Retro Russian cars parade on streets in Tajikistan

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Retro Russian cars parade on streets in Tajikistan

Classic car lovers in the former Russian territory of Tajikistan put aside political misgivings to celebrate the retro-Russian rides that continue to populate the streets.

Despite becoming independent from Russian control over 20 years ago, some Tajiks still have a soft spot for the old Russian-made cars.

More than 30 cars and motorcycles were paraded through the streets of the country's capital Dushanbe by proud owners last week.

It was a chance for those too young to remember Russian rule to get up close to a part of Tajikistan's past.

"These old cars are a part of Dushanbe's history," parade organiser Fairuz Hamidov told the BBC.

"They used to be everywhere on these streets and we wanted to remind people."

Many of the cars on display have been restored by professional collectors, but they allowed people to have a good poke around the cars, even taking some lucky visitors out for a drive.

Popular cars on parade included the Volga GAZ-21 and the tiny Zaporozhets, ZAZ 968A.

"It's an excellent initiative and it's really fun to see the old cars," said local resident Shima Kuzmin.

"Also, it's really nice to touch the cars, go inside, sit and feel how they are like."