I have a few random obsessions: Easter Island, Socotra (click for more info), Armenia, Lake Baikal (click for more info), and Siberia. Lake Baikal is in Siberia, so they are kind of similar.

What is about the pictures above that lets the viewer know immediately that you are looking at a place in Russia? The colors? The relief of Stalin? The sense of cold bleakness? I don't know.

The photographer, Donald Weber, took this series of photos called "White Nights: Russia after the Gulag." (Click the sentence to see the rest of the photos.

The series is compelling because of the story it tells: you see people in their everyday lives and all you can really think is that is looks awfully cold.

30 million people went through the Russian gulags. 30 million people is equivalent to the population of both Los Angeles and New York combined.

Today Russia's population is only 142 million people today, and is expected to decrease to 100 million by 2050. I can't help but think that maybe they are thinking they should not have killed so many people in the 19th century. (Click sentence to read article from Economist.)

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