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The Solovetsky Islands

Sideburn's Rome-based deputy editor, Mick Phillips, weighing in with a light and fluffy seasonal post...

Under leaden skies heavy with snow, dogs play and bicker over a two-stroke Franken-mobile. One of a series of shots taken in 1992 by Finnish photographer Pentti Sammallahti on the Solovetsky Islands, which rise out of the White Sea in what was then the far north east of the Soviet Union. The Islands have a grim history involving 17th century sectarian slaughter and the establishment of the first of the USSR’s infamous labour camps in 1921, covered in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago; essential winter reading with a Stoli in hand and a mutt at your feet.

Merry Christmas. MP


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