The severe northern winter leaves the Neva River in St. Petersburg frozen, with icebreaker captains on duty to make it navigable again and to prevent residents risking their lives by skating across.
Almost all residents of St. Petersburg know icebreakers appear on the Neva three days a week. After two hours of ice breaking, the city residents stop crossing the Neva on the ice. They confine their walks to the embankments for they cannot go too far away from the river bank.
No one broke the ice on the Neva River when St. Petersburg was built more than 300 years ago. On the contrary, in the 1880s even public transport used to go across the river here from December to March.
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