August 4, 2003, (near) Tikrit, Iraq
© Geert van Kesteren
Courtesy the artist
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A soldier's picture diary from S Ossetia

15.08.08 | Florence Waters

This is an incredibly moving picture diary from the battlefield of S. Ossetia. Following my blog post from Monday, I wanted to draw attention to it.

It is staggering on many levels. Just days after combat, it gives the world an icredibly honest humanist view of what the war conditions are like for the Russians fighting.

The overtone of the series of pictures is not political. The pictures do not illustrate a point - or an article, as they do in the media. No Western journalist would have had this insight.  What I like the most about the series of pictures, is the layers of content: You get an idea of the horrors of the fighting, You see the battle field from all perspectives - from a distant landscape, right up to the bloody wound. The soldier's tale sensitively portrays something of the relationship that he has with his friends in the army, the effect of the death in the homes.

There are often very striking juxtapositions between the pictures too. One picture, showing a bashed up, burnt out army vehicle and a killed boy directly below it. Tragically, the next image shows a moving army vehicle making its way home - with the victorious soldiers waving and cheering.

Hopefully it will not get removed before you can see it:

WARNING: Images of gore and death

Text reads:

Presenting to your attention Arkady's report from the war zone. Reminder that he went from Valdikavkaz to Djava and then to Tsivanhal. Was part of of assault on Zemo-Nikozi, then went with the batallion West towards Gori and while towards there came back on the helicopter with the wounded.