Leo Erken – Street

Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union 1987-2003
 

Chapter 3: Central Asia, Siberia and the Caucasus

 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Baku, Azerbaijan, 1996. In the middle of the Caspian Sea, about an hour’s flight by helicopter from Baku, lies the artificial oil island Neftyanye Kamni. In the middle of an enormous network of roads-on-piles and drilling installations there are real blocks of flats. On the island in the 1990s there were about 4,400 men and 600 women employed. Only three drilling spots were still working. But they were inaccessible for cars because less than thirty kilometers are left intact of the seventy kilometers road-on-piles. The rising water has caused the buildings to stand in the water. They were interconnected by foot-bridges.

 
 
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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Baku, Azerbaijan, 1996.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Yerevan, Armenia, 1996. Near the Iranian Market.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Tbilisi, Georgia, 2000. Central marketplace.

 
 

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Teliska, a hamlet near the Armenian border, Georgia, 1995. Georgian president Eduard Ambrosis dze Shevardnadze (1928-2014) on reelection campaign. He served as president of Georgia from 1995 to 2003, and as First Secretary of the Georgian Communist Party from 1972 to 1985. He gained popularity in the west as the Soviet minister of Foreign affairs under Mikhail Gorbachev from 1985 until 1990. As Georgian president he was forced to resign in 2003 as a consequence of the “Rose Revolution”.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Gori, Georgia, 1995. Statue of Bolshevik revolutionary and former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, born as Ioseb Besarionis dze Dzhugashvili (1878-1953), in the city were he was born. It was the last big monument of Stalin left standing in a country that once belonged to the former Soviet Union until it was removed in 2010.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Karaganda, Kazakhstan, 1993. Statue of Bolshevik revolutionary and first Soviet leader Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. Lenin was his revolutionary name, he was born as Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (1870-1924).

 
 

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Akmola (formerly Tselinograd), Kazakhstan, 1993. Kazakhs who left Kazakhstan for Mongolia during the collectivisation-years in the 1930s, were returning by the thousands. They brought with them the original nomadic traditions that were repressed in their home country. They came to Kazakhstan from Iran, Afghanistan and other countries in Central Asia. They settled in the houses left by the (Volga)-Germans who had left for Germany.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Akschar, (ehemals Stepnoi) südlich von Tschimkent, Kasachstan, 1993. 
Bushaltestelle.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Kirovo, Kazakhstan, 1993. Townhall.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Kirovo, Kazakhstan, 1993.

 
 

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Chimkent, Kazakhstan, 1993.

 
 

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Chimkent, Kazakhstan, 1993.

 
 

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Kirovo, Kazakhstan, 1993.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Kirovo, Kazakhstan, 1993. Workers on a sovkhoz (state farm).

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Chimkent, Kazakhstan, 1993.

 
 
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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Chimkent, Kazakhstan, 1993.

 
 
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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Chimkent, Kazakhstan, 1993.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Ufa, Bashkortostan, 1993. In the Mosque.

 
 
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Ufa, Baschkortostan, 1993, Khimprom Chemical factory.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Ufa, Baschkortostan, 1993, Khimprom Chemical factory.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Bukhara region, Uzbekistan, 2000. Cotton harvest.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Bukhara, Uzbekistan, 2000. Rabbi Aaron Ben Sholomo Syanov in the synagogue during Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

 
 

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Bukhara, Uzbekistan, 2000. Amnon (23) and Chevtsiba (18) Avlayev who have been married for two months, just before emmigrating to Israel. Amnon’s elder sister has been living in Tel-Aviv for years. In 1985 there were about 18,000 Jews in Bukhara. In 2000 there are only approximately 800 left. The Jews of Bukhara are leaving in large numbers to Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, Brooklyn, Queens and California. A community going back to the 12th century is disappearing.

 
 

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Bukhara, Uzbekistan, 2000.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Bukhara, Uzbekistan, 2000. Near the Synagogue on shabbat-evening. The night of the Feast of Tabernacles.

 
 

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Dolinka (near Karaganda), Kazakhstan, 1993. Administration office in the village Dolinka. In the thirties this place developed into the nerve centre named Karlag, Karaganda Lager (camp), a gigantic complex of labour-camps in Central Kazakhstan that covered 1.5 million hectares. Karlag, a sub-archipelago of the Gulag, comprised about thirty smaller camps in summer and 180 in winter. According to the estimates of scientifically-minded ex-prisoners, on which British expert Robert Conquest based himself, writing his book The Great Terror there were about 100,000 prisoners in Karlag in 1941. In the peak years of 1937-1939 and 1945-1950 there must have been many more. Local researchers estimate that there were years in which there were 800,000 prisoners in Karlag.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Dolinka, Kazakhstan, 1993. Ex prison guard Nikolay Popov (left) among veterans in the village centre.

 
 

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Dolinka, Kazakhstan, 1993. Ex prison guard Nikolay Popov at his home in Dolinka.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, December 1992. Arrival from Ufa, Bashkortostan at airport Domodedovo.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Nizhnevartovsk, Siberia, 1992.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Nizhnevartovsk, Siberia, 1992.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Raduzhny, Tyumensky Oblast, Siberia, 1992. Raduzhny is a city in the Vladimir Oblast (region) in Siberia. The town housed 40,000 citizens in 1993. They came from Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Caucasus Armenia, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and White Russia to earn money in the oil business. Russia is the greatest oil producer in the world after Saudi Arabia. The company Varyeganneftegaz is owner of Raduzhny and its oil industry.

 
 

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Raduzhny, Tyumensky Oblast, Siberia, 1992. Director of oil company Varyeganneftegaz speaks to an employee.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Raduzhny, Tyumensky Oblast, Siberia, 1992. Oil-drillers of a “flying brigade” take a break in their barrack. The “flying brigade” (15 days working on the platform, 15 days at home), works in a tight group, often sharing joys and sorrows for years and years. They live at the foot of their platform, where their own cooks take care of them.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Raduzhny, Tyumensky Oblast, Siberia, 1992. Svetlana (in front) and Nina are “flying brigade” cooks on an oil platform.

 
 

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Raduzhny, Tyumensky Oblast, Siberia, 1992. On request of his wife, the police arrest a drunken man. The arrest will give her freedom for 15 days. Because of the high wages in the oil-industry, also for women, there are a high number of divorces in Raduzhny. The women don’t need their drunken husbands, a policeman said.

The women don’t need their drunken husbands, a policeman said.

 
 

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Raduzhny, Tyumensky Oblast, Siberia, 1992. The local police office has three cells and a “barbarian cell”, this cell is filled with men who are sleeping under intoxication.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Usolye-Sibirskoye, Irkutsk Oblast, Siberia, 2003. Outside Birth House nr 1., relatives of a young mother are shouting Congratulations Olga! Just as it was in the Soviet Union, visitors are not allowed in Birth Houses.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Usolye-Sibirskoye, Irkutsk Oblast (region) Siberia, 2003. In Birth House. One young mother Natalia Kravchuk (24) shares a room with a forester’s wife, Irina Kikot (19). Natalya’s child is called Alisa. Irina is still thinking about a name. Natalia works at Khimprom Chemical factory as an “apparatchik”, via a panel she checks a chemical process. From one room I look at a chemical process in another, she says.

 
 

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Leo Erken Ulitza.com

Usolye-Sibirskoye, Irkutsk Oblast (region) Siberia, 2003. Khimprom Chemical factory.

 
 
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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Usolye-Sibirskoye, Siberia, 2003. Ulsolye-Chimprom, chemical factory.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Konovalovo, Irkutsk Oblast, Siberia, 2003. Half brothers Andrei Glavin (16) and Zhenya (Yevgeny) Berezovski (8). In the village of Konovalovo a large number of people have problems with their memory and children have learning disabilities. Some sources say it might be connected to the fact that for years the chemical factory Chimprom in Usolye-Sibirskoye leaked tons of mercury into the Angara river which slowly spread through the bottom mud, flowing two hundred kilometers downstream to the villages Balagansk and Konovalovo, where high concentrations of mercury were measured. Many chemical and environmental disasters in the former Soviet Union remain uninvestigated.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Nizhnevartovsk, Siberia, 1992. Interior of home constructed inside an oil tank. резевуара.

 
 

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Balagansk, Siberia, 2003. Youngsters dancing in a cultural centre.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Magadan, Russia, 1999. Magadan was during the Stalin era a major transit centre for (political) prisoners who were sent to labour camps. The Far East was known as the centre of the “Gulag Archipelago” as described by Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008). Crisis and enormous inflation, as well as the fact that people have no permit to live in the country or region they came from, former prisoners, their children and grandchildren could not leave. Later, because of economic reasons, they are stuck in a desolate place where winters can be under minus 55 Celsius and where summers are too short to produce food.

 
 

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Magadan, Magadan Oblast (Russian Far East) 1999. Wedding of Oksana Mikheyeva and Farid Akhmedzyanov.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Magadan, Magadan Oblast (Russian Far East), 1999. Volodya Sporishev is seven months old and born with hydrocephalus when his parents left him behind the hospital. According to a doctor a simple ultrasound during pregnancy could have revealed it, but there was no such equipment present.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Gadlya, Magadan Oblast, Russia, 1999. Extreme poverty and starvation in the Russian Far East. Anya Stetshenko with her neighbor’s child Boris. She is unemployed and has three daughters. Previously, her mothers’ pension provided the family with food, but she died a few weeks before. Sometimes Anya’s sister brings any food she can spare.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Gadlya, Magadan Oblast, Russia, 1999.

 
 

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Gadlya, Magadan Oblast, Russia, 1999.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Magadan, Russian Far East, 1999.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Magadan, Russian Far East, 1999. Political meeting at the university.

 
 
...
 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Sukhumi, Abkhazia (Georgia), 1994. Main street in Sukhumi. In the background the burned-down building of the Supreme Soviet. Before the civil war in Abkhazia, Georgia (population 5 million) was the most prosperous member of the former Soviet Union. Abkhazia was within the Georgian semi-paradise the perfect Garden of Eden, where beach and high mountains met each other in a luxurious coastal region, highly popular with the Soviet army leadership as a holiday centre. In this autonomous Georgian province, in Abkhazia, war broke out in August 1992 between Abkhazian and Georgian sides. The Georgians started open warfare, provoked by something that amounted to a declaration of independence from the Abkhazian side. Soon a very dirty war had begun, with ethnic cleansing, rape, carnage and house-to-house looting. In the first few months of the war thousands of refugees from the ethnically mixed coastal region, Armenian, Jewish, Greek, Russian, Abkhazian and Georgian inhabitants, poured over the border to South Russia and to the heartland of Georgia.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Sukhumi, Abkhazia (Georgia), 1994. Karina Dirapetian is Russian. Her husband was Armenian. He died fighting on the Georgian side. His brother, married to an Abkhazian woman, was fighting on Abkhazian side. The family, which has also Ukrainian members, live together in two little flats in Sukhumi. Although she was in danger in Sukhumi, Karina did not want to leave her sick mother. You can’t walk away from destiny, she says. In the picture she reads the photographers future in coffeegrounds.

You can’t walk away from destiny, she says.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Sukhumi, Abkhazia (Georgia), 1994. Operation room of military hospital. Nikolay Beskrovy (21) was operated on after he was shot in the stomach.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Zugdidi, Georgia, 1994. Georgian refugees from the village Azhara in the Abkhazian mountain-region Svaneti, arrive on the Zugdidi airport by helicopter.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Azhara, Abkhazia (Georgia), 1994. Georgian refugees in the village Azhara in the Abkhazian mountain region of Svaneti are waiting for a helicopter to bring them to Zugdidi in Georgia.

 
 

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Azhara, Abkhazia (Georgia), 1994. Georgian fighter in the village Azhara in the Abkhazian mountain region of Svaneti.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Baku, Azerbaijan, 1996. On the cemetery Field of Honour businessman Saftar Rakhimov kisses the grave of a friend killed in the war with Armenia over Nagorno Karabakh. The friends had studied together at the military academy in Baku.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Shusha, Nagorno Karabakh, Armenia, 1996. Armenian (christian) boys play football in a deserted Azeri mosque. The village of Shusha used to be partly inhabited by Azeri. Now only Armenians live there.

 
 

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Shusha, Nagorno Karabakh, Armenia, 1996. Armenian boy wears an army-coat he found on the streets. The Nagorno Karabakh War was an armed conflict that took place from February 1988 to May 1994, in the enclave of Nagorno Karabakh in southwestern Azerbaijan, between the majority ethnic Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh backed by the Republic of Armenia, and the Republic of Azerbaijan. By the end of the war in 1994, the Armenians were in full control of the enclave and also held and controlled approximately 9% of Azerbaijan’s territory outside the enclave. Reports by humanitarian organizations estimate around 5,000 and 25,000 deaths on Armenian and Azeri sides resperctively. As many as 230,000 Armenians from Azerbaijan and 800,000 Azeris from Armenia and Karabakh have been displaced as a result of the conflict. During the blockade of Armenia that followed, the economic situation of the country became desperate. The only open border for food an supplies was to Iran.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Agdam near Nagorno Karabakh, Azerbaijan, 1996. When the war against Azerbaijan about Nagorno Karabakh was over, the Armenians not only occupied the Karabakh enclave but also the surrounding territory, where the Azeri city of Agdam has been completely wiped out. Agdam used to have about 50,000 inhabitants. After gaining control over Nagorno Karabakh, the Armenian army surrounded Agdam. They gave the population a few hours to leave, and then destroyed both the city and the graveyard with the monument of the victims of the Great Patriotic War.

 
 

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Grozny, Chechnya, August 1994. On the Presidential Square a man identifies himself as a “associate of the Ministry of Industry”.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Argun, Chechnya, August 1994. Chechen Abrek, “bandit hero”, head of an armed faction Ruslan Labazanov (1969-1996) (middle) near his home in the city of Argun. Labazanov, a former bodyguard of Chechen president Dudaev, switched to armed opposition to Dudaev. The black headband is a symbol of a man seeking blood-revenge. The vendetta started after presidential fighters killed three of his men, among them a relative. During the first Chechen war Labazanov fought on the Russian side. Labazanov was killed by a gunman near Tolstoy-Yurt, 15 kilometers north from Grozny in 1996.

 
 

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Grozny, Chechnya, August 1994. Supporters of Chechen President Dzhokhar Musayevich Dudaev (1944-1996) on Palace Square. Picture taken from a window in the presidential palace. Top left: Hotel Kavkaz. In 1991 the small Caucasian Republic broke away from the Russian Federation. For three years the Russian government did not interfere while the elected president Dudaev called himself leader of independent Ichkeria. When Russia’s president Boris Yeltsin sent troops in november 1994, a disastrous war broke out (later known as the First Chechen War), leading to the killing of many thousands of Russian soldiers and up to a hundred thousand of civilians. Chechnya’s capital Grozny was completely destroyed.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Grozny, Chechnya, 1995. Palace square. Top left: presidential palace, right Hotel Kavkaz and the local parliament building.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Grozny, Chechnya, 1995. Chechen Ruslan and Russian Ramid share a shelter under their destroyed apartments.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Grozny, Chechnya, 1995. Palace square. Top left: presidential palace, right Hotel Kavkaz and the local parliament building.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Shali, Chechnya, 1995. In the hospital of the mountain village.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Shali, Chechnya, 1995. In the Hospital of Shali, a mountain village South-west of Grozny. Yevgeni Klementyev, a Russian conscript who was shot in the chin during a battle in Grozny. He was found by Chechen fighters and taken to the hospital. The doctors say he is not a prisoner but an “ordinary” patient. The Chechen fighter in the bed next to him said: This boy is not an enemy, he is a victim, he did not ask for this.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Vedeno, Chechnya, 1995. Refugees from Grozny in the mountain village Vedeno, South-West of the Chechen capital.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Grozny, Chechnya, 1995. Russian inhabitant of Grozny and Russian soldiers on an armoured car.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Grozny, Chechnya 1995. Chechens who collected their belongings from their destroyed homes leaving town. Seen from a Russian armoured car.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Grozny Chechnya, 1995. A complete family is dug out of a former shelter in the centre of town. They starved to death, trapped during incessant shelling.

 
 

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Grozny, Chechnya, 1995. Body of a Russian soldier among the ruins in the city.

 
 

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Grozny, Chechnya, 1995. Employees of the Red Half Crescent are being searched by Russian special forces (OMON).

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Grozny, Chechnya, 1995. Red Half Crescent employees give bread to the people of Grozny.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Grozny, Chechnya, 1995. Citizens of Grozny who had fled for the war returned to their destroyed houses to collect remaining belongings.

 
 

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Grozny, Chechnya, 1995. In a military hospital a heavily wounded Russian soldier gets treatment. His car crashed after it was shot at by other Russian soldiers.

 
 

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Grozny, Chechnya, 1995. On the Grozny airport wounded Russian soldiers wait for transportation.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Grozny, Chechnya, 1995. A soldier is crying at the Grozny airport, eighteen bodies of Russian soldiers wait transportation to Russia.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Grozny, Chechnya, 1995. In a Grozny suburb, which Russian soldiers called “Shanghai”, a woman in her destroyed house mourns over her killed husband and son.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Grozny, Chechnya, (Republic of Ichkeria) 1997. A Russian mother of a soldier imprisoned by the Chechen army is waiting for months to get information about her son.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Dzhalka, Chechnya (Republic of Ichkeria), 1997. People gathered to see Shamil Basayev Chechen fighter, terrorist and – at that moment – presidential candidate.

 
 

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Dzhalka, Chechnya (Republic of Ichkeria), 1997. Election meeting with Shamil Salmanovich Basaev (1965-2006), terrorist and presidential candidate. After losing the election he served in 1997-1998 as vice-Prime minister of Chechnya in Maskhadov’s government. Shamil Basaev led guerrilla campaigns against Russian forces for years, as well as launching mass-hostage takings of civilians. He was responsible for numerous guerrilla attacks on security forces in and around Chechnya as well as terrorist attacks on civilians, most notoriously the attack on a school in Beslan, located in North Ossetia, which led to the deaths of more than 334 people, most of them children. Furthermore he was responsible for the 2002 Moscow Nord-Ost theater hostage crisis. According to Russian sources Basaev was assassinated by FSB forces on July 10, 2006. Chechen sources claim he was killed in an explosion on that date.

 
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Dzhalka, Chechnya (Republic of Ichkeria), 1997. Shamil Basayev Chechen fighter, terrorist and – at that moment – presidential candidate.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Pervomayskoye, Chechnya (Republic of Ichkeria), 1997. Grandson of Aslan Maskhadov in their family home.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Pervomayskoye, Chechnya (Republic of Ichkeria), 1997. Aslan Aliyevich Maskhadov (1951-2005) on his way to a meeting with journalists in his parents’ home. Aslan Maskhadov was a leader of the Chechen separatist movement and the third President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. He was credited by many with the Chechen victory in the First Chechen War and signed a peace agreement with Aleksandr Lebed, Russia’s Secretary of the Security Council in August 1996. Maskhadov was elected President of Chechnya in January 1997. Following the start of the Second Chechen War in August 1999, he returned to lead the guerrilla resistance against the Russian army. He was killed in Tolstoy-Yurt, a village in northern Chechnya, in March 2005.

 
 

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Chechen refugees in camp Sputnik near Ordzhonikidzevskaya, Ingushetia, 2000. More than 8,000 people are living in some 800 tents and a one-kilometer-long train. In a tent of the Chechen/Ingush/Dutch NGO Agency for Rehabilitation and Development Doctor Elisa Idalova is examining seven near old Varisa Matavova.

 
 

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Novye Atagy, Chechnya (Republic of Ichkeria), 1997. Chechen nurses in the Red Cross hospital in the town Novye Atagy. On December 17, 1996 six western aid workers of the Red Cross, five nurses and the Dutch architect Hans Elkerbout were killed by unknown gunmen. That week all western aid organizations left Chechnya. In the hospital there were only a few patients left. Those who have no other place to go are taken care of by a few nurses. Every now and then, a Chechen doctor visits the hospital. On the wall there are portraits of the six with the text: You are always in our hearts.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Refugee camp Sputnik, the Chechen refugee camp near the Ingush town of Ordzhonikidzevskaya, Ingushetia, 2000. Psychologist Lamara Uranova talks with Alkhan who is 12 year old and has a war trauma.

 
 

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Refugee camp Sputnik, near Ordzhonikidzevskaya, Ingushetia, 2000. Child’s drawing. A second Chechen war was launched by the Russian Federation on August 26, 1999 leading to 50,000 civilian deaths and up to 5,400 (official report of Russian army) or 11,000 (report of Russian Soldiers mothers) deaths of Russian soldiers.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Znamenskoye (Nordren Chechnya), July 2000. Akhmad Abdulkhamidovich Kadyrov (1951-2004) was the Russian appointed President of the Chechen Republic from October 5, 2003. Before that he was head of administration since July 2000. On May 9, 2004, he was assassinated by Chechen rebels in Grozny, using a bomb blast during a World War II memorial victory parade. His son, Ramzan Kadyrov became his successor. Ramzan Kadyrov (1976) notorious for his ruthless domination of Chechnya, told journalist Anna Politkovskaya after an interview: You’re an enemy. To be shot…

You’re an enemy. To be shot...

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Znamenskoye (Nordern Chechnya), July 2000. Near the building of the Russian Human Rights Reporter, Chechen family members of missing persons and victims of the war are demanding information about the fate of their loved ones.

 
 

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Amsterdam, The Netherlands, February 2002. Anna Stepanovna Politkovskaya (1958-2006), speaks to journalists in the Dutch Resistance Museum. Anna Politkovskaja was a journalist, author, and human rights activist, famous for her brave opposition against the Russian president Putin and the Chechen war. On October 7, 2006, Anna Politkovskaya was found dead in the lift of her flat in central Moscow. She had been shot twice in the chest, once in the shoulder and once in the head.

 
 

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Leo Erken ulitza.com

Moscow, Russia, 2001. St. George Hall, the largest hall in the Grand Kremlin Palace. State visit of the Dutch Queen Beatrix to president Vladimir Putin of Russia.

 
 
All photography and text by Leo Erken ©