Photo Essay: Kosovo Year 1

Kosovo just made it through its first year as a self-declared independent country. People there may be celebrating, but Kosovo's continued poverty shows that independence is no quick fix.

Waving the flag: On Feb. 17, Kosovo celebrated the one-year anniversary of its self-declared independence from Serbia. Thousands of Kosovars took to the streets, and restaurants in the capital, Pristina, offered free champagne. In the city’s Mother Teresa Square, vendors sold Kosovo’s blue and yellow flag, as well as flags of Albania and the United States, both strong backers of Kosovo’s independence. Above, a girl waves the red Albanian flag, with the blue and yellow Kosovar flag in the background, during a celebration in Pristina Feb. 17. The mood may have been largely celebratory, but Kosovo faces many challenges ahead.

Photo: Armend Nimani/AFP/Getty Images

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP

More from Foreign Policy

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping give a toast during a reception following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 21.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping give a toast during a reception following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 21.

Can Russia Get Used to Being China’s Little Brother?

The power dynamic between Beijing and Moscow has switched dramatically.

Xi and Putin shake hands while carrying red folders.
Xi and Putin shake hands while carrying red folders.

Xi and Putin Have the Most Consequential Undeclared Alliance in the World

It’s become more important than Washington’s official alliances today.

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

It’s a New Great Game. Again.

Across Central Asia, Russia’s brand is tainted by Ukraine, China’s got challenges, and Washington senses another opening.

Kurdish military officers take part in a graduation ceremony in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, on Jan. 15.
Kurdish military officers take part in a graduation ceremony in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, on Jan. 15.

Iraqi Kurdistan’s House of Cards Is Collapsing

The region once seemed a bright spot in the disorder unleashed by U.S. regime change. Today, things look bleak.