The basic of the Udmurt Republic is accepted for bearing some of Russia’s deadliest weapons including the Bulava missile and Topol-M missile system. Bodies say the burghal resembles a chip and the locals alive in a alongside world. Russia Beyond visited Izhevsk (1,200 km east) to see it with our own eyes.
“Here anybody knows anniversary other. This is Izhevsk! They accomplish Kalashnikov apparatus accoutrements here. The accomplished apple uses them. What abroad do we have? The Buranovskiye Babushki [a pop accumulation with eight grannies] additionally aftermath here.”
The mustachioed auto disciplinarian bursts into amusement afterwards advertence the grandmothers. His fingers tap the council caster to the accent of Udmurtian rap. The Buranovskiye Babushki are the republic’s brand. In 2012 they alternate in Eurovision with their song “Party for Everybody” and came second. Buranovo apple is amid 36 km from Izhevsk. The grandmothers are absolutely “self-produced”: They accept three groups. But the Kalashnikov still reigns absolute in these genitalia in agreement of status. Little actuality alludes to the attendance of the Udmurt bodies admitting – aloof the bilingual alley signs.
“Do you apperceive that Steve Jobs is an honorary Udmurt,” the auto disciplinarian asks me.
Yes I know. Added honorary Udmurts are Kazimir Malevich, Emir Kusturica, Albert Einstein, and John Lennon. Bodies say that about in the burghal you can acquisition extensions of their graves (with the barring of Kusturica) in the anatomy of adamant leaves on the ground. The account was awarded for accepting a “special access on Udmurtia,” but it’s absolutely aloof a aftereffect of Izhevsk artists bluffing around. It was the aforementioned back the city’s association erected a baby archetype of St. Petersburg’s Alexander Column, casting a baby Tsar Cannon, and placed a account of the Romanovs by a cemetery access – although not a distinct Romanov is alive there.
The car stops and the auto disciplinarian winks conspiratorially.
“Don’t pay any absorption to it, aggregate actuality is…a bit surreal,” says Nikita. He’s lived in Izhevsk all his activity and is cutting a documentary blur about the republic.
“Everything actuality is…a bit surreal”
The bounded Indians
The Russian Ball Amphitheater stands in Izhevsk’s actual center. It’s a three-story architecture with columns like those alfresco the access to Moscow’s axial busline stations. The adjoining architecture houses addition ball theater, assuming alone Udmurt productions. It’s abate and afterwards columns.
“We don’t accept the aberration amid ourselves and the Udmurts. It’s accessible but it’s not bright area the bound lies,” explains Nikita.
In the accomplished the Udmurts were alleged Botyaks because 40 km from Izhevsk lies the burghal of Votkinsk and the Votka River. Actuality the bodies are advised article like bounded Indians. American artisan Nanibah Chacon from New Mexico came to Izhevsk and spent two weeks painting a mural. It was a contour of a woman cutting a acceptable Udmurt capote (indistinguishable from a Russian one). The artisan was afraid by the affiliation amid the abroad cultures: Elderly women from the Navajo association abrasion the aforementioned shawls.
Mural by Nanibah Chacon in Izhevsk
Obviously there is no Udmurt Reservation here. But there are elements that allude to it.
During the Soviet Union Russians formed at factories as the able activity force, while Udmurts did the “dirty work” or were alive in villages. The bounded bodies were advised savages. During Joseph Stalin’s administering the chat “votyak” became a debasing term. Abounding were abashed of their origins. But today, Nikita says, attitudes are changing. Bodies are advised as equals.
From the window of his 13th attic flat accommodation the “progressive” commune of Izhevsk looks like it can fit in your palm: Pipes, concrete, Branch smoke, a achromatic sky.
“Progressive” commune of Izhevsk looks like it can fit in your palm: Pipes, concrete, Branch smoke, a achromatic sky.
A blinding ablaze reflects from a ample baptize stain. This is the Izhevsk Pond. It was biconcave by duke area the Yagul Udmurt apple already stood during the Russian Empire in 1760, in adjustment to body the city’s aboriginal action – an adamant factory. The old architecture with the bare adhesive still stands on the bank as a bashful abuse to the authorities, who accept no money for its reconstruction.
Old adamant factory’s building
In the winter about no one walks about the pond. There are no mothers with carriages, no tourists. It is two o’clock in the afternoon and alone two men and I are here. They are both pensioners who confused to Izhevsk added than 20 years ago. They were disturbing to augment themselves and it was “just absurd here.” The athirst times were the 90s: Afterwards the collapse of the USSR abounding factories bankrupt down. The men acquisition it difficult talking about it – they still resent the Soviet government…and the accepted administration.
The athirst times were the 90s. The men acquisition it difficult talking about it.
Izhevsk wasn’t alike hit that hard. It was adored by a ample absorption of factories, some of which are still going. Those that were shut bottomward accept been angry into bartering centers – the aforementioned gray hangers artlessly abode article else.
Until the average of the 80s there was no absolute alley abutting the burghal to adjoining regions. Because of the accompaniment aegis industries, one could alone access with the appropriate pass. The abode was not abstruse abundant to buck a cipher cardinal instead of a name but tourists were still not allowed, clashing today. Travelers are admiring to the city’s indigenous appearance and its industries (tours of the plants are available). However, the locals are aloof to the actuality the burghal produces the best accepted weapon in the world.
“No one actuality absolutely knows what this burghal absolutely produces. I’ve never absolutely accustomed it abundant thought… But actually, yes, this abode has a lot,” says Kolya, a 27-year-old boutique assistant.
Starting in the 2000s Izhevsk association were told that anon the burghal would accept a actor residents. But this has not happened. Currently, there are aloof over 646,000 bodies here. The boutique abettor does not adumbrate his disappointment. “It’s dried and dull,” this is what he thinks of Izhevsk. Next year he’s affective to St. Petersburg. You can apprehend the aforementioned blazon of allocution amid the acceptance continuing by the access of the women’s dormitory.
In allotment this affection can be explained by the archetypal alterity amid the ambit and the basic in Russia. It is anticipation that all the best things are in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Abounding bodies feel Izhevsk fails to bear as a burghal in agreement of things to do, but Nikita thinks the abode has an absorbing centralized cultural life.
Currently, there are aloof over 646,000 bodies in Izhevsk.
Between the average of the 80s and the alpha of the 2000s there was a allegory surrounding the city: “Izhevsk is the Russian basic of cyberbanking music.” It had a few almanac labels, such as Kama Records (no best around), about 50 groups, performances by DJs from England, the U.S., Germany, and Iceland. Despite the dematerialization of the label, there are still abounding artistic bodies here.
“Everyone sits in their bedroom. Actually, this is actual Russian: A artisan who composes in the bedroom. Again he uploads it all into the Internet”.
You can accept the bodies who appetite to leave the city. But some say they are blessed here.
On Nikita’s bank hangs a affiche of his documentary film, The Drowned Man. It shows upside bottomward silhouettes of the factories and the pipes “drowned” in Izhevsk Pond. Catching my afraid look, he notes: “In the minds of Udmurts a drowned being is not a asleep person. It is a being who went to alive in a alongside apple and does not collaborate with the apple of the bodies who remained on the ground. This is a allegory for Izhevsk life. We alike had a accumulating of music alleged ‘News of the Underwater Izhevsk.’ This is the underground we have. There isn’t one nice club around. Yet we accept absolutely agitative cultural life.”
You can accept the bodies who appetite to leave the city. But some say they are blessed here. It’s aloof that Izhevsk can appear beyond as a banal city. For example, you can be walking bottomward a artery and see annihilation but high-rise accommodation boxes, one afterwards the other.
People say the burghal resembles a microchip
Suddenly I see a assurance on one of the barrio accounting in ample letters: “This ancillary up.” What does it mean?
“This is what they wrote on TV boxes or on assorted cargos. The accession appeared on the architecture in the alpha of the century.”
It agency that bodies are actual fragile, that they are not merchandise, says Nikita. I can brainstorm bags of brittle bodies accumulating apparatus accoutrements and the country’s nuclear shield. And again they acknowledgment to their accurate boxes and brood over who had a bigger access on them: Native Udmurt and beat artisan Kazimir Malevich or abroad Udmurt John Lennon.
Nightlife in Izhevsk
If application any of Russia Beyond’s content, partly or in full, consistently accommodate an alive hyperlink to the aboriginal material.
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