Every day, specialists from city services take on a number of complex tasks to help citizens and keep the city alive and well. There is no doubt that their work is vital to the city, but we still know very little about them.
For our 'People of the City' section, we have asked these professionals about their unique experiences and interesting stories from the job. The interview with Andrey Ivanov was prepared in partnership with the Moscow city utilities authority.
How long have you been a diver? Why did you choose the job?
I learned how to dive while serving in the navy. After being discharged from the military, I figured I could transfer the skills I had learned in service to my civilian life. Now, 35 years later, I still work as a diver.
What does your work involve? What do you like about your job?
Working as a diver is never routine. Every dive underwater is completely different. The more difficult the job, the more satisfaction you get from accomplishing it.
As a diver with the Directorate for Underwater Work, you get to do a wide range of underwater jobs. We do underwater welding and cutting, we pour concrete underwater, we install and reinforce support beams for underwater structures, and we install caissons (underwater chambers that have pockets of air inside them). Of course, we also conduct underwater inspections of recreational areas and beaches in lakes, ponds, and other bodies of water to remove trash and large objects from the bottom. Our directorate also monitors the condition of culverts and rivers, removing earth and trash, clearing up blockages, and repairing pumps to prevent the city streets from flooding.
Can you share a funny story from your work?
Yeah, I have a few funny, interesting stories. We were once removing large objects from the bottom of this pond, the name of which escapes me right now. And the stuff we dragged out of there... well, it was completely out of this world. In just two hours of work, we pulled out a shopping cart, a bench, a bicycle, a desktop computer, several tyres, and piles of trash like glass bottles.
Another time I often think about is when we pulled a sculpture of a pioneer out of the Kozhukhovsky backwater. Before that experience, I could have hardly imagined that Moscow's lakes and rivers could have such old items lying at their bottoms.
What are some of your favourite places in Moscow?
In Moscow, I enjoy going to the Satire Theatre and the Central House of Culture of Railway Workers. I also enjoy going for walks at VDNH and Izmailovsky Park. I like the Gorky Park embankment.
Name three places you would recommend as must-see spots for people who are visiting Moscow for the first time.
I think first-time visitors to Moscow must absolutely visit Red Square, VDNH, and the Sparrow Hills.
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