A disastrous fire in the 18th
century Lyadiny ensemble has resulted in the destruction of one of the two
churches and the belltower. Wooden churches are very vulnerable, but all too
often the situation is compounded by neglect and indifference, says Matilda Moreton
Traditionally Russia’s agricultural land was subdivided into a patchwork of villages and fields, interspersed by forest and marsh. Now the villages are deserted and crumbling: the state closes them down, often on a whim, and young people leave to find work elsewhere. Matilda Moreton tells the tragic story based on fieldwork in the Russian North.