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Ukraine's 24th Mechanized Brigade is stationed at a checkpoint on the front line of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. By keeping chickens on site for fresh eggs, cooking for themselves, exercising, and praying in a chapel, the soldiers do their best to live normally while protecting against attacks from Russian-backed separatists. Some of the Ukrainian soldiers have been on the front line for eight months and can’t wait to get back home for Christmas. Thanks to some volunteers, the soldiers are provided with warm winter clothing and food. More than 9,000 people have been killed in the fighting in eastern Ukraine since March 2014. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, Filip Warwick)

The Kyrgyz of the Pamir Mountains live divided by borders -- some in China or Afghanistan, the majority in Tajikistan. During the Soviet era their nomadic lifestyle was brought to an end, as they were forcibly settled. Now, though, many return to the yurt during the summer, which they spend on the high mountain pastures tending yaks or looking after tourists. By Janyl Jusupjan.

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