A photo project about Russia led me to Irkutsk at the Lake Baikal. In times without a rampant pandemic, the city is full of life. Due to rising incidences, social and cultural life was reduced to a minimum. The city wrapped itself in a combination of serenity and melancholy. The feeling of being stuck in a transit area spread among the population. This sensation, exacerbated by COVID-19, well describes the state of the country. Many people are waiting for a change. But true progress is being blocked by a system, which is becoming increasingly authoritarian in its crackdown on any opposition.