Somewhere deep in the Ural Mountains, a crumbling wooden gate serves as a guardian to a hidden world. Here, deep beneath the earth, rusting equipment lies abandoned in dark tunnels. This labyrinth was once at the heart of Russia’s war effort, but now only the bravest of the brave venture into its dark caves.
Photographer Mikhail Mishainik has a passion for all things underground. He runs a website dedicated to the mines and quarries of Russia and often makes the news with his dazzling photographs of places that are rarely seen.
On May 5, 2014, Mishainik uploaded some stunning images to his website. They were the end result of a death-defying adventure underneath the Ural Mountains. This rocky range cuts across western Russia, from the border with Kazakhstan all the way to the Arctic Ocean.