Friday, April 24, 2009

FEATURE: Georgia: The ZAKVO Refugees (

Posted on 23 April 2009 by Paulo Nunes dos Santos

In the first days of August 2008, the Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili ordered and attack against the separatist region of South Ossetia. As retaliation, the Russian troops took over the regions of Abdkazia and South Ossetia and bombed several locations in Georgian territory.
During the conflict thousands fled their villages and towns, leaving homes, family members and most of what they had behind. Around 25,000 displaced of Georgian ethnicity traveled to Tbilisi, the capital city of Georgia, in a desperate attempt to find a safe shelter and wait for the time to return to their homes.
Several local and international NGOs made about 170 city buildings, including schools and warehouses, available for refugees. One of them is the former Headquarters Transcaucasus Military District - also known as ZAKVO, a degraded old building in the outskirts of Tbilisi.
Here more than 1500 people, mostly from the villages around Tskhinvali, live now in poor conditions, depending uniquely on the help from NGOs and population in general.
This essay intent to show the daily life and living condition of the people now known as the ZAKVO refugees.

Photojournalism for a globalized world

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