostly came the next morning in order to join The Women’s march that amassed almost 1 million in the nation’s capital.

First ones and second ones had almost no interference and spent the weekend in an entirely different mood. Still, there were some things that made them look alike.


Pussy riot unreleased

On a hot summer weekend a year ago members of Pussy Riot, Russia's premier opposition punk band, were on the streets of Moscow filming a music video for a song that will never be released.

The plot was simple: a camouflaged woman crawls through the city, sometimes she runs or parkours. Every single one of three balaclava-wearing activists/actresses were bruised and injuried, overheating in the heavy combat boots and military uniform.

The song was supposed to highlight militant tendencies in Russian society.


New OrleanS

My second stop on the campaign trail was New Orleans, Louisiana. The city that suffered most when hurricane Katrina hit the US coast is now the city of recovery and (still) the city of bars, jazz and cool neighborhoods packed with places to see, beautiful houses and, well, more bars with great bands playing jazz.

Just like in Iowa, I tried to tell the story of big politics coming to the city that lives its usual life.



Every 4 years Iowans find themselves at the forefront of US and world politics. I spent the week before the caucuses in Iowa City, a town of 73,000 most of whom are connected to the University of Iowa. I covered their daily lives, from chemistry labs to the wrestling matches and from underground Bernie Sanders supporters parties to polling places on the night of the caucuses themselves.


RussiaN Protesters

I've been photographing Russian protesters of all kinds for years.

I've been going to communists' gatherings and right-wing marches. I've been photographing unlawful assemblies and streets blocked by activists. I've witnessed funerals of politicians and opposition leaders being imprisoned. I've been covering state-wide political campaigns and grass root agitation in rural areas.

I've stood in the middle of a crowd of 200,000 and next to mothers heartbroken over their children being sentenced. I've entered apartments after they were searched by police and was under heavy surveillance when photographing in Sochi during Olympics.

Here's a small part of what I have seen.

 Село переходит на газ, хотя трубы котельных продолжают пока дымить. Кто-то доволен, так как газ дешевле, другие ругаются - "администрация никого не спрашивает, это какая-то диктатура". Впрочем, и те, и те признают: в процессе газификации случаются накладки - и прошлой осенью, и этой какие-то районы отключали от котельных и не успевали до холодов перевести на газ.

Russian village that banned wikipedia

Cherniy Yar is a village of 8,000 in the south of Russia. And it has become relatively famous in Russia after a local judge granted the prosecutor's request to ban Wikipedia statewide in August of 2015.

Actually, he requested to ban encyclopedia's entry on an Indian handmade form of cannabis called charas. But because Wikipedia is built on https protocol that would mean banning of the whole site. Though Wikipedia was not eventually banned in Russia, I spent almost two weeks in Cherniy Yar following its daily life.

 People supporting the revolution gather for weekly veche rally in the middle of protesters' camp on Kyiv's main square Maidan.
That very day after the veshe clashes erupted on the people's way from Maidan towards parliament building when people stormed police barricades blocking their path. The protest that was mainly peaceful turned into a complete bloodshed a month later when almost 100 protesters were killed with snipers' fire before president Viktor Yanukovich fled the country.

Ukraine apart

I have been covering the events in Ukraine for a year and a half. What started as a peaceful protest in Kiev turned into a full-scale riot then into a street war, and then through Crimea annexation into a real war in Donbass.

Covering that shift was a tough task, especially as the events fell surreal at the moment (and dso in retrospect).

That revolution was meant to elevate the people of Ukraine and their country to a new level of dignity and prosperity, but it turned into a war that showed the worst in so many people and tore apart so many groups and connections.

Moscow Riots trial

Russian protests of winter 2011/12 were effectively stopped by the government with a few minor changes in country's political system and a few massive pro-Putin counter rallies. And then came the crackdown.

The opposition held a rally on May 6, a day prior to Vladimir Putin's third inauguration. The rally turned into clashes with the riot police forces after they blocked the crowd's path leaving a road way too narrow for an 80,000 march.

Thousands were detained, hundreds served minor terms for different misdemeanors. More then 30 people were arrested including those who were not even on a site. Two dozens were imprisoned and sentenced to up to 4,5 years. Many fled the country. The protest movement dissolved.

Kiev, Then and now

Two years ago, on Maidan revolution first anniversary, I've shot a gallery for Mashable to show side-by-side locations where the unrest unfolded then and now.

Ages of moscow

This June, I did a photo story for Swiss magazine WOZ. I was assigned to show Moscow locations that exist on the intersection of ages, I mostly focused on places with conflict between Soviet and modern times but looked broader into the city I love that is one of the most historically chaosed places on the planet. 

 'Ship-house', a legendary half-a-kilometer-long brutalist apartment building that was used to accomodate scientists working on nuclear energy programs, is now completely changed and somewhat damaged by capitalism.

'Ship-house', a legendary half-a-kilometer-long brutalist apartment building that was used to accomodate scientists working on nuclear energy programs, is now completely changed and somewhat damaged by capitalism.


Moscow hosts relics of St.Nicholas this summer, which have left Bari for the first time in 930 years. The line is 9-hour-long and it leads to the Christ the Savior Cathedral. Opposing it, across the river, life goes as usual.

 Old caroussel horse looks out of a junk store in Moscow

Old caroussel horses look out of an under-the-bridge junk store in Moscow.


Muzeon is an art park in Moscow city center, that hosts dozens of Soviet monuments toppled during the unrest of 1991, including those of Lenin, Stalin and Dzerzhinsky.

Moscow youth walk on an embankment between two districts: Stalin-built area surrounding Kutuzovsky prospect and modern City district. Babushkas on a sightseeing tour do the same across the river.

Burger King's promoter is seen dressed as a burger in front of the main entrance to the Soviet amusement park Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy (VDNKh)

Muscovites use subway wi-fi network on their smartphones to surf web at Kievskaya station that is decorated with Soviet mosaics.

Three generations of Muscovites wait for a tram.

 Mother is walking with her toddler in the Soviet amusement park Exhibitions of Achievements of National Economy (VDNKh)

Mother is walking with her toddler in the Soviet amusement park Exhibitions of Achievements of National Economy (VDNKh)

 Artists are playing chess as they hide from the rain at vernissage next to Tretyakov gallery in Moscow

Artists are playing chess as they hide from the rain at vernissage next to Tretyakov gallery in Moscow

Muscovites are walking in front of the Soviet-era Worker and Kolkhoz Woman monument, expo of Russian army's anti-aircraft self-propelled systems (including one called "Buk" of the same system that supposedly downed Malaysian Boeing over Donbass) and the monorail that was built in 2004

Teenage skaters ride in front of Lenin's monument using it as a ramp on Oktiabrskaya square in Moscow