Ekaterinburg is the historical and economic center of the Urals which forms a natural border between Europe and Asia. It the capital city of the Urals, was founded in 1723 by Tzar Peter the Great (named after his wife, Catherine). The city witnessed the death of monarchy in Russia, as it was there that the last Russian czar Nicolas II with his family was assassinated, by the Bolsheviks on July 16, 1918. An other dramatic episode in the area took place on May 1, 1960 when American U2 spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers was hit by a missile launched from the local military base. The city was closed to the outside world until 1990 because of its strategic defense industries.
© Ramdas Iyer Photography