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Baltic minority region scapegoated fo...
Salcininkai
By Benas Gerdziunas
05 Oct 2017

Salcininkai, Lithuania’s Polish and Russian-speaking city is only five kilometers from Belarus. In the backdrop of ‘Zapad 2017’ military exercises across the border, Lithuanian government government has finger-pointed at the the substantial Russian-speaking minority for being susceptible to separatism, and held multiple military exercises in the region.

In turn, however, they have demonised the vulnerable population, suffering from depopulation and social exclusion.

In April, 2017, unannounced snap drills in the area became the center of controversy. Armed men in military fatigues took over the local police station and institutions with little resistance from the unprepared security forces. Political fallout from these exercises continue to this day.

Additionally, the voting patterns in Salcininkai and Lithuanian peripheries along the 670 kilometer border with Belarus are firmly with the pro-Kremlin, Polish minority party.

I visited the area to speak to the local people, who are mostly ignored in the public discourse, and explore some of the underlying issues in the region.

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FSA Fires at Russian Warcrafts in Ale...
Aleppo, Syria
By omariq
28 Feb 2016

FSA fighters in the Seif al-Dawla district of Aleppo, use anti-aircraft guns to fire at attacking Russian warplanes.

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FSA Fires at Russian Warcrafts in Ale...
Aleppo, Syria
By omariq
28 Feb 2016

FSA fighters in the Seif al-Dawla district of Aleppo, use anti-aircraft guns to fire at attacking Russian warplanes.

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FSA Fires at Russian Warcrafts in Ale...
Aleppo, Syria
By omariq
28 Feb 2016

FSA fighters in the Seif al-Dawla district of Aleppo, use anti-aircraft guns to fire at attacking Russian warplanes.

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Inside Rebel Held Aleppo 01
Aleppo, Syria
By rami.zien
17 Feb 2016

White smoke resulting from clashes between the FSA and Kurdish fighters looms above the Sheikh Maksoud district of Aleppo.

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Inside Rebel Held Aleppo 02
Aleppo, Syria
By rami.zien
17 Feb 2016

The Castello Highway, the main strategic supply route for the FSA. Kurdish fighters from the YPG backed by regime forces are trying to cut the FSA supply lines by controlling parts of the highway.

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Inside Rebel Held Aleppo 04
Aleppo, Syria
By rami.zien
17 Feb 2016

Citizens of al-Halk district in northern Aleppo carry foodstuffs. The rebel held district is considered to be a hot zone as Kurdish fighters from the YPG backed by the regime are attempting to take control over the area.

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Inside Rebel Held Aleppo 05
Aleppo, Syria
By rami.zien
17 Feb 2016

White smoke resulting from an airstrike rises above the Ashrafieh district of Aleppo.

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Inside Rebel Held Aleppo 06
Aleppo, Syria
By rami.zien
17 Feb 2016

A merchant outside of the kiosk where he sells chicken in the market of al-Shaar distric, Aleppo.

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Inside Rebel Held Aleppo 07
Aleppo, Syria
By rami.zien
17 Feb 2016

A merchant sits in the kiosk where he sells butane gas and charcoal, relied on for heat, in the market of al-Shaar district, Aleppo.

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Inside Rebel Held Aleppo 08
Aleppo, Syria
By rami.zien
17 Feb 2016

Children sell biscuits in the road of al-Shaar market, Aleppo.

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Inside Rebel Held Aleppo 09
Aleppo, Syria
By rami.zien
17 Feb 2016

Children sell biscuits in the road of al-Shaar market, Aleppo.

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Soviet Vilnius Bridge 23
Vilnius, Lithuania
By Nanook
20 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. Workers working on the night.

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Soviet vilnius bridge 25
Vilnius
By Nanook
20 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. First statue is taken off.

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Soviet vilnius bridge 25
Vilnius
By Nanook
20 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. worker near by soviet symbol.

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Soviet vilnius bridge 27
Vilnius
By Nanook
20 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. Worker is carefully takeint statue down.

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Soviet Vilnius Bridge 28
Vilnius, Lithuania
By Nanook
20 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. Statue of soldier in the mid air.

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Soviet Vilnius Bridge 29
Vilnius, Lithuania
By Nanook
20 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. Firts statues were taken off in the midle of the night.

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Soviet vilnius bridge 26
Vilnius
By Nanook
20 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. Workplace were secured by police.

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Soviet Vilnius Bridge 30
Vilnius, Lithuania
By Nanook
20 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. Empty postament of one of the statues.

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Soviet Vilnius Bridge 35
Vilnius, Lithuania
By Nanook
20 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. Mindaugas Standing on pedestal where soviet soldiers used to be. Mindaugas: My grandfather is commander of revolution against Bolshevism on 1941. For my and for my family it is festivity. But it is strange that this festivity come after 25 years. I am standing here to show that if Bolsheviks standed here for 25 years, now here should be placed flags of Lithuania.

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Soviet Vilnius Bridge 03
Vilnius, Lithuania
By Nanook
19 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. Bridge was secured by police while demontation works continued.

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Soviet Vilnius Bridge 04
Vilnius, Lithuania
By Nanook
19 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. worker in front of statues.

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Soviet Vilnius Bridge 05
Vilnius, Lithuania
By Nanook
19 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. Worker is placing frame to support statues when they will be taken off.

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Soviet Vilnius Bridge 06
Vilnius, Lithuania
By Nanook
19 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. Frame is being placed over the statues.

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Soviet Vilnius Bridge 07
Vilnius, Lithuania
By Nanook
19 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. Workers near by the statue.

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Soviet Vilnius Bridge 08
Vilnius, Lithuania
By Nanook
19 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. Pedestrian traffic were limited.

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Soviet vilnius bridge 09
Vilnius
By Nanook
19 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. Frame is being placed over the statues of soldiers.

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Soviet Vilnius Bridge 10
Vilnius, Lithuania
By Nanook
19 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. Green bridge.

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Soviet Vilnius Bridge 11
Vilnius, Lithuania
By Nanook
19 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. Marija: it should have been done long time ago. I'm thankful to our mayor.No matter that it is work of our sculptors I see no art here. This is tribute to sovietism. I hope they (sculptures) will not come back.

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Soviet Vilnius Bridge 12
Vilnius, Lithuania
By Nanook
19 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. Boris: I am sad. When Arturas Zuokas was mayor he didn't let this to happen. Now you will cross this bridge and you will not see these sculptures. It was way to educate children.

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Soviet Vilnius Bridge 13
Vilnius, Lithuania
By Nanook
19 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. Saulius Stoma: it looks funny to me. We are free out of this system for such a long time. These statues are symbols ot that system. I can see no art here. On XXI age people are still killed under these symbols, so I think these symbolls are unaceptable.

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Soviet Vilnius Bridge 14
Vilnius, Lithuania
By Nanook
19 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. Elena: Destroying and removing these sculptures is inhumane. That system was real system for real people.

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Soviet vilnius bridge 15
Vilnius
By Nanook
19 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. Audrius Bačiulis: it is grate Sunday. No matter these works are late for a week, but I think because of leaked emails from city council this is a good chance for the mayor to curry favor with rightists,

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Soviet Vilnius Bridge 16
Vilnius, Lithuania
By Nanook
19 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. People watching through the window of trolleybus.

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Soviet Vilnius Bridge 17
Vilnius, Lithuania
By Nanook
19 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. Woman are reading in front of statue of "Youth of Education".

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Soviet Vilnius Bridge 18
Vilnius, Lithuania
By Nanook
19 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. Worker is facing soldiers statues.

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Soviet Vilnius Bridge 19
Vilnius, Lithuania
By Nanook
19 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius. Woman near by statues.

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Soviet Vilnius Bridge 20
Vilnius, Lithuania
By Nanook
19 Jul 2015

Soviet era statues are being dismantled from the Green Bridge over the Neris river in Vilnius.