Thursday, May 05, 2016


Multimedia / Photo Gallery Archive

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Wounded Ukrainian officer Oleksandr Darmoros kisses his bride, Elena, during their wedding in the central military hospital in Kyiv. Oleksandr was wounded during fighting with Russia-backed militants in eastern Ukraine. He lost his vision and foot after detonating a mine. (epa/Serhey Dolzhenko)

May 05, 2016
Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond. More
2016
May 2016

Photogallery By The Numbers

The world in statistics. (Graphics designed by Helena Zabranska)​

Photogallery Photos Of The Week #17

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond.

April 2016

Photogallery In Her World: Living With Autism In Russia

At first sight, six-year-old Vera Bondik doesn't seem like an unusual child. She looks just like other children her age. The difference is that she will never make eye contact with you, talk to you, or listen to you. She lives in her own world, which no one else can enter. Vera is autistic.

Photogallery By The Numbers

The world in statistics. (Graphics designed by Helena Zabranska)

Photogallery The Surprising Story Behind Ukraine’s 'Tunnel of Love'

It’s one of the most photographed places in Ukraine. Visitors travel from around the world to see the famous tree tunnel running through the small western town of Klevan. As RFE/RL’s Amos Chapple discovered when he explored the site, Ukraine's “Tunnel of Love” can reportedly trace its origins all the way back to the tensions and secrecy of the Cold War.

Photogallery Photos Of The Week #16

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond.

Photogallery Chernobyl: Land Of Milk And Honey?

In Chernobyl a small group of people have chosen to return to live inside the irradiated exclusion zone. RFE/RL's Amos Chapple met one man living a remarkably idyllic existence on Chernobyl's poisoned land.

Photogallery Photos Of The Week #15

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond.

Photogallery Moscow's 'Trams Without Rails'

In central Moscow, the humble trolleybus is arriving at the end of the line. The lumbering electric buses, tethered to overhead cables, are a cheap and quiet way to get around the Russian capital. But now, as part of city renovations, Moscow authorities plan to phase out trolleybuses from many central streets this year. According to reports, 30 kilometers of trolleybus routes are due to be dismantled. A dip into the photo archives reveals the long relationship between Moscow and its "trams without rails."

Photogallery Avdiyivka: Eastern Ukraine's Latest Flash Point

The shaky cease-fire between Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian government troops appears to have fallen apart around the small industrial town of Avdiyivka. In recent weeks, battles have erupted around the strategically important crossroads in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk region. European observers have reported the “highest level of cease-fire violations” since September 2015, with deaths reported on both sides. On April 2, photographer Maxim Tucker entered the area and spent a week documenting villages shattered by a conflict that is now entering its third year.

Photogallery Let’s Go, Yuri

Cosmonautics Day is celebrated on April 12 each year in Russia. It is a holiday dedicated to the first manned space flight, 55 years ago, when Yuri Gagarin orbited the Earth on board the Vostok-1 spaceship.

Photogallery Photos Of The Week #14

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond.

Photogallery Around Chernobyl, Animals Thrive In Man's Absence

Thirty years after the world's worst nuclear accident, the area around Chernobyl -- known as the exclusion zone -- remains empty of people, but the forest teems with elk, deer, wolves, and other animals. The diversity of wildlife suggests that radiation, though harmful, has not kept creatures from thriving, and the lack of human activity has allowed the natural habitat to recover.

Photogallery Life In Isolation At The Spaso-Kamenny Monastery

Spaso-Kamenny was the first stone monastery in Russia's north. Established in 1260 on an island in Lake Kubenskoye, about 500 kilometers north of Moscow, it played an important role in expanding orthodox beliefs. In 1937, the historic Spaso-Preobrazhensky cathedral was blown up by the Soviets. Today, the monastery is considered one of the main pilgrimage centers of the region. In the winter, there are just a few people living there, maintaining and restoring it.

March 2016

Photogallery By The Numbers (March)

The world in statistics. (Graphics designed by Helena Zabranska)

Photogallery The Winters That Were

As another winter melts into spring, the masterful Russian photographer Alexander Petrosyan has shared with RFE/RL moments from the long, cold months in St. Petersburg. From the city's delicate golden spires, to its grimy back streets, Petrosyan always manages to present images that are as fresh and bracing as the winters he portrays.

Photogallery Volunteers in Turkey Prepare Syria Aid Mission

A Turkish charity is training volunteers to cross the border into Syria and erect tents for internally displaced people there. The IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation volunteers are also cooking food which they deliver daily to some 50,000 people on the Syrian side of the border. (RFE/RL's Petr Shelomovskiy)

Photogallery Finalists Announced For Sony World Photography Awards 2016

The annual Sony World Photography Awards, organized by the World Photography Organization, has revealed its short list of entries for 2016. This year's contest attracted 230,103 entries from 186 countries. Images taken by professionals, amateurs, and youth were judged in a variety of categories. The winners are due to be announced on April 21. Here are a few of the finalists.

Photogallery #JeSuisBruxelles -- Powerful Social Media Memes Express Support For Victims Of Terrorist Attacks In Belgian Capital

In the wake of the horrific terrorist attacks in Brussels that killed dozens of people, social networks have been awash with powerful memes and images paying tribute to the victims and expressing support for the traumatized city.

Photogallery Photogallery: Brussels Attacks

Two explosions at Brussels airport and one on the Belgian capital's metro have caused numerous deaths, with reports saying dozens were killed and scores more injured. The Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel, said the attack on the airport was a suicide attack.

Photogallery Photos Of The Week #11

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond.

Photogallery Norouz Celebrations Welcome Spring Across The Region

As spring begins, so does the Persian New Year. The festival of Norouz, celebrated on March 20 and 21, coincides with the spring equinox. Throughout Central Asia, the Caucasus, and parts of the Middle East, people are planning family celebrations with food and music, and markets are bustling with shoppers preparing for the holiday.

Photogallery This Is What Five Years Of War Has Done To Syria

Satellite images capture Syria's destruction.

Photogallery Iran's Aging Fleet Of U.S.-Made Fighter Planes

Iran bought and received 79 F-14 Tomcat fighter planes from the United States in the years before the country's 1979 Islamic Revolution. Some of those jets are still operated by Iran's air force, though the exact number has not been made public. These photos show Iran's last active service F-14s being overhauled at an unspecified location. This year marks the 40th anniversary of their deployment in Iran. (Photos from Iran's FARS news agency)

Photogallery Crimean Tatars Under Growing Pressure Two Years After Annexation

On March 16, 2014, residents of the Crimean peninsula voted to join Russia in a referendum condemned as illegal by Ukraine and nearly 100 other countries. On March 21, Russia officially annexed the territory. In the two years since, members of the Crimean Tatar minority have been among the most vocal critics of the annexation, and their self-governing body, the Mejlis, has refused to recognize the change of government. Some Crimean Tatars have fled the peninsula, and others who remained in Crimea have cited harassment by the Moscow-backed authorities.

Photogallery Photos Of The Week #10

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond.

Photogallery Vorkuta -- A Hardscrabble Town That Is No Stranger To Tragedy

Vorkuta is a brutal place. This Russian city of 70,000 just north of the Arctic Circle is almost completely dependent on coal mining. It was founded in 1932 as one of the most notorious camps of the Stalin-era gulag system. Out of the initial group of 1,500 prisoners who were sent to the barren wasteland, only 54 survived the ordeal. Nowadays, sons continue to follow their fathers into the mines and the city is still no stranger to tragedy. In late February, a series of methane explosions at the Severnaya coal mine left 36 people dead.

Photogallery Abandoned Mining Towns Of The Russian Arctic

The coal mines of Vorkuta, just north of the Arctic Circle, were once vital to Soviet industry. But after the collapse of U.S.S.R., the mines were privatized and some were shut down. Today, the city is surrounded by former mining centers that have become ghost towns, or are sparsely inhabited. The coal mine in Vorkuta's Sovetskiy district was closed in 1996, but some 150 families still live nearby, half an hour by bus from the rest of the city, with no grocery store or pharmacy in their community. The mining town of Yurshor and the settlement of Rudnik, once part of the gulag camp system, have both been abandoned altogether. (Text by Sergei Khazov-Cassia, photos by Petr Shelomovskiy, RFE/RL)

Photogallery At Work And Play On International Women's Day

RFE/RL correspondents across the region shared photos taken on International Women's Day, observed on March 8. They show the diversity of women in their communities as they carry out jobs ranging from military service to copying the Koran or herding cattle -- or as they simply relax and play football.

Photogallery Tajikistan's Dwindling 'Town Of Giants'

Depshaar, which translates as "Town of Giants," is a tiny Kyrgyz village in the Jerge-Tal district of Tajikistan. The place has never really enjoyed the potential benefits from its proximity to Ismoil Somoni, the summit of the Pamir Mountains, which was known during the Soviet era as "The Peak of Communism." The village was depopulated by Stalinist deportations, and it now faces an exodus of residents to neighboring Kyrgyzstan. (Photos by Janyl Jusupjan)

Photogallery Photos Of The Week #9

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond for the ninth week of 2016.

Photogallery Baku Paves Over History For The Big Race

This June, the old streets of Azerbaijan's capital will echo with the roar of Formula One racing cars. But preparations for the 2016 Baku European Grand Prix have included paving over quaint cobblestone streets with asphalt -- a move which the authorities say is "temporary."

Photogallery A Survivor In Vorkuta, Land Of The Gulag And Coal Mines

Anna Krikun spent a decade in a Soviet labor camp in Vorkuta, the city in the Russian Arctic where 36 workers died in coal-mine disaster last month. Krikun survived dictator Josef Stalin’s Great Terror, World War II, the gulag, and more than 18 years in Vorkuta's coal mines.

Photogallery Mourning For Russian Rescue Workers Killed In Mine Explosion

Mourners attended the funerals on March 4 of five rescue workers and one miner killed in an explosion at the Severnaya coal mine in the Arctic city of Vorkuta. The rescue team had been conducting search operations on February 28 after two earlier explosions ripped through the mine, killing 30 people. The blasts were apparently caused by a sudden spike in methane gas. (Photos by RFE/RL's Petr Shelomovskiy)

Photogallery Gorbachev At 85

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev turned 85 on March 2, 2016. His years in office brought the end of the Cold War, while at home his twin policies of perestroika (restructuring) and glasnost (openness) changed the Soviet Union -- and ended with its demise.

Photogallery Pakistan: First Women's Boxing Camp

Some Pakistani parents send their daughters to train in boxing -- an exotic hobby in this conservative country -- because it is not safe on the streets. About a dozen girls, aged 8 to 17, have gone to the Pak Shaheen Boxing Club after school to practice their jabs, hooks and upper cuts. Pakistani women have been training as boxers in small numbers and competed in the South Asian Games last year, according to Younis Qambrani, the coach who founded the club in 1992 in the Karachi neighbourhood of Lyari, a place better known for internecine gang warfare than for breaking glass ceilings.

February 2016

Photogallery By The Numbers (February)

The world in statistics. (Graphics designed by Helena Zabranska)

Photogallery Georgia: The Street Kids Of Tbilisi

This photo documentary was started in 2013 by Onnik James Krikorian. It grew out of another project documenting the problems of children deprived of parental care and sent to institutions in Armenia and Georgia during the years between 2000 and 2010. Georgia has initiated reforms of its child protection system, but many children still can be found living or working on the streets.

Photogallery Photos Of The Week #8

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond.

Photogallery An Underground Hospital For Syrian Fighters

The Turkish town of Kilis is so close to Syria, you can hear the sounds of the fighting rumbling from across the border. In the suburbs of this small city, photographer Petr Shelomovskiy gained exclusive access to a secretive rehabilitation “hospital.” Free Syrian Army fighters recover there after emergency treatment. The men inside, who asked to have their identities hidden, spoke to Shelomovskiy about the Syrian government bullets and Russian bombs that changed their lives. [WARNING, GRAPHIC CONTENT]

Photogallery Photos Of The Week #7

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond. For more photo galleries, see our Picture This archive.

Photogallery Winners Of The World Press Photo Of The Year 2015

The top prize this year went to Australian photographer Warren Richardson. Richardson’s winning image, which was never published, depicts a migrant passing a baby underneath a razor-wire fence on the Hungary/Serbia border.

Photogallery Baku, For Richer Or Poorer

Azerbaijan’s capital city has had a dramatic few years. When the oil money rolled in, the skyscrapers went up. But today the country is reeling from crashing oil prices, and Baku has even resorted to switching off its streetlights to save money. The capital is a now a complex patchwork of glittering new developments, poor neighborhoods, and residents who carry on regardless of Baku's changing fortunes. RFE/RL photographer Petr Shelomovskiy explored the promenades and backstreets of a city in flux.

Photogallery Destruction, And Signs Of Renewal, In Debaltseve

One year ago, Russia-backed separatists won control of the city of Debaltseve from Ukrainian government troops. The fighting left the city in ruins. Many residents fled, and those who remained have often struggled to survive without heat, running water, or reliable access to food. In the past year, some residents have reconstructed their homes and workplaces, but the work has only just begun. (RFE/RL photographer Petr Shelomovskiy)

Photogallery Photos Of The Week #6

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond.

Photogallery After Son's Death, Deportation, A Mother Mourns In Tajikistan

A 5-month-old baby boy, named Umarali, died while being held with his parents in Russian custody last October in St. Petersburg, where they were accused of violating migration rules. Zarina Yunusova says that she was hastily deported in order to prevent a thorough investigation of Umarali's death. His father, Rustam Nazarov, has remained in Russia, awaiting results of an investigation. Russian officials initially said the child died in the hospital after suffering respiratory problems. The parents have challenged this, insisting the boy was healthy. RFE/RL photographer Petr Shelomovskiy visited Yunusova after her return to her hometown of Obigarm, Tajikistan.

Photogallery A Year After Minsk Accord, Shaky Truce Is The New Normal In Donetsk

One year after the signing of the Minsk peace agreement on February 12, intended to put an end to fighting in eastern Ukraine, residents of Donetsk and the surrounding areas have grown accustomed to shortages, checkpoints, and sporadic clashes. (RFE/RL photographer Petr Shelomovskiy)

Photogallery Photos Of The Week #5

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond.

Photogallery Maximishin's Life Work In 100 Moments

For the great Russian photographer Sergey Maximishin, choosing 100 of his best images for a book was too challenging a task to take on himself. In order to create an objective collection of his finest work, the 51-year-old enlisted the help of three trusted colleagues. The results are now on display in Prague’s Zahradnik Gallery. From a brooding Vladimir Putin to the flash of a ferryman’s gold teeth, Maximishin's photographs are at once journalism and art.

Photogallery A Bird's-Eye View Of Eastern Europe

While Western Europe and the United States have tightened laws on drones, countries of the former communist bloc have been slower to close their skies to unmanned aerial vehicles. Over the past two years, RFE/RL photographer Amos Chapple has made the most of the free airspace to capture a series of unique photographs of monuments dating back to the Soviet past and beyond.

January 2016

Photogallery Pictures Of The Week

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond for the fourth week of 2016.

Photogallery Living In Poverty Amid Azerbaijan's Black Gold

The Azerbaijani village of Novkhany near Baku is located right beside an oil field. RFE/RL photo reporter Petr Shelomovskiy went there to document the daily lives of local farmers and other inhabitants.

Photogallery By The Numbers (January)

The world in statistics. (Graphics designed by Helena Zabranska)

Photogallery Georgia's Punks And Goths

Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, is known in the South Caucasus region for its relative ethnic and cultural diversity. That has also led to the emergence of a small punk community, and an even smaller goth scene with its macabre style and music. This photo story is part of ongoing work by British journalist and photographer Onnik James Krikorian on youth and subcultures in Georgia for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. For more photos by Krikorian, visit his website http://www.onnik-krikorian.com.

Photogallery Photos Of The Week #3

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond.

Photogallery Azerbaijan Under Pressure

Protests in Azerbaijan have been met with a heavy security response. In a nation that depends on oil to keep the economic wheels turning, the continued slump in crude prices, along with the recent drop in value of the national currency, is putting enormous pressure on ordinary people. In recent years President Ilham Aliyev has spent billions on glittering vanity projects, especially in the capital, Baku. But with a government known for corruption and brutality, many Azeris are unimpressed with state spending on the capital’s skyline and the “caviar diplomacy” that has earned the country several recent sporting and cultural events. As the protests continue to simmer, there’s concern that a perfect storm of discontent may be brewing.

Photogallery Photos Of The Week #2

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond.

Photogallery One Man's Airport On Lake Baikal

Through the summer days of the Soviet era, Vladimir Prokopyev was a busy man. On a pristine island in Lake Baikal, the airport manager watched over the arrival of three or sometimes four flights every day. Then it all stopped. While Vladimir carried on with his tasks, the U.S.S.R. collapsed. In the hard new realities of the free market, support for the air service disappeared and the planes stopped coming. But Vladimir, now 86, is a man of duty. He had an airport to maintain and, for the past 20 years, ever hopeful that scheduled flights would return, that’s exactly what he’s done. (Photos by RFE/RL's Petr Shelomovskiy)

Photogallery Armenians Face Cold Reality After Gyumri Massacre

The massacre of the Avetisian family one year ago shocked the Caucasus nation of Armenia. The killings left seven dead, spanning three generations, with the youngest victim just 6 months old. News that the lone suspect was a soldier stationed at Russia's 102nd Military Base, located in the northwestern city of Gyumri, left locals outraged. But despite this being only the latest in a string of violent incidents related to the base, many feel that without the presence of Russian military the very existence of Armenia would be threatened. Photos and text by RFE/RL's Amos Chapple

Photogallery Photos Of The Week #1

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond.

Photogallery Photos Of The Week #53

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond

2016

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