My last visit to Daghestan was in 1995, after which the neighbouring Chechen situation became more of a threat to Daghestan and I was told by my local friends that the authorities genuinely felt that ‘they were unable to guarantee my security’.
“The Georgians have built a funfair in the neighbouring village, I can see the ferris wheel from my balcony”, says 20 year old Alik Gassiev.
“What’s this I asked myself, sitting up on my bunk. A mirage or the island of Tahiti? Or the heavenly lands of Samoa? That was Konstantin PaustovskyÂ´s first impression when he first saw Abkhazia.
“Oh, I cannot take you to Darra,” the Afghan fellow insisted. He ran a clothing shop in our hotel during the evenings, and specialized in shepherding around random tourists during the daytime; though, at this juncture, tourists were few in Peshawar.
The war in Chechnya has the dubious distinction of being Europe’s longest running conflict. In August I travelled to the war torn republics of both Chechnya and Ingushetia with the Danish Refugee council (DRC) to photograph internally displaced people (IDPs), who have fled the conflict; and to see how the security situation in the region…
An irate Saakashvili looks towards the lost land on the other side of the river from a big mural. This is the Georgian checkpoint, even if Georgia doesnâ€™t recognise any border here. Nor does anyone else.