Friday 1 August 2014
July 31, 2014
Jerge-Tal, Where Kyrgyz And Tajik Cultures Collide
In the Jerge-Tal region of Tajikistan, high in the Pamir Mountains, the descendants of Kyrgyz nomads have settled and established a unique community. The residents of Jerge-Tal easily switch between Kyrgyz, a Turkic language, and Tajik, closely related to Persian. Though they have ties to two cultures, the inhabitants of the region are isolated by their remote location and the frequent closure of the roads leading to Kyrgyzstan amid ongoing border disputes. (Photos by Janyl Jusupjan, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service)
July 30, 2014
Coal Mining In Pakistan's Punjab Province
At the Choa Saidan Shah coal mine, workers dig coal with pickaxes, break it up, and load it onto donkeys to be transported to the surface. The mine is in Punjab, Pakistan's most populous and richest province, but most of the miners come the poorer region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, to the northwest. Employed by private contractors, the miners work in teams of four, with each team earning about $10 a day to be divided among them. (Photos by Sara Farid, Reuters)
July 28, 2014
Celebrating Vardavar, Armenia's Water Festival
Armenians celebrated the holiday of Vardavar on July 27, throwing water on one another in the streets of Yerevan. Observed on the 14th Sunday after Easter, the festival is associated with the biblical Transfiguration of Jesus when he appeared before his disciples on Mount Tabor. But the water festival tradition predates Christianity, and was originally a celebration of the pagan deity Astghik, the goddess of water, beauty, love, and fertility. Today, Vardavar is largely an opportunity to cool off from the summer heat. (Photos by Photolure News Agency)
July 27, 2014
U.S. Says Satellite Images Show Shelling Of Ukraine Troops From Russian Territory
The U.S. State Department on July 27 issued satellite images that it says clearly indicate artillery strikes on Ukrainian military positions in eastern Ukraine were fired from across the border in Russian territory. The dates on the image are as recent as July 25-26. The captions accompanying these photos are text issued by the office of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence.
July 25, 2014
World War I: Scenes Of Life And Death
On July 28, 1914, Austro-Hungarian troops fired the first shots during the invasion of Serbia that marked the start of World War I. The conflict resulted in more than 16 million military and civilian deaths, but did not bring about the end to all wars as some hoped and dreamed it would. One-hundred years later, harrowing images from the war retain their power and immediacy. Included in this collection are photos that have been only recently discovered and shown publicly.
July 23, 2014
U.S. Intelligence Releases Evidence Of Russian Connection To MH17 Downing
"The Washington Post" reports that the U.S. intelligence community has released its analysis of photos relating to the shoot down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence reportedly says the images show the movements of an antiaircraft missile system toward Russia, and increased Russian military activity.
July 22, 2014
World War I: Postcards From The Front
During World War I -- which broke out 100 years ago on July 28 -- the Austro-Hungarian Empire's "feldpost" system enabled soldiers to communicate with their loved ones back home. Preserved postcards and letters provide a very personal view of how individual soldiers experienced the conflict. Jaroslav Bis, from the east Bohemian town of Vysoke Myto, sent these poignant messages home to his family during the war. His fate was sadly similar to many others who fought in the trenches from 1914 to 1918. After fighting on the Italian front, he was sent home in 1916 with a head wound that caused him to lose the sight in one eye. In the 1920s, he was admitted to an insane asylum. He died in 1937, and his war injury was cited as the official cause of death. These postcards from a Czech family's private collection were shared with RFE/RL and have never before been shown publicly.
July 20, 2014
The Aftermath Of The Downing Of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17
On July 17 the world was shocked by the news that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, a scheduled international passenger connection between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur, had been shot down over eastern Ukraine. It is believed to have been hit with a BUK surface-to-air missile. The aircraft went down near the village of Hrabove in an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists. All 283 passengers and 15 crew on board the Boeing 777-200ER airliner died in the tragic incident.