Shimon Peres, Israel's foreign minister at the time, visits his home village — once part of Poland, now in Belarus — in 1992. He was looking for his boyhood home, but it had long since been torn down. Like many of Israel's founding fathers, he traced his roots to Eastern Europe. Courtesy of Joanne Levine hide caption

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Courtesy of Joanne Levine

Technically, it's against the law for Russian restaurants to buy top-notch Italiano Parmigiano-Reggiano. But that's nothing a little creative labeling can't get around. Porter Gifford/Corbis hide caption

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Porter Gifford/Corbis

A column of Russian troops prepares to leave the checkpoint at a bridge over the Inguri River in Western Georgia, in October 2008, after securing the secession of Georgia's breakaway South Ossetia region. Levan Gabechava/Reuters/Landov hide caption

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Levan Gabechava/Reuters/Landov