Sasha

In November 1989, 37-year-old police captain Alexander Ivanovich Selyaninov from the village of Nyrob, PermTerritory, filed a letter of resignation. The very next day, he left the house in women’s clothing. The battle for genderreassignment surgery took another two years. In Moscow, after several examinations, psychiatrists came to theconclusion that Sasha was a nuclear-type transsexual.  

Sasha. Plechinta Ekaterina documentary photographer
Sasha. Plechinta Ekaterina documentary photographer
Sasha. Plechinta Ekaterina documentary photographer
Sasha. Plechinta Ekaterina documentary photographer
Sasha. Plechinta Ekaterina documentary photographer
Sasha. Plechinta Ekaterina documentary photographer

    Berezniki, Perm Krai. Alexandra’s hometown.


Alexandra’s biography can be considered exemplary for any Soviet person: school, army, police service, her firstmarriage, which she reluctantly remembers. Alexandra tried to start a family after the gender change, but it did notwork out. These were tough times in the business arena. After resignation from the police, Alexandra tried toestablish the production of timber, entered political parties, became disillusioned, created her own publicorganizations, but all undertakings were overshadowed by the negative reaction of others to her transsexualism.  

According to Alexandra, she was always attracted to service in special forces. While still in the army, sheunsuccessfully tried to enter the military-political school, and after demobilization, without hesitation, sheresponded to an offer to work in the police. Despite the discomfort from male society, Sasha fondly recalls her workin the Ministry of Internal Affairs.  

“Previously, the service was more honest, it was shameful to be a bribe-taker, noone would shake hands with you. We were very ideological, ” says Alexandra Ivanovna and immediately notes: “I wasdifferent, I was afraid to hurt people during the arrest. Some colleagues noticed it, but it all came to jokes “.  

Sasha. Plechinta Ekaterina documentary photographer
Sasha. Plechinta Ekaterina documentary photographer
Sasha. Plechinta Ekaterina documentary photographer

 The moment when Alexandra began to think about her gender is associated with painful memories of her firstmarriage.

“We got married because it was customary to start a family, have children. I felt that my wife loved me, and I hurt her with my indifference.”  

The divorce was very difficult, but inevitable. Thus began a path that waspractically impossible to carry out in the Soviet Union. Sasha bit by bit collected information, tried to understandwhat was happening to her, realizing, tried to inject hormones, prepared for the coming out for a long time, buthaving made up her mind never regretted her decision.  

  A photo from the All-Union Surgery Center, where Alexandra performed gender reassignment surgery.  

  “I did the operation in Moscow and lived there for a long time. I met my beloved man andwanted an ordinary family life. But the man turned out to be married, and then there was an opportunity to open anenterprise for the production of structural timber in Krasnovishersk (Perm Territory) and the work sucked me in. “For the next ten years, Alexandra was engaged in a business that went bankrupt in 2000 “I understand that genderchange played a big role in what happened. There were always unpleasant conversations behind the eyes. This wasespecially shocking for men, and with them I most often had to deal with in production and in business.”

  • For the next ten years, Alexandra was engaged in a business that went bankrupt in 2000. (on the photo: the exhibition stand of the company Alexandra)

"I understand that genderchange played a big role in what happened. There were always unpleasant conversations behind the eyes. This wasespecially shocking for men, and with them I most often had to deal with in production and in business.”

Her family took her coming out hard. Sasha remembers her mother with great tenderness, relations withher father did not work out. The father suffered from alcoholism, his cruelty during hard drinking was the mainchildhood fear of Alexandra. Relations with both parents became very difficult after the operation.

“We had a bigfight, stopped seeing each other. Then my mother found me herself. She used to say about me: “If I had a son, hewould have left me long ago, but my daughter is taking care of me”. Alexandra’s parents are buried together.Alexandra often comes to visit their graves.   

  A photo of Alexandra’s mother on the screen saver of her computer.  

  Alexandra claims that her mother admitted on her death bed that Sasha’s biological father was Boris NikolayevichYeltsin, the first president of the Russian Federation. According to her, he came with a short visit to Berezniki (Yeltsin’s childhood passed in Berezniki), they had a love affair, as a result of which Sasha was born. Mom by thattime was married and did not want to destroy the family. Everything that she knows about this story, Alexandradescribed in her book — “Confession on a given topic-2 (three lives of Alexandra, daughter of Boris Yeltsin)”. Sashadoes not want to do a genetic examination, she never tried to contact Yeltsin’s family.

Статьи о себе Александра бережно хранит в своём архиве.

Дом Александры Ивановны.


After the death of her parents, Alexandra sold her apartment and moved to the outback of the Perm Territory -the village of Ryabinino and again launched an active social and political activity. She gathered an initiative group oflocal residents, they regularly hold meetings at the local leisure center (on the photo), they want to change the dyinglife of the village for the better.  

Leisure center of the village of Ryabinino

Alexandra’s dressing table clearly characterizes her personality: numerous icons, a cross, a photograph of theRussian revolutionary Maria Spiridonova, someone’s dear gifts, a laptop, a magazine with fake news. The mirrorreflects the edge of the flag of the People’s Defense organization, which Alexandra headed when helping pensioners.  

Кухня Александры

Канализация в доме отсутствует. Александра пользуется биотуалетом. Уборная находится за шторой.

Сервант с праздничной посудой.


Жизнь Александры Ивановны течёт неторопливо и однообразно. Большую часть времени она проводит дома перед телевизором, читает новости, пишет новый роман. По субботам ходит в баню, по воскресеньям — в церковь. 

Отделку в бане Александра делала своими руками. 


At her new place of residence, Alexandra met Father Erich, rector of the parish of Mary — Queen of the world, andconverted to Catholicism. In the temple, she feels accepted.  

 “In 2015, I converted to Catholicism, consciously at thecall of my soul. Now I live in peace in my soul and I am not afraid to die.”


На фото свеча для крещения и стихи Александры Ивановны.

  Before Mass on Sunday, Alexandra carefully tidies herself up and puts on her most beautiful clothes.

 The church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima has a very friendly atmosphere. Father Erich refused to be shoot in the project and asked not to take pictures of the parishioners.


Now Alexandra is 69 years old, she lives on a small pension with a cat and many dogs. There is barely enoughmoney for food. Health does not allow doing farming, a small plot of land has long been covered with weeds. Theroof collapsed in the house, Alexandra hoped to fix it with the income from the sale of books, but so far the entireedition is at her house.  

Александра Ивановна является ветераном труда федерального значения, но пенсии всё равно не хватает.

Местные магазинчики.

Sasha. Plechinta Ekaterina documentary photographer

Документальные проекты.