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High Times: Meet a Russian Kids Who Take a World’s Riskiest Photos

High Times: Meet a Russian Kids Who Take a World’s Riskiest Photos


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Walking briskly, Ivan Kuznetsov leads Kirill Vselensky and Vasilisa Denisova out into a yard of a 30-story building in Moscow’s business district. He turns and perches firmly on his heels, anxiously looking for a certainty ensure like a bird watches for a garden cat. There are none, as distant as Ivan can tell, and he continues to a opening of a subterraneous parking garage and down a tilted driveway. He’s acid for a approach to a building’s roof — then a approach to get off it.

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Past a few parked cars, a contingent conduct for a use door. It’s locked, yet with one plain shoulder impact it flies open. Everyone is now inside a building. So far, so good. They’ve finished this before. 

Behind a use doorway are use escalators and stairways and sap workers who compensate no courtesy to a 3 immature people, who find an conveyor and float it as distant as it goes, to a 16th floor. They exit and fast stand 14 flights of stairs. They are now where they wanted to be, where they aren’t ostensible to be — on a roof, holding in a bootleg viewpoint of Moscow’s aged and new city stretching out before them. Skyscrapers dawn imperiously, and a Moskva stream winds a march by a heart of a city.  

Ivan, a slim 19-year-old tyro with dim hair and an atmosphere of blissfully ignorant confidence, stairs to a corner and peers down to a travel below. “One hundred meters,” he says, eyeballing a stretch to a ground.

He spies a needle-like shard of steel projecting out from a parapet. With no reserve strap nor net, no wire nor hesitation, he stairs onto it. There’s customarily Ivan, a skinny square of steel and a sky.

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Ivan, Kirill and Vasilisa are “roofers,” a loose-knit organisation of insanely non-acrophobic daredevils who fraud and hide their approach to a tops of Russia’s tip buildings. Once they get adult there, they perform death-defying tricks — unresolved by their fingertips, station on one leg — that they constraint in photos and videos that frequently go viral, garnering mixed millions of YouTube views and widespread astonishment and dishonesty during their giddy Instagram photos, a store of that could lay explain to being among the many dangerous selfies ever taken.

Like any good Internet celebrities, a roofers are now fervent to monetize a courtesy they’ve received. So far, Ivan and Kirill’s attempts to do so have valid trickier than trespassing. Ivan hawks photos of sunsets to British print agencies. The many he’s sole one for was 8,500 rubles, or, roughly $240. From time-to-time Kirill arranges couples’ dinners on roofs, unctuous lovers into sites where they can suffer some temperate soup and a absolved view. These interludes don’t always work out, “If a breeze is blowing,” says Kirill, “you can see on a girl’s face that they are thinking, ‘This is romantic?'” 

There have been, Kirill claims, bigger paydays. He says a Russian promotion group paid him to film himself sucking on a Chupa Chups lollipop on tip of a overpass in Vladivostok. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find a candy once he got to to a city. He scaled a bridge’s girders anyway, and done do with a knock-off Chinese sucker.

And there was a time, in 2012, when Kirill climbed a vigilance building in Moscow dressed as Spiderman to assistance foster a web-slinger’s cinematic reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man. (See him in dress during 1:33 in a video below.)

Kirill also says that he was asked to give a harangue on thatch to Russian Nike executives, and that a sportswear hulk now gives him giveaway wardrobe to wear.  

But Kirill, Ivan and Vasilisa were roofers before they knew anyone was examination them, before they even  wanted to be seen. So while income is a good motivation, it’s not a customarily one. “Why do we go on roofs?” wonders Ivan hypothetically. “We wish adrenaline. We’re like junkies; we can’t live yet it. You wish to exam your possibilities and take all from life. You try it once and it is really tough to stop.”

Ivan muses for a moment. “I will stop one day when we have mother and kids. we can’t do it all my life.” 

Kirill, 21 years aged and with more than 40,000 Instagram followers, nods in agreement to his colleague’s thrill-seeking explanation, yet also offers a some-more regretful perspective.

“Every new roof is like a new review into your city,” he says. “I know Moscow really good as we see it from above. As a child we used to adore to revisit people as each time there was a new viewpoint from a window. It is an easy approach to find journey in your possess city.”

Vasilisa, a slim blonde with an spreading laugh, has her possess take: “I prefer,” she says, “the reduction aloft buildings.” 

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In Russia anyway, doing bootleg things on rooftops is zero new, yet a roofers have taken it to a new impassioned — not that a authorities care.

“Nobody stops us,” explains Ivan, a breeze defeat his hair on a roof. “Even if they locate us they customarily let us go. They don’t wish to understanding with a paperwork.”

In roofer jargon, a building we’re station atop is a bayan — an easy roof to get adult on. Kirill and Ivan specialize in a tallest and a riskiest buildings, yet they had to rise their mettle. Ivan, who began thatch after saying some photos of other climbers online, started with a building that was a small 12 stories tall. From there, he worked his approach adult to a 50-story building that compulsory him to stand adult a side around a use conveyor in sequence to make a final ascent. 

“My knees shook,” says Ivan about that climb, vocalization a few days progressing during a café in a Moscow mall. “But we knew we could do it.”

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