Before And After: How The Russian Army Changes Soldiers

Thinner, wiser, hairier… Photographer Yuriy Chichkov took pictures of army conscripts immediately after call-up and a month before demobilization. Here are the results.

Portrait photography has always been a special interest of Yuriy Chichkov. Russian and international celebrities, athletes, and politicians captured through his lens have graced the covers of leading Russian magazines.

“Any person, famous or not, is terra incognito and very interesting,” he says.

Yuriy was keen to do an anthropological project exploring the human face more deeply, tracing how it changes with time and under the influence of which factors. That led him to the idea of photographing army conscripts. The first portrait of each new recruit was taken before their oath, the second almost a year later, a month before demobilization.

Chichkov recorded only the name and place of birth of his soldier models, deliberately omitting other biographical details. “I wanted the faces to speak for themselves,” he explains.

More: Yuriy Chichkov, Instagram, Facebook h/t: rbth










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