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Society 20 August 2012 193 1602
“First tell us what you did in Afghanistan all those years. Then we'll decide whether or not we can shake hands,” said Gennady-Nikmamat's fellow soldiers after he had been assumed to be a traitor and disappeared for 29 years.
This is the unique story of Gennady-Nikmamat, a former Soviet soldier who was captured by the Mujahideen during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. He was presumed a turncoat, which carried a criminal penalty if he ever returned to his homeland. Thus he had no choice but to stay in Afghanistan and adopt a Muslim way of life.
Gennady-Nikmamat married an Afghan woman, had four children with her and has lived a full life, but he never abandoned the dream of returning home. After finally coming back to Ukraine to see his relatives and visit his parents' graves for the first time, he still can't decide whether it was better that he survived or if he should have ended up just another unknown soldier lost in the turmoil of war.
Some call it, “The Mine”, to others, it’s “the beast”, an infamous rubbish dump in Guatemala City, Central America’s biggest capital. For thousands of poor people it provides a livelihood. Raw sewage flows through the massive landfill and twice a year, floods cause deadly landslides.
RT takes an exclusive look at North Korea, the world’s most closed-off country. Life here is isolated from the outside world and every aspect of existence is regulated by order of the "Great Leader", from the art you’re allowed to see, the books you can read, even to your hairstyle.
For 100 years, Jharia town in India has lived on top of a perpetually burning coal field. Once green and beautiful, the region is now scorched and barren, while its people are suffering from respiratory diseases. Despite the danger, most families daren’t relocate because coal provides their only means of income.
According to a medieval Albanian tradition, a woman can take a man’s place as the head of a family if she renounces her womanhood, following strict rules laid down by a centuries-old code. Surprisingly, a few women, known as "sworn virgins" still observe the custom.
Child prostitution in Kenya has reached a shocking level. Extreme poverty and sex tourism lead to the sexual exploitation of children on a massive scale. RT Doc investigates what is being done about the problem and who profits from it.
Tiny Migingo is one of the most densely populated islands in the world. In the middle of Lake Victoria, it’s home to Ugandan and Kenyan fishermen and their families. RT Doc’s Peter Scott paid a visit to find out how more than a thousand people live on a rock half the size of a football pitch.
The Favelas of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, are slums made up of self-built houses. Life here is largely controlled by criminal gangs. It’s the poorest members of society who live in the Favelas; they simply try to survive amid violent gunfights between drug lords and law enforcement.
The old saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” has a very literal meaning for the residents of one small town on the outskirts of Cairo in Egypt. Zabbaleen is home to a large community of rubbish collectors who gather and sort all of the capital’s waste. The process provides work for whole families.
When kids are accused of witchcraft in Africa’s Democratic Republic of the Congo, they’re thrown out of their homes. They beg and steal in the streets, where might is right. The aim of the country’s first centre for homeless children is to bring them back to their families. But superstition in Congolese society is hard to combat.
When people are released from jail they have nowhere to live, no jobs and no opportunities to start over, so they are in danger of ending up behind bars again. Having been in their shoes once, Yury Potapenko knows just how much they need another chance and gives them one.
Recently, the German city of Cologne made the news for a string of attacks against women that many blamed on migrants. The deepening refugee crisis is polarising German society. Still, no social tensions can stop the sweet celebration of Cologne’s famous Carnival, even if this year’s also came with a bitter pill.
They joined the army driven by a desire to serve their country and its people. However, the wars they were sent to made them re-evaluate everything they believed in. Now, US veterans are trying to come to terms with their past and learn how to live among civilians again. It turns out, they’ve no one to rely on but each other.
At the age of 15, Oleg and Polina have to get used to the adult responsibilities of parenthood. To help them adapt to their new life, Yulia steps in, a foster mother who has brought up 7 children and now hopes to make a difference for these young people and their baby daughter.
An estimated 290,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide in 20 years. Small farms used to be the country’s economic backbone but now, owners drown in debt. Many blame GMO cotton for the failing farms, having cornered the market and replaced organic crops; it has failed to live up to expectations.
The film exposes the plight of Syrian refugee families who cross the border into Lebanon to flee civil war in their country. Now their children have to abandon the dream of a good education and say goodbye to their carefree childhood as circumstances force them to become the breadwinners.