Less than an hour’s drive to the north is Tskhinvali, where fighting began after Georgian forces took the city following a night of heavy bombardment. Most houses had broken windows and were either pockmarked by bullets or gutted by shelling.
During NATO airstrikes, Serbian forces raged through the city, expelling Albanians and torching their homes and shops. Today, women and children are about the only ones who dare venture into the now Serb-dominated side of the river.
Based in Berlin and Moscow, I’ve reported from the rubble of the Soviet empire since 1996. I’ve written for Slate, BuzzFeed, nytimes.com, Bloomberg News, The Moscow Times and The Christian Science Monitor. I’m particularly interested in developing new journalism platforms.
Twenty-five years ago, a wave of freedom swept across the Soviet empire, bringing down the Iron Curtain and uniting Europe. Today, the struggle for Ukraine is the last, belated battle of the Velvet Revolution.
Click to read my dispatches for Slate, BuzzFeed and Zeit Online (in German).