Yamal (Siberia). April 2018. The Nenets have had to face the threat of extinction before, having endured the challenges of colonial intrusions, civil war, revolution and forced collectivisation. Today, their herding way of life is again seriously threatened.
Under Stalin, Nenets communities were split into groups known as brigades, and forced to live on collective farms and villages called kolkhozy. Each brigade was obliged to pay reindeer meat as taxes.
Children were separated from their families and sent to government-run boarding schools, where they were forbidden to speak their own language.
With the collapse of communism, young adults began to leave their villages for cities, a trend which continues today. In urban environments they find it almost impossible to adapt to life away from the cyclical rhythms of the tundra, and suffer from high levels of alcoholism, unemployment and mental health problems.