To carry out her work, Evgenia Markova had to use an assumed name and keep below the radar of authorities. The 36-year-old is not a spy but rather a truck driver – a profession that was banned for women in Russia until the start of this year.
While the early Soviet Union was ahead of much of the West in bringing women into the workplace, a decree in the 1970s barred them from hundreds of professions, supposedly for their safety and to protect their “reproductive abilities”.
The law was updated by President Vladimir Putin in 2000, covering not just jobs in heavy industry and transport but also positions as varied as parachutist, car mechanic, and even maker of certain musical instruments.
As of this month more than 300 jobs have been opened up to women, following a campaign, meaning Ms Markova’s work is now entirely above board.
“These changes are really important, they show what is possible and that even the strict Russian law can be rewritten” Ms Markova told the Telegraph.
Read more: News Brig