Leo Erken – Street

Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union 1987-2003
 

Chapter 2: Russia & neighbors

 
 

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Leo Erken Ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 1996.

 
 
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Leo Erken Ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 1991. Kursky Rail Terminal.

 
 
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Leo Erken Ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, September 1991.

 
 

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Moscow, Russia, 1991. Gum department store.

 
 

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Leo Erken Ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 1996. The House on Quay was built in 1927 for Communist Party members. In the thirties during Stalin’s purges 700 of its 2.000 inhabitants were arrested. On the right: building site of Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The original building dates from the Czar Aleksandr I period in 1817. In 1930 the site of the cathedral was chosen by Joseph Stalin as the location for a monument known as “The Palace of the Soviets” and the church was demolished. “The Palace of the Soviets” was never built. For years there was an open air swimming pool on the site. The church was rebuilt in 1996 during Yeltsin’s rule. On February 21, 2012 female punk band Pussy Riot performed a so-called Punk Prayer. They sang: Mother of God, Chase Putin Away! Three members were arrested and convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. They were sent to separate prison camps. One member was released in October 2012.

Mother of God, Chase Putin Away!

Pussy Riot 2012
 
 

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Leo Erken Ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, May 9, 1992. A tulip for Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, 1870-1924) at his Mausoleum on the Red Square.

 
 

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Leo Erken Ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 2000. At the monument of The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Kremlin Wall in the Alexander Garden a girl is being sent off for smoking.

 
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Leo Erken Ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 1991. Statues of fallen leaders from the period of the Soviet Union. Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky(1877-1926) in a park near the Central House of Artists. The statue used to stand in front of the KGB building at Lubyanka Square where it was demolished during the protest following the attempted coup on Gorbachev in 1991. Feliks Derzhinsky established and developed in the years 1917-1926 the Soviet State Security forces under its original name Cheka. The Cheka, later renamed to NKVD, was notorious for torture and mass executions. The secret service transformed into KGB and is known today as FSB.

 
 

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Moscow, Russia, 1992. Statue of Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (1894- 1971) among other statues of fallen leaders of the Soviet Union in a park near the Central House of Artists. Khrushchev served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964. Khrushchev, responsible for the partial de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union, was removed from power in 1964 and replaced by Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev (1906-1982) as First Secretary.

 
 

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Leo Erken Ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, March 20, 1993. Funeral of Aleksei Ivanovich Adzhubei (1924- 1993) former editor of Izvestia lying in the building of the newspaper. At the coffin his wife Rada Nikitichna Adzhubei (1929) who is the daughter of former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and their sons Nikita and Aleksei. Aleksei Adzhubei met Rada Khrushcheva at Moscow State University in 1947 and they married in 1949. Adzhubei became chief editor of Komsomolskaya Pravda in 1957 and of the Soviet government newspaper Izvestia in 1959. When Khrushchev was removed from office in October 1964, Adzhubei’s career was also over. He was rehabilitated in the late 1980s.

 
 

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Leo Erken Ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 1993. Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (1931) in his office of the Gorbachev Foundation. Gorbachev was General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991 and the last head of state of the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991. Gorbachev launched programs known as Glasnost (openness) and Perestroika (rebuilding) in an attempt to reform the communist power in the Soviet Union. Instead it eventually collapsed. Gorbachev receives worldwide credit for his role in the transformations from dictatorships to democracy in Central and Eastern Europe and the return of market economy in the countries of the former Soviet Union. In a speech given in East Berlin on October 7, 1989 (Gorbachev refered to GDR leader Erich Honecker, 1912-1994): Dangers await only those who do not react to life. Gorbachev received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990. Using his Nobel Prize money he helped to set up and become co-owner of opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta, journalistic home of Anna Politkovskaya who was murdered because of her critical writing in 2006.

Dangers await only those who do not react to life.

Mikhail Gorbachev, 1989
 
 

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Leo Erken Ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, December 1, 1992. Supporters for President Boris Yeltsin on the morning the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation will meet in the Kremlin.

 
 

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Moscow, Russia, 1992. President Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin (1931- 2007) talks to a woman on the street before entering a political meeting. Yeltsin was President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999. After a failed coup attempt to put Soviet leader Gorbachev out of power in August 1991, Gorbachev lost control over the developments. Yeltsin, who was chosen as President of the Russian Federation on June 12, by popular vote was now able to establish his power. On November 6, 1991, Yeltsin issued a decree banning all Communist Party activities on Russian soil. Former Soviet states declared their independence. On December 31, 1991 the Soviet Union ceased to exist.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 1993. President Boris Yeltsin and speaker of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation Ruslan Khasbulatov during a power struggle in the Kremlin.

 
 

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Moscow, Russia, December, 1992. Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation in a meeting in the Kremlin opposing the Yeltsin rule. The opposition against the President and his harsh economic shock reforms, made speaker of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation Ruslan Imranovich Khasbulatov (1942) decide to call for a special congress of Peoples Deputies in the Kremlin in 1992.

 
 

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Leo Erken Ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 1992. President Boris Yeltsin addressing supporters during a political meeting.
 
Under Yeltsin’s rule Prime-Minister Yegor Timurovich Gaidar (1956-2009) along with Minister of Privitisation Anatoly Borisovich Chubais (1955) were responsible for harsh economic shock therapies, price liberalisation and privatisation programs. In the period that followed a good deal of Russia’s national wealth fell into the hands of a small group of so called oligarchs. Although Yeltsin’s era was marked by freedom of the press and liberalisation of society it also brought wide- spread corruption, inflation, economic collapse, political and social problems. Until April 1993 there were various meetings of the Congress of Peoples Deputies. At the climax Ruslan Khasbulatov who led, along with Vice-President Aleksandr Vladimirovich Rutskoy (1947) the opposition, made various attempts to impeach the president.

 
 

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Moscow, Russia, 1992. Prime-Minister Yegor Timurovich Gaidar (1956-2009).

 
 

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Moscow, Russia, 1992. Minister of Privitisation Anatoly Borisovich Chubais (1955)

 
 

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Moscow, Russia, October 2, 1993. Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoy, speaks to supporters outside the Duma, Russian parliament, also called the “White House”. Yeltsin was impeached by the parliament led by Ruslan Khasbulatov who declared Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoy president. In reaction Yelstin dismantled the parliament. Yeltsins opponents occupied the “White House” for two weeks to “protect the constitution”. After the second day Yeltsin put an army cordon around the “White House” to isolate his opponents.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, October 3, 1993. Supporters of Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoy and Chairman of the parliament Ruslan Khasbulatov outside the occupied Russian parliament, “White House”. An anti-Yeltsin demonstration broke through the cordon by force. Rutskoy and Khasbulatov addressed the crowds to occupy the mayor’s office and television centre Ostankino. In the attack that followed, many people were killed. The army attacked the “White House” the next morning.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, October 3, 1993.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, October 4, 1993. The power struggle ended when Yeltsin’s troops crushed the uprising. There were many victims and the “White House” was burnt. Yeltsins opponents surrendered. Rutskoy, Khasbulatov and other leaders were arrested and taken to prison.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, October 5, 1993. Moscovites look at dead bodies taken from the Russian Parliament, the “White House”.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, October 6, 1993. Curfew during a state of emergency proclaimed by Boris Yeltsin after the attack on the “White House”. No one was allowed on the streets of Moscow after 8pm. OMON officers arrest a man for violating the curfew. Because of his “Caucasian looks” the man is held separately from the others.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, October 6, 1993. In a police cell during the curfew.

 
 

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Amsterdam, The Netherlands, May 9, 1990. Yelena Georgievna Bonner (1923-2011) takes a break to smoke a cigarette during the Sakharov Congress in Amsterdam. Yelena Bonner was the widow of Andrey Dmitrievich Sakharov (1921-1989) who was an important Soviet nuclear physicist, involved with the Soviet nuclear program, who became a dissident and human rights activist. In May 1968 Sakharov published an essay in which he described Soviet missile defense plans as a major threat of world peace. It was first published as an underground samizdat and then outside the Soviet Union on July 6, 1968, in the Dutch newspaper Het Parool through intermediary of the Dutch writer and journalist Karel van het Reve (1921-1999), followed by the rest of the world media. As a result Sakharov was banned from all military-related research. In 1970 he was one of the founders of the Committee on Human Rights in the Soviet Union and came under increasing pressure from the regime. Both Bonner and Sakharov were active dissidents when they married in 1972. Sakharov received the Nobel Peace Price in 1975. Sakharov and Bonner were sent into exile to the closed city of Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod) in 1980 after Sakharov’s public protest against the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan. The exile ended in 1986 when the new Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev suspended it. After Sakharov’s death Yelena Bonner remained active as a defender of human rights. At first she supported Boris Yeltsin but resigned from his Human Rights Committee after the invasion of Chechnya. On March 10, 2010 she was the first person to sign the “Putin Must Go” manifesto. She died in Boston, USA in 2011.

 
 

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Amsterdam, The Netherlands, May 9, 1990. Galina Vasilyevna Starovoytova (1946-1998) during the Sakharov Congress in Amsterdam. Galina Starovoitova was a prominent polititian and defender of human rights and rights of minorities. She was killed by three shots in her head by gunmen in the porch of her apartment building in St. Petersburg in 1998. Although there are people convicted for the murder, the prime suspect behind the killing has never been found.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 1994. Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky (1946) founder and the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia during a congress of his party with his so called “falcons”. Zhirinovsky is a politician with a populist style, anti-western and strong nationalistic views. When it came to voting he supported the ruling power bringing rumours that the LDPR was a farcical creation meant to distract fair opposition to the government.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Krasnodar, Russia, 1995. Aleksandr Ivanovich Lebed (1950-2002) campaigning for Duma elections. Lebed was a general before becoming a politician. In the first round of the 1996 Russian presidential election, he came third. As Yeltsin’s Secretary of the Security Council he led negotiations with Chechen president Aslan Maskhadov, signing agreements that ended the First Chechen War in August 1996. Later he became governor of Krasnoyarsky Krai. He died in a helicopter crash in 2002.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 1996. On Tverskaya Street in the days before the presidential elections, Russian сommunists demonstrate in favor of their candidate Gennady Andreyevich Zyuganov (1944). Left: Anatoly Ivanovich Lukyanov (1930) who was the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR between 1990 and 1991. In 1991 he was accused of being the leading force behind the coup to remove Gorbachev from power, arrested and held for fifteen months.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com
Leo Erken ulitza.com
Leo Erken ulitza.com

Minsk, Belarus, 1994. Aleksandr Grigoryevich Lukashenko (1954) candidate for presidency of Belarus (middle) walks through the centre of Minsk. Aleksandr Lukashenko has been in power since June 1994. Belarus has never held an election deemed fair by international monitors since Lukashenko began his presidency.

 
 

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Moscow, Russia, October 7, 1999. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (1952) was for sixteen years an officer in the KGB, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. During the Cold War he was based in Germany. Putin was Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000. He became President of Russia when Boris Yeltsin unexpectedly resigned his post on December 31, 1999. Putin was elected President from 2000 to 2008. After serving two terms under the law that two terms in a row are the maximum, he became Prime Minister again from 2008 to 2012. During this period his former Prime Minister, Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev (1965) held the Presidential seat. Putin was elected president again on May 7, 2012.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Potsdam, Krampnitz Kaserne, Germany, December 22, 1990. The Soviet Army organized an “open day” for German visitors during the process of unification of West and East Germany. The barracks were used by the Nazis until the end of WWII when Soviet troops took over. The Soviet army closed this base in 1992.

 
 

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Potsdam, Krampnitz Kaserne, Germany, 1990. Soldiers of the Soviet Army received Christmas presents from (West) German visitors during an “open house” at their base.

 
 

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Potsdam, Krampnitz Kaserne, Germany, 1990. The Soviet Army organized an “open day” for German visitors during the process of Unification of West and East Germany.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Potsdam, Krampnitz Kaserne, Germany, 1990. A Soviet officer and his wife return from shopping. They would soon return to Russia.

 
 

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Moscow, Russia, September 9, 1994. As the last Russian soldiers who returned from Berlin, parade on the streets of Moscow, a veteran from the Great Patriotic War (World War II) is among the spectators.

 
 

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Moscow, Russia, May 9, 1996. Soviet Army veterans in front of the Bolshoi theatre. People in countries formally belonging to the Soviet Union celebrate on May 9 the capitulation of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union in the Great Patriotic War.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Tyumen, Russia, 1993. Veterans club.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Tula, Russia, 1996. Vladimir and Natasha Kuznetsov on their wedding day in the Afghanistan Veterans Club. Vladimir is a veteran from the Soviet war in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989, who spends his life in a wheelchair. There are estimations that between 670,000 and 2 million Afghans died in the conflict. On the Soviet side about 14,000 deaths were counted and more than 53,000 soldiers were wounded with 10,500 soldiers left disabled.

 
 

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Moscow, Russia, 1995. Yevgeny Ananyevich Khaldey (1917-1997) in his one-room home/darkroom in Moscow. During the Great Patriotic War Yevgeny Khaldey was a photographer working for the Soviet press agency Tass. His photograph of a Soviet soldier raising the Soviet flag over the Reichstag in Berlin, capital of the conquered Nazi Germany is an icon in world history. He took the picture on May 2, 1945. The picture was later retouched, one soldier appeared to be wearing two watches on one wrist, which could be seen as evidence of looting, so they were removed. There are also versions of the picture where the Soviet flag is bigger and additional smoke is added. Jewish Yevgeny Khaldei was fired from the Tass agency in 1948, at the beginning of the big Stalinist campaign against the “cosmopolitan”.

His photograph of a Soviet soldier raising the Soviet flag over the Reichstag in Berlin, capital of the conquered Nazi Germany is an icon in world history.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia 1993, Mothers of conscript soldiers who were killed during service in peace time protest on the streets of Moscow.

 
 

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Moscow region, Russia, 1996. In a village called Gryaz (mud), a “new rich Russian” is building a castle.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow region, Gryaz, Russia, 1996. Workers in the sovkhoz of the village. A sovkhoz is a state-owned farm dating back to Soviet times.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Suzdal, Russia, 1993. The small city of Suzdal, three hours drive east of Moscow, is famous for its monastery.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Suzdal, Russia, 1993. Russian orthodox priest and helper in the neighbourhood of Suzdal. The beginning of the 1990s marks the revival of the Russian Orthodox church.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 1996. Near metro Yugo-Zapadnaya.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 1994. On the market near the subway station Sokolniki OMON, special police units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, are busy inspecting identitypapers of people who look non-Russian, mainly from regions in the Caucasus. A vendor of textiles shows his passports and papers.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Tula, Russia, 1996.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 1993 Central Market.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, suburb Krylatskoye, 1991.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 1996, soup Kitchen for the poor.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 1993.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Torzhok, Tver Oblast, Russia, 1998. Marketplace.

 
 

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Torzhok, Tver Oblast, Russia, 1998. Marketplace.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Minsk, Belarus, 1994. Metro.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, suburb Krylatskoye, 1991.

 
 

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Moscow, Russia, 1999.

 
 

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Uglitch, Russia, 2000. Chaika watch factory. Workers Tatyana Goryachyeva and Svetlana Shchurpova. The factory making Chaika watches was founded in 1940 as Volga. The factory was renamed Chaika after Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova (1937). On June 16, 1963 she was the first woman in space, her call sign on this flight was Chaika (Seagull). She orbited the earth 48 times and spent almost three days in space. With a single flight, she logged more flight time than the combined times of all American astronauts who had flown before that date.

 
 

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Moscow, Russia, 1991.Copy of the Sputnik-1 at VDNKh, Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy. The Sputnik-1 was the first artificial satellite to be put into Earth’s orbit by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957. In the 1990s the VDNKh exhibition site slowly changed into a shopping and entertainment centre.

 
 

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Moscow, Russia, 1991. Bust of Yuri Gagarin at VDNKh, Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy. Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin (1934-1968) was a pilot and cosmonaut. He was the first human being to travel into outer space, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on April 12, 1961.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 1999. The Kremlin Ballet rehearsing in the State Kremlin Palace.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 1995. Oksana Baryshevskaya is 16 years old and physically disabled. She makes money by sending faxes with advertisements to companies in Moscow. An advertising firm pays her for each fax she sent. On a single day she sends 10 to 15 faxes making nearly as much money as her father, who is a teacher at the university.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 2000. On the river Moskva, Tanya and Galya, performing artists from Moscow are dancing on the top deck of a tourist river boat named Borodino. The battle of Borodino, September 7, 1812, was the largest and bloodiest single-day action of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, involving more than 250,000 troops and resulting in at least 70,000 casualties.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, September 4, 2001. Celebrations in the city of Moscow on its “City Day”.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 1996. In June 1959, at the first American national exhibition that was organized in Moscow, First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev was invited by the American Vice-President Richard Nixon to have a glass of Pepsi-Cola. Twenty years later Pepsi-Cola was sold all over the Soviet Union leaving competitor Coca-Cola behind.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, September 2001. In the Ukrainian restaurant Shinok, a fancy place for the city’s beau monde.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 1996. Tverskaya Street, known as Gorky Street between 1935 and 1990, is the main street of Moscow. It runs from the central Manege Square north-west in the direction of Tver (Kalinin in Soviet times) and terminates at the Garden Ring.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 1996. Tverskaya Street.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Murom, Russia, 2000. Workers place griffins at the foot of the enormous statue of Ilya Muromets. Ilya Muromets is one of the heroes of Kievan Rus’ epic. He is celebrated in numerous byliny (folk epic poems). Although Ilya’s adventures are mostly a matter of epic fiction, he is believed to have been a 12th century warrior.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 2000. Manezhnaya Ploshchad or Manege Square. As Mayor of Moscow Yury Mikhaylovich Luzhkov (1936) renovated the square in the late 1990s building an enormous underground shopping mall. His favorite artist Georgian Zurab Kostantines dze Tsereteli (1934) created statues and waterfalls on top of the shopping mall. Despised by art-critics, loved by Moscovites.

Despised by art-critics, loved by Moscovites.

 
 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Oktober, 1991. Moscovites jostle at the entrance of the children’s warehouse Detsky Mir at Bolshaya Lubyanka street where a new collection of children cloths had arrived. Up untill the early 1990s rows of people in front of shops were a common sight in Russia.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 1992. Conscript soldiers in Gorky Park.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, at Tushino Airfield September 28, 1991. After the failed coup attempt against his presidency Mikhail Gorbachev gave special permission for a free concert of the Monsters Of Rock with bands like Metallica and AC/DC to the people of Moscow. Perhaps the biggest crowd the bands have ever played for. Official figures go up to 500,000 visitors, but other sources say more than one million hard-rock fans attended. Thousands of conscripts were there to maintain order. At the site in 2012, football club Spartak Moscow started building its new stadium.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza
 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow region, Russia, 1999. Recording of a video clip by singers Mikhail Zakharovich Shufutinsky (1948) and Tatyana Nikolaevna Ovsienko (1966). When Mikhail Shufutinsky was a given a visa to travel to Israel in 1981, he was a rebellious Jewish folk singer with a difficult relation to the authorities. He was permitted to leave Russia, not ending up in Israel but in the United States where he made his name as a bar pianist and singer in the Russian community of Los Angeles. When he accepted an invitation in 1990 to perform in Moscow, he found a full stadium of people shouting his name. Over the years his songs happened to be taped from one cassette to another spreading his fame all over the Soviet Union. This was the starting point of his big career as a popular singer in Russia.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

 
 

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Moscow, Russia, 1995. Party at Hotel Metropol. The hotel was built in 1899-1907 in Art Nouveau style. It is the largest Moscow hotel built before the Russian Revolution of 1917. In Soviet Times, as today, it is only accessible for the privileged few.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, 1991. McDonald’s opened a restaurant at Pushkin Square in Moscow on January 31, 1990. It was the largest McDonalds in the world at the time. Unlike other foreign companies it accepted rubles instead of dollars and became extremely popular. There were waiting lines for hours and all tables were permanently taken.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 1993. Violin lesson in music school number 7. школе No 7.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia 1998, Andrushya Kosin (6) plays with a cardboard box on the street in Moscow. His family, father, mother and two brothers is homeless.

 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 1993. In the early 1990s Moscow was full of street children like ten year old Oleg, who walked over the bridge near Park Kultury Metro station. He was part of a group of children who lived on and near Pushkin Square.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, Pushkin square, 1993. Thirteen year old street child Matvey kisses the monkey of a street artist. Behind him a sect-girl is holding a picture of Maria Devi Christos, the religious sect leader of the Community of Enlightened Humanity, also known as “The Great White Brotherhood”.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 1993. Street children Lyosha, Matvey, Sasha and Dima. After being absent for a few weeks from Pushkin square Liosha’s shaven head tells what happened to him: he was taken by the police to a shelter for street children. The boys listen when he tells them about what is going on in the shelter. When he tells them that he escaped through an open kitchen window, his friends react with disbelief. They welcome Lyosha back by thrashing him and painting his face with lipstick.

 
 

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Malakhovka, Russia, 2000. Dom Rebyonka, home for babies. This “baby house” has 105 children, most are disabled or sick. Russia has many houses like this. After a disabled baby is born to Russian parents they have the right to reject the child. The law makes the state responsible for all rejected and orphaned children. On Russian streets you will rarely see a disabled child or a child with the Down Syndrome. That’s because most of them are locked up in institutions.

 
 

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Leo Erken Ulitza.com

Malakhovka, Russia, 2000. Dom Rebyonka, home for babies.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Malakhovka, Russia 1999. Three year old Olga Sapescu was the half of a premature twin that was born in a Moscow birth house. Her mother disappeared, her sister died. ‘Sapescu, that sounds Moldavian… she is probably gypsy,’ a care taker says. ‘She was not born with hydrocephalus and a simple drain on time could have prevented this. But that would have been expensive and who would invest in a child like this’, the doctor said sadly.

 
 

Leo Erken ulitza.com
Leo Erken ulitza.com

Malakhovka, Russia, 2000. Polina Terikova (6) on her last day at the home of orphan babies. She will be adopted by an American family.

 
 

Leo Erken ulitza.com
Leo Erken ulitza.com

Scottsdale, Arizona, United States of America, 2001. Polina Terikova, now Polina Galilee Gregg, with her mother Dawn Gregg.

 
 

Leo Erken ulitza.com
Leo Erken ulitza.com

Novocherkassk, Russia, 1994. Cossacks in the Cathedral of Novocherkassk.

 
 

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Novocherkassk, Russia, 1994. Cossack festival. The origin of the Cossacks can be traced back to serfs who fled from the region of Moscow in the 14th century and settled in Southern Russia. Because they had to defend themselves against the surrounding peoples they developed through the course of the centuries a way of life structured along military lines. A Cossack looks after his own uniform, weapon and horse. In 1740 the Cossacks were recognized as a people. In many Russian wars the Cossacks were of great military importance. As mercenaries in the Tsarist army they took part in the conquest of Central Asia and the Caucasus. During the Bolshevik revolution most Cossacks were faithful servants of the Russian state, the Tsar and the orthodox faith and took the side of the Whites. This cost them dearly. Many Cossacks were murdered by the Bolshevists or transported to prison camps. All the others were forced during the collectivisation to merge into the Sovkhoz system. The Cossacks seemed to have disappeared in the terror of Communism. Since the Perestroika period under Gorbachev, in the 1980s, more than a million Russians have registered as Cossacks. It is not only the descendants of Cossacks who apply. Every Russian who feels himself a Cossack is allowed to become one. Many Russian youths feel attracted to the often extreme right and racist ideas of the renewed Cossack movement. In cities like Rostov-on-Don and Novocherkassk Cossack assault groups rummage the streets in order to, as they say themselves, “maintain order where corrupt civil servants fail”. A mixed jumble of people have lived in the Rostov-on-Don region from time immemorial: Russians, Caucasus Armenians, Georgians, Chechens, Jews, and many others. Groups of Cossacks terrorize openly against “the foreigners”, as they call these people. Groups of Cossacks have also been active in civil wars, such as in Abkhazia and Moldavia

 
 

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Svinyarov (formerly Lenin), hamlet north of Rostov-on-Don, Russia, 1994. After imbibing somewhat too much vodka Gennadi Papchev, trainer-coach of the footballteam of the village Sholochovki, demonstrates the art of Cossack horse riding on a fence.

 
 

Leo Erken ulitza.com
Leo Erken ulitza.com

Svinyarov, Russia, 1994. Ataman (Cossack leader) Aleksandr Alenykov and his horse Zmeyka (little snake). Alenykov, a former miner, is its ataman. Together with four other families the Alenykovs have been allotted 56 hectares of land within the “rehabilitation of the suppressed people” program. The land was partly leased out again to farmers from the surrounding area and did indeed bring a relative wealth to the village.
 

 
 

Leo Erken ulitza.com
Leo Erken ulitza.com

Kiev (Kyiv), Ukraine, 1991. Last days of the statue of Lenin at the central square in Kiev, today named Maidan square. The plates on the wall say: Our apologies for the temporary inconvenience. In accordance with the decision of the city council preparation works for the monument deconstruction are being performed. Hotel Moskva (Moscow) in the background is now called Hotel Ukraine.

 
 

Leo Erken ulitza.com
Leo Erken ulitza.com

Kiev (Kyiv), Ukraine, 1991.

 
 

Leo Erken ulitza.com
Leo Erken ulitza.com

Sochi, Russia, 1995. Holiday resort. Beach for army veterans and their families.

 
 

Leo Erken ulitza.com
Leo Erken ulitza.com

Sochi, Russia, 1995. Sanatorium.

 
 

Leo Erken ulitza.com
Leo Erken ulitza.com

Sochi, Russia, 1995. Oleg and Nikolai, hooligans from Moscow on Holiday, play with a prop of a beach-photographer.

 
 

Leo Erken ulitza.com
Leo Erken ulitza.com

Sergei-Pole, near Sochi, Russia, 1995. Business man Andrey Yazidyan (21) weds student Violetta (18), both are from Armenian descent. More than 700 people attended their wedding party.

 
 

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Moscow, Russia, 1993. At the airport Domodedovo boys travelling to the Caucasus are waiting for days for their delayed flight. Since the Soviet Union fell apart, the state air company Aeroflot lost its monopoly. Because of the huge demand for air travel in the countries of the former Soviet Union many new airlines arose. Unsafe situations became daily routine because of an insufficient infrastructure and flights with outdated material.
 

 
 

Leo Erken ulitza.com
Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 1993. At the Domodedovo Airport.

 
 

This is the end of chapter 2
 
All photography and text by Leo Erken