In the snow-covered shipyard of Yakutia, Russia’s Far East, workers brave subzero temperatures to perform the backbreaking task of ‘vymorozka,’ or ‘freezing out,’ on ships in need of repair. This tedious and demanding work can take weeks to complete, with temperatures plummeting as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius (-58 F). The vessels are docked in the harbour of Yakutsk on the banks of the Lena River, the economic lifeblood of Siberia in the summer.
Despite being named one of the hardest jobs in the world by locals in Yakutia, the workers themselves have a different perspective. According to 48-year-old worker Mikhail Klus, dressing appropriately and adjusting to the extreme conditions make the job bearable. He even likens the feeling of taking off his cold-weather gear and entering a heated building to being in a sauna.
Performing ‘vymorozka’ requires precision and skill. The workers must be cautious not to cut through the ice too quickly and risk the carved dugout sinking into the water below. While colder weather results in smoother ice and better working conditions, it can take a toll on some workers. Twenty-two-year-old Artyom Kovalec admits that at times, extreme cold can lead to negative emotions and a desire to go home, eat, and relax but emphasizes that pushing through is necessary and maintaining composure is crucial for success.
The workers at this shipyard are true heroes who endure unimaginable conditions every day to keep their fellow man safe from harm. Their dedication is inspiring and serves as an example for all those who face adversity head-on.
In conclusion, performing ‘vymorozka’ in Yakutia is no easy task. It requires skillful precision and patience due to its demanding nature that takes weeks to complete with temperatures dropping as low as -50 degrees Celsius (-58 F). Despite being named one of the hardest jobs in