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Then and Now: Postcards from the Sovi...
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

"Then and Now: Postcards from the Soviet Union" addresses the end of the Cold War and current resurgence of Russian geopolitical assertion in Ukraine and elsewhere. This series of historical photographs juxtaposes idealized, Soviet era postcards and visuals with real world photographs shot over the course of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the ensuing post-Soviet era. This juxtaposition is meant to demonstrate the links and the contrasts between national narratives propagated by the Soviet system and how those narratives have been affected by or manifested in contemporary reality.


Shot over the last 26 years in Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Poland, these unique photos offer an intimate historical perspective of Soviet and Eastern European geopolitics as the region takes on new forms and conflicts in Ukraine and elsewhere. 

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Postcards from the Soviet Union
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

Upper: Hello from the Exhibition”; mid-1950s postcard, Exhibition of National Economic Achievements, Soviet era Moscow.

Lower: Opened to private enterprise in 1992, the Exhibition of National Economic Achievements building complex rapidly transformed into a place of rampant uncontrolled commercialism amidst its former Soviet pomp. Moscow, Russia.

Image Correlation: These series of buildings have been utilized both during the communist era and during the more recent introduction of a Western commercial market after the end of the Soviet period. The symbology inherent in the sculptures have become representative hallmarks for the iconic Soviet period of Socialist realism, introduced by Stalin in 1934 then adapted by allied Communist parties worldwide.

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Postcards from the Soviet Union
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

Upper: Central Moscow, Kremlin foreground; 1960s impression

Lower: Moscow Red Square at night, 2005.

Image Correlation: More of a romantic notion regarding one of the major cities of the world, the iconic buildings of Red Square in Moscow implies a sense of duration through the centuries as political eras fluctuate more readily across recent decades.

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Postcards from the Soviet Union
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

Upper: Postcard: In memory of WWII.

Lower: Statue: In memory of WWII. Warsaw, Poland, 1992.

Image Correlation: These two photos resemble a counterpoint of recent history. A scarce Soviet postcard, released 10 years after WWII depicts a melancholic image of a distant, but ongoing battle, while a permanent abstract soldier statue in the Praga district of Warsaw, Poland offers a stern and dark reminder of history.

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Postcards from the Soviet Union
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

Upper: 1949 Soviet rally; 1962 postcard, “With Holiday Congratulations Comrade!”

Lower: World War Two veterans commemorate Victory Day inTbilisi, Georgia, 9 May 2011.

Image Correlation: Passing the memory of victory in the Great Patriotic War across generations. Pride and valor have compelled millions to revere their national identities through the memorialization of the Great Patriotic war. Despite the fact that the war was fought in the name of the Soviet Union, the people's of the now independent former Soviet republics still celebrate the war's victory as their own.

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Postcards from the Soviet Union
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

Upper: Soviet Great Patriotic War Congratulations to Victory; "From Moscow to Berlin,1945 To Victory Day!"

Lower: Tribute to executed escapees from former East Germany during Berlin Wall 15 year Anniversary; Berlin, Germany, 2004

Image Correlation: One side's victory is another's oppression.

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Postcards from the Soviet Union
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

Upper: Stalin era building, May 1 International Worker's Day holiday congratulations; Moscow, 1953

Lower: Western advertising is introduced to Russia. A Cadbury's fruit and nut chocolate billboard in front of the same 1940s, Stalin era building; Moscow, 1995.

Image Correlation: The irony of history. The pictured building, which was constructed during the height of Joseph Stalin's rule, was used to project an image of a powerful communist utopia. Decades later, communism collapsed, only to make way for the very kind of capitalism it was said to be resisting.

Today, Russia is a major force in the globalization process. This has forced difficult choices amongst European Union countries, particularly Germany, in respect to the series of sanctions levied since the stand off between the two countries over the war in Ukraine.

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Postcards from the Soviet Union
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

Upper: Forward to Communism” with the communist party program in hand, Moscow, Casualty of capitalism.

Lower: A Soviet era pensioner struggles during the economic shock period of the 1990s with the abrupt introduction of Western consumerism overtaking communist central planning of the prior 70 years. The McDonalds sign reads " Taste of the Season"; Moscow, 1995.

Image Correlation: Two distinct economic systems prevailing in the same exact location, though years apart. This dichotomy amplified a social collision for certain segments of the population, particularly in the years immediately after the collapse of the Soviet system. As there was no guidebook provided for people accustomed to government subsidies, having to suddenly rely on individual economic incentive for many became overwhelming.

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Postcards from the Soviet Union
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

Upper: May 1 Congratulations for International Workers Day; (Socialist Worker's Holiday) 1958

Lower: Soviet era and recently introduced Western values collide with Stalin in a tailor shop alongside a gambling and striptease casino, Gori, Georgia, 2009.

Image Correlation: Social values fluctuated greatly with end of the Soviet era. The idea of a communist utopia, free of inequality, greed and exploitation, was turned on its head with the rapid infusion of Western consumer culture and economic chaos that followed the collapse Soviet Union.

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Postcards from the Soviet Union
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

Upper: Soviet MiG-15, “The Jet that Shocked the West” 1950

Lower: Saakashvili Era Military Parade in Tbilisi, Georgia. During his 7 year rule (2004-2011), the pro-Western president showcased Georgia as the fastest growing post-Soviet democracy. Tbilisi, Georgia, 2007.

Image Correlation: The use of military might by both Eastern and Western oriented leaderships to project their ideological and political formidability. Despite existing in different eras, and under different ideological and political circumstances, the essential public relations strategy remains the same between the Soviet Union and capitalist independent Georgia.

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Postcards from the Soviet Union
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

Upper: Boys fantasizing about their future war stories, 1961.

Lower: A young boy’s military dreams; Tbilisi, Georgia, 2007.

For the young male, the fantasy for the glory days of war without yet having had the experience appears in several cultures worldwide. Here it is represented with Soviet era illustrations and through the eyes of a child at a Georgian military parade.

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Postcards from the Soviet Union
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

Upper: Glory to the Soviet Armed Forces; Moscow, 1968

Lower: All leaders become future history; the Putin era is not over; Tbilisi, Georgia, 2013.

Image Correlation: How Russian history from the early 21st century will be perceived in the distant future. Putin's administration is said to be heavily influenced by the Soviet past. The question then remains, what influence will Putin have on future Russian leaderships?

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Postcards from the Soviet Union
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

Late Soviet period, Gorbachev political pin reads-"Perestroika, Glasnost"; or "restructuring and "public openness", 1988.

Russian military elite attending banquet in the Georgian breakaway republic of Abkhazia. Gagra, Abkhazia, 2005.

Image Correlation: Symbols from the late Soviet period above, coincide with a seeming perpetuation of the Soviet era in the breakaway region of Abkhazia, on the northwest coast of Georgia years later. Abkhazia was the second territory annexed by Russia after the 2008 war and has cultivated close ties against the rancor of the Georgian authorities.

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Postcards from the Soviet Union
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

Upper: 50 years of the USSR Armed Forces, 1967

Lower: Former Russian base until 2001; Vasiani, Georgia, 2003.

Image Correlation: An extended generation of prevailing missile diplomacy between East and West is illustrated through a Soviet period magazine and 1960s postcard. While below, remnants from the Cold War remained until the withdrawal of Russian bases from Georgia started in 2005.

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Postcards from the Soviet Union
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

Upper: End of WWII 1945, Victory Day (Soviet Perspective).

Lower: Protesters gather in front of Stalin's birthplace. Georgian signage reads "Down with capitalism, give factories to working people, give jobs"; Gori, Georgia, 2011.

Image Correlation: A postcard and black & white photo celebrating Stalin provides a perspective regarding the Soviet WWII victory, while the image below shows present day demonstration by protesters in front of his boyhood home; now a museum.

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Postcards from the Soviet Union
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

Upper: Glory to Soviet Soldiers, Moscow, 1966

Lower: A Russian bunker with a Georgian weapon in the foreground. At the border of Russian-occupied South Ossetia. Dvani, Georgia, 2011.

Image Correlation: A Mid-1960s Soviet military parade in Red Square offers an idealized image projecting a feeling of camaraderie and unity while, decades later, two former Soviet peoples turn their guns on each other as Russian and Georgian forces face off over the breakaway region of South Ossetia.

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Postcards from the Soviet Union
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

Upper: 1917 October Revolution commemoration postcard and a newspaper clipping describing the Gorbachev-Bush/Baker-Shevardnadze meeting at the Helsinki Summit in September 1990

Lower: Russian checkpoint, South Ossetia-Georgia border, 2005.

Image Correlation: The fluid, ironic nature of history as former allies become enemies and old antagonisms reappear in different forms. The upper images represent two pivotal eras in Soviet history: the October revolution, which created the Soviet Union, and the 1990 US-USSR talks, which help set the groundwork for the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Pictured in the newspaper clipping is Eduard Shevardnadze, foreign minister under Mikhail Gorbachev and later the president of post-Soviet Georgia. Years later, the close history shared between Georgians and Russians would be tested as Russia and Georgia faced off over the breakaway region of South Ossetia. Three years after the lower photo was taken, war broke out over the contested region. The Russia-Georgia conflict was one of a series of clear illustrations of the reemergence of US-Russia geopolitical tensions, as the United States supported Georgia in the 5-day conflict.

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Postcards from the Soviet Union
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

Upper: Glory to the armed forces, 1975 and 40 Years USSR (rear); 1957

Lower: Billboard reads “Putin Our President”; Tskhinvali, South Ossetia, 2006.

Image Correlation: An iteration of history (upper) reflects the vestiges of a former empire, which have since reappeared in modern times with emblems of a reinvigorated Russian nation (lower).

This billboard appears in South Ossetia, a territory recognized by the Western international community as part of Georgia. However, Russia has openly supported the independence of the territory and even went to war to maintain it in August 2005. Since then there have been rumors of a full Russian annexation of the region.

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Postcards from the Soviet Union
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

Upper: Ukraine, October Glory (1917 Revolution) – 1963

Lower: Citizen registering to vote in Ukraine with passport document. May ,2014.

Image Correlation: The patriotism once encouraged by the Soviet system reemerges in the form patriotism for one's independent, former-Soviet state. The pictured elections followed months of protest and upheaval in Ukraine, which led to the ousting of a pro-Moscow leadership and the eventually election of a pro-Western administration opposed to Moscow.

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Postcards from the Soviet Union
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

Upper: Original WWII era Soviet Map approaching Kiev; 1952 card -“For Peace”.

Lower: Central Kiev protests, 2005

Image Correlation: The concept of peace and optimism through the eras. In different contexts, times, and manifestations, the hope for peace prevails.

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Postcards from the Soviet Union
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

Upper: Global Provocation; October Glory (Ukrainian) 1980.

Lower: Georgia aspires to join NATO; Tbilisi, 2007.

Image Correlation: Metaphorically, Putin provokes Obama alongside an orange and black St. George ribbon associated with Soviet WWII war veterans, which has since been adopted by pro-Russia separatists as a symbol of military valor in eastern Ukraine.

The 1980s Ukrainian postcard represents the idea of "friendship between nations". That idea was tested by Georgia and Ukraine's bid to join NATO and the resulting tensions with Russia, represented in the lower photo.

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Postcards from the Soviet Union
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

Upper: War Is Over? - Glory to the Great October, 1965

Lower: Property owners cut off by Russia's expansion of South Ossetia's borders into Georgia proper. The expansion happened during the August 2008 war between Russia and Georgia. South Ossetia ABL (Administrative Boundary Line), 2013.

Image Correlation: A 1980s newspaper featuring images of the highest ranking Soviet awards; Order of Lenin, Order of October Revolution, Red Banner of Labor displays next to the headline, War is Over? Below, razor wire demarcates property as a result of a military campaign to further annex deeper into Georgian territory as unstable borders and unresolved Russia-Georgia policy issues continue into present times.

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Postcards from the Soviet Union
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

Upper: No Tolerance for Weaponry, “Peace”; 1961

Lower: European Union-Georgian-Russian-South Ossetian negotiations in no-man's-land between Georgian-Russian annexed borders; Ergneti, Georgia, 2011.

Image correlation: An early 1960s call for peace through arms reduction on a Soviet postcard (upper) amplifies the irony of an intractable situation over 50 years later. “Peace” negotiators take place in the lower photo while the unresolved aftermath of the Georgian-Russian war of 2008 perpetuates unstable on-the-ground conditions.

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Postcards from the Soviet Union
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

Upper: Postcard-Glory Soviet Armed Forces, 1965, document-the Commemorative Medal-50 years Liberation of Ukraine; Crimea Map; 1955.

Soviet Era Tribute; Samegrelo, Georgia, 2000

Image Correlation: Elements of the current Ukraine conflict have historic attributes stemming from decades earlier, as the justification for each side’s present directives find their justification in different interpretations of a shared history. The now gone Soviet era mural (lower) found in a remote region of Georgia attests to the permeation that the former empire once attained. The historic precedent, which can remain invisible, runs deep in the collective psyche and becomes the fulcrum for determining which alliance a region moves towards; sustaining relations with Russia or moving towards the Western driven market.

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Postcards from the Soviet Union
Moscow, Russia
By Steve Weinberg
16 Apr 2015

Upper: A New? Cold War (German) Putin-Merkel standoff, 2015.

Lower: Brezhnev statue with original period artefacts relocated to an outlying park after collapse of the Soviet Union; Moscow, Russia, 1995.

Image Correlation: Poignant news dispatches describing incessant military escalations between Russian and Ukrainian forces have inadvertently upset the post-Cold War international order amongst American, European Union and Russian governments. History is currently being choreographed towards an open-ended denouement while Putin and Merkel seem to spar amidst strands of artifacts from the Berlin Wall and a monument to honor Soviet "hero-pilots." Could the frozen Moscow park during winter imply a reoccurring cold war scenario upon the world once again?

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Russia Faces Currency Woes (VO)
Moscow
By Julia Lyubova
26 Nov 2014

Western sanctions on Russian businesses and individuals in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and alleged military involvement in Eastern Ukraine are beginning to take a toll on the ruble. The Russian government denies allegations by Western governments that it supports pro-Russian rebels in the Donbass region.

Multiple rounds of economic sanctions by the US, the EU and other Western countries starting in March 2014 progressively put travel bans in place on high-ranking officials, froze assets and banned transactions originating from certain individuals, and eventually targeted Russian energy firms and banks, with the goal of bringing about political change. Russia responded in kind, banning the import of agricultural goods from countries supporting the sanctions.

Today, Russia is facing bleak economic prospects as the country's national currency continues to fall. The ruble has already lost almost 30% of its value since June. It plunged some 14% against the US dollar in November alone. The ruble’s devaluation has had an adverse effect on many sectors of the economy.

“First of all it raised nearly twice the prices for agricultural goods, and for some industrial goods,” said Andrei Fedorov, an economist at The Russian Academy for Economics, Finance and Law. “ It's a very serious blow against tourism, tourism for Europe fell about 40% and only Turkey, Egypt and Thailand are still remaining on the tourists' list. One of the biggest blows is against automobile market... The ruble devaluation created a crisis in selling apartments, houses, dachas, et cetera.”

The Central Bank of Russia had been spending billions in a bid to prop up the ruble in recent months. But in early November it decided to cease its artificial support for the currency. The Bank of Russia says it will only intervene to prop up the ruble if there is a threat to financial stability.

“The Central Bank raised interest fees, interest rates, nearly twice since the beginning of the year,” Federov said. “And probably will do it once again in the beginning of next year...But all these things are not very much working also because there's certain panic inside the population. Since the beginning of the year, people have bought 45 billion dollars in cash. And of course all this money are not kept in the bank.”

The recent fall in global oil prices partly contributed to the weakness of the ruble. Russia's economy relies heavily on revenues from oil and gas exports. This makes the Russian ruble highly volatile to changes in oil prices and could lead to serious economic problems.

Aleksandr Zotin, the economic analyst and observer at 'Dengi' magazine likened the situation to the recessions that struck European economies after the sub-prime crisis in the US.

“According to the forecast of the Central Bank, if the price of oil declines to 60 dollars per barrel, the decline of the GDP could be around four percent, a rather big decline,” he said. “So it will be, I think, a serious recession, resembling the recession of 2009.”

Western sanctions over the Ukrainian crisis are playing a serious role in Russia's economic woes. The country's Finance Minister recently said that the economy is set to lose 40 billion US dollars per year from sanctions. These punitive measures block Russian companies from borrowing in the West, which could push the country towards a credit crunch.

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Volunteers Upgrade Ukrainian Tanks, S...
Sloviansk
By Andrey Samerkhanov
07 Sep 2014

Date: September 8, 2014
Location: Sloviansk, Ukraine
Length: 3:51

When a shaped charge penetrates the armour of a vehicle, there is a massive build-up of heat that burns through the armour and threatens to kill the crew. Shaped charge protection prevents the round penetrating the vehicle armour and triggers the explosion outside the vehicle, in which case, the vehicle is likely to remain combat ready. A resident of Vinnitsa Oblast, Leonid, organized a team of volunteer welders after seeing his fellow countrymen die in conflict. He lead the team to Sloviansk where they are installing shaped charge protection onto Ukrainian combat vehicles.

Myroslav Gai from Kiev served in the National Guard of Ukraine as a volunteer and took part in the ground action in Sloviansk. After being rotated out, he organised a charity to provide aid to servicemen and refugees. Donations from people around the region have been used to buy the necessary materials for Leonid’s team of welders to manufacture and mount the shaped charge protection. Myroslav and Leonid’s objective is to equip 100 armoured vehicles with the potentially life-saving cage.

Shotlist:
A craftsman cuts the metal bars.
A craftsman takes measurements for the protective screens.
Craftsmen welding.
A craftsman demonstrates the mechanical window in the shaped charge protection.
Craftsmen assemble the shaped charge protection screen.
Craftsmen install the shaped charge protection.

SOUNDBITE 1
Myroslav, former National Guard serviceman
“The shaped charge protection screen. In simple terms – it is a metal cage encircling the armoured vehicle, which traps the charge, for example a rocket from a RPG (handheld launcher).”

“An incoming RPG charge explodes and burns out between the cage and main armour. The crew, therefore, survives.”

SOUNDBITE 2
Leonid, professional welder
“After losing some of our fellow countrymen, who burned alive because shaped charges hit their armoured vehicles, we decided to create a shaped charge protection. We did all the designing, manufacturing and testing. The live fire test revealed that the armour on the vehicle stays intact.”

SOUNDBITE 3
Myroslav, former National Guard serviceman
“The main thing is that these folks can install the protection in the field. There are not many people who would agree to go to a military base, where military action could start at any time.”

SOUNDBITE 4
Leonid, professional welder
“Every protective cage is being welded independently, after which they are all put together and bolted as a single structure. Afterwards, they are welded strongly to the armoured vehicle.”

SOUNDBITE 5
Myroslav, former National Guard serviceman
“Our target is to fix the protection to as many armoured vehicles as possible, since the Ukrainian army has only a limited quantity of such vehicles and those get destroyed in combat, along with the people in them.”

SOUNDBITE 6
Leonid, professional welder
“In a very short period of time we installed the protection onto seven armoured vehicles. At the same time, we install protective screens and repair the vehicles damaged in action.”

SOUNDBITE 7
Myroslav, former National Guard serviceman
“We have managed to collect significant amounts of money through donations. Only the materials used in manufacturing the protection for one vehicle is 24,000 UAH. Leonid thanks God and will take money only to reimburse the materials. The real costs are paying craftsmen’s hours and transportation, which we can’t afford. Therefore, their assistance is appreciated.”

SOUNDBITE 8
Leonid, professional welder
“I receive many text messages from the army unit for which we installed the protection screens. As a rule, I receive them at night. In the morning, my phone is bursting with the phone calls: ‘Thank you so much, uncle Lyonya. We got entrapped and shelled, but all are alive.’ Such gratitude is the most valuable thing I ever encountered in my life.”

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The Talisman
Krasny Partizan
By Andrey Samerkhanov
07 Sep 2014

Date: September 7, 2014
Location: Krasny Partizan near Horlivka, Ukraine
Length: 2:06
Ukrainian volunteers supply National Guards and the Ukrainian Army with all necessary equipment – they collect money for medical supplies, kevlar helmets, body armors, etc.. The equipment is then delivered to the troops on the front line.
Ukrainian soldiers also receive support letters from children from all over the country.
Each envelope also contains a talisman; the Swallow in the colors of the national flag of Ukraine.

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Fighting Intensifies in Slavyansk as ...
Slavyansk, Ukraine
By Andrey Borodulin
30 May 2014

The Ukrainian Army has been intensifying its military crackdown on pro-Russian rebels in Slavyansk, Ukraine. 14 Ukrainian Army soldiers were killed, including an army general, when rebels shot down a Ukrainian Army helicopter over the city. As the situation has deteriorated, civilians have been caught in the crossfire and a local psychiatric hospital has been shelled.
Also killed were Italian journalist Andrea Rocchelli and his interpreter Andrey Mironov who died when they were hit by mortar fire in Slavyansk.

These photos illustrate the chaos of Slavyansk between May 24-29, 2014. Included in the photos is 65-year-old local woman Olga Prokhorenko, who was killed by shrapnel from a mortar shell. Images also show damage done to civilian infrastructure, including the home of a local Meskhetian Turk, and smoke rising from the area of the downed Ukrainian military helicopter.

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Ukraine's Hunger Games
Gurba and Antonivtsi
By lordcob
19 May 2014

Every year since 2004, over 300 young men and women aged between 17 and 28 years old from the Young Nationalist Congress (MNK), an organization promotes Ukrainian nationalism, fight in extreme conditions for 60 hours in the middle of a western Ukrainian forest, between the villages of Gurba and Antonivtsi. The game takes place where the Ukrainian Revolutionary Army (UPA) fought the Red Army in 1944.

The rules derive from Zarnitsa (Summer Lightning), a game commonly played during Soviet times by the Young Pioneers (a Soviet organization similar to Scouts). Two teams have to defeat each other by capturing the other team's flag. Despite the intensity of the fight, injuries are minor. Punches and weapons are forbidden. A referee makes sure that no rules are broken and collects the colored ribbons, which are velcroed on the players’ arms and symbolize their “life”.

According to its website (http://gurby.org.ua), the game aims at training and preparing the youth in case of military intervention by Ukraine’s Eastern neighbors.

This year’s event was tainted by the Ukrainian revolution. Many of the players have been protesting in Maidan Square for months.

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Women against the War 5
Chernivtsi
By Max Kozmenko
04 Mar 2014

"Putin walked with a lie round the world but on Ukraine he'll stumble," - written on the poster

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Women against the War 1
Chernivtsi
By Max Kozmenko
04 Mar 2014

Women hold posters and ask RF President Putin to get his militarists out of Ukraine

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Women against the War 6
Chernivtsi
By Max Kozmenko
04 Mar 2014

Women hold posters and ask russian President Putin to get his militarists out of Ukraine

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Women Against the War
By Max Kozmenko
04 Mar 2014

Ukrainian women express their rejection to the war and ask the Russian forces to leave.

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Anti-government protests in Kiev
Kiev, Ukraine
By Arturas Morozovas
24 Jan 2014

Poster mocking Russian President Vladimir Putin seen near Maidan square.

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Moscow May 6th Prisoners Rally
Moscow, Russia
By Mais Istanbuli
06 May 2013

Thousands gathered in Moscow in support of opposition activists who were arrested at last year's May 6th rally on Bolotnaya Square, in a manifestation during Putin's entrance into office.

The opposition rally on Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square marked the anniversary of an antigovernment protest that ended in mass arrests on May 6, 2012.

There are still 27 activists detained from last year’s rally that protested Vladimir Putin’s return to presidency.
A placard on the main stage read “Freedom for the Prisoners of May 6,” a phrase the crowd chanted along with “Russia will be free”.

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Moscow May 6th Prisoners Rally (4 of 18)
Moscow, Russia
By Marina Fonda
06 May 2013

Thousands gathered in Moscow in in support of opposition activists who were arrested at last year's May 6 rally on Bolotnaya Square in a rally during Putin's entrance into office. Banners show the 27 people arrested int he occasion.

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Moscow May 6th Prisoners Protest (3 o...
Moscow, Russia
By Marina Fonda
06 May 2013

Thousands gathered in Moscow in in support of opposition activists who were arrested at last year's May 6 rally on Bolotnaya Square in a rally during Putin's entrance into office.

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Moscow May 6th Prisoners Rally (2 of 18)
Moscow, Russia
By Marina Fonda
06 May 2013

Thousands gathered in Moscow in in support of opposition activists who were arrested at last year's May 6 rally on Bolotnaya Square in a rally during Putin's entrance into office.

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Moscow May 6th Prisoners Rally (1 of 18)
Moscow, Russia
By Marina Fonda
06 May 2013

Thousands gathered in Moscow in in support of opposition activists who were arrested at last year's May 6 rally on Bolotnaya Square in a rally during Putin's entrance into office.