Analysis, book reviews and photography from Abkhazia and the wider Caucasus --- updates when time permits

A horrible car crash in Almaty

I knew road accidents are a big problem in the former Soviet Union, from news stories and from seeing wrecks by the side of the road. The Uzbek government even puts up signs that show car wrecks along with the cause of the accident — speeding, use of mobile phone, overtaking …

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Photography: Georgian cemetary on Texel

During the final days of World War II, a few hundred Georgian soldiers, who had been coerced to fight with the German army after having been taken prisoner, rose up on the Dutch island of Texel. After initial success, however, the uprising was suppressed with the aid of German reinforcements …

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Photography: Cave of Simon the Zealot

According to some accounts, in his later life the apostle Simon preached and was martyred on the northern Black Sea coast. Local tradition maintains that he lived in a cave near Psyrtskha — which in the 19th Century inspired the building of the New Athos Monastery. The cave itself now contains …

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Photography: Bridge of Peace, Tbilisi

At daytime, the Bridge of Peace in Tbilisi (built in 2010 after a design by Michele De Lucchi) just doesn't work for me, its turquoise modernity too glaringly out-of-place in the old city centre.

At night, however, the bridge lights up and becomes very photogenic, especially in black-and-white.


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Photography: railway stations in Abkhazia

Despite the fact that trains are once again running from Sukhum to Adler, Sochi and Moscow, many railway stations remain abandoned and/or in disrepair and it is possible to walk along the single track.

The slideshow below shows a selection of stations, between Psou at the Russian border and …

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Photography: Old government building, Sukhum

Ever since it burned down in the final days of the 1992–1993 war, when Abkhazian forces retook Sukhum, the carcass of the old government building has served as a grim reminder of the past violence, mainly because it is one of the few high-rise buildings in the city centre …

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Photography: Shushi

Despite the presence of so many ruins, Shushi is — at least to a visitor from outside — a very peaceful town. Free standing walls are covered by swathes of blackberries.

The contrast between the renovated cathedral and the ruins of the remaining mosques is striking. At least authorities are safeguarding the …

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Photography: TNT not impressed by Azerbaijan

The photo was taken in Yerevan last August, outside a post office.

For those unfamiliar: TNT is a global mail and express company centred in the Netherlands. They introduced their slogan sure we can at the time of the 2008 American Presidential campaign, but claim to have come up with …

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