In the early 1990s, after 75 years on the road to communism, Russia changed direction and began – just as fervently, and as always in its own unique form – to build capitalism.
While living and working in Moscow from 1992 to 1997 (and indeed also getting married there in 1995) I witnessed and experienced the impact of this transition on people’s daily lives at close quarters. Endlessly fascinated by the changes happening around me, I made a point of walking daily around the streets of the capital, camera always in hand, and gradually built my own archive of photographs recording how the city, and life within it, was being transformed.
At the time I neither planned nor imagined what use might come of these images, but looking back through them a quarter of a century later they already portray a different epoch, like a telescopic snapshot of a new planet forming.
The images here, and many more can now be seen in my new book, named after the project and published by Glagoslav Publications. For more information, please go to my "Publications" page
In place of party slogans a new western brand appears on the hoarding behind the monument to revolutionary poet Vladimir Mayakovsky.
Fallen monuments – statues of leading Soviet figures removed from their sites in the city after the 1991 coup and deposited in the grounds of the Central House of Artists, April 1992.
Discarded banner bearing the slogan “Glory to the Soviet People” near the Central House of Artists.
A temporary memorial in 1993 marks the spot next to his former home where workmen discovered the remains of some of Beria’s victims. The message reads, “In God’s heavenly kingdom, rest in peace”.
International technical assistance experts, working at the head office of the new Federal Employment Service on 1st Basmanny Lane in 1992, found themselves labouring each day under the watchful gaze of the founder of the Soviet Union and the slogan: "The name and deeds of V.I. Lenin will live forever”.
Muscovites selling goods on Okhotny Ryad in March 1992 following a presidential decree lifting all restrictions on trade. The line stretched from Lubyanka Square to the Bolshoi Theatre.
A new street kiosk on Novy Arbat on St Patrick’s Day, March 1993.
Advertising shares in the Ponzi scheme MMM, 1994.
A mural on an apartment block wall on Zhitnaya Street still bears the slogan “We're Building Communism". Dating from the 1960s it was a replica of a fragment of a larger work – "Energy and People (Peace, Work and Progress)" – at the Volga Hydroelectric Power Station.
Discarded banana skins near the entrance to Gorky Park, summer 1992. Formerly in shortage, the banana was symbolic of rediscovery of simple pleasures.
Under a banner advertising the sale of a penthouse, members of the “Working Russia” party march in support of a return to the Soviet Union, Victory Day, 1993.
Demonstrators outside the Lenin Museum. The placard protests against “Incendiaries who inflame civil war!” and calls on “ Jewish-Fascist occupants who mock from the TV screen” to “Return our TV to Russia and go to Israel”.
Supporters of Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s new Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) rally in Manezh Square.
Under the heading “We are building a new Russia”, a government banner advises Muscovites how to vote in the April 1993 referendum on constitutional reform. The answers – “Yes, Yes, No, Yes” – refer to the four questions on the voting paper.
An Orthodox priest uses a loud hailer to spread the word on the streets.
Built in the 1950s in the foundations of the never realised Palace of Soviets, this massive open air lido, with one of the largest swimming pools in the world, was destroyed in 1994 to provide the site for the rebuilding of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour under construction.
Novospassky Monastery was in a poor state of repair when first handed back to the church in 1993 and there was some understandable wariness of a stranger with a camera.
New religions arrived, but the Hari Krishna Temple's members found their traditional uniforms unsuited to winter conditions on the Arbat.
Old Soviet era fixtures and fittings went on the scrapheap as Muscovites began to refit their flats with imported goods and designs.
Manezh Square Shopping Centre, which opened in 1997, included figures from Russian fairy tales sculpted by Zurab Tsereteli, whose work was much loved by Mayor Luzhkov but divided opinion sharply among residents and visitors.
Screen showing the orbital pattern of the space station Mir, “Star City”, October 1992.
Western soap opera arrives on Russian television stations. Staff in the “Izmailovo” hotel gather in reception to watch today’s episode of the Mexican soap opera “The Rich Also Cry”, 1992.
Muscovites could put aside their cares and uncertainties and dance to an army band in Sokholniki Park, summer 1993.
Builders working on a new restaurant, “Zelenii Stol” (“Green Table”), 1995.
A domestic poster for the US classic movie “Gone With The Wind” at the “October” cinema. Novy Arbat, 1992.
Statues at old Lokomotiv stadium, August 1992.
Two generations celebrate on Victory Day.
Zebra in temporary enclosure, Moscow Zoo.
A GAI officer on Okhotny Ryad watches traffic bearing down on him from the direction of Lubyanka and the Metropol hotel.
This Moscow street scene highlights the city's eclectic mix of architecture and styles.
Ice Fisherman on the frozen drainage canal next to the Moscow River, December 1992.
Landing stage and boat on frozen Moscow River.
Sweeping up inside the Kremlin, March 1992.
Buildings and trees reflected in the water at Patriarch’s Ponds.
Mother and child on Sunday afternoon on an empty Gertsena Street approaching Manezh Square, 1993.
“Narkomfin” building, 1995. This constructivist residential block, designed by Moisei Ginzburg and built in 1930 for the People's Commissariat for Finance. was in a considerable state of decay.
Oktybrskaya district administration building, near Shabolovskaya, 1992.
Two-storey buildings on Dimitrova Street, 1992.
“Fallen Angel” – A figure from a frieze abandoned behind the Academy of Sciences.
Early design for future commercial and business centre “Moscow City”, at “Moskomarkhitektura” (Moscow Committee for Architecture and Urban Planning).
A new city rises above the old. “Moscow City” business centre looms over the Garden Ring and Krimsky Most, 2012.