Support The Moscow Times!

The Russian Swiss Family Robinson of the Far East, in Photos

Photographer Ivan Chesnokov traveled to the island of Yelena to meet the Korol family, who have lived in solitude for over two decades. As he got a tour of the ruins of the island's old fortifications, shared a meal of tea and cutlets with Nina, Boris, and Nikolai Korol, and listened to their stories, Chesnokov wondered: "What makes people with a city home move to an island? Why are they more comfortable outside of civilization? How do hermits view themselves and the world around them?"

Through his poignant photos, the answers to those questions come alive as we catch a glimpse of an entirely new way of life.

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.