Moving on up

Every good picture should tell a story. But it doesn’t have to be a true story…

So, this picture, to me, tells the story of Yaroslav and Mihail.

Yaroslav, 52,  comes from an old noble family. He bears an important name, the one of Yaroslav the Wise, Grand Prince of Rus’. He is an entrepreneur and, after the fall of the Soviet Union, he spent a great deal of time and energy researching Russian nobility and the ties between the various families. He even built a website to offer services of genealogical research for all those who think they have a claim at proclaiming themselves a nobleman or a noblewoman. As if all that weren’t enough, Yaroslav recently won the Russian State Lottery and he is now shopping for a new car: nothing less than a Bentley!

Mihail, 46, was born in Tolyatti, also known as “the Russian Detroit”. His father, like most people in the region, worked in the car industry, but never owned a car. Mihail always dreamed of one day owning a car, maybe even working with cars, becoming a mechanic. Mihail moved to Moscow a few years ago and once he got his first job one of the first things he bought was an old, beat-up Russian car. He and his father don’t talk much, anymore, because Mihail knows that his old man would disapprove his current job.

You can faintly see Michail in the picture above. He is the director of Bentley Motor in Moscow, quite an achievement, but in a foreign car company, a deadly sin in the eyes of an old communist like his father. He is talking on the phone with suppliers, to solve a rather unique request. Yaroslav walked into the store a short while ago, to buy a brand-spanking-new top-of the-line Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase. All payment up front, with no financing, thanks to the lottery win. His only condition is that the Bentley dealerships transfers to the new Mulsane the advertisement sign for his website that now graces his current car, parked out front (which Mihail so desperately wish Yaroslav would move at once!).

The sign on Yaroslav’s car, advertising his genealogical research website.


Moscow and Saint Petersburg are brimful of scenes of contrast, of pictures to be taken to tell real or imagined stories about the rapidly evolving Russian society. If you’d like to join Nastya and me for a photowalk on the streets of Moscow or Saint Petersburg, get in touch with us and we shall organised an unforgettable experience for you!



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