Tuesday 2 June 2020
12 May 2020
Workers Go Hungry As Central Asia's Largest Bazaar Stands Empty
Central Asia's largest bazaar has been closed for a month now, causing hunger and poverty for some 50,000 people in Bishkek who worked there before COVID-19 struck. Some of these people live on-site in shipping containers, while others live at an informal shantytown on a garbage dump near the giant marketplace in the Kyrgyz capital.
23 April 2020
Locked Down Without A Bath In St. Petersburg
Residents of dilapidated, Soviet-era, communal apartments in the Russian city of St. Petersburg are stuck in lockdown without a room for bathing or showering. They usually use bathhouses to wash, but those have been closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
13 March 2020
Uzbekistan's Boy High-Wire Acts: Defying Death For Fame
“It used to be that they died sometimes.” That’s how Uktamjon Yusupov, the head of an Uzbek dynasty of tightrope performers, remembers the old days of darboz, or tightrope-walking, when little boys and men performed without a safety belt. But nowadays, that belt, and perhaps their father’s hand, appear still to be the only protection juvenile Uzbek tightrope walkers have. In this centuries-old tradition, they rank as the main crowd draw.
05 March 2020
Ukraine’s Russian-Speaking Minority Prepares For School In Ukrainian
Language has long been a tripwire between Ukraine and Russia, but in Kharkiv, an eastern Ukrainian city of 1.5 million not far from the Russian border and Donbas conflict zone, it’s come down to a question about children’s future. A bill that will increase schools’ usage of Ukrainian, the state language, makes some Kharkiv parents question how easily their offspring can transition from lessons in Russian. As yet, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has not signed the bill into law.
21 February 2020
Uzbekistan's 'Melon Houses': Inside An Eco-Friendly, Aromatic Tradition
No need to worry about the carbon footprint of Uzbekistan's ancient technique for preserving winter melons. Its special "kovunkhona" storage chambers have no automatic cooling systems at all. Instead, they just rely on cold outside air and centuries of local experience keeping melons fresh until spring.
19 February 2020
No Gas, No Paved Road: Ethnic Russian Village In Georgia Considers Election Boycott
Georgia’s governments have repeatedly declared war on poverty, but in the 300-person village of Davitiani, like in other villages in this would-be European Union member, a lack of income and lack of infrastructure remain daunting problems. To get officials’ attention, Davitiani, a predominantly ethnic Russian settlement located in the eastern vineyard region of Kakheti, is now considering an unusual option: a boycott of Georgia’s October 2020 parliamentary elections.
14 February 2020
Russia's Vanishing Reindeer Herders: How A Native People Defy Change
The native Nenets reindeer herders of Russia's Far North are determined to preserve their traditional way of life despite population shifts, market changes, and perceived threats to their ancestral territory. But as reindeer herders start to vanish, this community faces a daunting tussle with time.
10 February 2020
Kyrgyz Workers Hunt For Coal Scraps To Survive Winter
In the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, about 200 people work in shifts to search through the ash dump of a heating plant. Desperately poor, they are looking for unburned pieces of coal to sell. It's hard work, but the only way to make a living for many of them during the winter.
03 February 2020
Kyrgyz Prospect For A Future Built On Gold
It's not just open-pit mines that depend on Kyrgyzstan’s gold wealth. In the frigid, central region of Naryn, one of the Central Asian country's poorest areas, specks of gold in an iced-over river help four men to survive and support their families.