In the frigid region of Yakutia, located in Russia’s Far East, workers endure subzero temperatures to carry out the labor-intensive task of ‘vymorozka,’ or ‘freezing out,’ on ships that are docked in the harbor of Yakutsk. The ice encasing these vessels is chipped away by skilled workers who must take extreme care not to cut too quickly and risk causing the carved dugout to sink into the water below.
The locals in Yakutia consider this job one of the hardest in the world, but 48-year-old worker Mikhail Klus has a different perspective. He emphasizes that dressing appropriately and adapting to the extreme conditions make the job bearable, likening it to being in a sauna after taking off his cold-weather gear.
Performing ‘vymorozka’ requires precision and skill, as well as mental fortitude. Twenty-two-year-old Artyom Kovalec admits that at times, he feels overwhelmed by negative emotions and a desire to go home, eat, and relax. However, he emphasizes the importance of pushing through and maintaining composure to successfully complete this demanding task. Despite the challenges involved in this job, these brave workers continue to perform their duties with determination and dedication.