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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Baku, For Richer Or Poorer

Published 17 February 2016

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.


The Baku skyline seen from an unfinished skyscraper


Girls walk on the Caspian Sea embankment in Baku. The distinctive Flame Towers can be seen in the background.


A clown tries to attract customers for a shop in central Baku.


A boutique on a central shopping street


An antique restorer at work


A hair salon owned by a university professor in the Alatava 2 district


Nina (left) and Jovhar drink tea in a kitchen in the Alatava 2 district


A street in the Alatava 2 district in the evening


Raush, a refugee from Nagorno-Karabakh, burns cables at a scrap metal shop.


A sheep stands outside a butcher shop


Friday prayers at a Shi'ite mosque


Janbulat Asperov watches his granddaughter play on the balcony of his house near the Bibi Heybet mosque.


Modern buildings on the Baku skyline


A girl lays flowers at the Alley of Martyrs memorial


A showroom suite in the Flame Towers hotel


A view of the Flame Towers from the Caspian Sea embankment