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Kutaisi-Baghdati-Abastumani-Benara, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
16 Oct 2014

This area was a Meskhetian cemetery until 1944, when most of the community members were deported. After the deportation, the cemetery was leveled and converted to agricultural land. Only a few of the gravestones can be seen today, like the one seen in this photo.

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baku, azerbaijan
By TemoBardzimashvili
16 Oct 2014

A Meskhetian family build their house near Baku, Azerbaijan.

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Bishkek
By TemoBardzimashvili
16 Oct 2014

Tahmina Gamidova, a lecturer at Ataturk Alatoo University in the Kyrgyz capital, wears a traditional Meskhetian robe at a cultural center for ethnic minorities. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

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Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
By TemoBardzimashvili
16 Oct 2014

Farman Shakhbazov, an famous davul player in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, says he could barely sit when started drumming on the table with his palms as a child. His mom would even tie his hands so that he wouldn'€™t injure himself. Shakhbazo, who assembled his first drum kit from pots and pans, acquired both traditional and contemporary drumming techniques, which allowed him to join rock bands and win fame as a versatile drummer.

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Kiev Street, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
By TemoBardzimashvili
16 Oct 2014

Hasan Hamdiev runs a shop in Dordoi Market in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, where he sells clothes imported from Turkey. Despite the recession in the job market and the tough economic conditions in Bishkek, the 23-year-old prefers staying there to leaving for Turkey in pursuit of a better job, unlike many other young Meskhetians of his age.

"€œThose of us who go to Turkey forget our traditions and just become Istanbul Turks," he says disapprovingly. "€œI want to remain a Meskhetian Turk."

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Kiev Street, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
By TemoBardzimashvili
16 Oct 2014

Gullar Kamalova is a poet of Meskhetian roots who lives in Kyrgyzstan and writes in both Kyrgyz and Turkish languages. Kamalova was only a few months old when she was deported from Georgia with her family. Her father was away fighting during the Second World War. The family was "lucky" that he was wounded on the frontline and returned home before their deportation. The entire family, including her siblings, parents, and grandparents were deported to Uzbekistan. Not all families were as lucky as Kamalova's, as many were deported while their men were away, fighting in the war.

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medrese, azerbaijan
By TemoBardzimashvili
16 Oct 2014

Worshipers from the Meshkhetian community gather for the Eid-ul-Fitr prayer, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramazan in Medrese, Azerbaijan.

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Women of the Red Army 01
Moscow
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
09 May 2014

Born in 1925, 90 year-old Svetlana is the mother of four children. Drafted into the Red army with the outbreak of the war as a mail woman, she was positioned in Yakoutsk Siberia. She was 16 years old when the war began with the German invasion of her country on June 22n 1941.

“I learned about the invasion by radio, and it was a real shock for me," she recalls. She was then mobilised into the Red army, and positioned at a local military post office for the entirety of the war. Her work consisted of announcing the deaths of soldiers to their families or wives. In other words, she was like an 'Angel of Death’ delivering the worst news possible to loved ones, going from house to house knocking on people’s doors with a small triangular letter in her hand. During the winters, she remembers that because it was so cold she would travel on horseback from one location to another. Svetlana never doubted that the USSR would be victorious against the Nazis. “I new it would take time, but I never doubted our final victory," she said. After the war, she continued her work in the postal service.

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Women of the Red Army 02
Moscow
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
09 May 2014

Born in 1925, 90 year-old Svetlana is the mother of four children. Drafted into the Red army with the outbreak of the war as a mail woman, she was positioned in Yakoutsk Siberia. She was 16 years old when the war began with the German invasion of her country on June 22n 1941.

“I learned about the invasion by radio, and it was a real shock for me," she recalls. She was then mobilised into the Red army, and positioned at a local military post office for the entirety of the war. Her work consisted of announcing the deaths of soldiers to their families or wives. In other words, she was like an 'Angel of Death’ delivering the worst news possible to loved ones, going from house to house knocking on people’s doors with a small triangular letter in her hand. During the winters, she remembers that because it was so cold she would travel on horseback from one location to another. Svetlana never doubted that the USSR would be victorious against the Nazis. “I new it would take time, but I never doubted our final victory," she said. After the war, she continued her work in the postal service.

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Women of the Red Army 03
Moscow
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
09 May 2014

Born in 1922, 94 year-old Lubov (which means love in Russian) has had two children, two grand children, and four great grand children. During the war she was drafted into the Red Army to work in a field hospital in Grozny, Chechnya.

“The city was always in fire," she recalls. She was 21 years old when she started to work as a nurse in the Grozny field hospital. “My task was to dress soldiers' wounds and change their bandages regularly," she explains. “I also wrote letters to the parents who lost their son in various battles." Lubov was later decorated by the Red Army for her courage during the defence of the Caucasus against German forces.

Born in Odessa, Ukraine in a Jewish family of intellectuals and scientists, when asked about the current conflict between Ukraine and Russia, she kept calm and replied with a strong sense of realism: “It is very sad what is happening in the Donbass. The Minsk accords are not being respected, and the propaganda works on both sides." She also added that Russia now is a better nation then during the USSR in terms of freedom of expression. “Before, when someone did not agree with the government, they were thrown in jail, or simply eliminated!”

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Women of the Red Army 04
moscow
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
09 May 2014

Born in 1922, 94 year-old Lubov (which means love in Russian) has had two children, two grand children, and four great grand children. During the war she was drafted into the Red Army to work in a field hospital in Grozny, Chechnya.

“The city was always in fire," she recalls. She was 21 years old when she started to work as a nurse in the Grozny field hospital. “My task was to dress soldiers' wounds and change their bandages regularly," she explains. “I also wrote letters to the parents who lost their son in various battles." Lubov was later decorated by the Red Army for her courage during the defence of the Caucasus against German forces.

Born in Odessa, Ukraine in a Jewish family of intellectuals and scientists, when asked about the current conflict between Ukraine and Russia, she kept calm and replied with a strong sense of realism: “It is very sad what is happening in the Donbass. The Minsk accords are not being respected, and the propaganda works on both sides." She also added that Russia now is a better nation then during the USSR in terms of freedom of expression. “Before, when someone did not agree with the government, they were thrown in jail, or simply eliminated!”

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Veterans Protecting Protesters in Mai...
Kyiv, Ukraine
By lordcob
14 Dec 2013

"Here Kabul 2, copy."

In the frigid night, a man in uniform speaks into the radio beside a military tent. But this is not Afghanistan. It is the centre of Kiev where, since November 21, protesters have been occupying Maidan Square. Almost a thousand of these demonstrators are Ukrainian miltary veterans who, as part of the Soviet Army, took part in different conflicts the USSR was engaged in around the globe before its dissolution, particularly in Afghanistan. This is also known as Soviet Union’s "Vietnam," where the USSR fought one of its bloodiest conflicts to date, between 1979 and 1789. This massive unrest in Ukraine that started initially as a demand to President Viktor Yanukovych to reconsider his decision of no longer committing to integration with the European Union has now turned into more of a demand for his resignation.

Andrei, who once served in Kabul for 19 months, still does not understand the reasons behind Yanukovych's decision to attack and injure unarmed students on November 30. “If they would not have attacked, the protest would have dissolved. Before I came to watch, then I came to remain to defend my own people against a President which behaves as a dictactor. We want a democratic country where people have real rights, like Europe."

Andrei, along with tens of thousands of others began living in Maidan Square in tents, occupying buildings and buses, warming themselves with firewood and listening to the never-ending music and speeches which run day and night on the main stage of Maidan Square. According to the commander on the ground of the Afghanistan’s Veterans, Oleg, 49, this all happened without any prior organization or connection with politics. “Veteran individuals just met on the square, they recognised each other, they organized themselves and they chose me as their coordinator. We are currently around 1,000 and we all have the same vision, in which a government should not use force against its own people. And so we put ourselves, experienced soldiers, who know the price of life, blood and death, in the middle.”

After a surprise attack on the night of December 11 and into the early morning of the 12 after Yanukovych's promise to European Union representative Catherine Ashton that he would not use force to disperse the protesters, the occupiers have become more organized, building strong barricades with snow and organizing shifts to defend the people. The system works in a sort of anarchy with the different defence groups, of which Afghanistan’s Veterans are the largest, having a dialogue on the ground as situations happen.

Every night, when the fear of attacks is highest, veterans patrol the area within and around Maidan Square. Since the major risk at the moment is that the government will use agent provocateurs to promote disorder or to give a wrong idea of what is happening in Maidan Square, veterans also control suspect people, and whenever found, bring them to the police.

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Communist March 13
Moscow, Russia
By Stephen Swofford
06 Nov 2013

A demonstrator gives a clench-fisted salute while shaking out a communist flag during the Communist Party of Russian Federation's annual march calling on Russia's to return to Communism.

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Communist March 12
Moscow, Russia
By Stephen Swofford
06 Nov 2013

A street vendor sells communist literature and buttons outside the start of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation's annual march through central Moscow. Protestors called for a return to Communism on the anniversary of the Red October revolution.

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Armenians in Baku Games 10
Sumgait, Azerbaijan
By lordcob
06 Oct 2013

A military shop in Sumgait, Azerbaijan with a poster of Ramil Safarov. Safarov was an Azerbaijani soldier that murdered a sleeping Armenian soldier with an axe during a NATO language training in Budapest in 2004. Safarov was extradited to Azerbaijan in 2012 and immediately lionised as a national hero prompting waves of outrage in Armenia.

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Matthias Rust in Hamburg
Hamburg, Germany
By kkoponen
30 Oct 2012

Matthias Rust, a Hamburg based free lance financial analyst holds a model of Cessna 172 light airplane. He tells his story of flying a similar aircraft to then Soviet Moscow in 1987. His flight was motivated by the cold war and the failure of a previous summit between Soviet Union and the US. Rust wanted to give negotiations a new impetus by defying the Soviet air defense with his light weight civilian aircraft with which he managed to land in the Red Square in central Moscow.

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The Man Who Helped End the Cold War
Hamburg, Germany
By kkoponen
30 Oct 2012

Matthias Rust, a Hamburg based free lance financial analyst holds a model of Cessna 172 light airplane. He tells his story of flying a similar aircraft to then Soviet Moscow in 1987. His flight was motivated by the cold war and the failure of a previous summit between Soviet Union and the US. Rust wanted to give negotiations a new impetus by defying the Soviet air defense with his light weight civilian aircraft with which he managed to land in the Red Square in central Moscow.

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Quba, Azerbaijan
By TemoBardzimashvili
31 May 2011

A young Meskhetian rides a horse in Azerbaijan.

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tsitelubani, georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
06 May 2011

A Meskhetian farmer works the soil in Tsitelubani, Georgia.

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Kutaisi-Baghdati-Abastumani-Benara, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
31 Mar 2011

Meskhetians in Abastumani, Georgia help the Kuradze family move to their new house.

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Kutaisi-Baghdati-Abastumani-Benara, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
29 Mar 2011

Ali Mekhriev, a member of the Meshkhetian community, plants potatoes in his garden. Abastumani, Georgia.

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Meskhetian Turks 28
Октябрьская, Kant, Kyrgyzstan
By TemoBardzimashvili
11 Mar 2011

People from the Meshkhetian community wait for the bride to come out at this wedding in the village of Kant near Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan.

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Kutaisi-Baghdati-Abastumani-Benara, Georgia
By TemoBardzimashvili
18 Sep 2009

Ahmed Mekhriev conducts the Ramazan prayer in Abastumani, Georgia. The Abastumani Meskhetian community does not yet have a mollah, or muslim cleric.