Most of these pictures have been taken during the very last days of 1999, while Western countries, although a little bit scared by Millennium Bug, were getting ready for a shining New Millennium's Eve. At the same time, in Chechnya and in neighbouring Ingushetia districts, several thousand of Chechen civilians were being heavily pounded by Russian artillery, forced to leave their towns and villages (only to find them in rubbles, as those who came back most ofted did), or confined in refugee camps floating over mud and snow.
Unless they opted for arguably more confortable icy train carriages, standing still as rocks on dead railway branches.
Now, how did YOU enjoy New Millennium's Eve?
Samarshki, a former touristic resort
A chechen fighter, somehow successful in surviving his lethal wounds after finding medical assistance in neighbouring Inguscetia
This woman came back to her village just to find most of her house burnt, including this and other sewing machines she used to make a living from.
"Adler 20" border checkpoint between Ingushetia and Chechnya; families willing to get back to their houses in districts the Russians had cleared by "terrorists"
Farewell, good ol' Marjan... The lone king of Kabul zoo succumbs to his age at 48, after surviving years and years of deprivations and symbolizing to kabulis the spirit of resiliency itself Well.....that's sad news, indeed. To my eyes, Marjan symbolized hope. However, in thinking about that dear old lion's death I choose to believe that when he heard the swoosh of kites flying over Kabul, heard the roars from the football stadium, experienced the renewed sounds of music in the air and heard the click-click of chess pieces being moved around chessboards....well, the old guy knew that there was plenty of hope around and it was okay for him to let go and fly off, amid kite strings, to wherever it is the spirits of animals go.
Peace to you Marjan and peace to Afghanistan.
[Diana Smith, via the Internet]