The Komi Republic, Russia
The people of Komi, who reside in the northern part of Russia, belong to the Finno-Ugric ethnic group.
The family of Arteyevs belongs to Komi-Izhemtsy, the northernmost branch of Komi, who traditionally live by breeding reindeer.
By developing oil industry, Russia invests a lot into its arctic projects.
This threatens the fragile arctic nature as well as Komi’s way and quality of life.
The oil pipelines themselves are not as dangerous as the abandoned wells and drilling of the new ones. The employees of oil industry are careless about nature and leave countless oil spills behind. This leads to soil and water pollution and results in a range of ethical, humanitarian and ecological problems.
Industrial waste is another problem. Metal ropes, boards with rusty nails, pieces of glass make reindeer injure their limbs.As reindeer graze on tundra, such an injury means death from a brown bear, a wolverine or infections. Reindeer are the only Komi’s material value and the people are growing poor by losing the animals.
Polluted drinking water, high risks in tundra for reindeer and herders, working in bad weather — all of this makes many Komi abandon their traditional way of life and find a new job for oil companies, the major employers in the region. To make reindeer herders stay in tundra, Russia abolished military conscription for them, but in spite of it, the population of Komi is steadily decreasing.
Text by Greenpeace Germany
The photo-project “To the last drop” by photographer Dmitrij Leltschuk was winner of the Greenpeace Photo Award 2014, organized by Greenpeace Switzerland and Greenpeace Germany.
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Dmitrij Leltschuk was born in 1975 in Minsk, Belarus. Before moving to Germany, he worked as a freelance journalist. From 2002 to 2007 he studied audio-visual media at the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg. Since 2007 Dmitrij Leltschuk worked as a freelance photographer for magazines such as mare, GEO, Der Spiegel, Hinz & Kunzt, etc.
In his works Dmitrij focuses mainly on documentary and reportage photography. His photographs have been exhibited at international photo exhibitions in Switzerland, Germany, Belarus and Russia. In 2013 his book «The Sand People of Schoina» / «Les hommes de sable de Choina» has been published in French and German, also, in collaboration with Dominique de Rivaz, the documentary «Elegy For a Lighthouse» / «Élégie pour un phare» has been released, where Dmitrij worked as a cameraman.
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