Footage from the Russian city of Perm in Siberia shows a shoe thief hanging over the handrail of a local shopping mall after being cornered by security staff. Rather than face capture, the thief decides to jump to the ground floor of the shopping mall and lands in a flower bed near the escalator.

The shoe thief, who can be seen being caught in another video that was filmed prior to the fall, was seriously injured in the fall and is apparently in intensive care in a hospital in the city of Perm. Speaking of which, Perm is a city which definitely deserves a mention.

The Show Thief and Perm, Russia (we don’t mean the hairstyle)

The incident with the shoe thief took place in the city of Perm. Situated near the mighty Ural Mountains, Perm is one of the most important cities in all of Russia. An industrial hub, it provided a vital lifeline to the Soviets in WW2. In recent years, it showed an age of tolerance when it became the birthplace of the first Islamic Cossack unit in all of post-Soviet Russia.

It’s a city that has gone through many name changes. In the days of old between 1723–1781, Perm was known as Yagoshikha. In 1940, prior to the outbreak of WW2 in the Soviet Union, it went under the name Molotov after the Soviet diplomat Vyacheslav Molotov before later receiving the name Perm in 1957 following the death of Josef Stalin.

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The name Yagoshikha came from a copper-smelting works located in a village of the same name. With combined access to the Volga River, the Ural Mountains, as well as being a prominent stop on the Trans-Siberian railway, it didn’t take long for Perm to become a hub of trade, industry, transport, and manufacture in Russia. The latter grew considerably during the days of the Soviet Union.

During the days of the Soviet Union, the industrial growth of Perm boomed as Russia began a process of enormous industrialization largely under the reign of Josef Stalin. During the USSR era, the city became well known for being a central manfuacturing base for aviation, shipbuilding, and chemical factories. Naturally, during WW2 (known as the Great Patriotic War in Russia) Perm was utilized as a valuable artillery production centre for the Red Army.

gulag shoe thief perm russia

Following WW2, Russia became engulfed in what became known as the Cold War. As a result of its highly strategic industrial value, Perm subsequently became a closed city for foreigners and non-essential locals. Thus the city joined the list of various closed cities that existed during the USSR. One of the others was Vladivostok, which was then a highly strategic city as the headquarters and main base of the Pacific Fleet of the Soviet Navy.

Today, straddling the shores of the Kama River and with a population of over 1 million people, Perm is the 14th largest city in Russia. These days, Perm remains a powerhouse of manufacturing and is one of the central industrial hubs of the Ural Mountains region. Whilst the days of artillery shell production have largely ended, the city is more known for its extensive metallurgical and engineering industries.

Today, Perm is no longer classed as a closed city under the watchful eye of the Soviet KGB. Instead, it is a common stop for tourists on the Trans Siberian railway. For those seeking dark tourism, it is also home to the infamous gulag known as Perm-36. Today it is a world-class museum detailing the horrors of the Gulag system.