Clothes left out to dry overnight are frozen due to extremely low temperatures, Belgrade, Serbia, Jan. 23, 2017. (Marko Drobnjakovic)

Around 1,500 migrants who have fled war and poverty in their countries in hopes of reaching Western Europe have found temporary shelter in an abandoned warehouse in central Belgrade, the Serbian capital. Men and boys from countries like Afghanistan or Pakistan have occupied the decrepit complex as they wait for an opportunity to move on toward neighboring EU nations Hungary or Croatia.

Several thousand migrants have remained stranded in Serbia since nations along the so-called Balkan route officially closed last March. The influx has been reduced, but hundreds of migrants still cross illegally into Serbia from Bulgaria or Macedonia on a daily basis before moving on, seeking the help of smugglers to cross the heavily guarded EU borders.

Aid groups have warned that migrants staying in the crumbling warehouse by the Belgrade bus station have been in danger of exposure since a spell of extreme winter weather gripped the country in early January. Migrants, including young boys and teenagers, have endured freezing temperatures. They have lit fires inside the warehouse, many inhaling smoke and toxic fumes.

People take a bath while heating water in an old oil drum. Belgrade, Serbia. Jan. 19, 2017. (Marko Drobnjakovic)

 

A man takes a bath inside a derelict warehouse used by refugees and migrants in central Belgrade, Serbia. Jan. 5, 2017. (Marko Drobnjakovic)

 

A young man stands inside a squalid warehouse used by refugees and migrants as shelter. Belgrade, Serbia. Jan. 5, 2017. (Marko Drobnjakovic)

 

A man wakes up inside a decrepit warehouse he and others use as shelter. Belgrade, Serbia. Jan. 19, 2017. (Marko Drobnjakovic)

 

People huddle as they talk inside a disused customs warehouse. Belgrade, Serbia, Jan. 19, 2017. (Marko Drobnjakovic)

 

People queue for food distribution. Belgrade, Serbia. Jan. 17, 2017. (Marko Drobnjakovic)

 

A man tries to get warm by wrapping himself in a blanket. Belgrade, Serbia. Jan. 19, 2017. (Marko Drobnjakovic)

 

A man runs in the snow after taking a bath. Belgrade, Serbia. Jan. 19, 2017. (Marko Drobnjakovic)

 

People eat a meal provided by volunteers. Belgrade, Serbia. Jan. 23, 2017. (Marko Drobnjakovic)

 

People queue for lunch provided by volunteers. Belgrade, Serbia. Jan 30, 2017. (Marko Drobnjakovic)

 

A man uses a comb inside the derelict warehouse used as shelter by refugees and migrants. Belgrade, Serbia. Jan. 30, 2017. (Marko Drobnjakovic)

 

Qutratullah, 12, a young boy from Afghanistan, warms himself by the fire inside a warehouse. Belgrade, Serbia. Jan 26, 2017. (Marko Drobnjakovic)

 

A man prays inside a squalid warehouse he and others use for shelter. Belgrade, Serbia. Jan. 5, 2017. (Marko Drobnjakovic)

 

A man tries to chop a piece of firewood. Belgrade, Serbia. Jan 23, 2017. (Marko Drobnjakovic)

 

People collect firewood. Belgrade, Serbia. Jan. 17, 2017. (Marko Drobnjakovic)

 

A group of men warms up next to a fire outside the warehouse complex they use for shelter. Belgrade, Serbia. Jan. 23, 2017. (Marko Drobnjakovic)

 

A man poses for a photograph while wrapped in a blanket to stay warm. Belgrade, Serbia. Jan.23, 2017. (Marko Drobnjakovic)

Marko Drobnjakovic’s other photos of the Balkan route (and beyond) are on Instagram @xmd101:

See the sun, #serbia #migrants #refugees

A post shared by marko drobnjakovic (@xmd101) on

The defense squad, #hungary #migrants #migrantcrisisNBCNews

A post shared by marko drobnjakovic (@xmd101) on

Mornings, #belgrade #migrants #refugees

A post shared by marko drobnjakovic (@xmd101) on

A graveyard, #qayara #mosul #iraq

A post shared by marko drobnjakovic (@xmd101) on

Cutting the line, #serbia #migrants #refugees #migrantcrisisNBCNews

A post shared by marko drobnjakovic (@xmd101) on

After a shower, #idomeni #greece #migrants #refugees

A post shared by marko drobnjakovic (@xmd101) on

Border ball, #serbia #croatia #migrants #refugees

A post shared by marko drobnjakovic (@xmd101) on

Idomeni landscapes: a pair of jeans on the border fence, #idomeni #greece #migrants #refugees #nofilter

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Marko Drobnjakovic

Marko Drobnjakovic is a freelance photographer and videographer, based out of Belgrade, Serbia. He is a contributor to The Associated Press, and has covered breaking news and sports stories across Europe and the Middle East. His work includes coverage of the aftermath of the Balkan wars, the Iraq conflict from 2006 to 2009, the Ukrainian revolution of 2014 and the conflict in East Ukraine, the advance of ISIS on Iraqi Kurdistan, the European refugee and migrant crisis, and the 2016 Mosul offensive, among other stories. He is a recipient of the Magnum Foundation Fund grant and was a 2017 Pulitzer Prize finalist for AP. 

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