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Crimean Holiday

During my Soviet childhood, my family used to go to Crimea for summer vacations on the Black Sea. Since I grew up in Siberia, where summers were too short and the rivers too cold, the Crimean peninsula’s subtropical climate seemed like the...

During my Soviet childhood, my family used to go to Crimea for summer vacations on the Black Sea. Since I grew up in Siberia, where summers were too short and the rivers too cold, the Crimean peninsula’s subtropical climate seemed like the ultimate paradise. Indeed, back in those days Crimea was commonly known as the “Soviet paradise”—a popular resort for communist apparatchiks and ordinary citizens alike. Since then, things have changed quite a bit, and this former jewel of the Soviet Empire is now a part of independent Ukraine. In 2004, years after I was exiled from Russia, I returned to Crimea to document its transformation and retrace my happy childhood memories.