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Chechen Fighters in Ukraine 02
Shirokino, Ukraine
By Azad Safarov
14 Jun 2015

Chechen soldiers from the Sheikh Mansur battalion have come to Ukraine to fight against pro-Russian separatists alongside Ukrainian forces. They said that Putin is their enemy and that he destroyed their Motherland. As their relatives are still in Chechnya, they hid their faces and asked not to be named.

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Chechen Fighters in Ukraine 03
Shirokino, Ukraine
By Azad Safarov
14 Jun 2015

Chechen soldiers from the Sheikh Mansur battalion have come to Ukraine to fight against pro-Russian separatists alongside Ukrainian forces. They said that Putin is their enemy and that he destroyed their Motherland. As their relatives are still in Chechnya, they hid their faces and asked not to be named.

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Chechen Fighters in Ukraine 05
Shirokino, Ukraine
By Azad Safarov
14 Jun 2015

Chechen soldiers from the Sheikh Mansur battalion have come to Ukraine to fight against pro-Russian separatists alongside Ukrainian forces. They said that Putin is their enemy and that he destroyed their Motherland. As their relatives are still in Chechnya, they hid their faces and asked not to be named.

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Chechen Fighters in Ukraine 06
Shirokino, Ukraine
By Azad Safarov
14 Jun 2015

Chechen soldiers from the Sheikh Mansur battalion have come to Ukraine to fight against pro-Russian separatists alongside Ukrainian forces. They said that Putin is their enemy and that he destroyed their Motherland. As their relatives are still in Chechnya, they hid their faces and asked not to be named.

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Chechen Fighters in Ukraine 07
Shirokino, Ukraine
By Azad Safarov
14 Jun 2015

Chechen soldiers from the Sheikh Mansur battalion have come to Ukraine to fight against pro-Russian separatists alongside Ukrainian forces. They said that Putin is their enemy and that he destroyed their Motherland. As their relatives are still in Chechnya, they hid their faces and asked not to be named.

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Chechen Fighters in Ukraine 08
Shirokino, Ukraine
By Azad Safarov
14 Jun 2015

Chechen soldiers from the Sheikh Mansur battalion have come to Ukraine to fight against pro-Russian separatists alongside Ukrainian forces. They said that Putin is their enemy and that he destroyed their Motherland. As their relatives are still in Chechnya, they hid their faces and asked not to be named.

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Chechen Fighters in Ukraine 09
Shirokino, Ukraine
By Azad Safarov
14 Jun 2015

Chechen soldiers from the Sheikh Mansur battalion have come to Ukraine to fight against pro-Russian separatists alongside Ukrainian forces. They said that Putin is their enemy and that he destroyed their Motherland. As their relatives are still in Chechnya, they hid their faces and asked not to be named.

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Chechen Fighters in Ukraine 10
Shirokino, Ukraine
By Azad Safarov
14 Jun 2015

Chechen soldiers from the Sheikh Mansur battalion have come to Ukraine to fight against pro-Russian separatists alongside Ukrainian forces. They said that Putin is their enemy and that he destroyed their Motherland. As their relatives are still in Chechnya, they hid their faces and asked not to be named.

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Chechen Fighters in Ukraine 11
Shirokino, Ukraine
By Azad Safarov
14 Jun 2015

Chechen soldiers from the Sheikh Mansur battalion have come to Ukraine to fight against pro-Russian separatists alongside Ukrainian forces. They said that Putin is their enemy and that he destroyed their Motherland. As their relatives are still in Chechnya, they hid their faces and asked not to be named.

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Chechen Fighters Interrogate Alleged ...
Shirokino, Ukraine
By Azad Safarov
13 Jun 2015

DISCLAIMER: This footage was supplied by Chechen fighters.

Chechens soldiers fighting alongside Ukrainian nationalists seized a pro-Russian rebel in Shirokino for questioning. The hostage said that he was recently released from prison in Russia and was trying to reach his relatives in Ukraine. When crossing the border, he says he was grabbed by separatists and was recruited to fight with them against the Ukrainians.

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Israel Border Police
West Bank
By Ralf Falbe
09 May 2015

Israel Border Police in the West Bank, May 9, 2015.

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Nepal portfolio final 20
Kathmandu
By Taylor Weidman
30 Apr 2015

Nepali soldiers and civilians try to pull down a dangerous section of severely damaged wall that is in danger of collapsing in Bhaktapur, Nepal on April 30, 2015. On April 25, 2015, Nepal suffered a magnitude 7.8 earthquake killing over 5,000 people and injuring thousands more.

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Battle of Bakara Market
Mogadishu
By Noe Falk Nielsen
29 Apr 2015

The internationally recognised Somali Government, the Transitional Federal Government, had been under siege since the Ethiopian Army pulled out in January 2009. Protected by a small force of Ugandan and Burundian soldiers deployed as the African Union's Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) the government was functioning in a 25 km2 pocket in the capital, Mogadishu, consisting of the State House Complex, the port and the airport base, where AMISOM had their HQ. In the fall of 2010 Al Shabaab attempted to push the government and the AMISOM forces into the sea in a large offensive referred to as the Ramadan Offensive, but AMISOM held their ground and eventually fought back. One of the main turning points of the conflict appeared at the end of July and beginning of August 2011, where combined AMISOM and government forces managed to push Al Shabaab out of Mogadishu, leaving the group wiht only limited footholds in the north and east of the capital.
The present collection depicts the fighting on the first two days of the offensive, where AMISOM and government forces attacked the Bakara Market in the attempt to dislodge the group from it main stronghold in the city.  

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Warrior Competition 2015
Amman
By Lindsey Leger
21 Apr 2015

April 21, 2015

Amman, Jordan

The seventh annual Warrior Competition held at the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center (KASOTC) on the outskirts of Jordan’s capital, Amman. Elite counter-terror teams from around the world compete for five days from April 19th to the 23rd, in a show of sportsmanship in events with such names as “Top Gun,” and “3-Gun Gauntlet.” Soldiers run obstacle courses, scale walls, crawl beneath fences, then dash uphill to fire at moving targets in the distance.

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

The reverberation from the desert canyon walls make it difficult to tell where the sound is coming from - but then, there is the harsh crack from the sniper’s rifle, soldiers sprint through city streets to storm a building, and a human-sized form is hauled out and loaded onto a truck. On a day like today, it’s normal to hear lieutenants shouting to their men in Arabic, Russian, English and Pashto. This isn’t a real war, but the scenes being played out could mimic a not-so-distant urban battlefield.

This is a staged scenario in a mock cityscape, part of the seventh annual Warrior Competition held at the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center (KASOTC) on the outskirts of Jordan’s capital, Amman. 

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Warrior Competition 2015 05
King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center
By Lindsey Leger
21 Apr 2015

The Jordanian team rests in the shade of a sandstone cliff before the "urban assault" event at the Warrior Competition on April 21, 2015. In this event, soldiers must rush over a dirt verge, storm a building in a mock city, rescue a hostage and fire at targets in the distance.

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Warrior Competition 2015 07
King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center
By Lindsey Leger
21 Apr 2015

The Colombia team participates in the desert stress shoot event in the seventh annual Warrior Competition at the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center near Amman, Jordan, on April 21, 2015.

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Warrior Competition 2015 11
King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center
By Lindsey Leger
21 Apr 2015

The Jordan team participates in the Airbus seizure event, demonstrating how to execute a target onboard a passenger aircraft. The exercise was part of the seventh annual Warrior Competition at the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center near Amman, Jordan, on April 21, 2015.

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Warrior Competition 2015 14
King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center
By Lindsey Leger
21 Apr 2015

Commander Malik Al-Abbadi, leader of the Jordanian team, is photographed during the desert stress shoot at the seventh annual Warrior Competition at the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center near Amman, Jordan, on April 21, 2015.

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Warrior Competition 2015 06
King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center
By Lindsey Leger
20 Apr 2015

The Lebanese Armed Forces gather their gear before heading to the next event in the Warrior Competition on April 20, 2015. The competition is held at the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center near Amman, Jordan.

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Warrior Competition 2015 09
King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center
By Lindsey Leger
20 Apr 2015

The all-women's Unit 30 SWAT Police team from Jordan competes in the three-gun gauntlet during the seventh annual Warrior Competition at the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center near Amman, Jordan, on April 20, 2015.

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Warrior Competition 2015 10
King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center
By Lindsey Leger
20 Apr 2015

The Jordan team participates in the hostage rescue exercise at the seventh annual Warrior Competition at the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center near Amman, Jordan, on April 20, 2015.

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Warrior Competition 2015 13
King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center
By Lindsey Leger
20 Apr 2015

Soldiers wait for instructions atop a tower during the "Urban Assault" event on April 20, 2015, during the seventh annual Warrior Competition near Amman, Jordan. The center, which spans 25 acres of a blasted-out desert canyon, is a state-of-the-art training facility complete with mock cityscapes, villages, and grounded aircraft. The exercises are all performed with live ammunition.

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Warrior Competition 2015 03
King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center
By Lindsey Leger
19 Apr 2015

A parachuter from Jordan 71st counter-terrorism battalion prepares to land during the opening ceremonies of the seventh annual Warrior Competition at the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center near Amman, Jordan on April 19, 2015.

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Warrior Competition 2015 04
King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center
By Lindsey Leger
19 Apr 2015

The Jordanian team prepares for the first event of the Warrior Competition, "Top Gun," in which soldiers must shoot at targets at varying distances with three different weapons, while being judged for speed and accuracy. Jordan and the U.S. were finalists, with Jordan ultimately coming in first place.

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Warrior Competition 2015 02
King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center
By Lindsey Leger
19 Apr 2015

Members of the American and Canadian teams cheer together and watch the remaining teams compete in the "Top Gun" event at the seventh annual Warrior Competition at the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center near Amman, Jordan on April 19, 2015. Jordan and the United States were finalists in the event, with Jordan ultimately coming in first place.

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Warrior Competition 2015 12
King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center
By Lindsey Leger
19 Apr 2015

The Palestinian team is photographed during the opening ceremonies of the seventh annual Warrior Competition on April 19, 2015 at the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center near Amman, Jordan.

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Warrior Competition 2015 15
King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center
By Lindsey Leger
19 Apr 2015

Teams from various countries relax together and cheer on their teammates during the first event of the Warrior Competition, "Top Gun." Elite counter-terrorism teams from around the world compete for the title of champion at the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center near Amman, Jordan.

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Warrior Competition 2015 16
King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center
By Lindsey Leger
19 Apr 2015

Members of the American and Canadian teams cheer together and watch the remaining teams compete in the "Top Gun" event at the seventh annual Warrior Competition at the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center near Amman, Jordan on April 19, 2015. Jordan and the United States were finalists in the event, with Jordan ultimately coming in first place.

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Iraqi Government Forces Clash with IS...
Al-Anbar
By mushtaq mohammed
16 Apr 2015

Ramadi, Iraq
April 16, 2015

Video shows Iraqi government forces searching vacant buildings in the outskirts of Ramadi as intermittent gunshots are heard in the background.

Iraqi Army forces, backed by Sunni tribal fighters, came into contact with ISIS militants near Ramadi, the capital of Iraq's largest province, Anbar.

ISIS militants launched a large offensive on Wednesday, April 15 and were able to seize the villages of Sjariyah, Albu-Ghanim and Soufiya, which had previously been under government control. Local residents fear that ISIS will be able to reach Ramadi. ISIS insurgents are now about 100Km away from Anbar’s Ain Al-Asad air base, where hundreds of US and coalition forces train Iraqi troops.

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Easter Celebration in conflict Zone I...
Kramatorsk, Ukraine
By Andrey Samerkhanov
14 Apr 2015

Liberated Kramatorsk residents celebrate Easter during an open air event.
Kramatorsk is still in the conflict zone in Ukraine and just to remind the city was heavily shelled with Russian MRLS BM9K58 Tornado by Russian mercenaries just two month ago during another day (on Feb 10 2015).
More materials: http://empr.media/news/kramatorsk-shelled-with-russian-missiles-1-civilian-killed-6-wounded
http://empr.media/video/conflict-zone/shelling-of-kramatorsk-by-russian-tornado-missiles
http://empr.media/video/conflict-zone/kramatorsk-shelled-by-russian-tornado-missiles
http://empr.media/video/conflict-zone/unexploded-russian-tornado-missile-at-kids-playground-in-kramatorsk
https://youtu.be/SFFFL36NKb4
Young and old people now are tired from warfare during a year of Russian military invasion into Ukraine and are glad to celebrate the spring coming.
Full English description and sound bites translation will be provided after request.

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Easter presents from volunteers for U...
Kramatorsk
By Andrey Samerkhanov
12 Apr 2015

Ukrainian volunteers bring homemade made Easter presents to Ukrainian border guards in Kramatorsk.

Full English description and sound bites translation will be provided after request.

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"Easter-Jews": A Dying Ritual in Lith...
Pievėnai
By Domantas Pipas
09 Apr 2015

Holy Saturday in Pievėnai (Mažeikiai district municipality, Lithuania).

Every Easter, in the small Lithuanian village of Pievenai, a group of young men in uniform guard the local church to ensure their yearly procession goes undisturbed.  However, they are not guarding against street gangs or violent criminals, they are guardian against what they call the “Easter Jews”; a group of young local men wearing masks and clothes resembling visual stereotypes of orthodox Jews.

 

Both groups of young men are part of a dying Lithuanian Easter ritual in which the people in uniform prevent the so-called “Easter Jews” from breaking into the church, stealing the crucifix, distracting worshipers from god, and disturbing the resurrection of Christ.

 

On the eve of Easter, the guards begin their night watch, as the young men dressed up as “Easter Jews” begin trying to infiltrate the church and disrupt the evening mass. The guard’s night watch continues through the night until the last worshipers have left the church. The guards then go to rest in a nearby house where they play cards and drink beer.

The next morning, at the crack of dawn, a beating drum awakens the villagers and summons them to the morning mass. The guards return to the church, along with the “Easter Jews”. After the service is held, worshipers and guards begin a procession in which they walk around the church three times. As this is happening, the “Easter-Jews” run around the church in the opposite direction a total of nine times, with the intention of disrupting the procession and the resurrection of Christ.

 

There are four teams that dress up as soldiers and they all wear different colored uniforms. The red uniforms represent the blood of Christ, the green ones symbolize regeneration and hope, the blue ones symbolize the ascension of Jesus, and the white ones represent the sheet in which the body of the Christ was wrapped.

 

According to the local priest Saulius Styra the origin of the tradition is not known: "It is said that virtually all the churches had such soldiers before the [Second World] War." However, locals say that the Pievenai is the only village that still practices the tradition.

 

Most Lithuanians today are unaware of this outdated tradition. For many of those who are aware of it, they regard it as a relic of the past and an outdated remnant of old-world fascist mentalities. For them it is out of step with modern times.

 

However, those participating do not see it that way. For them it is simply a local tradition derived from the bible that is not meant to offend or demonize anyone. “Easter-Jews are tempting believers,” explains Priest Styra, “they are equated to devils. And this scenario is taken out of Jesus’ Crucifixion [from the Bible]. In the region where Jesus was crucified, everyone was Jewish, and I do not see any humiliation of Jewish people in this play”.

 

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Colonel Claude Mademba
Nimes
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
08 Apr 2015

Colonel Mademba fought in North Africa and Italy with British and French forces as an infantryman against German forces.

"On May 5th 1945, I fired my last shell from my Sherman tank at Hitler's Berghof complex," he said.

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Lahcen Majid
Saint Remi
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
08 Apr 2015

Lahcen Majid fought as an infantrymen in Italy as part of a Moroccan outfit attached to Free French forces, against the German army.

"On May 11th 1944, right before the last major push for Monte Cassino, I saw the entire countryside light up with an artillery barrage," he said. "By 2:00 a.m. hundreds of Allied soldiers were already arriving at our hospital to be treated."

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Joel D. Pasado
Los Angeles, CA
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
08 Apr 2015

Joel D. Pasado was a rebel fighter in the Philippines against Japanese forces.

"We surrounded the hospital," he said. "The defenders fought hard, as they had to fight room to room throwing grenades and using bayonets. On one occasion I stormed a room filled with Japanese soldiers. One tried to stab me, but was shot by one of my soldiers and was killed. He saved my life."

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Portrait of a Generation: WWII Vetera...
New York City, NY
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
07 Apr 2015

The Second World War was fought by an entire generation of men from more than 60 nations. Americans, Canadians, Russian, British, Chinese, South Africans and many others fought the Japanese, Spaniards, Italians, Germans, Slovaks and more, all were embroiled in a war which killed over 50 millions soldiers and civilians alike, making this conflict the bloodiest in Human history. The 1921/22-generation is today often known as a sacrificed generation, which fought for a various array of beliefs all intertwined in self-sacrifice and honor. In Germany alone 5.2 million soldiers were killed or missing in battle in a six-year period, Japan lost over 2 million men in combat, while the United States suffered 409 thousand men killed in action. However Russia holds the morbid record, with more than 10 million killed between 1941 and 1945. These astounding numbers show the brutality in which this war was fought in the air, on land and in the seas.

As a journalist, always in search for a certain historical truth within today’s framework, the stories of each of these men interviewed and photographed is a treasure of human perseverance. The project contains no pretense to judge or criticize the actions or decisions taken by these men, but it is rather a recollection of a period drastically different from ours. Their testimony is relevant in a historical sense, which should not be lost in time, as the next generations to come can and should learn from this generation.

The project itself differs from other veteran type shoots, in the sense that it tries to combine so many different nationalities. This combination was hard to achieve. It took no less than 5 years and travels to over 12 countries to meet, photograph, and interview these men. As a photojournalist, it was not only the photo shoot that was interesting, but also the search to meet these veterans, especially the ex Waffen SS and the foreign elements who fought within its ranks; and the more obscure nationalities who fought alongside major powers, like Croatians or Senegalese.

The photography project deals with as many nationalities as possible, for the simple reason that many nations were involved in the fighting. So far I have photographed Germans, Russians, Armenians, Karabastis, French, Belgium, Poles, Americans, Nepalese, Croatian, Czechs, Latvians, Japanese Americans, Pilipino, Hungarians and more…, which includes 221 men from 59 different nationalities.  Each man is interviewed on his experience through out the war. The goal of this project is to reunite as many veterans as possible from most of the nations involved in the Second World War.

FULL ARTICLE AND INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

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Lithuania Easter 2
Pievėnai
By Domantas Pipas
04 Apr 2015

On Easter morning the commissionaire€“ reports to the priest that the cross was kept safe.

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Lithuania Easter 4
Pievėnai
By Domantas Pipas
04 Apr 2015

To show their hostility, the "Easter-Jews" frolick and run around the church in the opposite direction of the procession. The procession walks three times around the church while the "Easter-Jews" run around it reverse nine times.