Paradise lost

Winners 2021

Valery Melnikov

Valery Melnikov is an award-winning photojournalist from Russia. His work experience includes coverage of the Ukrainian conflict of 2014 to present; an uprising of Mali Republic in 2013; Syrian Civil war coverage in 2012-2015; Lebanese war in 2006; Infamous conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia in 2008. Now he is a staff photographer at Sputnik Agency. Valery has dedicated his life to journalism, and he continues to take pride in any project he is working on. With a great sense of urgency, Valery brings people together through incredible footage from the dangerous parts of the world, so people can see and become part of it.

1 place
The Conflict

Paradise lost

The so-called «Perestroika, initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev in the mid-80s of the 20th century and the collapse of the USSR, turned into a series of territorial and ethnic conflicts throughout the former Soviet Empire. For Nagorno-Karabakh, part of the Azerbaijan Union Republic, Perestroika ended in a skirmish. Thirty years ago, the balance of peaceful life in the region was lost. Ethnic Armenians in Azerbaijan declared independence and won during the armed conflict. Most of the territory came under their control. The Azerbaijani population was forced to leave Nagorno-Karabakh. In the autumn of 2020, the military actions between the armed forces of Azerbaijan and the armed formations of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic with the support of Armenia resumed. The frozen conflict of the late 20th century exploded like a dormant volcano. Azerbaijan regained control over the areas that Armenia seized in the 1990s. However, the balance is not reached.