Getty Images grant winner, Simon Roberts, completes project

July 23, 2009 | By Jamie Penney | News, Photography, Photojournalism

Winner of a Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography, Simon Roberts recently completed his project entitled The Russian Army.

Photo courtesy of Simon Roberts

Photo courtesy of Simon Roberts

Roberts writes, “My study begins with an exploration of the military in Russian society, looking at how closely the two are tied. It then follows the lives of conscript soldiers, those young men who are forced to spend 2 years in military service and who still make up the backbone of the army.   It documents them saying goodbye to their loved ones and follows them through their basic training at barracks around Russia.  The Russian army is one of the most problematic and intriguing cornerstones of Russian society.  Every year some 40,000 troops desert, approximately 200 soldiers commit suicide and new conscripts are paid as little as £1 a month. Human Rights Watch (HRW) deputy chairman for Russia, Alexandra Petrov, recently said that, “there are two places in Russia that people die practically on a daily basis: Chechnya and the Army.”

See Simon’s finished essay at Getty Images Grants website.

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