The Hutsuls are an ethnic community in Ukraine, whose remote mountainous territory straddles across today's border with Romania in the Carpathian mountains, the areas of Bukovina and Maramuresh.
Of all Ukrainians, they've been perhaps the least exposed to Moscow's influence – be it political or cultural. As a matter of fact, the Hutsuls lived under the Hapsburgs, then from 1919 their lands were part of the Czechoslovak Republic till WWII.
The Ukrainian photographer Oleksandr Klymenko has documented for years the lives of the Hutsuls – here is a selection of his work with them between 2007-2012.
Russian émigré officers and their families at leisure - Serbia 1922.
Wars are less about destructive hardware or other imaginative ways of extermination – they're all about destroying the fabric of society and family ties. The Bolshevik Revolution and Russia's Civil War literally cast overboard several generations of educated people, and those who made it to safer havens were considered lucky to survive.
While Dr Zhivago's characters were fictitious, the real victims were millions – there were to be found on Turkish islands, on the pavements of the Balkan cities, in the libraries of Prague and European universities, most of them cherishing their dreams of reaching France, yet slowly dissolving into the societies of their new host countries. Hundreds of thousands of Russian émigrés settled down in 1919-1920 in Serbia and Bulgaria. In late 1921, in a few days only, 9330 Russian émigrés disembarked from 4 ships in the Bulgarian ports of Varna and Burgas.
Moscow's new rulers ruthlessly obliterated even the memories of their own educated exiles, shunning any reference of them that differed from the 'class enemy'. Few visual memories of the 'White Russians' have survived, mainly outside Russia and Ukraine.
18th May 2014 marked the 70th anniversary of the deportation of the entire nation of the Crimean Tatars. On this day in 1944, on Stalin's orders, they were forced to leave their homes by the Black Sea and were dumped onto the steppes of Central Asia and other places far from home.
As the USSR was collapsing, the Tatars started returning to Crimea, longing for their ancestral land. The authorities did not allow them to settle down properly and the Tatars set up camps across the peninsula. The Ukrainian photographer Oleksandr Klymenko had the rare opportunity to capture their first steps back home.
Photography: © Oleksandr Klymenko
A story of national identity and European citizenship, shot in Bulgaria, Belgium and Moldova and sponsored by the Bulgarian Memory Foundation. Reported/produced by Velislav Radev, directed by Janet Barrie.
On Bulgarian National TV , Sunday 23 February 2014.
Made by barriemedia.net
Един филм за националната самобитност и европейската идентичност, за Гражданската награда на Европейския парламент. Заснет в България, Белгия, Молдова, и спонсориран от Фондация Българска Памет.
Репортер / продуцент Велислав Радев Режисьор Джанет Бари
48 years ago, at dawn on 21 August 1968, the armies of the Warsaw Pact countries (except Romania) crossed the borders of Czechoslovakia and toppled the government of Alexander Dubček. His attempts to reform the Communist regime and aspirations of a Socialism with a human face inevitably put Prague on a collision course with Moscow. The orders from Moscow were brief - the status quo had to be preserved at any cost, the Prague Spring was doomed and the tanks rolled in.
Do you remember the Prague Spring?
Five nations sent their troops, including Bulgaria. Most of the Bulgarian soldiers went via the Soviet Union, where they were briefed. Only a few of them knew the exact destination, though they were all told that their mission was to stop a counter-revolution and prevent a West German invasion. The Bulgarian soldiers stayed in Czechoslovakia till October.
Навършват се 45 години от най-мащабната операция на български войски след Втората световна война, при това не на учение, а инструктирани за бойни действия. Призори на 21 август 1968 г. войските на страните от Варшавския договор (без Румъния) навлизат в Чехословакия. Това е краят на Пражката пролет и на опитите на тогавашния водач на Чехословакия Александър Дубчек за реформи и 'социализъм с човешко лице'.
Бяхте ли с набори 1948-1949 в Чехословакия през лятото на 1968? Знаете ли нещо от вашите родители за тези събития?
The 1st May 1986, and as every year tens of thousands of Bulgarians mark Labour Day by marching past their Communist leaders in Sofia. Unknown to them, just four days previously a fire at Chernobyl had brought about world's worst nuclear disaster.
By the 1st May the fallout had reached Bulgaria. The rain falling on everyone here was highly radioactive, but the nomenclatura seem oblivious to the danger in the air.
Were you there that day? Do you or your family remember these events? We'd like to hear from you.
Първи май 1986. Десетки хиляди българи отбелязват в София "Празника на труда" с традиционен парад пред комунистическите ръководители на страната. Манифестиращите не знаят, че само четири дни по-рано пожар в Чернобил е предизвикал най-тежката ядрена авария в света.
На 1 май радиационният облак достига България. Дъждът, който вали над парада е силно радиоактивен, но на трибуната сякаш не осъзнават опасността във въздуха.
Бяхте ли там? Спомня ли си някои от семейството Ви за тези дни? Ще се радваме, ако споделите тези спомени.
These pictures were taken right at the end of the Bosnian War. The UN peacekeepers from Ukraine were preparing to return home to their newly independent country. During the war they provided vital services to keep Sarajevo going - here we see the damage to the city through their eyes. A flying visit also to Vukovar on the Danube, where the war for Yugoslavia's succession started in 1991.
Photography © Oleksandr Klymenko
When the Bosnian War started in 1992 among the first international troops to arrive were the blue helmets from Ukraine. The soldiers provided vital help in and around Sarajevo - from bread and water to fuel. They brought with them their own worries from a newly independent country, perhaps they had an insight into this conflict like nobody else? The Ukrainian photographer Oleksandr Klymenko documented their mission.
Do you remember the Ukrainian soldiers in Bosnia?
Photography: © Oleksandr Klymenko
The stunning town of Mostar on the river Neretva was ravaged by the Bosnian war in successive campaigns. First a siege by the Yugoslav army left it badly damaged. Then came the bitter conflict between Croat forces and local defenders, loyal to the government in Sarajevo, on the eastern bank of the river.
When the war finished across Bosnia in 1996 the scars were visible everywhere in Mostar, and little was known about the fate of Serb civilians in the area. In these pictures you see UN peacekeepers visiting the Serb village of Lakat, before they return home themselves to face an unknown future in their native Ukraine. Oleksandr Klymenko was there with his camera.
Photography: © Oleksandr Klymenko