Tags / Border
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.
Nicosia north, two Turkish boys walking in front of a house destroyed by the conflict in 1973.
North Cyprus. Directions for Nicosia in the Turkish language.
North Nicosia. An old tower under UN control.
Mihalis, 48, runs a hotel near the buffer zone that needs urgent renovation. The price per room is 15 euro for the week end.
North Nicosia, a child on a bicycle.
Inside an old shop placed near the green line.
The economic crisis that began in 2012 led to the sale of land and buildings at a price very favorable to foreign financial companies and groups. Only in 2013, the most difficult year in the history of Cyprus, the Chinese have invested 300 million euro in real estate.
A gift shop in Kato Pyrgos.
The Agios Nikolaos checkpoint.
The authoritarian drift of Erdogan in Turkey worries and queries the Cypriot people about the progress achieved in terms of reunification and cooperation between the two republics in recent months.
A turkish souvenir seller, in the Kyrenia's port.
Kyrenia, North Cyprus, one of the many shops closed for years.
North side of Nicosia. A graffiti depicting Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first president of Turkey.
Nicosia, a view from above.
An elderly woman lights a candle in a church.
The Orthodox Christian community of Cyprus is one of the oldest in the world. They are the 80% of the island population.
Nicosia South. Barriers to prevent access to the green line. Each year, according to UNFICYP reports, within the demilitarized area take place around a thousand accidents, from simple provocations to real shots of gunfire.
Two Russian tourists walking through the streets of Paphos.
Nicosia. One of the illegal access points to the buffer zones.
The military cemetery Tymbos Makedonitissa of Nicosia. Inside there are the tombs of the Greek and Cypriot soldiers who were killed in the 1974 riots.
The lighting of one of the mountains of the Turkish Cyprus, representing the turkish Cypriot flag.
In Cyprus, the art of fishing still uses traditional methods; the collection of sponges is widely practiced throughout the island.
Muslim women to Kyrenia market, in the north of Cyprus.
A house destroyed in the Turkish part of Nicosia.
Kyrenia. Two tourists posing in front of the statue of the national hero, the turkish Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
June 26, 2016
This video shows damaged buildings in the predominantly Kurdish city of Kobane near the Syrian Turkish border.
Tunisian police and military forces patrol the border town of Ben Guerdane on March 8, 2016, one day after ISIS militants launched an attack on military barracks in the town. 28 militants were killed in the clashes that also left ten members of Tunisian security forces and seven civilians dead.
Tunisian security forces arrested 17 militants, reportedly connected to ISIS.
Later on Tuesday March 8th, the Tunisian Prime Minister said that the death toll had risen to 55, as security forces once again clashed with militants, killing six.
On the 27th of April 2015 a second earthquake of 6.5 magnitude struck 17 km south of the village of Liping on the Nepali - Tibet border. Eleven months after the destructive earthquake the northern border with China remains closed. Nowadays the main Sino - Nepal border crossing point is at Rasuwagadhi - Kerung north of Kathmandu. Liping village, which was once a busy crossing point for businessmen from China, India and Nepal, looks today like a ghost town. Around 75% to the population left the village and moved to nearby villages or Kathmandu. The Nepal government is still assessing the damage but the area looks untouched since the quake hit. The Chinese decision to close the border for security reasons has affected the local population whose livelihood depended on trade and tourism. Is not clear when the road will be reopened. At the moment there is still a big risk of landslides, especially with the coming raining season. Liping residents who remain in the village try to have a normal day by day life and keep the spirit of the community alive.
People fled their homes leaving their belongings, not knowing when the situation would normalize.
A pharmacy remains mainly as it was on the day the earthquake hit Liping.
Kahn Sherwin, 51 in front the ruins of her house. During the earthquake a giant rock hit the roof of the building. She is now living in a nearby village.
A food and tea shop on the main road of Liping that was abandoned after the earthquake.
A four wheel drive vehicle drives toward the border where cars are not allowed to cross into China.
Two local people walk along the main road of Liping, moving quickly and watching carefully to avoid rocks falling from a landslide.
Several big landslides destroyed houses after the earthquake.
A local woman cooks in an improvised outdoor kitchen in front her damaged house at the entrance to Liping.
A local Sherpa woman stands in front of a closed bank in Liping.
A local woman walks by a big landslide on the road near the border bridge with China.
Thirty seven year old Sasha Magar stands in front her destroyed house.
Her husband died in the earthquake, leaving her with a two year old daughter. She and her child now live with her brother in a nearby village.