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Pedestrian Underpass Life in Moscow

Photographer: Yuri Kochetkov


The underpasses of Moscow, Russia, are full of diversity, both in terms of the people who pass through them and the services on offer. Shops, temporary market stalls, buskers, impromptu concerts and art galleries are a staple sight here. For some, the underpass is a way of crossing the street or a shelter to get out of the rain and snow. For others, it is a place of work, somewhere to eat and drink, or even somewhere to sleep.


There is also a darker side to underpass life. They are an underground territory for those in search of fake work permits, medical documents, insurance, and certificates of education, to name some of the counterfeit documents on offer here, bought by those hoping to find employment in Moscow. Spontaneous market stalls often manned by old age pensioners spring up; their owners trying to reel in extra income to get by.


There are more than 400 pedestrian underpasses in Moscow and they are likely to remain important locations for commerce, communication and culture.