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Wool Disclosure: The Art Of Valenki

As Belarus and much of Russia and Eastern Europe endure a cold snap, it's safe to assume that many people, especially in more traditional rural areas, are turning to the classic footwear known as valenki to keep their toes warm. Valenki, which date back some 300 years, are made of raw wool and are specifically designed to combat extreme temperatures. (They don't do so well in slushy, wet conditions.) In the Belarusian village of Smilovichi, just east of Minsk, workers produce some 17,000 pairs of valenki each month at a factory that dates back to 1928. Reuters photographer Vasily Fedosenko visited the factory recently and brought back these timeless images. (11 PHOTOS)

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