Homeless in Siberia: Surviving the Winter

Alexey Malgavko, a photojournalist working with Reuters, spent time this winter among the homeless population of the Russian city of Omsk. Life is extremely difficult for those living rough in a city where wintertime-low temperatures can reach –22 degrees Fahrenheit (–30 Celsius) at night. Many survive the cold by finding or making shelters along industrial heating pipes that run through the city. Malgavko writes about one of the people he followed, Alexei Vergunov: “It’s a perilous existence. Too far from the pipe and he could die of exposure to the cold. Too close and he could get severe burns without him noticing at first through the haze of hard alcohol that many drink to keep warm and dull reality.”

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