A guide to the New East
Photography

A nose for danger: meet Dagestan’s canine bomb-detectives and the men who train them

Share on LinkedIn Share via Email

For many, man's best friend is more than just a pet. As Russian photographer Yuri Ivashchenko came to discover, some of the most invaluable to society are the German and Belgian Shepherds trained for detecting explosives. In 2014 Ivashenko visited two hydroelectic power plants situated on the Sulak river in the republic of Dagestan in southern Russia, where he photographed the sniffer dogs and their trainers. “In this line of work, as the main dog expert on the ground told me, the dog is a tool. They have a demanding job. Their main responsibilities include inspection of the plants, the surrounding area, tunnels as well as any arriving vehicles,” Ivashchenko says. For the humans, the work is no less hazardous. “The trainer must be alert at all times and be sensitive to the dog’s behaviour,” explains the photographer. Their dedication left an impression on Ivashenko, teaching him to be prepared for the unexpected as a photographer. “One unforeseen incident involved a pregnant German shepherd that had escaped from its cage and bit me, not very deep,” Ivashchenko says. An “initiation” in the photographer's words, or a “test of mutual trust”, according to the dog's handler.

More from Photography

Selfies, tattoos and Kalashnikovs

Inside the digital life of a 20-something Ukrainian war veteran

Kosovo today

Mapping the invisible borders of Europe’s youngest nation

Georgia by drone

Take one last spectacular flight over these Caucasian landmarks

Circassia forever

Tracing a displaced Caucasian population to northern Israel

Coming through the air

Pollution and post-communism in urban China

Go east

Journey from the New East into East Asia

Comments