Wandering about in tiny San Marino, the world’s oldest republic, I stumbled upon this boy with the troubled face – a monument to victims of the school siege in Beslan in 2004.
I haven’t been in Moscow in many, many years. Not since it was capital of the Soviet Union and Yuri Andropov was head of state. In fact, Andropov died during my stay in town, and a visit to the Bolshoi was cancelled as a result. I’ve plans to return soon (and see the Bolshoi). Meanwhile, [...]
I’m in Pyramiden, once a showcase of the Soviet Union, a perfect mining community, set between mountains, glaciers and fjords in the Svalbard archipelago. Today, it’s an Arctic ghost town. The decision to abandon the settlement was sudden, its implementation even more so. The inhabitants were given just hours to pack their bags and leave. [...]
Barentsburg, you say? Where on earth… ? The Svalbard archipelago has four settlements of significant size, one of them is Russian. Norway has sovereignty over the archipelago, but the Treaty of Svalbard ensures all parties equal access to scientific and economic activities in the islands. Enter the Soviet Union. Since 1932, Russian company Trust Arktikugol [...]