Andrew North
Andrew North
Andrew North
Andrew North
Andrew North
Andrew North
Andrew North
Andrew North
Andrew North

In Georgia, a Longing and Loathing for the Soviet Past

On the left bank of the river that runs through Tbilisi is one of the less obvious legacies of Georgia’s many decades as an outpost of the Soviet Union. Sprawling along a busy road that runs beside the river Kura (also called the Mtkvari) is a vast open-air market selling secondhand Soviet hardware. It is a place where you can find everything from rusty Russian hacksaws and wrenches to 70-year-old motors that once kept the escalators moving in the metro stations. The items are not for collecting, but for practical use even if there is something sentimental about this free market selling the communist past, so to speak. It is certainly a unique window into how one group of former Soviet citizens views the Soviet Union a quarter century after its demise.

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