Posts Tagged "ussr"
Kyrgyz Farmer, Last of USSR Conscripts
ISSYK–KUL: He was one of the last conscript soldiers of the USSR, serving in Moscow up to November 1991. I asked what happened and he said rather undramatically: "They said we could go home. Tajiks to Tajikistan, Uzbeks to Uzbekistan, Kyrgyz to Kyrgyzstan. I took the train home with a group of 30 Kyrgyz." Now 44, he works part-time in construction while tending his field near the mountains. His sons said they like to play games on their phone and I asked if they also use a computer to surf Internet at home. "I don't have money for a computer. I have to feed and cloth them. Construction work isn't steady," said their father.
Valerian: Career Soviet Officer
BATUMI, GEORGIA: Valerian, 83, was sitting with a friend along the Batumi shore dressed in camouflage coat and hat. He said he grew up in Batumi and recalled how when his dad went off to serve in WWII, he would fish by himself along the shore before school started. Valerian said he was a career officer in the Soviet Army, having served in Germany and Armenia among other places. Like other people of pension age that I met, Valerian was disappointed with the bad relations between Russia and Georgia, saying that neighbors ''have to find a common language.''
Marina: Batumi Convenience Store Owner
BATUMI, GEORGIA: Marina (left), 32, was knitting baby clothing in her Batumi convenience store as she talked with three older friends. Marina, who is married to a Turkish man, joked it was a little Soviet Union - she is Ukrainian while her friends were Armenian (right), Georgian & Russian. (The Georgian and Russian women left before I could take the photo.) Marina invited me to chat about life, and the USSR of course came up. They lamented the collapse because their is no job stability like there was in the USSR, they said. People can't survive on their pensions, they said. "Life is difficult - we work hard, but have to dress in second-hand," said Marina, her Armenian friend adding, "We had a life then. Now we simply survive. Ask anyone my age and they will tell you the same thing."
Georgian Fruit Seller in Moscow
She sells fresh and dried fruit from the Caucasus and Central Asia at the Moscow food market. Like many workers there, she grew up far from Moscow. She said she was Georgian, but raised in Abkhazia, and moved to Tblisi after the Georgia-Abkhaz war.
Stalin Jokes with Lenin
Moscow Portrait: One popular Russian film goes by the title "Irony of Fate," something that could be applied to Sasha's life. Born in Perm in the Urals, he said he served nine years in part for anti-communist actions. Now he makes a living portraying the man who personifies of Russian communism: Lenin.