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.

Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls
Ukraine's Highlanders - Hutsuls

 

 

Published in Photo Gallery Balkans

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.

001 Tatars 1989
002 Tatars 1989
003 Tatars 1987
004 Tatars 1987
005 Tatars 1987
006 Tatars 1987
007 Tatars 1987
008 Tatars 1987
009 Tatars 1989
010 Tatars 1989
011 Tatars 1989
012 Tatars 1989
013 Tatars 1989
014 Tatars 1989
015 Tatars 1989
016 Tatars 1989
017 Tatars 1989
018 Tatars 1989
019 Tatars 1989
020 Tatars 1992
021 Tatars 1992
022 Tatars 1992
023 Tatars 1992
024 Tatars 1992
025 Tatars 1992
026 Tatars 1992
027 Tatars 1992
028 Tatars 1992
029 Tatars 1993
030 Tatars 1992
031 Tatars 1993
032 Tatars 1993
033 Tatars 1993
034 Tatars 1994
035 Tatars 1989
036 Tatars 1992
037 Tatars 1989
038 Tatars 1989
039 Tatars 2004
040 Tatars 2004

Photography: © Oleksandr Klymenko

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.

Sarajevo 96
Sarajevo 96
Sarajevo 96
Sarajevo 96
Sarajevo 96
Sarajevo 96
Sarajevo 96
Sarajevo 96
Sarajevo 96
Sarajevo 96
Sarajevo 96
Sarajevo 96
Sarajevo 96
Sarajevo 96
Sarajevo 96

Photography © Oleksandr Klymenko

Published in Photo Gallery Balkans

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?

Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94
Sarajevo 94

Photography: © Oleksandr Klymenko

Published in Photo Gallery Balkans

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.

Mostar Klym
Mostar Klym
Mostar Klym
Mostar Klym
Mostar Klym
Mostar Klym
Mostar Klym
Mostar Klym

Photography: © Oleksandr Klymenko

Published in Photo Gallery Balkans

The Republic of Serb Krajina (Република Српска Крајина) was a self-proclaimed Serb entity within Croatia. Established in 1991, its separatist government engaged in a war for independence from the Republic of Croatia. The main part of the RSK was overrun by Croatian forces in 1995.

Some of the photos here also offer a rare glimpse into the refugee camp Batnoga. This chunk of Serb-held territory offered sanctuary to thousands of Bosnian Muslims from another enclave, just across the border. Their leader Fikret Abdic, once a wealthy businessman and politician in Sarajevo, was now fighting his own war of territory in neigbouring Velika Kladuša. Batnoga had been the chicken farm of his pre-war company with operations across Yugoslavia. Some of the refugees here lived in disused chicken coops before the UN provided tents and other shelter.

Do you remember Batnoga or the involvement of the Ukrainian UN soldiers in the area?

Serb Krajina
Serb Krajina
Serb Krajina
Serb Krajina
Serb Krajina
Serb Krajina
Serb Krajina
Serb Krajina
Serb Krajina
Serb Krajina
Serb Krajina
Serb Krajina
Serb Krajina
Serb Krajina
Serb Krajina
Serb Krajina
Serb Krajina
Serb Krajina
Serb Krajina
Serb Krajina
Serb Krajina
Serb Krajina
Serb Krajina
Serb Krajina

Photography: © Oleksandr Klymenko

 

Published in Photo Gallery Balkans