1986 Photo Contest, Daily Life, 2nd prize

Vladimir Vyatkin

RIA Novosti

01 April, 1980

An armed guard protects participants of a political conference in Kabul, Afghanistan. Vladimir Vyatkin was one of the first Russian photographers to go to Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion in December 1979. In those early years of the conflict, which was then officially called a humanitarian mission, photojournalists were not allowed to photograph the Russian troops or actual hostilities. Journalists were not even allowed to talk about them or use the word 'war'. In 2011, Vyatkin told Russ Press Photo: "Only two years later, when the war became a subject in the official press and on television, I decided to send those pictures to World Press Photo. In an accompanying telegram I explained that the pictures had been made much earlier, but because of censorship I could not release them then. One photograph titled 'The Bodyguard' was picked up from this series."

About the photographer

Vladimir Vyatkin

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