In Russia, the Chukchi are known as folk characters - the heroes of jokes about naive natives. In reality, this is a nation of brave hunters and reindeer herders, freedom-loving people whom tsarist forces tried unsuccessfully to conquer for more than a hundred years.
Where guns proved powerless, alcohol and Soviet forced education in orphanages played a fatal role. Now the Chukchi nation is on the verge of extinction. This is not even assimilation, since they do not become Russian. Loss of language and culture leads to alcoholism and untimely death. This process is slowed down in communities engaged in traditional activities - such as hunting for sea animals such as seals, walruses and whales. To minimize any negative impact on the environment, hunting is subject to Russian regulations and international agreements: for example, residents of 14 Chukchi villages are allowed to catch a total of 140 gray whales per year. Hunters use modern boats, but the principle of the hunt and the construction of the harpoon have remained almost unchanged for more than two thousand years. Sometimes community members fall in icy water and die. But this hunt is the only way to supply fellow villagers with fresh meat. It is distributed free of charge: trade is prohibited, hunters receive compensation directly from the state. To support other communities, sea animal hunters embark on dangerous trips between the Pacific and Arctic oceans. Looking at them, it is easy to imagine the Chukchi of past centuries - harsh hunters and warriors, strikingly different from the heroes of the "Chukchi" jokes.
Vladimir Sevrinovsky is a Russian journalist, photographer, writer and producer of documentaries. Born in 1975, Russia, Moscow. Vladimir has Ph.D. in Economics. In 2011 he abandoned successful career in business to become a traveler and an independent journalist. He visited all regions of Russia and wrote multiple award-winning stories. Later he began to support them with photos. Now his dominant sphere of interest is the Northern Caucasus. He became an expert on the ethnography of local nations. He also uses every chance to explore different cultures in other parts of Russia. Vladimir is regularly published both in the leading Russian mass media (Meduza, TASS, Russian reporter) and the leading photo magazines (National Geographic Russia, Bird in flight). He produces documentaries for TV companies of Switzerland, Germany and Great Britain. He is also the head of direction «Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan» of the Caucasus Explorer, a Russian tour operator.