With the call to evening prayer echoing across the Kazakh southeastern city of Almaty, young men run to the Great Mosque at sunset on the eve of Navruz, the annual spring festival celebrated for several days in many Central Asian countries.
As an economist studying the relationship between oil companies and governments in former Soviet countries, Heidi Kjaernet noticed an incongruity. The general theory, Kjaernet says, states that national oil companies should grow more and more independent from governments as they flourish.
Here's a great short video story shot recently by Vladimir Lozinski about the annual one-day bareback horse race held in the village of Duisi in Georgia's Pankisi Gorge.
Lozinski, a freelance video producer who has shot documentaries worldwide, including more recently Iraq, Romania, Moldova, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Bangladesh Brazil, Chile, Antarctica and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, worked for a charity school project and UNICEF projects
in the Pankisi region. The Paris-based producer and journalist also has worked with the BBC, US networks, UNTV, WFP and the OSCE.
With horns blaring, a convoy of cars belonging to a wedding party drives past a monument for people killed during the 1992-1993 Abkhaz separatist conflict with Georgia. The monument, which sits on the southern end of the bridge over the Gunista River, consists of plaques and headstones dedicated to people killed on the front line of the battle for Sukhumi and the slogan "Eternal Glory to the Heroes of Abkhazia."
Three to four times a day, every day, cargo trains carrying thousands of gallons of jet fuel roll across the Kazakh border into Kyrgyzstan, making their way across the flat, barren landscape toward Bishkek. These shipments are vital to keeping US and NATO military operations in Afghanistan going.
Tourists visit the crashing waterfall at the Church of St. Simon the Apostle in Novy Afon in the breakaway region of Abkhazia. The town and Novy Afon Monastery is a popular attraction for pilgrims and Russian tourists.