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Guardian: Frozen Conflicts of the Post-Soviet World – in Pictures

Photographer Gianluca Pardelli travelled to Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh and South Ossetia, finding weddings, wastelands and staggering natural beauty in three of the territories still contested after the fall of the USSR,”  the Guardian writes about Abhkazia, Nangro-Karabakh and South Ossetia.

Take a look at their photos below:

Abkhazia Billboard of Vladislav Ardzinba, the first president of the region, in the capital Sukhumi. The autonomous republics of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh have been subject to ongoing conflict since the break up of the Soviet Union. Between 2013 and 2014, Italian photographer Gianluca Pardelli travelled to the territories, known collectively as Transcaucasia
Fallout from the conflict is especially evident in Sukhumi, with its dilapidated and abandoned buildings, some of which have remained so since the 1992-1993 Georgia-Abkhazia war
Cafe Amra, Sukhumi. Pardelli’s fascination with the South Caucasus began after reading Mikhail Lermontov’s A Hero of Our Time, a 19th-century novel based on the author’s exploration of the rich and multi-cultural lands between the Black and Caspian Seas
An ethnic Mingrelian farmer travelling across the contested border between Georgia and Abkhazia. Mingrelian is one of the world’s endangered languages, with only 350,000 speakers left
Boxing training in Sukhumi. Pardelli’s aim was to document the remote regions that are not only unrecognised by the rest of the world but also little explored in contrast to other parts of the former Soviet Union
The shelled building that once hosted the parliament of Abkhazia in Sukhumi
Sukhumi train station
Nagorno-Karabakh We Are Our Mountains, an independence monument in the territory claimed by both Armenia and Azerbaijan. Pardelli’s work explores the diverse ethnicities that make up the former Soviet Union
A shepherd in the fields of Agdam. The series uncovers ‘the complex social, economic and ethnic realities’ of the states
A Soviet-era remnant in Shushi
South Ossetia-North Ossetia: border The Great Caucasian mountain range. South Ossetia has to be entered through North Ossetia, a republic in southern Russia. Pardelli took a a bus from the capital Vladikavkaz to South Ossetia’s capital Tskhinvali, for which he was required to obtain a double-entry Russian visa
Map of the republic in the national museum. South Ossetia first declared independence in 1992 but, like Abkhazia, is regarded as part of Georgia by all but a few countries
Flats in Verkny Ruk. ‘In these backwaters, the catastrophic consequences of the Soviet disintegration are felt more than anywhere else in the former USSR,’ says Pardelli
Local woman in her home in Zgubir