Workers at a Siberian shipyard endure harsh subzero temperatures to continue their work.

In the freezing temperatures of Yakutia, Russia’s Far East, workers brave the elements to perform the grueling task of ‘vymorozka,’ or ‘freezing out,’ on ships in a snow-covered shipyard. This demanding work can take weeks to complete, with temperatures dropping as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius (-58 F). As the workers chip away at the ice encasing the ships in need of repair, the vessels are docked in the harbour of Yakutsk on the banks of the Lena River, which is Siberia’s economic lifeblood during summer months.

While locals in Yakutia consider ‘vymorozka’ one of the hardest jobs in the world, workers like Mikhail Klus have a different perspective. The 48-year-old worker believes that dressing appropriately and adapting to extreme conditions make the job bearable. He even compares it to being in a sauna after taking off his cold-weather gear and entering a heated building.

Performing ‘vymorozka’ requires precision and skill. Workers must be careful not to cut through the ice too quickly and risk sinking into water below. Artyom Kovalec admits that at times, extreme cold can lead to negative emotions and a desire to go home and relax but emphasizes that pushing through and maintaining composure are essential for success. Despite these challenges, workers continue to perform this vital work for Siberia’s economy.

By Editor

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