Russia's Big Chill

Photograph for TIME by Justin Jin

OUT IN THE COLD: In the town of Lyudinovo, hundreds of factory workers have lost their jobs, had their work hours reduced or seen their wages cut

If you want to take the pulse of Russia, as its oil and gas boom of the past few years comes to a sudden and wrenching stop, leave behind the garish consumerism of Moscow and drive 220 miles (354 km) southwest to the small Russian town of Lyudinovo. For the first part of the five-hour trip the road is a smooth four-lane highway that whisks you past gleaming gas stations and a brand new Samsung TV factory. Then everything slows down. The highway turns single-track and becomes progressively rougher. For the last 20 miles, you bump along the ruts, distracted only...

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