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On the whole, the architecture of the former Soviet Union was uniform and dreary – but a recently published photography book reveals that there were some gems, from a ‘flying saucer’ building to an office block that resembles a game of Jenga.

Soviet Cities: Labour, Life & Leisure was created by Russian photographer Arseniy Kotov after a tour of post-Soviet republics between 2016 and 2020 during which he stayed in over 200 cities.

All the pictures presented in the book, published by Fuel, were taken over this period and show, says Mr Kotov, what remains of the USSR civilisation. 

He says: ‘Through my photographs I wanted to show outstanding buildings and constructions, to show where Soviet people lived and how Soviet cities once looked.

‘Most Soviet city buildings were fabricated according to standard designs. But as I visited more cities, I began to notice unique buildings and features of urban planning.’

Here we present 15 of Mr Kotov’s fascinating images, an ode to communist construction.

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