Yakutia, a region located in Russia’s Far East, is home to some of the most demanding jobs in the world. One such job is ‘vymorozka,’ or ‘freezing out,’ which involves workers braving subzero temperatures to repair ships that are docked in the harbor of Yakutsk. The process can take weeks and requires immense skill and precision, with temperatures dropping as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius (-58 F).
Despite the extreme conditions and the challenges posed by this job, the workers themselves see it differently. Mikhail Klus, a 48-year-old worker who has been performing vymorozka for over a decade, emphasizes that dressing appropriately and adapting to the environment make the job manageable. He even compares it to being in a sauna after taking off his cold-weather gear.
Performing vymorozka also requires extreme caution. The workers must be careful not to cut through the ice too quickly and risk sinking into the water below. Artyom Kovalec, a 22-year-old worker who has been performing vymorozka for three years, acknowledges that at times, the extreme cold can lead to negative emotions and a desire to go home, but he emphasizes the importance of maintaining composure and pushing through until the job is done.