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Petrol powered Azerbaijan, from backlot to front stage

Thanks to its oil resources, the small Caucasian republic has seen its growth boom since independence in 1991. But while ambitious projects are launched to highlight progress, other problems lurk in the shadows.

After hosting the Eurovision Song Contest in a flashy new congress centre, the country plans to build a skyscraper more than a kilometre high southeast of the capital Baku.

The tower is part of a project to create a city of more than one million inhabitants spread over 41 artificial islands and which could cost $100 billion by the time it is finished in 2022. (Photos: Keystone, Reuters)