Max Avdeev

In December, photographer Max Adveev travelled to Sochi, where workers were hustling to finish assembling the home of this month’s winter Olympics. He saw the predictable array of cranes, construction sites, and new hotel facilities for the hundreds of thousands of spectators who will watch the game. One thing was missing: Snow! Subtropical Sochi is the rare place in Russia where there’s no snow on the ground for much of the winter.

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IK-28, a maximum-security Russian penal colony, is located in Yertsevo, in the northern Arkhangelsk region near the Arctic Circle. It was once part of a cluster of camps founded in the late 1930s as part of the Gulag system. Today, it houses over 1,000 prisoners, many of whom were convicted on murder or terrorism charges. "Most of them killed two or more people," says photographer Max Avdeev, who shot the prison in February 2010.

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