5 imagesDacha is a Russian word for seasonal or year-round second homes often located in the exurbs of Soviet and post-Soviet cities. Cottages or shacks serving as family's main or only home (or districts of such buildings) are not considered dachas, although many purpose-built dachas are recently being converted for year-round residence. In some cases, dachas are occupied for part of the year by their owners and rented out to urban residents as summer retreats. Dachas are very common in Russia, and are also widespread in most parts of the former Soviet Union. It is estimated that about 50% of Russian families living in large cities have dachas. Anyone who permanently dwells in a dacha is colloquially called a dachnik (??????); the term usually refers to a whole distinctive lifestyle.