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Do it yourself or «21 century inventors»


Today people talk about sanctions all the time. But back in the day there was a magazine called «Do It Yourself». And for some people today «DIY» are not just words, but the essence of living.


A typical industrial area in the West of the city. Territory of one of St. Petersburg’s enterprises. Its employee Mikhail Puchkov takes us to a nondescript wooden hut. You’d never guess that there’s a unique submarine hiding within. Built with his own hands.  

Mikhail has been creating «The Whale» - that’s how he called it - for almost forty years. Constantly perfecting it. From a pedal-operated ship to a real submarine. Which he has taken out into Neva and the Gulf of Finland, as well as many other water arteries of the region. It has genuinely been his lifetime dream. 

- When I was a kid, I read books about treasure hunts out in the sea. So thats why I made a submarine. I also wanted to taste some freedom, I guess. 

Mikhail is now preparing the submarine for the conquest of the Black Sea. And despite that the maximum submerging depth of 10 meters doesn’t seem like a big deal, once you get inside the submarine you understand that only a truly courageous man would build something like this.  

Krasnoye Selo. One of the numerous gardens in the area. And the house which sticks out among its neighbors. Here is its owner - Andrey Akhrameev, who chose the construction material literally laying under his feet, instead of going to a construction store. Sand, clay from the nearby pond and dried grass. 

The Prioratskiy Palace of Pavel the I, built using the same technology, served as an inspiration. But for Andrey this is not some sort of ode to history - rather a challenge. Not just building a house, but making it ecological and unique. And with less expenses - at least when it comes to costs of materials.  

Twenty years ago Nato Eliseeva decided to abandon the city’s bustle and move to the countryside. Today she runs a full-cycle farming operation.  

Nowadays, Nato Eliseeva’s farm is one of the most popular in the region. The entire wall is covered with diplomas and letters of gratitude. A dozen cows, a herd of sheep and countless birds. And Nato Vladimirovna handles all this by herself, with the help of just a handful of assistants. As well as making the family recipe Suluguni cheese, famous across the region. 

She’s not expecting an influx of buyers in the nearest future - the financial crisis has had its toll and not all can afford farmer’s goods these days, plus Nato Vladimirovna is not getting any younger. But she cannot stop. Because for her its not a business or hobby - its something more.  

- A hobby is when you are driving a car. But I can’t live without my farm. I see it as my calling.  

Sometimes we complain about lack of results in politics and economy. Were can always pin that to sanctions and inaction of those in charge. But we can also follow the example of these three people we mentioned in this report and remember an old saying - if you want to do it wel, just do it yourself. And if one adopts this simple principle, no sanctions would ever harm you.