Russia's parkour kids twist and bounce through a crumbling mining city
The Russian city of Berezniki, at the gateway to Siberia, is most well known for its collapsing mines and crumbling sinkholes. But one man, 23-year-old Sergey has taken advantage of the industrial infrastructure to pass on his passion to younger generations: parkour.
He encourages local youth to engage with their decaying environment. The kids are not yet teenagers, but carrying cameras in their mouths, they record their dangerous journey around the city, leaping over roofs and climbing sheer walls (with a bit of help from the "pack leader").
"The outskirts of the city disintegrate underground," says Sergey in written comments. "The mines crumble. People do not look after themselves." He believes the sport is a great way to encourage the kids to stay healthy.
"They are not afraid," he says (Sergey is pictured in the grey). "They need the support of someone who has already engaged with it, and I give them this." He also believes it teaches them confidence, and that confidence in parkour will provide "confidence in life". Exhausted from their long journey, the kids are rewarded with snacks at the end.
While these children – the youngest of whom is 11 – leave the more terrifying moves to Sergey, the sport doesn't come without its risks. Russia is well-known for its "rooftoppers" snapping selfies during their death-defying stunts.
The Russian Interior Ministry eventually launched a "safe selfie" campaign in 2015, but there have since been further parkour-related deaths. The most famous was Russian chess prodigy Yuri Eliseev who died in late 2016 at the young age of 20 after falling 12 storeys.
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