A Rock In A Hard Place

Sergei Kostin is a geologist, but amid the ruins of the post-Soviet economy in the early 1990s, there was no way he could find work in his field. So he started mining for humans who'd been buried alive. There are perhaps 25,000 homeless people in Kostin's hometown of Odessa (pop. 1 million), including some 5,000 street kids under the age of 16. Some are mentally ill, others have been cast adrift by drink or drugs or divorce. All of them have an advocate in Kostin, 44, a fireplug of a man whose Vandyke beard and fervor suggest a Russian revolutionary —...

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