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Russia

Armenia And Azerbaijan, A Fragile Truce After 25 Years

May marked the 25th anniversary of the ceasefire that ended Armenia and Azerbaijan’s war for the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. It wouldn't take much to reignite fighting.

Armenian soldiers in Yerevan
Armenian soldiers in Yerevan
Kirill Kriovsheyev and Aik Khalatyan

DZHODZHUG-MARDZHANLY — This village doesn't appear on maps or on Google. Old satellite photographs show just a few scattered roofless houses. Dzhodzhug-Mardzhanly, a village in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, was victim of the war fought between Armenia and Azerbaijan over this mountainous region in the South Caucasus in the early 1990s — a conflict that Armenia won. From 1994 to 2016, the village lay in ruins. But in the last three years, Dzhodzhug-Mardzhanly is very much back on the map.

During an outbreak in fighting in April 2016 Azerbaijani troops captured nearby Mount Leletepe, and the village was subsequently settled and rebuilt at a cost of $16 million. Dzhodzhug-Mardzhanly is now a propaganda trophy for Azerbaijan, a symbol that the republic has the resources to recover and rebuild its lost territories, while large parts of Nagorno-Karabakh remain uninhabited and in ruins.

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Russia

When Mom Believes Putin: A Russian Family Torn Apart Over Ukraine Invasion

Sisters Rante and Satu Vodich fled Russia because they could no longer bear to live under Putin — but their mother believes state propaganda about the war. Her daughters are building a new life for themselves in Georgia.

A mother and her daughter on a barricade in Kyiv

Steffi Unsleber

TBILISI — On a gloomy afternoon in May, Rante Vodich gets the keys to her new home. A week earlier, the 27-year-old found this wooden shed in Tbilisi, with a corrugated iron roof and ramshackle bathroom. The shed next door houses an old bed covered in dust. Vodich refers to the place as a “studio” and pays $300 per month in rent. She says finding the studio is the best thing that’s happened to her since she came to Georgia. It is her hope for the future.

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Her younger sister Satu Vodich is around 400 kilometers further west, in the city of Batumi on Georgia’s Black Sea coast, surrounded by Russian tourists, Ukrainian flags, skyscrapers with sea views and the run-down homes of local residents.

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