In the snow-covered shipyard of Yakutia, Russia’s Far East, workers brave subzero temperatures to perform the tedious and demanding task of ‘vymorozka,’ or ‘freezing out,’ on ships in need of repair. This job can take weeks to complete, with temperatures plummeting as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius (-58 F). Despite being named one of the hardest jobs in the world by locals in Yakutia, the workers themselves have a different perspective.
According to 48-year-old worker Mikhail Klus, dressing appropriately and adjusting to the extreme conditions make the job bearable. He even likens the feeling of taking off his cold-weather gear and entering a heated building to being in a sauna. Performing ‘vymorozka’ requires precision and skill. The workers must be cautious not to cut through the ice too quickly and risk the carved dugout sinking into the water below. While some may find the extreme cold takes a toll on their emotions and desire to go home, eat, and relax at times, Artyom Kovalec emphasizes the need to push through and maintain composure.